Hon. James Bayne



Hon. James Bayne, an old resident, and a Justice of the Peace for a period of twenty-five years, and still holding the office, likewise operates as a real-estate and insurance agent, dealing largely in his own property. He is the owner of valuable city property, besides a farm in Hanover Township. His career has been signalized by great energy and industry while his reputation is that of an honest man and a good citizen, one public-spirited, liberal, and uniformly willing to give his substantial encouragement to the projects calculated for the best good of the community around him.

Judge Bayne first set foot upon the soil of Illinois in 1853, and thereafter sojourned in the embryo village of Galena three years engaged in general-merchandising. In 1856 he changed his residence to Warren, and prosecuted mercantile business six years, being one of the pioneers in the buying and selling of goods in this region. Almost from the commencement he also began dealing in real-estate, and has handled hundreds of acres of outside property. In 1866 he laid off Bayne's addition to Warren, a tract comprising eleven acres on the north side of town, which he sold entirely by lots, and which is now being rapidly built upon. He next made an addition on the west side in 1873, this comprising sixteen and one-half acres; and the same year made another addition. He still owns considerable land in and around the city.

When first coming to Warren, Mr. Bayne took up his residence in a rented house, while he had a dwelling constructed for himself, which he occupied until 1859. From that time until 1862 he occupied a part of his store-building. When withdrawing from the mercantile business in 1863 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and he has served in nearly all the local offices, officiating as Township Supervisor and Assessor, and holding other positions of trust. In the year of 1882 he was elected by the Republican party a member of the Illinois Legislature, serving during the term-when the State was redistricted-to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Joseph Moore. Socially, Mr. Bayne has been identified with the I. 0. 0. F. since 1847 and stands high among the brethren. In religious matters he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in this also is prominent, being Chairman of the Board of Trustees and one of its most liberal contributors.

Mr. Bayne is a native of the city of Philadelphia, Pa., and was born Feb. 27, 1826. He lived there until a lad of ten years, then removed with his parents to Newark, New Castle Co., Del., where he sojourned until 1853, acquiring a practical education in the common schools. Since leaving school he has, as opportunity afforded, kept himself posted in regard to matters of general interest by a thorough course of reading, and has consequently become possessed of an excellent store of practical knowledge; being a man with whom it is both interesting and profitable to converse. Upon approaching manhood he served an apprenticeship at shoemaking and followed this business from 1847 until coming West.

Before seeking his western home, our subject provided himself with a wife and helpmate, being married in Newark, Del., July 15, 1847, to Miss Mary J. Miller. This lady was born in New Castle County that State, Sept. 8, 1820, and was the daughter of John and Margaret (Scott) Miller, who were natives of Maryland, and are now deceased. The father followed farming as an occupation and departed hence about 1835. His excellent wife survived him a number of years and spent her last days in Delaware, passing away in 1844.

Of the five children who came to bless the hearthstone of our subject and his estimable wife, four are living, namely: James, Robert, Charles, and Mary. They form a group of more than ordinary intelligence and have been given the home training and education which will fit them for good and useful members of the community. James married Miss Josie Tuttle, and is the father of two children; and officiates as Agent of the Illinois Central and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads in Warren; Robert J., a telegraph operator and ticket agent in the employ of the same railroad, makes his home in Warren and has three children; Charles M., after leaving the High School, took a course of study at Mount Morris and later in the Northwestern University at Evanston, subsequently entering upon the study of law in the Chicago Law School. He is now practicing his profession at Raton, New Mexico. He married Miss Lillian Duncan. Mary was also a graduate of the Northwestern University of Evanston, and is now the Assistant Principal of the Warren High School, and considered one of the most efficient of its teachers.

Robert Bayne the father of our subject, was likewise a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and born May 10, 1801. He lived there until 1837, engaged mostly as a shoemaker, and in the meantime was married to Miss Ann Duncan. Thence he removed to Delaware, where he engaged in the boot and shoe trade in connection with his shop, and became quite a prominent citizen, serving for many years as Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, and in other offices. He finally discontinued manufacture and operated simply as a dealer in boots and shoes, and spent the last years of his life in comparative retirement at Newark, Delaware.

To the parents of our subject were born eight sons and one daughter, of whom five sons and the daughter grew to mature years. Robert, Nathaniel, and Samuel served as soldiers in the late Civil War and one was wounded in the second battle of Bull Run, and Nathaniel at Antietam. The father going to visit them contracted army-fever and died soon after his return home. The mother, Mrs. Ann (Duncan) Bayne, was also born in Philadelphia and is the descendent of an old family, who had settled in Pennsylvania during the Colonial days. Her father, William Duncan, spent his last days in Philadelphia.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was Robert Bayne, who operated a dray and transfer line in the "Quaker City" for many years, accumulated a comfortable property, and was esteemed among the honored citizens of the place. He did not live to be aged, passing away before his children had reached their maturity, and spending his last days as he did his first in his native city of Philadelphia. It will thus be seen that the Bayne family possessed an eminently honorable record; and their descendant, the subject of this sketch, is doing his full share in upholding the prestige of the family. He is a man of large and liberal ideas; and in religious matters identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and warmly interested in the success of the Sunday-school in which he has labored actively, especially within the last three or four years.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)