JAMES M. PATTERSON, residing on section 33, Burritt township, is successfully following general agricultural pursuits, and is also interested in the Winnebago Lumber & Supply Company. He was born on the 8th of March, 1856, in Owen township, this county, and is a son of John M. Patterson, a native of Scotland, who was born in 1834. He came to the United States in 1849, and lived in New York city for a year, after which he made his way westward to Illinois, settling in Rockford, where he also spent one year. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode in Owen township, where for many years he followed the occupation of farming. He was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Stephenson, who was born in Scotland, her natal year being 1838. She came to the United States in 1855, and made her way at once to Owen township, Winnebago county, Illinois, where she afterward gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Patterson. Her death occurred in St. Paul, Minnesota, in September, 1900. There were born of that marriage the following named: James M.; Nettie, who was born in April, 1860, and is the wife of J. M. Stocks, a resident of Freeport, Illinois; Andrew, who was born in June, 1863, and is living upon the old homestead in Owen township; John, who was born August 21, 1865, and is a farmer of Owen township; and Lilly, who was born in 1867, and is the wife of Robert Geddes, a resident of Stillman Valley, Illinois.
No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for James M. Patterson in the boyhood days. He attended the public schools, acquiring a good English education, whereby he was qualified for business duties and responsibilities, and under his father’s direction he became familiar with all the work of the fields, so that he was prepared for farm work when he started out in life on his own account. He lived in his native township until twenty-six years of age, when he removed to Ogle county, where he resided for eight years. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode on his present farm in Burritt township, where he now has one hundred and sixty acres of land, carefully cultivated according to modern methods. He has followed farming practically all his life, and in his work is systematic and progressive. His labors have been attended by success because of his close application and untiring industry, and he is now one of the prosperous agriculturists of his community. He also has other business interests, being financially connected with the Winnebago Lumber & Supply Company, this being a farmers’ stock company of about fifty members.
On the 29th of October, 1884, Mr. Patterson was united in marriage in Winnebago, Illinois, to Miss Barbara Hill, a daughter of Donald and Agnes Hill, early residents of Winnebago township. Mrs. Patterson was born September 17, 1858, and by her marriage has become the mother of four sons: John, born August 20, 1886; William, March 9, 1888; Ralph, September 25, 1890, and Donald, September 22, 1897, all living at home.
Mr. Patterson is a member of blue lodge, No. 745, A. F. & A. M., at Winnebago, and both he and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian church, to the support of which they contribute liberally, while in its various departments of labor they manifest a deep and helpful interest. Mr. Patterson has been clerk of the town school board for the last twelve years, and as a public-spirited citizen has supported many practical movements that have been of benefit to the community. His entire life has been passed in this county, save for the brief period spent in Ogle county, and his long identification with farming interests, as well as his carefully directed labors, make him a representative agriculturist.
Source: Charles A. Church, Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1905), p. 540.