Biography - JAMES SEXTON
The gentleman whose name initiates this sketch is one of the retired farmers of LaSalle county, who makes his home in the town of Streator. He is an Englishman by birth, but has been a resident of America since his eleventh year. His history in brief is as follows:
James Sexton was born in Norfolk county, England, in 1846, a son of Stephen Sexton, who was born in Norfolk, December 1, 1810, and Mary (Field) Sexton, born in Norfolk, June 1, 1811. He had six sisters and three brothers. In 1857 his father and mother, with all but the oldest daughter, embarked for the New World, and after a stormy voyage of forty-two days landed at Quebec, Canada, whence they came direct to Ottawa, Illinois, settling on a farm in Otter Creek township, and there the father engaged in farming until 1874, when he removed to Carroll county, Iowa, where he resided until his death, in 1890. The winter after their arrival the whole family were stricken with typhoid fever, the mother dying in January, 1858, and one boy and one girl later. Of the remainder of the family Margaret is in Norfolk, England; Sarah A. in Otter Creek, this county; Mary A. in Bluffton, Indiana; William, Eliza and Emily are in Carroll county. Iowa; and Fred resides in Everett, Washington.
James Sexton assisted his father in the farm work and remained at home until he was sixteen, when he started out in life on his own account. From that time until he was nineteen he was a farm hand, working by the month. He then rented a farm and afterward bought eighty acres of land in Otter Creek township. After his marriage, about this time, he settled on his father-in-law's farm in Otter Creek township, where he was engaged in farming and stock-raising until 1887, when he moved to Streator and engaged in the hardware business with W. H. Pilcher. Three years later he returned to the farm, where he resided until 1897, and since that date he has been retired, residing in Streator.
Mr. Sexton married, in 1867, Miss Elizabeth Wade, a native of LaSalle county, born June 28, 1842, a daughter of Robert Wade and Elizabeth (Wilson) Wade, both natives of England. The Wade family, on first coming to America, settled in Massachusetts, and it was from Fall River, that state, that they came to Illinois, m 1840. To Mr. and Mrs. Sexton were born two children. - a son and a daughter. Roy, a graduate of Oberlin College, Ohio, and also of Northwestern University Medical College, is a practicing physician in Streator; and Nellie is the wife of Jay Arthur, of Streator. Mrs. Elizabeth Sexton, the wife and mother, died on the 26th of April, 1898.
In his political views Mr. Sexton has always been rather independent, voting for the man he believed best fitted for the office, instead of sticking closely to party lines.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 83-84.