WILLIAM MEHARRY, for more than twenty years one of the most active and prosperous farmers of Champaign County, and one of the large land-owners of the Prairie State, left his rural residence and moved into the pleasant village of Tolono, where, surrounded by the comforts and luxuries of a modern home, secured through early industry and enterprise, he is passing the sunset of life and enjoying the esteem and confidence of hosts of friends.
The early years of Mr. Meharry were spent in Montgomery County, Ind., where he was born Oct. 27, 1830. He is the son of Thomas and Unity (Patton) Meharry, natives of the Buckeye State, where the father followed farming until he removed to Indiana, where he died when seventy-four years of age. The mother, who was born Aug. 16, 1802, died Aug. 7, 1887. The seven children of the parental household are all living and recorded as follows: Jane, the wife of Eli H. Dick, is a resident of Philo, Ill.; William, of our sketch, was the second child ; Ellen, Mrs. John Martin, is a resident of Montgomery County, Ind.; Jesse resides in Philo Township (see sketch) ; Polly Ann, who married Calvin McCorkle, was born July 3, 1838, and died Aug. 19, 1887; Abraham and Isaac were twins; the former is a resident of this county, and the latter occupies a part of the homestead in Indiana.
Mr. Meharry remained under the home roof until twenty-seven years old, passing his time in assisting in the cultivation of the farm and in attendance upon the common schools. He early in life very wisely began to accumulate property. His first purchase of land was near Attica, Ind. This he tilled until 1864. In the meantime his father had purchased section 9 of Crittenden Township, this county which he gave to William, a few years later, when he sold out his property in Fountain County, Ind., and removed to the Prairie State, and in 1864 added to his landed interests by the purchase of section 32 of Philo Township, upon which he lived until the year 1883, and then, leaving his farm property in good shape, removed to the village of Tolono and purchased his present home, which is one of the most complete in the town. The dwelling is finished and furnished in modern style, and everything about the premises indicates cultivated tastes and ample means. Mr. Meharry still owns the two sections of land above mentioned and a farm of 160 acres near the town limits of Tolono, besides valuable village property. His career has been marked by industry, energy and excellent judgment, and he has performed an important part in the building up of Tolono Township, and the development of its resources. He has been honest and upright in his dealings, prompt to meet his obligations, and while enjoying the good things of this life and regard of his fellow-citizens, is simply in possession of that which he has justly earned.
One of the most important events in the life of our subject, and which undoubtedly had much to do in shaping his future course, was his marriage with Miss Margaret McCorkle, which took place in 1869. Mrs. M. is a native of Putnam County, Ind., and their union has been blest by the birth of two daughters May and Lelia. Mr. Meharry is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and his estimable wife a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church.
The portrait department of the BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM of Champaign County is greatly enhanced by including in it a likeness of this prominent and wealthy citizen.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, ILL. Written and published by the Chapman Brothers, Chicago, IL, 1887, Pages 201-202, submitted by Leslie Rankin.