John Alexander was born in Wayne County, Illinois on November 21, 1872, to Hugh McMillan and Jane Catherine Gaston Parkinson. He was one of 13 children, 9 of whom lived to adulthood|
As a young man he went to Chicago to learn the barber trade. In 1898, while still in Chicago, he enlisted for duty in the Spanish American War and served in the Philippines. After the war, he returned to Boyleston and worked at odd jobs
Sarah Anna Day (Anna) and her twin sister were bom in Wayne County on June 28, 1874, to Marcus Robinson and Rachel Eleanor Files Day. She was one of 11 children, 5 of whom lived to adulthood.
John and Anna were married in Wayne County on August 31, 1904. A daughter, Venita Grace, was born on July 27, 1906, a son, John Todd, was born on May 10, 1908.
John's brother Ernest and his wife Alice came to Menard County seeking farm employment. After locating employment, Ernest encouraged John to follow. John and his family moved to Menard County in March 1910. Anna's father, Marcus Day, who made his home with them was to come also, but passed away immediately prior to the move.
Their first home in Menard County was the Aachte house north of Petersburg near the Altig Bridge. On September 9, 1911, a daughter, Anna Katherine, was born. John worked on the farm until his wife contracted pneumonia and passed away on February 21, 1922. John moved his family into Petersburg to 414 N. 10th where he could find work and take care of his children. In Petersburg he worked at the brickyard and was custodian of the Methodist Church for 25 years.
Venita graduated from Petersburg Harris High School in 1924. She was then employed as a bookkeeper for the Ross Nancy Drygoods Store. On December 23, 1933, she married Fred August Claussen, II, the son of Fred August and Louisa Spilly Claussen, who was a widower with a daughter, Inez, born September 3, 1925. Fred August III was born September 11, 1937, and Sara Lou was born March 21, 1948. Venita was employed as District Deputy for Royal Neighbors of American Insurance Company for 24 1/2 years. Fred, a carpenter, was employed by the National Park Service at Camp New Salem (SP45) from August, 1934 to November, 1941, and at Giant City State Park (SP11) from February 1942 until May 1942, during which time (March and April), he was detached to Decatur Side Camp to assist in the completion of an Army Rest Camp at Maintenance at Camp Ellis, Illinois. He was later appointed Clerk of Post Engineers and remained at Camp Ellis until March 1946. He then returned to Petersburg where he was self-employed as a carpenter
John Todd enlisted in the United States Army in 1923. He served in the Pacific during World War II and participated in the invasion of Okinawa. After he returned home he went to Chicago to seek employment and became involved in the dry cleaning industry. There he met his future wife, Rita McGann, the daughter of Edward and Julia Mangen McGann. They were married in Chicago on June 20, 1934. They are the parents of four children : Barbara Ann, born June 21, 1935, Rita Karen, born November 14, 1938, John Edward, born November 2, 1949, and Thomas Joseph, bom March 27, 1953.
Katherine graduated from Petersburg Harris High School in 1930. On October 31, 1931, she married Alwin Franklin Hackman, son of Julius and Mary Zuerstadt Hackman. The are the parents of two sons: Harold Henry was born August 21, 1936 (now deceased), and John David, born August 14, 1939. Katherine and Alwin* live on the family farm near Athens, which the Hackman family has owned and operated since 1903.
John A. passed away on March 8, 1955. He and Anna are interred at Oakland Cemetery in Petersburg
* Alwin passed away on November 29, 2001 and was laid to rest by his parents at Indian Point Cemetary on Rte 29 north of Athens. The farm is now owned by Denise Gibler, daughter of John David. The farm has received the Century Farm designation.