Lee County Biography


WlLLIAM STRAW is one of the progressive farmers and well-to-do citizens of Palmyra Township. He operates two hundred and twenty-four acres of valuable land on sections 19 and 20, and this farm is recognized as one of the finest in the community. It is complete in all its appointments, its arrangement has all been made with an eye to convenience and it seems to be lacking in no particular. Most of the improvements stand as monuments to the thrift and enterprise of the owner, and the neat appearance of the place and the well tilled fields attest his careful supervision. The home is a commodious and substantial residence, and the barns and out­buildings are models of convenience.

Mr. Straw, who is so widely and favorably known throughout this community, was born in Dauphin County, Pa., but reared in Reward Township, Winnebago County, 111., and is a son of N. S. Straw, a native of Dauphin County, Pa. The family was founded in the Keystone State in Colonial days, and was represented both in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The father of our subject became a farmer and lime burner, and in following those pursuits acquired a considerable competence. In Pennsylvania he married Miss Ann Brubaker, who was born in the Keystone State, and came of an old and respected family of Dauphin County. In 1855, they turned their faces toward the setting sun and traveled Westward until they arrived in Illinios, where they located on a large tract of land in Seward Township, Winnebago County. There Mr. Straw followed farming for some years, and at the old home the wife and mother died at the age of sixty-six. She was an attendant of the Presbyterian Church, and a lady of many excellencies of character. A few years later, in 1887, Mr. Straw retired to Winnebago Village, where he is now living, aged seventy-six years. He is still hale and hearty, and is a highly respected citizen of the community.

Under the parental roof our subject spent the days of his childhood, and in the public schools of the neighborhood acquired a good English education, which has been greatly supplemented in the subsequent years by reading and observation. A marriage ceremony performed in McHenry County united the destinies of W. S. Straw and Miss Carrie E. Finch, daughter of John IL and Eliza J. (Britton) Finch, who are well-to-do fanning people of McIIenry County. Her father is a native of New York, and her mother was born in New Hamp­shire. In an early day they came to Illinois, and both engaged in teaching in McHenry County before their marriage. Their home is about two miles east of Woodstock, and in the community where they reside they are prominent and influential people. In religious belief both Mr. and Mrs. Finch are Bap­tists. Their daughter, the wife of our subject, was born in McIIenry County, and was educated in Wlieaton College. Du Page County. She is a lady of intelligence and culture, and wilh her husband moves in the best circles of society. Mr. Straw is a Democrat in politics, and keeps himself well informed on the questions of the day, both political and otherwise. Three children have been born unto this worthy couple, but one died in infancy. Verne S. and Carl C. are still under the parental roof.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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