Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874|
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois
William Shaver (Deceased)
Among the many prominent gentlemen of Menard County who have contributed to its development, and who have distinguished themselves as first-class traders and business men, we mention the name of Mr. Shaver. He was born in the eastern part of the State of Virginia, March 13, 1818, and remained a resident of his native State till about thirty-five years of age, when he went to Ohio, where he spent several years. During the gold excitement his attention was turned westward, and, consequently, in 1850, he went to California and spent about eighteen months, mining in the Golden State, which he made a profitable business. He returned to the Mississippi Valley, and stopped a short time in Springfield, Illinois, when he bought the Twelve Mile House and farm, of Sangamon County. Here he lived four years, when he sold, and bought a farm in Township 18 north, Range 4 west, Menard County. On this farm he resided up to the time of his death, which occurred August 10, 1871. In 1854, after he had resided about two years in Menard County, he returned on a visit to the State of Virginia, when he married Miss Jane Ross, of Augusta County, of the Old Dominion State. Miss Ross was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Reese) Ross. This union was fruitful of the birth of three children: John, born March 18, 1855; Lizzie, September 8, 1857; and Mary, October 6, 1861. The daughters are dead, and the son resides with his mother on the home farm.
Mr. Shaver was one of the finest traders and business men of Menard County, where he made the bulk of his property. True, he made his trip to California, a financial success, but he succeeded best as a farmer and livestock trader, as was evinced by his rapid gains after settling in Menard. During the late war he made a specialty of the trade in mules and horses, which he bought and sold in large numbers. Toward the close of his life he gave his attention more specially to cattle and hogs and general agriculture. He left behind him one of the best farms in the County, comprising some nine hundred acres, splendidly improved, on which his widowed wife and orphaned son have continued to reside. He was known as a man of uncommon honor and promptitude in his business transactions. He was, so to speak, full of business and enterprise, of untiring energy, and was rapidly accumulating when called away from the scene of his labors by the inexorable summons of death. His early demise was caused by a kind of consumption arising from an affection of the liver. The first shock to his health was experienced in California, caused by exposure, to which he finally yielded some twenty years afterward. He was buried in the Fancy Creek graveyard, where his remains still rest.
Mr. John Shaver has fallen heir not only to his father s estate, but also to his business, and bids fair to become a full representative of his departed sire. He is not only a dutiful son, but is already known in his County as a far-seeing and judicious trader. Considering his fine opportunities and promising abilities, we predict for him a brilliant and successful career.
The Shaver family are of German descent. Mr. Shaver s parents, John and Elizabeth by name, came direct from Germany to the United States. They raised a family of six sons and one daughter: Frederick, Abram, Charles, Mrs. Elizabeth (William) Alinger, George, John and William.
Mrs. Shaver s mother was from Pennsylvania, and her father was born and raised in Virginia. Her paternal grandfather, William Ross, came from Ireland, and her grandfather on her mother s side, John Reese, was a patriot soldier in the Revolutionary war.