Lee County Biography

William Dysart
China Township


William Dysart, residing on section 13, China Township, where he has valuable farming interests, has been intimately connected with the rise and progress of Lee County for many years, and is deservedly held in honor as a pioneer who has not only been instrumental in its upbuilding but has been prominent in its public and political life, and influential in its educational and social elevation.

For a history of the parents of our subject see the sketch of his brother the Hon. Samuel Dysart. Of a family of ten children he was the fifth in order of birth, and was born in Huntingdon County Pa., April 11, 1828. He there grew to manhood on a farm, and made it his home until the latter part of April, 1850. Then, in the flush and vigor of life, he set his face Westward, well equipped to cope with the experiences that lay before him in a region still in the hands of the pioneers. He arrived in Dixon on the 8th of May, and for two months worked hard at breaking prairie on the farm that is now his own, receiving $20 a month for his services.

At the end of that time Mr. Dysart returned to his native county in PA and after spending the summer there returned to Lee County, November 14, the journey taking him about four weeks to accomplish. For nearly two years he made his home with his brother, Col. A.P. Dysart, of Nachusa Township, and during that time engaged chiefly in teaming, although for two months in the winter season he was employed in threshing. After that he superintended the building of the original house on the farm now owned and occupied by his brother, Samuel Dysart, and subsequently for a year and a half or two years lived with Joseph Mattern on that saem farm belonging to his father.

In the meantime Mr. Dysart had been making improvements on his own land on section 13, making it habitable by building a house and other necessary buildings, and soon after leaving Mr. Mattern's he took up his residence on his own premises and has dwelt there ever since. His life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, although he has mostly lived retired since 1877, and enjoys an ample income as the result of his skillful and business like way of conducting his affairs. His farm is a fine place iwth a substantial and conveniently arranged set of buildings, highly cultivated fields and rich pasturage, adn forms one of the most pleasing country homes in the vicinity. It comprises two hundred and forty acres of land and he has besides a quarter-section of pasture land in Ogle County.

February 18, 1858, our subject was married to Miss Mary Grazier, the ceremony being performed in Huntingdon Co PA near the scenes of his early home. Unto them have been born two children, Mary F. and Bessie A. Mrs. Dysart was born in Huntingdon County March 22, 1830, and is the 6th of a family of 13 children, four sons and nine daughters. Her parents were Henry and Nancy (Beck) Grazier, both of whom were born in Huntingdon County, and died in their old Pennsylvania home when well along in years. Mrs. Dysart is a woman of great worth, a true Christian, and stands high in the membership of the Presbyterian Church, with which she has long been connected.

The most useful and eventful part of the life of our subject has been spent in this township, four decades having passed away since he first set foot within its bounds, and during these many years while busily engaged in attending to his private affairs, and at the saem time seeking to promote the material well being of the community, he has made for himself a warm place in the hearts of the people with whom he has been so long associated in business, in a social way, or in carrying on the local government, as they have always found him true to his word, honorable in thought and act, and faithful in his friendship.

Knowing well Mr. Dysart's ability and rectitude of character, his fellow-citizens have again and again electedhim to some responsible position and he has been an incumbent of nearly all the township offices. He has been School Trustee for several years and has taken a deep interest in educational matters, exerting his influence to obtain the best possible facilities for the school children of this locality. For soem nineyears he filled the office of Supervisor, representing China Township on the County Board of Supervisors. In politics he is a Republican of no uncertain tone, and has been a strong advocate of the principles of the party ever since its oganization.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 469