WILLIAM A. VICTOR is one of the phenomenal forces of energy in Pulaski county today. Few young men have done battle with the world with such sturdy determination to wrest from it substantial results as has he, and out of the elements of his nature he has won to himself a place among the successful men of his locality, in addition to the hearty esteem of a large circle of acquaintances.
Born in Pulaski county, on a farm near to Grand Chain, Mr. Victor was born on October 1, 1876. He is the son of George Victor, who has been identified with the agricultural interests of Pulaski county since the early seventies, and who was born at Newark, Ohio, August 12, 1849. His father, Dr. Ferdinand Victor, practiced medicine in Cairo, Illinois, for a number of years, and was a resident of Illinois during the best part of his life. George Victor was content to live the life of a modest farmer, and he has lived thus in the contentment and quiet of the farm. He was thrice married, and has reared a goodly family of sons and daughters to brighten his declining years. He first married Miss Mattie Hanks, a native of Pennsylvania, and she died in 1894. Two children were born of this union. They are William A., the subject of this brief review, and Cora, the wife of Dr. 0. T. Hudson, of Mounds, Illinois. Mr. Victor later married Miss Ellen Stokes. They became the parents of three children: Oliver, Nora and Etta. His present wife was formerly Malinda Revington, and her children are Glenda, Nina and June. As intimated above, Mr. Victor has never been a man of public activity, but has rather led a home life, giving his attention to his farm and his family. He has always shared in the Republican faith, but holds himself the master of his own ballot, regardless of party interests, and he has never evinced any ambition to participate in the political skirmishes at primaries and elections in any other capacity than that of a voter.
William Victor is the eldest son of his father, and until the approach of his majority he was not more than a wide-awake, but carefree farm lad. He was educated in the well-known schools of Dixon and Normal. Illinois, and his first real work was as a teacher of rural schools. He followed the pedagogic art for five years, and during the closing years of that work he became interested in selling life insurance during the summer vacation months. He succeeded so well at his vacation time labors that he decided it the part of wisdom to abandon his teaching and to enter the life insurance business in deadly earnest. He first became a solicitor for the Franklin Life of Springfield, Illinois, one of the popular old-line life insurance companies, and he occupied that position for some years, throwing his every energy into the work and making so admirable a record that the company appointed him general agent for the twenty-fifth congressional district of Illinois. His promotion was well justified and his accomplishments as the head of the force in his district soon proved the fact. He handled his body of solicitors with such tact and shrewdness that the business of the company made rapid advances and in 1902 Mr. Victor stood first man of the company in Illinois and seventh man of all the force, a fact which is eloquent of the splendid ability of the young man. In 1902 he won the special prize of a gold watch for the salesman taking the most applications during a six weeks' contest, which was a fast and furious one that tried the mettle of the finest and most capable solicitors in the Franklin forces. In 1908 Mr. Victor tired of the strenuous activities of the past ten years, and he cast about for a suitable business opening in which he might settle down. He eventually engaged in the hay, grain and commercial paper business in the community of his birth, and there he has since been busy conducting the affairs of his ever growing business and in sharing the public life of his town. His interest in that respect had never taken a political turn until in the campaign of 1910, when his activities in Republican contest over the nominee for the office of county superintendent of schools resulted in the shelving of an old office-seeker and saved the political life of a young and ambitious teacher who had amply demonstrated her fitness to manage the work of public education in her county.
On November 29, 1899, Mr. Victor was married to Miss Olive Doty, daughter of Dr. Monroe Doty, who has been practicing medicine here for many years. Dr. Doty comes of one of the earliest families of Jackson county, and nothing could be more fitting than that a few words be said here of him and his family. Dr. Monroe Doty is the great-grandson of Ephraim Doty, a soldier of the American Revolution and a participant in the historic "Boston Tea Party." This old veteran came to Illinois when the shades of evening were gathering about him and he sleeps in a cemetery in the neighborhood of Murphysboro. William, his son, came to Illinois from Tennessee when a young married man and engaged in farming, and in Jackson county was born James T. Doty, his son, and the man who became the father of Dr. Monroe Doty, father of Mrs. Victor. The Dotys of this family seem to have started westward from New Jersey. The sons of Ephraim Doty were Daniel and William. William married one Miss Tedford, who died and left children: Robert, for many years a merchant of De Soto, Illinois, and who finally died there; James T., the father of Dr. Monroe Doty; Nancy, who became the wife of Thomas Steele; Ephraim; John; Daniel; Elizabeth, who married James Cox, and Jane, who married Sabram Pate. William Doty's history was made chiefly as a farmer near Vergennes. He served as sheriff of Jackson county on the Democratic ticket, and he died during the war, at the age of eighty-one years. His son James was a cripple and was thus deprived of active connection with the stirring events of that time. James Doty married Caltha Stone, a native of Tennessee. The Stone family came out to Illinois in 1828, when Caltha was a small child, and there passed the remainder of their lives. Mrs. Doty died in 1905, surviving her husband by many years, his death occurring in 1868. Ten children were born of their union. They were named as follows: Susan, who died in Jackson county as the wife of John Beasley; William, who also passed away there; John, who never reached years of maturity; Dr. Monroe, still surviving; Levi, a farmer of Vergennes, Illinois; Sarah, who married Thomas Blacklock and lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma; Richard, of Jackson county; Dr. James Perry, who died in Union county; Jane and Robert E., both of Murphysboro, Illinois.
Monroe Doty began his active career by work as a country school teacher, spending nine winters at that work during the late sixties and early seventies. Following this he secured a clerkship in a drug store, and it was there he came in touch with the influences which induced him to embrace a professional career. His first knowledge of medical principles he obtained from the pharmaceutical books which were an accessory to the drug business, and when he was ready for a course of lectures he entered the Memphis Hospital Medical College in 1884 and was graduated therefrom in 1886. Taking up the practice of his profession, Dr. Doty first located at Herrin's Prairie, moving later to Mill Creek, Union county, and in 1887 established himself in Grand Chain, which town has known him and his good works since that time. He is a member of the Pulaski County and the State Medical Societies, and leads a quiet life, devoted to the care of his patients and the interests of his .family. Dr. Doty was married in Jackson county, on March 3, 1872, to Miss Nancy Heape, a daughter of Lysias Heape, a former resident of Perry county, Illinois, where Mrs. Doty was born on December 12, 1853. Mr. Heape married Martha Griffith, and their children were Zerilda, who married George Morgan, Mrs. Doty, Robert, John, George and Lysias. The children of Dr. and Mrs. Doty are John M., a traveling salesman, Mrs. Olive Victor, and Clara, the wife of Joe Gaunt, residents of Grand Chain.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 3, pages 1690-1692