The pioneer history of JoDaviess County, Illinois would scarcely be complete without prominent mention of this gentleman, who came within its limits as early as 1840. He has for the last eleven years made his home on sec. 23 in Elizabeth Township, among whose people he has lived and labored to excellent purpose, establishing himself in their confidence and esteem, and securing a goodly proportion of this world's goods. Our subject received his first impressions of life in the County of Cornwall, England, his birth taking place July 15, 1840. He was the oldest child in a family of eight, the offspring of William and Mary (Williams) Eustice, the former of whom died June 3, 1858. The latter is living and makes her home at Lena, Stephenson County, this State. When their son, Richard was an infant of four months the family set out for America, and the father employed himself a short time thereafter in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. In 1842 they came to this county settling first at Weston, in Elizabeth Township, where the father was engaged in lead mining a number of years. He also spent about two years in the copper-mining regions of Lake Superior, having his family with him there also. Upon returning from there he purchased seventy acres of land on section 27 in Elizabeth Township, this county, where he prosecuted agriculture successfully until his death, which occurred June 3, 1858, from a stroke of lightning. With him also perished his son William. They were standing in a door of their house, and the electric fluid came down the chimney, killing them instantly. The mother of our subject, after thus being sadly widowed, moved to Elizabeth Village of which she was a resident a number of years, and whence she repaired to Lena Ill., and is now making her home with her son James H., being now nearly seventy years old.
Richard our subject, was deprived of many of the advantages given the youth of today in the way of schooling and social training, working mainly on a farm until twenty years of age. He then began teaming for the firm of Greene & Goldthorpe, proprietors of a lead blast furnace which located in the vicinity of the present farm of our subject. He was thus employed for a period of seventeen years, and in the meantime also was assigned the duty of weighing the mineral at the mines before hauling it to the furnace. A portion of this was transported to Galena for shipment elsewhere.
About 1878 Mr. Eustice in the company with his brother-in-law, William Tippett commenced farming on a tract of rented land, that which is now owned by Mr. Eustice. They operated together five years, it being at that time owned by the Hon.H.Green. It was purchased by our subject in the fall of 1882 and comprises 146 acres, the soil of which has been brought to a though state of cultivation and the farm improved with neat and substantial buildings, which may be classed among the best in the township. A self-made man Mr. Eustice is indebted solely to his own persevering efforts for the handsome property which he enjoys to-day. The 1st of January, 1865 witnessed the marriage of our subject with Miss Mary K., daughter of William and Jane (King) Tippett, who, like the Eustice family, were numbered among the pioneer settlers of Jo Daviess County. The young people commenced their wedded life at a modest, but comfortable home in Elizabeth Township, and labored together with a mutual purpose for the future. Their union has resulted in the birth of six children, viz: Edith A. , William M., James E., Richard J., Authur R., and Ernest Russell. Mr. Eustice upholds with all the natural strength of his character, the principles of the Republican party. He served two terms as Commissioner of Highways in Elizabeth Township, and as School Director, also, two terms. Both he and his estimable wife identified themselves with the Methodist Episcopal Church many years ago, and take an active interest in its prosperity. Their sterling worth of character and their habits of industry and economy have had a perceptible influence upon the people around them, stimulating them to exertions of a like character. No man can live very long in a community without imparting to it something either good or bad, and the former has unquestionably been the character shed upon their community by Richard Eustice and his estimable partner. Mr. Eustice is a breeder of Shorthorn cattle.
From Portraits and Biographical Jo Daviess County