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One of the most prominent and infuential citizens of Mt. Pulaski is John M. Rothwell, who has taken an active part in promoting its substantial improvement and material development. He was born in Lancaster, Garrard county, Kentucky, October 5, 1843, and is a son of Thomas and Matilda Rothwell, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky, where their marriage celebrated. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Rothwell, was also born in Virginia, and at an early day removed with his family to Kentucky, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Our subject was reared as a farmer boy in his native place, and received a good, practical education in the public schools. He remained under the parental roof until 1863, when he went to Sangamon county, Illinois, and engaged in farming and the stock business. During the Civil war he bought mules for the government in the states of Illinois, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and sometimes turned over to the government agency as many as one hundred mules at a time. In 1864 he had charge of the business of John T. Allen, the great cattle king and mule operator, in whose interests he traveled all over Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and North and South Carolina, buying stock.

In 1865 Mr. Rothwell came to Logan county, where he was engaged in farming for a time, but from 1873 until 1882 he was a resident of Kansas, and for five years of that time operated a flouring mill on the Arkansas river at Oxford, and from there went to Indian Territory, where he was engaged in the cattle business. Returning to Logan county, Illinois, in 1883, he located in Elkhart township, and engaged in feeding cattle for a time, but later bought and fed hogs and operated five hundred acres of land. In March, 1894, he took up his residence in Mt. Pulaski, and has since been prominently identified with the business and political interests of this place. He is now successfully engaged in buying and shipping cattle, hogs and sheep, Chicago being his principal market.

In 1865 Mr. Rothwell was united in marriage with Miss Agnes V. Scroggin, a native of Logan county, and a daughter of Leonard K. and Lavina (Buckles) Scroggin. They have become the parents of four children: Myrtle, who is now the wife of Nelson Gasaway; Thomas, a farmer and breeder of the noted Polled Angus cattle; John, teller in the Scroggin Bank at Mt. Pulaski; and Mabel, who is still in school.

Politically Mr. Rothwell is a pronounced Democrat, and he has taken quite an active and influential part in public affairs. He has filled the offices of highway commissioner and county supervisor, and in 1896 was elected mayor of Mt. Pulaski to fill ou the unexpired term of A. G. Jones. He was re-elected in 1899, and served in all, three years, to the entire satisfaction of the public. His business has ever been such as to make it necessary for him to travel quite extensively, and he has become widely known throughout the west and south. He is genial, courteous, enterprising and progressive, of commendable public spirit, and in all the relations of life has been found true to every trust reposed to him.

Source: The Biographical Record of Logan County, Illinois, Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1901, p. 263-264

Submitted by Laurie Birks Dean

This page is "John M. Rothwell Biography" on the Logan County, Illinois, ILGenWeb site. The address of this page is

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