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William J. Franklin

FRANKLIN, William J., a prominent attorney of Macomb, McDonough County, Ill., and now serving as County Judge, was born in that county, April 20, 1843. His parents were William H. and Maria J. (Clark) Franklin, natives respectively of Mercer and Madison Counties, Ky. His paternal grandparents were William and Nancy (Whitton) Franklin, natives of Kentucky; and his grandparents on the maternal side were James and Mary (Lewis) Clark, the farmer born in the State named, and the latter in South Carolina. His great-grandfathers on both sides — Thomas Franklin and James Clark — were Virginians, the latter having been born at Jamestown. William H. Franklin came to McDonough County in 1839, and here began the practice of law. He was the father of ten children, of whom William J. is the eldest. The latter attended the common schools, and afterward became station agent and telegraph operator for the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad Company. He was the first soldier to enlist from McDonough County in Company A, Sixteenth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving four years and three months. He was captured by guerrillas and kept a prisoner in Macon, Ga., and in Libby prison for three months. He was discharged from the service in August, 1865, returned to Macomb and worked as agent on the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad. After studying law, while in the railroad service, he was admitted to the bar and practiced for two years. He then went to Missouri, where he practiced eight years, going thence to Kansas, where he practiced fifteen years. In August, 1894, he returned to Macomb and has since practiced there. He was City Attorney of Macomb in 1872, and served as State's Attorney of Dekalb County, Mo., for two terms, and for a like period as State's Attorney of Gary County, Kans. He also held the office of Police Judge at Junction City, Kans. He was elected County Judge of McDonough County in 1901, to fill an unexpired term, was re-elected in 1902, and again in 1906. Judge Franklin was married October 13, 1868, to Mary A. Gibbs, who was born and schooled in Schuyler County, Ill. Their children are Maud (now Mrs. George G. Gough), Dean and Ray. Politically, the subject of this sketch is a Republican; socially, he is a member of the G. A. R. and the M. W. A.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 882, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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