Pike County Illinois GenWeb

Dedicated to providing free information for family historians searching for their roots in Pike County, Illinois.

Biography of Henry F. Pettis

Nicollet and LeSueur Counties, Volume II (biographies), William Gresham, 1916


Henry F. Pettis, successful farmer, and a citizen prominent in the business and official life of Kasota township, LeSueur county, Minnesota, was born in Pike county, Illinois, on June 9, 1852, a son of Charles and Sarah (Hosford) Pettis, natives of Vermont and Connecticut, respectively. Charles Pettis was a son of Stephen Pettis and wife, the former a veteran and a colonel of the War of 1812, who moved from Vermont to Ohio and then to Pike county, Illinois, where he spent his last days. Stephen Pettis was four times married.

After spending his early days and receiving his education in the public schools of Vermont, Charles Pettis moved to the state of Ohio with his father. Here Mr. Pettis lived until after his marriage, when he moved to Pike county, Illinois, he there engaging in farming and in his early trade as a carpenter until 1853, when, together with his eldest daughter and eldest son and other relatives, he came to Minnesota, and located on eighty acres of land on the banks of Lake Emily, in LeSueur county. On this land he lived as a "squatter," until his death in 1856, after which the land was pre-empted by the administrator of the estate of Mr. Pettis. Later the widow of Charles Pettis pre-empted some adjoining land on Lake Emily, living on her ninety-seven acres of land for some time and then selling it shortly before her death in 1889.

Charles and Sarah Pettis were the parents of nine children: Stephen W., Catherine, John, Eliza, Olive, Melissa, Emily, Charles, who was a veteran of the Civil War, and Henry F.

Henry F. Pettis received a common school education after which he remained on the home farm in LeSueur county, until the death of his mother and then moved to a farm of twenty acres in Kasota township, which he had purchased some years previously. Later, Mr. Pettis moved to the farm which was originally the property of his eldest brother, Stephen, and on this place, which now contains one hundred eighteen acres, he lives as a general farmer and as a raiser of high grade Shorthorn cattle and Norman horses. Mr. Pettis also is owner of one hundred and seventy acres of land in Kasota township, this county, the first twenty acres of which he purchased in 1872.

In addition to his general agricultural pursuits, Henry F. Pettis takes an active place in the business life of this community, being a director of the Pettis Elevator Company, an office which Mr. Pettis has occupied since the organization of the company in 1908.

On February 25, 1873, Henry F. Pettis was married to Mary Randolph, who was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, a daughter of James Randolph and wife. On July 2, 1911, Mr. Pettis was married, secondly, to Mrs. Harriet (Handly) Pettis, widow of Stephen Pettis, a brother to Henry F. Pettis. By her former marriage Mrs. Pettis is the mother of two children, Dora and Cecil.

Mr. Pettis has taken a place of note in the official life of Kasota township and of LeSueur county. For ten years he served on the township board; during four years was a county commissioner, and for twelve years a member of the school board. Fraternally, Mr. Pettis is a member often Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a member of the Knights of Pythias, in this county. Mr. Pettis is one of the highly respected and esteemed citizens of Kasota township and LeSueur county, being a man who has taken no small part in the present development of this community. (pages 205-206)
Contributed by Doug Peterson