MRS. REBECCA FINLEY, now residing upon a frm in Petersburg precinct, Menard county, was born in Scotland, December 23, 1842, a daughter of James and Rebecca (Purdon) Park, also natives of the land of the heather. She spent her early girlhood days in Scotland, where she resided until 1863, when at the age of twenty years she became a resident of Petersburg, Menard county. She was married in Scotland to William Finley on Tuesday, June 2, 1863, and the following Saturday they sailed for the United States, being nine weeks upon the water and a week longer in reaching Springfield, Illinois.
Mr. Finley, who was born in 1837, was a life-long farmer, carrying on agricultural pursuits both in Scotland and in this country. He purchased a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres near Petersburg, upon which his widow now resides and which has become recognized as the old Finley homestead. Throughout his remaining days he carried on agricultural pursuits, placing his land under a high state of cultivation and making its fields to return to him good harvests as a reward for his care and labor. He continued to reside in Menard county until his death, which occurred April 14, 1899, when he was sixty-two years of age. His loss was deeply felt by many friends as well as his immediate family, for in his life he had displayed many sterling traits of character. Business men enjoyed entering into trade transactions with him because he was straight-forward and reliable. He could be counted upon for active assistance in citizenship when the matter for consideration was one which tended to promote general welfare of the community. In his family he was a devoted husband and father and he displayed in his life many of the sterling characteristics of the Scotch people.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Finley were born six children, namely: Rebecca, born July 4, 1864, died November 30, 1865. John, born September 12, 1865, died the same day. Elizabeth M., born December 24, 1867, was married January 24, 1889 to John Park, a farmer of Menard county, and of the seven children born to them four are still living. Annie B., born February 22, 1869, was married January 20, 1891, to R. G. Williamson, a son of James Williamson, who was born in Scotland and yet resides in that country. R. G. Williamson now carries on the home farm for Mrs. Finley. To him and his wife were born four children: James, who died in infancy; Rebecca Agnes, who was born February 6, 1804 and is now the only one living; Charles, who died at the age of eight months; and Lillian, who died in infancy. James P., the second son of Mrs. Finley was born October 24, 1871, and now resides near Tice, Illinois. He was married March 20, 1895, to Flora Bell and they have two children, William and Cecil. Agnes J., born March 23, 1874, was married March 7, 1894, to Henry Faith and died October 22, 1896. During her long residence in Menard county, to which she came as a bride, Mrs. Finley has gained the good will and esteem of many friends and well deserves representation in this volume as one of the pioneer settlers.