Mr. Killam is a native of Yorkshire, England, and was born at Sackhouse, Dec. 8, 1808. He is the son of John Killam, and the grandson of Samuel Killam, who died when about sixty years of age. The latter married Ann West, who died at the age of sixty-two years. The Killams in those days, were members of the old English Church. John Killam, father of the one whose name heads this sketch, grew up in his native shire, and in his younger days followed mechanical pursuits, being a general mechanic and millwright. He was married in Yorkshire, to Elizabeth Parsley, and to her was born four sons and one daughter, all of whom came to America with their parents. They embarked at Hull, on April 14, 1829, on the vessel "Trenton", and after a voyage of seven weeks and four days, which was somewhat tempestuous, they landed at Quebec. This country then possessed but few railroads, so the journey from Quebec to Illinois was a tedious one, but they finally reached Morgan County, July 21, 1829. Very soon after their arrival the family located on land which is now occupied by Samuel Killam. John Killam at one time owned a large tract of land in this county, and became comfortably well-off. Here he made his home until he died in 1845, at the age of sixty-three years. He was an industrious and ambitious man, and enjoyed a good reputation among his neighbors. In person he was an athlete, and was capable of performing a great deal of hard work, which was one of the essential qualifications of a farmer in the early days of Illinois. Politically, he acted with the Whig party. His wife, and the mother of Samuel, passed away about six years after his death, at the age of seventy-four years.
Samuel Killam, of whom this sketch is written, was the second of a family of five children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, and were married, and Samuel is the only one now living. He grew up to be of age before he left England, and with his natural mechanical ability, he there soon mastered the trade followed by his father, that of a millwright. After his arrival in this country, he pursued his trade, and so continued for seven or eight years, and his reputation as a mechanic in this part of Illinois, is of the highest. He was married in Morgan County, to Miss Margaret Haxby, who was a native of Yorkshire, England, and was born Feb. 10, 1819. She was the youngest daughter of six children born to William and Ann (Brewis) Haxby, also natives of Yorkshire. William Haxby was the son of William Haxby, Sr., a farmer who lived and died in Yorkshire, his death occurring in 1797. He was then in the prime of life, and had married a Yorkshire lady by the name of Minnie Willis, who survived her husband for sometime. They lived on a farm which they owned, being very well-to-do people. The Haxbys were all members of the English Church. William H., the father of Mrs. Killam, was one of three children born to his parents. He was a farmer, and spent the early portion of his life at this vocation in his native land, where he married, and became the father of three sons and five daughters. On May 7th, 1834, this family took passage on the "Victoria," at Whitby, and started for America, and after a voyage of five weeks and five days, landed at Quebec. They at once came to what is now Winchester, Scott Co., Ill., where they located on a farm, and lived for nine years, until 1843, when Mr. Haxby, with his wife and family, changed locations by going to Greene County, Ill., and settling on a farm near Whitehall. In the next year, 1844, Mrs. Haxby died, after which her husband lived with his children until his death, which occurred at Mrs. Killam's, Dec. 1st, 1867, at the age of seventy-five years. He was always closely connected with the English Church, and was a strong believer of the old Whig party.
Of the family of nine children born to the parents of Mrs. Killam, she is one of the younger, and of whom four are living: Elizabeth, widow of Daniel Avery, who now lives at Whitehall, Ill.; William is a resident of Plattville, Colo., and is a drug and hardware merchant; he married Elizabeth Rowen; Thomas took to wife, Mary Evans, and lives in Rapid City, Dak., on a ranch.