Biography of Dallas Sprague

Dallas Sprague has for many years been a resident of Champaign County, and his fine farm and home are located in Compromise Township, in section 8. He is one of’ the best known citizens of northeastern Champaign County and his own record and that of the family deserves a prominent position in this publication.

Mr. Sprague is a native of West Virginia, born at Moundsville, on the Ohio River, in Marshall County, twelve miles below the city of Wheeling. His parents, John J. and Jane (Hull) Sprague, were also natives of the same state.

When Dallas Sprague was about twenty-seven years of age, having acquired his education in his native state, he came to Illinois to seek better opportunities and began farming in Grundy County. Soon afterward he met and married Suzan Severson. Mrs. Sprague has the industrious capability characteristic of her ancestry. She was born at Bergen, Norway, a daughter of Seward and Suzan Severson. She was reared and educated in her native country and at the age of twenty-six came with a number of young friends to America to find and utilize the splendid opportunities of this country. From New York she traveled by railroad to Chicago and from there to Morris, Illinois. Being an industrious young woman, she readily found employment and while thus engaged made the acquaintance of Mr. Dallas Sprague. This acquaintance ripened into an affection which brought about their marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Sprague continued to live in Grundy County for three years and then removed to Champaign County, which has been their home now for many years. They first rented a farm near Gifford, working it sixteen years and for another six years rented from Mr. Thomas McQuaid. While they were living on others’ property Mr. and Mrs. Sprague not only made a comfortable living but were looking ahead to the future. Being naturally economical and thrifty, they finally acquired the capital with which they bought the 123 acres in their present farm, situated two miles southwest of Penfield. They have in many ways beautified and improved their farm, and have commodious buildings for all purposes and uses.

Five children have been born to them, William, Sylvia, John, Bertha and Joe. Mr. and Mrs. Sprague have been very much concerned with the proper education and training of their children, and besides sending them to the district schools they gave them the advantages of the Penfield High School. Bertha graduated from the Penfield High School. William Sprague married Ida Otis, and their two children are Dallas and Florence Marjorie. The daughter Sylvia is now the wife of Thomas Harper and has two children, George and Suzan. Bertha Sprague married Harry Peterson and has a son, Lawrence. The sons John and Joe are still at home and assist their father in the management of the farm.

Mr. and Mrs. Sprague are active members of the Baptist Church at Gifford. The Baptist faith has had the allegiance of the Sprague family for many years. In politics Mr. Sprague is generally a Democrat, but is a man of broad views and supports the principles and candidates rather than party. He is a strong advocate of temperance and will be one of tfiose who will readily support the amendment for nationwide temperance when it is submitted in the State of Illinois. As one of the representative farmers he enjoys the confidence of the public and for thirty years has served as director of the public schools in his district and has also served as road commissioner. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a charter member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Gifford. Mr. and Mrs. Sprague maintain a most hospitable home and have endeared themselves to their community by their neighborly acts of kindness. Mrs. Sprague deserves much of the credit for the family well being and fortune, since she has stood beside her husband with counsel and assistance through all the years of their married life. With a family grown to manhood and womanhood Mr. and Mrs. Sprague are now living in comfort in their fine country seat in Compromise Township and express great loyalty to the county of Champaign, which has been their home for so many years.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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