Hancock County ILGenweb

Calvin Americus Eckles 
Courtesy of LuAnn Goeke



Calvin Americus Eckles, a retired farmer living at LaHarpe, was formerly one of the successful farmers of La Harpe Township, and still owns considerable farm property. He was born in Adams County, Ill., October 21, 1853, a son of Samuel and Diana (Hopson) Eckles, natives of Virginia and Ohio. The father was a glass blower by trade. His first wife was a Mrs. Quick, and they had four children, as follows: James, who lives in Texas; John, who died in Idaho; Rebecca Ann, who is the widow of James Haines, of Dallas City, Ill.; and Samuel, who lives in Sullivan Co., Mo. His second wife, who was the mother of Calvin A., was a widow, having been married formerly to Robert* Allen, by whom she had five children, namely: Ella; Mahala; Robert, who lives in Nebraska; Henry, who lives in Maysville, Mo.; and Thomas, who lives in Colorado. After their marriage, the parents moved to Durham Township, where the father owned 106 acres of land, partially improved, and he also owned twenty-five acres of timber land. Both parents died on this farm. Their children were as follows: Calvin A.; Emma, who was accidently killed, by a kick from a horse when she was eleven years old; Narciss, who is deceased; and Johanna, who became the wife of Isaac Kilgore, a merchant of La Harpe.

Calvin A. Eckles lived with his parents until 1879, he then went to Leadville, Col., and did freighting for the government, for the Ute Indian Reservation, until 1882, when he returned to Hancock County, and remained with his parents until his marriage, which took place January 12, 1883, when he was united with Frances B. Nichols. She was born in La Harpe Township, a daughter of Joseph and Theresa (Mordock) Nichols, born in Green County, Pa. After his marriage, Mr. Eckles lived in a portion of the homestead for a time and then bought it, and added to it until he now has 387-acres all in one body. He has a fine modern frame house, and also another dwelling, and the whole place is finely improved. In addition to this, he owns 283 acres of land in La Harpe Township, all of which is improved, but he rents this to a tenant and his son is on the home place. In the summer of 1917 he had a modern bungalow built at La Harpe, into which he moved in February, 1918. He and his wife became the parents of the following children: Amy, who is Mrs. Kent Campbell of La Harpe Township and they have one child, Vera M.; Ada, who is at home; and Marion, who is on the home farm. He married Mollie Bushnell, and they have three children, Francis M., Laura L., and Marion B.

Mr. and Mrs. Eckles belong to the Protestant Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee. He is a Democrat, and served for two terms as Supervisor of Durham Township, and was also a road commissioner and a school director for many years. His fraternal connections are with the Odd Fellows of La Harpe, and the Modern Woodsmen of America, of Durham Township. Pg 1191 - Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Hancock County, Vol. II, by Charles J. Scofield, Munsell Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois 1921

*Diana's first husband was actually Washington Frederic Allen. Robert was their eldest son.

Calvin Americus Eckles


C.A. Eckles is the owner of a fine farming property comprising three hundred and eight-seven acres in Durham township on section 13, and he also has eighty acres on section 7, La Harpe township, together with five acres of timber in the latter township. Starting out in life on his own account at the age of fourteen years, and providing to a considerable extent for his mother and sisters, he certainly deserves much credit for the success he has achieved and his life record should serve as a source of inspiration to others, proving what may be accomplished through perserverance and close adherence to the rules which govern unfaltering diligence and unswerving integrity.

A native of Adams county, Illinois, he was born in 1853, and is a son of Samuel and Diana (Hopson) Eckles, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. Both were married twice. The father was a carpenter by trade and removed to Illinois in 1851, becoming a resident of Durham township, Hancock county, in the fall of 1854. He lived the life of an honest, upright and enterprising farmer, was loyal to the best interests of the community and gave his political support to the democracy. He died in 1876, while the mother of our subject passed away in 1872.* Both were interred in Durham cemetery. After losing her first husband the mother became the wife of Samuel Eckles. Unto Samuel and Diana Eckles were born six children: C.A.; Emma C., who died at the age of eleven years; Narcissa B., deceased wife of Horace Dodd, who has also passed away; Johanna, the wife of Isaac G. Kilgore, of La Harpe; Ella, the wife of John Kilgore of Nebraska; and Mahala, the wife of Charles Cambron, living in Lacrosse, Illinois.

C.A. Eckles was only about a year old when his parents removed from Adams county to Durham township and here in the public schools he was educated. He lost his father when fourteen years of age and remained with his mother, assisting her in the work of the farm, until twenty-six years of age, when he went to Colorado, working in the Leadville mines for two years. Following his marriage he settled on the old homestead in Durham township and lived in the old house until 1902, when he erected an elegant country home, supplied with all modern improvements and conveniences. He has also built fine barns and sheds, has built fences and put up windmills and is now the owner of one of the model farms of the county, comprising three hundred and eight-seven acres on section 13, Durham township, and eighty acres on section 7, La Harpe township, in addition to which he owns a five-acre timber tract. He is a general farmer and also raises considerable stock, his farming interests being so carefully, systematically and admirably managed that he seems to have realized the utmost possibility for successful accomplishment.

In 1882, Mr. Eckles was married to Miss Frances B. Nichols, who was born in La Harpe township, in 1859, a daughter of Joseph and Thirza (Murdock) Nichols, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and came to Hancock county in 1852, the father settling on a farm in La Harpe township, where he became an extensive dealer in stock. Both he and his wife have now passed away. Of their seven children, only two are living: Mrs. Eckles; and Ida, wife of David R. Sights, of La Harpe township. Mr. and Mrs. Eckles had four children: Amy, Ada and Marion, all at home; and Inez, who died at the age of two years.

Mr. and Mrs. Eckles are members of the Methodist Protestant church and he belongs to the Durham Lodge of Woodmen and to the La Harpe Lodge of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed all the chairs. In politics he is a democrat and has served for two terms as supervisor of Durham township, also as highway commissioner and as a member of the school board. His fellow townsmen have also given other evidences of their confidence in him and he is in every way worthy of their trust. - Publication unknown.

* These death dates are not accurate. Samuel died in 1868 [not 1876], and Diana died in 1885 [not 1872].

Estimated publication date: 1898-1910

After May 1898 - Horace Dodd's death

Before 28 Feb 1910 - Marion's marriage.


Copyright 2007 Susan Cheney; all rights reserved.