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 JENKINS. - William Jenkins, who is successfully engaged in farming on section 21, Cooper township, was born in Montgomeryshire, Wales, on the 27th of July, 1840, and is a son of William Jenkins, Sr., who spent his entire life in that country and was a member of the British Army for some years. In his native land our subject was reared and educated, pursing his studies in the common schools, and after completing his education he worked at anything that he could find to do. For five years he was connected with the militia and was called out to drill twenty-eight days each year.

Mr. Jenkins was married in Wales to Miss Mary Evans, also a native of that country, and before coming to America five children were born to them. On the 6th of May, 1871, the family took passage on a steamer at Liverpool and in due time landed in the new world. They made their way at once to Sangamon county, Illinois, where they arrived in the same month, and Mr. Jenkins found employment with William Brown, a Scotchman living near Dawson, where he worked on a farm by the month for three years. He continued in the employ of others for some time and later engaged in farming on his own account, operating rented land in Cooper township, this county, and in Christian county. He then returned to Cooper township and in 1892 purchased his present farm of one hundred and fifty-three acres on section 21. In connection with its cultivation he also operates other land to the amount of three hundred and one acres and is meeting with good success as a farmer and stock raiser.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have been born eleven children, of whom seven are still living, namely: William, who is married and resides in California; Jennie, wife of Benjamin Barnes, a business man of Springfield; John, who is married and follows farming in Cooper township; Maggie, wife of William Everger, a farmer of Rochester township; Charles, who assists his father in carrying on the home farm; Anna, wife of Ole McNamara, of Chatham; and David, at home. Four children are deceased. Edward was killed by lightning on the day of the St. Louis tornado at the age of twenty-three years, and was buried in Mechanicsburg cemetery. Another young man, John Barnes, was killed at the same time. Lizzie married and died at a hospital in Springfield, October 17, 1902. The two youngest children of the family died in infancy.

Politically, Mr. Jenkins and his sons are identified with the Republican party, but he takes no active part in politics aside from voting, preferring to give his undivided attention to his farming interests. He is a good practical farmer and a reliable business man and to his own unaided efforts is due his success in life, for he started out for himself empty handed.

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