"W" SURNAME
BIOGRAPHIES









W.H. WALLACE

Is a native of Macon county, Illinois. He was born in Mr. Zion township, March 17th, 1848. James Wallace, his father, was a native of South Carolina. He was born in 1821. The Wallace family originally came from Scotland, and settled in South Carolina prior to the Revolutionary war. After the war they moved to Nova Scotia, and then back to the Carolinas. James Wallace, grandfather of the present sketcy, emigrated to Illinois between the years 1825 and 1828. He first stopped in Sangamon county; after the winter of the deep snow came to Macon county, and settled in Long Creek, where he entered land, and there remained until his death, which occurred about the year 1846. His son, James, remained in the county until his death, March 13th, 1863. He was a farmer by occupation, and followed that and stock-raising during his entire life. He married Mary J. Ferry. She was born in Grayson county, Kentucky, and came to Illinois in company with her grandfather. Her parents came here at a later date. She is yet living with her son W.H. in Mt. Zion township. The subject of this sketch is the second in a family of five boys and one girl. His education was received in the public schools of the county, and in the academy of Mr. Zion, where he spent several years improving himself in the higher grades of learning. Since his father's death, which took place while he was in his fifteenth year, he has practically been doing for himself. At present he is engaged in farming and stock-raising, and is one of the enterprising and leading agriculturalists of his township. Politically he is a democrat. He cast his first presidential vote for that purest of patriots and philosophers, Horace Greeley. He takes an active part in the local elections, and is an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of democratic principles. He has represented his township in the Board of Supervisors for three terms, and while a member of that body earned the reputation of a careful and prudent officer. He is much respected as a man and citizen in the neighborhood where he was born and raised.

History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 232



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Joseph WARBURTON

Joseph Warburton, deceased, was for many years an honored resident and successful farmer of Macon county. His early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he was born in Manchester, England, on the 25th of December, 1847, and was a son of Thomas and Mary (Marlow) Warburton, also natives of the merrie isle. There our subject was reared and educated, and when about twenty years of age came to America, landing in New York in 1862. For about two years he remained in the eastern stated engaged in farming, and then came west to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he worked for a short time. After that he became a resident of Macon county and spent a short time in Maroa. He then purchased a tract of land in Harristown township and at once turned his attention to its cultivation and improvement. As time passed he steadily prospered in his new home and succeeded in acquiring three hundred acres of rich and valuable land, which he left to his family.

In 1870 Mr. Warburton was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Ellis, who was born in Concord, Illinois, August 27, 1852. Her parents were John and Sarah (Horton) Ellis, the former a native of Ohio, the latter of Illinois. The mother died when Mrs. Warburton was only six months old, but the father is still living and is now engaged in agricultural pursuits near Farmer City, Illinois. By his ballot he supports the men and measures of the Republican party, and he is an active and prominent member of the Methodist church and the Masonic fraternity.

Mr. and Mrs. Warburton became the parents of ten children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Harry, September 13, 1874; Dora, May 2, 1876; Nellie, February 10, 1878; John E., October 6, 1879; Mary R., January 21, 1882; William, December 2, 1884; Edward C., September 17, 1886; Ida M., March 20, 1888; Ralph G., January 25, 1890; and Sarah E., June 20, 1892. All are living with the exception of William, who died July 23, 1890. Dora is now the wife of Bert Glasgow, a farmer of Harristown township, and they have one child, Carl.

After a useful and well spent life Mr. Warburton passed away November 9, 1895, and was laid to rest in Harristown cemetery. He affiliated with the Republican party and always took an active interest in public affairs. In his social relations he was a Mason, and religiously was a member of the Christian church. He received and merited the confidence of the entire community in which he lived and in his death the county realized that it had lost a valued citizen. In 1898 Mrs. Warburton and her children removed to the village of Harristown, where she has a beautiful home. She is a most estimable lady and is held in high regard by all who know her.

Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, IL., (1903) pg. 531-532

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Frank WARD

Frank Ward, who is engaged in farming and fruit-growing on section 34, Blue Mound Township, has the honor of being a native of this county. He first opened his eyes to the light of day January 20, 1835, in Wheatland Township, on what is known as the old Ward Farm, three and a-half miles southwest of Decatur. He is the third in order of birth in a family, which numbered four sons and one daughter. His father, William Ward, was born in Tennessee in 1802, and remained in that State until eighteen years of age, when he left home and went to Kentucky. In 1822 he became a resident of Greene County, Ill., and in 1825 removed to Macon County, locating on Government land in Wheatland Township, where he made his home until his death, on the 4th of January, 1854. The mother of our subject, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Wheeler, was also a native of Tennessee. Her father, William Wheeler, was one of the pioneer settlers of this county, coming here in 1825. Her death occurred in June, 1841, and her remains were interred in Walnut Grove Cemetery. The children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Ward were: Larkin, who died in 1867, at the age of thirty-two years; Mary, who died in 1867, at the age of thirty-three; Frank, of this sketch; Hiram, a progressive farmer and stock-raiser, who owns the old homestead; and Rial, a prosperous farmer of Moultrie County. After the death of his first wife Mr. Ward was again married. In November 1841, he wedded Sarah Ann Abbott, and unto them were born six children, one of whom died in infancy. John A., the eldest, is a farmer of this county; Nancy J. is the wife of Oliver Logan, and ariculturist of Wheatland Township; Margaret E. is a widow of Robert Elder; William J. resides in Morgan, Ill.; and George W. is successfully engaged in farming in Colorado.

Frank Ward, whose name heads this record was reared to manhood amid the wild scenes of frontier life, and became early inured to the hard labor of developing a new farm. He continued on the old homestead until nineteen years of age, when, on his father's death, he started out for himself to earn his own livelihood. He began work as a farm hand by the month, being thus employed for a year, after which he engaged with a Government surveyor, who was laying out township lines. Four months were spent in that way, and he then again engaged in farm labor two years. On the expiration of that period he returned to the old homestead and began farming for himself on forty-five acres of land, which he inherited from his father's estate. To agricultural pursuits he has since devoted his energies, and as a farmer he has made of his life a success. He now owns sixty acres of valuable land, the greater part of which is planted in small fruits.

