The subject of this sketch has long been identified with the progress and
advancement of this favored section of the great Prairie state, where he has
maintained his home for more than the Psalmist's allotted three score years,
having been born within her borders, having spent his long, active and
useful life here and where he has attained gratifying success in connection
with the development of its resources, being one of the representative
farmers and stock growers in Stevenson township and having one of the most
productive landed estates in this part of the county.
Nathaniel G. Huff was born in Stevenson township, this county, February 6, 1841, the son of William H., Sr., and Mary A. (Crane) Huff, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. The subject's grandfather was Samuel Huff, also a native of Virginia who later removed to Tennessee and finally came to Marion county, Illinois, settling among the pioneers on government land on what is now Raccoon township. He later moved to Haines township, where he cleared land and made a comfortable home, spending the rest of his days there. Leonard Huff was the great grandfather of the subject. He was born in Germany and came to America in a very early day, settling in Pennsylvania where he spent his life and where he died.
Mary A. Crane, our subject's mother, was the daughter of William Crane, who was a native of Virginia, having lived and died in Kentucky. William Huff, father of our subject, was raised in Tennessee and spent several years in Mississippi and Alabama. About April 22, 1840, he came to Marion county, Illinois, where he married and where he purchased four hundred acres of wild land in what is now Stevenson township, spending the remainder of his useful and very busy life here, dying March 10, 1863. His widow, a much beloved old lady of fine Christian character, is still living. William Huff was regarded as a successful farmer. He joined the Christian church sometime prior to his death. He was twice married, his first wife having been Nancy Dukes, whom he married in Mississippi. She died leaving one child, William H., Jr. He married Mary Crane April 22, 1840. Eleven children were born to this union, namely: Nathaniel G., our subject; Benjamin F., deceased; Andrew J., deceased; James K. and George M. Dallis, twins, are both living; Joshua is living in this state at Jacksonville; Marj J. is the wife of William Brasel; Henderson P. lives in Stevenson township; Harriet C. is the wife of William Porter Gaston; Virginia is the wife of John B. Brasel; Steven A. is deceased.
The subject of this sketch spent his youth on his father's farm, having remained under the parental roof-tree until he reached manhood. He was educated in the old subscription schools and having applied himself in a diligent manner received a fairly good education. His father gave him a piece of land in this township which he at once set about improving, but which he sold in 1868 and bought his present fine farm of one hundred and seventy-eight acres, which lies in section 30, Stevenson township, and section 25, Salem township. It was almost all in the woods when he took possession of it, but he has been a hard worker and has improved the place up to its present high state of efficiency, having been enabled from year to year to reap bounteous harvests from the same through his skillful manipulation of crops. He did most of the work in connection with his place himself, and also on his buildings, having an excellent and well-furnished house and a good barn. Every thing about the place shows thrift and prosperity and his farm is regarded as one of the most desirable in Stevenson township.
Our subject's first marriage was in 1862 to Julia A. Hill, a native of Marion county, and eight children were born to this union, namely: Thomas, who lives in Stevenson township, married Orela Cutchin; Viola is living at Jacksonville, Illinois; William married Frankie Evans and resides in Salem township; Seymour, who is living in Salem township, married Elizabeth Guth; Mary A. is deceased; Laura is single and resides in Jacksonville; Osceola, who is living in Flora, this state, married Maggie Babb; Augustus L. married May Stone and lives in Eureka, Illinois, being a minister of the Christian church.
The subject's second marriage was solemnized November 8, 1885, to Martha E. Mercer, a native of Marion county and the daughter of Silas and Rebecca Mercer, early settlers in Marion county. The subject has sixteen grandchildren and five children dead. He has two great-grandchildren. The subject and wife are members of the Christian church at old Mt. Maria, the first church organized in Marion county. The subject is a Jeffersonian Democrat, but is not a Bryan Democrat, believing that the old school democracy is preferable to the new. He filled the office of Justice of the Peace in a most able manner for a period of eighteen years.
Mr. Huff has in his possession an old squirrel rifle over one hundred years old which belonged to his father. It has killed over one hundred deer and bear. He also has the old powder horn and shot pouch, which his father carried. Mr. Huff has a note made in payment for a clock, which was given him by his father-in-law. He also still has the clock. He has among other relics of the past a spinning wheel and a Southern dagger, which was discovered in a layer of cane.
Extracted 08 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 180-182.