William Drum, who was one of the pioneer merchants and highly esteemed citizens of Girard, Macoupin County, was born in Greene County, Illinois, December 17, 1831, and died at his home in Girard, August 29, 1899. He was one of a family of 12 children born to Silas and Mary (Roe) Drum, farming people of Greene County.
The late William Drum was educated in the common schools of Greene County and was 14 years of age when he came to Macoupin County. He grew up on a farm and assisted in breaking the land, for at that time few improvements had been made. His inclinations did not lead him to take up an agricultural life, and he learned the brick mason's trade, combined with that of plasterer, which he followed until he removed to Girard to enter upon a mercantile career. In 1872 he formed a partnership with Mr. Bellamy and the business was conducted under the firm name of Ballamy & Drum. After the dissolution of the partnership, Mr. Drum continued alone and, as his outlook as very good, he decided to build a fine brick store building. He laid the foundations for this substantial structure, with his own hands, and in the handsome building which was soon completed, he conducted a successful business for many years, dealing in groceries and hardware. His honorable dealing, his accommodating manner and his well selected stock, combined with sagacity and untiring industry, all contributed to a great financial success.
Mr. Drum was married to Mary McConaughy on December 23, 1856, who died April 7, 1862, leaving one son, Henry, who is in business in a Western State. On February 13, 1868, Mr. Drum married Julia F. Stewart, who is a daughter of Robert Stewart, a native of New Jersey, who came to Macoupin County in 1860, where he engaged in farming. The two surviving children of this marriage are: Mary Bertha, who is the wife of McPherson Thompson, a lumber merchant of Girard, and superintendent and manager of the Darlington Lumber Company; and Robert S., of Girard. One child died in infancy.
Mr. Drum was a charter member of the Masonic lodge at Girard and took a great interest in its work. Politically he affiliated with the Republican party, although he never was willing to accept any party recognition. He was stanch in all his opinions and at no time laced the courage to express them, but possessed a pleasant, kind manner, which disarmed all criticism and made him hosts of friends. Mrs. Drum is in the enjoyment of a large income provided by his care and forethought. She is, as was her late husband, a consistent member of the Christian Church at Girard.