Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 768

WILLIAM F. ELKIN, JR. - William F. Elkin, Jr., was a representative of one of the oldest and most respected families of Sangamon county, and was born in this county, February 29, 1836. His father, colonel William F. Elkin, was of Mexican nativity, and with his family came from Ohio to Sangamon county, Illinois, at a very early epoch in the development and improvement of this part of the state. He settled on a tract of wild prairie land and at once began the development of a farm. Subsequently he was elected sheriff and in later years filled government positions up to the time of his death. His son William was reared on the old homestead and acquired his education in the public schools of the neighborhood. After putting aside his text books he entered upon his business career as a partner of his uncle. William Lavely, who was engaged in the grocery business on the public square for a number of years. Mr. Elkin afterward engaged in the same business on his own account on East Monroe street, and subsequently he accepted a position in the quartermaster's department at Springfield, acting in that capacity until the close of the war. For some years he was employed at both the old and new state houses, and then went to the courthouse, where he was continuously employed up to the time of his death, his last years being spent in Judge Creighton's courtroom.

On October 16, 1860, Mr. Elkin was united in marriage to Miss Maria L. Harvey, a daughter of William and Eliza (Rice) Harvey, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. They were married in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the removed to Sangamon county with a wagon and carriage, bringing with them their furniture. The carriage was afterward sold to a prominent pioneer family of central Illinois. Mr. Harvey was closely identified with the business interests of the county for many years and was also influential in public affairs. He served as sheriff of Sangamon county and filled the office for several terms. He occupied that position before the first courthouse was built and when the new structure was completed, he removed his office from Adams street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, to the new temple of justice. He died September 25, 1855, and his widow passed away September 26, 1870. He exerted considerable influence in public affairs and was an honored resident of the community. Of the family of five children, three are yet living, namely: Mrs. M. J. Stadden, who resides on South Fourth street in Springfield; S. S. Harvey, who is married and is now living in Cuba; and Mrs. Elkin.

The last named was born in Springfield, October 13, 1839, and acquired her preliminary education in the subscription schools, which were common at that day. She afterward enjoyed the privilege of attending Eureka College, of Eureka, Illinois, and also pursued a course in music. Throughout her girlhood days her people resided at the old home on Adams street, which but recently has been removed. She has seen the city develop from a mere village and her mind bears the impress of many of the historic annals of central Illinois - a section of the state in which history was made. In her girlhood the site of the present fine store owned by John Bressmer was occupied by the American House, then the leading hotel of the city. Few residents of Springfield have longer been witnesses of her changes, growth and development.

Unto Mr. And Mrs. Elkin were born ten children, of whom seven are living. Emma C., born August 13, 1861, is at home. C. Harvey, born January 10, 1863, has for seventeen years been connected with a military post, engaged in cutting soldiers' uniforms and is now located at Fort Duchesne, Utah. Nellie True, born August 28, 1864, died July 8, 1865. Robert Rice, born November 21, 1865, is now county judge at Channing, Texas. He married Vera Austin and has one child, Harold. John Franklin, born August 15, 1868, died January 28, 1888, at the age of nineteen years. Lewis Clover, born August 27, 1870, married Nellie Perkins, of Springfield, and is now a traveling salesman residing in Chicago. Zach Condell was born September 8, 1872, and is now employed in the census bureau at Washington, D.C. Clara Bell, born March 26, 1874, died August 21, 1876. Lawton Leon, born March 8, 1876, has been teaching in a military academy at Gambier, Ohio, for the second year. He was for three years a member of the United States army, enlisting as a private and receiving two promotions, and because of his excellent record, this position was tendered him unsolicited while he was in Chicago. Hazel Lorena, born September 5, 1881, is at home.

Mr. Elkin was a member of the First Christian church of Springfield, but his wife and children belong to the Episcopal Church. Socially he was connected with the Masonic fraternity. He died July 20, 1890, at the age of fifty-four years, and sincere regret was occasioned by his death, for the circle of his friends was extensive in Springfield, where his entire life had been passed. Here his widow and daughters are still living and the family is widely and favorably known in the capital.

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