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A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement


Digitized for Microsoft Corporation by the Internet Archive in 2008. From New York Public Library.
May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, or education purposes, or any fair use.
May not be indexed in a commercial service.

Transcribed and donated by Vance Tigges & Kathy Weaver.

WILLIAM SEXTON *pages 25, 26 & 27*

 Page 25 William Sexton

 Page 26 William Sexton

 Page 27 William Sexton

 William Sexton Text File


One of the well known early settlers of Carroll county is William Sexton, who has been living retired in Ralston since 1907. He was born in Norfolk county, England, on the 22d of January, 1848, and is a son of Stephen and Mary (Fields) Sexton. The father was also a native of Norfolk county, born on the 1st of December, 1810, and was a son of William Sexton. Stephen Sexton was reared at home, remaining a member of the paternal household until he had attained the age of twenty-five years, at which time he was married to Miss Fields, and subsequent to this event he became game-keeper for James Gay, a large land owner of Norfolk county. Ten children were born to Stephen and Mary Sexton, the order of their birth being as follows: Margaret, the eldest member of the family, is deceased. Sarah A., who kept house for the family following the demise of the mother, taught school in Illinois for nearly fifty years. Mary A., who married B. F. Blessinger, of Bluffton, Indiana, has one child, Millie. Stephen, who was the eldest son, is deceased. James, who lives in Streator, Illinois, has two children, Dr. Roy Sexton and Nellie, who married Jay Arthur and has one child, Alice E. William, our subject, is the sixth in order of birth. Eliza, who married C. B. Crittenden of Carroll county, has five children: Stephen, Annie, Grace, Edwin and Birdie. Fred, who is living in Seattle, Washington, is married and had the following children: Kate; Fred; William; Walter, deceased; and Roy. Emily married J. R. Howard and has five children: Effie, Charlie, Mabel, Benjamin and Mary. Emma, the youngest, died in infancy. In 1857 Stephen Sexton and family emigrated to the United States, locating in La Salle county, where two years later the wife and mother passed away. In the spring of 1859 he removed to a farm ten miles northeast of Streator, where he continued to reside until 1875, at which time he came to Carroll county. From his retirement in 1875 until he passed away on the 19th of June, 1890, Mr. Sexton made his home with his children in Carroll county.


William Sexton, who was nine years of age when his parents came to America, had been attending one of the private schools of England for four years. After locating in La Salle county he entered the district school in the vicinity of his home, continuing to study there until he had attained the age of fifteen years, at which time he left home to begin earning his own living. He first hired out as a farm hand by the month, continuing to be identified with that occupation until he reached the age of nineteen, at which time he was married. Subsequent to this event he removed to Cedar county, Iowa, where he farmed as a renter for four years, during which time he saved sufficient money to enable him to buy eighty acres of land in Carroll county. After cultivating his property for eleven years he added another fifty-six acres to his holdings, and in 1892 he again added a similar amount, making the aggregate of his realty one hundred and ninety-two acres. Mr. Sexton lived upon his homestead, engaging in general farming and stock-raising until 1907, when he removed to Ralston and bought his present home. Since his retirement he has sold all of his farm lands except the old homestead, which he is now renting to his youngest son.


On the 4th of June, 1867, Mr. Sexton was united in marriage to Miss Peniath Spencer, a daughter of James and Mary (Bilsborough) Spencer, natives of England. Mr. Spencer, who was born on the 22d of February, 1812, was reared and educated in the mother country, emigrating to the United States in 1830. When he first arrived in this country he located in Fall River, Massachusetts, where he held the position as foreman in a calico print works for several years. He subsequently removed to Michigan, where he resided for three years, during which period he was married to Miss Bilsborough. From there he moved to Illinois, locating upon a farm in La Salle county in the cultivation of which he was engaged until his demise in 1881. He had survived his wife for twenty-four years, her death having occurred in December, 1857. They were the parents of five children. James B., the eldest member of the family, was killed in the Civil war. Mary E., who was married to Philander Brock of La Salle county, passed away in 1893. Thomas H, also of La Salle county, where he died in October, 1909. was married and had six children: Mary, James, John, Mabel, William and Elmer. Peniath, who became Mrs. Sexton, is the youngest, Jane, the last born, having died in infancy. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sexton: Willis H., who lives in Ralston, married Miss Addie Boyes, and has one child, James; Anna V., who passed away on the 19th of May, 1903, became the wife of Wesley J. Taylor, by whom she had one child, Harold; Mary E., who is also deceased, her demise occurring on the 30th of May, 1907, married E. G. Boyes, and had one child. Hazel; Harry V., who is a resident of Green county and married Miss Flora Jenks, and has four children: Thelma, Marion, William and a baby; Laura, who is living in Carroll county, became the wife of George Hobbs, and their children are Glenn, Iva and May; Stephen, who married Miss Hester Cox, has one child, Margaret; Floy, the youngest child, became the wife of Gay S. Thomas.


Mr. and Mrs. Sexton have never affiliated with any denomination but they attend and give their support to the United Brethren church. In politics he has always supported the candidates of the democratic party, and for five years he was a member of the board of supervisors, three years of which time he served as chairman, discharging the duties of his office in a manner which was highly commendable to himself and the body he represented.


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