Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL


WILLIAM F. HERRIN - Mr. Herrin, who is called Frank by his numerous friends throughout Sangamon county, has become a prosperous farmer and stock raiser, and his career illustrates the possibilities that the county offers to her native sons. He was born in Clear Lake Township, November 18, 1836, and is a son of James Herrin, whose birth occurred in Harrison county, Kentucky, April 6, 1809. The father was left an orphan in early boyhood and was reared by a cousin in his native state. He was married there August 1, 1833, to Miss Mary Ann McDaniel, who was also born in Kentucky, August 4, 1813, a daughter of William and Margaret McDaniel, who came to Sangamon county, Illinois, about 1832 or 1833. James Herrin was a blacksmith by trade and followed that pursuit in early life. Soon after his marriage he came to Sangamon county and purchased and settled on land in Clear Lake township, his farm comprising eighty acres of land. Subsequently he bought more land in different parts of the county. Upon the home farm he reared his family and there remained until the death of his wife about 1867. He made his home with his son Frank during his last years, but died at the home of a daughter in Menard county about 1882. In the family were three sons and a daughter: David Clark, a substantial farmer of Lanesville township; W. Frank of this review; Harriet, the widow of Robert Hewitt, residing near Ashland, Illinois, and John A., who died a the age of thirteen years.

W. F. Herrin was reared to manhood in Clear Lake township, pursued his education in the public schools and remained on the home farm with his father until twenty-seven years of age, during which time he assumed the management and operation of the farm. He made preparation for having a home of his own by his marriage, on the 10th of September, 1863, to Miss Mary A. North, a native of this county and a daughter of Robert North, who came from Tennessee to Illinois at an early period in the settlement of Sangamon county. Her sister became the wife of David C. Herrin. Unto our subject and his wife have been born three sons and four daughters: Nora, the wife of George Lester, of Buffalo; Edwin, who is married and resides on the home farm; Charles, who died when thirteen years of age; Bert, who died at the age of four years; Carrie, at home; Lettie A., the wife of Dr. Talbott Hill, of Athens, Illinois, and Mary Frances, who is a student in Springfield.

After his marriage Mr. Herrin located in what is now Lanesville township, where he and his older brother had one hundred and sixty acres of land, which had been given them by their father and which they broke and cultivated together for four years. Then they bought an adjoining one hundred and sixty acres, on which the brother located, while our subject remained on the original tract for three years. At the end of that time he removed to another place near Buffalo, where in connection with his brother he purchased five hundred and ten acres of land, which he began to cultivate. Subsequently this property was divided equally between them and for a number of years our subject devoted his energies to its further cultivation and improvement. In 1880 he purchased his present home near buffalo, where he carries on general farming and the raising and feeding of stock, and is accounted one of the successful representatives of the business in this locality. He also has a fine farm of four hundred and forty acres in Mount Auburn township, Christian county, well improved and under excellent cultivation. Mr. Herrin raises both cattle and hogs, but makes a specialty of cattle, which he raises for both breeding and market purposes, having a fine herd of Herefords and shorthorns. At international live stock exhibitions he has been three times winner of grand prizes on Hereford cattle fed American food. In 1900 he received first and second prizes and championship for a carload of fifteen head of grain fed steers. In 1901 and 1902 he received first on Herefords and sweepstakes on yearlings, while in 1903 he won the following prizes on a load of yearling Herefords: Class 187 - eastern district, first premium - two hundred dollars; class 198 - champion carload by ages, first premium - one hundred dollars; class 20 - grand champion carload - one hundred and twenty-five dollars, and specials; Indiana Hereford Breeders' Association - grand champion carload of fat cattle at show, if won by Herefords - one hundred and fifty dollars; American Hereford Association first premium - one hundred and fifty dollars, and American Hereford Association sweepstakes - two hundred dollars, making a total of nine hundred and twenty-five dollars.

Politically M. Herrin is a Prohibitionist and has supported the party since its organization taking just pride in the great work it has accomplished for the welfare of the nation. He was one of the first trustees of the Mechanicsburg cemetery, in which capacity he served for about eighteen years and for the same length of time was a member of the camp meeting association. In 1892 he removed to Springfield to give his daughters better educational privileges and resided there for about four years. His interest centers in his family and their welfare and he has put forth strong effort to secure for them a comfortable home and many of the luxuries in addition to the necessities of life. His business career has been honorable and upright and his labors have brought him prosperity.

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