WILLIAM B. MANLOVE was born in Schuyler county, December 28, 1830, near the town of Rushville. He is the son of Jonathan and Charity (Bodenhamer) Manlove. The former was a farmer of North Carolina, and came to this county in the fall of 1830, traveling over land all the way, and settled near Rushville, where he stayed the first winter. The next spring he went south and settled near Sugar Grove; and in 1834, he sold and moved to Birmingham township, and bought a farm where our subject still lives, of eighty acres. He put up a log house, in which the family lived. During the building of this house the father died, at the age of twenty-eight, leaving a wife and three children, of whom William was the eldest. The mother wove cloth for a living, and kept the old farm, and later married a second time, dying at the home of her son, William. William Manlove, Sr., was of English descent. The family were all farmers as well as can be ascertained. They left North Carolina on account of slavery.
William stayed at home until he was nineteen years old, assisting his mother and attending school in winter. After he became nineteen, he engaged to work for a neighbor at 50 cents a day, but worked for him only two months, and then went to his first free school, the other being a subscription school. He worked out by the month for a year, and then returned home, and buying out the heirs settled there. He had one yoke of oxen at that time.
He was married in 1853, to Miss Abigail Swisegood, who was born in North Carolina, and came with her parents to Illinois in 1846, being the daughter of John and Elizabeth Swisegood. She was one of six children, five yet living.
At his marriage he had only a small farm, but by dint of hard labor he has increased it to 900 acres of as fine land as there is in the county. He commenced work, plowing corn at 25 cents a day, taking his pay in bread and meat, which he carried to his mother who hired him out. He never went into debt for anything, but by great economy and much self-denial he succeeded in buying some land, and afterward stock. He feeds two or three cars of cattle and hogs, and has always been a man devoted to his home.
He voted the first time for Fillmore and the Republican ticket ever since, as his father was an old-line Whig. The whole family are considered good, honest people, and highly respected by everybody, making no pretensions. He built his present home in 1865, and was visited by the soldiers returning from the war.
All of his land is in this township, and 600 acres of it is highly cultivated. He had six children, five living, namely: Eli, the eldest, is deceased; Laura A., John J., Isabell V., Tad J. and Emberry J. A grandson, William, a son of his oldest son, lives with them.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Williams are very estimable people, and are very influential among their large circle of friends.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 248-249.
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