Pickrell, Jesse A.

Born: 1805-06-12 Montgomery County, Kentucky

Died: 1878-02-02 Lanesville, Illinois

Jesse A. Pickrell was a farmer, tanner, stock raiser, and postmaster. Pickrell moved from his native Kentucky to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1828, settling in what would become Mechanicsburg Township. In December 1828, he married Elizabeth Churchill, with whom he had ten children who lived to adulthood. Pickrell was one of the first to introduce new breeds of hogs, cattle, and other stock in Sangamon County, becoming a prominent farmer and stock raiser. From 1830 to 1837, he served as postmaster of the U.S. Post Office at Clear Creek . In 1833, he owned a tanning yard on Clear Creek near what would become the town of Mechanicsburg. Gravitating to the Whig Party, Pickrell represented Mechanicsburg at the Sangamon County Whig Convention in September 1839. He was chairman of the Sangamon County Whig Convention in April 1843, and again represented Mechanicsburg at Whig county conventions in 1846 and 1847 and at the district convention in 1846. Pickrell supported Henry Clay in the presidential election of 1844, serving as president of the Mechanicsburg Clay Club. In 1850, Pickrell was farming and owned real property valued at $9,000. Upon the demise of the Whig Party, he aligned himself with the Republican Party. Pickrell was an alternate delegate to the Anti-Nebraska Convention in May 1856 and was a delegate at the Republican State Conventions in 1858 and 1860. In 1860, he owned real property valued at $25,000 and had a personal estate of $29,700. In 1861, Pickrell became postmaster of Lanesville, Illinois.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 566-67; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 18 December 1828, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1832-1844, 12b:578; 1855-1865, 20a:125, National Archives Building, Washington, DC; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 13 April 1833, 3:3; 20 September 1839, 2:5; 13 April 1843, 2:1; 14 March 1844, 2:6; 26 February 1846, 3:1; 5 March 1846, 2:1; 18 March 1847, 3:1; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 293; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 357; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 26 May 1856, 2:2; 10 May 1858, 3:1; Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 12 May 1860, 2:3; Gravestone, Pickrell Cemetery, Mechanicsburg, IL.