WILLIAM CHISM is a worthy representative of the successful farmers and stock raisers of Western Mound Township, who are so intimately associated with its material prosperity. He is a native of this county, Chesterfield Township is his birthplace and August 20, 1847, the date of his birth. He is descended from one of the earliest pioneer families of this county. His father, John Chism, was born in Hardin County, Ky., and was a son of William Chism, who was a Virginian by birth. He became a pioneer of Hardin County, where he resided until about 1829, when he came to Illinois with ox teams, bringing his household goods along and cooking and camping by the way. He located in what is now Western Mound Township, taking up a tract of Government land which he entered at the land office at Edwardsville. He developed a farm, on which he made his home until his mortal career was closed in death.
The father of our subject was nine years of age when his parents brought him to Illinois, and he was reared under pioneer influences. He received his education in the primitive schools of the early days of the settlement of the State, which were taught on the subscription plan, in log houses furnished with rude, homemade furniture. After marriage he rented land three years in Chesterfield Township, and then bought a place one and one-fourth miles north of Medora, where he lived the remainder of his life, which was brought to a close at a ripe age in February 1881. The maiden name of his wife was Rachel Skeen, and she still lives on a farm where she assisted her husband in the upbuilding of a comfortable home. She is a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of John Anderson Skeen. She has reared ten children to good and useful lives.
When our subject was born the county was still in the hands of the pioneers, and he has witnessed much of its growth, as his life has been passed here amid its pleasant scenes and his education was obtained in its schools. He early received a thorough practical drilling in all kinds of farm work, and in due time became an enterprising, successful farmer and raiser of stock. He remained an inmate of the parental household until he married, and he then established a home of his own on section 31, Western Mound Township. He busied himself about its cultivation and improvement, interesting himself in various branches of agriculture, and continuing to reside on that farm until 189, when he bought the farm adjoining upon which he has since made his home.
Mr. Chism married in 1868, Mary E. Haynes, a native of Jersey County, Ill., and in her he has found a wife devoted to his interests, who has heartily co-operated with him in his life work. Six children have hallowed their marriage named as follows: John French, Thomas A., Charles, Nellie, Willie and Lester.
Our subject is an intelligent, wide awake man, possessing in a good degree those qualifications that make a man self reliant and helpful and his neighbors find him friendly and obliging. His wife has in him a considerate husband, his children an indulgent father, and his county a good citizen. We may add that the Republican party has in him a warm supporter.
This biographical review would be incomplete without some further reference to the antecedents of the wife of our subject. Mrs. Chism's father, John Haynes, was born in Rockingham County, Va., and he was very young when his father died. He was the youngest of a family of five sons, and he was six years old when his mother removed to Ohio and settled in the wilds of Preble County, where he was reared and married. In 1845 he came from there to Illinois, making the journey overland and bringing a part of his household goods with him. He settled two miles from Jerseyville, where he rented land. A few years later he settled near Medora, in Chesterfield Township, and that was his home until death called him hence at a ripe age. The maiden name of Mrs. Chism's mother was Sarah Stoner. She is a native of Ohio and a daughter of John and Elizabeth Stoner. She is living at a venerable age, at Jerseyville.