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W. H. Rayburn

RAYBURN, W. H., a prominent and successful farmer of Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., as also an extensive stock-raiser, was born in Kentucky, November 16, 1836, a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Walker) Rayburn, natives of Kentucky, who came to Petersburg, Menard County, Ill., when he was but a child. Henry Rayburn was a carpenter and farmer by occupation. He moved to Pleasant Plains, Sangamon County, Ill., when his son W. H., was ten years old, and there lived on a farm for three years. Then he moved to Cass County, Ill., where he occupied rented farms for six years. He was a Justice of the Peace, and also served twelve years as Postmaster of Virginia in that county. There he died, his wife having passed away at Pleasant Plains.

The subject of this sketch was the third of a family of eight children born to his parents. In boyhood he attended the district schools in the vicinity of his home and, after pursuing a four years' course of study in college and Conference, at the age of twenty-two years, was ordained to the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church and admitted to the Illinois Conference. His first charge was at Mahomet, Champaign County, Ill., where he remained one year. He then took the pastorate at Chaney's Grove and traveled upon six circuits in seven years, in all. He then resigned from the ministry and became an extensive traveler, crossing the ocean seventy times. While visiting friends at Industry, Ill., he bought land in that vicinity to the extent of 800 acres, which he uses for stock-raising and general farming. He raises Shorthorn cattle, Hackney horses, draft horses and feeds cattle and hogs. He has imported draft sires, Clydes and other breeding horses, to a considerable extent.

On June 20, 1895, Mr. Rayburn was united in marriage with Emma Cook Wilkerson, and their union resulted in one child, Bretina E. M. Politically, Mr. Rayburn supports the policies of the Republican party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the I. O. O. F. He is a man of high intelligence and broad information and, in his present sphere of effort, is doing much to maintain the reputation of McDonough County as a source of high grade horses and cattle.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 986-987, extracted 29 May 2020 by Norma Hass.

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