Clay County

Biography - James J. Spriggs

JAMES J. SPRIGGS, farmer, P. O. Louisville, was born in Pendleton District, S. C., April 6, 1818, and is a son of Elijah Spriggs, who died in the regular army when the subject of this sketch was an infant. His mother, Lucy (Sullivan) Spriggs, removed with her family to Warren County, Tenn., when James J. was a small child. She there married, and James went to live with his grandmother, Elizabeth Sullivan, who removed with him to Warrick County, Ind., in 1828, and to Clay County, Ill., in 1829. His mother and step-father came to Wayne County about the year 1830, where the latter died about 1832. His mother then resided with him and grandmother until her death, which occurred September 11, 1834. She lies buried near Larkinsburg in this county. Mr. Spriggs attended school in a round log cabin, 16x14 feet, with dirt floor, clapboard roof, split-pole seats, and greased paper over a crack in the wall for a window. His first teacher was Mr. Wylie Walker, who taught a subscription school in 1831. Mr. Spriggs has killed many a deer, wild cat, wolf, and other wild animals. At one time he stood in his door and shot a deer. He frequently hunted with the Kaskaskia Indians, who painted him before engaging in the exciting pastime. He was married, November 12, 1844, to Aly Evans, by whom he had five children, two living-Augustus C. F., and Martha E. (now Mrs. M. C. Wilson). Mrs. Spriggs died October 5, 1853, and he again married, April 23, 1858, this time to Miss Lucinda Worthy, by whom he had seven children; of this number four are living, viz.: James, Mary E., Ulyssus and William T. Mrs. Spriggs No. 2 died March 4, 1872. and he married the third time, November 4, 1873, Miss Nancy Warren; by her he has three children-Ora, John and Orlando. Mr. Spriggs owns 400 acres of land, and is engaged in farming and stockraising. He is a natural genius, and makes most all his household furniture, and many other useful things about the farm and home. In religion, he is a Baptist.

Transcribed by Laurel White from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 155.


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