William Hale

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 505-506, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  William Hale, an honored pioneer of Schuyler county, Illinois, who has contributed materially to the phenomenal advancement and prosperity of this section by his superior executive ability, unremitting energy and progressive disposition, enjoys a well earned repose in retirement at Rushville. He is a native of New Madrid county, Missouri, where he was born May 18, 1833. His parents were James and Charlotte (Briggs) Hale, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of Vermont. Joshua Hale, paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was also a native of Georgia, while his father was a native of England, who emigrated to this country at a very early day, and located in the South. Joshua Hale moved to Missouri previous to the war of 1812, and was one of the pioneers of that territory, which at that time included a very large area, out of which many States have been formed, but which was then the frontier of civilization. Joshua Hale was a farmer by occupation and secured a large tract of Government land in this new and fertile territory, but spent the last years of his life in New Madrid. James Hale was but a child when his parents removed to Missouri, where he was reared, educated and married, his wife being a lady of superior attainments and culture. She was a daughter of Asa Briggs, a brave and efficient soldier of the Revolutionary war; and widow of John Smith. In 1837, the family consisting of father, mother and ten children, removed to Illinois. Here, although land could then be purchased for $1.25 an acre, the father, on account of limited means, was obliged to rent a farm for a few years. By industry and economy, he accumulated in time sufficient means to purchase a farm, and bought some choice agricultural land in Buena Vista township, on which he and his family located. This he assiduously cultivated and made on it many valuable improvements, continuing to reside there until his death, his wife also dying on the old homestead. He was a man of sterling qualities of mind and heart, and enjoyed with his worthy wife the highest esteem of all who knew them. Their death was greatly lamented, not only by their immediate family and friends, but by the whole community.
  The subject of this sketch was only four years of age when his parents removed to Illinois, but he has a vivid recollection of the privations and vicissitudes of the long and toilsome journey, made in those pioneer days. The country was wild and sparsely settled, while game and wild fowl abounded in great profusion, such as deer, turkey, prairie chickens, etc., while the streams were full of excellent fish. People lived on the products of their land and wild gave, while the subject of this biography and the rest of the family were clothed with homespun, manufactured by the unremitting toil of his mother's patient and skillful hands.
  Mr. Hale received the limited education afforded by the pioneer schools, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, early becoming accustomed to the hard labor incidental to farm life. Previous to his father's death he had invested in land, to which he subsequently added, until he now owns 480 acres in a body in Buena Vista township, comprising some of the best realty in that vicinity. He continued to reside on this farm, which he brought to a high state of cultivation and greatly improved, until 1892, when he moved to his present home in Rushville. Here he has a substantial home with attractive and tasteful surroundings, all the appointments of which suggest comfort and refinement, where he and his worthy wife are enjoying in ease the fruits of their early industrious efforts.
  Mr. Hale was married in 1855, to Miss Margaret Priscilla Spoonamore, an estimable lady, a native of Schuyler county, Illinois, and a daughter of William and Mary (Green) Spoonamore, pioneers and prominent residents of this county. They have had nine children, seven of whom now survive: Mary F.; Sarah Malinda; James F., Hester A., William C., Lydia Belle, and John Martin, all of whom fill positions of honor in business and society. The parents are earnest and useful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, to the support of which they contribute liberally of their means and influence.
  Politically, Mr. Hale affiliates with the Democratic party, and although not a politician in the modern acceptance of the word, takes an active interest in all public affairs of importance. He is public spirited and is always ready to assist any worthy enterprise, tending to the moral, educational or material advancement of his vicinity.
  Whatever prosperity Mr. Hale has attained is entirely due to his own unaided efforts. By persistent industry, careful economy and intelligent management he has accumulated a competency, while his unimpeachable integrity, unwavering fidelity and uniform courtesy have gained for him the universal esteem of his fellow men.

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