Pulaski County

Biography - William Stringer

WILLIAM M. STRINGER. Illinois stands to the fore among the wealthy and progressive commonwealths of the Union, and that prestige has been won through the husbandmen of her soil, for it is essentially as an agricultural state that Illinois takes this proud rank. The men who have farmed not only extensively but intensively and who are as alert and keen for the most modern methods and advanced thought in the line of their vocation as are the students in any other science are the men who have made the state what it is agriculturally. William M. Stringer, of Pulaski, is a worthy representative of the progressive Illinois farmer. Fifty years of his life have been spent in this state, and since 1870, or for forty-two years, he has resided on his farm near Pulaski.

Mr. Stringer was born in Livingston county, Kentucky, January 30, 1845, and was a lad of nine when the family removed to Ripley county, Missouri. His father, who also bore the Christian name of William obtained his education in the public schools of his locality, and married Miss Mary Elmer, a Kentucky maiden. They began life on a farm in Livingston county, Kentucky, where they resided until their removal to Ripley county, Missouri, and subsequently to Pulaski county, Illinois, in July, 1862. Both passed away in this county after attaining advanced years. Mr. Stringer, the father of William M. Stringer of this sketch, spent the greater part of his life in the vocation of a farmer.

William M. Stringer was the fifth in a family of nine children. He was brought up as a farmer boy with no superfluity of education, for the school facilities of his day were limited and inadequate, and his total attendance did not exceed five months, which served only to equip him for study and personal application in later years. With an alert mentality, however, and with natural powers of close observation, he has in the broad school of life gathered a comprehensive knowledge of men and affairs, and by reading he has developed a broad and liberal grasp of live topics, thus enabling him to cope successfully with his fellows in the varied affairs of government and society. The current periodicals which visit his home and the books to be found therein attest that his life has been broader than his vocation and refutes Thoreau's theory that a farm must necessarily possess the man instead of the man possessing the farm.

On September 28, 1869, Mr. Stringer wedded Miss Mary J. Kelly, a daughter of Rev. Mordecai B. Kelly, who was a pioneer of Southern Illinois, having migrated to this state from Ohio. Elder Kelly was prominent in the church work of the Baptist denomination in this section, was a chaplain in the Eighteenth Illinois Infantry during the Civil war, and died at the home of Mrs. Stringer in 1898. He married Miss Nancy Joiner, and to their union were born these children: Giles, who died in the
army as a Union soldier; Lizzie, who married Jacob Eshleman and died at the home of William M. Stringer; Judson; John; Mrs. Stringer, who was born January 16, 1850; George; Captain Isaac M. Kelly, of the St. Louis fire company No. 22; Rev. M. B. Kelly, now pastor of a Seventh Day Baptist church in Nortonville, Kansas; and Wayland Kelly, who passed away unmarried.

Mr. Stringer really began life for himself at the time of his marriage and all the subsequent years have been spent as an agriculturist and horticulturist. He began life at the bottom and in the woods, as it were, and today an inspection of his well-improved one hundred and thirty acre farm, whereon are to be found the usual appurtenances and the modern improvements essential to a well-equipped rural home, reveals the character of the farmer to be that of an industrious, energetic, painstaking and progressive worker. He has thus not only advanced his own prosperity but has also contributed his share toward the progress of his section.

In, politics he is a Republican, but he has not sought public favor at the hands of voters, though he has given his services to his school district from time to time as a member of its board of education. His church faith finds expression as a member of the Seventh Day Baptists, in which denomination he was an active factor and a teacher in the Sabbath-school in former years, representing his congregation in the church 's convention at Farina, Illinois.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Springer are Olive, who died in childhood; Francis M., who is a telephone man at Eureka, Illinois; Lula, now Mrs. J. N. Miller, of Pulaski; Annie, who married Otis Parker and resides on a farm near Pulaski; and Leman, an educator in West Allis, Wisconsin.

Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 1051-1052

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