Was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, September 24, 1815. His father, Soloman Vail, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in October, 1786, and received his early education in his native state. His vocation was that of a farmer. At the age of twenty-eight, he was married to Miss Jane Peoples. They had a family of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest. In 1843 he removed with his family to Illinois, locating in Perry, Pike county, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock raising, at which he was more than ordinarily successful; being an excellent trader in stock, he soon accumulated wealth, and became a large land holder, owning several valuable farms in Fairmount. As a politician his principles were identified with the democratic party. He was a man who had considerable influence in its ranks. He died at his residence in 1846, leaving a large family. His wife is yet living, at the advanced age of seventy-one years. Mrs. Vail was generous, openhearted, and highly respected. The subject of this sketch received his education in the common schools of his native state. In 1842 he made a prospective trip to Illinois, and has resided in Pike county ever since. In 1846 he was married to Miss Helena A., daughter of Robert and Susan Reed, of Fairmount township, Pike county. They have had born to them a family of seven interesting and intelligent children. Previous to his marriage he engaged in farming, and has since continued the same business, making a specialty of stock growing, being a producer of some of the most excellent and popular breeds. The homestead on which he now resides is situated on a high, fertile prairie, commanding an extensive and beautiful view of the surrounding country. A lithographic view of his residence is shown in this work. On the 4th day of May, 1868, Mrs. Vail, while attending to home duties, was seriously attacked with illness, suddenly fell to the floor, and in a few moments after, expired in the arms of her husband. Mrs. Reed, aged sixty seven, his wife's mother, is residing with him. (She is a native of northern England.) Mr. Vail is a democrat, of rather conservative principles, and a gentleman highly respected by his fellow citizens.
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