Willis Lyman Wilkinson, whose services as warden of the county poor- house in Munson township are most acceptable, was born in Tiskilwa, Bureau county, Illinois, September 21, 1861. In the paternal line he conies of an old New England family, his grandfather having been George Wilkinson, a native of Rhode Island. He was a farmer in early life but for years conducted a hotel in Tiskilwa. He died at the age of sixty years or more. His widow, Mrs. Julia Wilkinson, long survived him and passed away when eighty-five years of age.

Lyman Wilkinson, the father of W. L. Wilkinson, was born in Pennsylvania and was reared to farm life but in early manhood learned the carpenter's trade. Removing westward to Illinois he settled first in Bureau county and lived for a number of years at Tiskilwa, where he followed carpentering. He afterward became superintendent of the county poor farm, occupying that posi­ tion for two years and in 1872 removed to Henry county where he capably filled the position of superintendent of the poor farm for thirty-four years. No higher testimonial of his efficiency in that position could be given than the fact that he was so long retained in the office. He was a soldier of the Civil war, belonging to the Ninety-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry in which he served as first lieutenant while his brother, Orrin Wilkinson, was captain. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, in the battle of Shiloh and in many other important engagements of the war, never faltering in his allegiance to the old flag when it led him to the firing line or when he followed it on the long, hard marches of the campaign. His political support was given to the republican party, and both he and his wife were Episcopalians in religious faith. He wedded Emmeline Stevens, a native of New Hampshire and a daughter of Thomas Stevens, who was likewise born in the old Granite state. He was a farmer by occupation and became one of the first settlers of Bureau county, Illinois. He was twice married and lived to an old age. The death of Lyman Wilkinson occurred on the Henry county poor farm in 1906, when he was seventy-two years of age, he being still in charge of the institution up to the time of his demise. His wife died in 1898 at the age of sixty-three years. They had but three children: George T., now living in Pueblo, Colorado; Willis L.; and Bert Henry, who died at the age of twenty-two years.


History of Henry County

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Illinois Ancestors