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Barkley, William S.
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Barkley, William S.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 529-530


William S. Barkley, deceased, was well known in agricultural circles in Pike county for many years. The broad prairies of Illinois have offered splendid opportunities to the farmer and stock-raiser, and many fortunes have been won through the cultivation of the soil or through pasturing large herds upon the rich meadow lands of Illinois. Mr. Barkley is among the number who in this line of activity have won success. He was a native of Ross county, Ohio, born on the 4th of July, 1842, and his parents were Henry J. and Mary (Snyder) Barkley, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The father was born in 1816 and the mother October 29, 1812. They became residents of Pike county in 1850, at which time their son William was but a small lad. Their first home was about two miles north of Barry, and later they removed to a farm two and a half miles northeast of Barry, where they lived for about forty years, being well known as early and representative citizens of the community. When four decades had passed they left Illinois and went to Bentonville, Arkansas, where the father lived retired until his death, which occurred January 27, 1892, when he was in his seventy-seventh year. His widow survived him for about nine years, passing away on the 7th of February, 1901. He was a stone-cutter by trade, but after coming to Illinois turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and at the time of his death was the owner of three hundred acres of rich and valuable land in Pike county. While living in this county he successfully and extensively engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of shorthorn Durham cattle, and Poland China hogs. Politically he was a stanch republican; and served as school director for many years, and was also supervisor of his township. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Baptist church. In their family were four children, but only two are now living: Margaret and Sarah L., the latter the wife of Samuel Schwab, a resident of Windsor, Missouri.

William S. Barkley was educated in the common schools, and at the age of twenty years he enlisted for service in the Union army, becoming a member of Company D, Ninety-ninth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, on the 5th of August, 1862, to serve for three years, or during the war. He was mustered out July 31, 1865, after active field service, in which he took part in many important engagements that led up to the final triumph of the Union arms. When the war was over he returned to his home and gave his attention to farming and stock-raising, the pursuits to which he had been reared, so that he had a practical knowledge of the best methods of carrying on both branches of the business. He also dealt in stock as a buyer and shipper, and his careful control of his business affairs led to very gratifying success.

On the 10th of October, 1867, Mr. Barkley was united in marriage to Miss Martha J. Doran, who was born in Quincy, Illinois, March 27, 1849, and is a daughter of James and Jane (Moore) Doran. The father's birth occurred in Waynesville, Ohio, March 3, 1812, and the mother was born in Waynesville, September 10, 1815. They came to Adams county, Illinois, in 1846, settling in Quincy, where they lived for four years, and then removed to Pike county in 1850. The father was a tanner by trade, following that pursuit in his early life; and on coming to Illinois, turned his attention to agricultural interests. He lived on the Blanchard farm, now included within the corporation limits of the city of Quincy. At one time he owned about four hundred acres of valuable Pike county land; and he made many improvements upon his property, which was a tract of prairie, arable and productive. He placed his fields under a very high state of cultivation; and he built upon his farm a good residence. He made a specialty of the breeding and raising of fancy horses, which he exhibited at many fairs, winning various premiums on his fine stock. His political allegiance was given to the republican party, and for many years he served as school director, the cause of education finding in him a warm friend by reason of the able work which he did for the schools. He died upon the old homestead farm on the 31st of May, 1863. His widow, a Baptist when she died, long survived him, and departed this life March 28, 1903. In their family were nine children, of whom five are now living: Milton, who married Jane Woosley, and resides a mile and a half northeast of Barry; Mary A., the wife of Hiram B. Sperry, who is living in Nokomis, Illinois; Theodore, a resident of Barry; James M.; and Mrs. Barkley.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Barkley was blessed with two children. Roy D., born July 24, 1868, was educated in the public schools and in the Gem City Business College at Quincy. He is now living upon the old homestead which was owned by his grandfather and comprises four hundred and eighty acres of fine land. He is now farming three hundred and thirty acres; and he also engages in stock-raising, having from forty to fifty head of cattle upon his place at the present time. He is now, however, making arrangements preparatory to removing to Scott county, Kansas, where he owns eight hundred acres of excellent land. He has recently returned from that farm, where he built a barn. He expects to move to the Sunflower state in March, 1906. He was married November 2, 1892, to Miss Allie Beadle, who was born in Pike county, July 1, 1872, and is a daughter of William and Lucy Beadle, both of whom are natives of Virginia. In their family are five children: Lillian P., Isla M., Harry W., Letha I., and Ross R. Maggie M. Barkley, the second member of the family, was born May 23, 1872, and was married May 13, 1900, to Frank M. Beard. They reside four miles north of Barry.

In politics Mr. Barkley was an earnest republican, and took a deep and active interest in the work of his party. He served as justice of the peace and assessor, and was a member of the school board for twenty years or more. He belonged to Hope lodge, No. 55, A. O. U. W., of Barry, and was a member of John McTucker post, No. 154, G. A. R., and when the Ninety-ninth Illinois Regiment held its annual reunion in 1905 he served as president on that occasion. Not long afterward, on the 14th of April, 1905, he was called to his final rest, responding to the last roll call that indicates that the warfare of life is over. He was a member of the Baptist church; and gave a willing hand to all public interests, and to the assistance of his friends. His nature was kindly and generous, and the poor and needy never appealed to him in vain. He stood for all that is upright and just in man's relations with his fellowmen, and was a believer in the true, the good and the beautiful; and through his genial nature and generous disposition he shed around him much of the sunshine of life. Mrs. Barkley now resides in Barry and is a most estimable lady, who has an extensive circle of friends. She owns three hundred and thirty acres of land in Hadley township.

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