ASA C. ATHERTON, saw milling and merchant. Hodge's Park. One of the leading business men in this precinct is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born in what is now Pulaski County, November 21, 1832. He was the second of six children, and the son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Atherton) Atherton, both natives of Kentucky. His scholastic education was but slight, his father, who was a soldier in the Mexican war, being killed in the battle of Buena Vista. February 27, 1847. After his father's death, our subject carried on the home until eighteen years of age, and then embarked in the mercantile trade, in what was then known as Valley Forge, Pulaski County, and acted as Postmaster at what is now known as Villa Ridge, before the Illinois Central grading was done. In that business he remained about six years, and then went back to the old home farm, where he remained content with his honest lot for upward of twenty years. Soon after Hodge's Park was started, he came to his present location, where he erected a steam saw mill about a quarter of a mile from town, at a cost of $2,000. The engine used is about thirty horse-power, and the mill gives employment to about ten hands. About a year after he came to Hodge's Park, he opened a store adjoining the mill, and there carried a stock of about $1,000. In the spring of 1883, he moved the store to Hodges Park, and now carries a stock of $2,500. He also owns a farm of 100 acres in Unity Precinct, situated mostly in Section 35, Town 15, Range 2 west. The farm is mostly under cultivation. Mr. Atherton was married. December 16, 1856, to Elizabeth Jane Kelly. This lady was born in February, 1841, and is a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Anyon) Kelly, natives of Missouri. She was the mother of six living children — John H., a farmer in Pulaski County; Ellen Elizabeth, wife of James P. Matthas, of Johnson County; Edward J., Grade, Fannie and Vida. This lady died March 22, 1883. He was married the second time to Mrs. Emily Brown, nee Musie, June 27, 1883. This lady is the daughter of Samuel Musie, of Missouri, and the mother of one living child, William Harrison Brown. Our subject, is a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church, and is a Democrat in politics.
Extracted 29 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, pages 239-240.
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