John G. Jackson


 The village of Scales Mound is peopled by quite a number of gentlemen in good circumstances, retired from the active labors of life. Among these may be properly mentioned the subject of this memoir, who for many years followed mining and farming combined, and reaped therefrom a competence. In mining, especially, he has had a thorough experience, and ever took a genuine interest in matters connected with this industry. He is considerable of a mineralogist, having a large collection of geological specimens, which he preserves with great affection. He is a man highly esteemed among his fellow-citizens, and has been a valued member of his community.

There came to Northern Illinois during the early days numbers of men from Cornwall County, England. To that region our subject traces his ancestry, and was himself born there in the town of Pool, Feb. 11, 1822. His early advantages were limited, and he followed mining from a boy of nine years up. At the age of fifteen he did a man's work, operating in the copper and tin mines of England until reaching man's estate. At the age of twenty-five he was married, Mary 21, 1847, at Pool, to Miss Jane, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Davey) Harvey, who were born and reared in that locality. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Jackson was William Harvey, a blacksmith by trade, who spent his entire life in his native town of Pool. Grandfather Henry Davey followed farming and was well-to-do. He died at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. He had been a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he officiated as Class-Leader and Steward. Mr. Harvey followed blacksmithing in Pool until about ten years before his death, in 1867, at the age of eighty-nine years. The mother had died in 1862, when seventy-seven years old; both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

To the parents of Mrs. Jackson there were born twelve children, eleven of whom grew to mature years. William H. is a resident of Hazel Green, Wis.; Elizabeth remains at Pool, in England; Johanna D., Thomas D., John H., and Grace are deceased; Mary lives in Grass Valley, Cal.; Caroline continues to reside in her native England; Jane (Mrs. Jackson) was the tenth child; Anna R. makes her home in Hale, England; and Catherine is in New South Wales. Mrs. Jackson was born in Pool, England, Jan. 28, 1826, and received a very good education in the common school.

Two weeks after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Jackson embarked on the sailing-vessel "Siddons" from Liverpool, and after a voyage of six weeks and two days landed at Staten Island. Thence they proceeded to Dover, N.J., where our subject engaged in the iron mines and remained there two years. We next find him searching for gold in Whitehall, Va., where he remained three years and operated as foreman for the Philadelphia gold mining concern - W.A. Budd & Co. In 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Jackson with their little family removed to Hazel Green, Wis., and purchased a small farm near. Mr. J. soon occupied himself in the lead mines, at which business he continued until 1860. Then leaving his family at that place he went into the copper regions of Michigan as foreman in the employ of a New York company, and this occupied him until the spring of 1863. He then returned to Hazel Green, where he spent the summer, and in the fall of that year started for Virginia City, Nev., via New York City and Aspinwall, crossing the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco five weeks after starting. He went to work as the employe (sic) of other parties at gold and silver mining, and in due time also became foreman here, as elsewhere; in the Justice and Sierra Nevada mines, also the Ophir and the Crown Point. He was thus occupied until the fall of 1861, then started by rail on his return to his family.

Mr. Jackson now invested a part of his surplus capital in 240 acres of land near White Oak Springs, La Fayette (sic) Co., Wis., and upon which there were no improvements. He cleared the land, brought it to a good state of cultivation, and established his boys thereon, who with his wife operated the farm while Mr. J. returned as far west as Belmont, Nev., and was engaged there in silver mining until the fall of 1876. He had been successful in this enterprise also, and upon returning home agreeably surprised his sons John and Joseph by sending them to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. Thereafter Mr. Jackson devoted himself to his farm, effecting valuable improvements, and remained upon it until 1883, when he took up his residence in Scales Mound.

First purchasing a half-block of ground, Mr. Jackson erected his present fine residence, and gradually gathered around himself and his family all the conveniences and comforts of modern life. He is warmly interested in fancy poultry, and amuses himself by raising fowl quite extensively. To him and his estimable wife there were born ten children. William H. married Miss Lucy Murphey, and is mining at Virginia City, Nev.; John married Miss Emma Couch, and remains at the old farm; Martha is with her father and mother; Joseph married Miss Jane Berryman, and operates a farm in Clayton County, Iowa; Mary E. is the wife of Moses Bushby, a farmer of Republic County, Kan.; Catherine earns her living independently by dressmaking; Samuel is with his elder brother at the homestead; Joshua married Miss Julia Berryman, and is farming in Wisconsin; Arminta J. is the wife of Joseph Kneebone, a farmer of Scales Mound Township; Jane, the sixth child, died March 2, 1859, at the age of three years and ten months. Samuel and Joshua are twins.

Mr. Jackson cast his first Presidential vote for Winfield Scott, and is a stanch supporter of Republican principles. He has held the various local offices, serving as a member of the Village Board of Trustees, also as a member of the School Board. He has been Collector in White Oak Township, and Commissioner of Highways for many years. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having joined at Silver City, Nev., where he still remains a member. Mrs. Jackson is a very estimable lady, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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