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.
Joseph Hllingsworth, a worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Henderson County, who is now
living a retired life on section 36, township 12, range 4 west, has probably the honor of being the oldest citizen
of this community. He was born on the 22d of August, 1805, in South Carolina, but during his infancy was taken by
his parents to Ohio. His father, John Hollingsworth, was a native of Maryland, and when a young man left that
State, emigrating to South Carolina, where he became acquainted with and wedded Miss Rachel Wright. By their union
were born nine children, namely: James, Henry, Jane, Charity, John, Nathan, George, Hannah and Joseph.
Our subject, who is the only one now living, acquired his education in Lebanon, Ohio, but his advantages in that
direction were very limited. In 1817, when twelve years of age, he went with the family to Indiana, locating in
Wayne County upon a farm, where he continued to make his home until 1844. In that year he came to Illinois, and
cast in his lot with the early settlers of Henderson County. This locality was then a wild and sparsely settled
region, which was just opened up to civilization. Mr. Hollingsworth is one of its honored pioneers, and for half a
century has been prominently identified with its growth and development. On his arrival he located upon a farm, and
built a mill in township 12, range 4 west. From that time until 1876, he carried on general farming and also
engaged in the operation of his mill. His business career was marked by energy and industry, his life being a busy
and useful one.
In 1828, Joseph Hollingsworth married Miss Rachel Vestal, and to them were born seven children: Ervin, who is
now living in Kansas; Addison and Louis, both deceased: Enoch, who makes his home in Lyndon, Kan.; Allen, a
resident of Henderson County; Nelson, who is also located in Lyndon, Kan.; and Willard, of Burlington, Iowa. The
mother of this family was called to her final rest February 9, 1858, and on the 15th of September, 1859, Mr.
Hollingsworth was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Adeline (Taliaferro) Bell. They became the
parents of three children: Elizabeth J., now deceased; Brady, of Burlington, Iowa; and Joseph, deceased.
Joseph Hollingsworth has since the organization of the Republican party been one of its stanch supporters. He
was originally a Whig, and cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay. Few men have lived through more
administrations than he. He has witnessed the most important events which have occurred in the history of this
country, has lived through three of its wars, and has seen the rapid strides of progress which have placed this
country on a par with those of Europe in many lines, while in others it takes the lead. He is a member of the
Friends' Church, and, in harmony with his profession, has lived a quiet and honorable life, well worthy of
emulation. Since 1876 he has made his home with his son, resting after the toil of former years.