Carroll County Biography


William Petty is one of the successful and representative farmers of Carroll County, owning a fine farm of 320 acres on section 14, in Mt. Carroll Township. His father, Robert Petty, was born in Kettlewell, Yorkshire, England in 1800, and when young emigrated to this country. He was married in Pittsburg PA to Miss Jane Patterson, a native of Franklin County in that State. After their marriage, they continued to live in Pittsburg for about eight years, when they emigrated to Illinois, settling in Mt. Carroll Township in 1843, and there they both died, the father about the year 1845 and the mother in the fall of 1875, having survived her husband thirty years. This worthy couple were the parents of five children - William, Agnes, Mary, James and John. The three sons and daughter are now surviving, Agnes having died when quite young.

The subject of our sketch was the eldest of the family, and was born in Pittsburg PA Oct. 15, 1836. He was about seven years of age when his parents moved to Carroll County, and there he grew to manhood, and has ever since made Mt. Carroll Township hishome. His life has been spent in agricultural pursuits and he is justly regarded as one of the most competent farmers in the county, holding a leading position, especially in his own township. His well-cultivated farm, with its fine buildings, and his comfortable residence show every evidence of the careful and successful farmer, and this is especially noticable in the large nad splendidly-fitted up barn which adorns his premises. Under its ample roof the products of the farm are sheltered, and the stock, of which he is so excellent a breeder, have plenty of room for their accommodation and care.

October, 1856, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Lydia A. Orcutt, daughter of Abram and Lois P. (Kinney) Orcutt, both natives of NY. They came from Onondaga County NY to Carroll County about the year 1849, settling in Mt. Carroll Township, where both died, the father in 1859 and the mother in April 1888, in her 80th year. They were the parents of four children of whom only two lived to maturity - H.A. Johnson and Lydia A. The former died in Syracuse NY and the latter, the wife of our subject, was born in Manlius, Onondaga County NY May 3, 1837. Before their marriage Mrs. Petty was a school teacher, being an assistant in the Freeport Union Schools, and she had also taught in Carroll County for several terms.

Mr. and Mrs. Petty are the parents of two children - Emma J. and Albert E. Emma is the wife of Milton L. Dodson, and has two children, Bessie and Grace. Like her mother, the daughter taught school for several terms in Carroll County, and is a graduate of the Union School at Mt. Carroll where she received a diploma. Albert E. is married to Miss Mary Humbert and has one child, Ray. His wife was also a teacher before her marriage, teadching for several years in this township.

Mr. Petty has filed an important place int he public affairs of his township. He has held the office of School Director for some years, and is the agent for the Mt. Carroll Township Mutual Insurance Company, in which institution he is a leading spirit. Politically, he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, in whose councils he takes an active part. His first vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln, and he has never swerved in his allegiance to the party of his choice. He was a delegate to the State Convention held at Springfield in the spring of 1880, to choose delegates to the National Convention at Chicago, Il., by which James G. Blaine was nominated for President. He is a Trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which, for many years, he has been a member. To his wife he owes much of the prosperity which has attended him, and she has ever been a wise and faithful helpmate, who has looked well to the ways of her household, and has brought up her children to emulate the good example of their parents. Mr. Petty is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has ever been a careful and business-like man in his dealings with others, and these traits together with his irreproachable character and habits, have produced his marked success.

Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 815

John Kinney 2nd husband of Jane (Patterson) Petty

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