William Jackson Finks is owner of a 184-acre farm near Allentown, Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, and his unvarying success is proof of his untiring industry, and his ability to take advantage of opportunities. He is a native of Virginia, born in Culpepper County, Sept. 22, 1837, the son of John and Winnifred (McQueen) Finks, natives of Rappahannock County, Va., the former born in 1793. The family emigration to Illinois took place in 1853, and was accomplished with teams and wagons, twenty-nine days being required for the journey.
This was not the first important step in the life of John Finks, for he had seen troublesome times, and had served as a soldier in the War of 1812, receiving in exchange for his valor the customary grant of land. For many years he farmed in Tazewell County, and his death occurred in Mackinaw Township November is, 1871—his wife dying in June, 1858.
Mr. Finks was an active member of the Christian Church, and, in political affiliation, a Democrat. Two of his sons, John and James, the second and third oldest of his large family of children, served in the Civil War, and the former under Captain Tom Harris, paid the penalty of his devotion to the Confederacy with his life during McClellan’s campaign against Richmond. The oldest son, Sanford, is a resident of Allentown. Tazewell County; .James is a farmer in Culpepper County, Va.: Lewis died in Culpepper County: Julia is unmarried; Amy E. is the wife of W. D. Richardson of Mackinaw: and Lucy Catherine (deceased) was the wife of A. Williamson of Plato, Mo.                                                           
William J. Finks began his independent career as a tenant farmer, and in 1862 purchased a part of his present farm, adding to it as occasion justified. When he took possession, the land was a stranger to plow or harrow, and all of the improvements are due to his ability to make steady and substantial progress. In every way has proven himself to be a reliable, painstaking farmer, and today has one of the finest properties in his neighborhood.
Mr. Finks has been three times married, his first marriage occurring in 1857 to Tabitha McQueen, who died August 28. 1863. On December 26, 1864, he married Hannah H. Markley, who died July 8, 1868, leaving two children: Elizabeth, who died September 23, 1866, and Lilly V., the wife of Sam Smith, of Mackinaw. In 1871 Mr. Finks married Mrs. Telitha Short, of Mackinaw, and three of the eight children of this union are living: Robert Sanford, born September 16, 1879; Earl Vivian, born November 25, 1881; and Ethyle Elnora, born June 3, 1883.
Mr. Finks is a stanch supporter of education and has been a member of the School Board for twenty-five years. His work in this direction is all the more creditable, because his own youth was enriched with few opportunities other than those which gave him muscles of steel and a strong constitution. He adheres to the principles of the Democratic party, and since early manhood has been a member of the Christian Church.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1001
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