JEFFERSON JENKINS is the owner of one of the finest farms of southern Illinois. His valuable property is located on section 19, Carbondale Township, Jackson County, where he has resided since 1885. The home is an elegant residence, which was erected at a cost of $10,000. Upon the place are three fine barns, all modern conveniences and accessories and the latest improved machinery, and in the fine orchard are several thousand trees. The farm is two hundred acres in extent.
Mr. Jenkins was born April 24, 1838, on the old homestead of the family. His father, James Jenkins, was born in Kentucky in 1800, and was a farmer by occupation. His brother, Arthur Jenkins, served as a Captain under Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, in the War of 1812. The paternal grandfather, Shadrack Jenkins, was a native of North Carolina, and was of Welsh descent. He was numbered among the Revolutionary heroes, and in the war for independence was taken prisoner by the Tories. The mother of our subject was Susanna, daughter of Robert Stephenson. She was born in Smith County, Tenn., in 1798.
James Jenkins first came to Illinois in 1818, locating in Galena. He afterward made several trips to Kentucky. On the 17th of April, 1831, in Perry County, Ill., he married Miss Stephenson, and then located upon a farm in that locality. Four years later he removed to a farm two miles south of Murphysboro. This part of the state was all wild and unimproved and was inhabited by many Kaskaskia Indians. The land was covered with timber, and the work of civilization seemed scarcely begun. Mr. Jenkins started out in life for himself in limited circumstances, but by well-directed efforts became the owner of eight hundred acres of valuable land. In politics he was a stanch Republican, and he and his wife were members of the Baptist Church. His death occurred March 7, 1861, and his wife passed away December 23, 1865. Of their eight children, only two are now living. Marium, widow of Richard Jukes, resides in McPherson County, Kan., and has seven children. The eldest son, Hamilton, served throughout the late war as a member of Company B, Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, and was made Orderly Sergeant. While crawling from the rifle-pits at Vicksburg to get water, a rebel bullet passed through his whiskers, but he escaped injury.
Mr. Jenkins of this sketch was reared on the old homestead, and acquired his education in the district schools. On his father's death he became owner of the farm. He was married November 4, 1863, to Miss Fannie Eakin, daughter of Stephen and Martha W. (Walker) Eakin. Her father was born in Virginia in 1801, and her mother in Kentucky in 1807. They were married in the former state, and there resided until their emigration to Illinois in 1833, when they located in Levan Township, Jackson County, on a new farm. The first school of that township was taught by an aunt of Mrs. Eakin, Miss Sarah J. Moore, who was also prominent in promoting the best interests of this locality, aiding in all that tended to elevate the community. She died in 1856, and was buried in Du Quoin. Mr. and Mrs. Eakin were charter members of the First Presbyterian Church organized in Jackson County, were prominent in church work, and were highly respected people. He took an active part in politics and supported the Democratic party. His death occurred in 1876, and his wife passed away in 1855. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom six are now living: Francis M., Robert S., Joseph H., Stephen P.; Eleanor S., wife of Alex Imhoff, of Ft. Scott, Kan., and Mrs. Jenkins.
The last-named was born in Levan Township, March 16, 1842, and completed her education in a boarding school of Holly Springs, Miss. At the age of fifteen she began teaching, and followed that profession for five years, or until her marriage. Unto our subject and his wife were born ten children, of whom eight are yet living: J. Howard; Edgar Ellsworth, a farmer of Carbondale Township, who married Allie Johnson, by whom he has one child; Henry H., whose wife died, leaving one child; Edith May, wife of Ed P. Trobaugh, of Murphysboro Township, by whom she has two children; Gertrude Blanche, Anna Louise, Nellie Florence and Alice Kate. They lost twin boys in infancy. The eldest son is a conductor on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have given their children good educational advantages, thus fitting them for the practical duties of life. This worthy couple began their domestic life on the old homestead, and there resided until removing to their present home in 1885. The old home comprises one hundred and sixty-seven acres, and is still owned by our subject, who is regarded as one of the most progressive farmers of the neighborhood. Socially he is a member of Amity Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Murphysboro, and in politics he is a Republican. He served for three terms as Supervisor, and for fifteen years has been Township Trustee, a fact which shows the confidence reposed in him and the high regard in which he is held by his fellow-townsmen.
Extracted 22 Sep 2016 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, pages 501-502.
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