WILLIAM DAMS. The farming sections of our country are dotted over with settlements made by English people. Some of these colonies are sent out by wealthy landowners, others are made by small farmers who have but little more than their individual efforts to look forward to, but under whatever circumstances these settlements are made, they are invariably characterized by an appearance of thrift. Although as Americans we cannot but regret that so many of the industries and so much of the wheat land in our country is owned by English capitalists, the producing class are always gratefully welcome in any community. Their nationality is a pledge for their usefulness as members of society.
Macoupin County has many residents of English birth and parentage who have done much to develop the resources of the locality in which they have settled. Among the many is our subject, who owns a farm of two hundred acres on section 34, Western Mound Township. Mr. Dams' farm is no exception to the well-improved and highly cultivated places of his countrymen and he is besides a great addition to the community because of the interest he takes in local affairs. The original of our sketch is a native of Lincolnshire, England. His father was John P. Dams, who was also born in England. His mother was Elizabeth (Stoddard) Dams, whose early home and marriage place was that of her husband.
The Dams family emigrated to American in an early day. They located in Pennsylvania first, remaining there about one year. They then came to Macoupin County and settled in Western Mound Township where the father died in 1848. There were six children in the Dams family and of these our subject was the eldest. He was born in Pennsylvania July 20, 1832. He attained manhood in Western Mound Township in which he has always been a resident. He not unnaturally continued the calling in which he had early training - that of farming - and has pursued it most successfully.
Mr. Dams' marriage took place in Western Mound Township. His wife's maiden name was Matilda Barrows. She was a daughter of Austin S. Barrows, who is now a resident in the State of Kansas. Our subject and his wife are the parents of five children, three of whom are deceased. The children living who are the pride and comfort of their fond parents are Oscar and Frank. Those deceased are Arthur, John and Edward.
Mr. Dams is held high in the esteem of his fellow townsmen. He is genial and open hearted, a man who makes many friends and who receives the confidence of others, but one who keeps his own counsel, and while he has many acquaintances confides in but few. he has most satisfactorily filled the office of School Director for some time and other offices that have been urged upon him have been declined, because it seemed that he could not neglect his own affairs for a position that could be filled by others.