early pioneers of Marion county, Illinois, have about all "crossed the great
divide." Year by year their numbers have continued to diminish, until of the
hundreds who settled here in the twenties and thirties only a few of them
remain. There are, how-ever, many men and women now living in the county,
who, though coming here in what might be properly termed the second period
after the pioneers, have borne well their part in making this a prosperous
region. They are no less worthy of praise in the part they bore in the
labors and privations of this early period than are their parents. Among
these is the subject of this sketch, who has spent the major part of his
mature years in the county where he has become widely known and where his
labors have benefited alike himself and the community at large.
Charles H. West was born in Delaware county, Indiana, October 27, 1845, the son of George and Elizabeth (Brammer) West.
The father of the subject left Pennsylvania when a young man, and settled in Delaware county, Indiana, and came to Illinois in 1865, in Jo Daviess county and in 1869 came to Marion county where he remained the balance of his life, having reached the advanced age of eighty-three years, after a life of hard work in agricultural pursuits. The subject's mother, a woman of many fine qualities and a worthy companion of her noble husband, lived to be seventy-three years old, and was in her religious belief a member of the old school Baptists. There were seven children in this family, six living to maturity. Samuel, the oldest brother of the subject, was a soldier from Indiana in the Union lines and was killed at Marietta, Georgia, where he was buried. A brother of the father of our subject had a son, John T. West, who was also a soldier in the Civil war, having been in a Pennsylvania regiment.
Charles H. West, our subject, came with his father to Marion county in 1869. He attended the public schools in Delaware county, Indiana, where he worked on his father's farm during the summer season, having remained a member of the family circle until he was thirty-one years of age. He then leased his father's farm in this county for a number of years, and after his father returned to Illinois he purchased the same which he has managed with the greatest success for a period of twenty-five years, developing it into one of the leading farms of the community and gathering from its fertile fields from year to year bounteous harvests.
Mr. West owns at this writing, 1908, twelve and one-half acres in Kinmundy in one section of the city and also a ten acre orchard in another section of the city, also forty acres one-half mile east of the town, containing a fine orchard, all well located and good land. He also has excellent property in the central part of the town, and fifty acres of horticultural land, which is very valuable owing to the large and choice varieties of trees on it. This property claims much of his attention since Mr. West delights in horticultural work, being well versed in its various phases. He owns a modern, large, nicely furnished and altogether one of the most desirable residences in Kinmundy or vicinity. All this he has made himself practically unaided as a result of his genuine business sagacity, persistency and honesty.
Mr. West was united in marriage in 1877 to Rose N. Dillon, a native of Marion county, whose father was from Kentucky; her mother's people being from Ohio. Three children have been born to this union, named in order of birth as follows: Harry T., who was born in 1878, is married and has two children; Maud L. is the wife of A. G. Porter and the mother of one child; the third child died in infancy.
Mr. West is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and their auxiliaries. In politics he is a Republican and is an Alderman in the City Council of Kinmundy, which position he fills with great credit.
In township and county affairs Mr. West takes an active interest and when his judgment approves of any measure that is advanced he is not hesitant in giving his approval and active aid. In many ways he has given his time and service for the general good. He has a wide acquaintance and the favorable judgment the public passed upon him in the early days of his residence here has been in no degree set aside or modified as the years have gone by.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 118-120.