|Birth: ||Feb. 12, 1861|
|Death: ||Mar. 20, 1942|
BIO OF HIS FATHER:
Portrait & Biographical Record
of Tazewell & Mason Counties, Illinois
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago
JAMES ALEXANDER NEIKIRK
JAMES ALEXANDER NEIKIRK. Located in Forest City Township lies one of the finest rural homes in Mason County. Here Mr. Neikirk has resided for many years, meanwhile adding to his property, on which first class buildings have been erected and other substantial improvements introduced which prove his thrift and enterprise as an agriculturist.
Referring to the parental history of our subject, we find that his father, George Neikirk, was born in Washington County, Md., January 19, 1798. He in turn was the only son of Michael Neirkirk, a native of Pennsylvania, where in early life he followed the trade of a weaver and later became a farmer. The first representative of the family in America came from Holland and located near Philadelphia. Mrs. Elizabeth (Bowser) Neikirk, the mother of our subject, was also born in Maryland, the date of her birth being July 16, 1803. She was the daughter of John and Magdalene (Byers) Bowers, of whom a further history will be found in the sketch of E. J. Bowser on another page in this volume.
Mr. and Mrs. George Neikirk were married in their native state and afterward lived in Washington County until the fall of 1841, when they removed to Seneca County, Ohio. In that place they made their home until the fall of 1853, when they came to Mason County and located on section 13, Forest City Township, at a time when the county was very sparsely settle. The estate at that time included about five hundred acres, to which the father added until at his death he was the proprietor of two thousand acres of valuable land. His death occurred April 23, 1855, and his good wife, who survived him many years, died February 7, 1873.
Of the parental family of six sons and three daughters seven are now living, namely: James A., of this sketch; William K., John E.; Mary E., now the wife of T. H. Cheek, of Sherman Township; George W.; Emmaa P., Mrs. Sherer; and Belle, who married O. W. Van Orman. Those deceased are Solomon and Eli. The mother of these children was a devoted member of the Methodist Church. In politics, the father was and old-line Whig, and was a well informed man. Three of his sons, Eli, John and George, served as soldiers during thee Civil War, the eldest being Second Lieutenant of Company C, Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry. The elder Mr. Neikirk was one of the largest land owners in Mason County and occupied a high position in the esteem of his fellow-citizens.
Our subject was born April 15, 1825, in Washington County, Md., and was there reared and educated. Like all farmer lads he received a thorough training in farm work, and at the time his parents removed to this state he came hither with them. January 26, 1853, he married Miss Barbara Ann, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Gotshall) Dentler. Her father was born in Lancaster County, Pa., March 13, 1780, and her mother was a native of Northumberland County, that state, where her birth occurred February 26, 1799. They were married in Pennsylvania, where they continued to reside until their decease, the father dying April 22, 1864, and the mother departing this life September 5 of the following year.
Only two of the fifteen children comprising the family of Mr. and Mrs. Dentler are now living, Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. Aaron Graves, and a resident of Guernsey County, Ohio, and Mrs. Neikirk. The latter was born November 6, 1825, in Lewisburgh, Pa., and received her education in the schools of Butler County, that state. Afterward she taught school for some time in Lawrence County and also followed that vocation after removing to Seneca County, Ohio. Her parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Three of her brothers served as soldiers in the Civil War.
Mrs. Neikirk's grandfather, Jacob Dentler, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., and married Miss Barbara Funk, whose ancestors came from Germany. He also traced his lineage to the Fatherland, the family originally living near the Rhine. Her maternal grandfather, Michael Gotshcall, was born in Northumberland County, Pa., and served as soldier in the Revolutionary War; he married Miss Catherine Mottier, whose parents came from Wittenburg, Germany.
After his father's decease our subject moved upon his present farm, which comprises five hundred and sixty-five acres of valuable land. Here in 1872 he erected a substantial residence, which cost when complete $3,000. Although he still superintends his farm he has retired from active agricultural labors. The improvements on the estate are his handiwork, and its high state of cultivation is due to the excellent judgment.
Of the eight children born to our subject and his wife those living are: Mary L., widow of E. S. Maring; Lewis N., who married Elizabeth Maxwell and makes his home in this township; Edith N., the wife of Isaac K. Smith, of Seneca County, Ohio , and George F., a soldier in the Regular United States army, Mrs. Neikirk is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she is an active worker.
In politics our subject votes with the Republican party and in 1880 was elected Supervisor of Forest City Township. He discharged the duties of the office in a most admirable manner, and during his incumbency was instrumental in securing the thorough drainage of the county. He has been a member of the School Board and has always been greatly interested in educational matters. A natural mathematician, he completed without any assistance his studies in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and surveying. He has a finely selected library, which contains among other volumes a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Having long been a thoughtful student of standard works by the best authors, he possesses a large and varied fund of information in scientific and historical lore, and is considered on of the best informed men in the township.
James Alexander Neikirk (1825 - 1910)
Barbara Ann Dentler Neikirk (1825 - 1910)
Elizabeth Maxwell Neikirk (1864 - 1920)*
Winfield Alexander Neikirk (1889 - 1950)*
Ernest L. Neikirk (1891 - 1948)*
John Robin Neikirk (1894 - 1967)*
Rosamond Neikirk Soares (1896 - 1952)*
Louis N Neikirk (1861 - 1942)
Edith P Neikirk Smith (1864 - 1938)*
George F Neikirk (1867 - 1949)*
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Created by: Debra
Record added: Sep 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96599178