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Saunders, Jonathan R.

Born: 1802-02-17 Fleming County, Kentucky

Died: 1886-04-08 Sangamon County, Illinois

Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois

Jonathan R. Saunders was a landowner and farmer. Saunders spent his early years in his native Fleming County, Kentucky. In December 1823, he married Sarah McKinnie (McKinney), with whom he would have six children. In November 1824, Saunders moved his family to Sangamon County, Illinois. During the Winnebago Uprising of 1827, Saunders served as a lieutenant in a light-horse company. In 1828, he purchased 160 acres of public land north of Springfield on which he settled his family. This land would eventually become the site of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. During the early phase of the Black Hawk War, Saunders served as captain of a company in the Second Regiment of Joseph Duncan's brigade. In 1832, he purchased an additional forty acres of public land near his original purchase. In 1850, Saunders was farming and owned real property valued at $8,000. By 1860, he had amassed $10,000 in real estate and $2,100 in personal property.

Obituary, Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 9 April 1886, 4:2; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 637-38; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:xxi, 89; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 196; U. S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 11; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Sangamon County, 68:40, 41, 134, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.