JOHN G. INMAN was one of the early settlers of Stephenson County, and resides on section 22, West Point Township. He was born Nov. 4, 1839, in Delaware County, N. Y., and is the son of Ashwell and Sarah (Demney) Inman, who were natives of that State. Before his marriage the father was engaged in farming in Delaware County, where he remained until 1849.
The broad and fertile prairies of Illinois were then attracting much attention, and Ashwell Inman resolved to seek a new home for his family in the West. Traveling facilities were at that time so limited that the journey seemed long and arduous, but he started out with his young family via the Erie Canal and the lakes. Arriving at Chicago, which was then a small city of about 30,000 inhabitants, an uncle who resided there met them at the landing with a team, and they made the overland journey over rough, and at times, almost impassable roads, to Stephenson County, occupying several days, as was necessary at that time. Having but limited means, he first engaged in farming on rented land, but within a few years, by industry and economy, he acquired sufficient capital to buy a tract of wild land in Rock Run Township, which he cultivated and improved. After his successful struggles with the wilderness, he lives at ease, a retired farmer in the town of Davis. His wife who shared with him the trials of pioneer life, died in Rock Township.
John G. was a lad of ten when his parents emigrated to Illinois, and has a vivid remembrance of the incidents attending the journey. The limited educational advantages was one of the greatest privations in pioneer life. The nearest school-house was four miles distant, and John, who assisted his father on the farm during the summer, trudged through the snow drifts across the bleak desolate prairie, to attend the winter school. He remained with his parents on the farm until 1861, and then made the first improvements on the farm which he now owns and occupies. He first broke ninety acres of wild land, and in 1862 married and settled in his own home, which he has been successful in improving, and now has a pleasant frame residence and excellent farm buildings. His grounds are shaded with ornamental trees, and he has a fine orchard producing a variety of fruits. His wife was Miss Lydia Phelps. They had a family of five children born to them, four of whom are living. Their names are as follows : Orville A., horn Nov. 4, 1864 ; Horace, March 14, 1868, John William, Aug. 17, 1876; Flora Emma, Feb. 28, 1883, and Frank, who was born April 13, 1870, and died Oct. 14, 1872, of injuries resulting from being kicked by a horse.
Mrs. John Inman, born April 30, 1842, in Union County, Ohio, was the daughter of Horace Phelps, who was born July 19, 1814, in the same county. Her grandfather, Ira Phelps, was a native of New York State. He was engaged in farming in Delaware County until 1842, when he removed to Stephenson County, where he cultivated and improved a farm in Ridott Township, remaining there until his death. Her father was married in Delaware County, to Miss Harriet Dickson, a native of Ohio. In 1842 he removed to Stephenson County, making the entire journey by wagon. On his arrival, he rented Government land in Rock Run Township, which he improved and upon which he passed the remainder of his days, his death occurring March 2, 1874. His wife died July 12, 1864. The record of their children is as follows: Rachel, born Aug. 9, 1836; Hannah, May 20, 1838; Electa, Mrs. Davis, May 20, 1840; Hallet B., June 30, 1844; Sarah A., Sept. 25, 1846; David S., July 25 1848; Simon D., Aug. 15, 1850. The life of Hallet B. was cut short by a sad accident. He was engineer in a mill at Pecatonica, and was killed by the explosion of a boiler, Sept. 20, 1870. His sister Electa, whose health was delicate, was so affected by the shock, that her death followed on September 29. Sarah, who became Mrs. Cooper, died Nov. 2, 1886.
The names of Mr. Inman's brothers and sisters are as follows: Polly, Orville, Austin and Catherine. Orville and Austin, the former as Captain, served in the Civil War, and suffered the horrors of Andersonville Prison, where the latter died. Mr. Inman has a half-brother, named Edwin Inman.
Submitted by Richard Inman.