FRANCIS M. CURRY, a highly respected citizen of Mount Sterling, was born in Scott county, Kentucky, April 9, 1825, a son of John R. Curry, who was born October 19, 1803. The paternal grandfather, Alexander Curry, the honored founder of Mount Sterling, Illinois, was born October 14, 1770, in the State of Maryland, the son of Archibald Curry, a native of Scotland, who emigrated to America in colonial times and settled in Maryland, where he passed the remainder of his life. Alexander Curry was a pioneer of Scott county, Kentucky; he purchased a tract of land on the Lexington pike, on which he lived until 1830, when he came to Illinois; he was accompanied by his wife and children, and made a settlement in Brown county, which was then a part of Schuyler county. As soon as the land came into market he entered 2,000 acres, including the present site of Mount Sterling; he erected a double log house on the lot now occupied by the Christian Church, which was used at the same time as a dwelling, a justice's room and a meeting-house. He did not keep a hotel, but entertained travelers free of charge. He was the first Justice of the Peace and the first Postmaster of Mount Sterling. In 1833 he laid out the town, and June 21 of that year occurred the first sale of lots. His son, Robert, had the first store in the place, the goods being brought by teams from St. Louis. He continued a resident of the place until his death in 1842. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth Nutter, a native of Delaware, born August 20, 1776. They reared a family of nine children: Daniel, Robert N., John R., Olivia, Sarah, Nancy, Leah, Mary and Harriet.
John R. Curry was reared and married in Kentucky, and came from the Blue Grass State with his parents. He located on land his father gave him near Mount Sterling, and engaged in farming. He died November 17, 1882. He married Belle Brockman, a native of Scott county, Kentucky, born May 15, 1804; she died December 17, 1875. They reared a family of five children: Francis M., James R., Elizabeth, Alexander A. and Mary B. Francis M. was a child of five years when be came to Illinois with his parents. He received his education in the pioneer schools which were taught in the primitive log structures, often without a floor, and furnished with puncheon seats and puncheon desks; the building was erected without nails, and light was admitted by an opening in the wall, which was made by taking out a part of the log; in cold weather this hole was covered by a piece of greased paper. At the age of fourteen years Mr. Curry began clerking, receiving $12.60 a month the first year, and boarding himself. After a few years he engaged in business on his own account, which he conducted successfully a number of years.
He was married September 21, 1853, to Mary Clements, a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky, born March 26, 1829. Her father, William H. Clement, was born in Kentucky, and died in that State in 1834; he married Maria Givens, a daughter of John and Ruth Givens. Mr. and Mrs. Curry are the parents of five children: Lizzie B., Ida M., Mattie G., Frank C. and Charles A.; the oldest son, William, died at the age of three and a half years. The father and mother are members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically our subject has been identified with the Democratic party, but he is a prohibitionist both in principle and practice. He is a man of many excellent traits and has the respect and confidence of the entire community.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 161-162.
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