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William B. Atherton

ATHERTON, William B. — After many years of successful farming in Scotland, and New Salem Townships, McDonough County, Ill., the subject of this sketch withdrew from his active labors on November 24, 1904. Mr. Atherton was born in Dallas City, Hancock County, Ill., March 14, 1842. He is a son of Joseph Atherton, who was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, and Eliza (Simonson) Atherton, who was born in the State of New Jersey. The grandfather, Iseial Atherton, and grandmother, Nellie (Campbell) Atherton, were natives of Hamilton County, Ohio. Joseph Atherton moved from Hancock County during the Mormon War, in 1845, to Stark County, Ill. Of the four boys and seven girls born to his parents, William P. Atherton was the fifth in order of birth. In boyhood he attended school in Stark County, where he lived until 1872. In February, 1865, he enlisted in Company C, Fourteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was with Sherman at Johnston's surrender, at Raleigh, N. C. At the end of the war he returned to Stark County, where he was the owner of an eighty-acre farm, which he then sold and purchased 120 acres of land in Scotland Township. In this and New Salem Township, he finally acquired 250 acres of land. Eighty acres of this he gave to his daughter, and sold eighty acres in 1904, leaving ninety acres in his name on his retirement from active pursuits. He then moved to Macomb, where he bought a residence on North Lafayette Street.

On March 3, 1868, at Toulon, Ill., Mr. Atherton was married to Amelia C. Atherton, who was born at Cape Girardeau, Mo., April 15, 1858, where in her youth she attended the public school. The offspring of this union was four children, namely: Nellie E. (Mrs. Ambrose Harlan), born at Lafayette, Stark County, Ill., March 12, 1871; Mary Abigail, born February 14, 1875, and died October 19, 1878; Emma, born December 27, 1883, who died at the age of six years, January 28, 1890; and Joseph A., born September 3, 1889, at Pennington's Point, McDonough County, and who remains under the parental roof. Mrs. Atherton died February 1, 1901, and was buried at Pennington's Point. Although not active in politics, the subject of this sketch gives his support to the Democratic party.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 817-818. Extracted 11 Oct 2018 by Norma Hass.

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