WILLIAM T. KINCAID, a representative of the farming interests in Menard county, who has the respect of the business community because of his faithful adherence to the rules which govern honorable trade relations, was born August 30, 1849, on the farm in Sweetwater precinct, where he now makes his home. He is a son of W. C. and Louisa (Hale) Kincaid, both of whom are natives of Bath county, Kentucky. The father, who was born November 3, 1815, came to Illinois in early manhood, settling in Menard county upon the old homestead farm in 1834. His father, Andrew Kincaid, was a native of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and became a resident of Bath county, Kentucky, in 1795. In the latter state he was united in marriage to Miss Ann P. Caldwell, who was born in Bath county and was a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Kennedy) Caldwell. She was present at the stirring scenes of the great camp meeting at Cane Ridge in Bourbon county, Kentucky, in 1802 - an event which has become historic in the annals of that state and of that locality. On the 13th of August, 1807, she gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Kincaid and they were a most devoted and earnest Christian couple. Though always living upright lives and singularly conscientious, probably from lack of suitable opportunity, Mrs. Kincaid did not profess her religious faith until 1824, when with her husband she united with the new Concord presbyterian church of Nicholas county, Kentucky, under the ministry of Dewey Whitney. Soon afterward they changed their membership from that church to the church in Springfield, Bath county, Kentucky, where they resided until 1834. In that year they came to Menard county, Illinois, settling at Indian Point, and on the 13th of June, 1835, they were received into the membership of the North Sangamon Presbyterian church by the session then constituting Elder John N. Moore and Rev. Alex Ewing as moderators. From that time forward they took a most active and helpful, as well as beneficial, interest in the moral development of this part of the state. They closely followed all the commandments and ordinances of the church, living blameless lives, so that their memory is yet enshrined in the hearts of those who knew them, and their example remains as a source of inspiration and encouragement to those with whom they were associated. Andrew Kincaid, full of years and honors, because of his fidelity to upright principles, passed away August 6, 1872, at the age of eighty-seven years, seven months and twenty-five days, and on the 20th of March, 1879, his widow died at the age of ninety-one years, seven months and twelve days. They were the parents of eleven children, three of whom died prior to the mother's demise, and the remaining eight were present at her funeral. She had sixty grandchildren, of whom thirty-eighty were living at the time of her death, fifty great-grandchildren, of whom forty-four were living, and sixteen of her grandchildren were married. Her immediate descendants at the time of her demise were one hundred and thirty-nine in number, of whom thirty-one had passed away, one hundred and eight are still living. Mrs. Kincaid was blessed with vigorous physical and mental powers and possessed many sterling traits of character. She was a most earnest Christian woman, and the poor, needy and distressed found in her a helpful and sympathetic friend. She was most generous and hospitable and her tender consideration for others was one of her most salient characteristics. An immense concourse of people came to pay their last tribute of respect to her memory and her good deeds still live after her, so that she is yet spoken of with tender reverence and deep love by those who knew her.
W. C. Kincaid, the father of our subject, was one of the early settlers of Menard county, residing her continuously from 1834 up to the time of his death. He settled upon the farm which is now occupied by his son W. T. Kincaid, entering the land from the government, and our subject now has in his possession the deeds of this land signed by John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson, regarding them as cherished mementos of pioneer times. With characteristic energy Mr. Kincaid carried on agricultural pursuits and in addition to the tilling of the soil he raised stock, making a specialty of cattle for show He usually raised the short-horn breed and he received first prize at the second state fair that was ever held in Sangamon county. In early manhood he wedded Miss Louisa Hale, who was born November 27, 1821, and was also one of the early settlers of Menard county, coming at the time of the arrival of William Johnson. She made her way from Kentucky on horseback. W. C. Kincaid passed away at Indian Point, February 7, 1882, at the age of sixty-six years, three months and four days, and his wife died at eleven o'clock in the evening of November 27, 1894, at the age of seventh-three years. He had four brothers and three sisters, all of whom attended his funeral. There had not been a death in the family for forty years up to about that time, but his father and mother died a few years before him. Mr. Kincaid had been connected with the Presbyterian church for more than forty years and was an earnest Christian man, generous to his friends, liberal to those in need, and in his home a kind hearted and devoted husband and father. No man in the county has been more deeply missed by neighbors and friends and he had so endeared himself to those who knew him that uniform regret was felt throughout this part of the county when he was called to his final rest. For about a year, however, he was in poor health and for two months prior to his death was confined to his home. The funeral services were held at the North Sangamon church, Rev. D. J. Strain and Rev. J. M. Horney officiating, after which his remains were interred in Indian Point cemetery. The interment of Mrs. Kincaid was also in the Indian Point Cemetery. They were the parents of five children: Robert Hale, who was born February 19, 1841, and died December 30, 1872; Eliza Ann, who was born November 10, 1842, and died in Springfield, Illinois, September 26, 1901; Andrew Todd, who was born March 9, 1844, and is now living near Farmer City, DeWitt county; William T., the fourth of the family; Elizabeth D., who was born October 19, 1857, and is living in Chicago.
W. T. Kincaid, whose name introduces this record, was educated in the district schools at Indian Point. This is conducted largely on the order of a high school and is a very excellent educational institution. After putting aside his text books, his time and energies were devoted to farm work on the old homestead. He married Miss Alice Belle Pursell, who was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, in what is now called Farmingdale, her natal day being May 4, 1856. Her parents were William and Elizabeth (Van Patton) Pursell, the former born in Ireland, January 3, 1820, and the latter in New Jersey, March 26, 1825. They became residents of Sangamon county about 1833. Mr. Pursell had been brought to America by his parents when he was but two years old, the family home being established in Canada, and he resided there nine years, when the family removed to Sangamon County, Illinois. He was one of the first settlers of that portion of the state, locating there before Springfield had sprung into existence. He and his wife were married in 1836 and for a long period they resided on the old homestead farm in Sangamon county. They were the parents of thirteen children: Robert Henry, who died about 1844; Mary Ann, who died in the same year; Albert Hale, who died in 1873; Carrie Lyman who is living at Pleasant Plains, Sangamon county; Laura Etta, a resident of Ashland, Cass county, Illinois; Mrs. Kincaid; Jennie Adeline, who died in 1844; Charles William, who is living in Moravia, Iowa; John Cushman, who died in 1873; Harriet Louisa, who resides at Junction, Arizona; Robert Ramsey, who is living at Farmingdale, Illinois; Frances Elizabeth, also at Farmingdale; and Jessie Tryphena, at home.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid has been blessed with two children: Alice May, born May 31, 1883; and Todd Pursell, born May 4, 1887. The parents and their children are members of the Indian Point Presbyterian church, and politically Mr. Kincaid is a Republican, having supported that party since he cast his first presidential ballot. He is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family and therefore is entitled to mention in this volume. Moreover, his personal characteristics have commended him to the good will and trust of those with whom he has been associated. He is unassuming in manner, yet alert and enterprising in his business affairs and keeping in touch with modern progress and along all lines that indicate the world's advancement. Having spent his entire life in Menard county, he is well known to many of its citizens and the circle of his friends is extensive.