SAMUEL L NIBLO
This well and favorably known citizen of Benton township enjoys the distinction of having been one of the youngest enlisted soldiers of the civil war, as he was less than fourteen years of age when he offered his services and even his life also if need be to the country of his devotion. It was in February, 1863, that he became a private of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, under Colonel Robert C. Ingersoll, and he continued faithfully at his post, in spite of his extreme youth, suffering the hardships of some very severe campaigns with a bravery and fortitude well worthy of veterans.
The birth of Samuel L. Niblo took place May 2, 1849, in Ireland. His parents, James and Margaret Niblo, who were of Scotch-Irish ancestry, were Protestants in religion and were intelligent and upright, having the respect of all who knew them. They concluded to come to America, where they believed their children would have better advantages, and accordingly the family crossed the ocean in 1858. The following year a great calamity overtook them, as the wife and mother died, leaving nine children, comparative strangers in the United States. In order of birth they were named as follows:Alec; Robert; Maria; Mrs. Jane Kerr, now of Fordham, New York; John; Sarah Ann; William, of Australia; James, who was a soldier in the civil war and now resides in New York City.; and Samuel L.
Our subject was two years of age when he left the shores of his native land and was only ten years old when death deprived him of his loving father's care. In 186o he came west as far as Illinois and for some time attended the public schools of Rockford. Then followed his meritorious army service and, after he had been granted an honorable discharge, he returned to Rockford. In 1878 he came to Atchison county and located upon a farm near Huron. In February, 1883, he settled upon his present homestead in Kapioma township, four miles south of Effingham. Here he has one hundred and sixty acres of arable land, which annually produces large crops in return for the labor expended.
Mr. Niblo and Ellen Armstrong were married in 1879. Her parents also were natives of Ireland and her brothers and sisters are: Thomas, of this township; Mrs. Eliza Raach, of this locality; Mrs. Franklyn, of Doniphan county, Kansas; James and John, the latter deceased. The parents, James and Margaret Armstrong, were early settlers in the vicinity of Huron and there the father died several years ago. Of the six children born to our subject and wife two are deceased and the others, who are at home, are named respectively A. M., John C., Ella M. and Jennie M.
Yet in the prime of life, Mr. Niblo is zealous in the promotion of enterprises which seem calculated to benefit his community and is equally energetic in the management of all affairs entrusted to him. Politically he uses his franchise on behalf of the Republican party. When a resident of Illinois, Mr. Niblo joined the Masonic order and in addition to this he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and Effingham Post, G. A. R., while his wife's social abilities make her a great favorite.