ILES, WASHINGTON THOMAS. - There are a number of farmers of Sangamon County who have lived through the various changes in agricultural life, emerging from the time when everything was done in the crudest fashion and the farmer never expected to earn more than a mere living, to the present when operations are conducted along scientific lines, and the man who tills the soil is thoroughly business like in every respect. One of these men who has become well-to-do as a farmer, and still owns some of the valuable farm land here, is Washington Thomas Iles, residing on Section 14, Woodside Township. He was born in Springfield, April 5, 1833, a son o f Washington and Ann (Foster) Iles.
Washington Iles, sr., was born in Kentucky July 18, 1800, and married in that State. They had nine children, three of whom survive: Anna E., born in 1830, married William H. Bourne, is now a resident of Springfield, her husband being deceased; Elijah Foster Iles, born in 1838, is also a resident of Springfield; and Washington T. Iles. Having enlisted in the Black Hawk War, Washington iles was impressed with the richness and beauty of Sangamon County through which he passed, and so returned, coming up the Sangamon River on the steamer Talisman, the only steamer ever run on it. He located in Springfield, becoming the owner of a large acreage of land in and about the city. His brother, Major Elijah iles, donated the land for South Park, and also that used by the Wabash Railroad Company for their Springfield car shops. This public spirited and patriotic man died near Springfield, July 4, 1871, and his wife August 25, 1866.
Washington Thomas Iles was educated in the Sangamon county schools and here laid a firm foundation for his future life. Adopting farming as a calling, he has followed it all his life, now owning 280 acres in Sections 13 and 14, Woodside Township.
Mr. Iles was married in Butler county, Ky., in 1867, to Emma Jones, born in Bath County, Ky., April 4, 1844, a daughter of James and Malinda (Robinson) Jones, and they became the parents of five children as follows: Julia J.; Linnie L., wife of John Norris, born July 14, 1869; Benjamin B., born May 28, 1872; William, born in February, 1874; and George, born April 6, 1879, is deceased. From 1887 to 1890 Mr. Iles was a member of the Grangers and enjoyed his associations with his fellow farmers. He has always been a good farmer, and has developed his land until it is now extremely valuable. Hardworking and thrifty, he has known how to make his labor count for something, and he stands very high in his community as a man in whom implicit trust can be placed by those who have business dealings with him.