Mrs. Jane S. Libbey, one of the pioneers of LaSalle county and well known in Ottawa and vicinity, is the widow of Francis Libbey, who during his last years was numbered among the most progressive agriculturists of this section. He was born near Portland, Maine, in 1815, and in his early manhood came to the west, where he believed that greater opportunities for advancement awaited him.
After residing for some time in Alton, Illinois, Mr. Libbey came to Ottawa, and here his destiny was united with that of Miss Jane S. Brown, their marriage taking place in 1849. Mrs. Libbey is a daughter of the Hon. Charles Brown, who was one of the earliest settlers of this county. He located on a claim just south of Ottawa in 1830, and during the Black Hawk war served in a company of home guards. The old homestead, now owned and managed by Mrs. Libbey, comprises four hundred and sixty-six acres of the most valuable and productive land around Ottawa.
To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Libbey five children were born, - three daughters and two sons. Elnora married William C. Griffith, who died in Indianapolis, Indiana, and their four children are Frank, Harry, Howard and William. Lucy, the second daughter, became the wife of W. C. Riale, an Ottawa business man, and they have one child, named Florence. Josephine is the wife of Frank A. Kendall, of Cherokee, Iowa, and has five children, - Fanny, Grace, Edith, Josephine and Burton. Wallace, whose home is at Farm Ridge, LaSalle county, chose Miss Ida Watts, of Alton, Illinois, for his wife, and their children are Bessie J., Esther and Ellen. Howard married Miss Florence Smith, of Fall River, LaSalle county, their home is at LaPlata, Missouri, and their two sons are Harrold and Donald. Mr. and Mrs. Libbey gave their children good educational advantages, and equipped them for the battle of life as far as was in their power. Mr. Libbey used his franchise in favor of the Democratic party, but was not a politician in any sense of the word. Death called him from his labors when he was still in his prime, being but forty-nine years of age. He left an honored name, and a record of which his children and posterity may justly be proud.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 378-379.