MULLIGAN, WILLIAM THOMAS, a prosperous farmer and stock raiser on Section 8, Island Grove Township, Sangamon County, was born at Sinclair, Morgan County, Ill., September 27, 1867, a son of Samuel and Nancy C. (McConnell) Mulligan, the former a native of County Fermanagh, Ireland, born June 25, 1826, and the latter born in Ralls County, Mo., March 8, 1833. He came to America at the age of twelve years, then beginning life on his own account. He was a son of well-to-do parents, but having heard of the advantages offered to young men in the New World, left home in 1838, landing alone in the city of New York. He came west and began work as a farm hand in Morgan County, Ill., and finally purchased eighty acres of land on his own account, near Sinclair. He erected a log cabin and otherwise improved his land and continued at odd times to work by the day or month, and thus was able to provide for his immediate wants while developing his farm. He was thus engaged when the war broke out, and he was one of the early volunteers, in 1861 becoming a member of Company I Tenth Illinois Infantry. He went to the front with his regiment and served for some time under General Thomas, for whom he named his first born, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Mulligan took part in many long marches and heavy engagements, but never shirked his duty and proved a brave, faithful soldier. He accompanied General Sherman on the "March to the Sea." At the end of the three years for which he had enlisted he re-enlisted and served until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged.
After the close of the war Samuel Mulligan returned to Morgan County and continued the improvement of his land, which occupation he had left to go to the defense of the cause he considered right. He was married, January 2, 1867, to Mrs. Nancy C. Craig, and they located on his farm, where they established a good home for themselves and their children. His health was much impaired from his hard service in the army and he had to content himself with such achievements as he could manage in the work of improving his farm, but accomplished his cherished purpose of becoming a land owner in his adopted country. Death claimed him October 14, 1872, and he now rests in the cemetery near Sinclair. He was a devout and faithful member of the Methodist Church and always ready to perform his part in the support of church work. He was a Republican after the organization of that party, and was honored and respected as a man of honor and integrity. He was a great friend and admirer of General Thomas, known by his familiars as "Pap Thomas." Two children were born to Samuel and Nancy Mulligan: William Thomas, of this sketch, and Sarah, who married Rev. W. M. Hailey, of Barry, Ill., editor of the "Barry Record," and they have four sons and one daughter - Howard William, Arthur Bowman, Foster, Margaret Lucile and Cordell Stephen. Mrs. Nancy Mulligan died August 3, 1905, and is buried at Concord, Ill. She was a devout and faithful member of the Methodist Church and much loved for her noble character and good deeds.
William Thomas Mulligan was reared on the farm his father had purchased, remaining there until the death of the latter, when the mother moved with her children to Concord, Morgan County, where he attended the public school. He later attended Whipple Academy at Jacksonville two terms, and after leaving school accepted a position as attendant at the Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, where he worked fifteen months under Dr. H. F. Carriel, and in 1891 began working on a farm. On August 26, 1891, he married Miss Ella Kirby, born at Murrayville, Morgan County, April 3, 1863, a daughter of John and Fannie (Leaks) Kirby, both natives of England. Mr. Kirby was a leading farmer of his section of Morgan County and a good citizen, and he and his wife were active members of the Methodist Church. He died November 27, 1909, and his widow now resides near Franklin, Morgan County. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby had four daughters and two sons, namely: Emma, Rachel, William, George, on the home farm with the mother; Mrs. Mulligan; Anna, deceased.
After his marriage Mr. Mulligan and his wife settled on a farm on Joy Prairie, Morgan County, where they lived three years. Two children were born to them: Fletcher Kirby, August 6, 1892, and Vern, December 1, 1893, and later at Berlin, Glen S., born March 26, 1896. In 1894 Mr. Mulligan and his family removed to the vicinity of Franklin and in the following spring to Berlin, Island Grove Township, where he rented 135 acres on Section 8, which he has now operated fifteen years. He pays particular attention to stock raising.
Mr. Mulligan has been most successful in his farming operations and is known for his honest purpose and earnest efforts, by which he has proven himself worthy of the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. He is most practical and progressive in his methods, as is well shown by the results of his fifteen years in his present location. An upright and public spirited citizen he has many friends. His farm is what is known as the Rose Place, and upon it he keeps a good grade of stock and reaps a high degree of success from all branches of his farming. He has always been actively interested in school work and, for the past nine years, has been a member of the Berlin School Board, lending his influence to hiring the best teachers and other good movements. This school is one of the best in the county and a matter of pride in the community. Mr. Mulligan and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he holds the position of Steward and for the past five years has been superintendent of the Island Grove Sunday School.