Biography - William Looney

HON. WILLIAM A. LOONEY, M. D., a prominent physician of Vienna, Johnson County, was born in Henry County, Tenn., April 9, 1831. His father, William E. Looney, was born in North Carolina, and his father, Samuel Looney, was, it is thought, born in Ireland, of Irish ancestry. He spent his last days near Knoxville, Tenn., dying at the age of ninety-six years. The maiden name of his wife was Evan, and she spent the latter years of her life near Knoxville, Tenn. William E. Looney emigrated from North Carolina to Tennessee, settling in the northeast part of the State. He resided there many years and removed thence to Henry County, Tenn., living there until 1834, when he removed to Hinds County, Miss., and resided there until his death in 1836. He was engaged in the live-stock business, and at the time of his death was in Yellobushie County with stock. His remains were buried at Coffeeville. The maiden name of his wife was Phetna M. Frazier, who was born two miles from Knoxville, Tenn., and was the daughter of Julian and Elizabeth (McBee) Frazier. After her husband's death she returned to Tennessee and married David T. Whitnell, and removed to Kentucky, where she spent the last years of her life, dying in 1852.
William A. Looney was two years old when his father died, and he lived with his mother until her death. She was a well-educated woman, and after the death of her first husband she engaged in teaching school, young William receiving his first lessons from her. He removed to Illinois in 1855 and engaged in teaching school in Johnson County. He had begun the study of medicine before coming to Illinois, and his purpose in teaching in this State was to earn the money with which to pay his expenses while pursuing his medical studies. In 1857 he commenced the practice of medicine in Williamson County, and in 1865 attended a course of lectures at Rush Medical College, Chicago, graduating there with the Class of '68. In 1861 he raised the first company for the war in Williamson County, which became Company C, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry. Of this company when it was organized he was elected Captain. On the 7th of November, 1861, he was severely wounded at Belmont, Mo., but rejoined his company in time for the siege of Corinth, soon after which battle he was honorably discharged on account of disability arising from his former wounds.
Returning to Williamson County, our subject remained there until January, 1862, when he removed to Vienna and engaged in the practice of medicine. In 1864 he was elected to the State Legislature, and had the honor of voting for Gov. Yates for United States Senator. He was married in 1856, in Calloway County, Ky., to Rachel F. Caldwell, who was born in that county in 1838, and died in 1872. He was married the second time in 1874, to Maria Oliver, who was born in Johnson County, and died in 1884. His third marriage occurred in April, 1886, in Indiana, to Fanny E. Whitehead, who was born in Vienna, Ill. By his first marriage he had three children: James E., John T. and Fanny A. John T. is a graduate of Rush Medical College, and is in practice with his father. By his third wife the Doctor has two children, Esther and Joseph. Dr. Looney is a member of Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R.; of the Southern Illinois Medical Association; of Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M.; of Vienna Chapter No. 67, R. A. M., and of Cairo Commandery No. 13, K. T. He was formerly a Whig, but has been a Republican since the founding of the party.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 497-498.

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