The climate, soil and general conditions prevalent in southern Illinois
are well adapted to the purposes of general farming and stock raising. One
of the men who has shown by their success that they were masters of the art
of farming in Iuka township, Marion county, is the subject of this
biography. However, he is at present engaged in other business, having given
up his former life work.
John F. Eddings was born in Iuka township, Marion county, Illinois, February 22, 1844, the son of James B. and Rhoda Ann (West) Eddings, both natives of North Carolina. They emigrated to Kentucky and Tennessee when very young, arriving in the latter state in 1842. They later came to Marion county, Illinois and settled in Iuka township, where they remained a short time and then returned to Tennessee, but returned to Marion county in 1855, settling again in Iuka township, where they remained during the rest of their lives on a farm. The death of the subject's father occurred February 28, 1901, and his wife died January 19, 1902. The former was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and after the Civil war he voted the Republican ticket. He was justice of the peace for two terms. There were nine children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. James Eddings, namely: Nancy, who lives in Iuka, is the wife of William Nicks; John F., our subject, was second in order of birth; Mary E., deceased, was the wife of L. L. Jones; Minerva H. is the wife of William Milburn, living in Iuka; James T. is a farmer living in Iuka township; Jesse J. lives in St. Louis; Martha Ann is the wife of William Morgan, living in Alma; William L. is deceased; Sarah, step-daughter of the subject's father, is deceased.
John F. Eddings was reared on the home farm and educated in the common schools of the county, remaining under the parental roof until he was seventeen years of age, when he showed his patriotism by enlisting in Company I, Fortieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry serving four years in a most gallant manner. So efficient was his service that he was promoted to corporal, and then to first lieutenant. He served with Sherman's army, having been in all his campaigns, with the exception of when he was wounded at Shiloh, having been shot through the shoulder in that great battle. His throat was also pierced by a bullet. He remained in the general hospital for one and one-half months, after which he received a furlough home of from forty to fifty days at the expiration of which he rejoined his regiment and served until the end of the war. After his return from the army, he farmed a while. Selling out, he came to Iuka and engaged in the real estate and insurance business, also as pension attorney which he has since been following with marked success.
Mr. Eddings is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Picket Post, having been commander, adjutant and quartermaster, of the same.
Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having passed all the chairs and he has attended the grand lodge four times. He has been secretary of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, lodge No. 694, for eighteen years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Useless to add that in politics Mr. Eddings is a loyal Republican. He is in 1908 Supervisor of Iuka township, having been first appointed in December, 1903, to fill out an expired term, taking the place made vacant by the death of William Gray. Mr. Eddings was elected in 1907 for a period of two years. Our subject has long been interested in public affairs and always did his part in furthering the interests of his community in any way he could.
Extracted 07 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 189-190.