Was born in Wilson county, Tennessee, July 9th, 1805. In the year 1814 he moved with his father to the state of Kentucky, where he remained until the year 1828; when he emigrated with his father to the state of Illinois, and settled in Sangamon county, where he remained eighteen months. In 1830 he moved to Pike county, and made the first improvements in Hadley township. He built a log cabin on section 19, where he settled, and where he has remained to the present time. After making many improvements on his land, he returned to the state of Kentucky and married Miss Margaret Johnson. She was born in the state of Tennessee, in the year 1806. After his marriage he returned with his wife to his new home in Hadley township, where they lived until the year 1868, when she departed this life. The fruits of their marriage were ten children. She had lived a long and useful life, a kind and true wife, an affectionate and good mother. She had experienced many hardships and privations in the first few years after their settlement in their new home, but through the kindness and affection of her good husband, and being possessed of a contented mind, she bore her many trials and privations with Christian fortitude, and did her full share to aid and assist her husband in making the extensive improvements where he now resides.
Mr. Woosley has had many hardships to endure in his pioneer life. Where he first settled in Pike county, the inhabitants were few and far between. He frequently found it difficult to procure breadstuff for himself and family, as there was but one mill within twenty miles of him, and that was run by horse power. He has had to remain at the mill for five days at a time, awaiting his turn to grind. The prices of groceries were so high that it was almost impossible for a poor man to obtain them. Produce was very low, wheat of the best quality bringing only twenty- five to forty cents per bushel. The best of pork was worth from $1.25 to $1.50 per hundred. Deer and turkeys were abundant; consequently, he experienced no difficulty in keeping a supply of meats. Clothing was rather hard to obtain, and in lieu of the broadcloth, fine cassimeres, and patent-leather boots of the present day, they then used buckskin for coats, pants, and moccasins. But notwithstanding these hardships and privations, Mr. Woosley never became discouraged, but with good health and a contented mind he persevered, encouraged by the hope that better days would come — and they did come. When Mr. Woosley first settled in Pike county there were but three post offices in it; but he has lived to see "Old Pike" one of the first counties in the great state of Illinois, and he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped to make it what it is. Mr. Woosley is one of the useful men of the county; he is a first class farmer and a competent business man. He has held many of the most prominent offices in the county, such as county commissioner, county judge, associate judge, sheriff, and collector, and in every station he has discharged his official duties with full satisfaction to the entire county. He is highly esteemed for his may virtues by all who know him.
November 4, 1869, Mr. Woosley was married to Mrs. Augusta Sidner, widow of John Sidner, deceased. She was born in Franklin county, Ohio, in 1815, and emigrated to Illinois in 1843. Mr. and Mrs. Woosley are now living a quiet life on the old homestead, in Hadley township, enjoying all the comforts of a happy home, surrounded with warm friends and loving neighbors.
Nathan Woosley, the father of Joshua, was born in Halifax county, Virginia, in the year 1770. He and his oldest son — John Woosley — served through the whole of the war of 1812. They both served under General William Carroll, of Tennessee, and were honorably discharged in 1815, when the father returned to his home and family. He was an honorable and useful member of society, and was warmly attached to his country and its institutions. He died in Missouri, in the year 1855. His wife's maiden name was Sarah Keesee. She was born in Pennsylvania county, Virginia, in the year 1771, and died in the state of Missouri in the year 1843.