In January, 1859, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Ward and Miss Nancy I. Pasley, who was born in this county May 19, 1841, and is a daughter of Robert Pasley, an honored pioneer. The children born to them were: Emma E., Charles E., who is engaged in carpentering; Dora E., who became the wife of Ira G. Warnick and died leaving two children; Allie C. and Ralph, who are living with our subject; and William, who completes the familiy. One child died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Ward are members of the Methodist Church, are highly respected people in this community. Their home is the abode of hospitality, its doors being ever open for the reception of their many friends. In his political views, Mr. Ward has always been liberal, supporting the man whom he thinks best qualified to fill the office, regardless of party affiliations. He has been a witness of the growth of Macon County since the days of its early infancy, and well deserves to be numbered among those who laid the foundation for its present prosperity and advanced condition.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 244-245



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John WARD

John Ward, who carries on general farming on section 28, South Wheatland Township, was born in this neighborhood September 14, 1842, and is a representative of one of the oldest families in the county. His father, William Ward, was born in North Carolina in 1802, and emigrated to Tennessee, and thence to Illinois. After a year spent in Vandalia, he came to this county, in 1823, accompanied by his mother, brothers, and sisters. Here he married Miss Wheeler, a sister of Sheriff Wheeler. He served as a ranger against the Indians under Mr. Wheeler and got a land warrant for his services. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ward were born five children: Larkin and Mary, deceased; Franklin; Hiram; and Rial, of Moultrie County. For his second wife, Mr. Ward married Mrs. Abbott, daughter of Thomas Morris, and a native of Ohio. The children of that union are John; Nancy J., wife of Oliver Logan, of South Wheatland Township; Mrs. Margaret Elder, of Elwin; and George, of Longmont, Colo. The mother of this family resides in Elwin, but the father died in January, 1854. He was one of the first settlers of this community, living in Macon County when it contained only eight families. The Indians, however, were very numerous, wild game of all kinds was plentiful, and the Ward family experienced all the hardships and privations of pioneer life.

The first recollections of our subject are of the log cabin home, a mile and a-half south of his present residence. His father later built a frame house, weather-boarded with walnut lumber. He attended a private school in a log building, and afterward went to High School in Mt. Gilead and the Academy in Mt. Zion. When he was twelve years of age his father died, and the management of the farm largely devolved upon his young shoulders. In June, 1861, he completed his education, and after aiding in harvesting the crops he enlisted in July as a member of Company E, Forty-first Illinois Infantry. The regiment was organized at Camp Macon and went to St. Louis to guard an arsenal, thence to Bird's Point (Mo.), Paducah (Ky.), and on the Belmont expedition. He participated in the battles of Ft. Henry and Ft. Donelson, and when Pillow made his charge he tried to escape across an open field, but was shot through the right thigh and left in the enemy's hands. Nothing was done to relieve him, and after a day and night he was recaptured, placed in an ambulance wagon and taken to a steamer, on which he was conveyed to Mound City Hospital. After lying there for some time, he went home on a furlough, but as soon as possible he rejoined his regiment, reaching his command at the time of the evacuation of Corinth. For ten months after he returned he was unfit for field duty, and so drove the ambulance most of the time. Going down the river to Vicksburg, he was made Sergeant and participated in the siege of that city. After the surrender he started for Jackson, and at the battle at that place was wounded in the head by a canister shot and left for dead on the field. However, he was picked up with the rest of the prisoners and sent in box cars to Richmond, Va. He had to dress his own wound during the eight days' journey. He was confined in Libby and at Belle Isle until September. There he suffered many hardships. The prisoners were given very little to eat, and even the comforts of life were denied them. During his seventy-seven days in prison, his weight was reduced from one hundred and forty-five to ninety-three pounds. In September, 1862, he was paroled, sent to Annapolis, Md., and then to St. Louis. After being exchanged he received a furlough and returned home. In May, 1864, he again reported for duty at Springfield. His regiment had been divided in the mean time and the veterans were sent to Georgia. Mr. Ward joined them at Huntsville, Ala., and took part in the Atlanta campaign. His time having then expired, he was mustered out August 20, 1864, being then only twenty-two years of age.

On his return to the North, Mr. Ward engaged in farming for himself and also began dealing in wood, having saved $500 during his service in the army. Later he embarked in stock-raising and for many years followed that pursuit. He has lived upon his present farm for a quarter of a century. It comprises one hundred and forty-one acres of rich land, and is conveniently located near Decatur. He is now furnishing gravel and sand for streets. Every improvement upon his place has been made by his own hands and stands as a monument to his thrift and enterprise.

In 1867, in Mt. Zion Township, Mr. Ward married Mattie Lemaster, who was born in Springfield, Ill,. and is a daughter of William Lemaster. Five children grace their union; Rosa M.; Minnie B., wife of Adam Phillips, of Blue Mound Township; Maud, Claude and Mattie. The mother is a member of the Christian Church of Decatur, and is a most estimable lady. Mr. Ward is a member of the Grand Army Post of Decatur and the Macon County Veteran Association, and has served as Assessor of his township. He case his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has since been a stalwart supported of the Republican party, aiding in all possible ways in its growth and upbuilding. He has been Chairman of the Central Committee and is a valiant supporter of the party of reform, which in years past through its supporters saved the country in her hour of peril. Mr. Ward is a man highly esteemed throughout the community for his sterling worth and strict integrity, is numbered among the early settlers of the county, and is a prominent citizen.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 257-258



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Ira WARNICK

Ira Warnick was born in Tennessee, August 7, 1823; he moved to this county in 1825, and settled at the place afterwards known as the William Warnick place, and has ever since resided in this county; was married to Julietta Priscila Burke, April 17, 1843, who was born in Kentucky, June 30, 1822, and came to this county in 1840. Of their nine children all of which are now living, James W. was born April 11, 1844, and married Ann E. Stevens, September 14, 1869. Elizabeth E. was born May 10, 1846; and married Edward Hill. Arthusa D. was born August 6, 1848. Thomas T. was born December 31, 1851, and was married to Mary E. Lynch, in February, 1874. Nancy C. was born February 18, 1853, and married S.P. Falconer, September 18, 1873. Major M. was born March 13, 1855. Henriette L. was born December 10, 1857. Julietta A. was born September 27, 1860. Ira G. was born March 7, 1864.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 295

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Robert WARNICK

FATHER WAS FIRST SHERIFF

Robt Warnick, Mexican War Veteran

The subject of this sketch, Mr. Robert Warnick was born in Rutherford county Tennessee, December 21, 1824, on the battle ground of the Stone River, one of the soldier readers have a vivid recollection says the Blue Mound reader.

