SILAS WATKINS, farmer and stock-dealer; P.O. Petersburg; was born in Menard Co., Ill., Jan. 23, 1836; son of William G. and Jane (Denton) Watkins. His mother died while he was quite young; his father was a prominent pioneer and stock-dealer of Menard Co., Ill., and died in 1876, leaving good property. Silas began doing for himself while yet a boy, with but a limited schooling and by home study and practice acquired a fair business education. He has accumulated a fine property, owning 400 acres. He married Miss Elizabeth Elmore in 1856; she died in 1873, leaving two children. March 15, 1874, he married Miss Louisa Smith, by whom he has one child. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are members of the Baptist Church.