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LEONARD K. SCROGGIN

More than three-score years and ten have passed since Leonard K. Scroggin became a resident of Logan county, and he is justly numbered among her honored pioneers and leading citizens. He has been prominently identified with her business interests as a farmer and banker. His is an honorable record of a conscientious man who by his upright life has won the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. Through more than four score years he has traveled life's journey but although the snows of many winters have fallen upon him he has the vigor of a much younger man and in spirit and interests seems yet in his prime. His is an active old age, and his has been an active life. He is to-day numbered among the most prosperous men of central Illinois, a position to which he has attained entirely through his own efforts and as the result of untiring energy, enterprise and determination.

Leonard K. Scroggin was born in Gallatin county, Illinois, January 25, 1819 and is descended from prominent old southern families. His paternal grandfather, Humphrey Scroggin, was a native of North Carolina and married Miss Sarah Kirby, of Virginia. At the age of seventeen he offered his services to the Continental Army and fought throughout the struggle for independence, being present when Lord Cornwallis surrendered the British troops to General Washington at Yorktown, and thus practically ended the war and proclaimed the liberty of the colonists. Carter T. Scroggin, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky, but in territorial days in Illinois, he came with his people to that commonwealth, locating in Gallatin county, where he met and married Phebe Shelby, a native of North Carolina, whence she removed with her parents to Tennessee and thence to Pope county, Illinois. Her father, Jacob Shelby, married Miss Easter, and the great grandfather was a native of Wales.

When Carter T. Scroggin came with his parents to this state in 1811, they lived in a little log cabin, sixteen by eighteen feet, and there endured all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. In 1827, having married in the meantime, he brought his family to Logan county, settling four miles south of Mount Pulaski, where he established his home, living in an unhewn log house with puncheon floor that stood near the timber skirting Lake Fork. He purchased his land from the government and at once began the development of a farm which he improved as the years passed, making it a valuable property. As his financial resources increased he also added to his property until at the time of his death he was the owner of six hundred acres of valuable land. The family went through the usual experiences of pioneer life, when comforts and convenience were hard to obtain owing to the remoteness from towns and the lack of transportation facilities. In the winter of 1830-31 occurred what has since been known in history as the "deep snow," during which time the family lived on corn meal pounded in a wooden mortar and never tasting wheat bread from November until the following spring. Mr. Scroggin died in 1859, leaving a valuable farm and other property to his ten children. The members of the family were Mary A., Russell Shelby, Humphrey, Esther J., Sarah F., Pleasant M., Carter T., Thomas J., Ellen and Leonard K.

The last named was a little lad of only eight summers when brought by his family to Logan county and amid the wild scenes of the frontier he was reared. He pursued his education in a log school house during three months in the year and throughout the remainder of the time performed such work on the farm as his age and strength would permit, at length becoming able to do a man's work in the fields. After his marriage he began farming on his own account on forty acres of his own entering, also having entered forty acres of timber land. There he resided for eleven years, in the meantime extending the boundaries of the place until it comprised one hundred and twenty acres. He followed general farming and also raised cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. Success attended his well directed efforts and as the years passed he made judicious investments in land until he is now the owner of five thousand acres in Logan county alone. His landed possessions elsewhere aggregate twenty thousand acres, including land in Nebraska and Missouri and ten thousand acres of Minnesota land, which he has purchased within the last eighteen months. He is a man of keen business sagacity, his judgment rarely if ever at fault, and this quality has enabled him to so place his money in farming property that he is reaping a good financial return therefrom continually. In May, 1872, Mr. Scroggin organized the Farmers Bank, and in the business associated his son with him. The institution has been a paying one from the beginning. The reliability of the owner and their safe business methods have made it one of the solid financial insitutions of the county and its patronage has reached extensive proportions.

In early manhood Leonard K. Scroggin was united in marriage to Miss Lavinia Buckles, a daughter of Robert Buckles. She was born in Logan county in 1826 and the marriage was celebrated in 1841. Mrs. Scroggin was called to her final rest January 16, 1863. The ten children, three sons and seven daughters, born of this union all grew to mature years, namely: Alfred C.; Mary and Elsie, now deceased; Angeline; Pheobe Ann; Sarah; Leonard; Susan and Benjamin F. and Evaline, deceased wife of George Veal. After the death of his first wife Mr. Scroggin was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Rhoda A. Pickering, the widow of Thomas Pickering and the daughter of George Girtman, formerly of Missouri, whence he removed to Mount Pulaski township, Logan county, where the birth of Mrs. Scroggin occurred. By the second marriage there were three children: Herbert, now deceased; Thomas A., who is cashier in the Farmers Bank; and Edna, the wife of Logan Andrews.

Logan county and especially Mount Pulaski owes much to the enterprising spirit of Mr. Scroggin, who has been particularly active in the upbuilding and improvement of the city. He built the bank, opera house and the Scroggin House in 1877, has erected other fine buildings and has co-operated in many movements and measures for the general good. In politics he has been a life-long Democrat, unswerving in support of the principles of the party, although party office or emoluments have had no attraction for him. He holds membership in the Christian church, and has ever been a man of upright principles, honorable in business and trustworthy in every relation of life. In January, 1899, on the eightieth anniversary of his birth a family reunion was held at which thirteen families were represented, sixty in all being present, including, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family which Mr. Scroggin has established is a credit to his name ad the part which they have played in the affairs of Logan county is an important one. No history of this section of the state would be complete without mention of this honored and venerable gentleman, one of the leading agriculturists of the state and a man of upright principles and sterling worth, honored and respected by all who know him.

Source: The Biographical Record of Logan County, Illinois; Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1901, pp. 351-353

Submitted by Laurie Birks Dean


This page is "Leonard K. Scroggin Biography" on the Logan County, Illinois, ILGenWeb site. The address of this page is http://www.rootsweb.com/bios/scrogginlk.htm.

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