Mr. Warnick has no remembrance of this(?) as his family moved to Illinois in the fall of 1828, taking up a settlers right upon what is now known as the old Ekel farm three miles north of Boody, and where R. _ Huddleston now lives.

Uncle Robert as he is called recalls the rough log cabin, fourteen by sixteen, just high enough for one room, covered with rough clap boards held in place by weight poles all cut from the timber which surrounded the spot and occupied by six sisters each having five brothers and a father and mother as he expressed it. The floor was made of hewn puncheons, the cracks chinked and daubed with sticks and mud, the chimney was of the style known as cat-in-clay, clap boards being laid over poles for a loft, the door being made of clap boards held in place by heavy cross pieces of wood acting as hinges upon wooden supports completing the hinges and creaking as the door swung shut or was thrown open.

Within was constructed a rough bed or two having but one leg each, the logs of the cabin supporting the other corners. Uncle Robert says when night-fall came mother had beds all over the floor and boys and girls enough to fill them with the latch-string pulled in for the night.

The Kickapoos were numerous, calling daily for a hand out, but his father always kept the old Dillard flint lock rifle loaded and suspended on the wooden rifle hooks upon the wall, with the powder-horn, wadding, powder and ball together with a hickory ram-rod and wiping stick brought from Tennessee in readiness for any treachery of which they suspected these sons of the prairie.

Wild deer, both grey and black, wolves and wild hogs were numerous, and Uncle Robert tells many blood curdling stories of hair-breadth escapes from the latter, often being together with numerous other novel experiences. Mr. Wornicks recollections of Lincoln have been frequently given to the public.

Mr. Wornick married Miss Julia Ann Reed, a daughter of John Reed, in February 1846, but volunteered to enter the Mexican war under Captain Isaac Pugh in June 1846. On organizing, Edward Baker became colonel of the 4th Illinois Infantry, under General James Shields, brigade commander subordinate to General Scott in the field. The company was carried to Springfield in wagons, thence to Alton in wagons, where the company took a boat to Jefferson barracks, St. Louis. There the regiment drilled two weeks, taking a boat to New Orleans, then embarking upon the Sea Lion, and crossing the gulf and landing at Brazos Santiago, Texas. The regiment marched up the Rio Grande on the east side to Camp Patterson and crossed over to Metamoras, camping at Rio Del Norte, here with a picked chased by ferocious bars and more savage old sows and their littler of wild pigs, the sapling or the tree was the only safe retreat when chased by these angry brutes which knew no fear.

The Sangamon afforded an abundance of fish, the prairie was dotted with wild chickens and the timber had many squirrels, wild turkeys, ducks, brants, cranes, etc. The prairie grass was full of black rattlesnakes and the timer with the yellow variety together with other snakes to a mans liking.

Mr. Wornick describes the wooden mould-board plow with a bar shear cutting a furrow of thirteen inches or more, and drawn by four yoke of cattle, this was followed by a boy who dropped seed corn into every third furrow in such a position that the corn might sprout and come up between the cracks of the sward of grass turned by the primitive plow. He relates that it was not fashionable to work or plow the corn until the second year, and that it was a long time before they could give up clearing the land instead of breaking the prairie.

Uncle Robert says the nearest house toward the west in 1825 was Martin Kembles at Bolivia, nineteen miles away, west of Mt. Auburn, the nearest east being that of Uncle Lewis Ward at Salem church, the family of Wm. Ward living still east and north of that, John Ward who had the reputation of being an Indian fighter.

Mr. Wornick tells of the privations endured, of how neighbors would visit or borrow from each other, traveling miles to meet, of how his mother knit, spun and wove, of how they bleached ashes to make their own soap, of how they cooked over the fire, of the corn pone, of Johnny cakes, of wild turkey eggs, dried venison, of wild hogs hams fattened upon mast, of how they made the corn bread hump itself by pearlash made by the women, not even having salaratus in those days, of e_ting wolf hunts, of prowling Kickapoos, of an occasional manchase in search of horse thieves, murderers, etc., all these scenes which have passed away and many more does Uncle Robert relate.

His father became the first sheriff of Macon county and decided to enter a piece of land, going to Vandalia to make his application and secure a land warrant which was duly signed by President Jackson at Washington.

Mr. Wornick attended school a few months east of the Green Hill farm taught by a Mr. McCall, afterwards county clerk of this county, he relates an incident of school life in which Uncle Jesse Austin concluded he would whip the teacher, but in turn got severely thrashed for his cupidity, to company of twenty men he marched under First Lieutenant Dick Oglesby to Camargo and Tampico, thence to Vera Cruz, three hundres miles away, entrapped by a dense forest, delayed by supply teams, and harassed by wiley Mexican guerillas making a part upon a sailing vessel being sea sick for several days. At the rear of Vera Cruz he witnessed the bombardment of the strong castle in the offing, nearly losing his life by a severe attack of stomach trouble while escaping the shot and shell from the embattlements.

When the castle fell he marched to battle at Cerro Gordo, was at Jalapa and returned with the mules captured at Cerro Gordo to Vera Cruz where he heard of the capture of the City of Mexico and the end of the war.

The incidents of this war experience would fill a volume, being of an exciting and humorous nature and too lengthy for this article.

Of his comrades he now knows of but two living, viz. Matthew Bradshaw, of Harristown, and Thomas Ritchie of Sangamon, the latter of whom was severely wounded at Cerro Gordo.

Mrs. Wornick died and he married Miss Mary E. Lay, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Lay, of Blue Mound township, and who crossed over many years since. Mr. Wornick is now in his seventy-ninth year, hale and hearty, possessed of all his mental faculties, eyes slightly dimmed, sense of humor acute, and altogether a typical gentleman of the old school down to isolated neighborhoods awaiting the summons of Him who cares for the least in His Kingdom.

Decatur Herald, 28 Apr 1903



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William WARNICK

Wm. Warnick, was born in 1784, in North Carolina, and married _ , who was born the same year. He removed from North Carolina to Rutherford county, Tennessee, and thence to this county, in 1825. He was the first sheriff of Macon county after its organization, and held the ofiice from 1829 to 1835, and was also re-elected again for two years, in 1840. He was in the Black Hawk war, and participated in the famous Stillman's defeat, where he received a slight flesh wound. He was also captain of the rangers, during the same difficulty. It was Mr. W. who, as sheriff of the county, whipped Redmon and Wyatt, by order of the court, giving them 39 hishes apiece. This was the only punishment of tlie kind ever inflicted in the county. Mr. W's father, James Warnick, was from Ireland, landing in New Castle, August 15, 1758. Their children were

John, Margaret, Polly (first wife of Joseph Stevens), Jas., Lucinda, Betsy (married John Taylor), Clark, Ira, Robert, Sarah (married Benj. Taylor; now dead.) Mr. W. died February 12, 1855.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 295-296

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John K. WARREN

On the list of Decatur's honored dead appears the name of John K. Warren, whose worth as a man and citizen placed him high in public regard. All who knew him respected and honored him and his demise was the occasion of deep and widespread regret. He was born in Philadelphia on the 10th of Augut, 1834, his parents being Josiah and Ann (Reynolds) Warren, the former of English and the latter of Scotch-Irish descent. In his native city the son spent his youthful days and was accorded the opportunity of acquiring an academic education. He afterward engaged in farming in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and in the year 1855 made his way to Chicago, hoping to be benefited in health. The change did not bring the desired result, however, and he decided to go south. He started as a passenger on one of the trains of the Illinois Central Railroad, which had just been completed. Stopping over night in Decatur, he found when he awoke in the morning that he was free from asthma, with which he had been seriously troubled for many months. This caused him to settle in Macon county and within a week he purchased a farm three miles northeast of the city. In the spring of 1856 he returned to take up his permanent abode here, accompanied by his mother, who spent her remaining days in Macon county.

After living on the farm for two years, Mr. Warren removed to Decatur in 1858 and the following year established a real-estate and insurance office. In 1863 he formed a partnership with Henry B. Durfee and under the frim style of Durfee & Warren the business was continued until 1865, when Bradford K. Durfee was made partner. In 1868 H.B. Durfee retired from the firm and the firm name became Warren & Durfee. In 1893 Mr. Durfee retired and Mr. Warren continued the business alone until his death. The firm prepared the first set of abstracts of titles ever used in Macon county and were pioneers of copyrights as applied to abstracts of titles in the United States. Mr. Warren enjoyed good health for some years after coming to Illinois but in 1873 his old asthmatic troubles returned with violence and he spent much of the succeeding five years in California and Texas for the benefit of his health, which was greatly improved by his sojourn in the south.

Mr. Warren became deeply interested in railroad building and between 1867 and 1872 was actively engaged in securing the building of new railway lines to important points. He was connected with the Pekin, Lincoln & Decatur now the Peoria, Danville & Railroad from the first until the trains were fun over that line into Decatur. He was also associated with the Indiana & Illinois Railroad, which was organzied in 1853 and which is now a part of the Wabash system. He served as its president from 1868 until 1871 and was instrumental in securing the reorganization of the company, resulting in the eventual construction of the line. Through his activity in railway connections he did much to promote the interests of Decatur, for the growth of every city depends in very large measure upon its railway facilities. In 1868 he organized the Decatur Gas Light & Coke Company, of which he was president.

In May, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Warren and Miss Emma Powers, of Decatur, and they were for many years well known socially in the city. In politics he was a republican and his party elected him to the office of municipal chief executive in 1867. In other positions to which he was called as well as that of mayor he served with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. In early life he was a member of the Presbyterian church, but later joined the Episcopal church, and was ever a man of honor and uprightness whose life commended him to the confidence and high regard of all. He has left his impress indelibly upon the history of Macon county and its substantial and premanent building.

Nelson, Hon. William E., Editor - Decatur and Macon County, Illinois, A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II, The Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910, pg. 245-46

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Daniel S. WEIGEL

The Weigel family are among the old settlers of Hickory Point township. Solomon Weigel, the father of Daniel S. Weigel, was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, on the third of July 1813. He married Caroline Hinkel, who was born in the same county on the third of November, 1828. In June, 1849, the family emigrated to Macon county, Illinois, and in the fall settled on eighty acres of school land in section sixteen of Hickory Point township, which Solomon Weigel had purchased while on a visit to the state several years previous. At the time the family located here it was the furthest settlement out on the prairie. Due North, there was no house until Salt Creek was reached. Solomon Weigel died on the fourth of March, 1864. His wife, Caroline, departed this life on the thirteenth of October, 1868. They were parents of twelve children, whose names are as follows: Daniel S. Weigel; Henry S. Weigel; Mary C. Thompson; Simon Weigel, deceased; Barbara E. Gepord; John F. Weigel; Nancy A. Schroll; Martha JH. Reed; Martin V. Weigel; Solomon R. Weigel; Caroline Weigel deceased; and Carrie E. Weigel.

Daniel S. Weigel, the oldest child, was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, on the tenth of August, 1847. He was two years old when his father moved to this county. He attended the common schools in Hickory Point township, and went one term to the State Normal School. He learned the carpenter's trade, at which he has been engaged a portion of his time. For the last three years he has been living on the old homestead farm. He is a member of the Church of God, with which he has been connected about fifteen years. He is a regularly licensed minister of that denomination; during the last five years has preached frequently and is now pastor of the Fairview circuit.

History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 206/7



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William WHEELER

William Wheeler, Sr., was a native of Virginia, and was married to Elizabeth Hays, also a Virginian. Mr. Wheeler and family removed to Illinois, and to Macon County in 1828. He had nine children, one of whom, William Jr., was destined to become prominently connected with the civil history of Macon County. A man of great popularity he has been repeatedly elected sheriff, assessor and collector. His daughter Elizabeth became the wife of William Ward, the father of Franklin and Hiram Ward.

History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 33

Submitted by: Toni

William Wheeler, Sr., was born in Virginia about 1790, and married Elizabeth Hays, who was born in the same State. Mrs. W. died about 1836, and Mr. W. in 1866. Their children were, James, Stacy, Henry, William, Jr., Elizabeth, Raliegh. Burton, Larkin and Nathaniel. Mr. Wheeler and family removed to Illinois and settled in Macon county, in 1828. James Wheeler was born in South Carolina in 1799, and died in 1867. His wife was Margaret Mayberry. Stacy Wheeler was born about 1800, and married William Christopher, and died about 1S31. Henry Wheeler was born in 1801, in Tennessee, and was married in Tennessee to Mary Y. Braden, who was born January 4, 1800. Of their five children

Elizabeth E. was born May 7, 1826; married David Brett; died 1864. Samuel R. was born August 16, 1827; married Jamima Abrams, who was born in 1828, in Illinois. William E. was born October 23, 1828; married Ellen Frazee; he died 1875. Nancy J. was born January 9, 1830; married Samuel Woodward, first husband; Mason Packard, second husband; now resides in California. Andrew J. was born January 16, 1832; married N.E. Cox, who was born in Scott county, Illinois, 1837.

William Wheeler, Jr., was born on the 28th of Dec, 1809, in Rutherford county, Tennessee; was married Oct 27, 1831, to Sarah A. Ward, (daughter of Jerry Ward,) who died in August, 1869. Mr. Wheeler has been prominently connected with the affairs of the county, and has been repeatedly elected sheriff, assessor and collector. Of their 10 children, but two are living, viz:

Mary E., who married Thomas Inscho, now resides in San Jose, California; and Lewis Cass. Andrew M. died in '69; Calvin R. died in '61; Lucinda K. died in '63; William L. died in '66; Henrietta died in '62; James C. died in '51 ; Thomas B. died in infancy, and Alice died in 1874.

Elizabeth Wheeler was born in 1811, and married William Ward, the father of Franklin and Hiram Ward, well known in the county.

Raleigh Wheeler was born in 1813, and died in 1834; his first wife was Rebecca Travis, and second Mary Fields.

Burton Wheeler was born in 1815, and resides in Moultrie county, Illinois.

Larkin Wheeler was born in 1817; died in 1838.

Nathaniel Wheeler was born in 1819; died when young.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 294-295

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Emanuel WIDICK

Emanuel Widick was born February 2, 1806, in Tennessee, and came to Illinois and settled in Macon county, in 1826. He married Sarah A. Cox, who was born May 23, 1811. Mr. W. died March 4, 1863, and Mrs. W. died December 10, 1863. Of their children

Albert was born September 3, 1835. William was born August 8, 1837; died March 1, 1845. Margaret C. was born May 5, 1838; died November 2, 1853. John was born February 2, 1840. Andrew was born March 27, 1842. Ephriam was born _, 1844. Mary A, E. was born May 6, 1847. Eliza J, and Aaron were born April 21, 1850.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 296

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John WIDICK

John Widick was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, and removed to Macon county, in 1826. He married Cohorine (sic) Traughber; but what was the date of the births and deaths of each we cannot ascertain. Mrs. W. died perhaps, about November 1, 1832. Their children were

William, Margaret (See McDaniel ), Emanuel (dead), Michael, Elizabeth (married Lemuel Walker), Rial (of Homer, Iowa), Aaron (dead), Eli (Saxton Station, Mo.), Edmund (Moultrie county), Henry and Josiah.

Henry Widick was born September 30, 1828, in Macon county, and was married to Elizabeth Mathews, October 30, 1850, who was born May 2, 1833. Of their children

Wm. H., born July 14, 1852. Sarah E., born June 8, 1854. Laura E., born August 9, 1856, Arminda E., born August 4, 1859. Lavena A., born October 13, 1863. Ida M., born July 29, 1867. George C, born August 23, 1872; died September 7, 1874. Samuel, Jacob, George and Joseph Widick were all brothers of John Widick, above mentioned, and removed to this county in 1825, at least the former and latter did. Joseph settled at the old Caulk place, recently purchased by P.M. Wykoff, Samuel on the old Wm. Young place and Jacob the place where Robert H. Smith now resides. Joseph was accidentally killed by falling on a pitchfork, and Samuel died at Jefferson Barracks, during the late war.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 296-297

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J.G. WILLARD

One of the representative farmers of Harristown township, is a native of Overton county, Tennessee, and was born on the twenty-first of February, 1827. The Willard family in America is said to have sprung from two brothers of that name, who came to this country at a period previous to the war of the Revolution. One settled in New England and the other in Virginia. From these two brothers it is believed all the Willards now in this country are descended. Mr. Willard's grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He fought in several battles and did his full share toward securing the independence of the thirteen colonies. After the war the government granted him a pension, which he enjoyed till his death. William Willard, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in East Tennessee, and when young removed to Overton county, in the same state, where he married Martha Goodpasture. J. G. Willard was the sixth of a family of nine children. In the spring of 1830 his father emigrated from Tennessee to Illinois, and settled in Morgan county, nine miles west of Jacksonville. The winter after their arrival was the winter of the deep snow, long remembered by the old settlers of that part of the state. The subject of this sketch was three years old when he came to Morgan county. He had the ordinary advantages for obtaining an education. The flrst time he attended school was in a log school-house. The benches were split slabs, and greased paper pasted over the apertures between the logs constituted the windows. He afterward went to school in a building of a better character. The last school he attended was a high-school at Concord. His father died when he was thirteen years old. He was the oldest son at home, and from that age was obliged to look after the farm, so that he had less opportunity for acquiring an education on that account. His early education, however, has been.supplemented by reading and practical business experience in after life.

On the 28th of March, 1849, then in his twenty-second year, he married Miss Aliff C. Avritt, who was born in Kentucky, came to this state when quite young and settled in Morgan county, where she was raised. After his marriage he went to farming on his own account in Morgan county. He began without much means, and for several years rented land. In 1852 he purchased a farm in Morgan county, which he subsequently sold. Finding an opportunity to purchase cheaper land in this part of the state, he came to Macon county in 1855, and bought the south half of section nine of Harristown township, then raw prairie land without any improvements. He improved a fine farm, on which he still resides. His farm now consists of five hundred and sixty-five acres, located in sections nine and sixteen of Harristown township, in close proximity to the town of Harristown. He was fotunate in choosing a location in one of the choicest portions of the county. The farm is considered one of the best in the county, has a substantial residence and other buildings and good improvements. His attention has been chiefly devoted to feeding stock, in which he has been successful, and to the breeding of thorough-bred English turf horses.

He has taken a warm interest in everything relating to agriculture. With the Macon county agricultural association he has been connected since it first organization. In 1879 he was elected a member of the Board of Directors, and in 1880 was chosen President. In his political associations he has always been connected with the democratic party, casting his first vote for president, for Lewis Cass in 1848. He has voted for many subsequent democratic candidates for the presidency except in the campaign of 1872. While thoroughly devoted to the principles of democracy, in local elections, he feels himself free to support the man whom he considers best fitted for an office regardless of political affiliations. Since the year 1859 he has been a member of the Christian Church, and belongs to the dhurch of that denomination at Harristown, His wife has been a member of the same religious body from girlhood. Mr. Willard is one of the substantial farmers of the county. His success illustrates what may be accomplished by intelligence and enterprise devoted to agricultural operations. He has one child, a son, James M. Willard, who has been engaged in the mercantile business.

