Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
KANE, WILLIAM, well known as the old, reliable expressman, of Springfield, has demonstrated what persistent effort will accomplish. After years of hard work, he has accumulated a comfortable competency which will provide for his declining years. He was born in Ireland, May 9, 1833, and is one of the best representatives of that genial people to be found in the city. He is a son of George and Elizabeth Kane, both natives of Ireland. In 1846 George Kane, who was a machinist by trade, left Ireland and brought his family to Vermont, where his remaining years were spent. Although the family endured many hardships in their new home, none of them regretted the step that brought them to America.
William Kane is practically self-educated. He had learned to farm, and always managed to mingle plenty of healthful sport with his work, from childhood being of a happy disposition. Leaving home when still a boy, he came west to Ohio, working on various railroads. From there he proceeded to Menard County, Ill., and for five years farmed, later going to Cass and Christian Counties, where he continued that occupation. When there was prospect of railroad work in Sangamon County, he came there, and in 1852 helped to lay the first section of tract on the Wabash Railroad to run through the county. Later he established his present express business, and for more than twenty-five years has faithfully carried it on, proving so trustworthy and reliable that his customers have kept with him, not caring to risk a change.
In 1854 Mr. Kane was married, in Springfield, to Margaret Callahan, born in Ireland. Her parents came to America, settling first in New Jersey, but later coming on to Sangamon County. Mr. and Mrs. Kane became the parents of children as follows: John, born May 22, 1855; James, born June 24, 1856, and Elizabeth, born December 24, 1858. One of the sons served in the regular army. For a number of years Mr. Kane voted with the Republican party, but now prefers to support the man rather than the platform. A stanch Catholic, he holds membership in St. Agnes Church, of Springfield. Fraternally he belongs to the Maccabees and the Hibernians. Genial, obliging, with all the courtesy and good-nature of his people, Mr. Kane is known everywhere and universally liked, and his success is certainly well merited.