Biography - William Terry

WILLIAM H. TERRY, who controls and operates a fine farm on sections 8 and 9, Raymond Township, Montgomery County, was born near Jerseyville, Jersey County, Ill., on the 18th of November, 1838. The Terry family is of Welsh origin, some of the ancestors having come to America in the latter part of the seventeenth century and located in Connecticut. It was in honor of this family that the old town of Terryville, Conn., was named. Many of its members have been prominent in the history of this country. The great-grandfather of our subject was with Washington at Valley Forge and did good service in the War for Independence. Gen. Terry, the noted Indian fighter, was also a member of the same family.

After the Revolution, the Terry family went to Virginia, where Jasper M. Terry, the father of our subject, was born. When he was a small child his parents removed to Kentucky, and in 1832, when eighteen years of age, he came to Illinois and located in what is now Jersey County, but was then Greene County. He accumulated quite a large fortune prior to his death, which occurred in 1876. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary A. Wagner, was a native of Allen County, Ky., and was of German extraction.

The Terry family numbered nine children, all of whom are yet living: John W. is a man of much learning and is a Baptist preacher by profession. He was a missionary to Spain for many years and was there located in 1868, when the Spanish Government banished all Protestant missionaries from the country. He then returned to the United States and went to New Mexico, where he established the First National Bank at Socorro. He is now a wealthy banker and real-estate dealer. Anslam K., A. O., T. J., and T. F. constitute the firm of attorneys and real-estate men who do business under the name of Terry Bros., in East St. Louis. They are wealthy citizens and very prominent. A. O. is a graduate of Ann Arbor University. T. J. and T. F. are graduates of Shurtleff College. Henry C. resides on the old homestead in Jersey County. Mary Emma is the wife of William Hatcher, a hotel keeper of Springfield, Ill. Frances A. is the wife of Dr. E. Weir, of Edwardsville.

Our subject did not have the advantage of a college education as his younger brothers did, as when he was a youth, his father had not yet acquired his fortune, but he managed to obtain a fair English education in the schools of Jerseyville, and is now a well-informed man. He assisted his father on the home farm until March, 1861, when he came to Montgomery County and located on a farm in what is now Pitman Township. In December of the same year, he married Miss Milberry Sharp, a native of Macoupin County, Ill., whose parents came to this State in an early day from Tennessee.

After the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Terry abandoned farming to enter the service of his country. He enlisted on the 12th of August, 1862, in Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, of which he was commissioned Sergeant, and for three years he valiantly served his country, participating in many battles and engagements. When the war was over, he was honorably discharged, on the 8th of August, 1865. He then returned to his home, where he continued to reside until the spring of 1877, when, after his father's death, he removed to his present home.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Terry have been born five children, namely: William J., who is engaged in farming near Pana, Ill.; Rena who is engaged in teaching music; George L., an electrician; John Charles, a musician of much talent and the leader of the Raymond Band; and Fannie Agnes, a teacher of recognized ability in the public schools. Mr. Terry is a man of more than ordinary ability, and his success in life has come to him as the reward of his own efforts. Socially, he is a prominent member of the Grand Army, being Commander of Raymond Post No. 504.

Extracted 29 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 121-122.

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