John G. Close, son of George Close Sr. and Elizabeth Reed, was born in 1766 in Kentucky and died October 28, 1848 in Crane Creek Township, Mason County, Illinois, and was buried in Int. Carter Cemetery, Crane Creek Township, Mason county, Illinois, NE Qtr, of Se Qtr, of Section 19. Noted events of his life: John and Francis Close had 11 children according to Census Records. They moved from Hardin County to Green County, Kentucky about 1810. History has it that John was born in Virginia and was of English descent. He and His parents came down the Ohio River to the mouth of Beargrass Creek in 1785 and then moved on to Green County in its early settlement. "Kentucky, Genealogy, and Biograph" volume 5 reprinted from the 4th edition of "Kentucky, A History of the State" by Battle, Perrin, and Kniffin, page 86, has a biographical sketch of James T. Close, son of James Grayson Close. The story states that John moved to Menard County, Illinois in 1825 with his family and became extensively engaged in farming. Frances states in John's military records, that they lived in Menard County first in 1832 and continually until 1848 just prior to John's death. JOHN CLOSE AND FRANCES SWIFT DAVIS In 1776 Kentucky became a county of Virginia. June 1, 1792 it became the 15th state in the Union. According to Perrin's "History of Kentucky, 1887" and according to Close descendants in Kentucky who have done research on the James Grayson Close line, son of John and Frances, John was born in Virginia and was of English descent. According to Alvin Ralph Close of Ohio (not of our line), the Closes traditionally come from Grinton Parish, Yorkshire, England. According to the will of John Close made out in Mason County, Illinois in 1848, he was in his 82nd year. That would put his birth year at 1766. John was once offered a tract of land (where Louisville now stands) in about 1825 for his horse and saddle. Louisville is the largest city in the state of Kentucky. From all indications, John was the son of George and Elizabeth (Reid) Close. He was on land records with them and he and Frances jointly sold property with them in Hardin County, Kentucky. He and George Close Jr. jointly bought tools and animals from their father, George Close Sr. in 1794. If John was indeed the son of George, then he had a sister named Catherine who was born in 1775, possibly in New York, according to the history of George Highbaugh, whom she married at age 14. In Hardin County there was a Margaret Close. She too could have been a sister. John married Frances (Swift) Davis. (also known as Franky or Fanny), widow with two small children. One was a male and the other a female names Elizabeth (Betsey). both were born around 1796, but not necessarily twins. On October 15, 1810, John purchased property from John and Elizabeth Bell in Green County. It was in Caven Bend on Green River just below the property of Thomas Caven. Little Barren River fed Green River and Big Brush Creek is just north east of John's property and feeds into Green River. They lived on the south side of Green River. John was involved in several land dealings either purchasing or selling or trading. On July 31, 1815, he purchased 150 acres of land from John and Deborah Southern for $100 and $300 in trade which was to be horses. It must have been a "horse trade" because the very same day, John Southern purchased property from John Close with the exact same deal. John and his family are found in Hardin County, Kentucky in 1810, in Green County, Kentucky in 1820 and 1830. They had about nine children all born in Kentucky. Betsey is definitely identified as a child of Frances prior to her marriage to John. Frances may have named her son George Davis. A George Davis is found in Menard County, Illinois in 1840 age 40-50. Elizabeth (Betsey) was the same age bracket and she was there, too.
