Biography - William Wirey

WILLIAM WIREY. The name noted is that of the owner and proprietor of one of the fine farms located on section 25, of Tower Hill Township. During the seventy-nine years that he has lived great changes have taken place in the calling to which he has always devoted himself. Greece could boast of her temples and statues, Rome of her laws and law-makers, but it remains for America to beat the world at Yankee inventions that are a labor saving of incalculable degree to the agriculturist. Whereas in his boyhood days our subject planted and hoed the corn by hand, and cradled and gathered the grain in the same manner, now the owner of a thousand acres can sit on the carriage seat of his binder, arrayed in a white polished shirt and patent leather boots and a fine suit of clothes made to order, and can accomplish as much in a day as was formerly accomplished in a month.

All his life Mr. Wirey has been engaged in the energetic and industrious pursuit of his calling, but he has now retired from active labor and is enjoying the fruits of his early efforts. He is of Pennsylvania parentage and is proud of the fact that he is thoroughly American. Our subject's father was John Wirey, who was probably born in Pennsylvania, as was his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Spidle. After marriage they first settled in Franklin County, Pa., and afterward removed to Westmoreland County, in the same State, there the father died. Left with the care of a family, the mother determined to seek easier conditions under which to make a living, and removed from the hilly country where she had lived in Pennsylvania, to the more fertile region in Richland County, Ohio. Later, however, she with her children came to Shelby County, this state, and in 1839 located on Robinson Creek, in Rose Township. There the family lived and labored together for six years at the end of which time they removed to Tower Hill Township, and there the mother died, after a life spent in self-sacrifice and loving devotion to her family. Her decease took place on section 34, and she was interred with all respect and honor in God's acre of the township. Our subject's parents were not exactly in the fashion for pioneer days, for instead of having a family the number of whose children was counted in the teens, only four little ones came to be the mother's comfort and stay in her time of tribulation and bereavement. Their names are Catherine. Polly, William and John. Of these our subject was the third in order of birth, being the eldest son. He was born in Franklin County, Pa., September 12, 1812, during that troubled period when it was decisively settled who should have supremacy in this country. He was reared in the village until he was fifteen years of age after which time he went to live with a man by the name of John Kinneard, of his native place, and he remained with him until of age when he went to Ohio, and from 1838 to 1839 inclusive, he made his home in Richland County, of that State. At the latter named date he came to Shelby County, in this State, and with his mother and family resided on Robinson Creek, Rose Township, until about 1845, when he came to Tower Hill Township, of which place he has ever since been a resident.

Mr. Wirey, as has before been said, has always been engaged in the calling of agriculture. Formerly he was the owner of two hundred acres of as fine land as there is in Tower Hill Township, and the greater portion of his life was spent in improving this tract and making of it a farm that is a model in its way. This he sold when well advanced in years and now lives retired from the active duties of life. Our subject has filled several local offices in the gift of the township, and has been Assessor of Tower Hill Township for one year. In his political preferences he is a Democrat.

Extracted 09 Apr 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 475-476.

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