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Carroll County Biographies


Perhaps no town in Illinois, of the same size as Mt. Carroll, offers more desirable living conditions and this is large due to the great number of retired farmers who, after years of persevering industry, have established their homes here, bringing with them not only their ample fortunes, which they distribute advantageously to the town's business increase, but also temperate and whilesome habits which exercise a very wide spread and useful influence. Such a citizen is found in William K. Stakemiller, who is secretary of the Mr. Carroll Mutual Telephone Company, and occupies his handsome modern residence of eight rooms, situated on South Clay street, which he completed in 1911. He was born in Pennsylvania, February 24, 1851, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Simmons) Stakemiller.

The father, William Stakemiller, was born in Cumberland county, Pa., in 1817, and died March 10, 1903. His wife was born in 1826 and died September 27, 1910, and both are buried in Oak Hill cemetery, Mt. Carroll. They came to Illinois in 1855 and for one year lived in Mt. Carroll township and then moved to Salem township, where William Stakemiller bought his first eighty acres of land, paying $1.25 per acre. His next eighty acres cost him exactly double the above price. He lived there until 1885 when he retired although he subsequently purchased forty acres more of farming land. For some years he gave attention also to shoemaking, having learned the trade in Pennsylvania. In 1844 he was married to Elizabeth Simmons and the following children were born to them: John H., who lives in Iowa; Jacob and Mary Jane, both of whom are deceased; William K.; Anna E., who is deceased; George W., who lives retired at Jennings, Ia; and Martha Ann, who is the wife of Karl Eskelsen.

William K. Stakemiller remained at home and assisted his father until he was twenty-one years of age, in the meanwhile attending the country schools as opportunity in boyhood offered. He started out for himself when he left home and has always devoted himself more or less to agricultural pursuits. On August 15, 1871, he was married to Miss Susan A. Shrader, by Rev. Aphas Baird of the Lutheran Church of Mt. Carroll, a daughter of Peter and Cordelia (Ray) Shrader, the former of whom was born in Union county, Pa., January 8, 1822, and the latter in Ohio, near Lake Erie, Portage county, August 21, 1830. Mrs. Shrader came with parents to Carroll county in 1848, he coming about the same time, by himself, by boat to Savanna from where he walked to Mt. Carroll. He went to Galena, later coming to Mt. Carroll, where they met and were married August 2, 1849. Both died in Carroll county and are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. There were no railroads in the county when they came here. They owned 170 acres in Salem township, paying for eighty acres $1.25 per acres. Mrs. Stakemiller is the eldest of her parents' children, the others being: Albert B., who is a minister in the English Lutheran Church at Kansas City, Kas.; John F., who is in the livery business at Chadwick, Ill.; Wilbur W., who is a resident of Austin, near Chicago, Ill.; Rebecca S., who is the wife of H. P. Moore, of Mt. Carroll; and Clara, who is the wife of Jacob L. Moore of Mt. Carroll.

Mr. and Mrs. Stakemiller have two children: Lenora Blanche and Charles W. The daughter was born February 20, 1874, and is the wife of George F. Stober, who is in the barber business at Mt. Carroll, and they have one son, William C., who was born September 6, 1878, and operates the homestead farm in Salem township. He married Miss Kate Weber and they have taken a boy to rear, Robert H., born March 4, 1911. Mr. Stakemiller and family are members of the English Lutheran Church, their parents having been charter members here, and for six years he has been an elder, for many years previously having been a deacon. Both he and wife are deeply interested in the Sunday-school, of which he has been superintendent and in which Mrs. Stakemiller has been a teacher for twenty years. In his political affiliation he is a Prohibitionist, and he has served in the office of school director of Salem township for several years. He has always been a man of public spirit and encouraged the enterprise that resulted in the formation of the Mt. Carroll Mutual Telephone Company, of which he was manager for seven years and is now secretary.

Transcribed by Carol Parrish
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, Vol. II, Munsell Publishing Company, 1913, p. 898-899.

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