Biography of William Adcock
Warren County, IL Biographies



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ADCOCK, WILLIAM, farmer and stock raiser, Kelly Township, Warren County, Ill., (postoffice address, Utah), comes of two old Virginia and Kentucky families, representatives of different lines which have, in different generations, become conspicuous in various parts of the country. Joseph Adcock, great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Kanawha County, Va., and married Susan Casson, a native of Buckingham County, Va. Their son, Edmund Adcock, born in Buckingham County, Va., November 23, 1800, married Cynthia Christian, a native of Kanawha County, March 13, 1823. Joseph W. Adcock, father of William Adcock, was their son. William McMurty and Ruth Champion, natives of Kentucky, married and were the parents of Mary Elizabeth McMurty, who married Joseph W. Adcock, August 30, 1849, and became the mother of the subject of this sketch.

Joseph W. Adcock was born near Charlestown, Kanawha County, Va., July 23, 1826, and died April 17, 1901. Mary Elizabeth McMurty, his wife, was born at Crawford, Ind., September 26, 1827. Captain Robert Christian, father of Cynthia Christian, who was Joseph W. Adcock's mother, commanded a company in the colonial army during the Revolutionary War. After their marriage, Edmund Adcock and his wife went to Crawford County, Ind., anu in 1829 to Illinois. Mr. Adcock took np half of Section 3 in what is now Henderson Township, Knox County, on which he built a little log house in which the family lived until the spring of 1833. During the Black Hawk War Indian alarms were frequent and, at one time, Mr. Adcock and William McMurty took their families for safety to a fort a mile distant from Adcock's improvement. Early in 1833 Mr. Adcock settled on the northwest quarter of Section 27, Kelly Township. There he built a log house, which after a few years, was superceded by a frame residence, in which he died May 7, 1859. His wife survived him until October 26, 1865. They had three children named Joseph W., Robert J. and Cynthia Elizabeth. The latter married John McMullen. Joseph W. Adcock married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of William McMurty. a native of Kentucky. who settled in Knox County in 1829, and became Lieutenant-Governor of Illinois in 1848. He was a member of the State Legislature, serving one term in each house, and was one of the commissioners who had in charge the erection of the State Penitentiary at Joliet. From time to time he discharged other important functions and assisted in the organization of the One Hundred and Second Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, of which he was chosen Colonel and commissioned by Gov. Yates, on account of impaired health, however, serving only a short period. For thirty years he served as treasurer of the Illinois Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M. His death occurred in 1875. The maternal great-grandparents of the subject of tbis sketch were James McMurty and his wife, who was a Miss Lucas. The father of James McMurty was also James McMurty, who was killed by the Indians in General Harimer's defeat. This ancestor came from Scotland to Ireland, thence to North Carolina, at Cedar River, near Wilmington.

Joseph W. Adcock became the owner of over 750 acres of land and was a successful farmer and business man. He served at one time as County Surveyor, and was known as a man of fine education and mental equipments. His son. Edmund, is a lawyer in Chicago; a daughter. Cynthia, married E. B. Terpening; another son, Robert J., is practicing law at Los Angeles, Cal.; his daughter, Ruth F., married C. F. Barnett; a third daughter, Lucy, is dead; while still another daughter, Mary, married N. T. Adcock. His son, William, the immediate subject of this sketch, was born in Kelly Township, July 3, 1850, graduated from Abingdon College in 1871, and married in Knox County, Ill., July 13, 1876, Mary Jane Henderson, who was born in that county, November 2, 1856, a daughter of David and Sophia (Davis) Henderson. Mr. Henderson was born in Pennsylvania in 1823; Mrs. Henderson in Indiana in 1829. They were married in Fayette County, Penn., and came to Knox County, Ill., in 1850, and became prominent in Henderson Township. Mr. Henderson died, June, 1901.

After his marriage Mr. Adcock bought a farm to which he has added until he now owns about 800 acres of level tillable land, located in Kelly, Coldbrook and Tompkins Townships, Warren County, and Henderson Township, Knox County. As a Democrat he takes an active part in local affairs. He has six times filled the offive of Supervisor, was Chairman of the County Board in 1890, and was a member of the Board when the county court house was built. He has also been elected to the offices of Road Commissioner and Town Clerk of Kelly Township and, in 1890, was a candidate for the State Legislature, being defeated by only a few votes.

William and Mary Jane (Henderson) Adcock have children named Edmund D., Mea S., born July 18, 1878, and Joseph W., born July 10, 1899. Edmund D., who was born April 29, 1877, graduated from Knox College in 1898, read law with his uncle in Chicago, graduated from the Northern University in 1902, and admitted to the bar the same year. Mae S. is also a graduate of Knox College, and married J. Bullman, a graduate of Lombard University and the only child of Theodore and Sarah Bullman of Kelly Township.

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois
and the history of Warren County.
Edited by: Newton Bareman, LL. D. & Paul Selby, A. M.
Published by: Munsell Publishing Company
Chicago 1903.