WILLIAM DUCKELS, one of the early settlers of Chesterfield township, was born at Goole, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, January 19th, 1805. In England few farmers own land, the title to which is in the hands of a comparatively few families; most of the largest farmers are only tenants. His father, Thomas Duckels, was a tenant to the Southern family, many of the farmers under whom were quite wealthy. He obtained an ordinary business education, and worked on the farm with his father until he came to America. In September, 1830, he was married to Francis Garlick, who was born and raised in the same village as her husband. He left England on the 20th of May, 1834, to make his home in America. After a long voyage in a sailing vessel, he landed at Quebec, Canada, and from that city came directly to Morgan county, Illinois; he remained in Morgan county only a few months, and in the month of February, 1835, he settled in Macoupin county on section fourteen, township nine, range nine. He first entered eighty acres of land, where he built a house, and eighty acres of timber; he went to work improving a farm, which gradually he got under good cultivation. His circumstances were a little different from those of many of the early pioneers of the county. He brought with him from England, means which were considered at that time quite abundant, and has always been an energetic and successful farmer. He has resided in Chesterfield township from the time he first came to the country, and is now the owner of more than seven hundred acres of land, part of which lies in Polk and part in Chesterfield township.
Mr. and Mrs. Duckels have been the parents of ten children; two are deceased; the names of the eight living are as follows: Sarah Ann, now the wife of Judge T. L. Loomis, of Carlinville; William G. Duckels, who has been a resident of Polk township, and has also been in the grain business at Carlinville; Thomas Duckels, one of the enterprising farmers of Virden township; Edward G., also is farming in Polk township; Eliza; Grace, who married Robert Carter, of Chesterfield township; Victoria, and Joseph. The oldest of these children, Sarah, was born in England; the others are all natives of this country. Mr. D. is known as one of the substantial farmers of Chesterfield township, and is a man much respected for his worth as a citizen.
Chesterfield township contains a large number of farmers of English birth who came to the county at an early date, and by their enterprise and energy have developed the resources of the county, and secured a comfortable competence, while they have proved themselves peaceable, law abiding, and honest citizens. Mr. Duckels is one of the representative men of this class. When he came to this country, he gave his adherence politically to the old Whig party, as best representing, as he thought, the spirit of free institutions; he was a Whig as long as that organization lasted, and when the slavery question came to be agitated, and the republican party sprang vigorously into existence, he did not hesitate to give his preference to the party that supported free soil principles, and he has been a republican ever since. He is a gentleman of good business capacity, and has carried on farming in an intelligent and progressive manner. His farm south of the town of Chesterfield is well improved, and has a neat and attractive residence, and other substantial buildings.