According to family lore Harris Monroe Ridenhower was one of the first Republicans in Johnson County. As a Lincoln supporter, Harris M. and a few friends heard the Lincoln -Douglas Debate in Jonesboro, Illinois in September of 1858. The rest of the crowd was there to hear Douglas. The following quote is taken from A History of Johnson County by Mrs. P.T. Chapman, c1925: "The following incident was given by Mrs. Mary Snow, daughter of H. M. Ridenhower, Sr.  In the fall of 1860, she said masked men came to her father's house, called him out and were going to hang him because he was an abolitionist, a teetotler, and had voted for Lincoln; (sufficient cause for hanging in those days.)  Mrs. Snow was told when she was older the reason they did not hang her father was, that he was a Mason." (p. 223)


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