JACOB H. DUMOND. Although an American by birth, education and association, of
which fact he is proud, our subject is of French parentage and ancestry; and all his
business dealings have been carried on with a dash and vivacity for which his ancestors have always
been noted. Now, at the zenith of his career, he is a farmer and stock-dealer residing in Lovington,
Moultrie County, but his interests have been so large and varied for the past twenty-five years,
and his exploits in commercial fields have brought such sudden and rich returns that one hesitates to
set him down as a farmer. His name is one that is most frequently met with in the environs of Paris.
Our subject's father was William Dumond, who was of French parentage. His mother was Martha
Housel, who was born in Steuben County, N. Y. There they were married and settled on a farm,
whence they came to Edgar County, this State, in 1840, where they lived until their decease. The
father passed away September 24, 1850. The mother's decease occurred in June, 1884. he was
a farmer by occupation and brought up his sons to a thorough knowledge of agricultural work.
They had six children, three sons and three daughters, and of these our subject was the eldest. He
was born in Steuben County, N. Y., March 18, 1835, and came to this State with his parents in
June, 1840. Here he grew to manhood, being reared on his father's farm, and although educational
advantages were not of the best, he managed to acquire a good and practical education.
He lived at home with his mother until he became of age, early shouldering the responsibilities
and cares of the family as his father had died when the son was but fifteen years of age.
After leaving home, our subject was engaged in a saw and grist mill in Oakland, Coles County,
for a period of four years, whence he went to Vermilion County, this State. His attention was
attracted thither by the fact that a severe windstorm or cyclone passing through a heavy belt of
timber in Vermilion County laid low many thousands of the monarchs of the forest that had only
to be drawn to a convenient place to he sawed into timber. Borrowing the money with which to
carry out his plans, he erected a sawmill in a central location and began the work of transforming
the logs into merchantable shape. Although he got the very sniall amount of sixty-five cents
per hundred for his work, he paid the amount loaned him and had remaining quite a handsome
interest. He continued there about two years, when he traded his interest in the machinery for
one hundred and twenty acres of land near Oakland, Coles County, and upon this he settled, engaging
in farming. There he remained for three years, at the end of which time he traded his
farm for one hundred and sixty acres in Moultrie County without seeing it. Besides this he received
$300 in cash, and this Mr. Dumond considered one of the best trades he has ever made. The land
was located in Lowe Township, to which place our subject removed and continued to live until the
spring of 1886, when he retired from active farming and came to Lovington, where he has since
resided. He is now the owner of eight hundred and five acres, seven hundred and sixty of which
are in one body.
When quite a young man Mr. Dumond took upon himself the responsibilities of married life,
taking as his wife Elizabeth Kerns. Their nuptials were celebrated in Oakland, Coles County, this
State, November 19, 1859. Mrs. Dumond was a native probably of Pennsylvania, although Ohio
may have been her birthplace, as her parents lived there when she was very young. This marriage
was blessed by the advent of three children, whose names are: Hattie A., the wife of Thomas Randolph,
of White County, this State; Henry P. is a farmer in Lowe Township; and Kulista died in
infancy. Mrs. Elizabeth Dumond's death occurred in Lowe Township June 16, 1869. She was an
admirable woman, her chief interest being centered in her home and family.
Our subject's second marriage was to Mrs. Elizabeth Hunsinger, the widow of Simon Hunsinger,
who was born in White County, Ill. By her first marriage she was the mother of two children —
Mary and Willie, deceased. By her union with Mr. Dumond she became the mother of one child —
Arabella. Mrs. Dumond was a member of the Baptist Church and a most estimable woman. She died
July 15, 1885.
The paternal grandparents of our subject were William V. and Eliza Dumond, both natives of
France. The maternal grandparents were Jacob and Sarah Housel, natives of New York State.
Jacob Housel was one of the settlers in Edgar County and locators of the old State road which
runs from Springfield to the State line, and joining with the road going on to Indianapolis. He
located many of the early settlers of Edgar County, this State. To Mr. Housel is due the
credit of being one of the promoters of the old Terre Haute and Alton Railroad, now known aa
the "Big Four," running at the present time from Indianapolis to St. Louis, and in his efforts and
zeal for the success of this road he so involved himself financially that he lost all his property,
but during the years that have since elapsed he recovered to a great extent his financial standing.
The original of our sketch is a man whose natural abilities and pleasing presence have pushed
him to the front in local public life. He has filled the office of Supervisor of Lowe Township upwards
of seven years, and for several years was Chairman of the Town Board. Mr. Dumond has taken an
active part in political affairs, being a devoted and enthusiastic adherent of the Democratic party.
Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has held many of the chairs in that society.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 359/360
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb