From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 583-584, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
William Harvey McCaskill is one of the oldest of the native-born
citizens of Illinois now residing in Brown county. He was born in
Sangamon county, Illinois, July 23, 1826. His father, Daniel McCaskill,
was born in North Carolina, and his father, John McCaskill, was born in
Scotland, coming to America when a young man, locating in North
Carolina, where he married a lady of Scotch birth, and spent the
remainder of his days there. His son was reared and educated in his
native State, but came North when a young man and engaged in teaching.
He married in Indiana, at the age of thirty-four, and either in the
fall of 1825 or the spring of 1826 came to Illinois, making the journey
overland with teams. He located in Sangamon county. At that time the
State capital was at Vandalia; Springfield was but a hamlet, and the
surrounding country was sparsely settled. He engaged in teaching, and
resided there until 1834, when he emigrated to Schuyler county,
settling in that part now included in Pea Ridge township, Brown county.
He entered a tract of Government land, and at once built on the place.
He was one of the first teachers in the county, and followed his
profession for many years. He superintended the improvement of his
farm, which he occupied until his death in 1851. His wife was Esther
Turner, daughter of Archibald Turner, of Ireland, of Scottish descent.
William has been a resident of this county since his eighth
year, and has witnessed the improvement and development of this section
of the country. Deer, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful. There
were no railroads for years, and the people were obliged to convey
their grain by team to a distant market. The people lived principally
off of the products of their own farms. His father used to raise flax
and sheep, and his mother manufactured all the cloth used in the
family, dressing the children in homespun made by her own hands.
William received an ordinary education, but began when very
young to assist his father on the farm. After his marriage he settled
on a farm on section 1, where he resided until 1864, when he settled on
the old homestead, which he had bought from the other heirs. The farm,
which is well improved, contains 240 acres; besides this he has a farm
of ninety acres in Bates county, Missouri.
He was married in October, 1851, to Jane Crooks. She was born in
England, and came to America with her parents when an infant. Mr. and
Mrs. McCaskill have eight children living: Daniel Morgan, Mary, William
H., Thomas L., Ella, Esther, Cora and Kate.
Mr. McCaskill is a Republican in politics, and he and his wife are highly respected members of society.