WILLIAM S. JENNINGS is a fine type of the intelligent, progressive young farmers and stock-raisers of this section of the State, who have stepped to the front within a few years, to bear their part in sustaining and advancing its large agricultural interests. He has already obtained a good start in life and has a very desirable farm in Belleview Precinct, Calhoun County. He comes of a well-known pioneer family of this region, his father having been quite prominent in the early days of the settlement of Belleview Precinct. He is the son of Thomas S. and Mary A. (Galloway) Jennings, natives respectively of Ohio and Missouri.
The parents came to Calhoun County after their marriage and settled on the farm now occupied by their son Joseph in Belleview Precinct. This was then timber land and it was the father's pioneer task to clear it and prepare it for cultivation. He performed his work well, and in the course of years developed a farm that compared favorably in point of cultivation and improvement with any other in the precinct. He closed his honorable career March 17, 1879, in the comfortable home that he had built up here. His wife had preceded him in death, passing away in 1874. He was practically a self-made man and by unremitting toil, sagacious judgment and good business capacity, accumulated a handsome property. Possessing true public spirit he never hesitated to use his influence in behalf of all schemes tending to promote the growth of his adopted county. He served his township well as School Director and School Treasurer and was regarded as one of its best citizens, his true upright life having early gained him the confidence of the entire community. In politics he was a sound Republican and never failed to give his party due support when occasion offered.
Mr. and Mrs. Jennings reared a large family of children of whom the following six survive: Mercena, wife of G. W. Long, of Calhoun County; B. S., a resident of Pittsfield; Charles A., living in Pike County; John W., a resident of Calhoun County; Joseph E., and William S.
William S. Jennings, of whom this biographical sketch is written was born in Calhoun County April 28, 1866, and has passed nearly all his life here. He is well educated, having laid the foundation of his book learning in the public schools of the county and subsequently entering Chaddock College at Quincy where he pursued a good course of study. He was bred to the life of a farmer, receiving a good practical training in that calling, and as he had a natural taste for it took it up for his life work after leaving college. He has one hundred and fifty-nine acres of exceedingly fertile land in Belleview Precinct and is carrying forward its cultivation with marked success. Though he is one of the youngest members of the farming community of this county, yet he displays great sagacity in the prosecution of his calling and has a bright and promising future before him, being well equipped for his vocation and considered one of the rising young men of this section. In his political views he casts his ballot and influence on the side of the Republicans and gives his party enthusiastic support whenever occasion offers.
The marriage of our subject with Ida A. Sidwell was duly solemnized in the month of January, 1886. Mrs. Jennings is a daughter of John Sidwell, whose biography will be found on another page of this work. Our subject and his wife have established a home where coziness and comfort abound and in their pleasant wedded life they have been blessed by the birth of three children of whom two are living — Clora D. and Cuma. Under the vigorous management of our subject his farm is being rapidly and constantly improved, and the reader will notice on another page a view of his commodious residence and rural surroundings. He is considered a very valuable citizen of Belleview Precinct and takes a deep interest in all that concerns his native county, never hesitating to assist in any enterprise that will be to its benefit.
Joseph E. Jennings the elder brother of our subject, was born in this county March 8, 1863, and was reared to manhood in the place of his birth. He early adopted the calling of a farmer to which he had been bred, and owns two hundred and forty-nine acres of choice farming land in Belleview Precinct. He is an ardent Republican in politics, and is now serving his township well as School Director. He owes much of the comfort that surrounds his cozy home to his excellent wife, to whom he was wedded February 22, 1883. Her maiden name was Mary Harlow, and she is a daughter of H. D. Harlow, of whom a sketch appears in this volume. Three children have been born of their union, whom they have named Harry L., Jessie M. and Delia.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 732-735
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