Charles A. Blandin
BLANDIN, Charles A., one of the oldest and most highly respected residents of McDonough County, was born in Westminster, Windham County, Vt., December 30, 1829, the son of Joseph L. and Cenith (Holden) Blandin, both of whom were natives of Vermont. Joseph L. Blandin was a farmer by occupation. He left his native State at a very early period, and emigrating to Illinois, located in McDonough County, where the town of Blandinsville now stands. The journey consumed three weeks, and was made by way of canal, lake and river. Before starting on the journey, he had secured a patent for a tract of Government land, on which he laid out the town of Blandinsville in 1842, giving away lots in order to promote the growth of the new settlement which was named after him. All the material used in improving the place, was hauled from Warsaw, Ill., and all goods and merchandise were carried by wagon to and from that town. After founding Blandinsville, Mr. Blandin built brick blocks and a hotel there, and was successfully engaged in farming in the vicinity until the time of his death. For a while he made his home in a log cabin, which he built, and all his grain, together with that raised by the other early settlers of the neighborhood, was marketed in Warsaw. The farm house afterwards erected by him was located just back of Main Street, and was the first frame dwelling in that part of the county. He was the father of four children, namely: Joseph C, Captain Hume, Julia H. (Mrs. Lyon), and Charles A. With the exception of the last named, who is the subject of this sketch, all are deceased. Politically, the elder Blandin was first a Whig, afterwards becoming a "FreeSoiler." He was a man of untiring energy and remarkable force of character, and was widely known throughout the Military Tract for his many excellent qualities of mind and heart, and his faithful wife was in every respect worthy of such a husband.
Charles A. Blandin received his early training in his native town, and had just entered his "teens" when brought by his parents to McDonough County. For some time, he assisted his father on the farm and otherwise, and in 1850 entered the mercantile business, in which he continued five years. At the end of that period he sold out and went to Oquawka, Ill., where he was engaged, for two years, in the lumber and sawmill business. He then disposed of this also, and in company with his brother, built a mill at Burlington, Iowa, which they conducted until 1860. Mr. Blandin next applied himself to farming on the paternal estate. He also bought 320 acres in Section 1, Hire Township, McDonough County, which he improved to some extent, and there carried on general farming, together with raising and shipping stock, in which he is still interested. He now devotes his attention mainly to managing a small farm, where he is engaged in feeding and raising Poland-China hogs.
In 1858, Mr. Blandin was united in marriage, at Oquawka, Ill., with Lydia A. Wadleigh, a native of Canada, and a daughter of Luke and and Phosbe (Rowell) Wadleigh, also Canadians by birth. Her father located in Oquawka, Ill., in 1855, and was engaged in the lumber trade there. Mr. and Mrs. Blandin became the parents of seven children, of whom five are living, as follows: Samuel W., a resident of Chicago; Phoebe (Mrs. Smith); Nellie (Mrs. Blackhurst), who lives in Racine, Wis.; Grace (Mrs. Burris), whose home is in Houston, Texas; and Charles L., of Blandinsville, who carries on farming. In politics, Mr. Blandin is a stanch Republican, having been an unswerving supporter of that party for many years. For three years during the Civil War, he served as Postmaster of Blandinsville, to which office he was appointed by President Lincoln.
Mr. Blandin has led a long, honorable and useful life. He has borne an important and creditable part in all the arduous labors attending the development of McDonough County, and in his declining years, enjoys the consciousness of duty done and of the warm regard and profound veneration of all the people of the region he has wrought so faithfully to upbuild.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 828-829, extracted 19 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass.