HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Its Past and present
Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd & Co., Publishers, 1878.
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1975)
WADE, Isaac R., farmer, Sec. 14, P.O. Murrayville. The parents of our subject were Isaac Wade and Miss Hannah Goucher, natives of Milledgeville, Ga.; father born in 1776, and married in 1812 at their native town; during and after their marriage three children were born in Georgia, Sallie, Aiken B., and Stephen. In 1818 he started in a covered wagon with his family, crossing Waldron’s Ridge and settled in the Seguatchie Valley, Tenn.; There were born there Arty, Dollie and Isaac. The valley abounded with plenty of game, hence for a time the family were contented and happy. After a residence of five years, fearing for the safety of his little family, folded his tent in a wagon and silently stole away, crossing the Cumberland Mountains, settling in Overton County, same State; here he engaged in a new line of business, bought a distillery, and iron forge; there were born here two children: Abraham and Ascisca; he had long thought of making his future home on the prairies of Illinois, hence he packed up his worldly treasure in a covered wagon; by the aid of one horse and two oxen, the little band of pioneers reached Illinois, and camped on “Big Sandy,” south of Jacksonville, April 12, 1829, renting a farm from old John Whitlock; while living here the entire family were prostrated with sickness; it was in that cabin that one more child was born, Polly; moved to Jacksonville, and there Hannah was born, which was the seventh birth in the western hamlet; while a resident of the little town, drove a dray for five years; the cholera made it necessary for Mr. Wade to move his family to a more congenial place of habitation; moved to the Jacob Redding farm; in the Fall of 1836, received a fracture of the skull, by being thrown from his horse, this mishap impaired his mind, and afterwards caused his death, which occurred in 1858, aged 82 years; had none of the responsibilities of the family to rest upon him; the mother died Feb. 14, 1838; Mr. Isaac R. Wade was born in Tennessee, Jan. 27, 1823, and during his early life, shared the hardships and vicissitudes incident to a boy’s life, born at a time when each home was a sequestered hermitage; his first labor on his “own hook” was for Montgomery Pitner, receiving for one year’s work $120; worked for Mr. Pitner until he was married, Jan. 23, 1842, to Miss Susan Waddell, daughter of Armstead Waddell, by Rev. Johnnie Green; she was a native of Virginia, visiting in Morgan County, her parents were then residents of Pike County, Illinois; the children to this union were: James, Abraham, Jennie, Dollie, and John _ twins, Frederick A. and Anne Onella _ twins; the wife and mother died March 17, 1855; he was married the second time, Aug. 23, 1855, to Mrs. Sarah M. Crumpler, by Rev. W. Evans; by this marriage have had two children: Alice, and Mary Susan; after a wedded life of 17 years, Mr. Wade was again visited by death, taking from him his second companion, which took place July 15, 1871; following the precepts of the Bible, that it is not good for man to be alone, married again, April 9, 1874, to Mrs. Elizabeth Kingsley, daughter of William Sharp, one of the oldest Methodist preachers in the Northwest, who was sent in 1840, by the Ohio Conference as a missionary minister with “old Peter Cartwright;” after a long life as a minister of the gospel, died Sept. 28, 1868. Mr. Wade, although not required to render any service to his country, having passed the age of fifty, volunteered Aug. 21, 1862, to serve in Co. I, 101st Regiment, Illinois volunteers, and before muster in was transferred to Co. F, same regiment, and followed the hardships of that command, as will be related in another part of this work, to the taking of Atlanta, Georgia; here he met with a dislocation of the hip; was sent to Nashville, Tennessee, for treatment, received a furlough to his home, in 1865, and was discharged at Springfield, Illinois, June 27, 1865; Mr. Wade is a near relative of the late deceased Ben Wade, of Ohio, of free soil notoriety; is a good Republican, and loves his country first, last, and all the time.
WALDO, Daniel, was born in Alstead, Cheshire Co., N.H., Jan. 6, 1802; boot and shoemaking and itinerant trading was the early business of his life. He was married to Maria T. Baker, in New Hampshire, July 18, 1831; they had by this union two children: Mabel Rebecca, who married Capt. Thos. White, who was killed at Dallas, Ga., while in command of the 116th Reg. Ill. Vol.; Mrs. White is now residing at Maroa, Ill.; his second child died in infancy; his wife died Sept. 8, 1834. Mr. Waldo came to Meredosia, Oct. 10, 1832, and his family in Nov. of the next year. He was again married March 31, 1836, to Miss Emily Fox, of Batavia, N.Y. He had by this marriage: Maria E., wife of E.E.L. Reylard, of Meredosia; Frances E., wife of Barritt Allen; Eveline, wife of Thos. Word; James D., residing now in Wabash, Ind.; Albert M., living in Meredosia; and Mary R., who died in infancy. His wife died Jan. 23, 1855. Was again married, July 5, to Mary Jane Thomas, formerly of Ohio. By this union, only one child was born, Miss Nellie, residing with her parents. Esq. Waldo, with his brothers James E. and Geo. C., commenced business in Meredosia 1832. In the Fall of 1832, they built the first steam saw mill in the present limits of Morgan Co. In 1833_4, they erected a mill and distillery, capable of running from 300 to 500 bushels per day; afterward sold to Rowe & Gove. He has since devoted his time to improving his lands and serving the people as postmaster and justice of the peace; is now past seventy_eight years of age, and the record of an active life of that number of years can not have but a partial notice in our limits.
WALSH, John, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Alexander; was born in Tipperary County, Ireland, where his parents presided over a small farm; he received a liberal education in subscription schools; September, 1849, in his nineteenth year, he emigrated to America, landing in New Orleans; from this point he made his way to Vicksburg, Mississippi, thence to St. Louis, from St. Louis to Morgan County, settling near Jacksonville, where he first worked for Field Samples, in a brick yard, for $13,00 per month; for Theodore Stout he worked nearly seven years, and there procured his first start in life; for a short time he became a resident of Sangamon County; on his return to Morgan County he rented the Roger farm, now belonging to the Strawns; there he married Johannah Leahy; in 1864, he bought 80 acres of land, part of the property he now owns; adding to this, he now owns 120 acres; for the past nine years has been school director.
WALSH, Thomas, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Alexander; Mr. W. was born in Limerick County, Ireland, in 1819; there he became employed on his father’s farm, from the time he could handle a plow; his education was received in subscription schools; on reaching man’s estate he left the little green spot so dear to every Irish heart, situated near to the broad Atlantic; he first went to Montreal, Canada, and from there by way of the lakes to Vermont, where he married Miss Mary Gluly; from Vermont he made his way into Morgan County, Illinois; five children, three now living: James, Morris, and Hannorah; Mrs. W. died in 1859, and the following year he married Bridget Carroll; by the second marriage ten children, eight living: Mary, Catherine, Michael, Lizzie, Thomas, John, William, and Patrick; it may be well to mention in the life history of Mr. Welsh, that wages were low, money scarce, and many a month he toiled on for eight dollars per month; he is now a very successful farmer, owning 240 acres, acquired by an industry that would have discouraged men of less energy.
WANAMAKER, George, distiller, Sec. 10, P.O. Jacksonville. The subject of this sketch was born in Rockland Co., N.Y., June 7, 1841, and removed to Morgan Co., January, 1867; has resided here since that time; was married Jan. 9, 1868, to Mrs. Sardelia Payne, of Jacksonville, born Oct. 7, 1843. Mrs. Wanamaker’s father, Thomas Deaton, is one of the oldest living settlers in this neighborhood, having come here in 1820, and settled within the limits of what is now Morgan Co., and still resides at the old homestead. This union has been blessed by three children: Mary E., born July 16, 1869; Howard, May, 18, 1873; and Anna, Oct. 12, 1874. Mr. Wanamaker enlisted in Co. H, 33d Wis. V.I., on Aug. 12, 1862, and served in the siege of Vicksburg, battles of Jackson, Nashville, and various other engagements: was discharged June 30, 1865. Mr. W. devoted his earlier years of industry to agricultural pursuits, and has held his present position for five years.
WANING, Francis L., ditcher and tile drainer, Orleans, P.O. Orleans. Was born in Ohio in 1843, and came to this county in 1874. Has been very successful in tile draining of land.
WATERS, Wm. C. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 3, Macoupin Co., P.O. Waverly; Mr. Waters, now a resident of Macoupin Co., but contemporary with the early settlements of Morgan, was born in Casey Co., Kentucky, March 6, 1825; the oldest son of Zachariah and Elizabeth, whose maiden name was Canaday; during the autumn of this year Zachariah determined to locate in the West, where the buffalo still remained comparatively undisturbed, and the North American Indians were a numerous people; after weeks of travel, he settled in Morgan Co., Illinois, on the Mauvaisterre, where now stands the residence of Judge Woods; here was spent the youthful days of young Waters, where he received a subscription schooling, consisting of a course of reading, writing, and arithmetic; to illustrate the simplicity of construction of these schools, we will here narrate a few facts; entering the schoolroom, the scholars seated themselves on rude wooden benches, while the teacher, a dignified man, moved around like a fire-marshal on dress parade, the shutters, a novelty in their way, were manufactured from clapboards, and swung to and fro on wooden hinges; the teacher’s desk was an ancient affair, made of slabs, and would look out of place in our modern school rooms; in 1845 Mr. Waters married Miss Keziah Brulton, a daughter of Wm. And Rebecca Brulton natives of Kentucky; the capital of Mr. W. at this time was small, but he set resolutely to work to clear away the timber, two years later he moved to Macoupin, where he has since resided, owning a tract of 272 acres, and among the most successful farmers of that county; in 1853 Mrs. Waters died; two children, born of this marriage, are not living; in 1854 he married Miss Martha Moore; seven children, five of whom are living: Zillford C., Wm. D., Mary F. Palmer and Wealthy; Mrs. Waters died in 1864; June 13, 1866, married Miss Eliza Devenport, daughter of Wm. Devenport; by this marriage one child, not living.
WATSON, Theodore, retired, Waverly; was born August 27, 1814, in Hartford County, Conn., settled in Waverly in 1839; was married to Miss Sophia Clapp in the year 1840; she died Nov. 24, 1854; married again in the fall of 1855, to Mrs. Abbie Clawson; politics rep; religion Episcopalian
Weatherford, James H., deceased, a farmer in the bounds of Morgan Co. during life; was born in Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 16, 1820; two years later his parents moved to Morgan Co., and located on the property now owned by George Criswell; for some time, until he raised a crop, he lived a camp life; no sooner was the crop gathered, however, than a log cabin reared its front on the prairie, and it is quite probable the family lived in this dwelling many a year. Mr. W. was a well educated man and possessed of great force of character, a prominent man; in his day he held numerous offices, and subsequently he became a colonel in the Mexican war; his oldest son, James, who heads this sketch, also went to the scene of warfare at the same time, in the capacity of first lieutenant; both father and son engaged in the battle of Buena Vista. After the war they were honorably discharged and returned to Morgan Co where James died shortly after; his father removing to Texas, did not long survive him. Mrs. Weatherford, from whom this sketch is obtained, is now residing on her farm property, a lady of culture; she was born in North Carolina, Person Co., and married her husband in 1840; by this marriage three children, only one now living, Elizabeth, who married John Seymour.
WEATHERFORD, Jonas, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 29, P.O. Waverly; the subject of this sketch was born in Franklin, Morgan Co., July 3, 1844, second child of John and Melinda Weatherford, natives of Kentucky, who settled in Illinois when railroads were scarcely known in the West, and steamboats seldom seen on the western waters. The father of Jonas was unmarried when he arrived in Morgan County, but shortly after his settlement he was united in marriage to Miss Melinda McDonald; starting in to the hard work that became a matter of necessity, he toiled early and late, while the years rolled rapidly onward, and his family grew up around him; removing to Missouri and remaining four years, the head of the family then moved to Sangamon County, where himself and wife now live; Jonas passed the greater portion of his life in Morgan County; at 18 he entered the service of Uncle Sam, Co. H, 101st Illinois Infantry, for three years’ service; in some of the more noted engagements of the war; his arm was badly shattered by a minnie ball at Dallas, Ga., which incapacitated him from service for some time; after the war closed, Mr. W. returned to Morgan County, where he has since followed farming: on the 13th of September, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Wright, a daughter of Thomas and Jane Wright, whose biography will be found elsewhere; two children blessed this union, Ernest and Edward; Mr. W. now resides on his farm property, comprising 40 acres.
WELCH, Lawrence, farmer, Sec. 26, P.O. Jacksonville. Mr. Welch was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1835; when seventeen years old, he emigrated to America and first settled in New Jersey; there he lived five years, and then moved to Morgan County, settling nine miles south of Jacksonville. At the first call for volunteers, he enlisted in Co. G, Jacksonville Vols., for three months’ service, but remained two years, under the command of Captain Woods, of Jacksonville; on being honorably discharged at Cairo, Ill., he returned to Jacksonville; in 1865, he was married to Miss Bridget O’Donnell, daughter of Richard O’Donnell, a native of Ireland. Since the close of the rebellion, Mr. Welch has devoted his time to farming, in which he is very successful.
WELCH, Richard, farmer, Sec. 18, P.O. Chapin, third son of James Welch, born in Scott Co., Dec. 2, 1856; removed to Morgan Co. 1876; was married March 31, 1876, to Jennie, daughter of Alfred and Mary Ann Slagle, who are among the oldest settlers of Scott Co., born Oct. 18, 1855. This union has been blessed by one child; Mary Lizzie, born Jan. 22, 1877.
WELLER, Samuel, farmer and stock_raiser, Sec. 11, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Weller was born in Logan Co., Ky., Aug. 26, 1821. Educated in district schools, at 16 he became apprenticed to the trade of a tailor; serving his time, he became a journeyman, and the proprietor of an establishment for the transaction of general tailoring business. In 1845 he married Miss Elizabeth A. Lyndsey, a daughter of Samuel and Jane Lyndsey, natives of Kentucky. In 1852 Mr. Weller settled in Morgan Co., Ill., in the vicinity of Waverly, where he has resided since his removal to the county, renting property the first few years. In a few years he became the owner of sixty_four acres near the city of Waverly. The marriage was blessed with eleven children, nine living: Samuel, born 1847; Elizabeth, born Nov. 4, 1848; Joseph M., Sept. 4, 1850; James T., June 29, 1853; John H., April 10, 1855; William F., May 24, 1857; Mittie, Aug. 10, 1860; George E., April 13, 1862; Clara A. July 13, 1864
WELLS, Joseph H., farmer, Sec. 31, P.O. Murrayville, son of Joseph and Sarah, whose maiden name was Nettleship. In Nottinghamshire, Eng., young W. was born; when two years old, the family crossed the ocean for America, and settled in Lake Co., Ill., and there entered land from the government. Joseph received his education in district schools; at eighteen, he became apprenticed to a stone mason, and served three years; during the Crimean war he went to England; on his return to America he settled in Jacksonville, and there married, Nov. 4, 1860, Elizabeth Davis, daughter of William and Catherine. Mr. W. first worked at his trade in Jacksonville, and for seven years was on the police force there; in after years, as plasterer, stone mason and contractor, he was quite successful. Sept. 19, 1875, his wife passed off the stage of life, leaving three children: William, Ellsworth, and Harry. Mr. W. at present time owns 120 acres.
WHALEN, Henry H., blacksmith, P.O. Murrayville. The father of Mr. Whalen was born at New River, Va., his occupation was that of blacksmith and farming; during the stormy days of Jackson’s war in 1814, he enlisted, but did not go to the scene of conflict; he died in Warren Co., Kentucky, aged 66 years; the mother died more than thirty_five years ago at the above place. The subject of this notice was born Dec. 9, 1814, in Warren Co., Kentucky. His attendance and study of Webster would not make him rank as a linguist, but was endowed by his Creator with a well balanced intellect, hence his success in life. He cast his fortunes with Miss Sarah, daughter of John Jones, the marriage occurred in March, 1834. In 1836 he moved with his family to Miller Co., Missouri, and there farmed. In 1844, moved and identified his fortunes with the people of Scott Co., this State, settling near Glasgow, and it was here that Mr. Whalen’s enterprising genius cropped out, by purchasing a blacksmith outfit and opening up a “village smithy.” Having never served an apprenticeship in the forge, Henry was often perplexed in his new line of business, but, by close application and keen observations in other shops, was soon a master of his trade. In 1854, moved and settled in Winchester, Scott Co.; lived there sixteen months. In 1856 moved and bought a small farm of forty acres in Sec. 18, Morgan Co.; when the town of Murrayville was laid out, moved and built the third residence in that little hamlet, and before many moons erected a blacksmith shop; the work was done by R.T. Seavers. Mr. Whalen was the first to break the monotony of life by the cheerful ring from his anvil. In a few years he added a paint and wagon shop, with a spacious hall for public meetings, and the first Masonic meeting was organized in that hall. By his first marriage has had six children; all died in their juvenile years except America Jane, who lived until her majority, and died of typhus fever; was married second time in 1855 to Mrs. Minerva Buck. Mr. Walen is an old time Whig, and an uncompromising Republican; a good citizen, and well respected by a large circle of friends.
WHITLOCK, Alexander, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 5, P.O. Franklin. The above-named gentleman was born in Washington Co., Tenn., in 1840. His father, Johnson Whitlock, was also a native of Tennessee, who married in 1839 Miss Rebecca Wheeler, a daughter of Jessie J. and Charity Wheeler by whom he had nine children: Amasa who died in the army; John, who married Miss Martha Woods; Elizabeth, who married Chamberlain Belk; Minerva, who married George Bonds; Mary, who married James Manly; Eveline, unmarried; George, who married Sylvanus Taylor, and Orletha, who married Willis Burch. Alexander, in his twelfth year, 1852, accompanied his parents to Illinois, and located on arrival near Waverly, where he attended during his early years a district school. June 15, 1865, he was married to Miss Mary C. Bowyer, a daughter of James E. Bowyer. By this marriage six children: William T., George B., Freddie E. (not living), James O., Jessie M., and Wealthy. In 1861, Mr. Wheeler enlisted in Co. I, 14th Ill. Infantry. On account of general disability, at the end of three months’ service, he was honorably discharged, but on regaining his health, he re-enlisted in Co. G, 101st Regt. Ill. Infantry, on Sept. 2, 1862. A participant in one marine engagement. Honorably discharged in 1863, he returned to Morgan Co., where he now follows farming.
WHITLOCK, Mary, Mrs. wid. John Whitlock, born in North Carolina in 1799; parents were Lewis and Ali; when ten years old, her parents moved to Kentucky; in 1821, was united in marriage to John; in 1828, Mr. Whitlock with wife and children settled in Morgan County, some four miles from what is now the city of Jacksonville. Mr. W. was then but twenty-one, of a strong, hardy disposition, possessed of great energy, that carried him successfully over every obstacle, and as the years rolled by and old age came on at a good round pace, he found himself the possessor of a fine property; when he came to the county he had but $50 in money and a team and wagon. To follow the details of his successful career, would be superfluous. Jan. 29, 1871, he passed peacefully away, and was laid at rest in the cemetery known as Sheppard’s; at time of decease owned some 800 acres. Mrs. W., whose name appears at the head of this biography, is now upward of eighty, still vigorous, with a sufficiency of this world’s goods; children: Rosan, Emily, Herbert G., Minerva, Samantha, Mary, and Della; deceased: John and Ali; Della married Joseph Harper, and at this writing they are living with Mrs. Whitlock.
WHITLOCK, S. school teacher, Sec. 7, P.O. Murrayville. There is perhaps but few names connected with the history of the settlement of this county better known than Thos. Whitlock, the father of the gentleman at the head of this history, who was a contemporary settler with the Shepherds, Storys, and Wrights as early as 1823, nearly a year prior to the location of now the “Athens of the West.” During his early years, the subject of this sketch had the advantage of acquiring a good practical education; when arrived at the age of man’s estate, he was united in marriage to Miss Polly Anne Kennedy, daughter of William Kennedy, the first schoolmaster known here to the western wilds; they have a nice family of interesting children. Mr. Whitlock has successfully taught many terms as a worthy school teacher, receiving the highest salary; is an erudite scholar and a practical demonstrator of the profession of inculcating the young mind with that knowledge which is pre-requisite to a good citizen and a gentleman. Mrs. Whitlock is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and from girlhood to the present, has been a devout Christian, and was often caressed by the fatherly hand of good old Peter Cartwright.
WHORTON, Joseph W. retired, P.O. Concord; born in Nicholas Co., Ky., Jan. 19, 1826; married March 20, 1852, to Miss Ruthana Patterson, born in Clark Co., Pa., Oct. 24, 1831; had two children: John A., born June 6, 1853 - is living; came to Morgan County in 1830; they had to live in a little cabin, sixteen feet square, with his uncle’s family that winter, on account of the fearful snow, his father not being able to build a cabin; he was farming up to 1854, then keeping the Union hotel at Bethel; in 1853, he was elected constable on the old-line Whig ticket, and served till 1861, when he resigned; in 1856, he rented his hotel. He enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, in the 101st Ill. Regt., Co. B; at Cairo he was detailed to the hospital, and acted as wardmaster-general for one year; went with his regiment to Chattanooga latter part of 1863, wintering at Bridgeport, Ala., till May; was in the spring campaign under Sherman and wounded in the second engagement at Resaca in three places, left arm, right side and left thigh, May 14, 1864, losing the use of the arm; discharged Oct. 14, 1864; came back here and elected justice of the peace that fall, and held the office for thirteen years; this fall he resigned, retiring to a private life. He drove every stake in the survey of Concord, taking a lively interest in its welfare.
WIDENHAM, J. C., (picture) dentist, Gallaher’s Block, rooms 3 and 6. Dr. W. was born April 7th, 1852, in Peoria, Illinois, where he resided until he attained his majority. He began the study of dentistry in 1868; completed his education and began the practice of his profession in 1870; practiced in his native city until 1874, when he removed to Jacksonville and began the practice of his profession in that city; he has been closely attentive to his business, and has established an extensive practice; he is a member of the Peoria local and State Dental Society; his office is supplied with all the necessary appliances known to the profession; the operating rooms are separated from the reception rooms, and every convenience is offered to those desiring his professional services; especial attention is given to the preservation of the natural teeth and their filling; his plate work included artificial teeth made on any base; mineral, whalebone, celluloid, gold, or silver. Those in want of good work, neatly and accurately executed, will do well to call and see Dr. Widenham. Wm. Widenham and Charlotte Henrietta Benden, the parents of Dr. Widenham, were married in St. Martin’s church, on the corner of St. Martin’s lane and Temple Bar, London, England, in December, 1836; they came to this country in 1838, and settled in Peoria, Ill. Dr. Widenham’s father was born in Ireland, Jan. 1st, 1809; his mother in England in 1819; his father went to England at the age of 13 years, and was raised there; he was a watchmaker; he and his brother had quite an extensive establishment in London; many of the watches manufactured by said firm were sold in New York, where they had an agency years before he came to this country. The family are descendants from Widenham Castle, 18 miles form Cork, Ireland. The old castle is still standing. They have ten children, of whom the following only are living: John C. Widenham, dentist, in Jacksonville; Wm. W., Jr., carpet store, Peoria, Ill.; Miss Lizzie W., Peoria, Ill., and Margaret W. (now Mrs. James M. Hadley) of Peoria, Ill.
WILD, Samuel, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14, P.O. Murrayville. The family of which our subject is a member, were of a noble family of Britons, and were for many generations natives of Lancashire, England; the gentleman at the head of this sketch, is the son of John Wild; the father died in Lancashire, when Mr. Wild was very young, hence he had to strike out on his “own hook,” and make the acquaintance of a cold world, by working in a cotton factory; followed this occupation for many years, and at the time of his leaving old England, was an overlooker; after a very stormy voyage, landed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jan. 26, 1848, moved thence to Chester, Pennsylvania, and there found employment as boss in a cotton factory, stayed there seven years, then struck for the prairies of Illinois, landed at Jacksonville, in April, 1855, and for fifteen years was a good citizen of the “young Athens,” worked at various employments, such as house_moving, sinking wells, and at times doing odd jobs of carpenter work; met the lady who was to be his bosom companion, and was married in the Fall of 1857, to Mrs. Mary Clay, daughter of James Taylor, at Naples, by ‘Squire Keener; have had five children: John, Emma, Samuel, Sarah, and Anna, the last named child, died in infancy; in 1871 became an agriculturist, purchased a neat farm of 80 acres of fertile land, from Phillip Day, and during the years since he became a farmer, he has improved the little farm, until it is a model home, having many adornments, such as money and good taste could devise, is a good citizen, enjoys many friends and no enemies.
WILKINSON, R. M., farmer, Sec. 4, P.O. Jacksonville, born in Morgan co., in 1846; married in 1864, to Miss Louise Gibbons, born in this county. Have four children: Mary F., William, Ardena, and Anna
WILLIAMS, Alfred, farmer and stock raiser, Sec I, P.O. Chapin. Born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Jan. 9, 1822; married May 22, 1851, to Esther A. P. Bean, born in town Readfield, Kennebeck Co., Maine. Have two children, both born in this township: Joseph B., Aug. 1, 1853; Arthur C., Jan. 12, 1862. Julius S., born April 14, 1852, died Jan. 24, 1856; Alfred S., born March 10, 1857, died July 7, 1859. Mr. A. Williams left New York in 1837, coming to this county with his uncle, Seth Witherbee, and attended school in Jacksonville about five months, then went to Springfield, remaining one year, helping his uncle at black smithing; leaving Springfield, he went with his uncle to the farm called Chapin farm. Shortly after, he started into threshing for the neighbors, he being the only at that time in the county who had the running of machines, except the party who introduced the machine, and paid somewhere near $1,200 for the county right. At the age of twenty-five years he took a vacation of six months going East to visit his folks; returning he bought an interest in the carding and clothing works of Edward March; remained in this business two years, then bought his present farm in 1847; has lived here since. When Mr. Williams first came here the county was wild and unbroken, and he often hunted up cattle on horseback. He helped break up prairie soil with horses, on the present site of the village of Chapin. On the first passenger train of the T. W. & W., Mr. Williams was a passenger. Himself and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, situated just a quarter section north of his residence. The congregation is composed of the well-to-do farmers in Mr. Williams; neighborhood. He now holds the office of trustee of the church. His father, Joseph was born in Bridport, Vermont; he was about eighty years old in 1877, and is now living in Fulton, Whiteside Co., Ill. His mother was Hannah Johnson before marriage, born in Bridport, Vermont; is a few months older than her husband. A few years ago she was sick, not expecting recovery, the entire family met at her bedside; this, the meeting of all the family in one place, had not occurred for over forty years; she recovered, and is still living. Mrs. A. Williams; father is Joshua Bean, born in Readfield, Kennebeck Co., Maine, about 1794, now living at Chelsea, Mass., fifteen minutes ride from Boston, going north. His wife was Abigail Pierce, born in Westbrook, Maine, died Aug. 31, 1876; was about eighty-four years old at her death. The children of this family, now living, are: Angeline, born Sept, 1818, married Samuel Higgins, now living in Wellfleet, Mass.; Esther A. P., wife of A. Williams, subject of this sketch; Joseph P., born Sept, 1830, married Ellen P. Pratt; Albina L., born about Dec. 1834. Mr. Alfred Williams; fathers family consisted of the following children now living: Maria, born, Aug. 25, 1819, married Milo Jones, living at Fulton, Ill.; Sanford, born Jan. 2, 1824, married Laura Marshall, living at Kewanee, Henry Co., Ill; Marion, married Reuben Myers now living in Morrison, Whiteside Co., Ill.; Amasa, married, living in Michigan; Linas, married Elzina Williams, living in Whiteside Co., Ill., Unionville township; and Alfred, subject of this sketch.
WILLIAMS, Barnett, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P. O. Youngblood. The above affable gentleman was the sixth child of Reese and Nancy C. Williams, natives of Virginia, who removed to Kentucky in an early day, settling in Shelby County, where Mrs. Williams passed off the stage of life, leaving to her husband’s care nine children; Barnett was born in 1831; three years later the Williams family set out for Illinois, and first located in Sangamon County, Old Berlin, shortly after moving to Morgan County, where the old people lived many years, and where the subject of this sketch married Miss Lucinda VanWinkle; by this union three children: Lillie B., born June 15, 1856; Mary E., born June 13, 1858; Adelia, born April 3, 1862; Mrs. Williams died Jan. 11, 18963, and the following year Mr. W. united his fortunes to Miss Julia M. Pogue, who died Jan. 19, 1876; on the 22d of February, 1878, Mr. W. was married to Miss Ann Wilkinson, a daughter of John Wilkinson, who is well remembered by the early pioneers of this county; at the present time Mr. Williams resides on his farm property; a courteous gentleman, he has many friends.
