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Among those men of Logan county whose years of labor have enabled them to retire and enjoy the fruits of their early toil is James Edward Copeland, of Mount Pulaski. For many years he faithfully and diligently cultivated his farm of one hundred and twenty acres, with the result that he is now one of the foremost of the retired agriculturists in Mount Pulaski township. He is a native of Logan county, his birth having occurred July 7, 1848. His father, Abraham L. Copeland, came to Illinois in the early days of its history with his parents and settled in that portion of Sangamon county which is now Logan county. He was born June 23, 1814, in Ohio, the second child in a family of ten, and died January 29, 1902, in Logan county upon the farm which he preempted in 1840. At the time of his death he was the owner of some ten hundred acres of fine land. All his life he was engaged in farming and stock-raising and was a life-long democrat, voting that ticket at every national election after coming of age.
Abraham L. Copeland was thrice married. His first wife, Lydia (Myers) Copeland, was a native of Ohio, where she lived until grown to womanhood. By her he had seven children, of whom James Edward Copeland was the sixth in order of birth. She was born March 8, 1818, and died May 14, 1850, her death occurring in Logan county. His second wife was Miss Sarah A. Dixon, who she died February 2, 1902, just four days after he had passed away. died February 25, 1872. Rebecca Fink became his third wife and By his second marriage he became the father of six children and by his third, two.
[Note: this is verbatim from the text. It should read as follows: Abraham L. Copeland was thrice married. His first wife, Lydia (Myers) Copeland, was a native of Ohio, where she lived until grown to womanhood. By her he had seven children, of whom James Edward Copeland was the sixth in order of birth. She was born March 8, 1818, and died May 14, 1850, her death occurring in Logan county. His second wife was Miss Sarah A. Dixon, died February 25, 1872. Rebecca Fink became his third wife and who she died February 2, 1902, just four days after he had passed away. By his second marriage he became the father of six children and by his third, two.]
James Edward Copeland worked upon his father's farm until he was married. He received a fair education in the schools of the county and became a competent farmer through his association with his father in the conduct of the latter's place. It was in 1868 that he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret J. Denton, who was born in Fayette county, August 9, 1850, a daughter of Jeremiah Denton. The children born of this union were: Thomas, born in October, 1870, died at the age of five years; Cora D., born December 9, 1872, married W. B. Pemberton, of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the mother of three children; Minnie M., born in August, 1876, became the wife of L. G. Metcalf, living in Kansas City, Missouri, and is the mother of one child; and William S., born in August, 1889, died in childhood.
Mr. Copeland again married, his second wife being Miss Jennie Bowers, a daughter of Leander and Caroline Bowers, of Illinois, and the third child in a family of eight. She was born February 13, 1874. By this marriage there is one child, Arthur B., born November 18, 1900.
When James Edward Copeland first married he commenced farming on eighty acres of land which he rented from his father in Sangamon county. Later the elder Copeland deeded this farm to his son and by purchase the latter added to the place until it now comprises one hundred and twenty acres. In 1903 Mr. Copeland retired from active farming and became a resident of the village of Mount Pulaski, where he owns a fine residence property. He is a member of Illiopolis Lodge, No. 460, Knights of Pythias, and of the Loyal Americans. A democrat in politics, as was his father before him, he has been active in the township government. He served nine years on the school board and was township treasurer for eleven years, proving very efficient in both offices. At present he is a member of the board of education of Mount Pulaski, a position which he fills by reason of exceptional ability in matters educational. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church of Mount Pulaski and he serves the organization as deacon and is a member of the board of trustees. He is also a member of the Steinbergen [sic] Association and is a trustee of that body, having served in that capacity for five years. During that time he has been instrumental in securing the addition of four acres of land to the cemetery grounds. A broadminded, public-spirited man, he has made for himself a record for usefulness of which he may well feel proud.
Source: History of Logan County, Illinois, by Lawrence B. Stringer. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company . pp. 152-54.