PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF TAZEWELL & MASON COUNTIES, ILLINOIS, 1894
WILLIAM LILLY, a farmer residing on section 12, Little Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, was born in Allegany County, Md., August 12, 1822. His grandfather, Richard Lilly, was a native of Wales. His father, Joseph Lilly, was born in Frederick County, Md., was a soldier in the War of 1812, and received a land grant for his services. In Allegany County, Md., he married Mary Fisher, daughter of Adam Fisher, a native of Germany, and one of the heroes of the Revolution, who was present at the surrender of Yorktown. In 1835 Joseph Lilly emigrated with his family to the west and located on section 13, Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, Ill., where in the midst of the forest he hewed out a farm and made a comfortable home. Lilly Station was named in his honor, and he was one of the esteemed pioneers of the locality. He owned two hundred and sixty acres of valuable land at the time of his death, in 1854. His wife passed away in 1849. In their family were four sons and two daughters. Mrs. Mary Walker, of Mackinaw, and William are the only ones now living. Henry died in Marion County; Miles passed away in Allegany County, Md., Joseph in Colorado, in 1849; and Mrs. Sarah Bacon in Lilly Station, in 1889.
Our subject was a youth of thirteen summers when with his parents he came to Tazewell County, where amid the wild scenes of frontier life he grew to manhood. He was married July 28, 1859, to Elizabeth Aldrich, daughter of Elisha Aldrich, who located in Clay County, Ind., in 1856. He was born in Henry County, Ky., as was his wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Moore. Mrs. Lilly was born in Clay County, Ind., May 24, 1841. After their marriage the young couple removed to Adair County, Mo., where Mr. Lilly purchased land and carried on farming until 1864. During the war he served as a member of the Missouri State Militia. On the 2d of April, 1865, he located in Little Mackinaw Township, on the farm which has since been his home, and his time and attention have been devoted untiringly to its development and cultivation. He is one of the largest land-owners in the township, his possessions aggregating seven hundred and forty acres. He also has twenty-six acres elsewhere.
Four children graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Lilly, three of whom as yet living: Mrs. Mary Garrett, wife of E. O. Garrett, of Little Mackinaw Township; Janet, at home; and William E., who married Jane Wright and lives on section 11, Little Mackinaw Township. Joseph died in 1862.
In his political views Mr. Lilly was originally an old-time Whig, but since the organization of the Republican party has been one of its stalwart supporters. He served as Justice of the peace for a number of years, was Supervisor one term, Highway Commissioner three years, and Assessor one term. Faithful and true to every trust reposed in him, he discharged his duties with a promptness and fidelity that won him hjigh commendation. He belongs to the Pioneer Society, and is one of the oldest settlers in this township. He may truly be called a self-made man, for he started out in life empty-handed and has steadily worked his way upward to a place of affluence.
Submitted by Betty Doremus