CANNON, WILLIAM SIMPSON , the efficient manager of the W. S. Cannon Commission Company, of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., agents for Swift & Co., of Chicago, was born on a farm near Marietta, Fulton County, Ill., August 31, 1866. He is a son of John and Margaret Nahaley (Nichols) Cannon. Both of his grandfathers were Methodist ministers. John Cannon, the father, was born in England about the year 1832, and his mother, in the State of New York, about the year 1834. The former was brought to the Unites States at the age of four years, the family settling at Niagara Falls, where John Cannon remained until he was married. About the year 1865 he located in Jacksonville, where he was engaged in the butchering and meat business until 1890. When he removed to Gainesville, Ga., where he conducted a fruit farm until his death in 1904. He was always a consistent member of the Methodist Church, being a Sunday-school Superintendent for a number of years before his death. His wife died in 1884.
In boyhood William S. Cannon received his mental training in the district schools, and then learned the butcher's trade with his father in Jacksonville. He remained with his father until he was eighteen years of age, when he went to work for John Leck. As an infant of eight months his parents had brought him from his birthplace in Fulton County, Ill., to Niagara Falls, N. Y., and after living there four years had spent three years on a farm in Kansas, arriving in Jacksonville about the year 1874, when he was eight years old; and there he has lived ever since. He remained in the employment of John Leck for eighteen months, and then spent three months in Minnesota. Returning to Jacksonville, he worked for J. J. Schafer for three years, leaving him to go into the meat business for himself. Two years afterward he sold his meat market, and in 1894 became the local manager for Swift & Co., continuing in that capacity for six years. He then resigned the position to organize the Jacksonville Meat Company, of which he was manager for eight months. At the end of that period the company took charge of the Swift & Co. business on a commission basis, and conducts it under the name of the W. S. Cannon Commission Company. In addition to meat and the side products, the company is doing an extensive business in produce, poultry, butter and eggs. Under Mr. Cannon's able and skillful management, the concern is enjoying a period of great prosperity, and substantial gains have been made in all departments. The proprietor is acknowledged to be one of the most energetic, progressive and successful business men in Jacksonville.
On November 21, 1888, Mr. Cannon was united in marriage with Elizabeth Mellen, of Jacksonville, a daughter of John and Ellen Mellen. Eight children have resulted from this union, namely: Elmer; William, who died at the age of eight months; John; Fran; William; Clifford; Irene and Tom.