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Edward Brinton

In the death of Edward D. Brinton, May 16, 1905, McDonough County lost one of its early and most zealous pioneers, and one who embodied, in his excellence of character and sincerity of purpose, much that was noble and worthy of emulation. A lad of thirteen when he arrived here in 1844, his career was marked by that steady progress which accompanies the labor of the clear-headed and industrious man of average ability, a man of simple tastes and deep moral convictions, desiring always the best interests of the community in which he lived. The Brinton forefathers dwelt for may years in Pennsylvania, the home of Edward Brinton, and James Brinton, his son, grandfather and father of Edward D. The grandfather (Edward) served in the Revolutionary War under General Washington, his widow drawing a pension up to the time of her death for his services. James Brinton was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, as was also his wife, Isabella (Hansley) Brinton. They were a family of five children, and Edward D., the second oldest, was born on the battlefield of Brandywine (of Revolutionary fame), Chester County, July 20, 1831. Courage and ambition were qualities which combined to disquiet the heart of James Brinton, leading him from the settled condition in the Quaker State to the far-off prairies of Illinois, where, in the fall of 1844, he settled in Astoria, Fulton County. He soon afterward bought a farm near the town, but was not permitted to realize his dreams of large ownership, as death claimed him April 15, 1853, his wife surviving him until March 30, 1886. Edward D. profited by the public schools of both Pennsylvania and Illinois, and after his father's death succeeded to the management of the home farm. He lived with his mother until his marriage, April 13, 1870, to Louise Horner, of York County, PA., after which he purchased a forty-acre farm adjoining the old place. On February 26, 1891, he bought and moved to the farm where the widow now lives, the place consisting of two hundred acres, on Sections 23 and 24, Eldorado Township. He was engaged in general farming, and also derived a liberal income from the raising of cattle, hogs and sheep. He was methodical and painstaking, and his house, out-buildings, implements and general improvements evidenced the man who put not off until tomorrow what was better accomplished today. While thoroughly absorbed in his home tasks, he yet took a keen interest in the general affairs of the township, upheld its best political standards, and loyally filled the offices of Road Commissioner and Justice of the peace, to which he was elected on the Democratic ticket. For years he was associated with the Masonic fraternity and in his life bore testimony to its beautiful and inspiring teachings.

Mrs. Brinton, who came from York County, Pa., with her parents in 1854, settling in Fulton County, this state, has, with the assistance of her children, conducted the home farm since the death of her husband. She is the mother of eight sons and daughters: John H., Bell, Eva Anna (wife of Brower Pontious, and residing on a farm near Adair, Ill.); Phoebe, Docia, George E., Milton M. and Nellie D. The Brinton home is one which welcomes progress and enlightenment, and which brings within its doors the diversions and pleasures, as well as the labors, of country life. Mr. Brinton himself was a promoter of education and peaceful existence, and a believer in keeping pace with the happenings in the world about him. He had a large store of information concerning the early days of the county, and he liked well to recall the his martial experience during the Civil War, in which he served in Company F, One Hundred and Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, from October 2, 1862, until the close of the hostilities.

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 <>

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