Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois,Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States.
(Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 195.
Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.

WILLIAM J. DOUGLAS, a retired farmer residing in Mason, is one of the prominent and influential citizens of Effingham County. He was born in Dearborn County, Ind., near Rising Sun, on the 12th of May, 1822. His grandfather, William Douglas, was a Maine farmer and on emigrating Westward became a pioneer settler of Dearborn County, Ind., where he died at the age of sixty years. Andrew Douglas, father of our subject, was born in the Pine Tree State, and during his boyhood accompanied his parents to Indiana, where he met and married Miss Greenly, a native of Ireland, and a daughter of William Greenly, who followed farming in Switzerland County, Ind. He reached the age of four-score years. Five children were born unto Andrew and Susanna Douglas, of whom our subject is the eldest. Eliza J. is the wife of Stephen M. Scranton, of Ohio County, Ind.; Jeremiah S. is now deceased; George W. and Thomas F. complete the family. The parents have both passed away. The father long since died, when about seventy-two years of age. His wife survived him six years, and departed this life in Hardin County, Ill., at the age of seventy-eight. William J. Douglas, whose name heads this record, spent his boyhood days quietly upon his father's farm and received his education in a log school house, to which he had to walk two and a half miles. No event of special importance occurred during his youth, but after he had attained to man's estate he was married, November 23, 1843, to Miss Sarah Ann Read, daughter of Isaac and Margaret (Dungan) Read, natives of Baltimore, Md. Her paternal grandfather was a Scotchman, but in early life emigrated to the United States, and for many years lived in Baltimore, where his death occurred at the age of eighty. His wife was of German descent. Mrs. Read was of Irish lineage. Her father followed milling and farming near Baltimore. He was a Revolutionary soldier, and rode a horse through that war named Loduski, which was a great pet. Thomas Dungan, a brother of Mrs. Read, was a soldier in the War of 1812. He afterward married and removed to Kentucky, where he reared a large family and became a very prominent, influential and highly respected citizen.

Six children have been born unto them, the eldest of whom, Isaac R., married Corelda Monroe, and, with his wife and four children, William J., Myer A., Curtis and Agnes A., resides on the old home farm in Indiana. Andrew T. has been twice married. He wedded Missouri A. Lowstutter, who died leaving a son, Samuel Charles. His second wife was Kittie Paugh. They reside on a farm just east of Mason and have one son, William E. Mary Louisa is the wife of George W. Buchanan, who is engaged in the commission business in Cairo, Ill. They have three sons: Arthur D., William J. and Pleasant. Charles W., who was joined in wedlock with Mary A. Billingsley, resides with his wife and baby on a portion of the old homestead in Indiana. Adelia J. is the wife of David S. Cofield, a farmer residing near Arcola, Ill., by whom she has two children, Jesse D. and Ernest. Lucian M., who follows farming north of Mason, married Eva Dallas and their union has been blessed by four children: Byron, Claudus, Adelia L. and Lola A.

In March, 1874, Mr. Douglas came to Illinois with his wife and youngest son, the other children all having married and gone to homes of their own. He located in Effingham County on a farm of one hundred and ninety acres, three quarters of a mile north of the village of Mason, and there resided four years, after which he purchased a farm of one hundred and fourteen acres in Union Township. That land he now rents. He also purchased sixteen and one-half acres within the corporate limits of Mason. His landed possessions now aggregate four hundred acres, three hundred and twenty in Mason and Union Townships and the remaining eighty acres in Indiana. Mr. Douglas also owns a pleasant home property in the village, and he and his son have a good hay warehouse and press considerable hay.

            In politics, Mr. Douglas is a Democrat, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests, in which he has met with signal success. His wife is a member of the Christian Church. Our subject is connected with no religious denomination but is a man of strict integrity, whose word is as good as his bond. His honorable and well-spent life has won him the high respect of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.


Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 233. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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