Biography - William Carnes

WILLIAM CARNES. Prominent in church and political circles and well known as a successful and retired farmer of repute, both as to character and capabilities, is the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch and whose three-score years and ten, worthily lived, haves given him the respect of all who know him. He resides on section 35, Shelbyville Township, Shelby County, and is counted among the old pioneers, as his residence in the county dates from 1850.

William Carnes was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 9. 1821, his father, Robert, being a native of Ireland, and his mother, Nancy Stewart, having been born in the United States. The father was but three years old when he came to this country from old Erin and his early home was in Guernsey and Fairfield Counties, Ohio. He died in the latter county at the age of sixty-eight years, having been a thorough and respected farmer, and his wife also passed away at the old home at the age of sixty-six. These worthy parents had nine children, all of whom grew to maturity. Their record is as follows: Jane, who was twice married and died at Shelbyville at the age of seventy-one; Thomas and Mary, who both died in Shelby County; Eliza, who died in California; John and Arthur, who died in Fairfield County; William, our subject; Robert, who died in Shelby County; and James, who was a member of Company H, Seventh Illinois Cavalry and was killed in Alabama.

Having been reared on the farm, young Carnes chose agriculture as his life work and on September 12, 1850, he took to himself a partner in life's joys and sorrows in the person of Mary C. Ingman, daughter of Henry and Henrietta (Rigby) Ingman. This lady was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 13, 1827, and her parents were Virginians who became early pioneers in Ohio and remained there until their death, the father at the age of seventy-two years and the mother when sixty-five. These venerable parents reared eleven children to years of maturity, namely: William, Elizabeth, Amelia. Otho and Ann, who all died in Ohio; and Sophia, Lancelot and Maria, who died in Indiana; Edmund, who died in Missouri; and Mary C. who became Mrs. Carnes, and is the only survivor.

Less than a month after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Carnes set out with a team to emigrate from Ohio to Illinois, accomplishing the journey in sixteen days. An elder brother of our subject, Thomas by name, accompanied them with his family. Our subject had been in Illinois in the winter of 1849-50 and purchased some hogs, which he drove to St. Louis and disposed of, and in the spring of 1850 he purchased in connection with a younger brother, James, a tract of one hundred and fifty acres and entered one hundred and sixty more. About thirty acres only had been cleared and a log house had been built, and here the young couple started to make their fortunes and remained there till 1856, when they removed to their present home.

Mr. Carnes has given his attention principally to farming and in time acquired possession of two hundred and forty acres, which he has now divided among his children, who are by name: Josephine, who married B. F. Fraker; Nancy, who married J. L. Thomas; Maria E., who became Mrs. William Crockett and died in Shelby County; Henrietta, now Mrs. Lewis C. Thomas; Mary C., wife of A. D. Amlin; John W.; James M., who is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Missouri; and one who died in infancy. A grand-daughter makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Carnes and is their main stay and comfort in their old age. For nearly half a century both of these honored and beloved old people have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and for thirty years Mr. Carnes has been steward and Class-Leader. He is an earnest advocate of the enactment of prohibitory measures against the sale of intoxicating liquors and his influence is always given on the side of Christianity and morality.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 544-547.

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