Biography - William Sides

WILLIAM SIDES. Although the development of the Northern twin Carolina has been so comparatively slow that its natives have seemed to merit the nickname, "The Tar Heels," facetiously given them during the war of the Rebellion by a witty native of Massachusetts, still during the last decade the rich mineral sub-stratus have called attention to the State, and have added wonderfully to its enterprise and growth. It is a mystical, beautiful land, whose Eastern shore is washed by the blue Atlantic, the Western boundary lined with mountains whose pine-clad domes are wreathed in the low-hanging clouds. Happy are the conditions of life in such a land, happy the man who is born there, and this was the native State of our subject, William Sides.
In 1847, occurred the birth of our subject. His parents were Mathias and Sarah (Boss) Sides, the former being a farmer and cooper. When our young hero was but a sturdy lad of four years, his parents determined to remove to Illinois, and located on a farm near the city of Nokomis, in Montgomery County. Like so many of the men who form the brawn and sinew of our national life, young Sides grew up in rural life. He received but a common-school education, but such as it was, it tended in the right direction to develop his natural fibre.
On the breaking out of the Civil War, the subject of our sketch was a youth full of fire and patriotism. Although his parents strongly objected to his leaving home with military intent, his heart was on the battlefield, and in imagination he was the hero of many a battle. He yielded to parental authority for some time, but when the State's necessity was felt, and call after call came for volunteers, he could no longer brook delay, and took the case into his own hands and ran away from home. May 22, 1864, we find him enrolled in Company C, of the One Hundred and Forty-third Illinois Infantry, and he was mustered in as a private at Mattoon, whence the company with which he was sent to Cairo, this State, thence to Memphis, Tenn. While in the last-named city, Mr. Sides was detailed to do guard duty for a time. He was then sent to Helena, Ark., where he remained until his time expired, and he was mustered out of service at Mattoon, September 26, 1864.
Although our subject's military service extended over only four months, such was the exposure and privation to which he was subjected that his health was shattered, and for a time his life hung by a slender thread. On recuperating he engaged in farming until 1888, when he sold his agricultural interests and came to Nokomis, where he has since engaged in the general mercantile business, and is at the present time a prominent merchant in this city.
Mr. Sides was united in marriage in the year 1876, at which time Miss Alice Wells became his wife. Mrs. Sides is a native of the Buckeye State, and she is a capable and attractive woman, who has been a loving helpmate to her husband. Their family comprises seven children, whose names are: Clarence, Bertie E., Willie, Trudie, Maudie, Stella and Laura. Mr. Sides keeps up his relations with his war comrades, and is a devoted member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Politically, he is an ardent admirer of the beauty of the principles of the Republican party, and Harrison, McKinley and Blaine are in his estimation as much heroes in this time of peace, as were the generals on the battlefield. Mr. Sides is one of the ablest and stanches citizens of Nokomis.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 322-325.

Templates in Time