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Biography - William Gracey

WILLIAM C. GRACEY, an influential and prosperous agriculturist of Shoal Creek Township, Bond County, Ill., resides upon a highly-cultivated farm, so located that it commands a fine view of the surrounding country and the adjoining town of Sorento. The handsome residence, pleasantly located upon an eminence, is most attractive, and with its well-kept grounds and acres rich in harvest, suggests the wise and thrifty management of its energetic owner. On a farm in Bond County, a few miles west of Greenville, our subject was born, February 19, 1835, the seventh of a family of ten children.

The father and mother were William and Isabella (Harris) Gracey, the former born in 1788 in North Carolina, but whose father was a native of Ireland, who had immigrated to America long before the Revolutionary War, in which he took a prominent part, serving with distinction in the struggle for independence and National liberty. The maternal grandfather of our subject was a Scotchman, and he too arrived in the New World before the troublous days of '76, and early became a law-abiding citizen of the United States. William Gracey, the father of our subject, was the youngest of three brothers, John and Joseph being his elders.

In 1823, John, who was an ambitious man, journeyed to Illinois, to see if the reports of the advantages which this State was said to offer settlers were true. He was pleased with the soil and climate, and the next year, 1823, the remainder of the family followed him here, the venerable grandfather accompanying them to their new home. John settled in Madison County, where he resided until the day of his death. The other members of the family located in Bond County, near Greenville, upon the homestead afterward the birthplace of William C. Grandfather Gracey passed peacefully away in 1825, and in 1839 his son, the father of our subject, also died. His wife survived him until March, 1839, and Uncle Joseph, who was a vigorous man, lived to remove to Macoupin County in 1862, and died there four years later.

The brothers and sisters who gathered together in the old homestead were Harvey Rush, the eldest, who died when he was twenty-one years of age; Rachael D., now residing near Dallas, Tex., married William McGahey, who died during the Civil War while at the front caring for his soldier son, who was sick in the hospital in which the father himself, struck down by sudden illness, breathed his last; Margaret, who married William Robinson, and died two years later, leaving one child; Mary, who married Jefferson McCormack, died after four years of wedded life, and left no issue; Marcus D. Lafayette, a ranchman, wealthy and energetic, who lives near Dallas, Tex.; Casper Grundy, also a resident of Dallas, Tex.; Emory, also an influential ranchman, located in the same vicinity; Isabella, the wife of William Senter, who died in Texas, leaving three children. The youngest sister was scalded to death, when only two years of age, by pulling down a pot of boiling coffee from the stove. The youngest brother was a Captain in the Confederate army during the late war.

After the death of his father, Mr. Gracey went to Macoupin County to live, and in 1854 married Miss Sarah J., daughter of James and Margaret (McLean) McGahey, who settled in Illinois in 1826, having removed hither from their native State, North Carolina. Mr. Gracey finally returned to Bond County, with his wife, and is located on the valuable homestead where he and his family now reside. Mr. and Mrs. Gracey have had five children: Edward P., a prominent lumber merchant of Sorento; James R., a prosperous stock-raiser, residing in Hall County, Tex.; Ada A., the wife of Dr. N. H. Jackson, a well-known physician of Greenville; Dora, the widow of Herman Siemens; and Delia Mary, a teacher in the public schools of Sorento, and a graduate of Almira College, in Greenville, Ill. These sons and daughters of our subject all occupy honorable and influential positions, and have the respect and confidence of the community in which they were raised and carefully trained to become useful and upright citizens.

William Gracey, his ancestors and descendants, were and are stanch Democrats, and although not politicians, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, are all interested in the conduct of public office, both National and local. Mr. Gracey is a valued member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and together with his family has materially aided in extending the good work and influence of the organization.

Extracted 20 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 362-363.

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