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Reavis, Isham, Sr.

Born: 1798-07-01 North Carolina

Died: 1843-08-18 Cass County, Illinois

Reavis was an early settler to Bond County, Illinois, arriving as early as 1816. Between 1816 and 1821, he acquired extensive land holdings in Bond and Fayette counties. In 1823, he moved to Cass County, Illinois, settling on a large farm on the Sangamon River below Chandlerville. Over the next seventeen years, Reavis added to his land holdings with purchases in Cass, Mason, Menard, Bond, and Fayette counties. In 1837, Abraham Lincoln deposed Reavis in a case involving a land sale dispute. In 1818, Reavis married Mahala Beck, with whom he had seven children, including Isham Jr., with whom Abraham Lincoln corresponded regarding the study of law.

Gravestone, Reavis Family Cemetery, Beardstown, IL; Lewis C. Edwards, History of Richardson County, Nebraska (Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1917), 2:760; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, Bond County, 145:73, 172, 318:1, 66, 68, 321:149, Cass County, 68:91, 121, 131, 134, 156, Fayette County, 146:37, 92, 109, 321:34, Mason County, 817:89, Menard County, 68:122, 227, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Cass County, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1882), 22-23; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Bond County, 23 January 1818, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), Cass, IL, 27; Abraham Lincoln to Isham Reavis; Davidson v. Reavis, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=135924.