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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Great honor is due John C. Hargrave not only as a native son and pioneer of Livingston county, where he was born September 7, 1830, not only as one of its most successful agriculturists, but also as one of the men who offered their lives in the great conflict that forever made the north and south one country and wrought its subsequent greatness. He is a son of Benjamin and Tobitha (Nave) Hargrave, the former a pioneer settler in this district, coming to Livingston County in 1833, at a time when the most primitive conditions prevailed and there were few signs of civilization. This was in the early days when wild game was still plentiful and often furnished the meat for the table. He owned several pieces of land which he gradually cleared, put under cultivation and developed to a high state of productivity, and as the years passed became one of the well known and substantial men of the county. He also had a military record to his credit, having fought in the Black Hawk war. He died in 1890, at the age of eighty-three years, his death causing widespread regret. His burial took place in the Mount Pleasant Baptist cemetery. Mrs. Hargrave passed away when our subject was only four years of age and found a last resting place in the Nave family lot at Spring Hill, Missouri. She was the mother of four children. The Hargrave family is of old English origin, having settled on this side of the Atlantic in Tennessee, and John Hargrave, the grandfather of our subject, participated in the War of 1812.
John C. Hargrave acquired his education in various parts of the county, attending school until the age of sixteen years. He then assisted his father with the work of the farm until his patriotic spirit was aroused by the call to arms and he enlisted for service in the Civil war. During that conflict he lost an arm when he was on guard duty, protecting a paymaster. He subsequently began farming on his own account, beginning with a tract of forty acres, but gratifying financial results gradually enabled him to increase his holdings until they amounted to six hundred acres. He has since divided this vast tract of land among his children, retaining only the farm of one hundred and ninety acres on which he now resides and to which he yet gives his undivided attention although over seventy years of age. He largely engages in general farming and is also an extensive stock-raiser, deriving a gratifying income from the latter branch of his activities. Modern equipment can be found upon his place and all up-to-date accessories to farming have been introduced by him. Mr. Hargrave has also erected a comfortable, handsome residence in which he makes his home.
In Jackson township, on November 27, 1864, Mr. Hargrave was married to Miss Sarah Gibbs, the ceremony being performed by Squire Pepper. Mrs. Hargrave is a daughter of David and Margaret (McWilliams) Gibbs, the father formerly well known as one of the pioneers of this section to which he came about the year 1835. To his credit stands distinguished service tendered during the Civil war as a lieutenant. He was well known and well liked in Livingston county where he passed away in December, 1877, at the age of sixty-eight years, his wife following him in death about fifteen years
later, in 1892, and both are buried in the Gibbs family lot. In their family were nine children. Mr. and Mrs. Hargrave became the parents of ten children of whom two died in infancy. The others are: Dixon, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Jackson township, near the Gibbs schoolhouse; Margaret, the wife of George Grease, a farmer of the same township; David, who follows the same occupation in the same locality; John, a graduate of the Chillicothe Normal School and a resident of Chillicothe; Fred, a farmer of Jackson township; Kate, the wife of William Grouse, an agriculturist of Sampsell township; Sarah, who married Claude Boone, of Farmersville; and Rose, the wife of Edward Nothnagle, a farmer of Sampsell township. Mr. Hargrave also has thirty-nine grandchildren.
Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Hargrave has participated in the public life of the community and for some time served as constable of Jackson township, while for many years he has done able service as a director of the school board. His political affiliations are with the democratic party and in religious matters he gives his adherence to the Baptist church. He is also a valued member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. A man strongly marked by character, Mr. Hargrave has come to be recognized as a forceful element in the community, where his sterling traits have won him the high regard and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. His success is highly merited and is to be attributed to his incessant industry, his energy and also to the faithful assistance of his wife who has shared with him in all his hardships. A native son and a pioneer, he has not only been an interested witness of the changes that have here occurred but he has been helpful in bringing about the general advancement that the present generation enjoys.