History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 185



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Lavina WILLIAMS

LAVINA WILLIAMS, daughter of J.D. Long, was born December 26, 1826, and married JACKSON WILLIAMS, who was born December 4, 1826. Of their children - Lafayette was born July 17, 1852; died 1873. Jerome was born August 21, 1854; died 1856. Walter L. was born February 26, 1856. Laura M. was born September 12, 1857. Joseph W. was born November 6, 1859. Mary C. was born May 11, 1861. Edward was born August 25, 1864. Jasper was born January 2, 1867. Effie was born March 12, 1869.

History of Macon County, Illinois, From its Organization to 1876.
By John W. Smith Esq. of the Macon County Bar.

Submitted by: Sandy

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Andrew WILSON

Andrew Wilson was born March 3, 1785, and was married to Mary Ann Wilson, who was born January 30, 1788. They removed from East Tennessee to Macon county about 1830. Mr. W. died August 10, '44, and Mrs. W. September 17, '72. Of their children

Thomas B. was born July 26, 1807; died July, '73. Alexander M. was born May 6, 1809. Eliza D. was born April 15, 1811; died September 13, '15. Katharine was born _ 21, 1816; died January 7, '55. John A. was born January 9, 1819; died December 18, '21. James J. was born November 12, 1822; died April 28, '54.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 293-294

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Benjamin WILSON

Benjamin Wilson was among the early and prominent citizens of Macon county, and came here in 1837, and was one of the county commissioners who assisted in the county organization. He held the position for a great many years. He was born at Guilford Court House, in North Carolina, and removed thence to Tennessee, and afterwards to Illinois. He married Jane Warnick in the state of Tennessee, who was a sister of "Uncle Billy" Warnick, the first sheriff of the county. Their children were, Polly, (see Sanders,) Rachel, (see Hill,) Peggy Smith, (see John Smith,) Robert, Nancy, Hannah, (see Blankenship,) and

John Wilson was born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, in 1813, came to Illinois in 1828, and was married to Nancy Wilson, March 1, 1832, who was born July 6, 1813, in Greene county, Tennessee, and became a resident of Macon county about 1830. Of their Children

Benjamin T. was born August 19, 1836; died February 5, 1854. Mary A. was born October 23, 1833, and married Joseph M.Dawson, who was born April 5, 1828. Of their children

John A. was born July 8, 1853. Thomas M. was born April 6, 1855. Nancy A. was born January 19, 1857; died December 29, 1857. Luella B. was born August 4, 1859. C. E. was born January 18, 1863. Edwin P. was born December 17, 1864. Oscar W. was born April 26, 1867.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 293

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D.K. WILSON
D. K. Wilson was born March 27, 1825, in Rutherford county, Tennessee; came to Macon county in 1835, and was married to Mary J. Dickey, February 25, 1845, who was born July 31, 1827, in Florence, Alabama, and came to Macon county in 1S29. Of their children -

Samuel was born. April 17, 1846; was married to Eveline Dresback in September, 186S, and died January, 1877. Margaret C. was born December 17, 1847; was married to S.B. Betz in March, 1869. Eliza J. was born October 8, 1849; died April 16, 1866. Andrew was born September 1, 1851; was married to Ella Bundy April 13, 1875, who was born April 26, 1859, in Piqua county, Ohio; came to this county in 1875, and died December 15, 1876. Sarah A. was born October 25, 1852; was married to R.J. Ross December 9, 1874. Mary E. was born January 17, 1858; was married to Marian Ranabarger, February 27, 1876. Zaritha M. was born December 3, 1859. William A. was born December 8, 1862. John W. was born April 27, 1865; died September 17, '67. George W. was born July 28, 1868.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 292-293

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Robert WILSON

Robert Wilson was born October 4,1779, in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, and moved to Murray county, Tenn., when about 18 years old. He moved thence to Wilson county, Tenn., where he married Jane Donald, who died in 1829. Of their seven children

Thomas F. was born July 26, 1813; died August 29, '35. Mary B. was born June 14, 1815; died August 17, '39. Nancy E. was born September 28, 1817; died April 6, '34. Sarah G. was born November i, 1819; died November 1,'52. William A. was born August 22, 1822. Martha J. was born June 10, 1825; died _ , 1850. Cyntha E, was born July 9, 1828; died _ , 1846.

Mr. Wilson's second wife was Mrs. Sallie Hodge, widow of Joseph H. Hodge, and who was born April 26, 1792, in Orange county, North Carolina. By her first husband the following children were born:

Henry J. Hodge, born March 11, 1813; died August 30, 1838; married P. Traughber. Talitha J. Hodge, born December 9, 1814; married N.N. Baker. Arraanna H., born June 25, 1816; married J.M. Baker. Margaret C, born February 1, 1819; died , 1864; married John Hanson. Joseph J., born February 10, 1822; died September 7, 1872; married M.A. Ferriss. Eli L., born October 24, 1824; died March 26, 1849. After the marriage of Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Hodge, in 1829, they removed to Sangamon county, Illinois, and came to Macon county in 1830, where Mr. W. died, March 4, 1873, and Mrs. W. January 20, 1872. By the last marriage there were three children

Robert D. was born October 18, 1830; married Mary Outten.
Sarah A. was born January 5, 1833; married John H. Davidson.
James A. was born September 5, 1S35; married Sarah Jones.

History of Macon County, 1876, pg. 292

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Robert D. WILSON

There are few men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect which was universally accorded Roert D. Wilson, but through a long connection with the history of Macon county his was an unblemised character. With him success in life was reached by his sterling qualities of mind and of heart true to every manly principle. He never deviated from what his judgment would indicate to be right between his fellow men and himself and he never swerved from the path of duty and at the close of his career his friends passed favorable judgment upon him and mourned his death because they had respected and loved him.

Robert D. Wilson was certainly one of the best known men of Macon county for almost his entire life was here spent, the family having settled here in 1830. Mr. Wilson was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1829 and was a son of Robert and Sarah (Lindsey) Wilson, both of whom were natives of North Carolina, whence they removed to Tennessee and after living in that state for a short time they came to Illinois, settling in Sangamon county in 1829. There his father engaged in farming for one year and in 1830 came to Macon county, settling in Mount Zion township, where he built a log cabin - one of the pioneer homes of the county, in which harships and trials were endured and yet in which the foundation for a comfortable competence was laid. There he lived throughout his remaining days, carrying on general farming, and his wife also died on the old homestead there. Of their children only two are now living: James A., a resident of Decatur, and Sarah, who is the wife of John Davidson and resides in Mount Zion township.

