Biography - William Gilliam

WILLIAM HENRY GILLIAM is prominent in the social, literary and political circles of Johnson County as the talented editor and proprietor of the Vienna Weekly Times, which, under his business-like and judicious management, is a newspaper of the highest merit, and is classed among the leading journals of the southern section of the State. Our subject is a native of Weakley County, Tenn., and was born December 1, 1856. His father, Thomas H. Gilliam, who was a prosperous and well-known farmer of Burnside Township, was born in Dinwiddle County, Va., and was reared and married in his native State, Sarah E., a daughter of Thomas Hill, and a Virginian by birth, becoming his wife. It is supposed that the paternal grandfather of our subject passed his entire life in Virginia. The father of our subject left his early home while yet a young man, first settling in Gibson County, Tenn., whence he removed to Henry County, and from there to Weakley County, both in Tennessee. He resided in the latter county some years, but finally moved Northward as far as Calloway County, Ky., and in 1862 came thence to Johnson County. He bought a tract of land in what is now Burnside Township, developed it into a fine farm, and was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred November 18, 1892, at the age of sixty-two years. The village of Ozark is located on his farm. The wife of his early manhood, whose cheerful and ready help at all times was such an aid to him in the up-building of a home, has also passed away, closing her eyes in death in January, 1889.
The subject of this sketch was six years old when his parents brought him to Illinois. He attended the district school in his boyhood, and subsequently became a student at Ewing College, where his record for good scholarship was high. At the age of nineteen he commenced teaching, confining his labors in that line to the winter seasons. When not teaching or attending school, he worked on his father's farm. A few months were spent as clerk in the postoffice at New Burnside, and also in the Circuit Clerk's office, while in 1882 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of the county, and served in that capacity, and in the office of the Circuit Clerk, until 1885, gaining then a clear insight into public affairs that has been of benefit to him since he entered the editorial field in that year. He then bought a half interest in the Weekly Times, with G. W. Ballance as partner. In October, 1886, he bought the latter's share of the paper, and has since been sole editor and proprietor. This is an admirably conducted paper, a bright and healthy family journal, keeping its patrons well informed on all matters of general concern, and influential in fostering the business interests of the village and county and all enterprises that will in any way promote their growth. Mr. Gilliam has a job-printing office, which he operates in connection with his newspaper work, and has plenty of business in that line. He is a young man of considerable force of character, combined with pleasant social traits that make him a good comrade and a steadfast friend. He is a thorough Republican in his political sympathies, and his paper is a valuable ally of the party in disseminating its principles. Fraternally, our subject is a member of Vesta Lodge No. 340, I. O. O. F.; and of Vienna Encampment No. 53.
Mr. Gilliam was married at Vienna in June, 1890, to Miss Dimple Perkins, a native of Howard County, Mo., and a daughter of Henry Stewart Perkins, deceased. They have established a cheery, hospitable home, which is further brightened by the little son that has been born to them, and whom they have named Frank.

Extracted 23 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 206-207.

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