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Preston Huston

HUSTON, Preston. — The possession of eight hundred and seventy acres of land in McDonough County not only indicates the financial standing of Preston Huston, but is an evidence of the untiring industry, good judgment and integrity which have accompanied this popular promoter of agriculture to the threshold of his seventieth year. Nine years before the birth of Mr. Huston in Blandinsville Township, McDonough County, on September 14, 1837, his parents, John and Ann (Melvin) Huston, arrived from White County, Tenn., where they were born, and took up land which still echoed to the warwhoop of the Indian, and presented as noteworthy features the trails and wigwams of the dusky huntsmen of the plains. Blandinsville Township in 1829 was a promise unfulfilled, a hope which flourished only in the heart of the settler who had strayed from his fireside in the eastern country, and who, with but a log enclosure to shield him from the elements of the seasons, strained his muscles to accomplish the redemption of the prairies. To such a task did the elder Huston dedicate his mature energies, with the result that he became one of the foremost tillers of the soil in his township, and was its oldest surviving settler when his life's work was done.

As opportunity offered, Preston Huston attended a little log school house near his home, but far the greater part of his education has been a matter of later research and observation. He was trained to the gospel of industry, and his labor extended from the rising to the setting of the sun. His reward was the gift of a tract of raw land from his father, when he started out on his independent career, and with this as a nucleus, he has advanced to his present large possessions. The farm upon which he lived so many years, and which he painstakingly improved to one of the finest properties in the county, was occupied by him until about twelve years ago, since which time he has made his home in the town of Blandinsville.

Mr. Huston was married to Mary Elmira Berry, September 12, 1861. She was a daughter of the late Col. William Berry, so well and favorably known in McDonough County, and was born in Monroe County, Ind., in 1839. She died December 29, 1871. Of this union were born five children, of whom George B. is the sole survivor. Mrs. Huston died December 29, 1871, and on May 15, 1874. Mr. Huston was married to Mrs. Martha Campbell Berry as his second wife. Mr. Huston has never desired or been willing to accept official honors, although he has stanchly supported the principles of the Democratic party. His religious affiliations are with the Christian Church, and fraternally he is a Mason. He is one of the upbuilders of McDonough County who has wisely developed its latent possibilities, and his record is one which lends strength and dignity to its interesting history.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 917-918, extracted 09 Mar 2019 by Norma Hass.

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