John Martin Coons, son of Jacob and Judy Miller, Coons was born in Clark County, Indiana Sept. 4, 1839 and died in the home of his daughter, Mrs. George R. Bradley, in Auburn, Clark County, Illinois, Nov. 28 1931, aged 92 years, 1 month and 24 days.
He came with his parents to Clark County, Illinois in 1846. They entering a tract of land on Dobson Prairie where his parents resided continuously until their deaths which occurred as follows: His father Jacob Coons died Oct. 7, 1881 at the age of 65 years, 7 months and 6 days, and his mother Judy Miller Coons died April 8, 1910 at the age of 90 yrs, 7 mo 12 ds.
Here he grew to manhood and on April 14, 1864 was married to Amanda C. Boyer, a childhood friend, whose parents had come from the same community in Indiana where he was born and had also entered a homestead near them. <page break>
To this union were born thirteen children, seven boys and six girls all of whom he saw grown to maturity and married. Four however preceded him in death. The children living are W. S. Coons of Toledo, Ohio; Mrs. Alice Lowry of Charleston, Illinois; Mrs. Cora E. Bradley of Auburn; Mrs. Ida McNary, of Martinsville, Ill.; Frank of Decatur, Ill.; Rev. John C. of Logansport, Ind; Jacob A. of West Terre Haute, Ind.; and Charles M. of Chicago, Ill. He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. Catharine Duzan of Marshall, and Mrs. Eliza A. Nicholson of Dolson Township.
Besides a host of other relatives and friends he also leaves as direct descendants 44 grand-children and 44 great-grand-children.
The companion of his youth died July 13, 1894
In his earlier mature life he dwelt for about 20 years in Dolson Township; except 2 years he resided in Edgar County, <page break> where he engaged in farming and, for 15 years or more, taught school in the winter time having recieved a good education for that day in Westfield College. Some of the school districts where he taught were Greenmoos, Blue Grass, Bartmess, ??osman and Clarksville.
After the death of his father he fell heir to a farm in Auburn Township and in the spring of 1883 he moved upon it, but two years later or in August 1885 he moved to Auburn where he established what was then called a general store, carrying a stock of groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes, queensware, hardware, to, and in connection with the store ran what was called a "huckster wagon", going from house to house on a regular route through the country and exchanging groceries, <page break> yard goods, to for poultry, eggs, butter, rags, feathers, hides and such other produce as his customers had to offer and which could be converted into cash when taken to the produce houises in Terre Haute. He was also appointed postmaster of Clark Centre, the postal name of Auburn, and served in that capacity for several years having the post office in the rear of the store.
He conducted this business in Auburn for about 16 years but unfortunately suffered a heavy loss by fire in the summer of 1900. A few months later however he bought a lot and built a new combination store and residence and reestablished himselfs in business in the location that is now owned and operated by Como Murphy in Auburn!
During this period he was elected and served a term or <page break> two as Supervisor of Auburn Township and eight years as Justice of the Peace.
He was again married Jan. 2, 1901 to Rhoda A. Jones of Falmouth who died April 7, 1904
He was again married Sept. 13, 1904 to Catharine Davis and for almost 25 years they traveled the declining side of life happily together until he was bereft of her by death May 29, 1929.
On July 1, 1901 he moved to Yale Jasper County, Illinois, having previously in the spring or early summer of that year sold his business including the property in Auburn. He later also sold the farm in Auburn Township and purchased another one adjoining the town of Yale.
Upon his removal here he <page break> immediately established himself in business and was continuously engaged in one kind of business or another until about six years before his death when failing eye-sight shortly resulting in total blindness compelled him to retire. He also supervised the cultivation of his farm and continued to do so and to transact all of his own personal and business affairs until the day of his death. Though the loss of his sight was a heavy affliction, he was ever cheerful and optimistic and bore it without complaint. since the death of his last companion he had made his home with the daughter in Auburn.
During his long life he never had but one sick spell and that was not of a very serious nature and his last illness was of less than a week´s duration.
The wheles of life stood still and he fell asleep.
In the regular election in 1904 he was elected a Justice of the Peace for Granville Township in which Yale is located and continued to be reelected and served continuously in that office for 24 years. His sense of <page break> common justice was so acute that of the many cases which came before him through all these years only one decision was reversed by a higher court of appial and that was due chiefly to the introduction of additional evidence.
In these two communities where he had lived so long and served so well in business he was widely known and had made many friends and had proved himself to be not only a successful business man but also a wise and safe cousellor in business matters and always fair, just and reliable in all his business dealings.
As a public official he acquitted himself with honor and above all suspicion of any misuse or betrayal of the trust imposed in him, and was also liberal and progressive in questions pertaining to <page break> community and public welfare.
As a remarkable circumstance and evidence of his patriotism and interest in public affairs, he belived that every voter ought to exercise his right of franchise and he himself had voted in eighteen presidential elections having first voted for Lincon in 1860 and having always been able and so situated that he could go to the polls. <page break>
As a husband and father he was devoted, kind, loving, thoughtful a good provider, willing to sacrifice and always interested in the welfare of all the members of his family.
He became a Christian early in life and was always a loyal and generous supporter of the Church (First identified with the Church at Grennore) In January 1894 he identified himself with the Methodist Protestant Church in Auburn later transferring his membership to the United Brothren Church in Yale of which he was still a member and had served in various official positions in both organizations.
Folowing (sic) the death of a daughter little more that a yearr ago, in conversation with the writer and some other members of his family he said: "I know that it cannot be very long until I shall be called to go. But I <page break> do not fear it. I am ready when it comes. I have no doubt whatever about the final result." And then a few week (sic) before his death he attended church service during which he arose and in what was perhaps his last public testimony, he made essentially the same statement.
So his earthly career is ended, and thus he died "full of good works and of faith." How blessed is that confident hope of immortality.
Funeral services were conducted in the Auburn Church by the Rev. Laren E. Spear. with interment (sic) in the Greenmos Cemetery beside the grave of the mother of his children and companion of his youth.
"Thou hast come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season." Job 5:26
By W. S Coons, - 1930
John M. Coons--died in Auburn Twp, Clark County, IL--widower--born Sept 4, 1839--92 years, 2 months, 24 days--grocery retailer--born Clark County, Indiana--father: Jacob Coons born in Clark County, Indiana and mother: Judy Miller born in Clark County, Indiana--information provided by Mrs. George Bradley of Marshall--buried in Greenmoss Cemetery Nov 30, 1931--cemetery located in Dolson Twp, Clark County, IL--undertaker: C. M. Bubeck of Marshall--died Nov 28, 1931 at 8:15 P.M.--heart disease (angina pectoris)--doctor L. J. Weir of Marshall.