This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia G. Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of William Elliott

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


WILLIAM ELLIOTT, a well-known and highly esteemed resident of Homer Village, and who the greater part of his life has been engaged in farming pursuits, is now practically retired from active labor and is spending his declining years in the case and comfort which he has justly earned by a life of industry, and a course marked by uprightness and the highest moral principles. Mr. Elliott may properly be ranked among the pioneer settlers of the Prairie State, as he came to Vermilion County with his parents when a child six years of age, in 1822. The journey was made overland with teams, and they boarded and lodged after the manner of the travelers of those days, carrying their provisions with them, cooking by the wayside, and sleeping in their wagons at night. Our subject remembers, even to this day, many interesting incidents of that time, and the contrast between the face of the country sixty years ago and its appearance at the present. The unbroken prairie, with its waving grass, and the intermediate forests through which deer and other wild animals roamed with freedom, have now given place to cultivated fields and beautiful homesteads, and had he not seen the gradual march of progress and civilization, thus becoming accustomed to the change, the transformation would seem like a dream. In common with other honored pioneers of that period, he has watched the progress of his adopted State with the deepest interest and rejoiced at every evidence of her prosperity.

William Elliott was born in Cumberland County, Ky., July 23, 1816. His parents, Asa and Elizabeth (SIMPSON) ELLIOTT, were natives of West Virginia, and of Scottish ancestry. Asa Elliott was born Feb. 27, 1791, and lived to be seventy-two years of age, departing this life on the old homestead, probably in 1863. The mother was born in 1796, and passed away the year previous to the death of her husband. Both were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and held in much esteem wherever known. The father of our subject was Republican in politics and was among the first to identify himself with the Masonic fraternity, of whose principles he remained a lifelong admirer. The children of the family were named respectively, William, John, Mary, Andrew, Amanda, Elizabeth, Nancy, Joseph and Asa. Of these five are living, the youngest son being a practicing physician in Ozark County, Mo.

William Elliott accompanied his parents from his native State to Indiana in 1817, when but an infant. They located in Union County, where they lived five years, removing thence in April, 1822, to Vermilion County, this State. The father purchased Government land near Butler’s Point, upon which he operated until about 1844, then removed with his family to Missouri, where the parents spent the last years of their lives. Their children were scattered in various parts of the West. William, of our sketch, crossed eastward over the Father of Waters in 1827, and located in Homer Township, of which he has since remained a resident. He was first married to Miss Margaret LANDER, of Old Homer, in 1840. This lady died eight years later.

The second wife of Mr. Elliott was formerly Miss RISINGER, a native of Pennsylvania, and departed this life in 1863, leaving three children, all now living: Asa O. married Miss Myra WHITLOCK; William J. married Miss Dollie COFFEEN, and Agnes B. became the wife of O. A. TATE, of Kankakee, Ill.

The third and last marriage of Mr. Elliott took place in 1870, Mrs. Susan (DAUGHERTY) LEONARD becoming his wife. Mrs. Elliott departed this life at the home of her husband in August, 1876.

William J. Elliott, the youngest son of our subject, married Miss Helen D. COFFEEN, Oct. 4,1883. This lady was born Dec. 7, 1859, in Homer, Ill., and is the daughter of Michael and Helen (LYONS) COFFEEN, natives of New England and pioneers of Champaign County. Both are now deceased. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and established a good homestead in Homer Township, which became the resort of the best people of the county. Mr. and Mrs. William J. Elliott have no children. Mr. E. is a man of fine business abilities, being connected with the Coffeen Mill and Elevator Company at Homer. He is still a young man, having been born May 27, 1857, and bids fair to become one of the prominent factors of the business and industrial community.

William Elliott, following in the footsteps of his honored father, is also connected with the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Lodge No. 199, in Homer. He uniformly casts his vote with the Republican party.

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