James M. Akin, farmer, was born in Franklin County in 1824, the son of James T. and Sarah A. (McMellon) Akin. The father, born in South Carolina, of Irish stock, was the son of James Akin, native of Ireland, where he was married and located in South Carolina, and when James T. was a boy moved to Greene County, Ohio, thence a few years later to Gibson County, md., and in 1818 settled in Eastern Township, Franklin County, on the farm now owned by George Brady. He died in 1856, a pioneer of the county. James T. married in Gibson County, md., and in 1822 came to Franklin County. After raising one crop on Crawford's Prairie he returned for his family, and entered the farm now owned by the Widow Frost, in Eastern Township. He died about 1835. His wife, born in South Carolina, died in 1860, sixty-two years old. Our subject, the only survivor of six children, received a common-school education in Franklin County, and lived with his mother until about sixteen, when, after a year's work for his uncle, John Akin, he began for himself. When eighteen he married Mary A., daughter of John T. and Jane Carter, born in 1824 in Smith County, Tenn. Their children are William T. (deceased), Samantha J. (wife of Akin Plaster), James R., Catherine (wife of John W. Ross), Melinda (wife of A. Criss), John M., Amanda (wife of F. K Flemming), Grant and Ida M. He then located on a 280 tract in Eastern Township. In 1885 he sold that and bougbt 183 1/2 acres in Sections 22 and 23 , his present home. From 1882 he was a merchant about two years, but sold out, and in a few months rebought a half interest,
and continued about eighteen months. He is a Democrat, first voting for Polk, and is a leading citizen. For four years after 1868, four years after 1872 and for four years after the county adopted the township organization, he was a member of the county court. From 1876 he was two years a sheriff of Franklin County. He is a Master Mason and an Odd Fellow. December 16, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for three years or for the war, and was made first lieutenant, and discharged October 29, 1862, owing to disability.