Marshall County


William HORROCKS is a self-made man and as the architect of his own fortunes he built wisely and well. For a considerable period he was closely identified with agricultural and industrial interests in Whitefield township and was accounted one of its representative business men, but is now practically living retired, having turned over his business to his two youngest sons.

A native of England, Mr. HORROCKS was born in Lanarkshire on the 24th of November, 1830, and is a son of William N. and Margaret (TISDELL) HORROCKS, who were likewise natives of England, the mother having been born in Westmoreland county. Both are now deceased. In their family were eight children: John, James, George, Benjamin, William, Elizabeth, Mary and Isabella.

The boyhood days of William HORROCKS passed without event of special importance to vary the routine of life for him. He was trained to habits of industry and economy and was educated in private schools and also took a course in music. After reaching manhood he gave careful consideration to the business outlook, weighing the chances for advancement in his native country with the opportunities of the new world and, deciding that the latter were more favorable, he came to the United States in 1852, landing in October. He had previously worked in his native country as a coal miner and after reaching the new world, his financial resources being so limited as to render immediate employment a necessity, he secured work in the coal mines and was thus engaged in several states in the Union. He became a resident of Illinois in 1855 and took up his abode in Marshall county in 1865. The years witnessed his steady progress and he gradually advanced from a humble financial position until he had acquired capital sufficient to enable him to purchase land. He became the owner of one hundred and ten acres, constituting an excellent farm on section 6, Whitefield township. Here in connection with the tilling of the soil he also engaged extensively in raising hogs, which proved a profitable branch of his business. He likewise had good coal banks upon his place and was engaged successfully in mining, but now leaves the active management of his business affairs to his sons.

Mr. HORROCKS was married a few years after his arrival in the new world, the lady of his choice being Miss Frances CLARKE, a native of Suffolk, England, whom he wedded on the 12th of November, 1856, in Peoria, Illinois. They became the parents of six children, of whom four are yet living: James, who is a mine overseer, residing at Farmington, Illinois; John, who owns and operates a farm in Bureau county; and Benjamin and William, who are living on the home place. They are now conducting the farm which is the property of their father and they also engage in raising hogs. They operate the coal banks and their mining interests constitute no unimportant branch of their business.

Mr. HORROCKS is a member of the New York Institute of Science and of English lodge of Odd Fellows. His political allegiance is given to the democracy and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Episcopal church, in which he was reared. For many years his life was one of continuous activity and he was not denied the reward of labor. On the contrary he prospered as the years went by and at the same time he won the honored name which comes in recognition of a life characterized by trustworthiness and fair dealing. Mrs. HORROCKS is a member of the Catholic church and is a lady of many estimable qualities, having a large circle of friends in Whitefield township.

Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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