JONATHAN PATTESON was born in State of Virginia, June 1, 1797. His father was Charles Patteson, also a native of Virginia, who removed from that State to Green county, Kentucky about the year 1800, and was thus one of the pioneers of that locality. He bought a tract of timber land, and erected thereon a log cabin, in which were domiciled the family. They were in a wilderness and were compelled to live off the products of their little place and the game that was found in abundance in the woods. Mr. Patteson was an owner of slaves, and they cultivated flax and cotton, and used to card, spin and weave all the cloth for the entire family. They were compelled to be self-supporting, and knew little of the outside world because railroads were unheard of, newspapers rarely seen, and even steamboats had but just been heard of. He continued to reside in Green county until his death. His wife, the mother of our subject, was Regina DeGraphenreidt, a native of North Carolina, who died when our subject was but four years of age.
Our subject, Jonathan Patteson, is the only survivor of a family of six children. He was reared on the farm in Kentucky and was there married. At quite an early age he went to live with a merchant in Columbia, Adair county, and there he remained, clerking in a store, until he was married. He then went to that part of Adair county now included in Russell county, and took charge of a paper mill. Soon after his location there, Russell county was organized, and the first court was held in his house. He lived there until 1837, at which time he came to Illinois. While in Kentucky he lived on a small stream, six miles from the Cumberland river. This little stream was known as Greasy creek. He built a flat boat, and himself and family, accompanied by Thomas J. Garrett, floated down to the Cumberland river and there took a steamer and continued on down to the Ohio, thence down to the Mississippi, thence up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, stopping at Erie (now Frederick), Schuyler county. This country was then an utter wilderness, filled with wild animals, and with a few scattering pioneers, almost as wild as the animals. He bought a tract of 160 acres, two miles east of town, covered with heavy timber, upon which two log cabins had been erected and a few acres cleared by the former owner. He paid $2,000 for the entire tract, which was then considered a very high price. Here he lived and labored until 1871, when be came to Rushville and has since lived there retired from active business. He is the oldest man now living in Schuyler county. Generally his health has been good, but of late years he has suffered with rheumatism, though his mind and memory are yet well preserved. During his long life he has witnessed the introduction of railroads and steamboats, telegraph lines, and when he came to Illinois, as he passed through Louisville, he traded for two stoves, the first ever brought to Schuyler county. They were rough, primitive affairs, which would now sell for about three dollars, but for which he paid the sum of seventy dollars. In 1822 he was married to Miss Matilda Caldwell; a native of Columbia, Kentucky, and a daughter of William and Eliza (Pyles) Caldwell. To himself and wife have been born seven children: Eliza M., Charles R., William C., Harriet J., Laura, Matilda and Louisa Caroline. Of these children all are living except the daughter, Laura, who died in 1872.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 138-139.
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