MILTON M. MEACHAM. As a town advances and its various interests multiply, there is need of men adapted to all kinds of pursuits - business, professional and mechanical, and by a happy dispensation of Providence some men are adapted to one calling and some to another. The fact that Mr. Meacham successfully represents eight of the leading Fire Insurance companies of the country indicates in a marked manner his adaptation to this line of business. He has been established at Waverly since 1859, where he has attained to a good position both in social and business circles and is numbered among its representative men.
A son of Illinois, our subject was born in Sangamon County, Sept. 7, 1839. His father, Jonathan Meacham, was born near Hopkins, Christian County, KY., Nov. 27, 1809. The paternal grandfather, Jeremiah Meacham, was also a native of the Blue Grass State and died there. The great grandfather, who was of Scotch parentage, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Mrs. Susan (Morris) Meacham, the mother of our subject, was the daughter of an old Virginia family of Scotch-Irish extraction, and whose grandfather likewise carried a musket in behalf of the Colonists, as they were struggling for their independence, and was under Washington at Valley Forge. William Morris, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born, reared and married in Virginia, and carried on farming there until 1829. That year he came to Illinois, and settled on a tract of land near the present town of Berlin in Sangamon County, where he improved a farm from the wilderness and made a comfortable homestead, where his death took place in 1866. His wife had died about 1855. They reared a family of four sons and four daughters, all of whom lived to mature years.
The father of our subject came to this State in 1829, and in Sangamon County, met and married Miss Susan Morris, who was born in Virginia. The young people commenced the journey of life together on a new farm, near which afterward grew up the town of Berlin, and lived there until 1859. Then leaving the farm after a residence upon it of thirty years, they took up their abode in Waverly and the father followed carpentering until failing health compelled him to retire from active labor. During the last eight years of his life he served as Justice of the Peace, and departed hence, Dec. 5, 1873. He was a Democrat in politics, and in religion a Regular Baptist, with which church he was connected for twenty-one years. The wife and mother served her husband three years, dying in 1876. Their family consisted of four sons and three daughters. The eldest, Martha A., became the wife of Hi ram Waddell, a blacksmith by trade, and they live in Montgomery County. Frances married J. L. Shims, and died in July, 1855; Milton M., of our sketch, was the third child; Clara married S. S. Agar and died in September, 1877; Milo died in January, 1860; William D., a carpenter by trade, is a resident of Waverly and James, the youngest, lives in Clark son, Ark.
The subject of this sketch spent his younger years occupied with the lighter duties around the farm and acquiring his education at the district school. His life passed quietly until after the outbreak of the Civil War, and on the 19th of April, 1861, he joined the militia, but shortly afterward entered the United States service as a member of Company I, 14th Ill. Infantry under the command of John M. Palmer. The Regiment skirmished through Missouri from July 5, that year, until February, 1862, then started for Ft. Donelson, where they arrived in the night in time to participate in the struggle which followed. They next met the enemy at Pittsburgh Landing, where the 14th Regiment formed the first line of troops across the road leading to a point near the old Shiloh Church and remained fighting until the last charge before its surrender.
Our subject subsequently participated in the siege of Corinthian and Vicksburg and went with his regiment as far south as Ft. Beaufort, La. There they crossed the river, going to Cairo, Ill., and from there through Kentucky and Tennessee to Huntsville, Ala. About this time the term expired for which he had enlisted, and he was mustered out June 17, 1864. He had been in all the battles and skirmishes in which his comrades participated, but was never wounded or made a prisoner.
Upon retiring from the service Mr. Meacham sought his old haunts in this county and engaged as clerk in a dry-goods store at Waverly until 1868. He then embarked in the grocery trade and was thus occupied until 1872, when he became interested in the clothing business and prosecuted this until 1875. In June, 1876, he associated himself in partnership with M. V. Mallory and turning his attention to the newspaper business, founded the Waverly Journal. Of this, six months later, he became sole proprietor and conducted it until January, 1885. Then selling out, he withdrew from the newspaper business and turned his attention to insurance and also began operating as Pension Agent.
The 27th of November, 1864, witnessed the marriage of our subject with Miss Maria C. Holiday, who was born in Waverly, July 13, 1844. This union resulted in the birth of four children, the eldest of whom, a son, Jonathan, died in 1883, at the age of nineteen years. The survivors are Joseph W., Elmer, and Tilla C. Mr. Meacham cast his first Presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas and since that time has been an uncompromising supporter of the Democratic principles. He has held the various local offices and socially belongs to the Subordinate Lodge, I.O.O.F., and Encampment Lodge, in both of which he has passed all the Chairs. In religious matters, he inclines to the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Meacham is the daughter of William M. and Maria (Bachelor) Holiday, who were early settlers of Central Illinois and the father one of its most eminent physicians. Dr. Holiday was born in Kentucky in 1807, and was a son of the Rev. Charles Holiday, a native of Virginia. The latter at the age of nineteen years was made a member of the Methodist Episcopal Conference, after which he went to Kentucky, where he was married and reared a large family. He had charge of various congregations in that State, living there until 1832. That year he came with his family to Illinois, and died near Chesterfield, in Macoupin County, in 1849.
William M. Holiday commenced the study of medicine with a brother in Tennessee, and entered upon the practice of his profession at St. Louis, Mo. Later, he removed to Whitehall, Ill., where he buried his second wife. Of this union there had been born one child only - Robert N.T., who is now deceased. Dr. Holiday was married the third time in 1837, to Miss Maria Bachelor, daughter of Nehemiah and Rachel (Coe) Bachelor. She was born in Lennox, Harrison Co., N.Y., Oct. 30, 1810, and in 1836 the family came to Illinois and settled in Griggsville, Pike County, where the parents spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Bachelor was born in Worcester County, Mass., whence he removed in his youth to New York State. He was reared on a farm, but being considerable of a genius, learned millwrighting and the trade of a machinist, which he followed thereafter. To him and his good wife there were born six children, the eldest of whom, a son, John C., died at the age of twenty years. David died near Portland, Oregon; Mary A. is a resident of Santa Cruz, Cal.; Maria, (Mrs. Holiday) is the next in order of birth; Laura died in Pike County, this State; Emily Jane is a resident of Murphysborough, Ill.
Dr. Holiday after his marriage with Miss Bachelor located in Greenfield, Ill., and three years later came to this county, established himself at Appalonia, near Waverly. Two years later he removed into the latter village, and died on the 22d of February, 1859. Of his last marriage there were born three children: Walter C. resides near Winchester in Scott County; Maria C., the wife of our subject; Rachel is the wife of B.F. Keplinger, of Waverly. As a physician, Dr. Holiday was careful and conscientious, and as a citizen, was held in high esteem and in religious matters, was a member in good standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church.