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William Mitchell Lipe

LIPE, William Mitchell (deceased), formerly one of the most prominent citizens of Macomb, Ill., and among the most successful merchants of that city, was born in McDonough County, September 14, 1840, a son of Francis D. and Lucinda (Shumate) Lipe, who came from Tennessee to Kentucky and thence to Illinois. The paternal ancestors were of German origin, his grandfather, Daniel Lipe, being from that country. His grandmother was of English descent, and claimed relationship with Queen Victoria. Francis D. Lipe was a dry-goods merchant at Fandon, Ill., and also owned a very fine barn of horses in Macomb, forty of which were once poisoned, supposedly through some deadly drug maliciously mixed with their food. This occurred in Macomb on Jackson Street after his removal here. The elder Mr. Lipe was elected County Treasurer of McDonough County in 1854 and was Sheriff in 1858, and also served as Captain during the Mormon War. He left Fandon about the time his son, William M., was verging on maturity. The educational opportunities of the subject of this sketch were somewhat limited, but he contrived to acquire an excellent knowledge of mathematics, and was often consulted as an authority on mathematical problems. He also developed into a thoroughly competent business man. In boyhood he assisted in the work on his father's farm and also made himself serviceable in the latter's store. During his father's term in the shrievalty, he was also a valuable assistant. For a time he was a telegrapher in Macomb, being the first operator in the town. He subsequently engaged in the grocery business, in which he continued successfully for about twenty years until his death, which occurred in 1892. Mr. Lipe was one of the first stockholders in the McDonough County Fair Association. On the discovery of the gold mines in the West, he traveled somewhat in that region.

On March 28, 1861, at Macomb, Mr. Lipe was wedded to Harriet Leach, who was born at Spring Creek, Ill., November 28, 1842. Her father, Rufus Leach, was a farmer by occupation, and a pioneer settler in McDonough County. He was a native of Essex County, N. J., whence he removed to the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio, and thence to Illinois. He purchased from the Government the lands on which he developed his farm, near what is now Good Hope, McDonough County. In politics he was a Democrat. The union of William Lipe and Harriet Leach resulted in three children, namely: Louie (Mrs. Brooking) and Addie (Mrs. Hendee), both of Macomb; and Ruth (Mrs. Huston), of Ann Arbor, Mich. Politically, Mr. Lipe was a supporter of the Democratic party, in the local councils of which he was prominent and influential. He was elected Alderman several times, was Supervisor for eight years, and served a term as County Treasurer, being elected in 1871, — all of which trusts he fulfilled in an able and faithful manner and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Although not connected with any religious denomination, he was a frequent attendant at divine services in the Christian Church. In fraternal circles, he was identified with the A. F. & A. M., I. O. O. F. and M. W. A. The subject of this sketch was very fond of Nature's scenery, and greatly enjoyed outdoor sports, such as hunting and fishing, etc. To his business affairs, however, he paid strict attention. He possessed much force of will, and in demeanor was somewhat quiet and reserved, preferring the companionship of his home to the pleasures of social life.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 939-940, extracted 15 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass.

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