In the common schools like the other members of the family, Robert D. Wilson pursued his education. He was reared amid frontier surroundings and his mind bore the impress of the early history of the county, when lands were uncultivated and the work of improvement and progress was scarcely begun. He continued to assist in the work of the home farm until the time of his marriage. He wedded Miss Mary Outten, a native of Cass county, Illinois, and a daughter of Purnell S. and Rachel (Berry) Outten, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. In the year 1843 he came to Macon county, settling on a farm in Mount Zion township, settling on a farm in Mount Zion township near the Wilson homestead. There he lived, devoting his energies to the care and cultivation of the land until old age began to creep on, when he took up his abode in the village of Mount Zion, thence living retired for a few years. He then moved to Decatur, making his home with Mr. and Mrs. Wilson until called to his final rest at the advance age of eighty-eight years. His wife had died when Mrs. Wilson was but seven years of age and he afterward wedded Miss Mary Ross, of Cass county, Illinois, whose death occurred in Mount Zion township, Macon county. There were four children by the first union, but two are deceased, those living being W.C., an attorney residing in Decautr, and Mary, who became the wife of Robert D. Wilson. The only child of the second marriage was George T. Outten, who died at the age of thirty-three years.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson was blessed with eight children: Julia, the wife of Henry A. Trangliber, who resides in Spokane, Washington; Robert Purness, who died in youth; Anna, the wife of D.M. Riber, who is living in Decatur, Illinois; James D., who married Maude Ogle and lives on the old homestead in Mount Zion township; Oscar W., who is engaged in the real estate business in Decatur; Archie, who died in May, 1903; Alva G., who resides with his mother and is a partner in the firm of Akers & Wilson, prominent furniture dealers, conducting a large store in Decautr; and Ella M., the wife of Dr. John Miller, a physician of Decatur.

After his marriage Robert D. Wilson located upon a farm in Mount Zion township, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until after the Civil war was inaugurated. On the 9th of August, 1862, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry under Colonel N.W. Tupper. The regiment was oranized at Camp Macon and on the 8th of November went to Memphis, Tennessee, where with his company Mr. Wilson participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post and Youngs Point. The regiment worked on Grant's canal all during the winter and the boys suffered much from sickness there. On the 19th of June, 1863, in the assault on Vicksburg, Mr. Wilson was shot through the right arm and lay in the hospital for two weeks. He was then granted a furlough, which he spent at home, but soon he rejoined hs regiment at Camp Sherman, Vicksburg, when there were but three of his company remaining there, the others having been taken prisoners. He was afterward in the battles of Atlanta, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga and Dallas and was with Sherman on the march to the sea. On one occasion he was severely wounded by the concussion of a torpedo, a piece of which struck his heel. After Lee's surrender the regiment went to Washinton and participated in the grand review in the capital city, where wave after wave of bayonet-crested blue passed by the reviewing stand. At Springfield, Illinois, Mr. Wilson was mustered out, receiving an honorable discharge on the 7th of June 1865.

Returning to his home Mr. Wilson resumed farming and engaged in the tilling of the soil in Mount Zion townshiop until 1886, when on account of ill health he removed with his family to Decatur, where he lived retired until his death, which occurred January 30, 1901. He held several minor offices in the township, but was never an aspirant for political preferment. In politics he was a Republican. He belonged to Thomas White Post, G.A.R., of Mount Zion, and thus maintained pleasant relations with his old army comrades. Both he and his wfie were consistent members of the First Methodist Episcopal church and Mrs. Wilson is still deeply interested in its work. She resides in a fine residence at No. 960 Cleveland avenue, in Riverside. It is one of the most attractive homes in that part of the city and was built by her husband.

Through almost his entire life, Mr. Wilson resided in Macon county and he had a very wide acquaintance here. He was brave in the face of danger, fearless in the defense of his honest convictions, straightforward in all his dealings and in all life's relations was an honorable gentleman, his sterling traits endearing him to his many friends as well as to his immediate family. As a pioneer citizen, as a veteran soldier and as one of the most respected residents of Macon county, he is well deserving of mention in this volume. It was in his home, however, that his best nature shone forth, his kindly spirit being most strongly manifested in his relations with wife and children.

Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 175-179

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Robin WILSON

The Wilson family settled first in Pennsylvania, then North Carolina and on to Tennessee. There in 1828, ROBIN WILSON, still feeling the urge to move west, packed his saddle bags and set out on a prospecting tour of Illinois. He staked out his ideal farm in Mt. Zion Township, Macon County, (then Shelby County), SW Quarter of the NW Quarter, Sec. Y. Twp. 15N. Range 4E. It was located on the edge of a timber, with good spring water and adjoining prairie land to till.

Upon returning home, he found that his wife had died during his absence and his seven children were in the care of friends. It being impractical to bring them to a new land without a mother, a few months later, (April 1829), he married SARAH LINDSEY HODGE, widow of Joseph R. Hodge and mother of six children.

The entire family started to Illinois over the usual route in covered wagons. They spent the first summer near Rock Creek in a log cabin on the farm of former Tennessee neighbors. Here, on October 18, 1830, Robert Donnell Wilson was born. When he was six weeks of age, they came to Mt. Zion Township. This was the winter of the Big Snow and the family, sixteen in number, lived in a log cabin, 16 x 14, until spring when their comfortable two story log house was completed. Two more children were born to this union. The only complaint ever recorded was when, somewhat later, Sarah told Robert that his children and her children were teasing their children.

Robert Donnell Wilson was reared on his fathers farm in the east part of Mt. Zion Township and was educated in the country school of that section.

ROBERT WILSON and MARY OUTTEN were married in 1855 and started housekeeping near the old homestead. Here, three children were born. Robert enlisted in the 116th Regiment, Company C when it was organized in Mt. Zion. Before leaving to fight in the Civil War, he disposed of his farming equipment at a very low price and moved his family to a cottage bordering the campus of the Mt.Zion Academy and they lived there for the duration of the war. Mary Wilson often baked bread for the Academy students who lived on campus and boarded themselves.

Robert was mustered out of the army in 1865 and returnede home to take up farming again. He had to pay as much as ten times the amount he had received for his equipment to replace it.

In 1869 they built a new home of eight rooms two miles directly south of Casner (now the home of Raymond Shaw). Here they worked and saved, helped their neighbors and reared their family of eight children. They were never without at least one extra person in need of a temporary home.

