Among the sterling Tennesseans who have settled in Marion county since
the pioneer days, none have shown more worthy traits of character or been
more active in the development of the county than the gentleman whose
biography we herewith present. Mr. Hodges is the owner of a fine farm in
Raccoon township which has been brought from a wild state to one of the best
in the locality through his skillful management.
Isham E. Hodges was born in Sumner county, Tennessee, July 30, 1840, the son of Marcus A. and Elizabeth (Marcum) Hodges, the former a native of Sumner county, Tennessee, where he grew up, made a farmer and where he died, and the latter a native of Abbyville Court House, Virginia, who died in Montgomery county, Tennessee. They were members of the Christian church. Our subject was their only child. His father married a second time, his last wife being Susan Hodges, of Sumner county, Tennessee. She is still living there on the old place. Nine children were born to the subject's father by his second union. He was a soldier in the Indian war in Florida in 1836, being a prisoner of that struggle. Our subject's great-grandfathers on both sides served in the Revolutionary war, being in General Starke's and General Green's command.
Isham E. Hodges had little opportunity to attend school. However, he obtained some education in subscription schools of the early days. He left home when seventeen years of age and came to Marion county, Illinois, where he worked out and carried the mail from Fairfield to Salem. He also farmed in Salem and Raccoon townships. On October 31, 1865, choosing as a life partner Frances Hays, of Raccoon township, the daughter of Elijah M. Hays, whose sketch appears in full on another page of this work. Eleven children have been born, eight of whom are living: Effie, deceased, married Harvey England, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born August 23, 1866, and died August 8, 1883. Iva E., the second child, was born October 28, 1867, married Harvey Mercer; they live in Sadora, Arkansas, and are the parents of five children, Clinton, Sylvia, Stewart, Howard and Opal. Clara B., the third child, was born March 11, 1869, died February 8, 1892, married Charles Anderson, of Chicago, Illinois; John D., who was born March 21, 1873, first married Lucy White and second Lydia Kell, having had two children by his first wife, Clayton and Robert, and one child by his second wife, named Donald. He has been postal clerk for several years on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. He was first on the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad, his first run being between McLeansboro and Shawneetown, Illinois. He runs between Marion and Villa Grove. Ralph Waldo, the fifth child, was born June 6, 1874, and died October 25, 1875; Mark Ainsly was born January 2, 1877, married Indiana Stonecipher, and they have four children, Delta, Isham, Charles and Mary; Grace was born September 13, 1878, married Levi Bigham, a farmer in Raccoon township; Mabel J. was born August 28, 1880, married Henry F. March, station agent at Cartter, Illinois, on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, and they are the parents of three children, Everett, Franklin and Marie; Minnie Blanche, born September 26, 1882, married Elisha Harmon, a carpenter of Raccoon township; Blaine E., born November 8, 1884, who married Clara Pitts, is a farmer in Raccoon township; Dwight E., born October 28, 1886, is an operator on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Herrin, Illinois, married Nellie Dukes, and they have one child, Clara.
The subject's children have been educated in the home schools, John D. and Iva went to Carbondale, and Blaine attended the agricultural department of the University of Missouri at Columbia.
In 1865, after the subject of this sketch was married, he rented land in Raccoon township. After farming here for a while he went to Idaho, also the state of Washington, also the Shoshone agency and the Red Cloud agency in Wyoming. He was in the West from 1869 to 1871. He was a clerk and did office work most of the time. After 1871 he worked in the United States Pension Agency at Salem, Illinois, under Gen. J. S. Martin, from March 4, 1872, to March 4, 1873, having given entire satisfaction in this capacity, after which he entered the railway mail service on the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad and run between Cincinnati and St. Louis for three years, when he was transferred to the Illinois Central Railroad, his run being between Cairo and Centralia for three years, and on the northern division from Centralia to Chicago until April 20, 1889. During this time he lived in Centralia, from 1878 to 1880. In 1869 he bought the farm he now lives on in Raccoon township. In 1880 he built his fine brick house and made all the other improvements on the place which is one of the choice farms of this locality. It consists of one hundred and forty acres in sections 24 and 25, Raccoon township. One hundred and twenty-five acres are under a high state of cultivation. He has a very valuable orchard of one thousand apple trees, three hundred peach trees as well as pears, cherries and small fruits. He also raises much good stock, horses, mules and cattle and fine Chester White hogs. His farm is also well stocked with fine chickens, White Wyandotte and Rhode Island Red chickens.
Mr. Hodges was one of the patriotic sons of the North who fought to preserve the Union during the dark days of the sixties, having enlisted July 4, 1861, in Company held G, Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. J. S. Jackson and Col. Henry Dougherty, having been mustered in at Casseyville; Illinois. He and his company were sent to Birds Point, Missouri, and was in the engagement November 7, 1861, at Belmont, Missouri. They joined General Pope and was at the surrender of Tiptonville, Tennessee, where they captured about seven thousand prisoners. They then went down the Mississippi river to Ft. Pillow and after the battle of Ft. Donelson and Pittsburg Landing, they went up the Tennessee river and were at the siege of Corinth, and, after several skirmishes, marched to Nashville, Tennessee; and occupied that city until December 26, 1862. Our subject was in General Sheridan's division, McCook's corps, General Rosecrans commanding. They were in the marches and battles from Nashville to Murphysboro, Tullahoma, Bridgeport, Alabama, and Chickamauga, Georgia, being wounded in the latter battle September 20, 1863, where he was shot in the thigh and sent to the field hospital at Crawfish Springs, where all the wounded men captured were paroled next day and sent to Nashville and Louisville, later to Quincy, Illinois, and then to Benton Barracks. Then the subject was on detail duty and in the commander's office until July 1, 1864, and he was sent to Springfield, Illinois, and mustered out July 7, 1864.
Mr. Hodges is a loyal Populist. He has been Supervisor of his township for two years, has also been School Director minor offices.
Extracted 08 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 312-314.