William SALISBURY, an esteemed resident of Henry, who since 1900 has lived retired from active farm work, which he made his life occupation, was born in the county of Shrophshire, England, July 9, 1826, his parents being William and Ann (BUTLER) SALISBURY, who were also natives of that place. The father was a gamekeeper for Sir Andrew Vincent Corbett. They had twelve children.
William SALISBURY, the sixth in order of birth, came to the United States in 1856, when thirty years of age, and settled in Lacon, Illinois, where he spent the winter. He was afterward employed at farm labor in Prairie township for several years and when his industry and economy had brought him sufficient capital he purchased a farm in Saratoga township, Marshall county, whereon he remained for thirty-seven years. He was an energetic, wide-awake, progressive and successful agriculturist and he remained upon the farm until 1900, when he put aside the active work of the fields and is now living in Henry. He owns one hundred acres of valuable land in Saratoga township and this returns to him a gratifying income.
Mr. SALISBURY was married in 1864 to Miss Margaret J. JACOBS, who was born in Pennsylvania, August 1, 1845, and is a daughter of George JACOBS, who came to Illinois in 1856, locating on a farm in Peoria county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. SALISBURY have been born nine children: Martha, now the wife of Charles DURLING, a resident of Saratoga township; Ann, the wife of George McATEE, who is living in Pocahontas county, Iowa; Jane, the wife of Henry SEELYE, a resident of Minnesota; William, of Bureau county; Sarah, the wife of Albert NEWMAN, of Whitefield township; Thomas, who is on the homestead farm in Saratoga township; Charles, also of Whitefield township; Maude, the wife of Thomas CAIN, of Saratoga township; Clara, who completes the family. There are also twenty-two grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. SALISBURY are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have lived lives in consistent harmony with their profession. This political views accord with the principles of the republican party and he has served as school director for twenty-one years and as road commissioner for eleven years. His long continuance in office was an indication of his capability and fidelity and of the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. He has made an enviable record in business circles, for when he came to America at the age of thirty years he had no capital, but was dependent entirely upon his own resources for a livelihood. Working as a farm laborer he made a start, and later invested judiciously in property. Then in his farm work he displayed untiring industry and enterprise and as the years passed he added to his possessions and became one of the prosperous citizens of his community, his competence being now sufficient to enable him to enjoy the necessities and comforts of life without recourse to further labor. Moreover his actions have been so honorable that no word of blame has ever been uttered against his business career. On July 9, 1906, he celebrated his eightieth birthday and nearly all his children and grandchildren were present on this occasion.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.