“WILLIAM H. PILKINGTON has for many years been prominently identified with the principal interests of La Fayette County as one of its most successful and enterprising farmers. The highly improved estate which he owns and operates is located on section 9, township 48, range 26, and is embellished with all the buildings necessary for the successful prosecution of agricultural work. The residence was erected by Mr. Pilkington at a cost of about $1,400, and is substantial and complete in every detail. The barns are commodious, the wheat bins have a capacity of eight hundred bushels, and the corncribs, which are double, holds sixteen hundred bushels. The orchards contain a large number of trees bearing fine grades of fruit, and everything about the place shows careful oversight and prudent management.
The father of our subject, William P’ilkington, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1803, and in his native country was united in marriage with Miss Hannah Towers, a native of the same shire as himself, and born in 1806. In 1829 they came to America and settled at Lowell, Mass., whence they removed to Stockport, N. Y., and there resided for thirteen years. Afterward they removed to the West and settled on a farm near Providence, Bureau County, Ill., the trip hither being made from Albany to Chicago via canal and the Lakes. William Pilkington commenced to clear and improve the raw prairie land which he had purchased, and, in order to erect a suitable structure for the abode of his family, was forced to haul lumber a distance of one hundred and eighteen miles.
After residing in Illinois for twenty-seven years, during which time he engaged as a tiller of the soil, William Pilkington came to Missouri in 1866 and settled in La Fayette County. For some time he owned and was proprietor of a store in township 48, range 26, and, both as a business man and in a social way, he became well known throughout this section of country. His death occurred in 1870. His widow still survives, making her home in Bureau County, Ill. They were, in their religious connections, members of the Episcopal Church, in which he was an active worker. In politics, he was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party, with which he afterward affiliated, and his fellow-citizens often called him to service in official capacities. By trade he was a calico weaver, but the most of his active life was spent in farming and merchandising.
The parental family included ten children, of whom six now survive. Our subject, who is the only member of the family now residing in Missouri, was born in Lowell, Mass., November 25, 1830. His childhood days were passed in New York State, and he accompanied his parents in their removal to Illinois, where he was for a time a pupil in the district schools of Bureau County, and also attended a select school there. He remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, meanwhile aiding his father in the work of breaking the soil and harvesting the grain on the home farm.
In 1852, Mr. Pilkington went to California by the Nicaragua route to San Francisco, and for one year worked for his uncle, who had a trading-post at the Third Crossing of the Calaveras River. Thence he removed to Santa Cruz, on the Bay of Monterey, where he engaged in farming pursuits for two years. He then returned to Illinois and farmed a portion of the old homestead, which he had purchased from bis father. In 1868 he came to Missouri and located on his present farm, which was then only partly improved. He now has two hundred acres, all under cultivation, and there engages in general farming and stock-raising. Sheep, hogs, cattle and horses of good grades maybe seen on his farm, and he has met with success in this line of agriculture.. The marriage of Mr. Pilkington in 1858 united him with Miss Mary, daughter of Richard Ware, of Crooke, North Tawton, Devonshire, England, who settled in Bureau County, Ill., April 2, 1859. Mrs. Pilkington was born in England July 15, 1833, and is a lady of refined character and great kindness of heart. Although having no children of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Pilkington have taken into their home and reared to maturity three children: William R. Corser, Annie Ware and Sue Ware. The adopted son has been given the benefit of a good, practical education and is fitted for a position of usefulness and honor. Annie is a student at Warrensburgh Normal School. The religious home of the family is in the Episcopal Church, in which denomination they are earnest workers. In his political belief, Mr. Pilkington is a Republican, loyal at all times to party principles. He was Road Commissioner in Stark County, Ill., for six years, and has also served as Road Overseer in this county. Socially, he is a member of the Grange, of which he has been Master for eight years.”
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of LaFayette and Saline Counties, Missouri, by Chapman Bros., Chicago, 1893, pages 560-1