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William "Bill" Shelton was born Homer William Minnix on 
November 14, 1923 at Sumner, Illinois, one of the five sons of Alva, 
born July 7, 1882, died November II, 1944, and Rachel Jane Murray 
Minnix, born May 20, 1904, died October 23, 1930. His four brothers 
were: Francis Odin; Robert Cloyd; Harold Alva (now David): and 
Dewey Wesley. 

Their paternal grandparents were William P. and Alice Woodall Minnix; 
and on their maternal side were Drury W. and Carrie Pemberton Murray, 
all of Lawrence County. After the death of their mother, in 1930: the 
brothers became residents of the Methodist Children's Home at Mt. Vernon. 
"Bill" remained in the Home about five years. He and David were raised 
by their foster parents, Gale D. and Mary Ruth Claspell Shelton, a well 
known family of Elk Prairie Township. In 1946 "Bill" legally changed his 
name to William Shelton. He started to school in Pepple District near 
Sumner, attended the Lincoln School while in the Orphanage at Mt. Vernon, 
and in 1939 finished his education at the Cross Roads School in Elk 
Prairie Township. 

When his family moved to Peoria he worked for the Kroger Company, and 
also at Salem, Illinois where he later was working at the Brown Shoe 
Company. He was inducted, February 26, 1943, into the United States 
Army. He received his basic training at Camp Roberts, California and 
went abroad to Liverpool, England, in November of 1943. There he joined 
Company C. 116 Infantry, 29th Division, serving as a private. He landed 
in France on D Day and on July 1. 1944, was wounded by shrapnel at St. 
Lo, France. After being flown to England for medical aid, he returned 
to duty, August 21. 1944. He saw action at Normandy, Rhineland and 
central Europe and was awarded three battle stars; was also awarded 
the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Good Conduct medals. After receiving 
an honorable discharge on November 1, 1945 he had lived in Elk Prairie 
Township working at the International Shoe Company. the Car Shops, 
East Side Lumber Company: along with farming and raising registered 
Hereford cattle. He filled the office of Tax Assessor in 1954 and 
1955 for Elk Prairie Township. He began his occupation as a coal miner 
at the Nason Mine Company, being later employed at the Freeman Coal 
Company mines, Orients #3, #5, and now #6. He worked under­ground for 
25 years, but since April, 1977, is employed on top as a laborer at 
Freeman'sOrient #6. 

On August 22, 1953, William was united in marriage in Jefferson County 
to Sylvia Faye Bean, daughter of Adam A. and Mary Ann Osborn Bean. They 
are the parents of three children all at home. Michael William, graduated 
from high school on June 4, 1975, and is now employed at the General Tire 
& Rubber Company at Mt. Vernon. He plays the trumpet and guitar. Steven 
Blake, graduated from high school on May 27, 1977, and he is employed 
at General Radiator Division of Chromalloy in Mt. Vernon. He plays the 
saxophone and drums. Kristina Diane, is in the fifth grade and plays her 
clarinet in the beginners band. They are in the Waltonville Community 
Unit # I school district. 

In the beginning of their marriage, Bill and Sylvia lived on his 
parents' farm while Gale and Mary moved to Vienna, Illinois to work. 
When Michael and Steven were born, they were living on the Earl Rogers 
place at the south edge of Nason, Illinois. Their present home is the 
remodeled Dareville School in Section 3 of Elk Prairie Township. This 
structure is now a modern four bedroom home, the original school building 
still standing with only a few changes and additions. 

Sylvia attended grade school at the Rightnowar School in McClellan 
Township and three years of high school at Waltonville. The summer 
before her senior year she married Bill and in the autumn went to work 
at the International Shoe Company where she worked until the birth of 
their first child. She is an Ordained Minister of the Gospel in the 
Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers, International. The 
family are members of the Marcoe Church. They enjoy attending church, 
singing, playing music, gardening, camping, fishing, and collecting 
relics and keepsakes. Bill is jovial. but devoted to providing well 
for his family. He is a Republican and rarely misses going to the 
polls to vote. 


Facts & Folks
Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer

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