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Carroll County Biographies


William Pugh Hacker, senior member of the mercantile firm of Hacker & Fike of Milledgeville, was born on a farm in Whiteside County IL March 31, 1876, a son of John and Susanna (Johnston) Hacker. John Hacker was a son of William Hacker and the latter was a son of Thomas Hacker and a captain in the British army, serving with distinction. He was a man of the education and good family who served his country ably for twelve years. His sword and epaulets are kept by his grandson as cherished relics. His birth occurred in the parish of Cornwell, England, where Thomas was also born, and he developed into a farmer. William Hacker was married (first) to Jane Habes by whom he had a daughter, Mary Jane who married Fisher Coon of Shannon Ill. She died leaving two sons; Ralph of Shannon and Robert of Freeport, both farmers. Thomas Hacker married (second) to Elizabeth Jasper by whom he had nine children, three of whom survives; Elizabeth who is the widow of James Taylor, resides in Prince Edward Island, aged ninety-two years, having been the mother of five children, four of whom are living; Mary who married William Reed, one of the prominent settlers and large landowners of Whiteside county, Ill., now deceased, survives her husband, living now at Emerson Illinois, having been the mother of six children; and Mrs. Jennie Judd. When she married him, she was the widow of William France, one of the pioneers of Whiteside county IL, a millwright by trade, who operated the old Como mill in Whiteside County.

William Hacker went with his family from England to Prince Edward Island in 1830, and in that same year came to the US first settling in Wayne county, PA, where he lived until 1836. He then went to Willow, Ulster county, N.Y. and remained until 1844. While they were living there, John Hacker was born on September 22, 1842. In 1844, the family migrated to Whiteside County, Ill., settling on the county line between the latter and Carroll counties. The father died in the new home September 2, 1846, leaving nine children fatherless. These children were; Richard who was born in England, February 26, 1823, toiled on a canal in boyhood and worked his way up to being captain, but later settled in Whiteside county, owning in time a good farm and becoming a prominent man and a member of the Methodist church and superintendent of the Sunday school, but later moved to Wakeeney, Trego county, Kas., where he died in 1885, his family returning to Whiteside county in 1890, they being Edward and James b., owners of 240 acres in Whiteside and 640 in Kansas; Nathaniel who was born in England, June 10, 1825, died in Whiteside county, where he had been a successful farmer, leaving three children, Wilbur, Stella and Minnie Belle, the latter marrying and dying, and the other daughter being the wife of William Woodring of Rock Falls Illinois., while Wilbur is living at Sac City IA; Betsy Ann, who is deceased; Elisha and Anna Belle (twins) who were born February 2, 1830 and the former dying when eighteen years old, but the latter living to marry Elias LeFevre, a prominent resident of Sterling Ill.; James who was born March 10, 1832; Mary who was born January 19, 1834, married William Reed; Edward who was born October 1, 1839, enlisted in Company H 34th IL Volunteer Infantry, serving with the regiment until he was killed in the trenches of Kenesaw Mountain during the fourth day of the siege; and John.

John Hacker was the youngest member of the family and lived at home until his marriage which occurred in 1875, when he settled on a farm he had purchased from the Illinois Central Railroad, adding forty acres to the original eighty acres. The prairie was broken with eight yoke of oxen, Edward Hacker assisting his brother in the work. John Hacker prospered and became one of the prominent and successful agriculturists of his section. Charitable, he never sent anyone away from his door without assistance. While a staunch Republican, he was never willing to hold office, preferring to exert his influence as a private citizen. Although not a member of any religious organization, he helped to support the South Elkhorn church. A fine citizen, honorable and trustworthy, when he died March 4, 1907 his locality lost a good man. His remains were interred in the South Elkhorn cemetery. His widow resides on the home farm to which she was taken as a bride when eighteen years old. Two children were born to her and husband; William P. and Sarah A., the latter born March 7, 1878, married Albert Weast, a farmer of Ogle county. They have a daughter, Dorothy and a son John S.

William Pugh Hacker was born on the homestead where he grew up, attending the district schools. In 1899, he entered Mt. Morris college, from which he was graduated June 4, 1901. He earned the money to take him through college and is proud of this fact. Returning home in September 1901 he bought a grocery and stock of goods valued at $800 in Milledgeville, and was engaged in conducting the business until the fall of 1903, during which time he put things on a good paying basis and so sold half his interest forming a partnership with Wallace W. Fike under the name of Hacker & Fike. The firm rented a double store, adding gents furnishings, boots and shoes to the lines carried, and later took up the handling of queensware and became agents for the Food automobiles. Four clerks are employed, and the partners also wait upon their customers. From the beginning, this business has paid good profits, and the stock has been increased until it far exceeds the original amount. Owing to their connections, the firm are able to carry an excellent line of goods and offer prices that are as low as is consistent with the quality of the goods. Their motto is "Honest weight and a square deal.".

On December 4, 1901 Mr. Hacker was married to Frances Edith Dunmore by the Rev. C.A. Gage of the Methodist Church of Milledgeville. Mrs. Hacker is a daughter of Thomas and Mariette (Smith) Dunmore of England. Mrs. Dunmore died when Mrs. Hacker was seven years old. Mr. Dunmore survives and makes his home in Milledgeville. Mr. and Mrs. Hacker become the parents of four children; Beulah Pruella who was born October 30, 1902; Richard John who was born March 15, 1905; William Wayne who was born February 2, 1908 and Daniel Paul who was born December 22, 1911.

While actively engaged in building up his flourishing business Mr. Hacker has found time to discharge his duties as a citizen, and for four years served as a member of the village board, giving it an honest service. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge No. 345 of Milledgeville, and it now serving the third time as worshipful master, having held nearly all of the other offices. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Start. They are Methodists, Mr. Hacker is liberal in his support of the church and and is serving his third year as president of the Milledgeville mens Sunday school class, which has nearly one hundred members. Politically he is a republican. The Hacker home is a pleasant one, and Mr. Hacker is interested in raising fancy chickens, having one of the most valuable flocks of White Wyandottes in this part of the State. His product has carried off more ribbons than any other flock in this section. These awards have been as follows for the winter of 1911 an 1912 -13.

Hacker's White Wyandottes are white and bred to lay. Mr. Hacker is a member of the National White Wyandotte Club; also president of the Milledgeville Poultry Association, having served as one of the directors of the association ever since its organization.

In addition to other calls made upon him, Mr. Hacker has been the manager of the family estate, and owns some property in Oakley KS; 80 acres in Roswell N.M. and property in Gary IN.

A splendid business man, upright in his dealings, he has forged to the front, and has made a success of whatever he has attempted. In his home town, he is held in the highest esteem as a good business man and a public-spirited, loyal citizen.

History of Carroll County IL 1913 -
By Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, Charles Linnaeus Hostetter, James W. Gordon

Pioneer Family

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