Nathan H. Jamison
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.
NATHAN H. JAMISON, who until 1889 carried on general farming on section 1, township 10 north, range 5 west, is a
native of Kentucky. He was born in Washington County on the 24th of December, 1818, and is of Irish lineage on the
paternal side. His father was born on the 20th of April, 1775, the day after the battle of Lexington, the opening
engagement of the War of the Revolution. The place of his birth was in Lancaster County, Pa. In 1800 he was united
in marriage with Miss Melinda Richards, a native of Pittsylvania County, Va. They became the parents of three
children: Joseph Harvey, who died in 1875; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Alexander Spence, and died in March,
1847; and Nathan H., of this sketch. The parents both lived to a ripe old age, and their last days were spent in
Henderson County, where the mother died in 1844. The father passed away in August, 1845, at the age of
In the spring of 1820, when Nathan H. Jamison was a child of a year and a-half, he was taken by his parents to
southern Indiana, the family locating in Perry County, where they made their home until 1830, when they came to
Illinois, settling in what was then a part of Warren County, but is now comprised within the limits of Henderson
County. Here Mr. Jamison was one of a family of thirteen, who spent the winter of 1830-31 in a log house without a
chimney, in which, when the wind was in the east, a fire was impossible, on account of smoke, and they had to stand
by a huge log fire out of doors. That winter was exceedingly cold. Near where Henry Brainard's house now stands,
the seven or eight families who constituted the population of this neighborhood built a stockade, in which they
spent a part of the spring of 1831 and all of the 'summer of 1832, on account of threatened danger from
On the 27th of December, 1847, Mr. Jamison was united in marriage with Miss Sophronia Ewing, and to them were
born ten children, eight of whom grew to mature years. Effie, now Mrs. Nathaniel Burrus, of Madison County, Iowa,
was born October 15, 1850. Mary E., now the wife of Theodore Curtis, of Henderson County, was bom July 31, 1852.
Frances, now Mrs. James McKee, of Kirkwood, Ill., was born November 6, 1855. Sarah E., who married William K.
Brent, of Henderson County, was born in August, 1858. Elmer was born June 15, 1861. Irene, now the wife of Albert
Olstrone, of Warren County, was born November 3, 1863. Luna, the wife of Carl Cooper, of Henderson County, was born
in March, 1869. Joseph was born May 1, 1872. Mrs. Jamison has ever been to her husband a faithful companion and
helpmate on life's journey, and as the years have passed their mutual love and confidence have increased. They are
now one of the oldest married couples in Henderson County.
In the year 1855 Mr. Jamison left his farm and removed to Monmouth in order to better educate his children. The
cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and he resolved that his children should have good
advantages along that line. His two youngest daughters attended Monmouth College, and became cultured ladies. In
1889 he left the city and returned to the farm, where he has since made his home. He and his wife are both members
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. William Henry Harrison, in
1840, and is now a supporter of the Prohibition party, which embodies his views on the temperance question. His
life has been an honorable and upright one, being in many respects well worthy of emulation. He has won success in
his business career, having steadily worked his way upward from a humble position to one of affluence. Sixty-four
years have passed since he came to this county, and therefore he has witnessed its entire growth and development;
in fact, the county was not yet organized under its present name at the time of his arrival. He has ever borne his
part in the work of development and public improvement, and well deserves mention among the honored pioneers.