William Stevenson

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 373-374, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  William Stevenson, of township 17, range 10, section 26, Little Indian post office is an honored pioneer of Cass county. He was born in Scott county, Kentucky, December 2, 1813, a son of James and Mary (Elliott) Stevenson, the former a native of Ohio, and the latter of Kentucky. To them were born nine children, of whom three are living at this writing (1892), viz.: Sarah, now Mrs. W. A. Bennett, of Springfield; Louisa, wife of Anthony Boston, residing near Jacksonville, Illinois; and William of this notice. Those deceased are Wesley, Eliza J., Harriet, James, Robert and Augustus. In 1829, Mrs. Stevenson died, and the same year Mr. Stevenson brought his family of children to Illinois, settling in Morgan county, on the three mile strip that afterward became a part of Cass county.
  Our subject spent his boyhood in his native State, and there received such educational advantages as the common schools of the time afforded, which was supplemented by a few months' schooling after coming to Illinois. While a resident of Kentucky he was well acquainted with that somewhat noted soldier and philanthropist, Colonel Richard Johnson, who claimed the honor of having slain the celebrated Indian chief and warrior, Tecumseh, at the battle of Moraviantown in 1814.
  William Stevenson was reared on a farm and farming has been his occupation all through life. On February 11, 1830, he was united in marriage to Miss Frances, daughter of William and Rachel (Roe) Berry, who came from Virginia to Cass county in 1832, and settled on a farm near the Stevenson homestead.
  Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson were the parents of seven children, four of whom are still living: Mary Eliza, died in 1838; Thomas, in 1839; Rachel became the wife of William E. Martin, and died in 1879; Robert Roe, married Mary J. Scott, and resides in Jacksonville, Illinois; Sarah Cornelia is the wife of John J. Bergan, a prosperous merchant of Virginia city, Illinois; Joseph B. wedded Dora Vandeventer, and lives in Springfield, Illinois; and Charles married Mary Epler, and resides on the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson also reared two orphan children.
  In 1884, when in his seventy-first year, Mr. Stevenson contested for the prize of a gold-headed cane offered by the county fair association for horse-back riding, which he won, and shows with a commendable pride.
  On February 11, 1886, Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their married life, which joyous event was participated in by all the living relations. Many handsome and valuable testimonials of affection were presented to them on this occasion by their admiring friends.
  Mrs. Stevenson died at her home July 13, 1891, after a happy married life of fifty-five years, being in the eighty-eighth year of her age. She was a woman possessing many excellencies of character, a faithful wife, loving mother, kind neighbor, and devout Christian, whose many acts of kindness endeared her to a large circle of friends. By reason of a robust constitution and good habits she attained nearly fourscore years, and passed away as peacefully as the coming dawn, in the full consciousness of an immortality beyond the grave.
  Mr. Stevenson has been a resident of Cass county for sixty-three years, and has resided on the same section of land since 1829. He has not only witnessed the wonderful change in the country but has actively participated in transforming the wilderness and unbroken prairie into fertile farms. Every enterprise for the material or moral advancement of the community has received his cordial support. He and his family are Presbyterians, and have contributed liberally in support of the church. He was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party, when he joined that organization and has since supported its principles. He has never sought public office, preferring the quiet pursuits of farm life. By honest industry he has been successful in acquiring a handsome competence. He has assisted his children to good starts in life and still owns a fine farm of 375 acres, which is supplied with good buildings and all modern conveniences. In addition to his duties of superintending his farm, he was until recently agent for the Jacksonville Southeastern Railroad which runs through his farm, on which Little Indian station is located. He was for twenty-four years agent for the Wabash, Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville and the Jacksonville & Southeastern Railroad Companies, but resigned that position in August, 1892.

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