James H. Delzell is justly proud of the fact that his ancestors were
among those hardy pioneers who endured with great fortitude the numerous
perils and hardships that beset men and women who sought homes in the
wilderness of the new republic in its earlier days. Mr. Delzell is one of
the striking figures in Denver township, Richland county, Illinois, not only
from a physical, but a mental standpoint. He is a man who has seen much of
the world, and has kept in touch with human events. He ranks among the
heaviest land owners in the township, and such possessions as he holds he has
accumulated through the practice of honest and straightforward business
The subject is the son of John N. Delzell, and was born in Tennessee August 13, 1845. His father, who was born December 29, 1818, in Blount county, died December 12, 1903. He was educated in a college at Marysville, Tennessee, and after leaving that institution became a teacher, and later engaged in mercantile business. He removed to Denver township in 1861 with his family and team, and with eighty-four dollars in his pocket. Through his industry he eventually accumulated farm land amounting to four hundred acres, a large portion of which he cleared for cultivation. The grandfather of the subject, Robert Delzell, came to Denver township in 1853, and died there. He was born about 1788, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife, whose maiden name was Dorcas Davis, was of Scotch ancestry, and her father served as a soldier during the Revolutionary war. The subject had five brothers and two sisters. Daniel, born July 5, 1847, was educated for the ministry, while John, whose birth occurred September 9. 1849, became a teacher, and was for many years Clerk of Olney, Illinois. Both of these brothers were educated at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois, and both are now dead. William H. was born April 27, 1852, and is now a resident of Wichita, Kansas, having retired from active life. Charles was born October 27, 1855, and died in early manhood. The birth of Alice (Delzell) Adams occurred February 28, 1858, while Laura (Delzell) Mitchell was born November 24, 1860. The date of George's birth was August 24, 1868, and he lives at Newton, Illinois.
The subject married Martha Lowe March 24, 1868, and their children were D. W. and Mrs. Ora (Delzell) Hoel. The former was married to Teressa Tippett, and they have six children, Mattie, Howard, Grace, Lester, Edna and Mabel. Mrs. Hoel, daughter of the subject, is the mother of three children. The subject has been married four times, his second wife having been Emma Monroe, his third Nancy Adeline Hardin. His present wife, whose maiden name was Mary Jackson, was born November 22, 1854, and married May 10, 1877. Their children are: John, born March 1, 1881, a merchant at Palestine, Illinois; Mrs. Sadie Dauwalder, born November 27, 1882; Mrs. Dora Seessengood, born July 26, 1884; Elsie, born September 21, 1888; Edward, born October 26, 1890; Myrtle, born May 6, 1893; Raymond, October 31, 1895.
The father of Mrs. Delzell, Cornelius Jackson, died April 1, 1894, aged sixty years. The subject of this sketch is the owner of two hundred and twenty acres of well improved land, and has been one of the most active agriculturists in this community, combining the cultivation of the soil with stock raising and shipping. The family of which he is a member has always preserved an honorable name, and is highly esteemed in this county. Mr. Delzell was made a Mason in 1866. He has strong religious convictions, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of long standing.
Extracted 26 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 261-262.