From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
JOHNSON TRIMMER, who carries on general farming on section 5, Stronghurst Township, Henderson County, where he
owns and operates two hundred and sixty acres of good land, is one of the self-made men of this county, who started
out in life empty-handed, but has steadily worked his way upward. He was born in Warren County, N. J., on February
5, 1833. His father, Daniel Trimmer, was born in Warren County, N. J., October 14, 1800, and became a blacksmith by
trade. In 1828 he left the east, emigrating to Ohio, where he purchased about one hundred acres of land, and in
connection with farming he carried on blacksmithing, thus providing for the wants of his family. He was married
about 1823 to Miss Charity Gulick, who was born in New Jersey, March 18, 1809. They became the parents of nine
children, eight of whom grew to mature years, namely: Mrs Mary Ann Masters, Joseph, Abraham, Johnson, Conrad,
Henry, George and Mrs. Catherine Hoskin. The father of this family was called to his final rest on the 3d of July,
1874, and the mother passed away about one year afterward.
Under the parental roof Johnson Trimmer spent his childhood days. He had to walk three miles to school, and
probably did not attend school for more than two years altogether in his life, yet he made the most of his
opportunities, and by observation and business experience he became quite well informed. On attaining his majority
he left his Ohio home and went to Iowa. Later, he resided in Wisconsin, and thence came to Henderson County, Ill.,
where, on the 15th of March, 1854, he was united in marriage with Miss Marietta Westfall, a daughter of Alva and
Anna Mapes Westfall. They were natives of New Jersey, but in an early day removed to New York, and about 1836
became residents of Iowa, where they spent eight years. On the expiration of that period they came to Illinois,
settling in Henderson County, where Mr. Westfall carried on agricultural pursuits. They had eight children: Benona,
Mrs. Caroline Brown, Mrs. Catherine Dowell, Mrs. Trimmer, Mrs. Nancy Cargill, Franklin and Lewis.
Upon their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer located on a rented farm, for they had no capital with which to
purchase property. For five years they rented land, and then purchased eighty acres on section 5, Stronghurst
Township, a part of their present farm. Mr. Trimmer at once began its cultivation, and in course of time the once
wild tract was transformed into rich and fertile fields. As his financial resources were increased, he added to his
property from time to time, thus extending the boundaries of his farm until it now comprises two hundred and sixty
acres of good land.
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer: Mrs. Mary Ann Hurd, who was born December 31, 1856, and who
died November 7. 1883; Wesley G., born February 26, 1858; and Mrs. Charity A. Smith, who was born December 5, 1860,
and died September 6, 1884. They also have twelve grandchildren. Mr. Trimmer aided his children in starting out in
life, and still has plenty for himself, owing to his perseverance and well-directed efforts.
Our subject and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are earnest workers in the
Master's vineyard, doing all in their power for the advancement of the cause. All who know them esteem them highly
for their sterling worth and strict integrity, and their friends in the community are many. In his political views,
Mr. Trimmer is a Democrat. He has served as School Director for about twelve years, and as Supervisor for about
three terms, discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity that have won him high commendation.