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Below is a family biography included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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OLIVER, WILLIAM L., residence, Camp Point; was born in Lincoln county, Ky., Jan. 27, 1822. He is the son of David and Jemima (Frith) Oliver. His father was a native of North Carolina, his mother of Virginia. Mr. O. went to the tailors’ trade at the age of ten years, and followed it for sixteen years, after which he turned his attention to farming for six years before leaving that State. He left there in the fall of 1854, and, after spending some time in Indiana and Missouri, he settled in Camp Point township, Adams county, Ill., in 1856, and has lived in the village since the following spring. He continued in the tailoring business for a year; then, in company with H. T. Keenaw, erected a warehouse, and embarked in a general produce business. At the end of a year, he became sole proprietor, and combined with it the lumber trade. After two years, he formed a partnership with Silas Bailey for a year when they two, in company with Thomas Bailey and Ormand Noble, purchased a site and erected the Casco Mill, in 1865. Mr. O. bought the interests of his partners, one after another, until he became the sole owner in 1872. In 1862, he purchased a stock of general merchandise, and has since managed that business, also, until September, 1877. He formed a partnership with L. Oliver, under the firm name of Oliver & Son. He bought the mill at Clayton in March, 1875, for $7,000, which he still owns. He also purchased a stock of groceries of Mr. Bryant, in that place, in 1877, and, adding a stock of general merchandise, he took his son-in-law in partnership, and the business is run under the firm name of Oliver & Downing. He has been engaged in dealing and shipping livestock, for the past fifteen years, heavily. He was married, Feb. 13, 1845, to Miss Zerelda E. McClarey, who was born in Kentucky, May 22, 1822. They have had eight children, six living: Mary M., Tuder L., Alma E., Clarence H., Elmer E., and Ada A.; deceased were James D. and Wm. McCrary. Mr. O. owns eighty-nine acres of improved land in Camp Point township, twenty-one acres in Clayton township, and eighty acres of timber in Columbus township. Mr. O. came to Camp Point with a yoke of cattle and a horse, and $700 in money, as the sum of his earthly possessions. He is a member of the Masons and I. O. O. F.; also, of Chapter and Encampment, and has been an active temperance worker for nearly twenty years. Three of his children are married, and he has three grandchildren.

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This family biography is one of 1444 biographies included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Adams County, Illinois

View additional Adams County, Illinois family biographies here: Adams County, Illinois Biographies

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