Biography - JAMES GORDON
The extensive landed interests - seven hundred and sixty acres - which are scheduled as part of the property of James Gordon, have been acquired entirely through his well-directed and earnest efforts, and thus he is justly entitled to the proud American title of a self-made man. Although he has now rounded the psalmist's span of three-score years and ten. he possesses the vigor and energy of a man of much younger years, and is still actively identified with the business interests of LaSalle county, as a farmer and stock-raiser, his home being one of the fine farming properties of Allan township.
Mr. Gordon, who has been a resident of the county since 1853, and was born in Roxburyshire, on the Tweed, in the north of England, seventythree years ago, his parents being John and Mary (Davidson) Gordon. His father was a native of Coldstrom, Scotland, while the mother was born in the north of England. They both died in the latter country, where they had spent their married life. Their four children were James; Elizabeth; John, who died in Ford county, Illinois; and Margaret, who is living in England.
James Gordon spent the days of his childhood and youth in the land of his nativity, and there acquired a good common-school education and learned a trade. When about twenty-six years of age he sailed from Liverpool to New York, hoping to benefit his financial condition in the New World. After eight weeks and four days spent upon the broad Atlantic he landed in the eastern metropolis, whence he at once came to LaSalle county. Here he began earning his livelihood by working in the harvest fields, and the following year he worked in a sawmill in Putnam county. His first purchase of land comprised eighty acres, in Brookfield township, two miles south of Marseilles. With characteristic energy he began its development, and his careful management and practical business methods soon enabled him to extend the boundaries of his farm. From time to time he has added to his landed possessions until he now has four hundred and forty acres in Brookfield township and three hundred and twenty acres in Allan township. He resides upon the latter and on the home farm he has erected a fine modern residence, large and substantial barns and commodious sheds for the shelter of his stock. He also has a wind-mill and the latest improved machinery. There are also good pastures, supplied with running water, and beautiful groves add to the value and attractive appearance of the place. Mr. Gordon makes a specialty of raising blooded cattle and has made a close study of the needs of stock, so that this branch of his business is most ably carried on and has proved a very profitable source of income.
In Ottawa, Illinois, Mr. Gordon was married to Miss Johanna Howard, and to them have been born five children, namely: John, who is married and resides in Shaler, Iowa; James, who married Miss Ida Pelon, and is located on the old homestead, in Brookville township; Hannah and Frank, both at home; and Jane, wife of James Kennedy, of Brookfield township.
Mr. Gordon votes with the Republican party and is deeply interested in political matters, keeping well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He has never sought public office, however, preferring to devote his energies to his business interests, which have been so capably controlled that he has won signal success.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 130-132.