STEPHEN BLACKSTONE, one of the oldest and most prominent farmers of McDonough County, Ill., who carries on farming and stock raising on an extensive scale in New Salem Township, was born in Lafayette County, Wisc., January 17, 1838. His father, Beverly Blackstone, was born in Madison County, N.Y., and his mother, Elisabeth (Blisset) Blackstone, was a native of England. His grandfather, Stephen Blackstone, was born in Branford, Conn. The subject of this sketch was the eldest of three children born to his parents, and the only son. In 1840 he came with his father and mother to McDonough County, where, later in boyhood, he attended the district schools in the vicinity of his home, and assisted his father in work on the farm. The latter died January 2, 1861. Mr. Blackstone has always followed farming, in which he has been very successful, having acquired about 800 acres of the finest land in new Salem Township, McDonough County, all of which is highly improved. In 1860, he began to feed and raise cattle and hogs, which he has continued to a considerable extent. In March, 1896, he met with a serious accident which has since incapacitated him for much of the ordinary work of the farm. His right arm was caught in a corn and cob-crusher and so badly mangled as to necessitate amputation about three inches below the elbow.
On March 2, 1866, Mr. Blackstone was united in marriage with Mahala E. Smith, who was born in Casey County, KY., and received her early education in McDonough County, Ill. Five children were the issue of this union, namely: Beverly, Elisabeth, George, Nettie and Clara. Mrs. Blackstone's parents, Reuben and Mary (Tinsley) Smith, were natives of Kentucky, came to McDonough County in 1848, and settled near Bardolph. Her father died in 1873, but her mother still survives, and is living with her son and daughter. In politics, Mr. Blackstone is a Prohibitionist. In 1885 he served as Supervisor of New Salem Township and was School Director for twelve years. His religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a man of high character and a useful and much respected member of the community.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907. Submitted by Joanne Scobee Morgan <[email protected]>