Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

John R. Hurst was born in Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina, August 7, 1811. He was the son of William and Sarah Musgrave Hurst. At the age of 12 Mr. Hurst, in company with his uncle, Nathan Musgrave, came to Union County, Illinois, and later located in Hutsonville, Crawford County. He engaged in farming for a period of years, and in the year of 1835 he was elected constable. In 1838 he entered 75 acres of land just west of Hutsonville and erected a cabin here. In this cabin was born one daughter, Rebecca Florence, later Florence Olwin. This piece of land is still in the family and is now owned by a great grandson William Barlow Hurst II. In 1854 Mr. Hurst bought the mail and stage line from Vincennes to Danville. A few years later, in 1864, he began the mercantile business and continued until 1876 when the business was assumed by his sons and sons-in-law.

Mr. Hurst was married March 10, 1836 to Nancy Owen Barlow, who was born May 5, 1818 in Crawford County, on the site made famous by the massacre of the Hutson family by the Indians. Mrs., Hurst was the daughter of John W. and Elizabeth Gordon Barlow, both from Washington County, Kentucky, who came to Illinois in 1816. John W. Barlow entered a part of this land and five generations have owned it. From Mr. Barlow it was handed down to his daughter, Nancy O. Hurst; on to her sons William Barlow and Lucuis Caswell, the third generation, then to John Weger Hurst, grandson of W.B. Hurst, and Dr. W.R. Hurst, son of L.C. Hurst, and finally the latter interest to Alberta Hurst, daughter of Dr. W.R. Hurst.

Mr. Barlow was a major in the Black Hawk war.

Mr. and Mrs. Hurst later established a home in the village of Hutsonville, where they lived until the time of Mr. Hurst's death. Mrs. Hurst then made her home with her daughter, Mrs. John M. McNutt, in whose home she died.

John R. and Nancy O. were the parents of thirteen children: John Philander, Artilla Adelia, Charles, Tonie, two sets of twins, all died in infancy; Amanda, wife of Isaac Lowe, born June 15, 1839, died March 13. 1860; Sarah Elizabeth, wife of John M. McNutt, born April 19, 1844, died April 23, 1922; Rebecca Florence, wife of John Olwin, born May 23, 1846, died June 14, 1927; William Barlow, born April 3, 1850, died August 7, 1940; Lucuis Caswell born March 16, 1854, died Nov. 18, 1913. At the age of here years, at the death of his mother, Ausby L. Lowe -- known in later years as "Judge Lowe" -- son of Amanda and Isaac N. Lowe, was taken into the home of his grandfather and grandmother Hurst where he grew to manhood. Ausby, though a grandson, was never regarded as any other than a son, and as W.B., L.C. and Ausby grew up together they were as close, perhaps closer than many brothers.

John R. Hurst died Oct. 7, 1886, aged 75 years, and Mrs. Hurst died July 21, 1900, aged 82 years.

Mr. Hurst was a man of wide interests; he was one of the founders of the Universalist Church of Hutsonville and the eighth member in Hutsonville Lodge of Masons No. 136. Mrs. Hurst was a member of the Christian Church in Hutsonville.