JOHN BUSHART. It has with too many been the belief that if a man is once a farmer he must always
continue to be a drudge, and that his working days would only end with his call to the grave; but
many are finding that this is not so, and that by hard work, enterprise and thrift in their early
days and through the strong period of middle life they may so arrange their affairs as to take
comfort during their declining years. This has been the case with the retired farmer whose name
appears at the head of this writing, and whose residence in Moultrie County, dates from 1855.
Mr. Bushart was born in Perry County, Ohio, November 15, 1822, his worth and respected parents
being Jacob and Magdalena (Croomrine) Bushart, both of them natives of Pennsylvania. They resided
on a farm in Perry County, Ohio, for some years after their son John came to Illinois, when they
followed him and made their home with this son, until the death of the father at the age of nearly
ninety years, and that of the mother at the age of eighty-two.
The seven children of this excellent couple were our subject; William, who was a soldier in the One
Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, and was mortally wounded at the battle of Vicksburg; Samuel,
who is a farmer in Moultrie County; Elizabeth, who married Charles Tharp and resides in Allen County,
Ohio; Sarah J., who married Joseph Smutz and lives at Cerro Gordo, Ill.; Jacob, who was a soldier
in an Ohio Regiment and was killed at Murfreesboro; and Eliza, who married John Goetz of Moultrie
The subject of this sketch is the oldest of the family, and was reared upon the farm, his school
days being very limited. When quite young he engaged as a farm hand, working by the month, and
early struck out for himself. When twenty-two years he resolved to establish a home of his own
and took to himself a wife in the person of Catherine Patterson, daughter of Alexander Patterson.
She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, where Mr. Bushart was residing at the time of their
marriage, his parents having removed to that county when he was but a boy. After marriage he
worked at farming with the exception of three years when he was in other business.
In 1855, John Bushart came to the Prairie State, and as he was still a poor man and unable to
purchase a farm, he rented land and worked as best he could. About two years after coming to Moultrie
County, he had accumulated some money and purchased forty acres of raw land, going in debt for a
part of it. He worked hard to pay off this indebtedness, and before he had completed the payment,
he purchased more. By great exertion and due economy he succeeded in his endeavors. He continued
farming until the fall of 1889, when he retired from active life, being then the owner of four
hundred and fifty-nine acres of land, upon which he had placed good improvements, and in which
he has laid over fifteen miles of tiling. In 1887 he purchased fourteen acres of land in Bethany,
on which he erected one of the handsomest and most comfortable homes to be found in Moultrie County.
This is situated in grounds which have been adorned and beautified, and here he and his interesting
wife find a happy home.
While on the farm, Mr. Bushart paid considerable attention to stock-raising, and also bought and
sold live stock. All but one of the seven children of the family are still in life health. They
are as follows: Mary E., Eli, who died at the age of thirteen years; George W., a farmer in Missouri;
John J., Sarah J., Laura, the wife of N.B. Allison, of Mattoon, Ill.; and Tunis V., who married
The political belief of Mr. Bushart is in accordance with the declaration of the Republican party,
in the prosperity of which he feels great interest. Before removing to Bethany he resided in Dora
Township, and while there held various local offices, which he always filled conscientiously and
with benefit to the community. He is a man of deep religious conviction, and has long been a member
of the Christian Church.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 351/352
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb