This respected resident of Allen township, LaSalle county, is a native of Norfolkshire, England, born August 22, 1837, a son of William and Dinah (Isaba) Linfor, also natives of Albion's isle. He is one of six children, two of whom died in infancy. Sarah H., who became Mrs. Colder, died in Kansas, in 1873; and those living are John William, a resident of Walnut, Iowa; and Robert, of Allen township, LaSalle county, Illinois. In 1849 the family emigrated to America, landing at New York August 22, 1849, after being eight weeks on the Atlantic ocean. A few weeks after landing on the shores of this New World they came to Ottawa, Illinois, arriving on the 1st day of October; and here the father, William Linfor, was the sexton of the West cemetery of Ottawa, while John was bound out to Jerry Woods, of that city. In 1856 John and his mother came out upon the wild prairie and began the development of the homestead now occupied by him, the father and the other children remaining in Ottawa; but the next year they also came here. John continued to work upon the place, assisting his father, in the days when ox teams were employed in breaking the original prairie. The father is still living, but is now a resident of Syracuse, New York. He was born in 1811, and his wife was born in 1805, and died in 1879.
On the 2d day of August, 1861, Mr. John Linfor, our subject, tendered a member of Company E of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, his services to the government for the preservation of the Union, becoming This company w-as ordered to the front under Captain A. F. Jaques and Colonel John A. Loomis, and Mr. Linfor's army service covered a period of three years, - eighteen months in Company E. He was taken sick at the second battle of Corinth, and taken to the hospital at St. Louis, and remained there three months. Recovering, he enlisted again, this time in the Mississippi Marine Brigade, in Company A, cavalry, under Captain J. R. Crandall and Brigadier General Alfred W. Ellet. Finally he was honorably discharged, at Vicksburg, September 23, 1864.
Returning to his Illinois home, he assisted his father on the farm, and he has ever since been engaged in agricultural pursuits, with that success that attends perseverance and a judicial management. He is a member of Post No. 247, G. A. R., and of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Linfor was married February 21, 1865, to Miss Martha E. Patten, a native of Putnam county, Illinois, born November 16, 1845, a daughter of David and Catherine (Umbarger) Patten, the former a native of Ohio, born in June, 1826, and the latter of Pennsylvania, born in September, 1827. Of the thirteen children of Mr. and Mrs. Patten six are still living, namely: Martha E., George A., Owen W., Dartha J. Bergman, Alfred E. and Sarah E. Bergman. David Patten was a member of Company E of the Twentysixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, going to the front under Captain A. F. Jaques and Colonel John A. Loomis, in 1861. Mrs. Patten died in 1888, and Mr. Patten died in the year 1895, both being members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Air. and Mrs. Linfor have two children, - Flora E. and Ida L., - both of whom are married and settled in life. Flora E., born July 14, 1867, is the wife of John Blair, of Allen township, and has one child, named Flossie E.; and Ida L., born May 26, 1870, is the wife of Otto Strobel, also of Allen township, and has two children, - Martha C. and William O.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 227-228.