D.R. PATTERSON, of the firm of Meeker & Patterson, attorneys-at-law and real estate and insurance
agents of Sullivan, was born in Moultrie County, December 18, 1849. The family has been prominently
connected with this county for many years. The grandfather of our subject, Levi Patterson, was born
in Shelby County, Tenn., of American parentage and was one of a large family which was well represented
in the War of 1812. One of the brothers was wounded while fighting under Jackson at the battle of New
Orleans. Levi Patterson was a young man when he removed to Illinois, locating in Union County, where
he grew to manhood on a farm. He married Mrs. Jane Penrod, nee Beggs, a native of Tennessee,
who had lost her first husband in this State.
After his marriage Levi Patterson settled on a new farm in Union County which he cultivated and
improved and which is yet known as the old Patterson homestead. In 1836 he came with his family to
Moultrie County, locating in Sullivan Township where he entered Government land and upon the farm
which he there developed made his home until his death on the 10th of June, 1849. His first wife
died soon after they came to this county and he married a lady of Irish birth, Miss Anna Patterson.
After his death she became the wife o a Mr. Simmons and was called to her final rest in 1875 at the
age of fifty years. Levi Patterson was a Methodist in early life but later joined the Christian Church
and was one of its original founders in this county. Honest and upright, he had the respect and
confidence of all who knew him and well deserves mention among the pioneers of this locality.
Jonathan Patterson or "Donty" Patterson, as he was commonly known, was the father of our subject. When
a youth of fourteen years he accompanied his parents to Moultrie County, and in Sullivan Township spent
his boyhood days. His School privileges were limited and he bore the usual experience of pioneer life.
Having attained to mature years he determined to make a home for himself and on horseback returned to
Union County, Ill., where he married Pearlina Carriker. With his bride he returned, traveling a distance
of two hundred miles on horseback and in true frontier style they began their domestic life but by energy,
perseverance and good business ability he became one of the wealthiest men in the county.
Public spirited and progressive, Mr. Patterson was a valued citizen and did much in the best interests
of the community. He built one of the finest homes in the county, erected a large mill in Sullivan,
sunk a coal shaft at that place and afterward became a director in a proposed railroad which, however,
was never built. He also aided in sinking an artesian well on the square and in those two enterprises
lost $20,000. Any industry calculated to benefit the community received his support. He loved to aid
in every good work of improvement and did what he could toward the promotion of every reform. The
cause of temperance found in him a warm friend and his labors to suppress the saloons were untiring.
He canvassed Central Illinois, making speeches in favor of prohibition and cast his last vote for
the Prohibition party. He had previously voted with the Democracy. Some years before his death he
became an invalid but as far as possible he continued his works for the best interests of the community.
For some years he was Deacon in the Christian Church and died in that faith September 13, 1878.
As before stated Mr. (Jonathan) Patterson wedded Miss Carriker, who was born in Union County, Ill.,
January 12, 1824, and there resided until her marriage. She still lives on a farm near Sullivan and
is well preserved for a lady of her years. She, too, is a member of the Christian Church and has many
warm friends in this locality.
D.R. Patterson was educated in the public schools and for some years engaged in farming. On the 1st
of January, 1880, he began reading Blackstone in Judge Meeker's office, where he is now a partner,
and after a year was elected Police Magistrate, which office he yet fills. In the meantime he practiced
law in a small way until November, 1890, when he was admitted to the bar, since which time he has
devoted his entire energies to the profession. The firs was established in January, 1891, and ranks
high at the county bar. Combined with the experience of the older member is the energy and activity
of the younger one which insures their success.
Mr. (D.R.) Patterson wedded Miss Ruth Leatherman, who was born in Lawrence County, Ind., in 1843,
and when seven years old was brought by her father, Peter Leatherman, to Douglas County, Ill. Her
mother had died in Indiana. After following farming for a number of years her father removed to
Kansas in February, 1878, and a year later was called to his final rest. Mrs. Patterson became a
successful teacher, having passed three years as a teacher in Sullivan Academy, and at one time
numbered among her pupils the gentleman to whom she has since given her hand in marriage. Their
children are: Oscar L., who was graduated from the Sullivan schools at the age of sixteen years;
Harvey and Ernest at home, and Nathan D., now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson and their children
are members of the Christian Church and the family are prominent in public and social affairs.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 229/230
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb