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Obituaries - Bigger HEAD

Bigger Head, McDonough county's oldest citizen and pioneer resident, died Saturday evening, June 1st, 1912, at 9 o'clock, at his home in Bardolph, at the remarkable age of 99 years, 7 months and 20 days.

Funeral services were held at the First Methodist church, conducted by Rev. Witter of Farmington, for a number of years pastor of that church in Bardolph, assisted by Rev. Swisher, present pastor of the Methodist church. Interment was made in the Bardolph cemetery.

“Uncle” Bigger Head, as he was commonly known to the citizens of the county, was born in Highland county, Ohio, October 12, 1812, and was the son of William and Mary (McLaughlin) Head, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. His paternal grandfather, John Head, came from Scotland, and his maternal grandfather, Robert McLaughlin, was born in Ireland. He was the fifth child in a family of fourteen.

June 20, 1835, he married the daughter of a pioneer of Highland county, Mary Lucas by name, who was also destined for a long and useful life, and who accompanied his pilgrimage for seventy years, her life coming to a close February 17, 1905, at the age of 90 years lacking six months.

In 1852, Mr. Head came to McDonough county, then thinly settled, and purchased three-quarters of a section of land on Secs. 23 and 26. Here he lived until 1872, when he bought 170 acres in Mound township, and one 80-acre tract in Sec. 1 in Macomb township, where he lived until 1895. He then bought a residence in Bardolph in which to pass his declining years and where he lived until his death, surrounded by many comforts, the affection and good will of tried friends, and the companionship of pleasant memories. When he first emigrated to Illinois and the wild prairies the nights were made drear by the howling of wolves, and many graceful deer fell before the expert marksmanship of the pioneer settlers. Evidence of Indian occupation existed on every hand.

Mr. Head supported the Republican cause during the existence of that party but never invaded the ranks of office seekers. He united with the Methodist church and followed the teachings of that denomination during his entire life.

Extracted 24 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from “Death of a Pioneer of McDonough County, Illinois,“ article from Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, published 01 Jul 1912

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