Marshall County

HATTAN, William M.

William M. HATTAN. Among the prosperous farmers and stockraisers of Marshall county, the record of whose lives fill an important place in this volume, it gives us pleasure to commemorate the name of the gentleman whose sketch you are reading. He is one of the active and progressive agriculturists of Bennington township, his home being located on section 33.

A native of Ohio, Mr. HATTAN was born in Brown county, October 14, 1832, and is a son of Mark and Martha (CAMPBELL) HATTAN, both natives of the old dominion, where their marriage was celebrated. In 1830 they removed to Brown county, Ohio, and subsequently came to Marshall county, Illinois, settling in Belle Plain township, where the father purchased land and spent his remaining days. By trade he was a blacksmith. The mother’s death occurred the next summer after their arrival in this state. Our subject is the second in order of birth in their family of seven children, five of whom are still living, one son, Andrew, being a resident of Belle Plain township.

In the common schools Mr. HATTAN, of this sketch, acquired a fair education, and at an early age began to assist his father in the shop, but never followed the trade elsewhere. At the age of twenty years he started out in life for himself empty-handed, at first working by the month for thirteen dollars, out of which he had to pay his board. IN the early days, during the winter season, he would carry the mail on horseback from Bloomington to Magnolia. After working by the month for a year he had accumulated enough money to purchase a horse and bought another one on time. With this team he began the operation of rented land. Later he purchased an interest in a threshing machine, and about 1856 bought eighty acres of wild land, a part of his present valuable farm. The house he erected two years later is still used as a dwelling, even the shingles being in a good state of preservation, but in 1890 was built his present comfortable residence. In 1872 he added eighty acres to the original purchase, and today has two hundred acres of rich and arable land under a high state of cultivation and well improved.

In 1858 Mr. HATTAN led to the marriage altar Miss Nancy J. BENNINGTON, daughter of Thomas and Cynthia (MASON) BENNINGTON, and to them were born four children, but two died in infancy. Emma is the wife of Samuel PERRY, of Fillmore county, Nebraska, by whom she has two children, Lottie and Harry. James E. is married and living in Farmington, New Mexico. Mrs. HATTAN was called to her final rest October 12, 1893, and her remains were interred in Belle Plain township.

Mr. HATTAN was reared a democrat, but on the organization of the republican party he voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and has since been one of its stanch adherents. He has served his fellow citizens in various township offices, including those of clerk and supervisor, and in 1872 was elected circuit clerk, which position he acceptably filled for one term. Religiously he is a faithful member of the Christian church of Belle Plain and socially is a Master Mason connected with the lodge at Minonk. No man in Marshall county is held in higher esteem or has more warm friends than William M. HATTAN.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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