MRS. EMILY PREY, widow of the late Le Roy W. Prey, of Empire Township, owns and occupies a beautiful farm estate
of 540 acres on sections 5, 7 and 8, where she is surrounded by all the appliances of cultivated tastes and ample
means. The family residence is finely located, and the barns and out-buildings are handsome and substantial structures,
always kept in good repair. The farm forms one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of McLean County.
Mrs. Prey is the second daughter of James and Margaret (Cannaday) Bishop (see sketch of J. Q. Bishop.) She was born on her fatherís homestead in Empire Township, Aug. 30, 1843, and received careful home training and a fair education in the public schools.
She remained under the parental roof until she arrived at years of womanhood, and on the 6th of February, 1862, was married to William Evans, a native of this county, who was born in 1837, and the son of Francis M. and Mary Evans, who were among the early pioneers of this region. William Evans was reared on his fatherís farm, and followed agricultural pursuits during his lifetime. His death occurred in Empire Township, Jan. 4, 1865. Of this marriage there were born two childrenóMary M., who died in infancy, and Josephine, who died when nearly six years old.
Mrs. Emily (Bishop) Evans was united in marriage with Le Roy W. Prey on the 7th of August, 1877. Mr. Prey had been previously married to Miss Mary Gilbert, Sept. 14, 1864. She departed this life June 14, 1876, leaving one child, John H., who at present is living in Le Roy. Mr. Prey was born in Franklin County, Ohio, Feb. 21, 1840, being the son of Daniel and Hannah Prey.
When about twelve years of age his parents removed to Illinois and settled in Empire Township, where he grew to manhood, remaining with his parents until there came a call for troops to assist in the preservation of the Union. In 1861 he enlisted in an Illinois regiment, but the quota in this county being full he repaired to St. Louis, and joined the Missouri Infantry, in which he served three years. He participated in many of the battles of the war, being at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss. [Battle of Jackson], Champion Hills and Mission Ridge. With his comrades he joined the command of Gen. Sherman at Chattanooga, and participated in most of the engagements between that point and Atlanta. On the 17th of May, 1862, he was wounded in a skirmish before Russell House [ed., Russellís House], and was confined for a time in the hospital at St. Louis. Beyond this he escaped unharmed and received his honorable discharge after the surrender of Lee.
After his return to civil life Mr. Prey resumed farming for a few years in Empire Township. In 1873 he went to Nebraska and entered a claim, which he occupied for two years, and then returning to Empire Township located upon his farm and remained a resident here until his death, which took place on the 7th of July, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Prey became the parents of one child, William Le Roy.
Mr. Prey was a gentleman of more than ordinary business capacity, was enterprising and possessed of excellent judgment, and was uniformly prosperous in his undertakings. He took a genuine interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his county and community, was honest in his transactions, prompt to meet his obligations, and in all respects a praiseworthy citizen and valued member of the community. Mrs. Prey, since his death, has conducted the business of the estate with rare good judgment, and will maintain it in its present style by her wise management and knowledge of its requirements.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 447. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.