On Saturdays, much cooking and baking was done for on Sunday the whole family piled into a spring wagon to go to church, returning with either the preacher or friends as dinner guests.

There were a few primitive sewing machines at that time and Mary Wilson owned one of the first of these in the neighborhood. She was often asked to hem ruffles or sew for friends because she could do it so easily. One neighbor sent her small daughter over for the day, with material for a dress and Mary, ever willing to oblige, made it for her.

In 1884 one of their sons, J.D., went to Washington Territory to live. There he married MAUD ELIZABETH OGLE and in 1895 brought his family back to Illinois and settled in the Wilson homestead near Casner. Meantime, his parents had moved to Decatur.

Their children were twins Purnell and Prudence Ella born in 1891; Lillian Fay; Robert Josephus; Donald Ogle; Jennie Elizabeth and Rachael Marie. Of these children Prudence, Lillian, Robert and Jennie Lived in the Mt. Zion Community all of their lives.

Purnell Outten (1891-1932) married Flossie Hubbirt in 1911. Their children were Purnell Outten Wilson Jr. (1916-1924); Helen Armistice; Donald Hubbirt; Glen Kenneth (1922-1969).

Prudence Ella (1891-1977) married Leslie Earl Scott in 1914. They had one daughter Elizabeth Jane who married F. Cecil Bair in 1939. Elizabeth and Cecil had three children Nancy Jane, David Scott, Katherine Ann. The Bairs live in Champaign.

Lillian Faye (1892-1980) maried O.C. Hopkins in 1914.

Robert Josephus (1898-1936) married Nora Sheets in 1922.

Donald Ogle (1900-1969) married Edna Ashenfelter in 1931.

Jennie Elizabeth (1902-1977) married L. Earl Beck in 1922. They had two children Everett Wilson and Laurence Earl.

Rachael Marie (1908-) married David Kincaid in 1927. Their children are: David Jr. and Janet Sue.

The information provided here was taken from family histoy compiled by Prudence Wilson Scott.

Submitted by: Kimjet

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W.L. WHITLEY

W. L. Whitley, an illustration of whose farm appears in this book, was born in Harrison county, Kentucky, March eighth, 1844. His father, James Whitley, was born in the year 1809, in Fairfax county, Virginia, and when a small boy moved with his father to Harrison county, Kentucky, where he grew up and married Phoebe Haley, who was born in Fairfax county, Virginia, in the year 1805. James Whitley emigrated from Kentucky to Illinois in 1846, and in October of that year settled on the farm in section twenty-eight, Harristown township, on which he lived till his death, on the first of April, 1872. He came to this state with little means, only owning a horse, a pair of oxen and forty dolloars in money. He bought eighty acres of land in section twenty-eight, and traded the yoke of oxen as part payment, and in a year or two managed to free the land from all incumbrance. He afterwards purchased a mill on the Sangamon river near his residence, which he carried on for several years. As he had opportunity he made investments in land, and at his death owned five hundred and fifty acres. In his politics he was a democrat. His widow still survives him. He had three children: Richard F., who now lives in Vernon county, Missouri; Napoleon B., who died in the year 1859, at the age of seventeen, and W.L. Whitley, the youngest.

W.L. Whitley, who occupies the old homestead farm, was about two years and a-half old when he came to Macon county. He obtained his education in the neighborhood of the old farm, on which he has always lived. On the first of September, 1872, he married Alice J. Peats, a native of Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where the marriage occurred. Like his father he is a democrat in politics. He owns four hundred and twenty acres of land in Harristown township. The farm on which he lives is one of the oldest in that part of the county. The eastern part of the farm includes the most of the land which Abraham Lincoln cultivated when he resided in Macon county in 1830.

History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 186

Washington L. Whitley, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 28, Harristown Township, is a native of Kentucky. He was born in Harrison County, on the 8th of March, 1843. His grandparents were natives of Virginia and became pioneer settlers of Kentucky. It is said that the first white child born in the latter State was a Whitley. The parents of our subject, James and Phoebe (Haley) Whitley, were both born there. By their marriage they had a family of three children; Richard T., now a resident of Montevallo, Mo.; Napoleon B., who died in 1859, at the age of seventeen years; and Washington L., of this sketch. In 1846, when our subject was a lad of three years, the parents came with their family to Illinois and located in Macon County.

Ten years previously, Milton Whitely, a brother of James, had come to this State and taken up his residence upon a farm. He also ran a mill and distillery. He owned some two hundred and forty acres of land, that on his death, which occurred a short time after the arrival of his brother, was purchased by James Whitley, who also bought the Lincoln place. The father of our subject had visited Illinois when a young man, and in 1846, with his wife and family, he came again. At that time he had a yoke of oxen, one horse and $50 in cash. He traded the oxen for land and at once began the development of a farm. For a number of years he also carried on a mill, which his brother had built. This was known as the Whitley Mill and was one of the old landmarks of the county. It was the only one on the river between Decatur and Mechanicsburg. Mr. Whitley possessed excellent business ability, and at his death, as a result of his labors, he was the owner of six hundred acres of valuable land. In politics, he was a strong Douglas Democrat, but never took a very prominent part in political affairs, especially as an office seeker. He was born April 1, 1809, and died in 1872. His wife, whose birth occurred December 1, 1805, passed away in 1889.

The subject of this sketch was reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life, and in his youth aided in the labors of the mill and of the farm. On his fathers death, in 1872, he assumed charge of the old homestead, which he has since operated. He is now the owner of four hundred and sixteen acres of good land, and his well-developed farm yields to him a good income. In addition to the cultivation of his land, he has engaged in breeding draft horses and has met with good success in this undertaking. He is industrious and energetic, and has therefore become one of the substantial citizens of the community.

On the 1st of September, 1870, Mr. Whitley was united in marriage with Miss Alice J. Peats, a native of Pennsylvania, their union being celebrated at her home in Mercer County, Pa. Like his father, our subject is a stalwart advocate of Democratic principles. In 1890 he was honored with an election as Township Supervisor, and so well has he discharged the duties of the office that he has been twice re-elected. He was Chairman of the Finance Committee for raising funds for the building of the county court house. He favored home money, and his vote was given to secure the loan and to proceed with the building, and as a result Macon Countys fine court house now stands. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen and has been active in all interests pertaining to the welfare of the community in which he resides.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon County, IL, 1893, pg. 582-583

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