WILLIAM H. WERSE, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Brushy Mound township, was born in Carlinville, Macoupin county, on the 18th of October, 1869. His parents were Daniel and Dorothy (Lance) Werse, the father of German and English extraction and the mother of German. Daniel Werse was born in the fatherland and there his parents died when he was a very small boy. He was taken care of by friends of the family with whom he lived for several years, but in his very early youth he emigrated to the United States, landing in New York city. There he learned the brick mason's trade, remaining a resident of the American metropolis until he was twenty-five years of age. He then came to Carlinville, continuing to follow his trade until his death in 1885. For his wife Mr. Werse chose Mrs. Dorothy (Lance) Hundtmark, the widow of a farmer, and a native of Germany. She is still living and makes her home in one of the oldest houses in Carlinville. To Mr. and Mrs. Werse seven children were born, as follows: William H., our subject; Annie, the wife of Charles Mackler, an automobile dealer of Chicago, Illinois; Minnie, who married William Myers, a blacksmith of Carlinville, Illinois; Pauline, the wife of Robert Moore, superintendent of schools of Macoupin county; Zenie, the wife of John Flynn, who is a painter and paperhanger of St. Louis, Missouri; Theodore, who is a barber of Springfield, Illinois; and Eddie, who died in May 1893, at the age of fifteen years.
William H. Werse was reared in this county and at the usual age entered the public schools, where he mastered the common branches. While still in his early boyhood he entered the meat market of John Straub, where he worked off and on for five years, attending school in the winter. As he was only sixteen years old at the time of his father's death, and the eldest of the family, much care and responsibility early devolved upon him. He subsequently left the meat market and went to work as a farm hand, following this occupation until he was twenty-three. After his marriage he began farming for himself on the J. G. Custer place, containing eighty-six acres, which he cultivated for six years. At the expiration of that period he was elected highway commissioner and resided in Carlinville during the three years of his term, while for two years thereafter he followed his trade. In 1906 he decided to return to agricultural pursuits and rented Mrs. W. A. Long's farm, containing eighty-four acres in Carlinville township, that he is still operating.
On the 28th of April, 1894, Mr. Werse was joined in wedlock to Miss Cora Greenwood, a daughter of Isaac and Minerva (Barnard) Greenwood. Mrs. Werse was born in Macoupin county, as were also her parents, her father's birth having occurred on a farm west of Plainview. The mother passed away when Mrs. Werse was about a year old, but the father is still living and engages in farming east of Binnell, Illinois. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Werse; Annie, who is fifteen years of age, living at home and attending the Oakwood District School; William, who is a lad of five years; and a baby, not yet named.
In religious matters Mr. Werse affiliates with the German Lutheran church and his wife with the Baptist. Fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America of Carlinville, and Mrs. Werse with the Royal Neighbors, the ladies auxiliary of the same organization. Political matters have always engaged the attention of Mr. Werse more or less, his support being given to the republican party. He is now serving his second term as school director in district No. 74 of Brushy Mound township, and he is also acting as senate committeeman from his township, while for three years he was commissioner of highways for Carlinville. Success is attending the efforts of Mr. Werse who, in connection with general farming, raises a good grade of stock and also feeds cattle and hogs for the market.