JOHN GILL SANDERS, occupying a valuable farming estate in Smithfield, is successfully engaged in general agriculture, hop-raising, and dairying. He was born in Stockbridge, son of John and Sophia (Gill) Sanders. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Aaron Sanders, was a native of the old Bay State, where he grew to manhood and married. Coming from there to Madison County, he settled in Smithfield when the country was new; before railways or canals were built, and. when trips to the mill or market were made on horseback, the road through the pathless woods being marked by blazed trees. He bought a farm of one hundred and ten acres, improved and cultivated his purchase, established a comfortable home, and remained there until his death, at the age of threescore and ten years. Politically, he was a Whig, and a man of influence in the community. He was twice married, and reared a family of eleven children, four of whom are now living.
John Sanders, father of John Gill, was born during the residence of his parents in Massachusetts, and was but a young lad when he came with them to this county, making the long and tedious journey overland with teams. He was reared on the home farm, which he assisted in clearing, gleaning his education in the primitive log school-house of that generation. After arriving at manhood, he engaged in farming on his own account, and eventually bought the old homestead, where he died at the age of seventy-three years. In politics he supported the principles of the Republican party. He was three times married, and reared a family of nine children, seven of whom are now living, namely: Louisa J., widow of M. T. Morgan, who lives in Lebanon; John G.; Silas, who lives in Smithfield; Ellen, who is the wife of Delos Faulkner, of Fenner; Romaine, who lives in Michigan; Mary, who is the wife of William Burnett, of Smithfield; Fillmore, who lives in Michigan; Orville, who died in Pennsylvania, when twenty-two years old; and Sarah, who married L. Butler, and died in Wisconsin, when twenty-five years of age.
John Gill Sanders grew to maturity under the parental roof-tree, receiving a careful home training, a good education in the district school and in a select school at Peterboro, and practical instruction in the details of farming. Deciding on agriculture as a life occupation, he purchased forty acres of land in the town of Eaton, where he remained about ten years. Selling that property, he next bought a farm of one hundred and fourteen acres in Smithfield, which he managed with success for about fifteen years. Having an opportunity to sell that advantageously, he did so, and moved to Peterboro, where he resided for five years. In 1886 he bought the old home farm, which he now occupies. At the time he purchased it the farm consisted of two hundred and ten acres of land, but Mr. Sanders has sold part of the land, so that his estate now comprises one hundred and ten acres, all under good cultivation and well stocked with a high grade of domestic animals. His dairy consists of a fine lot of Holsteins, and his machinery and implements for carrying on agriculture are of the most approved patterns. He at one time did an extensive business in buying and selling stock, and now devotes himself to general farming and hop-raising.
On January 17, 1851, were married John G. Sanders and Paulina J. Haling, a native of this State. Neither of the two children born of this marriage is now living, Sarah having died when five years old, and Sophia at the age of thirteen years. Mr. and Mrs. Sanders are very pleasant, affable people to meet, and are held in high respect throughout the community. Mr. Sanders is a Republican in politics, and has served as Assessor twelve years.
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