Mr. Knight has long maintained his home in this county, and while he has
been benefited himself in a very material way through his efforts in a
varied line of work, he has ever done what he could in the upbuilding of the
community at large, and today he stands as one of the substantial and
foremost citizens of Sandoval, where he is held in high favor by everyone.
J. F. Knight was born in Wenona, Illinois, May 23, 1867, the son of John and Susan (Ingersoll) Knight. The subject's grandfather, a native of Pennsylvania and of German lineage, was a farmer and lived and died in the old Keystone state. He was the father of eight children, all of whom lived to maturity. Eli Knight was a soldier in the Civil war, having enlisted .in a Pennsylvania regiment and served three years, His brother, Thomas Knight, was also a soldier in the Federal ranks. They were both Lutherans in their church relations. Grandfather Knight lived to an advanced age, and grandmother Knight reached the age of ninety-four years. Grandfather Ingersoll was from New York. He came to Illinois in the fifties and settled in Wenona, where he lived the balance of his life, having reached the great age of ninety-six years. Grandmother Ingersoll met death in an unfortunate manner, by being killed when sixty-five years old.
The father of our subject was raised in Pennsylvania, and after his marriage to his first wife he came to Illinois and settled in Wenona. While in Pennsylvania he worked at the miller's trade, but after he came to Illinois he worked at farming, and he reached the age of fifty-two years. The subject's mother lived to be sixty-four years old. She was a member of the Christian church. Three children were born to John Knight by his first wife, and the same number by his second. He was a Democrat and served as County Clerk in Pennsylvania.
The early education of the subject of this sketch was obtained in the schools of Marion county. He later attended the Southern Illinois Normal School, where he gained a good education, having applied himself in a diligent manner to his text-books. Taking the advice of Horace Greeley, who told the young men of the East to seek their fortune in the West, Mr. Knight went to California after he left school, and for some time kept books. But he later returned to Illinois and worked his father's farm for a period of seven years, then bought land in Marion county and sold live stock, and later engaged in the livery business in Sandoval, which he conducted for seven years. He owns an excellent farm in this county, consisting of one hundred and fifty acres of highly improved land. He also owns another farm which he rents, having the management of the first mentioned. Mr. Knight was also engaged in the ice business for a period of fourteen years. He owns ten houses in Sandoval, which he rents, and ilso owns a beautiful and modern residence. All this he has made practically unaided, having been a careful business man and exercised the best of judgment in all his business transactions.
Mr. Knight was united in marriage in 1891 to Stella Reinhardt, a native of this county, and the daughter of Charles and Frederick (Deitz) Reinhardt, natives of Germany. Mr. Reinhardt came to America in an early day and settled in Marion county. He was a weaver in the old country, but took up the baker's trade here. There were five children in his family.
Two children have been born to the subject and wife. The first, Merle, was born in April, 1893, and is in high school at this writing, 1908. The second, Norman, was born in 1896. They are both bright and interesting children.
The subject is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, also the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen, having passed all the chairs in the Odd Fellows. In his political relations he is a Democrat, and has long taken an active part in his party's affairs. He is at present Township Supervisor and has been Tax Collector. He was president of the Village Board for three terms, and he was Alderman for several terms. In his official capacities he gave the people of this community the best possible service and gained the approval of all.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 542-543.