WILLIAMS, Elias, farmer and stock-raiser, Sec. 4, P.O. Murrayville, son of Josiah and Sarah A. Williams, natives of Kentucky. The father of Elias emigrated to Indiana in 1820, thence moved and cast his lot with the early settlers of Illinois in 1822, hence was one of the few whose life is a part of the history of the early settlement of the Northwest, and died Oct. 14, 1864, aged 56 years. Elias was born March 16, 1836, in Sec. 25, T. 15, R. 12, Scott Co., Ill.; when in his sixth year first visited the log school house, then under the management of a good old Yankee. In the Winter of 1853-4 attended Jacksonville Western District School, then under the argus eye of that genius of learning, Hon. Newton Bateman; in 1855-6 placed his growing faculties under the training of Prof. Turner, in Illinois College; having thus gained a good English education, turned his energies to the work on his father’s estate. In 1857, moved to Iowa; continued westward in company with his uncle to Kansas, taking with them a load of flour, and soon returned to the homestead; during the fall of his return made rails, and accompanied his brother-in-law, Rev. P. N. Minear, in the work of camp meetings. In 1859, in company with John Isom and William Campbell, visited McDonough Co. Dec. 21st was married to Miss Anne J. Bane, daughter of George and Mary Bane; lived in McDonough Co. until the Spring of 1861; moved and settled on the “old Shepherd” farm, south of Jacksonville. After the death of his father at Merritt, Scott, Mr. W. sold out and moved on his father’s estate; here he was prostrated with typhoid fever, and for three months his life was in jeopardy. In 1867 he joined interests with his brother-in-law, P. N. Minear, and bought out the shares of the heirs; in 1870 bought and shipped cattle and grain, which business soon left him penniless; the crisis coming on him in 1875, gave up farming in ’76, and moved to Merritt, thence to Kansas, and took up a claim of 160 acres; but just then a dispatch summoned him to the death bed of his wife, which occurred April 21, 1876, leaving to his care six children: George B., born Sept. 24, 1860; Charles H., Dec. 4, 1862; henry C., July 15, 1866; Rosalie, oct. 9, 1868; Lillie M., July 5, 1871; Mary G., Aug. 13, 1873. After the death of his wife, his aged mother looked and cared for her little grandchildren. Now his sister-in-law, Rhoda J. Bane, is doing the good part of mother and aunt. Mr. W. is a good farmer, and has no enemies.
WILLIAMS, J. W. teacher, Sec. 3, P.O. Prentice. Was born in Virginia in 1833. Came to Macoupin County in 1835 and to this county in 1867. Has been teaching since he was 18 years old.
WILLIAMS, Uel, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 9, P.O. Chapin, born in Addison Co., Bridport, Vermont, April 12, 1808; married Dec. 15, 1831, to Elizabeth M. Lee, born in same place, May 11, 1813. Have three children living; Elzina, born March 30, 1833, married L. Williams, living in Whiteside Co., Ill., near Morrison; Harriet J., born May 7, 1843, married William Markham, and have three children living; Effie, aged eight; Thomas aged five; Emma, aged three. Charles C., born Nov. 5, 1849; Mary E., deceased, was wife of Oliver Hatfield, leaving three children: Walter R., Cora G., Minnie, they are living in Pike Co., Ill. Mr. Williams came to this county by wagon, together with six others, all the way from Vermont, being six weeks on the road, landing at Jacksonville, Sept. 26, 1834, where he remained a few months. Lived in present village of Lynnville seven years, then moved to this farm, and has lived here ever since; has been a farmer his entire life. He remembers when the T. W. & W. R.R. was first built; this was when he moved on his farm. He owns 110 acres, value about $75 an acre; owns twenty acres in Missouri, value about $15 an acre. In politics he has always been Republican.
WILLSON, Nancy, Mrs., farmer, Sec. 6, wife of S.M. Wilson (deceased), born in Kentucky, 1834; married in 1856; Mr. Wilson was born in Maryland, 1826; settled in Morgan Co. in 1851. Have two children: Sarah Ann, and Lewis N.; owns 40 acres, valued at $2,500.
WILSON, John M., farmer, Sec. 17, P.O. Arcadia; he was born in Gallatin Co., Ky., Jan. 14, 1815, and came with his father to Morgan Co., in 1823; unmarried; his father, James Wilson was born in Pennsylvania Oct. 23, 1772, and died Aug. 24, 1858; he married Bridget Custer May 3, 1796; she was born in Virginia, Dec. 1775, and died May 8, 1851; they raised twelve children, five of whom are still living.
WILSON, John Wm., laborer,, Sec. 20, P.O. Jacksonville, born in Missouri in 1843, and removed to Illinois in 1863, settling in Morgan Co.; married April 28, 1869, to Martha, daughter of Bartley and Mary Price, of Springfield, Ill., born Jan. 14, 1841. This union has been blessed by four children, viz.: William, born Aug. 3, 1869; Charles, Nov. 27, 1871; Eugene, Feb. 20, 1873; Elone, July 29, 1877. In 1860, Martha Price (now Mrs. Wilson) accompanied her uncle to Liberia, where she remained seven years. Mrs. Mary Shelby, grandmother of Mrs. W., was born at Baltimore, April 15, 1801; she came to Springfield before Illinois was admitted to the Union; is one of the earliest living settlers in the neighborhood, and relates many incidents of the early settlement, when this country was chiefly in the hands of the Indians; this lady still lives with her granddaughter.
WINTER, David, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P.O. Jacksonville; was the son of William and Mary Winter. He was born in Yorkshire, Eng., May 13, 1825; his father was a brick and tile make, and at this occupation the boy worked for a considerable length of time. Sept. 10, 1850, he stepped on board the sailing vessel Liverpool, bound for America, and in due time arrived in New York city; shortly after, he went to Pennsylvania, where he resided but a short time, and then proceeded to Morgan County; he first worked by the month, at $13 per month; in 1858, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Redding. Mr. W., on his arrival in America, had no capital, but was possessed of a strong constitution and a vigorous will, that carried him successfully over every obstacle, and in time he acquired a fine property; he is now the owner of 250 acres of choice land, and is very successful as a farmer; children are: William T., John D., James E., Mary, Isabel, Dorotha Ann, George W., Lewellyn, Charles H., and Sarah J.
WOLCOTT, Elizur, superintendent waterworks, office at city offices, residence 700 W. College av.; was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, Aug. 7, 1817; came to Jacksonville in the Fall of 1830; was connected with the Wabash railroad for some ten years, occupying the position of roadmaster; he has been a member of both the city council and Board of Education, of this city; was secretary of the first Board of Water Commissioners, and Superintendent of construction of the works; was married July 15, 1846, to Miss Martha L. Dwight, of Westmoreland, New Hampshire; they have two daughters, living; and two sons deceased.
WOOD, Jas. W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 26, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Wood was born in Jacksonville, Aug. 2, 1840, second child of Wheatly and Elizabeth Wood; the father of James was a native of England, born near Sykehouse, July 22, 1798; the subject of this notice passed many years of his life on the homestead property, and received a moderate education, in a log cabin in the boundary of Macoupin County; in July, 1874, Mr. Wood was married to Nancy E. Hart, daughter of John and Martha Hart, who were among the first to settle in Illinois; two children blessed this union: Lewana, born May 29, 1875; Mary F., born Feb. 17, 1877; Mr. Wood is the owner of 220 acres of land, that will compare favorably with any in the West.
WOOD, John W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 36, P.O. Waverly; third child of Wheatly and Elizabeth Wood, and was born in 1842; the head of the family, an Englishman by birth, crossed the ocean in 1838, coming direct to Morgan County, and settling in Jacksonville, and there married his wife, a native of Georgia, and whose maiden name was Lincoln; Wheatly Wood was for a number of years a farmer in Macoupin and Morgan Counties, and also became proprietor of a brick yard in Jacksonville; he died in 1873, leaving an estate of 200 acres, acquired by great industry; there are four children living: Martha Ann, who married, first John H. Dennis, who departed this life, Mrs. Dennis afterward marrying Reuben Jones; Jas. W., who married Elizabeth Hart; Sarah, who married Jas. Arnold; and John W., who heads this sketch, married Miss Mary Hughes; by this marriage three children, two of whom are living, Eugene and Harriet in 1862, when the 101st Regiment was organized, Mr. Wood became enrolled as a volunteer in Co. H, for three years’ service, or during the war, and took an active part in numerous battles; on the close of the war he was honorably discharged, and returned to this county, where he has since resided; owns 67 acres.
WOOD, Samuel, Judge, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P.O. Pisgah; he was the oldest son of a family of nine children; he was born in Madison County, Kentucky, October 16, 1813; his parents moved from Virginia to Kentucky as early as 1810; the trip was made overland; the household goods were packed on horses; after sone weeks of travel the little party reached the Blue Grass State, locating near Richmond; there they purchased land, and set about the hard task of clearing timber; they built a log cabin; the floors were made of split puncheon, the chimneys were made of sticks and mud; the prospect was gloomy indeed; but Richard Wood seems to have been the right man in the right place; among the many hardy pioneers perhaps none could be found who worked harder than he, to procure the necessaries of life; in 1826, they set out for Illinois; they first settled in Madison County, on silver Creek; here the family were attacked by bilious fever, which resulted in the death of the wife, who had shared with him innumerable hardships, and three children, Elizabeth, Martha, and Richard; the first school Samuel attended was taught by Rice Duncan; the school house was a log structure, where no floor was laid down, and no window panes interfered, but the ventilation was abundant; here the scholars were instructed in Webster’s spelling book and the New Testament; when these were thoroughly understood their education was completed; before the deep snow set in Samuel had taken his last look at Webster, and now the hard work of the farm commenced; in his thirteenth year his parents moved to Morgan County; at the early age of nineteen he married Mrs. Martha Smith, relict of Harvey Smith, who perished during the winter of the deep snow; the occurrence is vividly impressed on the memory of many old settlers still living; at this time he did not have a capital of $100, and moved into a rough cabin where th door swung to and fro on wooden hinges, the bed was a one legged affair, and the table manufactured of puncheons; for eight years the young couple lived happily together in this rough backwoods style, and then built a more elegant affair of hewn logs; both buildings have long since gone to decay, but they stood in the vicinity of where now stands Judge Wood’s large and handsome residence; amid the surroundings of pioneer life, young Wood grew up with a vigorous constitution; how he became so successful in after years may be summed up in a few words - hf he had anything to do he wasted no time, but attended to it; he did not believe in sending a boy to mill when he could go himself; from the little log cabin and the little patch of ground containing but a few acres, the pioneer boy of forty years ago, has got together over 3,000 acres in one of the most fertile counti8es in Illinois; during the Mormon war of 1848, he was elected captain by the soldiers, and commissioned by Gov. Ford; for four years he was County Judge; in 1874 he was elected to legislature, 29th General Assembly; he served in this capacity but one year, as there was but one session; Judge Wood is an extensive cattle buyer; he handles on an average of 800 head of cattle; his facilities for grazing are unsurpassed. Although wealth and prosperity attended the efforts of Mr. Wood, his liberality and kindness of heart are well known; no man today, perhaps. Stands higher in the estimation of the people of Morgan Co. than the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.
WOOD, William, farmer, P.O. Concord; born Lancashire, Eng., March 14, 1840; married Sept. 4, 1866, to Miss Margaret J. Sims, born Morgan County, Jan. 29, 1843; have five children; James Cornelius, born June 23, 1867; Lucy Ann, March 31, 1869; Arthur, Dec. 6, 1872; Harry Clifford, Feb. 17, 1873; Robert Vivian, Sept. 6, 1875. His parents came to this country in 1842, settling in Cass County; he was raised on the line of Cass and Morgan. In 1858, he left his parents, coming to this county; buying and selling horses till the war broke out; he enlisted, Aug. 1, 1861, in the 1st Regt. Mo. Cavalry, Co. I.; was private in his company six months, then was detailed as battalion wagonmaster; was also detailed in the U.S. detective service; he remained in the army till the war closed, and since which time has been living in Concord.
WOODS, James J., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 35, P.O. Waverly; oldest son of M. F. and Sarah Y. Woods. He was born in Morgan County, Nov. 29, 1857; the father of James, M. F. Woods, is one of the early settlers of Morgan Co., a stirring business man, who, for a number of years was a merchant in Waverly. James went through the usual routine of farm work, and the usual course of study in a district school; at 22 he became the owner of 160 acres of valuable land; Jan. 5, 1870, he was married to Miss Mary E. Luttrell, a daughter of Hiram and Sarah Luttrell. Two children: Charles C., born Aug. 12, 1874, J. J., born May 12, 1877.
WOODS, Samuel C., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 26, P.O. Waverly. The subject of this sketch was the fourth son of Michael and Martha Woods, natives of Kentucky, where Samuel was born July 2, 1816; receiving a liberal education, at 21, possessed of an enterprising spirit, he concluded to follow the fortunes of the old pioneers to the western prairies, and in company with a party of emigrants he set out on horseback. Crossing the Ohio on a flatboat, he wended his way to Illinois, settling in the vicinity of Waverly, Morgan County, where he first worked by the month for William Woods, an uncle, for some six months, attending school the balance of the year. For M. F. Woods, a brother and merchant at Waverly, he worked some two years, and then branched off for himself, turning his attention to agriculture. July, 1849, he married Miss Maria Branson of Sangamon County, a daughter of John and Mary Branson; one child, Maria Isabel, who married Platt S. Carter, Jr., of Sangamon County, Aug. 5, 1875. Mrs. Woods departed this life and was laid to rest in the cemetery of Waverly Jan., 1877. He married Mrs. Mary E. Jackson, of Audrian County, Mo., relict of W. G. Jackson of Boone County, an estimable man, whose death occurred Oct. 28, 1869. He was the son of Col. Francis F. Jackson of Clark County, Ky., Mrs. Jackson, now Mrs. Woods, was born near Lexington, Ky., March, 1827; her parents natives of Kentucky, and Maryland, the father a man of influence and wealth; in 1852, the partner of his joys and sorrows was laid at rest; in 1867, the husband also passed to his reward; a man of sociable and generous disposition, he was regretted by a large circle of friends. Following the fortunes of Mr. Woods, for many years after his first marriage, he became engaged as a merchant at Waverly; retiring from this in 1857, he purchased a farm of 180 acres, the property he now owns, and which he has brought to a high state of cultivation.
