February 26, 1892

The subject of this sketch was born in Cooperstown, Otsega county, N.Y., on the 20th of September, 1803. Her parents, Matthew and Anna Rogers had lived for many years in that town, and had secured a comfortable home, and were the parents of nine children, when the stern and adventurous spirit, so prevalent at that time, led them to desire to seek their fortune in the, then, far distant West. So when Arminda was fifteen years old, on the 25th day of Sep., 1818, they started for Illinois. The first 150 miles was made by wagon to Olean Point, the head of flat boat navigation on the Alleghany river; thence by flat boat to Pittsburg on the Ohio, and thence to Shawneetown, Ill. and here the boat was tied up.

They were obliged to debark at this place, Dec. 17, on account of floating ice, the last days of the voyage being beset with peril from this cause. From here the family and goods were conveyed by wagon to Madison county, Ill. Here they remained one year, raising a crop and preparing for their final settlement farther north-west. On the 26th of March, 1820, they arrived in what was then Sangamon County, and built their first three-sided camp, a few rods west of the house in which the subject of this sketch died 72 years later. Mrs. Rankin was dedicated to God in baptism when an infant in the Presbyterian church in Cooperstown, N.Y., this being the church of her parents.

In 1821, when she was 18 years old, she was converted to Christ at Lebanon church, under the preaching of Rev. J. Berry of blessed memory, and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian church. On the 6th day of September, 1831, she was united in marriage with Ambury A. Rankin, and in 1832, with him, united with the M.E. church.

Of this marriage, five children were born, four of whom arrived at mature life; but one-Henry B. Rankin-survives the mother. In 1833, April 13, the husband who had so long been her stay, was called to the better land; she was thus left lonely in the world. Having out-lived her generation she keenly realized her state, for
"the mossy marbles rest,
On the lips that she had pressed
In their bloom,
And the names she loved to hear
Had been carved for many a year
On the tomb."

On the 18th of February, 1892, a the ???eat age of 88 years, 4 months and 27…[unreadable to transcriber from photocopy of a photocopy.]…continues with …spot where she had lived so long. Her spirit swept through the pearly gates to walk in bewildering glory, the streets of the heavenly city.

The funeral services were conducted at the home of her son, Henry B. Rankin, by Rev., R. D. Miller, assised (typo in original?). In the large presence of a large company of loving friends, and the body was then laid gently rest beside the ashes of her husband, amid the evergreens of Indian Point Cemetery.

Mrs. Rankin belonged to that generation of people that form the connecting link between the sturdy classes, who by industry, integrity and untiring zeal, brought this country from its wild and rugged natural conditions, and those who are to enjoy the rich fruition of their toils.

He life began in the age of industry, and simplicity and reached into that the harvest of the richest fruits.

In her life time the steam engine, the telegraph, the telephone and the countless other inventions of man which have so enriched the world, have been produced.

She was a woman of most remarkable traits and gifts of head and heart. Her conversational powers were most remarkable. And with her great fund of useful knowledge, she could but please and instruct. When she was seven years old James Fennimore Cooper took up his residence at Cooperstown and it was when she was eighteen years old and three years after they had come to Illinois, that he published his first book, "Precaution," and thus her life reaches back of what is to us, the infancy of American fiction. In her girlhood days, the Rogers postoffice was kept her father on the spot where she died, and she often beheld the ungainly form of Abraham Lincoln striding across the pasture, coming for his mail, until in later years a post office was opened at Salem. Mrs. Rankin was in active, living sympathy with the religious growth of all denominations in the west. Her religious nature was strong and deep; her faith in God active and unfailing, and to her, was an every day life, being a constant seeking to have her life bid with Christ in "God.

She knew and was a co-worker with all those C.P. and M.E. ministers whose lives and labors have so enriched the history and character of the people of this great state. Her means were most liberally used for all the enterprises of the gospel, giving to the erection of churches and to the societies of various denominations, and this characteristic was strong and active to the end.

Thus an eventful and useful life has ended.-the problem of the hereafter is solved; those tired hands are peacefully resting on her heart, and her spirit has entered the eternal rest.

Transcribed by:Rajean Gallagher


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Illinois Ancestors