John J. SUTTON, one of the representative farmers of St. Rose township, is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born near Doylestown in Bucks county of that state, on the 16th of April, 1832.
The family from which he is descended was of English origin. His grandfather, Edmund Sutton, emigrated from Northcumberland, England, in the year 1820, and first settled in the city of Philadelphia, but afterward moved to the neighborhood of Doylestown in the adjoining county of Bucks.
Robert Sutton, father of the subject of this biography, was born in England, and was a young man at the time of the removal of the family to America. He was married in the city of Philadelphia, to Hannah STOCKDALE, who was also descended from an English family. John J. Sutton was then second of a family of four children. He lived in Bucks county, Penna., till about eight years old, and then his father removed with the family to the West. This was in the year 1840. They first settled in Missouri, and for five years lived in St. Louis county, not far from the city of St. Louis. In the spring of 1845 the family came to Clinton county, and first settled in what is now Breese township. His father afterward, in 1856, purchased a quarter section of raw prairie land in section thirty of township three, range four, the present St. Rose township. He moved to this locality and improved a farm, on which he lived till his death, on September 3d, 1872.
Mr. Sutton was about thirteen years old when he came to Clinton county. He had gone to school in Pennsylvania previous to the removal of the family from that state, and there learned to read and write. While living in Missouri he had the advantage of good schools, and there secured the elements of a good education. After coming to Clinton county, the country not being so well settled, the schools were not so good; and after he got large enough to be of much assistance, he was obliged to do his share toward the work of improving a farm, and thus his further education was interfered with.
On reaching manhood, he was farming with his father till the latter's death, and has since been engaged in managing, on his own account, the old homestead from which his father originally improved. His farm consists of two hundred acres of land, and a view of it appears among our illustrations.
His father, in his political sympathies, was attached to the old whig party in the days when whigs and democrats composed the two great political divisions of the country. Mr. Sutton, in his early life, was likewise inclined to support the whig party, but during the war of the rebellion he became a republican, and has since remained a member of the organization. He is not, however, a man of extreme partisan views, and in local and county elections votes for the man whom he considers best fitted for the office, without regard to the party to which he belongs.
Two of his brothers served in the army during the war of the rebellion. His oldest brother, Edmund Sutton, enlisted in 1861 in the thirtieth Illinois regiment, and served till 1863, when he was shot through the shoulder during the siege of Vicksburg, and was honorably discharged on account of the wound. He is now farming in Cherokee county, Kansas. His younger brother, Robert Stewart Sutton, enlisted in 1862 in the 117th Illinois regiment, and died in Mississippi in 1863, while serving under Sherman. The remaining brother, Richard Sutton, was engaged in farming in Breese township, and died there on the fourth of July, 1877.
He is a man who has enjoyed the confidence of the people of his part of the county. On the adoption of township organization, he was chosen the first collector of St. Rose township, and held that office for three years in succession. In the spring of 1879 he was elected supervisor of the township, and was re-elected in 1880. In the spring of 1881 he was elected justice of the peace.
Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
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