William W. Wakefield. One of the most pleasant rural abodes in Radnor Township is that of the gentleman above named, which is located on section 17, in the midst of fertile fields, where everything necessary in the way of farm building has been erected, and all other improvements made which would add to the value of the estate or the comfort of those who occupy it. The greater part of the life of this gentleman has been spent in the county, and he is quite well known as a man of means possessed of decided business ability, who has succeeded as an agriculturist, and has loaned considerable sums to those less fortunate than himself.
The father of our subject was born in Chester County Pa., June 18, 1794, and died in Peoria County, Novemer 8, 1881. The mother was born in Dauphin County, Pa., Oct. 28, 1805, and departed this life July 19, 1879. When John L. Wakefield and Martha Strickler were married they set up their home in Butler County, Oh., remaining there until 1834, then locating on Orange Prairie, Kickapoo Township, this county. After sojourning there two years they removed to Radnor Township and on section 18, spent the remainder of their lives. They had a large family consisting of fifteen children, the name of our subject being the sixth child on the family roll.
The birth of the gentleman of whom we write took place in Butler Co., Oh., January 30, 1832, he being therefore about two years old when his parents came to Illinois. He continued to live with his father until a year or more after his marriage, when he settled in Jubilee township. There he pursued his vocation until 1867, then settled in Gilead Township, Henry county, sojourning there a year. Returning to this county he settled on Section 18, Radnor Township, and actively engaged in farm work until the spring of 1885, since which time he has lived more of a retired life. His land estate consists of about eight hundred and fifty-three acres in Radnor and Jubilee Townships.
The lady whom Mr. Wakefield was so fortunate as to secure for his wife was Miss Elizabeth Wilkinson, with whom he was united in marriage in Radnor Township, Jan. 1, 1857. The parents of Mrs. Wakefield were Aaron G. and Sarah (Harland) Wilkinson, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively, whose first home after their marriage was in the vicinity of Rockville, Ind. Thence came to Peoria County in 1836, living in Princeville Township about a year and then making their home in Radnor Township. After a time they changed residence to Kickapoo Township, thence removing to Galva, IL, and subsequently to Red Oak, Iowa. They had two sons and nine daughters, Mrs. Wakefield being the third in order of birth. She opened her eyes to the light in Radnor Township, Aug. 2, 1839, growing to womanhood possessed of intelligence, an estimable character and many domestic virtues.
The first born in the family of our subject and his wife is George w. who married Miss Carrie Davis; the second child, Frank L., married Miss Isabella Davis; the older daughter Addie, married William Duggins; the youngest member of the family is Mabel E. who is still unmarried and gladdening her parents by her presence in the home.
Mr. Wakefield has served as Township supervisor two terms, discharging his duties in a creditable manner. He has taken quite an active part in the political work of the vicinity, exerting himself to advance the interests of the Republican party. Although not a member of any religious body, he contributes freely to the support of various churches, and has manifested an equally liberal spirit in promoting the cause of education. He and his wife are regarded with much respect, their hospitality frequently being enjoyed by their many friends.
Submitted by Londie Benson.