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John Strang

Who resides on section 31, Newport Township, is not only a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of the county, but upon his own merits has won the title of a leading and influential citizen of the community in which he makes his home. He was born in Scotland on the 21st of July, 1828, and at the age of seven years was brought by his parents to America. The succeeding four years of his life were spent on a farm in Canada, during which time he attended the district schools of the neighborhood for three months in the winter season and two months in the summer. He possesses a love of study, and by careful reading has made himself a well-informed man. He entered upon his business career at the age of eighteen, and on attaining his majority began farming for himself. In 1850, accompanied by his brothers, Peter and George, he went to California by the Isthmus of Panama, and engaged in gold mining, in which he was quite successful. After two years he returned to Illinois, and with the means thus acquired purchased his present farm on section 31, Newport Township.

Mr. Strang further completed his arrangements for a home by his marriage with Helen Trotter, which was celebrated in Millburn in January, 1853. Mrs. Strang is the daughter of George and Jane (Purves) Trotter, who are mentioned more fully in the sketch of Alex. Trotter, to be found elsewhere in this volume. Both were natives of Scotland and came to America in 1833. After spending three years in New York and three years on Long Island, they emigrated westward in 1839, locating in Lake County, north of the village of Millburn, the naming of which Mr. Trotter had the honor. His death occurred in May 1862, and his wife died December 21, 1876. One son of the family is still living, Alex. Trotter, who resides on the old homestead. Mrs. Strang was the eldest of the children, and came to this county with her parents during its early days, when the Indians were still to be seen in the neighborhood. Our subject and his wife have no children of their own, but have an adopted daughter, Jessie.

This worthy couple began their domestic life in a little log cabin upon the farm where they still reside, which constituted almost the entire improvements upon the place. A richly cultivated tract of two hundred and thirteen acres now yields to them a golden tribute. A nice brick residence has long since replaced the cabin home and beautiful trees throw their shade across the lawn in front. An orchard yields its fruit in season and the products of the farm amply supply all the wants of the owner. When he began life here, Mr. Strang had nothing. He owed for his place but in five years had cleared it of debt; and overcoming all obstacles and disadvantages in his path, has worked his way up to a position of affluence.

Unlike many others with increasing means the liberality of Mr. Strang has also increased. All educational and religious interests find in him a warm supporter and the worthy poor number him among their friends. The Congregational Church of Millburn, has no more faithful and earnest workers than our subject and his wife. He has been one of its Deacons for six years and for over forty years Mrs. Strang has been the teacher of the infant class in the Sunday-school. The seeds of Christianity which she has sown in youthful minds have brought forth abundant fruit, and many men and women who were her pupils bless the day that her earnest and Christ-like instructions were instilled into their minds. Her loveable character and the pure and upright life which she has led has won her the warmest regard of all with whom she has come in contact. In politics Mr. Strang is a Republican and has often served as delegate to the county and district conventions. For over half a century he has been identified with the interests of Lake County and never to its detriment.



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