WILLIAM J. HERRING, Jr. No man in township 12. range 7, Pope County, is more worthy of representation in this biographical record, than is our subject, who has for so many years been prominently connected with her welfare, and is one of the pioneers who laid the foundation for the present and future prosperity of this region. He owns a well-improved farm of two hundred acres on section 9, and is also the owner of one hundred and thirty-five acres in Hardin County. Though he raises a few horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, he is largely interested in growing corn, wheat and oats. He is, and always has been, very industrious and careful, and being a good manager is thus worthy in every respect of the success which he has now reached.
Mr. Herring was born in Wales, in 1839, his father, William J., Sr., who was born in 1816, having been a prominent farmer of Grand Pierre Precinct of that country. The grandfather of our subject, whose Christian name was Joseph, reared a family of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, and died in his native land at an advanced age. William J., Sr., was the fourth son, and has a brother living in Brooklyn, N. Y., one in California, and one in St. Louis at the present time. He married Hannah Lawrence, also of Wales, and emigrated to America in 1850, sailing from Cardiff, and being a long time on the ocean. On their arrival in New York City they remained there but a short time, thence going to Luzerne County, Pa., where they remained, however, only a year. In the fall of 1851 they came to Illinois, traveling a portion of the way by water and crossing the Alleghany Mountains in a section of a boat drawn by a stationary engine at the summit. On reaching this State, they remained for a short time at Elizabethtown and then removed to Pope County.
Landing in this country with some means, our subject's parents purchased and improved a farm, entering eighty acres at the land office at $1.25 per acre. To his original farm, Mr. Herring has since added sixty-five acres, making his farm in all one of one hundred and forty-five acres. Our subject was from his boyhood reared to farm life, and has proved himself to be eminently fitted for this occupation, which he has followed since his early years. He received the advantages of a good district school education, and taught school for some seven terms. In his twenty-eighth year he was united in marriage with Elizabeth C. McMurphy, who was twenty-two years of age, their union being celebrated March 10, 1867. Mrs. Herring is a daughter of John T. and Vollie (Bradley) McMurphy, natives of Illinois and Indiana respectively. The former removed to this State in 1818, and returned to Indiana for his bride. He had served in the Black Hawk War, and died on his farm in Hardin County in 1862, at the age of fifty-six years, leaving a widow, two sons and three daughters, of whom the wife of our subject is the youngest. The mother is still living with a daughter, though she has now reached the age of seventy-seven years.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Herring: Lillian A., who is twenty-two years of age and is a successful school teacher of this locality, now teaching her third term; W. C, aged twenty years, now at school and fitting himself for a teacher; Lucy A., aged seventeen, also in school and a promising student; Mary E.; John R., Tivis L. and Olive L., aged fifteen, twelve and eight years, respectively, who are attending school; and Otto Ralph, a bright little child of three years and the pride of the household. Hannah P. died in 1870, aged two years and three months, and Grover died June 22, 1889, the same age to a day as his little sister, who had departed this life so many years previously.
Mr. Herring is politically a Democrat, and is a member of the Presbyterian Cumberland Church. He is highly esteemed in this locality as a man of integrity and justice, and one who is thoroughly conscientious in all his business dealings with his fellow-men. A brother of Mrs. Herring, David McMurphy, was a loyal soldier during the late war, enlisting as a private in the Sixth Illinois Cavalry.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 181
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