WOODS, Wm C. farmer, Sec. 6, P.O. Franklin; son of Sterling and Elizabeth. As early as 1828, they removed from Kentucky to Illinois, settling in Morgan Co., where Wm. C. was born in 1831. The country was then new, and the emigrant frequently went fifteen miles to horsemill. At times a numerous party would meet at these mills, where they would remain all night, parching corn, cracking jokes, and having a good time generally, for they were a whole _ souled, sociable people. Wm. attended a log school house, the furniture of this school was of the rudest kind, some benches being in use and awkwardly constructed, and the first teacher was Joel Heddington. Dec. 28, 1859. Mr. Woods was married to Celestine Boulware, daughter of Philip and Nancy, pioneers of Morgan Co. Eight children blessed this union: Minerva, wife of Leander A. Colwell, Robert, James P., Mary, Clara, George, Nora, and Margaret. Mr. Woods owns 160 acres of well improved lands, is a good farmer and successful trader. The father, in 1849, moved to Macoupin Co., where he now resides, who, in his younger days, was a very sterling, energetic man
WOOTON, Alfred, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14, P.O. Franklin; parents of Alfred were John and Ann Wooton, natives of Hastings, Sussex, England; John the father, was a tailor by trade, who lived in very comfortable circumstances, and who gave his children the advantages of a good education; Alfred, possessed of energy and daring, at the early age of fourteen, shipped on board a merchant vessel, bound for Central America and the West Indies; for eight years he sailed the waters of the broad Atlantic; on leaving the vocation he had followed so many years, he proceeded to Canada, thence to England; the year 1868 found him en route for America, on board the steamship Colorado; landing in New York, he from there made his way to Morgan County, where he first became employed by the month, for Mrs. Jacob Strawn, there he formed the acquaintance and married Miss Ruth A. Wilburn, a daughter of John Wilburn, a native of England; three children, John, Albert, and Jacob S.; Mr. Wooton owns forty acres in township 13, range 9.
WRIGHT, Bros., dealers in general merchandise, drugs, oils, paints, varnishes, etc., etc. The firm first became established in business in the Spring of 1875; both members of the firm were born in Morgan Co.; A. H., the elder member, was born Oct. 3, 1844, received his preliminary education in district schools, which was afterward completed in the Jacksonville High School, there becoming proficient in the rudiments of bookkeeping; for some years followed farming; April 6, 1871, married Miss Mary Poling, granddaughter of James Langley and daughter of Wyckoff Poling; moved to Franklin in 1871. B. F. Wright, the junior member, born Oct. 21, 1852, likewise received his preliminary education in district schools, and subsequently attended Illinois College, at Jacksonville; married Miss Sallie Hill, daughter of J. H. Hill, of Franklin. Children of A. H. Wright: J. Langley, born April 22, 1872; Geoffrey P., born April 9, 1874; Carl, March 11, 1878, an infant child. B. F. Wright has one child: Emma; one deceased.
WRIGHT, Jas. (deceased). Among the many early pioneers of Morgan Co., came the subject of this sketch, who deserves more than a passing notice. By those who knew him he is described as a man of strong determination and iron will. Making his way from Kentucky in company with other emigrants, he traveled westward. He was born in Virginia, settled in Kentucky at an early day, and there formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah Head, daughter of John A. and Mary Head, whom he married Sept. 25, 1830. Reaching Illinois after weeks of traveling, Mr. Wright settled some two miles south of Franklin. In a short time a primitive log cabin loomed up on the sparsely settled prairie. At this date he was cotemporary with the early settlers. Leaving a comfortable home in the South, both husband and wife found it at times a difficult task to attend to the duties of a farm and care for the stock. It may be well to mention that the cabin entered was a very rude affair, with a puncheon floor, a clapboard door in use - to be sure it hung on a wooden hinge, and perhaps was not so common as those that graced the mansions of some of his neighbors. The tables and chairs were of the usual order; the place, however, bore an air of neatness that always made the little home attractive. In time land rose in value and more substantial buildings began to appear. A history of the life of Mr. Wright would be incomplete were we not to mention the early incidents connected with his career. Once a year, sometimes twice, he would take a trip to St. Louis, distant about ninety miles. At times it became necessary to drive a drove of hogs to the St. Louis market. On the return trip he laid in a good stock of provisions; clothing was then wholly made by the pioneer wife. In time, however, the spinning jenny gave place to the loom, and other improvements became manifest. In 1872 Mr. Wright died and was laid to rest in the Franklin cemetery. His death was universally regretted by all who formed his acquaintance. He left an estate of 400 acres. On the old homestead Mrs. Wright is still living. There are eight children living: A. H., B. F., Wm. H., J.A., G. M., T. B., Maggie and Pamelia. Sarah Wright resides on Sec. 30, P.O. address, Franklin.
WRIGHT, Thomas, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 18, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Wright is the descendent of a numerous family, who have helped in a great measure toward the improvement and public interests of this county; Thomas was the eighth child of Jas. And Frances Wright; of Jas. But little is known, he was born in Virginia, where he was overseer of a plantation; in Virginia he formed the acquaintance of Miss Frances Finney, they were married soon after the close of the Revolutionary war; in this struggle for the independence of the colonies, Jas. Wright shouldered the old flint-lock musket, one of the seventy-five chosen and known as the forlorn hope, he fought bravely at the storming of Stony Point, and endured many privations at Valley Forge; an intimate friend of Generals Washington and Lafayette, he served under their command, sharing the hardships of the soldiers; after the close of the war he returned to Virginia and in middle life moved to Kentucky, where the subject of this sketch was born, in the year 1860; in the beginning of 1829, his attention was attracted to the West, and accordingly in company with the old folks he made his way into Waverly precinct, this county; in 1834 he was married to Miss Jane D. Burch, daughter of Benjamin and Ann D. Burch, natives of Virginia; settled on the farm where he now lives; the place where he settled being heavily timbered, he realized the extremely difficult task it would be to fell the monarchs of the forest, and thereby get a sufficiency of land under cultivation; one trait in the character of this family may here be noticed; of a kindly sympathetic nature, their thoughts often turned toward that Supreme Being from whom their prosperity emanated. During the Black Hawk war of 1832, Mr. Wright was unanimously elected by the soldiers of his company second lieutenant, by Governor Reynolds he received his appointment, serving seventy days, until the treaty of peace was declared. An intimate friend of colonel Richard Johnson, whom he described as a thick set man, black-eyed, and rather fierce appearing, he inspired a feeling of awe among the Indians; but little more remains to be told; in time he became the owner of a nice property, what is somewhat remarkable; the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. W. was blessed with seven children, all of whom are living, Lydia Frances, who married John Groves, of Missouri; Jas. B., who married Lizzie Oyer; Mary E., who married Robert Seymour; W. C., who married Miss Mary Minnick; Amanda L., who married Jonas Weatherford; Sarah Jane, who married Wm. Albright, of Missouri; John W. S. unmarried; Thos. Wright owns 160 acres of land in this township; now well advanced in years.
