Biography of John Richard Adkins

The late John Richard Adkins of Ashland, Ill., was one of those men whose memory is held in kindly recollection long after they have passed away. His deeds of kindness were many, and his record of a life of honest industry and helpful, peaceful neighborliness is something to be cherished by family and community. Mr. Adkins was born on the southern line of Cass County, July 10, 1839, a son of Joshua and Elizabeth (Smith) (Flinn) Adkins, natives of Tennessee, the latter being the widow of Josiah Flinn, who had left four children, they being as follows: Nancy, who is now a widow (Mrs. Bertram), living in Iowa; Jane, who became Mrs. Jacob Schroeder, is deceased; and William and Mary, the latter Mrs. John Lang, both died in Kansas. Joshua Adkins was married in Morgan, now Cass County, Ill., to Mrs. Elizabeth (Smith) Flinn, and they had two children, namely: John Richard, and Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Morton Fortney, and both are deceased. Joshua Adkins and wife settled on a farm in Cass County, after their marriage, and they lived there until they died.

John Richard Adkins attended the schools of his district, and remained at home until his first marriage, when he moved to a farm of eighty acres in Cass County. Later he moved back to his father’s farm, but after fourteen months returned to his own property, to which he added until he had 271 acres, and owned additionally, at the time of his death, 525 acres in Morgan County in one piece, and 205 in another piece. He also owned thirty-six acres of timberland. As he was the only surviving member of the family, he inherited his father’s homestead of 244 acres in Cass and Morgan counties. All his life, he carried on general farming and stockraising. The death of this excellent man occurred October 7, 1910; buried in Flinn Cemetery. In politics he was a Republican, but not an office seeker.

Mr. Adkins was married (first) to Abigail Smith, born in Ohio, and they had two children, both of whom died in infancy. On September 25, 1867, Mr. Adkins was married (second), in Jacksonville, Ill., by a Methodist minister, to Ella M. Stockton, born in Morgan County, Ill., April 9, 1841, a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Burtram) Stockton, natives of Kentucky and Virginia, respectively, who were married in Kentucky, but soon thereafter moved to Morgan County, Ill., as they did not believe in slavery. From there the Stocktons went to Macoupin County, Ill., where both died about 1855. Mrs. Adkins resided with an elder sister thereafter, in Macoupin County, until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Adkins had the following family: Clara, who was born July 23, 1868, is at home; Walter, who was born February 17, 1870, conducts the home farm, married June 24, 1914. Bertha M. Allen of Pike County, Ill.; a son who died in infancy; John, who was born August 4, 1872, is operating one of the Morgan County farms, and married Maud P. Adkins, and they have Vera, Thomas, Armour and Oakleigh; and Mary A., who was born September 26, 1874, is Mrs. Elmer Johnson and lives on the homestead of her grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have three children: Marjorie, Weir and Kermet.


Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and Charles Martin; Historical encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Cass County, vol 2; Chicago : Munsell Pub. Co., 1915.

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