Biography of O. D. Hawkins

O. D. Hawkins, farmer and stock-raiser, Ashmore; was born in Fleming Co., Ky., Feb. 28, 1822; he is a son of Gregory R. and Elizabeth (Ballard) Hawkins, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Kentucky; when he was about 8 years old, his parents removed to Scott Co., Ind., and in 1841, to Coles Co., settling about two and one-half miles west of Ashmore; they landed here on the 4th of March, the day on which Gen. Harrison was inaugurated President of the United States; his father died here in 1868, and his mother in 1873. They had a family of fifteen children, twelve of whom grew to adult age, and five of whom are now living. Oliver D., the subject of this sketch, started in life for himself at 13 years of age, working out by the month and by the day; he is now one of the most substantial citizens of the township; his farm of 287 acres, adjoining the village of Ashmore, is one of the best improved in the vicinity. In 1852, Mr. Hawkins contracted to clear about ten miles of the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, and, also, for several years, was engaged in supplying ties and wood for the road, clearing for that purpose some 150 acres of land. He served nine years as Constable. In 1860, he removed to the village of Ashmore, and in April, the same year, was elected Justice of the Peace; he still holds the office, having been re-elected every four years to the present time; he was the first Police Magistrate in Ashmore, serving several years; he was also Postmaster from 1861 to 1866, when he resigned; he has served one term on the Board of Supervisors, and one term as Coroner of the county; in 1870, he became Superintendent of the County Alms-house and Poor-farm, remaining in charge of that institution until 1873, when he removed to his present farm; he also held the office of Township School Treasurer a short time. He was married March 21, 1844, to Miss Mary Laffier, a daughter of John and Mary (Hurd) Laffier; she was born in Wayne Co., Ohio, Jan. 6, 1823, and came with her parents to Coles Co. in 1837; her father died in 1843, and her mother in 1853. Mr. Hawkins has four children, all living in Ashmore, viz., William, John, Albert and Ellen, wife of William N. Austin.



Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887.

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