WRIGHT, William H. County Treasurer and Assessor, office, Court House, boards Park house; was born in Morgan County, Dec. 20, 1834; his father’s name was James Wright, a Virginian by birth; his mother’s maiden name was Sallie Head, and was a native of Kentucky. They were among the early settlers of this county; the subject of this sketch spent ten years of his early life in California, and returned to this county in the Fall of 1863; soon after going South in the government service; returning again in the Fall of 1864, and engaged in teaching school, in the eastern part of the county, at which he continued five years. In 1871 he was elected County Treasurer, and re-elected in 1873, 1875, and 1877, which position he now holds.
WRIGHT, Wm. Farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. Franklin, the subject of this sketch, was the youngest of a family of twelve children. His father, James Wright, was born in Virginia, and served seven years as a soldier in the war of the revolution; married Miss Frances Finnie, of Virginia. As early as 1800 the family made their way over the Cumberland mountains to Scott Co., Ky., where William was born, June 5, 1808. In 1829, when but few emigrant trains could be seen taking up their line of march westward, James Wright sought the fertile prairies of Illinois, settling on the farm property now owned by William. Building a cabin he set about the difficult task of subduing the stubborn prairie. In Morgan Co. the old people passed the remainder of their days. At twenty-three William married Miss Ella Burch, a daughter of Benjamin Burch. When the Black Hawk war broke out, Mr. Wright became an active participant until the treaty was declared. Understanding fully the duties of farming, in a few years he owned large tracts of land in Macoupin and Morgan Counties. Like many another ambitious man, his pathway was beset with difficulties; at seventy years he owns some fifty-seven acres, but is content, and still works with unabated energy. This union was blessed with thirteen children: James B., born Dec. 4, 1831, died Oct. 4, 1832; Amanda J., born Sept. 11, 1833; John C., born April 20, 1836; Margaret A., March 3, 1838; Melvina F., March 15, 1840; Mary E., March 4, 1842; George W. S., Jan. 1, 1844; Eliza A., Jan. 10, 1846; Newton C., nov. 4, 1847; Edwin R. and Edgar B., twins, Dec. 2, 1849; Charles M., Feb. 22, 1852; Henry A., April 7, 1854.
WYATT, B. W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 33, P.O. Waverly; eighth child of Thomas and Rebecca Wyatt, natives of Kentucky. Prior to the deep snow the Wyatt family followed the tide of emigration westward, settling in Morgan County, near what is now the City of Jacksonville, suffering great hardships, often going without the necessaries of life. It would not have been strange had Mr. Wyatt turned back to his native place, but instead he went steadily forward, and in time came success. He passed away, April 28, 1878. After a long and eventful life he passed away, leaving to the care of his wife, who now lives in Virden, Macoupin County, a large property. B. W. Wyatt, who heads this sketch, was educated at district schools. At 23 married Miss Lizzie Duggan, who died some years ago, and was laid to rest in Springfield, Ill. At 28 he married Miss Louisa Kennedy; one child.
WYATT, W. J., Col., son of John and Rebecca Wyatt. His father was a native of Virginia; Rebecca, his wife, was born in Kentucky; as early as 1822 they moved from Missouri to Morgan Co., Ill., and settled near what is now the city of Jacksonville, on farm property; on this farm the subject of this sketch was born in 1825, and here passed the days of his boyhood and early youth; at the age of twenty he entered the Mexican service, in 1846, raising Co. G, 1st Ill. Vol., and was unanimously elected captain, under the command of Colonel J. J. Hardin; as an officer, Captain Wyatt was universally respected by the soldiers; mustered into the service June 17, 1846, and went to the front shortly afterward, and became a participant in the famous battle of Buena Vista; here it will be remembered the brave and talented officer, Colonel Hardin was killed in the heat of action. Capt. Wyatt, who was an intimate friend, in company with his orderly sergeant and others, brought in the lifeless remains from the field; the body first found a resting place in Mexican soil; it was subsequently interred in the East cemetery at Jacksonville, Ill. Capt. Wyatt was honorably discharged in 1847, at Camargo, Mexico, and returned to Morgan Co. The following year married Mrs. Eliza A. Williams, of Manchester, Scott Co., Ill.; three children: Mary A., born Nov. 2, 1849; James, born Nov. 17, 1851, deceased; and George H., born 1854. When the rebellion came on Mr. Wyatt was commissioned Lieut. Colonel of the 101st Regiment Ill. Vol., by Gov. Yates; he was the choice of the boys in blue; for ten months he remained in the service of Uncle Sam, and on account of physical disability, was honorably discharged at St. Louis, Mo., May 9, 1863, and returned to Morgan Co. At this writing he resides in Franklin; he takes a leading position in farming and stock raising; his judgment as a stock raiser and buyer is unparalleled; he also figures conspicuously as a politician, whose name has been frequently mentioned in connection with responsible offices, but he has invariable declined.
WYCKOFF, Albert merchant, Woodson; born in Warren Co., N.J., May 22, 1846. His father was a woolen manufacturer at Finesville, N. J., for several years; when he was ten years of age, the family moved to Athens Co., Ohio, and carried on same business for a number of years; at the breaking out of the rebellion, young W. enlisted in the 7th Ohio Cavalry for three years’ service; participated in battles of Dutton Hill, Mt. Sterling, Monticello, Ky., Cumberland Gap, Ky., Knox Valley, Kay., Nashville, Tenn., and taken prisoner at Rodgersville, Tenn., in 1863; wounded in battle, was first taken to Belle Island; remained four months; thence to Andersonville; remained six months; made his escape; was retaken near Newbern, N.C.; sent to Salisbury, N.C.; remained six weeks; made escape; retaken and sent to Charleston, S. C.; remained one week; thence to Florence, N.C.; taken to Goldsborough, N.C.; made escape, and joined Union troops at Wilmington; time of service had then expired; married Miss Rachel Seegar at Jacksonville, April 10, 1866; one child, Sarah M., born 1872, in Des Moines, Iowa.
YOST, John, harness maker, Meredosia. Was born Nov. 18, 1847, in Cass Co., Ill.; came to Meredosia and commenced business in 1869. In 1873 was married to Miss Lizzie Tieman, daughter of William Tieman, of Meredosia; have two children: Lizzie and William F.
ZERBY, Jared, station agent and telegraph operator, Concord; was born in Mifflin Co., Pa., Oct. 15, 1847; came to this county in 1852; in 1866 he went into partnership with his brothers John and A. H., in the nursery business; he also had an interest in a store in Concord the same time; one year, when the nursery business was at its height, they sold $16,000 of hedge plants in a radius of two hundred miles; John’s death and the panic forced him out of business. In 1869, he learned telegraphing, and four months from that time he got charge of Browning, Ill., his first station; since then he has held stations between St. Louis and Browning, on the St. Louis division of the C. B. & Q. R.R.; on the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis road and on the Iron Mountain, he was stationed at Poplar Bluffs, Butler Co., Mo.; he was transferred to his present station here December, 1877.