EARL M. BYERS. Viewing the world from the shelter of his fine and self-earned farm in Walnut Grove Township, McDonough County, Earl M. Byers may well congratulate himself that his lines have fallen in pleasant and profitable places, and that his occupation is one for which nature and inclination have admirably fitted him. A native son of Illinois and born in Hancock County, November 3, 1861, he is the oldest of the three sons and one daughter of William and Emily (Tucker) Byers, the former born in Pennsylvania, and the latter in Illinois. William Byers moved with his family from Hancock to McDonough County in 1874, and there conducted general farming until his retirement from active life to his present home in Macomb in 1891. His children all are living, but he has been a widower since the death of his wife, April 10, 1905. With such aids to back him as a common school education and thorough agricultural training under his father, Earl M. Byers embarked upon a self-supporting life on a farm east of Raritan, Henderson County, this state, where he remained three years. In the spring of 1887 he purchased 161 acres of land in section 17, Walnut Grove Township, which land he has greatly improved, adding, besides a variety of modern implements, a residence constructed in 1902, and a barn of more recent date, costing $2,000. Besides raising grain and other products which thrive in the central west, he is an extensive breeder of Shorthorn cattle, and in addition to the facilities required for successfully conducting his business, has surrounded himself and wife with the comforts and even luxuries of existence. His home is unexcelled for architectural and general appropriateness in the township, and his standing as a farmer and citizen is an enviable one.
On September 10, 1885, Mr. Byers was united in marriage to Bessie Dean, a native of Illinois and the seventh in order of birth of the six daughters and two sons of Michael and Susan (Cummings) Dean. Mr. Dean was born in Bath County, KY, and his wife is a native of the vicinity of Greenoch, Scotland. The latter came to America with her parents when five years old, and was married in Fulton County, Ill., to Michael Dean on March 10, 1842. In 1856 the family moved to their present home in Warren County, where was solemnized the marriage of their daughter, Bessie and Mr. Byers. In politics, Mr. Byers is a Democrat. A broad minded and intelligent farmer, a promoter of education and morality, he is a capable exponent of the highest tenets of agricultural science.
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]>