Henry Cherry. A complete picture of rural efficiency and beauty is furnished in the Cherry homestead of Ogden Township. Its proprietor is Mr. Henry Cherry, who in his early years did not find life a round of pleasure or luxury, and has had to make his own way in the world by hard work and unceasing efforts.
Mr. Cherry was born in Boone County, Indiana, and is the adopted son of William Cherry. That family was pioneers in Indiana and at an early day came to Illinois and settled on a farm in Ogden Township. Henry Cherry received his education in the old Brindle district school of Ogden Township.
When he was twenty-seven years of age he married Emma R. Smith. She was born in Vigo County, near Terre Haute, Indiana, daughter of Marshall and Evelyn (Bogard) Smith. Her father was for many years a railroad engineer and also owned and operated a sawmill. Mrs. Cherry was only three years of age when her mother died.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cherry located on eighty acres of land in section 6 of Ogden Township. Mr. Cherry had worked industriously as a farm hand for a number of years, and from his careful savings was able to buy this first farm at $30 an acre. The land had no improvements, and their first home was a small two-room structure, but confident of the future and with a determination to better their lot they began in this humble environment with complete happiness and accord. The passing years brought them abundance of success, and they did much to improve and beautify their land, clearing it, planting trees, and erecting commodious buildings. Mr. Cherry is a natural mechanic and besides cultivating his fields has erected most of his buildings and has done the work of painting and decoration. While he began farming with very meager assets, he has kept increasing his property until his estate now comprises 205 acres.
Mr. and Mrs. Cherry became the parents of three children, Mervyn, Nellie and Yelma, Realizing the advantage of education, Mr. and Mrs. Cherry sent their children to the Hickory Grove School, and all of them grew up as splendid auxiliaries in the home. The only son, Mervyn, married Grace LaHue, a native of Indiana. Mr. Cherry wisely decided that he would keep his son at home and erected a new dwelling for them on the farm. The son grew up as a practical farmer and has applied his knowledge to the successful management of the homestead.
The daughters, Nellie and Velma, are still in the family circle, and Nellie is a very fine musician both by nature and by training. She is also an artist, and for ten years has been a very successful music teacher and has done much to advance the cause of this art in Champaign County. Both the daughters are accomplished musicians, and music has always meant a great deal in the Cherry home.
Mr. and Mrs. Cherry are active members of the Prospect Christian Church, and by their means and influence have done much to advance the cause of this institution in the community. Mr. Cherry was a promoter of the University of Olivet, Illinois, and gave $1,000 toward its erection. Politically they are ardent supporters of the prohibition cause, and have never neglected an opportunity to advance the day when prohibition will be state wide, nation wide and world wide. Mr. Cherry’s efforts have met with deserved success, and it should be mentioned also that through all the years he has had a good wife to stand side by side with him and share in these achievements. Mrs. Cherry when she began housekeeping had among other articles of furniture a modest little dresser made of a dry goods box with a calico curtain in front. She says that she took as much pride in this home made piece of furnishing as in any more substantial and costlier article which has since entered into her home.
Many years ago Mr. and Mrs. Cherry planted a number of walnut trees on the north and west of their house, and these, to the number of about 250, have since grown so as to constitute a beautiful grove that is one of the many attractive features of the Cherry farm. Mr. Cherry is a very successful stock farmer, has handled Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cows of thoroughbred strain, has a few Shropshire sheep, and keeps an abundance of poultry. For a number of years he has been a very successful bee man. Mr. and Mrs. Cherry and their daughters see much of the country and of their friends by means of the fine five passenger automobile which is one of the evidences of family prosperity and of their willingness and readiness to enjoy life as they go along.