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Jonas W. Everly

EVERLY, Jonas W. — No more encouraging example of self-earned success is available in McDonough County than that presented in the career of Jonas W. Everly, owner of about 1,340 acres of the most desirable land in the State of Illinois, and whose home place, in Section 8, New Salem Township, is unsurpassed in its fulfillment of all that constitutes the best to be found in rural life and labor. Mr. Everly's rise has been through struggles and difficulties, for in youth his advantages were no better than those of the average farmer lad, who, as one of a large family, is obliged to shift early for himself and weave his web of life out of materials in no way rare or exceptional. It is in the wise application of useful and dependable qualities that this large landowner has forged to the front, leaving in the background of lesser ambitions and accomplishments those lacking in his force and perseverance.

Born September 11, 1834, in Carroll County, Md., Mr. Everly is descended on both sides of his family from very early settlers of the State around which clings so much of the romance and chivalry of the Southland. His father, George Everly, was born in Carroll County, June 28, 1810, a son of David and Elizabeth (Rinehart) Everly, natives also of Maryland, and of whom the former was born September 26, 1781, and died February 2, 1866, and the latter, born in 1790, died October 8, 1871. George Everly, whose active life was devoted to milling and farming, married, March 22, 1832, Anna Mary Hesson, who was born in Carroll County, October 19, 1813, a daughter of Peter and Magdalena (Hull) Hesson, of whom the former was born in Carroll County, August 3, 1782, and died December 18, 1856, while the latter, born September 12, 1780, died in Maryland, January 14, 1860. George Everly was the shifter of the family fortunes from Maryland to the wilds of Illinois, which he reached after an overland journey in 1837, living, until 1857, in Deerfield Township, Fulton County, and after that occupying a farm in Lee Township, the same county, where his death occurred June 2, 1873, his wife surviving him until August 9, 1889. George and Anna Everly had six children: Noah H., born February 3, 1833; Jonas W., born September 11, 1834; John S., born February 5, 1836; George V., born April 22, 1838, died in Texas in August, 1894: Anna Mary, born October 6, 1842, died in Illinois in October, 1843; and Levi D., born February 4, 1845, died in this State April 27, 1867.

Jonas W. Everly helped to till the soil of both of his father's Fulton County farms, and remained on the one in Lee Township until well on in bachelorhood, or until his marriage, February 24, 1867, to Anna C. Zimmerman. Mrs. Everly was born in York County, Pa., December 24, 1840, and was one of the thirteen children of George and Mary Ann (Cooper) Zimmerman, six of whose children are still living. George Zimmerman was born in Carroll County, Md., June 29, 1807, and in early life learned the miller's trade, which he followed in Carroll County a couple of years. He then journeyed to Ohio in search of a desirable permanent location, but not finding things to his liking, moved to York County, Pa., where he bought a farm and married Mary Ann Cooper, who was born in that county December 24, 1840, and died in July, 1884. In 1844 Mr. Zimmerman brought his family to Deerfield Township, Fulton County, where he died March 16, 1882, at the age of seventy-five years. To Mr. and Mrs. Everly have been born four children: Mary Jane, born .July 19, 1868; R. Ellen, born August 23, 1870: Ida Mathilda, born November 18, 1872, and George Washington, bom September 3, 1876.

At the time of his marriage Mr. Everly was able to take his wife to a farm of eighty acres an Lee Township for which he had paid with earnings saved while on the home place. Through industry of the husband and frugality of the wife resulted constant additions to their little store, and in time Mr. Everly added to his land until he owned 760 acres in Fulton County. In 1901 he left this farm and came to his present home in New Salem Township, the following year disposing of 360 acres of his Fulton County property, though still retaining there 400 acres. His home farm consists of 487 acres, and it would be difficult to find a more beautiful or productive estate. The large modern home is furnished with taste and elegance, and the roomy and substantially constructed barn would be considered a worthy habitation by the average ruralite. On every hand are evidences that esthetic tastes of the owner are not drowned in his pursuit of wealth, for money has not been spared in producing landscape effects which delight the eye and minister to the most refined sensibilities. Cement walks have been laid through the grounds and leading to the house, and the lawn, which covers four acres, is improved with a variety of shade trees, shrubs and floral decorations. Thus have the years brought not only success as viewed from the standpoint of the financier, but an environment which is a pleasure and inspiration. In addition to the Fulton and McDonough County farms already noted, Mr. Everly owns a 160-acre tract in Section 7, New Salem Township, and 275 acres near Mount Union, Iowa, the railroad station for that place being located near his land.

Mr. Everly is a Democrat in politics, and no one familiar with his strenuous and well directed life, will doubt the truth of his statement that he has been too busy to hold office. From the small beginnings of his life he has brought, unchanged, to this later and prosperous stage wholesome and temperate ideals, an intense interest in worth-while things, and a mind which appreciates material wealth in proportion as it tends to the well-being of both the community and the individual.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 875-876, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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