William D. WEBSTER is a retired farmer of Sparland, largely deriving his income from his real-estate investments. He was born in Washington county, New York, September 3, 1830, and is a son of William and Sarah Ann (NORTHUP) WEBSTER. The father was born in Washington county, New York, and was a cousin of the renowned Daniel WEBSTER. He followed farming as a life work and died in Allegany county, New York, at the venerable age of eighty-four years. His political support was given to the republican party. His wife, who was born in Hartford, Washington county, New York, died at the very advanced age of ninety-five years. In their family were three children: Relief, who married Alfred CHAMBERLIN, who is living in Angelica, New York, at the age of eighty years and is a well preserved man; Norman, a resident of Allegany county, New York; and William D.
In the state of his nativity William D. Webster spent the days of his boyhood and youth, being reared upon his father's farm, while in the public schools he obtained his education. He continued a resident of the Empire state until twenty-six years of age, when he removed westward to Illinois, settling in Steuben township, Marshall county, where he followed farming. He has lived in this township for fifty-two years and has prospered in his undertakings, carefully conducting agricultural interests for a long period but now living retired. As his financial resources increased he made judicious investments in real estate and derives therefrom a good income. He owns now a house and three lots in Sparland and one hundred and sixty acres of land in Rush county, Kansas.
In 1857 Mr. WEBSTER was united in marriage to Miss Ruth A. FOSDICK, who was born in Belfast, New York, February 17, 1837. She is a daughter of Aaron C. and Ollie B. (MOON) FOSDICK, both of whom were natives of Washington county, New York, the former born in Hartford and the latter near Hartford. On removing to Illinois they settled first in Peoria county and after residing there for five years removed to Marshall county, taking up their abode about three and a half miles west of Sparland. Mr. FOSDICK was the owner of six hundred acres of valuable land and was widely known as one of the leading and prosperous agriculturists of his community. Both he and his wife were members of the Baptist church and in politics- he was a stalwart republican. He always acted as a drummer in the republican campaigns and took great delight in political meetings, which he greatly enjoyed. He won many friends wherever he went and was particularly prominent in political circles. The old drum which he carried in the campaigns is now in possession of Mr. WEBSTER. Unto Mr. and Mrs. FOSDICK were born the following named: Delphia E., now the wife of Le Roy BOLANDER, who is living in La Prairie township; Lillian B., the wife of Frank MARTIN, a resident of Butte, Montana, where he is bookkeeper in a copper mine; and Louis E., who married Augustine FALTOT, of New York city, and lives in Sparland, where he is weighman at the Sparland coal shaft. Mrs. WEBSTER, the other member of the family, acquired a good public-school education and has lived in this county for fifty-three years. Since the age of fifteen years she has been a devoted and faithful member of the Baptist church and is an earnest Christian woman, whose religion is manifest in her kindliness and generous qualities. Mr. WEBSTER is a member of Sparland lodge, No. 441, A. F. & A. M., of Sparland, and his wife is connected with Eastern Star lodge, No. 227. They have traveled life's journey together for almost a half a century and both have been residents of this county for more than fifty years, so that they are well known and are certainly deserving of mention in this volume among the pioneer people.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.