JEFFERSON COUNTY IL 
BIOGRAPHIES
William Pickett
WILLIAM PICKETT

The Picket family origin is Norman, first recorded at the time of 
William's Conquest of England in 1066.  The name evolved from medieval 
Picot to Picquette and finally to Pickett.

First American ties were through Captain William Pickett, 1575-1640, a 
member of the Virginia Company.  Although he never visited Virginia 
Colony, his son William, 1600-1684, arrived there in 1857 and settled in 
Westmoreland County.

William Picket, 1820-1895, of Spring Garden Township was a descendant of 
that colonial family.  Born and raised in Tennessee, he married Margret 
Ann Hackworth, 1820-1906, at Chickamauga, Tennessee in 1844.  They moved 
to Illinois between 1850 and 1860.  Their farm was on the present-day 
Log Cabin Road and their home was a two-story log house with a 50-foot 
porch on the front and fieldstone fireplaces at both ends.  One of the 
upstairs rooms was used for weaving linsey-woolsey cloth from flax and 
lambswool raised on the farm.

William and Margret raised 7 boys and 4 girls: Jesse C., 1852-1927, was 
a teacher who specialized in Spencerian penmanship.  His son Dana, 
1899-1968, was Chief of Mt. Vernon Fire Department in the 1930s.  
Ambrose, a farmer in McClellan Township, was grandfather of Herbert 
"Bud" Pickett, 1925-1976, farmer who served on the Jefferson County 
Board from 1972 until 1976.  Burrell Jefferson Davis Pickett, 1861-1930, 
born five months after the Civil War began, married Minerva Pateline 
Willis, 1865-1938, of Moore's Prairie.  He was a farmer, a local road 
commission, and served as director for St. Elmo Grade School. . They 
raised 4 girls and 1 boy: William Perle Pickett, 1896-1926, soldier in 
World War I; Luvera, 1885 --- educator in Jefferson County schools 
1904-1911, Postmaster of Nason, Illinois 1935-1936, married Henry 
Leonard, 1883-1945, in 1910.  They had one child Hazel (Leonard) Mihall, 
1911-1977, who witnessed the Tornado of 1888 as it destroyed Mt. 
Vernon.  During the presidential campaign of 1896 attended a rally for 
and met William Jennings Bryan, "Silver-tongued Orator" from Salem, 
Illinois.  She taught at Hopper Grade School 1905-1907 and liked it 
there as it was well equipped and the students were eager to learn.  At 
93 (in 1977) Mrs. Luvera Leonard is still an avid reader and active 
homemaker.
-- Robert L. Mihall

Source: Facts and Folks of Jefferson Co, IL
Submitted By: Sandy (Whalen) Bauer

 
 
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