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William James Ervin

ERVIN, William James (deceased), for many years one of the most prominent and substantial merchants of Macomb, Ill., was born in Rockingham County, Va., February 27, 1820, and died in Macomb, November 15, 1890. His father was a plantation owner, and owned slaves. In boyhood he received his mental training in the district schools, and at an early period in life, journeyed from Virginia to Illinois and started a dry-goods store in Macomb. In this line he was quite successful, and through diligence, sound judgment and strict integrity, built up, in course of time, a large business concern. In 1862, having sold his dry-goods store, he enlisted in the Eighty-fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry and was commissioned as Captain of Company C, which he assisted in organizing, later being brevetted as Major for gallant service. He participated in all the engagements in which his regiment took part, being finally mustered out in 1865. Returning to Macomb he was later elected County Clerk, serving for a term of four years, when he bought a farm of 160 acres in Scotland Township, which he rented for two years. In 1871, having sold his farm, he engaged in the drug business in company with his son, under the firm name of Ervin & Son, with which he continued to be connected until his death in 1890.

Mr. Ervin was united in marriage, at Rushville, Ill., on April 19, 1849, with Mary McCrosky, who was the eldest of a family of six girls and two boys. To Mr. and Mrs. Ervin were born three children, namely: Ella Lampton, Sarah Alice (Mrs. Wyne), and James M. The latter is now engaged as successor in the drug business established by his father.

Politically, the subject of this memoir was a zealous and active Republican. In his religious views, he was inclined toward the Presbyterian denomination, although not a member of the church. Fraternally, he was affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., being a Royal Arch Mason. Mr. Ervin was a man of unblemished reputation, straight-forward and thoroughly reliable in his business transactions, and prominent in all movements for the public welfare. He was greatly respected by all who knew him, and his death was deeply lamented.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 875, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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