John Close Sr., joined the service in Kentucky and was in the 5th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Military under Captain Thomas S. T. Moss. He joined at Marysville, Kentucky on August 22, 1813, lost his horse valued at $40 and was discharged on November 13, 1813. He was paid $10 per month and allowed 40 cents a day for his horse. So he received $27.41 for his services and $33.60 for services of his horse. Deed Book 7, page 422, on December 27, 1816 John put in a claim for his horse and appointed Benjamin Hardin to attend to it. 1832 the family moved to Menard County (Sangamon County) Illinois, where John bought property from James Estep on the 23rd of March 1832 (sixty acres more or less) for $150. On July 20, 1832 he purchased fifty eight acres from Elijah Estep. He became extensively engaged in farming. John and Frances lived there until some time in 1848 when they moved to Mason County, in or near Bath. John died there on October 28, 1848 and is said to be buried on the farm owned in 1879 by the widow Carter. The cemetery is known as Carter Cemetery. It is also said that Frances is buried there, but there are no stones. Their neighbors in Menard County were John W. Warnsing and James Short, who later were to enable Frances to obtain warrant land from the government for being the wife of a service man. These men swore they lived together as man and wife and had lived in that area since 1832. The statement was signed on December 8, 1851. In a statement to the authorities, she said she was married to John in 1797. Records state 1799. She did not remember the date of her marriage. She stated that her name prior to marriage was Frances Swift. It was signed in the presence of Mrs. L. Harris and dated November 19, 1850. It also stated the date of death of John to be October 28, 1848. July 26th, 1851, the Pension Office suspended her request until she could furnish proof that he was in the service for more than the government stated 2 months and 23 days. It showed her residence to be Bath, Illinois at the time. It appears to me that Frances received the land warrant on January 16, 1853 (warrant number 38070) but was not to enjoy her gain for very long. She died February 28, 1854 in the home of her son-in-law, Josiah Dobson. When Francis died, her son, John petitioned for Letters of Administration. Her survivors were her children: George, John, Gabriel, James G., Lucinda, Maria, and James T. (Betsey had died in 1848) John ran an ad in the Mason County Herald, a weekly newspaper published in Havana. It ran three times from August 18 to September 1, 1854 at a cost of $1.50. It was advising anyone who had a claim to her estate to step forward. Excerpts from letter written me by Judy Hurdle, Bath, Illinois, mailed November 9, 1981 As far as I can tell, Frances Close always lived in Crane Creek Township, Mason County, Illinois, near Kilbourne and quite a distance from Bath. Frances lived with her son-in-law, Josiah Dobson, after John's death for a while and is listed in John Jrs household in 1850, Mason County Census. She was sure that Frances and John were both buried in Carter Cemetery east of Kilbourne. Their gravestones are not there now, as I made a long trek to the cemetery which is quite far from the road and very overgrown. The stones may have fallen but did no probing. Several of their descendants are buried there and I'm sure they are there somewhere. A local history states that John Close, Sr. was buried in widow Carter's cemetery and you can see the Louisa and Richard Carter's graves listed and Richard died long before his wife. I think we can safely guess that France's children would have buried her by John's side. Will of John Close Sr entered in Mason County, Illinois November 24, 1848. Frances died intestate February 28, 1854 at the home of Josiah Dobson. Among Frances' probate papers is mention of Eliza Dobson, whom I assume was the daughter of Lucinda Close and Josiah Dobson. Perhaps Frances moved in the take care of Eliza after daughter, Lucinda died. The Baskin history of Menard and Mason County have Josiah Dobson, John Close, and his sons, George, John Jr., and Turner came to Crane Creek in 1835. This part of what is now Mason County was in Menard County then because Mason County didn't organize until 1841. The history says the old gentleman and Turner remained citizens of this vicinity until their deaths. As for Jacob and Betsey. They lived at New Salem, a small village in Menard County where Abraham Lincoln lived for several years. The village is now restored and part of the New Salem State Park which put the Bales in the history books. Jacob Bale ran the grist mill perhaps at the time Lincoln worked there. I feel sure Jacob and Betsey are both buried in the cemetery on state grounds. There are a few Bale stones there, but the cemetery is mostly overgrown. Jacob and Betsey, after coming from Green County, Kentucky lived the rest of their lives at New Salem, even when the rest of the village was deserted as people moved to Petersburg. Frances probate lists Children, George, John Gabriel, James G., Lucinda, Maria A., and James T. in 1854. This negates idea that Lucinda died prior to Frances. James Turner Close probate papers in 1862 lists heirs Gabriel, Grace, Louis, Samuel, Elizabeth, and Eliza and his wife Susan as guardian of minor heirs listed. Odd that there is Elizabeth and Eliza. Could Eliza be Eliza Dobson mentioned before? Her father Josiah died in 1861 and this would be her uncles, James T., who died. Census records in 1860 don't list any Elizabeths at all with Susan.