WILLIAM B. LAIN, of Dale Township,
this county, a prominent and successful farmer and stock-feeder and shipper, is operating successfully on his fine
farm located on section 36. He is in all respects a representative man of one of the leading counties of the Prairie
State, full of enterprise and energy, and presenting an example worthy of imitation by the rising generation. Mr.
Lain is a native of the Blue Grass State, having been born in Madison County, May 28, 1827. His father, John Lain,
of Virginia, was born in Albemarle County, and his grandfather, Isham Lain, was also born in Virginia, and descended
from English ancestry, his father, the great-grandfather of our subject, having been a native of England, and emigrated
to America in the colonial days, settling in Virginia. This latter gentleman was twice married, and the two families
amounted to sixteen sons, seven of whom served in the Revolutionary War. The grandfather of our subject,
one of the seven, served under Gen.
The parents of our subject had a family of eight children, seven of whom grew to years of maturity. William B., our subject, was the eldest born; Isham G. is a resident of Dale Township; Isaiah lives in Blue Mound Township; Shelton H. and Burgess W. are in Madison County, Ky.; Elizabeth married Thomas R. Todd and died in St. Clair County, Mo.; Nellie B. became the wife of Y. J. Garrett, and died in Madison County, Ky.
William B. Lain was reared in his native county before the day of free schools. His father was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and fully realized the advantages of education. He accordingly contributed his full share toward the maintenance of a subscription school, and provided for all his children the means of an ordinarily fair education. William B. remained with his parents until he was twenty years old, employing his time alternately in work and study, and then entered a boarding-school in the same county to receive a still further course of instruction. Seven years later he was married and moved to Missouri, settling in St. Clair County, being among the earliest pioneers of that region. He entered a tract of Government land and purchased another tract adjoining, and pursued farming and school teaching in that section until 1857. He then returned to Kentucky and settled in Rockcastle County, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1864, when he sold out and came into McLean County, Ill. He purchased 160 acres of land in Dale Township, which he operated for one year, then went to Shirley in this county with his brother, and purchased a tract of land lying on section 36 in Dale Township. He then located in the town and engaged in trade as before, carrying on a general merchandise business for the following twelve years. In the meantime he purchased the farm which he now owns and occupies, and in 1875 settled upon it and has since made it his home. He has greatly improved the condition of the premises since he first took possession and has brought the land to a fine state of cultivation. He has been greatly prospered in his farming and stock operations and ships annually large numbers of stock to Chicago.
Mr. Lain was married in Rockcastle County, Ky.,
Sept. 27, 1849, to Miss Ziporah Todd, who was born in that county, Aug. 12, 1832. She comes from an excellent and
prominent family, and was the daughter of John and Mary (Heaton) Todd. Her grandfather, William Todd, a native
was one of the earliest settlers of
Portrait and biographical album of