Elijah B. Lovejoy, a veteran of the civil war, and an honored citizen of Ottawa, is now passing his declining days in the enjoyment of the fruits of many years of diligent toil. In all of the varied relations of life he has endeavored to perform his entire duty, and well does he deserve the praise and admiration which are accorded him by all who are acquainted with him or his history.
Jacob Lovejoy, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Connecticut, and was a descendant of one of the five families that first located permanently in that state. They originated in England, and eventually went to New Hampshire from Connecticut, and later settled in Hebron, that state. Jacob Lovejoy served as a drummer boy in the war of the Revolution, and his son Phineas (father of Elijah B.) was a "minute" man, and, enlisting in the war of 1812, was commissioned to the rank of lieutenant in that struggle with England. The wife of Jacob and mother of Phineas Lovejoy was a Miss Baxter in her girlhood. The birth of Phineas Lovejoy took place in Hebron, Grafton county. New Hampshire, in 1771, and in January, 1866, he was summoned to the silent land. He married Annice Blood, a daughter of James Blood. She was a native of Fairlee, Vermont, born in June, 1783, and her death occurred in the town of Landaff, New Hampshire, when she was in her eighty-second year.
Elijah B. Lovejoy was born in Hebron, New Hampshire, November 27, 1816, and in his youth learned agriculture thoroughly, in its various phases. He remained on the old homestead until he reached his majority, and always continued the labors of farming as long as he led an active life. He owned in connection with his farm a saw and shingle mill. In 1872 he decided to try his fortunes in LaSalle county, Illinois, and he accordingly purchased one hundred acres of land in the northern part of Ottawa township, there giving his attention to the raising of crops commonly grown in this region, and raising cattle and hogs to some extent. In 1882 he retired from the active work which he had faithfully followed for so many decades, and has resided quietly in Ottawa ever since.
In August, 1862, Mr. Lovejoy, enlisted in Company D, Thirteenth New Hampshire Infantry, under the command of Captain John Fair and Colonel Abel Stevens. With his regiment he was ordered to Washington. District of Columbia, and soon afterward participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, which lasted for three days. A short time elapsed, and Mr. Lovejoy became seriously ill and was sent to the Garver hospital at Washington. At length he received a certificate of the surgeon in charge of the institution that he was unfit for further duty on account of his impaired health, was granted an honorable discharge from the army, and of late years has been given a pension by the government. As a citizen he has been noted for his patriotism and high regard for what he considers the duties devolving upon every inhabitant of this great republic. He has acted in the capacity of school director, and was once the president of the township board. In politics he has given his allegiance to the Republican party since its organization. For the past fifty-six years he has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and has held the positions of class leader for fifty-six years and steward in the congregations to which he has belonged. His zeal and fidelity in church enterprises have been unwavering, and he has always been safely relied upon to uphold every worthy public measure or movement.
December, 1841, Mr. Lovejoy married Miss Maria E. Bullis, the eldest daughter of Hera Bullis, of Addison county, Vermont. Six sons and two daughters were born to this estimable couple, namely: Elvira M,, who was born June 28, 1844, and married Allen Giffer, a farmer; Cyrus C, born October 9, 1847, and became a Methodist preacher; Arzilla M., born February 10, 1849, and married Rev. A. Ethridge, a minister of the Congregational church; Olin T., born April 18, 1851, became a teacher and served for a time as the president of the board of education of his town, and is serving now; Amen E., born April 8, 1854, and is in business in the state of Washington; Kilburn B., born May 10, 1861, is a truck gardener at Red Wing, Minnesota; Irving B., born June 19, 1864, is a farmer in Ottawa, LaSalle county; and Walter C, born October 3, 1867, is a physician now practicing in Chicago. The mother of these children was born November 15, 1821, and was called to the better land April 7, 1869. On the 17th of November, 1869, Mr. Lovejoy wedded Miss Lorrain L. King, who was born December 6, 1829, at Fairlee, Vermont; and by the latter marriage there was one child, born October 10, 1871, who married Dr. Charles S. Hubbard, and is now residing in Chicago. The last wife of our subject has passed to her eternal rest. She was a lady of many amiable qualities.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 238-240.