PLUNKETT, WILLIAM F. , a prosperous farmer and stock raiser of Section 9, Cartwright Township, is recognized as a man of strict integrity and high moral character, whose word is as good as his bond, and he has the general respect of all who know him. He is a native of the township where he now resides, born northeast of the Plains, October 13, 1844, a son of John H. and Mary Elizabeth (Conner) Plunkett, the latter a native of New Jersey, who came to Cass County, Ill., with her parents, Benjamin Conner and wife. In Cass County John H. and Mary Elizabeth Plunkett were married. He owned 160 acres of land in Cartwright Township, where they located, and on that farm seven children were born to them. About 1859 the family moved to Knox County, Mo., where Mr. Plunkett purchased 240 acres of land, established a comfortable home, and was prospering well when the Civil War came on. He made his home on that farm until his death, about 1880, his widow surviving him until 1895. Their seven children were: Silas P., of Newark, Mo.; William F.; Eliza, wife of William Graves, of Bates County, Mo.; Melinda C., wife of John McSurley, a farmer of Knox County, Mo.; Rebecca, wife of Howard Cox, of Knox County; Jasper, a farmer in that county; and Benjamin H., of Beardstown, Ill.
The education of William F. Plunkett which had been begun in Sangamon County, was continued after the family removal to Missouri, and he was reared to farm work. The family cherished sentiments of loyalty to the flag of their country and were greatly persecuted by the bushwhackers for that reason. At one time William and his brother Silas had to secrete themselves, for safety, in what was known as "Black Jack Hollow:, for a period of two weeks, waiting for an opportunity to join the Federal army. At length they were able to reach Newark and there enlisted for three years in the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry. The regiment was organized and sent to the front, the first fight being at Kirksville and the second at Newark. William Plunkett was captured by old Gen. Joseph Davenport, paroled and turned loose. The Third Iowa soon after came and turned the rebel army out of Newark, they leaving their dead and wounded on the field, and Mr. Plunkett was discharged and sent home. His brother Silas re-enlisted in 1862 for three years.
After his service in the cause of his country Mr. Plunkett returned to Sangamon County and for three years worked at farming by the month. May 14, 1871, he was united in marriage with Miss Adeline Gabberd, also a native of Cartwright Township, and daughter of Lynn Gabberd and his wife, Frances (Fletcher) Gabberd, both now deceased. Mrs. Plunkett was one of four children, each of whom received twenty-five acres of land from their parents, and Mr. Plunkett purchased the shares of the other heirs in the fam and they began their married life there. They lived on the Gabberd farm for about thirteen years, and about 1884 sold it and invested in eighty acres of land on Section 9, where they have a very nice home. He has refused an offer of $200 per acre for his farm and no better farm land is to be found in the county. He has been very successful in his operations and is able to enjoy a well earned rest from hard work. Sons have been born to him and his wife as follows: William Alexander, of Pleasant Plains; John Lindsey, of Pleasant Plains; Warren, who helps operate the home farm; two sons deceased, Logan and Jessie. They are also parents of two daughters, Cordelia Anna, wife of Isaac Harris of Springfield, has two children Adelia and Logan, and Maggie Belle, at home.
Mr. Plunkett and son are operating an additional 160 acres of land, making about 240 acres together. Mr. Plunkett has spent his entire life in Cartwright Township except for a few years spent in Missouri, and has always taken an active and patriotic interest in the growth and development of his native township and county. His parents were among the early settlers there and were held in high esteem. Mr. Plunkett is not a member of any church, but has contributed freely towards the support of churches and schools. He was for some time one of the Directors of the Claysville District school board and took a keen interest in its welfare, being always ready to vote a high salary to a teacher. He has given his children good common school educations and reared them to useful man and womanhood. In politics he has always been a strong adherent of the principles of the Republican party. His wife is a devout member of the Baptist Church. On December 1, 1910, Mr. Plunkett suffered a stroke of paralysis, but has to a large extent recovered from it, having a strong physique and robust health.