WILLIAM S. WEBER - William S. Weber devotes his time and energies to two important lines of business activity - farming and merchandising. He was born in Springfield, March 11, 1844, and is a son of Philip W. Weber, who was born in Shepherdstown, Virginia, January 28, 1812. The paternal grandfather removed from Baltimore, to the Old Dominion about 1808, and in the latter state Philip W. Weber was reared. In 1837 he became a resident of Springfield, Illinois, and was married there, in the spring of 1839, to Amanda M. Shepherd, who was born in Virginia, November 8, 1811. In January, 1852, they located on a farm in Pawnee township, where they reared their family, Mr. Weber becoming one of the enterprising and influential agriculturists of Sangamon county. His business efforts were attended with success and he lived to the ripe old age of almost ninety-one years, his wife having departed this life two years previous.
No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for William S. Weber in his boyhood days. He spent his youth on the homestead farm in Pawnee township and assisted his father in the work of cultivation and improvement. Starting out in life on his own account he sought a companion and helpmate for the journey, and on the 1st of January, 1867, in Sangamon county, was married to Henrietta Lough, who was born in Jerseyville, Illinois, and was reared in this state. They settled at the time of their marriage on the farm on which Mr. Weber is still actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He had here one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, but he soon turned the furrows, planted the grain, and in due course of time reaped good harvests. He also fenced his farm and made the substantial improvements which are found upon the best farming properties of central Illinois. As time passed and his financial resources increased he purchased other land and now has altogether four hundred and twenty-one acres, a part of which lies across the boundary line in Christian county. The substantial buildings upon the place and all its modern improvements are as monuments to his thrift and enterprising spirit. He is engaged in the raising and feeding of stock and he ships about two carloads of cattle annually and one hundred head of hogs. In January, 1890, he also extended the field of his labors to take in merchandising, building a store on his farm, in which he carries a general stock of goods. He is a very progressive and successful business man, watchful fo opportunity and utilizing his time to the best advantage.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Weber have been born three sons and three daughters: Frank, who has lost his wife, is now at home with his father and he has a daughter Gladys; Andrew J. and Charles P. are assisting in the operation of the home farm; Minnie I., Alice R. and Effie M. are also under the parental roof. Both Mr. and Mrs. Weber hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and he is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Pawnee. He votes with the Republican party, supporting each presidential nominee since casting his first ballot for General U. S. Grant in 1868. He has been quite active in local political circles and was elected and served for three terms as assessor, being chosen to this office by a good majority in a Democratic stronghold, a fact which indicates his popularity with his fellow townsmen and the confidence which is uniformly reposed in him. He was a member of the school board for a number of years and put forth effective and earnest effort in behalf of the educational system of his locality. He has also been postmaster at Zenobia for eleven or twelve years. In August, 1862, he volunteered in a company raised near Pawnee for service in the Civil war. The "boys" went to Camp Butler and were attached to the Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry, but as the company was not full it was attached to a company of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry. The combination made the company too large and fifteen of the smallest members, including Mr. Weber, were then sent home. Three months later, without the consent of his parents, he went to St. Louis and made another attempt to join the army, but again failed, being then but eighteen years of age.
All his life Mr. Weber has resided in Sangamon county and his record has ever been commendable. He is a man of exemplary habits, strictly temperate, using neither intoxicants nor tobacco in any form. Because he has not abused nature's laws he has enjoyed good health and has never been confined to his bed by illness an entire day in his life. He is now a well preserved man of fifty-nine years and as the result of his life of enterprise and industry he is today the owner of a well improved farming property. His life demonstrates what can be accomplished by a man of determination and energy who resolutely sets to work to achieve success. In this country, where opportunity is not hampered by caste or class, all may win prosperity if they have but the determination to do so and are not afraid of earnest labors, and the life record of Mr. Weber should serve to encourage and inspire others.