RODNEY ADKINS. There is probably no place in the wide world where a man can so readily wrest from the soil a handsome
competency and put himself in a financial condition to retire from active labor, as within the bounds
of the rich Prairie State. Throughout its confines, north and south, east and west, we may find thousands
of farmers who have, by hard toil and enterprise, secured a degree of wealth which allows them to rest
during their later years, and among these we are pleased to mention the still active and enterprising
gentleman whose name we have given above.
Rodney Adkins who resides on section 6, Lovington Township,
Moultrie County, dates his residence in this county from 1865, and in Illinois from 1852. He was born
in Ross County, Ohio, August 24, 1825, being a son of Staunton and Anna (Timmons) Adkins, natives of
Maryland. This excellent couple have removed from their native State to Ross County previous to their
marriage, Mr. Adkins at the date of that event being thirty years old, and his young bride but fifteen.
Subsequent to their marriage they removed to Pickaway County, in the same State, and there settled on a
farm. Mrs. Anna Adkins became the mother of thirteen children, and died at the age of forty, but her
husband survived and reached the very extreme age of ninety-one years.
The subject of this sketch was the
fourth in this large family of the parental household, and received his early training upon a farm and
through the active exercise and healthful manner of life incident to agriculture, he gained a sturdy and
healthful young manhood. He was married in Pickaway County, Ohio, March 18, 1847, his bride being Lovena
Eskridge, daughter of George and Sabrina (Bryder) Eskridge, early pioneers of Pickaway County and natives
of the little State of Delaware. Their daughter, Lovenia was born in Pickaway County in May, 1824.
The removal of our subject to Illinois was made in 1852 with three teams. This was a long, wearisome journey,
but was taken leisurely, the party camping out at night and picnicing along the road. The principal expense
which had to be incurred was the payment of toll at the toll-gates. Upon reaching the Prairie State, Mr.
Adkins located in Cumberland County, and became the owner of two hundred and forty-six acres of land within
two miles of Toledo, the county-seat. For this he paid at the rate of $9 per acre and upon it he proceeded
to make good improvements, and had it in excellent condition before the exigencies of the Civil War called
him from his home and fireside.
Mr. Adkins enlisted in the service of his country in August, 1861, and was
mustered into service in Company A. Fifth Illinois Cavalry, which regiment was ordered to the Southwest, and
saw service in Arkansas. He was taken prisoner near Helena, that State, in October, 1862, and while under guard
of six men, a captain of a company of guerillas, who also laid claim to being a Methodist Episcopal preacher,
rode up, and without leave or license shot him in the arm. This ball, which he still carries, so disabled him
as to cause him to be honorable discharged in February, 1863.
Our subject returned to Cumberland County, and
in the fall of 1864 sold his land at $10 an acre and proceeded to prospect in various parts of the State, spending
one season farming in Ford County before coming to Moultrie County. Here he purchased eighty acres of his present
farm, which was then but little improved but was considered of more than ordinary value, and even then commanded
$30 per acre. He now owns over one thousand acres of land, seven hundred and fifty of which are in one body. He
has erected a pleasant home, excellent barns and other good outbuildings. Most of his prosperity may be attributed
to his thorough, systematic and intelligent stock-farming, together with his dealings in live stock.
To Mr. and Mrs.
Adkins have been born three children, and they have been so favored as to retain these children in life until now
they are mature, and are taking their places in the world, being fitted to shine as members of society and to be
truly an honor to their worthy parents. They are by name--William S., Mary E., (wife of Henry Layman), and Luranna,
who resides at home. For four years past Mr. Adkins has rented his farm and now lives a retired life. He is a stanch
Republican in his political belief, and deems it the duty of every patriot to exercise the right of suffrage with
which he is endowed by the laws of his land. He takes an intelligent interest in political movements, but has never
held office, as he has preferred to devote his energies to his private business.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p.292/293
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb