Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874|
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois
WILLIAM F. COUNCIL
Among the prominent farmers and influential citizens of Menard County is Mr. William F. Council. Himself a native of Illinois, his father and his grandfather before him were pioneers who know what it was to undergo the hardships incident to settlement in a new country, and incur danger and privation in subduing the rude and uncultivated wilderness to the uses of civilized man.
His grandfather was John Council, who lived in South Carolina. The spirit of adventure, the restless desire to push forward into new countries, which springs either from a love of a life of solitude and danger, or from the hope of finding out some sudden and golden road to success, to be trod only by the daring adventurer, seems strongly to have seized upon him, for within the latter period of his life we find him the resident of four different States. He moved first from South Carolina, with his wife and family, and settled in Virginia. He did not, however, remain long on the soil of the Old Dominion, and next took up the line of march for Kentucky. He remained here some time, and then made a change of residence to another State, -this time to Illinois. He settled in White County, in the southern part of the State, and here his migrations had an end, for he lived here till his death. He had brought up a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters. They were William, Redick, Charles, Hardy, Willis, Nancy, Charlotte, and Lucinda.
Of these, Hardy Council was the father of the subject of our sketch. He was born in South Carolina, and accompanied his father to Virginia, Kentucky, and finally to Illinois. At this last place he met his wife, whom he married in White County. She was Miss Jane Hanna, the daughter of John and Mary Hanna. Leaving his home in White County, in 1818, he came with his family to Sangamon County, and located on Fancy Creek, in the extreme northern part of the County. All of Sangamon County was then a wilderness. The first settlement in the County had been made only two years previous, and only two or three families had preceded him to that part of the County. He secured a tract of land, built him a cabin, and began farming, succeeding as well as the undeveloped condition of the County allowed. He brought up a family of five children, all sons, John H., Wesley, Robert, George W., and William F., the last being fifth in order of birth.
Here on Fancy Creek, in Sangamon County, William F. Council was born and brought up. The date of his birth was January 31, 1828. His education was such as the advantages of that early day offered. The only schooling he ever received was in a log school-house in Sangamon County, a type of the ones common throughout the State on its first settlement. It was without windows. The fire was made in the center of the house, and the smoke escaped by a hole in the roof. Two rude puncheons pinned together formed the door, and the furniture of the building partook of the same primitive character. He worked with his father on the farm until a young man, when, October 17, 1850, he married Miss Rosa England, the daughter of David and Peggie England, residents of Sangamon County. In 1851, a few months after his marriage, he removed to Menard County, and located on Section 25, Township 18, Range 5, where he remained until 1871, when he changed his location to Section 25, Township 19, Range 5, where he has since continued to reside. He has been actively engaged in farming, in which he has been successful. He has also been largely engaged in raising and dealing in fine stock.
He has been a good citizen, diligent in the performance of the duties which developed upon him as a member of the community, and has lived in the good will and high esteem of all those who knew him. In all his life he has never had occasion to bring a suit at law against any one, and the same thing may be said in relation to himself. His political convictions have inclined him to the support of the Republican Party. He was an old-time Whig, as had been his father, and on the organization of the Republican party he gave his adherence to its principles, and has been earnest in the advocacy of its measures. Though professing membership in no particular branch of the Christian Church, yet his life has been governed by principles of strict justice to all men.