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Franklin P. McGrew

McGREW, Franklin P.— The growth of agriculture in Eldorado Township has been materially promoted by the worth-while efforts of Franklin P. McGrew, the owner and occupant of a farm comprising a quarter of Section 16. Mr. McGrew started upon his independent life empty-handed, dependent solely upon a meager education, a good constitution and a stout, willing heart. His parents, George W. and Rachel (Church) McGrew, natives of Steubenville, Ohio, came in 1849 with three of their children to Vermont, Fulton County, Ill., where the father operated a grist-mill until 1872. His income did not offer many advantages for his children, and he was only moderately successful after removing to Kansas in the fall of 1872, where his death occurred early in the winter of 1897. In politics, he was a Democrat, and in religious faith, a Quaker. He had in all five sons and three daughters.

Born in Fulton, Ill., June 5, 1852, Franklin P. McGrew was early taught to make himself useful about his father's grist-mill, but he seemed destined to be a tiller of the soil, and while the average boy still is attending school, he was employed as a laborer on a farm In Fulton County. For eleven years he saved all that was possible of the income thus derived, and then rented a farm in Fulton County for four years. For eleven years he lived on a rented farm in Eldorado Township. McDonough County, and with the proceeds of his toil purchased his present farm, one of the best in the township. The buildings of former tenants have either been removed or remodeled, and a thorough system of drainage installed. His implements are modern and practical, and his place is orderly and neat in appearance. Mr. McGrew devotes his land to general produce and stock-raising, and takes great pride in his gardens, orchard and beautiful trees.

For many years Mr. McGrew has been before the public as a Democratic politician, serving as Town Clerk one term, School Trustee three years, and Road Commissioner three years. His official duties have been performed conscientiously, and with regard for the best welfare of the community. On January 23, 1879, he married Orinda Babcock, a native of Fulton County and daughter of an early settler of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. McGrew are the parents of four children: Lawrence A., Karl I., Cora A. (wife of G. R. Adams, of Schuyler County), and Verna E. Mrs. McGrew was the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children. Her parents, Henry and Julia (Holmes) Babcock were natives, respectively, of the States of Kentucky and New York. They were married in Hardin County, Ohio, three miles from Dunkirk, and coming west settled in Mason County, Ill., later removing to Fulton County, where the father died when Mrs. McGrew was seven years of age. He was a Democrat in politics. His widow, Mrs. Babcock, resides with the family of her daughter in Eldorado Township, McDonough County.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 951-952, extracted 12 Sep 2019 by Norma Hass.

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