Portrait and Biographical Record of Tazewell and Mason Counties, Illinois pub. 1894, p. 59
WILLIAM MIARS, one of the representative farmers of Elm Grove Township, Tazewell County, residing on section 28, is a self-made man, who by his own efforts has worked his way up from an humble position to one of affluence. He was born in this township May 14, 1843, and one of fourteen children, but only four of the number are now living. His father, Martin Miars, was born in Hampshire County, Va., in 1801, and when nine years of age went with his parents to Clinton County, Ohio, where he lived until 1826, when he was married to Ann Hodgson and removed to Illinois, locating in Elm Grove Township. In 1826 he took up a quarter section of land from the Government and began the development of a farm. His remaining days were devoted to its further cultivation and improvement and he made of it a valuable property. He owned four hundred acres ere his death, and was considered one of the substantial citizens of the community, to the best interests of which he was ever devoted. His death here occurred at the age of eighty-four.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Germany, and on crossing the Atlantic located in Virginia. He was a blacksmith and also followed the occupation of farming. His last days were spent in Ohio, where he died at an advanced age. The members of the Miars family now living are: Mary, widow of Frank Robison, of Elm Grove Township; Sarah, wife of John Boyle, of Tremont Township; and Isaac, a resident of Adair County, Iowa.
Mr. Miars of this record has always lived in his native town. He was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, and on attaining his majority started out in life for himself. For about ten years he operated the home farm on shares, and then afterward removed to a farm of his own. His home, which he erected in 1868, stands upon a portion of the land which his father entered in 1830, more than sixty-four years ago, and the patent of which, signed by Andrew Jackson, is now in his possession. His farm work has proved profitable and has yeilded him a good income.
On the 21st day of May, 1864, Mr. Miars was united in marriage with Miss Ann, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Allison) Hodgson. Their union has been blessed with five children, who are yet living: Edwin, now of McLean County; Frank, Martin, Elmer and Etta Luella, who are still under the parental roof. The family is one of prominence in the community, the home is the abode of hospitality and good cheer, and the members of the household rank high in the social circles in which they live. In politics Mr. Miars warmly advocates the principals of the Republican party and has the courage of his convictions, but is in no sense a politician, having neither sought nor desired public office. A well spent life has gained for him the high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
Submitted by Betty Doremus