PLUNKETT, ASA W., retired and living with his daughter, Emma J., on Peoria Road, near the State Fair Grounds, just outside the city of Springfield, Ill., is a member of a family that has been prominent in Sangamon County for nearly a century. He was born in the county April 3, 1834, son of Robert S. and Ruth (Combs) Plunkett, the father born in North Carolina, June 15, 1808, and the mother born in Green County, Ky. Robert S. Plunkett was a farmer and located in Sangamon County about 1823. He and his wife died there, he in 1890 and his wife at the age of twenty-nine years. He was a son of John H. and Elizabeth (Purvines) Plunkett, born in Cabarrus County, N.C., the former October 3, 1782, and the latter March 17, 1785. They were married February 19, 1804, and moved to Sangamon County in 1823.
The boyhood of Asa W. Plunkett was spent on his father's farm in Cartwright Township and he attended school in Richland Creek school house, a crude log building. As a boy, he often hunted coons and deer after leaving school and worked for his father. He built a log cabin, fourteen feet square, of buckeye timber, and put in one window and one door. When he was a young man he could get up almost any morning and shoot prairie chickens for breakfast. He made farming his life work and was very successful in same. About fifteen years ago he began breeding, raising and training running horses, one of which, Sleepy Fred, made a good record as a race horse in St. Louis, and was in that city at the time of the cyclone. He also owned several other horses that were a credit to him to their training. He has always been a strong Republican, and while living in Cass County, where he owned a farm, served as Constable. He served three years as School Director in Sangamon County. He owns a half interest in a small piece of ground east of the Fair Grounds and here he has lived retired the last nine years. He is a member of the Baptist Church and a man of probity and strict integrity in business and social affairs. He is well known in Sangamon County and has many warm friends.
Mr. Plunkett was married in Sangamon County, January 12, 1853, to Miss Nancy J. Willis, who was born in Kentucky, July 21, 1831 (the year of the deep snow), daughter of William and Melinda Willis, who came to Illinois in 1833, settling near old Sangamo on Prairie Creek. Children as follows were born of this union: two died in infancy; Marry E. died at the age of nine years; Robert, a dealer in race horses, in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Emma J., living in Springfield with her father; John W., a dealer in horses; Lillie, wife of Edward Michael, a stock raiser and farmer of Welch, Okla.