Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
MILLAR, WILLIAM JOHNSTON, who has been closely identified with the interests of Sangamon County for many years, both as a banker and attorney-at-law, is now somewhat retired from the activities of life, spending his declining years in Springfield. He was born at Paxinos, Northumberland County, Pa., September 8, 1838, son of George and Polly (Stetsler) Millar, of Huguenot ancestry and one of a family of eleven children.
Mr. Millar attended the country school in his native county, but in 1860 went to California, where he went to school and later became a teacher. Still later he entered the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and graduated from the law department of the institution in 1873, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Following this Mr. Millar taught school in Sangamon County, imitating the example of many of his family. One brother, John, became a professor in an Iowa university. In 1874, responding to the needs of his community, Mr. Millar established the banking business at Illiopolis, and built it up to solid proportions, continuing therein until ill health compelled him to retire. Meanwhile he had invested in farming land, and still retains large properties. One of the several fine farms now is his possession is the famous Bennett Mills farm of 120 acres, adjoining Springfield.
In 1876 Mr. Millar was united in marriage with Louise Singleton, and they have had four children, as follows: Paul Johnston, deceased; Ruby Geraldine; Genevieve, deceased; William J. Jr., a graduate of Springfield High School in the Class of 1909 and at present a student in the law department of the University of Michigan. Mrs. Millar was born in Springfield and, after completing the course of study afforded by the schools in that city, taught in Sangamon County three years. Her father, James Hunter Singleton, was born in Hardin County, Ky., in 1820, but went to Illinois when young, and there married Jemima Mauzy, a native of the latter State, born February 13, 1823, and still living, residing in Excelsior, Minn. They came to Springfield, where they reared their family and made their home for many years, and the father died there in November, 1887. He and his wife had children as follows: Thomas, deceased; John, died young; George, deceased; James A. died in 1879; Mrs. Millar; Mary Agnes, widow of Harry Moak, of Excelsior; and Mrs. Samuel Wilson, of Minneapolis, Minn. William J. Singleton, the grandfather of Mrs. William J. Millar, was a native of Kentucky, came to Illinois at an early day, and established the first oil mill in the State and a hominy mill.
He married Nancy Hunter, of Kentucky. Mrs. James H. Singleton, was born at Paris, Edgar County, Ill., and her father, John Mauzy, was born in Virginia, May 4, 1776, while his wife Nancy Agnes Mauzy, was born in the same State, January 20, 1782. He was a son of Peter Mauzy, a soldier in Captain Brown's company, recruited from Virginia during the Revolution, and which participated in the siege of Yorktown; he was one of those sent by Gen. Anthony Wayne to clear the road for the mounted troops for the advance on that town. John Mauzy's death occurred in Springfield, Ill.
Mr. and Mrs. Millar are Episcopalians. He is a Democrat in political faith and has served in many official positions, while for thirty years a resident of Illiopolis. An enthusiastic member of Illiopolis lodge No. 521, A.F. and A. M., and of Kedron Chapter No. 138, R.A.M., he has taken the thirty-second degree and is a Knight Templar, belonging to Elwood Commandery No. 6, at Springfield. Conservative, reserved and responsible, Mr. Millar has always been an important factor in every community in which he has made his home, and his influence is powerful in whatever direction he exerts it. He has been for many than thirty years a member of the Masonic Lodge at Illiopolis and helped to build the first Masonic Temple at the place in 1874, using part of the building as a bank until he retired from business and invested largely in farms and real estate. This building was laid waste by fire. He afterwards assisted in erecting the present temple, which is the home of Masonic bodies of that village. During these many years he has assisted in conferring Masonic Degrees upon many persons and has helped materially in building up the local organizations. The family have a pleasant home on North Walnut Street.