MORRISEY, WILLIAM M., City Attorney of Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Northampton, Mass., March 26, 1874, a son of P. S. and Alice (Keefe) Morrisey. His father was born in Ireland in 1847, came to the United States at the age of ten years, and until 1877 resided at Northampton, Mass. Since that year he has been a resident of Jacksonville. Both parents are still living.
William M. Morrisey was educated in the country schools of Morgan County and at Brown's Business College. His first independent venture was as a clerk in the grocery business, but poor health prevented him from continuing in this line very long. On January 1, 1897, after recovering his health, he began the study of law in the office of Judge M. T. Layman; on January 1, 1900, was admitted to the bar, after examination before the State Board of Examiners at Mount Vernon, and since that time has been engaged in practice as the partner of Judge Layman.
Mr. Morrisey has taken an active part in politics, espousing the cause of Republicanism. When Richard Yates announced himself a candidate for the Governorship, in the fall of 1899, Mr. Morrisey was chosen Secretary of the Republican County Central Committee, a post which he has continued to fill to the present time. He was a member of the Inaugural Committee in 1900; served as Deputy under Henry Yates when the latter was Internal Revenue Collector for this district; was Secretary and Treasurer of the Illinois State Institution for the Education of the Blind, from July 1, 1901, to July 1, 1903, and resigned the latter office to become City Attorney of Jacksonville, to which he was elected in the spring of the latter year. On April 18, 1905, he was reelected City Attorney, after one of the most bitter campaigns ever waged in any of the municipalities of the State, leading the entire ticket and receiving a majority of nearly 400. His majority in 1903 was the largest ever accorded a candidate for the office in Jacksonville. Mr. Morrisey was united in marriage April 12, 1904 with Katherine I. Keating, a native of Jacksonville, and a daughter of Edward and Mary (Ryan) Keating. Though a young man, he enjoys the esteem of his fellow-citizens in Jacksonville. He has attained success in his chosen profession in the face of numerous obstacles, chief of which probably have been long periods of illness, which have incapacitated him for the work in which it has been his ambition to make a success. He is a self-made man in every sense of the term, is possessed of a public spirit and an inclination to accomplish everything possible for the advancement of the community, and his integrity has never been brought into question.