William Powell

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

WILLIAM POWELL, one of the honored pioneers of Henderson County, who now carries on general farming and stock-raising on section 29, Stronghurst Township, has for almost half a century lived in this community. He is, therefore, one of its oldest citizens. He has witnessed the greater part of the development and upbuilding of the community, has seen the work of transformation which has placed this community among the foremost in the State, and has ever borne his part in the work of public improvement.

Mr. Powell was born in Lower Canada, on the 7th of December, 1832, and is the fifth in order of birth in a familv of seven children, whose parents were Peter and Lavina (Buzzel) Powell. The father was a native of Vermont, but when a small child removed with his parents to Canada, and there remained until 1845, when he emigrated to Illinois, taking up his residence in Henderson County. Here he made his home until his death, which occurred at the age of fifty years. His wife, who was a native of Canada, passed away at the age of sixty years.

Our subject was a youth of thirteen when, with his parents, he came to Illinois, and upon the old homestead farm he remained until he had attained his majority. He then began agricultural pursuits in his own interest upon the farm on which he has since resided. As a companion and helpmeet on life's journey, he chose Miss Elizabeth Wallace. They were married in January, 1860, but her death occurred in 1861, and on the 1st of January, 1864, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Elizabeth Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, born September 1, 1846, and a daughter of Joseph V. and Sarah (Raceley) Smith. Her father was a native of Germany, but when a young man crossed the broad Atlantic to America, and in the Keystone State was married, the lady of his choice being a native of Pennsylvania. In 1846 they came to the West, and took up their residence in Fulton County, Ill., from whence they came to Henderson County in 1855. Here Mr. Smith remained until his death, which occurred at the age of sixty years. His wife passed away at the age of fifty-six. Fourteen children were born of the union of our subject and his wife, but six of the number died in infancy, and Sara E. died at the age of twenty-five years. Charles H., the eldest surviving member, is now engaged in farming in Henderson County; Eydia M., Ida A., William Andrew, Mary E., Benjamin F. and Nellie May are still with their parents.

Mr. Powell owns and operates two hundred and five acres of rich land in Stronghurst Township, constituting one of the valuable farms of this locality. He now has a comfortable country home, and in addition to general fanning he raises considerable stock, which branch of his business adds materially to his income. All he has represents his own earnings, and therefore his success is well merited, being the just reward of his earnest labors. Politically, he is a Democrat, and has served as School Director a number of years. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity.