George Justice


George Justice, for twenty-four years Justice of the Peace and for the last fifteen years Postmaster of Stockton, has long been a prominent figure in the public life of this place. He was formerly actively connected with the agricultural interests of this township, and still owns a farm on section 10, which he rents to his son Frank, he himself taking up residence in the village Oct. 14, 1888. He is a native of Ohio, born in Geauga County, April 14, 1822. He comes of good Pennsylvania and Massachusetts blood, and on his mother's side traces his ancestry back to one Townsley, who was one of the noted band of pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock from the "Mayflower" on a December day in 1620.

John R. Justice, the father of our subject, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., the son of a Revolutionary patriot, while he himself, in later years, was a gallant soldier in the War of 1812. He was a pioneer of Ohio, to which State he went from his native State in 1814, and there he engaged in his trade of tanner and currier for several years. He married Abigail Townsley, a native of Westhampton, Mass., and her father likewise was a brave soldier in the revolution. Of that marriage seven children were born, four of whom are now living: Polly (Mrs. Brainard), George, Lucinda (Mrs. Wright), and Sidney.

The subject of this sketch grew to man's estate in his native county, and in his boyhood his father employed him in his tannery to grind tan-bark, which was done by means of a large rock being rolled over it by horse-power. He received a substantial education in Munson, in his native county, and in Chardon, the county seat. He subsequently learned the trade of shoemaker, and in April, 1853, desirous to see something more of the world, and especially this part of it, he sought Jo Daviess County, and, buying some land, established himself in Stockton Township at his trade. He made shoes there until the following October, and then he retraced his way to his native State. There were no railways here, and the surrounding country was indeed in a wild condition, although this county had been in the hands of the pioneers for many years. He remained in Ohio until the spring of 1856, when he again made his appearance in Stockton Township, and has ever since made his home here. He has be!
en engaged in farming mostly, with excellent success, until his removal to the village, as before related. His fellow-citizens early recognized his fitness for public office, he being a man of exceptional intelligence, whose reputation is above suspicion, and he has been called upon to fill several of the local offices. He has been School Treasurer for the township for twenty-nine years; was Notary Public for four years; was elected Justice of the Peace in the spring of 1861, and served for twenty-four consecutive years' besides holding other responsible positions, and, as before noted, is the present Postmaster. He has been Secretary of the Stockton and Ward's Grove Mutual Fire and Lightening Insurance Company ever since its organization in 1875. His official career in all these years has been without stain, and he has always retained the confidence of the people.

Mr. Justice and Miss Huldah Byrum were united in marriage, April 11, 1847. She is, like himself, a native of Geauga County, Ohio. Her father, Jepthah Byrum, was a native of New Jersey; her mother, whose maiden name was Hannah Beardsley, was born in Connecticut. To our subject and his wife there have been born five children--four of whom are living: Charlie T., Frank E., Florence S., and Della C. Charlie, now a resident of Denver, served two years in the late war, although he was but a mere lad at the breaking out of the Rebellion. He was a member of Company F, 17th Illinois Calvary, and followed Price on his raid in Missouri. He married Olive Townshend, and they have one child, Arthur. Frank, who lives on the old homestead, has been twice married. His first wife was Louise Wheelock, and they had four children, three of whom are living: James, Bert and Charlie. To him and his present wife, whose maiden name was Abbie Tyrrell, have been born two children, Ray and Fred. Florence !
married W. E. Mapes, of this township, and they have three children--George Effie and Myron. Dell married Benjamin F. Simmons, of Nora Township, and they have two children--Charlie and Rubie.

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess County, Illinois (1889)

Submitted by Ray W. Justus