DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, August 22, 1879
Reunion of the Phares family.
Last Friday was Mr. Samuel PHARES’ seventy-first birthday, and his numerous descendants in this county proposed to celebrate the event by a family reunion at Weldon Springs, two miles south-east of this city. As will be seen by the list of family, published below, for which we are indebted to Judge McGRAW, all of old Mr. Phares’ children are still living and have industriously served the nation by adding largely to the population. The day of the reunion was damp and threatened rain, hence the number in attendance was not as large as it would otherwise have been. But the family alone made quite an army and as the children and grand-children were out in full force the outside friends could hardly be missed. The day was spent in social intercourse, and after dinner Richey’s orchestra furnished music for the dancers. And here we might say that there never was a Phares known who did not dance. Old Uncle Sammy led off in the first set, and he danced as nimbly as did any of his grand-children. Along in the afternoon the threatened shower of rain came, which abruptly closed the festivities of the day. We give below the names of Mr. Phares’ children and to whom they were married, but space forbids us giving the names of the grand-children:
Samuel PHARES was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, on the 15th of August 1808, and today (August 15) is 71 years old. He was married to Miss Sarah MARSHALL on the 21st of February, 1828, when he lacked a few months of being twenty years old. He moved to this county in the year 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Phares had thirteen children, all of whom married except the youngest son. It is remarkable that all the children are yet living, and in good health today. The oldest being 51 years and the youngest 26. The aged mother departed this life on the 17th of October, 1877.
In this family twins were twice born—Robert and William being the first, and Mrs. WOODWARD and Mrs. LAFFERTY being the second.
Robert PHARES, the first born of the flock, was married to Miss C. H. HULL on the 25th of September, 1857, the result of their union being five children. Both parents were present at the reunion, and three of the children. One of the children, William H., is dead, Sarah Etta, Frank and Hattie A. were present. Arthur was unavoidably absent. Sarah Etta was married to A. W. RAZEY, December 25, 1876, and has one child.
William PHARES and Elizabeth NAGELY were united in marriage on the 17th of October, 1855, and are the parents of five children, all of whom were present.
Elizabeth PHARES and E. EDWARDS were married in the year 1851. They had one daughter, Laura, married to T. CUSA. Mr. Edwards died and his widow married C. HALL on the 4th of October, 1854. The fruits of this last union were eleven children, eight of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs. Hall were both present.
John A. PHARES was married to Margaret J., daughter of Judge John J. McGRAW, on the 7th of October, 1855. They had nine children, eight of whom are still living. Mrs. Phares died a couple of years ago. John and all his children were present.
Henry Clay PHARES was married to Nancy PEDDICORD in 1861, and they are the parents of eight children, all being alive and well. Only one member of this branch of the family was present, Florence.
Frank M. PHARES and Elizabeth McPHERSON were married on the 4th of June 1861, and have had six children, one of whom is dead. Frank and his entire family were present.
Melissa J. PHARES and J. J. KEGARICE were married on the 19th of October, 1854, and their union has been blessed with five children. Three of their daughters are married: Sarah K. to A. T. TWEED; Laura E. to Wm. R. DAWSON; Mary N. to Lincoln KELLY. All the family were present except Mr. and Mrs. Dawson.
Amy Ellen PHARES and Leander S. McGRAW were married on the 1st of September, 1859, and have had five children, four of whom are living. All were present.
Sarah Louise PHARES and James L. PAYNE were married in 1865. They had three children, only one of which is alive. Mrs. Payne and her son were present.
Julia A. PHARES and James LAFFERTY were married on the 4th of February, 1864, and had four children, all being alive and well. Mr. Lafferty died a few years ago. Mrs. L. and the children were at the reunion.
Margaret PHARES and James WOODWARD were married on the 19th of November, 1864. Mr. Woodward died a few months since. They had six children. Mrs. Woodward and her children were all present.
Mary E. PHARES and William H. HARRISON, circuit clerk of DeWitt county, were married on the 31st of January, 1865. They had four children, two of whom died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison and their two children were present.
Samuel M. PHARES, the youngest son, has thus far withstood the blandishments of the fair sex and still remains single—a solitary exception in the Phares family. He was there to unite with his brothers and sisters in celebrating the seventy-first anniversary of their aged father.
There were three great grandchildren besides and an innumerable host of grand-children to gladden the old veteran’s heart.
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