The subject of this sketch has for many years ranked among the modern
agriculturists of this section of the state, where his entire life has been
spent, resulting in the accomplishment of a comfortable living for himself
Samuel Shook was born in Centralia township, Marion county, September 15, 1845, the son of Amos and Martha (Shelton) Shook, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Georgia. Amos Shook came to Illinois when a boy with his uncle, Samuel Shook, and located near Belleville, when the present state was still a territory. The uncle procured land in Centralia township, being among the very first settlers here, early in the nineteenth century. He developed a farm, making a comfortable home. His neighbors were Indians and wild beasts, consequently he never went any place without his rifle. He spent the remainder of his life farming in Centralia township. He was a Baptist preacher, the first in the locality, preaching around in the homes in log cabins. Amos Shook, the subject's father, who had little chance to attend school, grew up in Centralia township and was a farmer all his life, a leading Democrat in his community, but held no public office. He was a member of the Christian church. He died in 1877, and his wife passed to her rest in 1846. He was twice married, his second wife being Susan Whitchurch, of Centralia township, the daughter of William Whitchurch, of St. Clair county, this state, having been pioneers of that county.
Eight children were born to Amos Shook and his first wife, two of whom are now living, namely: Sallie, deceased; Martha Jane; Roanna, deceased; David, deceased; Lucy Ann, deceased; James H., a farmer in Wayne county, Illinois; Morris, deceased; Samuel, our subject. Two children were born to Amos Shook and his second wife, Robert and Ivy, both deceased.
Our subject had only a limited schooling in the early subscription schools, but he made the best use possible of his opportunities and is today a well read man.
Mr. Shook was happily married March 9, 1865, to Julia A. Garren, of Jefferson county, Illinois, having been born there in 1846, the daughter of Alexander and Betsy (Copple) Garren, natives of Indiana, who came to Centralia township, Marion county, Illinois, having been pioneers of that locality. Mr. Garren died in Marion county and his wife's death occurred in Jefferson county. He was twice married, his second wife being Roxanna Hudlow, a widow. Four children were born to Alexander Garren and his first wife, namely: William, John, Eli, all three deceased; Julia Ann, the subject's wife. The following children were born to Alexander Garren and his second wife, namely: Riley, who lives in Missouri; Robert and Phoebe, both deceased; Alexander, Jr., a liveryman at Walnut Hill; Lewis, deceased.
Eight children have been born to the subject and wife, five of whom are now living, namely: Melvin, a farmer at Lane, South Dakota; Albert, a farmer in Centralia township; Ira, deceased; Plannie, deceased; George, deceased; Frank, a farmer on the old home place; Elmer, a farmer at Lane, South Dakota; Myrtle May, living in Centralia township.
After the subject's marriage he located where he now lives in Centralia township and erected a substantial house and barn and made all of the improvements on the place, which are extensive and equal to any in the county. He has lived on this place continuously since that time. He has always been a farmer and stock raiser, having been highly successful at each, being considered by his neighbors and those who know him as one of the leading farmers of the township and an excellent judge of live stock. He is a Democrat, but has held no offices. He is a member of the Christian church.
The subject is one of those patriotic citizens who felt it their duty to offer their services in defense of their country during the sixties, consequently he enlisted in 1864 in Company F, Forty-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at Centralia. He was sent to Scottsboro, Alabama, and was wounded three times, first at Resaca, having been shot through the right shoulder. He was later wounded at Fort McAlister, having been shot through the right leg, at which battle he was also shot through the left thigh. He was under Sherman and Gen. John A. Logan in the Fifteenth Army Corps, Fourth Brigade and Fourth Division. He took part in all the battles and engagements of his regiment. After he was wounded he was first sent by boat to Bedford, South Carolina, later to New York, and then to Quincy, Illinois, where he was discharged May 13, 1865.
Mr. Shook is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Post No. 55, at Centralia, Illinois; also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Walnut Hill, this state; the Knights of Pythias at Centralia, also the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 555-556.