A. W. HARTLEY, who for fourteen years has been connected with the office of county clerk, twelve years as deputy and two years a superior officer, was born in Rock Creek precinct of Menard county, on the 20th of June, 1854. He comes of English lineage and represents an old English family that was established in America prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, Eli Hartley, was born in Adair county, Kentucky, on the 29th of July, 1799, and in early manhood was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Hamilton, a daughter of James Hamilton, of Kentucky. After the birth of two of their children they removed to Illinois, settling in Brown county, where two other children were added to the family. The mother died soon afterward upon the home farm, which was situated near Clayton, Illinois. At a later date the grandfather removed to Garden Prairie, Menard county, where he established his home in 1850, there residing until his death, which occurred on the 13th of December, 1870. He was prominent and influential in public affairs and he served for fourteen years, from 1825 until 1839, as justice of the peace for Brown county. He was a man of unbiased judgement and his decisions were never reversed in the higher courts. He ranked high in the estimation of his fellow townsmen and he was particularly capable in office, having a logical and analytical mind. Had he confined his attention exclusively to the law he would undoubtedly have attained notable success.
Nathan Hartley, the father of A.W. Hartley, was born in Kentucky, but was reared in Brown county, Illinois. He married Artemisia Duncan, a native of Menard county, and they began their domestic life upon the farm on which their son, A. W. Hartley, was born. For many years the father carried on agricultural pursuits there with good success, continuing his farming operations up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 23d of October, 1903. The homestead place is located about seven miles south of Petersburg and is still in possession of the family. Mr. Hartley was a public-spirited man, interested in the establishment of the county and its further improvement and he filled a number of township positions in a capable and acceptable manner. In the family were five sons and three daughters, and four sons and one daughter are now living, at this writing in the fall of 1904.
A.W. Hartley, the eldest of the family, acquired his elementary education in the district schools and by reading and observation has added largely to his knowledge. He engaged in teaching school in early manhood, but regarding this merely as an initiatory step for further professional labor, for it was his desire to become a member of the bar and in the fall of 1885 he began reading law in the office and under the direction of T.W. McNeely. He continued his studies until May, 1888, when he successfully passed an examination for admission to the bar. He then entered the county building as deputy clerk in the office of the county clerk in the fall of 1890 and his services were so acceptable that he was continued in that position until 1902, when he was elected county clerk, in which capacity he is now serving.
On the 25th of June, 1891, Mr. Hartley was married to Miss Margaret A. Bone, a native of Menard county and a daughter of E.L. Bone. They now have one son, Paul Bone. Mr. Hartley is a member of the Masonic lodge and also of the Modern Woodmen camp at Petersburg. He is a representative of an honored pioneer family and because of this and also by reason of his personal worth he deserves representation in this volume.