From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 494-495, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
William H. McCreery is a resident of Huntsville township,
residing on section 6, having settled here in 1834. His father, William
McCreery, was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, March 1, 1802, being a
son of John McCreery, who was also a native of Virginia and a planter.
He married Sarah Rousseau, of French ancestry. William McCreery, Sr.,
was reared on a farm and when seven years of age, the family removed to
Kentucky, where he grew to manhood in Pulaski county. Here he entered
the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church as an itinerant
preacher. His work was in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1827 he preached
in Orange county, Indiana. From there, in 1829, he went to Missouri and
stayed for a few years, and an account of his work in this State may be
found at length in Dr. McNally's History of Methodism in Missouri. In
1832, in Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, he married Harriet E. Long,
and two years later they came to Rushville, Schuyler county, Illinois.
The next year they settled on section 6, Huntsville township, where Mr.
McCreery had purchased a claim August, 1834, and here he resided until
his death, November 2, 1884. He was a local preacher and was assigned a
circuit in 1848, the Columbus circuit, Adams county. He continued his
religious work until within a few weeks of his death. His wife died two
days before her husband. He died within two hours after returning from
her funeral. Mr. McCreery was a good man and was greatly opposed to
slavery, refusing to receive any portion of them from his father's
estate. He was an ardent Whig and Republican in politics. They had
thirteen children, nine of whom grew up to manhood, namely: James N.
and John F., twins: the former was drowned in the Missouri river while
working on the bridge at Kansas City; the latter died in Taylor county,
Iowa; William H.; Sarah married Robert Ellis and resides at Saline
county, Missouri; Eliza married William Kirk and resides in Lincoln
county, Washington; Benjamin B. is a merchant and resides in Augusta,
Illinois; Henry C. is also a merchant and resides in Illinois; Edward
M. resides in Henry county, and Mary married to Quincy Allphin and
residing near Andover, Kansas.
Our subject was born in Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, June,
1834, and was only six months old when the family settled in Illinois.
He was reared on the farm and attended the country schools two or three
miles distant from his home until he was twenty-one. He then attended
Rode River seminary one year. He then rented a farm from his father and
in 1863 settled where he now resides, and in 1868 became the owner of
160 acres of land. He now owns 333 acres of land and follows
stock-raising. He is a good Republican and has always supported the
straight ticket. He is interested in all matters tending to improve the
welfare of the county or township. He has run for several of the local
offices, but, owing to the Republican party being in the minority, he
has been defeated. He is a charter member of the Huntsville Lodge, No.
465, A.F. and A.M., and has been Master of the same lodge.
He was married in 1881 to Rachel Baxter, daughter of James and
Elizabeth (Cooper) Baxter of Ohio. The Baxter family came to Schuyler
county in June, 1857, and settled in Huntsville. Mr. and Mrs. McCreery
have had ten children, six grown up, namely: William Morris, for
fourteen months in the census office at Washington, is now in Augusta,
Illinois; Frank M. and Fred H., twins, the former at home and the
latter dealing in implements in Augusta, Illinois; Harry, Ralph and
Mary are at home. Mr. and Mrs. McCreery are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, in which they are earnest workers.