William Keene Crockett (1857 – )

WILLIAM KEENE CROCKETT, who resides upon a fine farm of four hundred acres, section 28, Coal Valley township, is a well-known and highly respected citizen, one who thoroughly understands his calling, and whose ability as a farmer and worth as a citizen is acknowledged by all. He was born in Scott county, Kentucky, February 10, 1857, and is a son of Colonel William D. and Eliza (Ware) Crockett, both of whom were natives of Kentucky.

Colonel W. D. Crockett was one of the most polished men, a gentleman of the old school, kind-hearted and polite under all circumstances, one whom to know was to admire, and whose friends were many, and limited only to those who had in any manner formed his acquaintance. In early life he followed mercantile pursuits for a time, but almost his entire life was spent in farming, stock breeding and raising. He came to Rock Island county from Kentucky in 1868 and purchased a farm of three hundred twenty acres in Coal Valley township, to which he subsequently added eighty acres, and which comprises the excellent farm of our subject.

In 1883 he rented the farm to his son, William K., and removed to Waukegan, Lake county, where he engaged in the breeding of fine horses, a business in which he was quite successful. Among the most noted bred by him was ‘Lulu,’ which he sold for twenty thousand dollars, and ‘Judge Hayes,’ which he sold for five thousand dollars.

Colonel Crockett was married three times, his first union being with Miss Anna Graves, by whom he had three children, Thomas, Mattie and Charles. His second wife was Eliza Ware. By this union there were six children, four of whom are yet living -—Sallie Tee, now the wife of A. F. Vinton, of Moline; Fannie W., now the wife of B. J. Perrin, of Waukegan, Illinois; Phil M. and William Keene. The third wife was Mrs. Laura Perrin, widow of Nelson Perrin, of Waukegan. She yet resides in that city, and religiously is a Presbyterian.

Colonel Crockett died in Waukegan in 1892 at the age of seventy-three years. For many years he was a member of the Christian church and died in the faith. His second wife was also a member of that body. Politically, the Colonel was a Democrat of the most orthodox faith, and fraternally was a Mason.

David Crockett, the paternal grandfather, followed farming in Kentucky. He reared a large family, the descendants of whom are now widely scattered. The maternal grandfather was John Ware, a native of Kentucky.

William Keene Crockett was eleven years of age when he came with his parents to Rock Island county. His literary education was begun in the public schools of his native state and completed in the schools of Rock Island. Later he attended Bryant & Stratton’s Business College, Davenport, Iowa. His boyhood and youth were spent upon his father’s farm, but on leaving business college he entered the notion store of Field & Bro., Rock Island, where he remained two years. Returning to the farm he followed agricultural pursuits one year and then went to Maryville, Missouri, where he lived seven years, about five years of which time engaged in handling driving and trotting horses.

Renting the old homestead of his father in Coal Valley township, he commenced general farming, which occupation he has followed ever since. After the death of his father he purchased the interest of the other heirs, except that of Mrs. Vinton, of Moline. Since returning to the old farm he has given considerable attention to the raising of Durham cattle and Hambletonian horses, and is now the owner of ” Star Hambletonian,’ with a record of 2:23!.

On the 11th day of October, 1881, Mr. Crockett was united in marriage with Miss Emma Glenn, daughter of George and Susan Glenn, by whom he has three children,

Clara, Phil and Bert. Mrs. Crockett, who was a native of Athens, Illinois, died May 13, 1892. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, a woman of most excellent traits of character, an affectionate wife and loving mother.

Mr. Crockett is a member of the Christian church at Rock Island. Politically he is a Democrat. Never an office-seeker, and averse to holding official positions, nevertheless he has served eight years as school director, a position well qualified to fill for the reason of his deep interest in the public schools.”

Source:  The Biographical Record of Rock County, Illinois, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1897, pages, 179-180

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