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Mark D. Leighty

LEIGHTY, Mark D., one of the best known and most substantial farmers of Eldorado Township, McDonough County, Ill., was born in the township where he now resides January 2, 1855, a son of Henry S. and Eliza (Keach) Leighty, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio. Mr. Leighty, who is the eldest of a family of eight children — five sons and three daughters — was born on the home farm, where he remained until he was twenty-six years of age. His school training was obtained in the district school in the vicinity of the homestead at Valparaiso, Ind., and at Lincoln University, Lincoln, Ill. When twenty years old he taught school in Eldorado Township, and all of his brothers and sisters were his pupils. He continued teaching for four winter terms before his marriage, and afterward was solicited at different times to resume that occupation. After his marriage Mr. Leighty bought a 160-acre farm on Section 21, Eldorado Township, on which he moved and commenced farming. The farm is now mostly underdrained, all the tiling having been done since he occupied the place. He was one of the first farmers in the township to introduce this class of improvements. All of the wire fence on the farm was built by him, and he raised the hedge posts to support it. In 189S he bought 205 acres of farming land in Section 35, Eldorado Township, and used hedge pests grown on the other property for fencing on the last purchase, building 1,000 rods of wire-fencing on the new place. This property he rents out and conducts the home farm. In 1905 he completed a modern residence on the farm, with all the late improvements.

On March 23, 1882, Mr. Leighty was married to Rose Robertson, who was born and educated in Adams County, Ill. Five children have resulted from this union, namely: Francis A. (Mrs. Glenn Foster), Elbert M., Dana R.. Gladys V. and Henry Malcolm. Mrs. Leighty's parents were William W. and Mary E. (Richardson) Robertson, natives of the State of New York. Her grandparents were John B. Robertson, of New York, born in 1790, and deceased in 1882, and Catherine (Conroy) Robertson, who died in 1885. In the matter of political issues, Mr. Leighty is a steadfast Republican. He is now serving his sixth term as Township Assessor, and has held the office of Road Commissioner, School Director and Township School Treasurer. The religious faith of Mr. Leighty is based on the creed of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and his fraternal affiliation is with the Court of Honor.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 935, extracted 15 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass.

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