Lee County Biography


WLLIAM B. TALCOTT, who is now practically living a retired life in Dixon, although he still owns considerable real-estate, has been numbered among the leading business men of this city. A man of prominence and influence he well deserves representation in this volume and it is with pleasure that we present his sketch to our readers. Mr. Talcott was born in Hartford County, Conn., May 16, 1831, and is descended from the old Talcott family which, was established in New England at an early day and has figured prominently in many of the States of the Union.

The father of our subject, Asa Talcott, was born in Vernon, Tolland County, Conn., and was in early life connected with the United States Arsenal at Springfield, Mass., where he made his home for seventeen years. Atone time he owned sixteen acres of land on the hill, which is now in the heart of the city. He spent his last days in Hartford, Conn:, and was called home when well advanced in life. He was quite prominent in public affairs, was a Democrat in politics and served as a member of the home militia. His wife, whose maiden name was Delana Russell, was a native of Springfield, Mass., and came of a family of English origin, which at an early day had been founded in the Bay State. Her father once owned all of the boats that plied the Connecticut River and two of his brothers were drowned in that stream. Mrs. Talcott, the mother of our subject, died in Broadbrook, Conn., twelve miles northeast of Hartford. She was a noble lady, a consistent member and active worker in the Methodist Church, and her home was hospitably thrown open to its ministers. Her death was deeply mourned by many friends as well as her immediate family, for her many excellencies of character had won her the esteem of all.

The first twenty-four years of his life William Talcott spent in Hartford County, Conn. He then determined to try his fortune in the West and in Chicago first located, making his home in that city for three years. Changing his place of residence he then came to Dixon, and during the greater part of the time which has since passed, or for thirty-four years, was associated with the United States Wind Pump Company. In his business affairs he prospered and by industry, good management and enterprise won a handsome compe­tence which now enables him to live a retired life. Although he has practically laid aside all business cares he yet owns a portion of the Talcott Addition to West Dixon, which comprises blocks 37, 38, 39 and 40. This is now a valuable property.

A marriage service performed in Dixon united the destinies of William Talcott and Miss Ellen Y. Barnes, a native of the Keystone State. In 1845, she came with her father, U. 0. Barnes, to Lee County, Ill., the family settling on a farm not far from Dixon, where the death of Mr. Barnes occurred when well advanced in years. He was a prominent citizen of the community, a successful business man and a leading member of the Methodist Church of Dixon, to the construction of which he gave liberally. Mrs. Talcott was a maiden of twelve summers when brought to Illinois, and under the parental roof she remained until her marriage. She is a lady of culture, possessed of a high order of intelligence and in social circles is a leader. She too, holds membership with the Methodist Church and has a host of warm friends. In his political affiliations Mr. Talcott is a Republican and keeps himself well informed on the issues of the day.

Unto this worthy couple have been born the following children — Arthur, who died at the age of sixteen years; George E., who is one of the managers of the Electric Transit Road of Newark, N. J., wedded Miss Mary Olvaney, of that place; E. Z. is now an electrical engineer of Chicago; W. Day left Dixon March 14, for Ft. Collins, Col., ac­companied by Jacob Armstrong, a native of this county, who was born in 1851, on the old Woodfood. farm, but is now a resident of Ft. Collins. Blanche, a young lady of much promise, died at the age of twenty-three years, and Star died when two years old. 

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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