William Z. Tunks
William Z. Tunks, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, and Collection Agent at Davis, is one of the oldest and best known Justices of Stephenson County. His official career has extended over a period of thirty years in this county, of which he became a resident in 1843, and with the exception of four years has held this office continuously since 1852. He made his first purchase of land on section 12, in Rock Run Township, and which consisted mainly of a timber tract, from which he cleared the trees and prepared the soil for cultivation. He also added good improvements, and remained in possession of the home thus established until November, 1877. He then retired from active labor of the farm, and removing to Davis devoted his entire attention to the duties of the office. In the meantime he has consolidated his property interests, selling his land and investing part of the proceeds in village lots and a comfortable dwelling. He is now quite well advanced in years, and takes life comparatively easy, enjoying the affection of his children and the respect of the community at large.
The birth of our subject took place in Clarke County, Ohio, March9, 1817. His father, Thomas Tunks, was a native of Kentucky, born and reared on a farm. The family is of English ancestry. Thomas Tunks was married in Clarke County, Ohio to which he had removed in early life. The maiden of his choice, Miss Anna Wallingsford, who was of Irish parentage, was born in Boonesboro, Ky., and reared in Clarke County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. T. began life together on a farm there, and became the parents of eight children, six sons, and two daughters. Two of the former and one of the latter are now deceased. The parents continued on the old homestead in Ohio, enjoying the good-will and confidence of all who knew them until called to the rewards of worthy and well-spent lives. The father died when eighty-two years of age, in 1859, the mother having preceded her husband to the better land some years before, about 1844. She was a devoted Christian women, and a member in good standing of the Baptist Church. Our subject was the fifth child of the parental household of which he remained a a member until his marriage. The lady who became his wife on the 5th of October, 1843 was Miss Paulina Winchester, who was born in Union County, Ohio in 1822, and died at her home in Rock Run Township this county, in 1849, leaving two children. These were Anna J, at home, and Albert, who is now in Nebraska. Mr. Tunks was the second time married, in Winnebago County, to Miss Armadills McIntire, who was born and reared in Union County, Ohio, and came West after the death of her parents, locating in Winnebago County, which remained her home until her marriage. She became the mother of three children and departed this life at her home in the south part of this township in 1864. Two of her children have since died. The survivng child is a daughter, Rose, now the wife of William M. Dustin, of Valley County, Neb.
The present wife of our subject, formerly Mrs. Candace S. (Emery) Daniels, is a native of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, whence her parents removed while she was young to this State. She was at the time of her marriage with our subject, a residence of Rock Run Township. Of her first marriage there were born six children, of whom but thee are living, namely Albert, Henry B., and Omni. The children deceased were daughters-Candace, Fidelia, and Luella.
Mr. Tunks represented Rock Run Township on the County Board of Supervisors seven terms, and was Township Treasurer for a period of twenty-four years. He is a solid Republican, politically. In all respects he is considered a reliable and responsible citizen, respected for his integrity, and occupies a good position socially and financially.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill., containing Full Page Portraits, and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, together with Portraits and Biographies of all the governors of Illinois and of the Presidents of the United States, printed by the Chapman Brothers, Chicago, IL, 1888. Transcribed by D. Joshua Taylor, May 2005.