DUNCAN, RICHARD Y., blacksmith, Franklin, Morgan County, Ill., was born at Jacksonville, Ill., February 20, 1860, the son of Captain John B. and Adeline G. Duncan, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky. Mrs. Duncan's ancestors saw service in both the Revolutionary and Black Hawk Wars. While still a young man John B. Duncan became fired with an enthusiasm to serve his country, which at length resulted in his enlistment in Company H, Thirty-second Illinois volunteer Infantry for service in the Civil War. Indeed, he it was who really formed the company, and it was only natural that he should be chosen its Captain. After participating in a number of engagements Captain Duncan was so unfortunate as to lose his leg, which was shot off below the knee at Little Hatchee. Upon recovering from the effects of his wound he returned to his regiment, and with a cork leg endeavored to keep about and perform the duties which had appeared so easy previous to his loss; but field labor was too difficult, and at length he was stationed as Recruiting Officer at Springfield. He had already served as Orderly Sergeant during the Mexican War and also took part in the Mormon troubles. At one time he studied law, and began to practice his profession in Jacksonville. He was likewise one of the County Commissioners, and one of the prominent and useful citizens of the county. He was the father of twelve children - six boys and six girls. His death, which resulted from gangrene, occurred July 18, 1864, when he was in his forty-fourth year. His widow survived him many years, dying at the age of eighty-one.
Richard Y. Duncan received his education in the public schools of Franklin. Very early he began to learn the blacksmith's trade, so that when he was only eighteen he started in life for himself as a journeyman. For twenty-seven years he has followed this calling, in which he has been successful and consequently prosperous. On May 1, 1884, he was married to Caroline, daughter of Henry Reinbach, of Franklin, Ill., and of this union five children have been born - Dessau, Meda, Ruth, Harold and Esther.
Mr. Duncan is the owner of several valuable pieces of property in Franklin, and is prominent in all that pertains to the advancement of the town. In his political views he is a Republican. He has been a member of the Town Board, has been President of the Village Board, and for five years township Treasurer, being the present incumbent. He is a member of the Masonic order, of the I.O.O.F., Modern Woodmen and Protective League, and has the distinction of having served twenty-two years as Treasurer of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Franklin. He is identified with the Christian Church, holding the office of Trustee in the same.