WILSON H. KIRKLAND.
The success which has rewarded the efforts of Wilson H. Kirkland, of Shaws Point township, as a farmer and live-stock raiser, is the result of his good judgment in following the business which he understands and to which he has devoted his best thought and energy. Born in Montgomery county, Illinois, June 26, 1856, he is now fifty-five years of age and is the owner of a highly productive farm in Macoupin county and also of a section of good land in Kansas, both of which he acquired through his own efforts. He is a son of John B. and Sarah (Sanders) Kirkland, the former of whom was born in Missouri and the latter in Virginia. The father came to Illinois with his parents in pioneer days and was reared and educated in Jersey county. After arriving at maturity he engaged in farming and purchased eighty acres of land in Montgomery county, which he cultivated for six years. He then came to Macoupin county and bought eighty acres in Shaws Point township, upon which he made many improvements. He succeeded and became the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land in this section. In 1887 he retired and has since made his home at Litchfield, being now seventy-nine years of age. The mother is still living and has reached the age of seventy-seven.
Wilson H. Kirkland was brought to Macoupin county by his parents when he was eight years old. In the public schools of Montgomery and Macoupin counties he secured his preliminary education and carried his studies further at Blackburn University, in Carlinville, during the winter of 1877-78. He taught school in the country for one year but the life of a schoolmaster did not prove very attractive to a man of his energetic temperament. After his marriage he rented land of his father, which he cultivated to good advantage for five years and then purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Shaws Point township, which was partly improved. He erected good buildings, set out fruit and shade trees and made many other improvements which greatly added to the appearance and value of the place. He cultivates the grains and also raises good grades of stock for which he has no difficulty in finding a ready market. He usually keeps fifteen head of horses, forty head of sheep and eighty to one hundred head of hogs. He is unusually successful as a hog raiser and is a strong advocate of the Poland China breed which is found to be thoroughly adapted to the conditions prevailing in Macoupin county. Five years ago he sold eighty acres of his farm and bought six hundred and forty acres in Kansas, which is steadily advancing in value.
In March, 1880, Mr. Kirkland was married to Miss Sarah C. Fuller, a daughter of R. A. and Dena (Smith) Fuller. The father was born in Kentucky and the mother in Germany. He emigrated to Jersey county, Illinois but came to Macoupin county in 1859 and purchased land in Shaws Point township upon which he established his homestead. He died in October, 1907, but the widow is still living and has arrived at the age of seventy-five years. Three children have born to Mr. and Mrs. Kirkland, namely: Ethel May, who married Rev. Melles Madden and resides at Fairmont, Illinois; Grace B., the wife of J. S. Padfield, of the state of Washington; and Arthur Roy, now twenty-five years of age, who is living at home.
Ever since he cast his first ballot Mr. Kirkland has adhered to the republican party. He is recognized as a man of sound judgment as is indicated by his election to the office of township assessor, a position he is now holding. He has also served as township collector, supervisor, and for twenty years as a member of the school board. He is a sincere believer in the authority of the Bible, of which he has been a lifelong student, and he and his family are earnest members of the Methodist church. In his business life he has ever aimed to be just and fair and by his straightforward course, extending over several decades he has reflected credit upon the honorable calling he represents and upon the state and county of which he is a worthy citizen. Fraternally Mr. Kirkland is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America.