Biography - William Weeks

WILLIAM F. WEEKS, who is proprietor of a gentleman's clothing and furnishing goods establishment at Belknap, is a young man of fine business qualifications and bids fair to become one of the solid, substantial citizens of Johnson County. He was born August 9, 1864, on a farm in Pope County, and is a son of James Weeks, also a native of that county, coming of one of its earliest pioneer families. He was born in 1827, and was early deprived of motherly care and paternal guidance, as his parents died when he was a child of seven years. He went to live with an elder brother and had but little chance to attend school, but in later years he made up for the early deficiencies of his education by application to books, and by acquiring a knowledge of places and events through observation. He remained with his brother until he was twenty years old, and then took unto himself a wife in the person of Harriet M. Walker, who has been to him a true helpmate and loving companion. She came from Tennessee to Vopo County with her parents, who were earl}' settlers of the county, improving a good farm from the wilderness.
After his marriage James Weeks rented land in Pope County, and his wife actively co-operated with him in the making of a home. He did well in his undertakings, and several years later was enabled to buy a farm in the center of the county from his savings. He cleared his land, and in due time he and his wife found themselves in possession of a comfortable, well-improved property. He finally disposed of his farm and, packing up the household goods, started with his family for Missouri. They tarried on the way three years in Kentucky, where the father raised a crop. Resuming their journey, they at length arrived in southeastern Missouri, where Mr. Weeks bought a large tract of timber land, some five hundred acres, and in the ensuing years ho engaged extensively in the wood business, his land being conveniently situated near the river, and he cleared a farm.
Mr. Weeks disposed of the farm just mentioned at the end of twelve years' possession, and bought another on the rich bottom lands of the river. This proved to be a disastrous investment, as an unexpected and unprecedented rise of the river caused such an overflow of water as not only to destroy his buildings and improvements, but rendered the fertile, productive land worthless. By this disaster Mr. Weeks was reduced to poverty, and he began life anew in Tennessee, where he raised one crop on the bottom lands and one on the hills, and also worked at the lumber business. He managed in that manner to improve his financial condition. Returning to Illinois, he boughta small farm, with improvements, in Massac County. He lived there three years, and then came to Johnson County to devote himself to the ministry, as pastor of the Baptist Church at Belknap, over which he presided the ensuing three years. He is now engaged in farming to a limited extent. He is a man of sincere Christian piety, who is well and favorably known. He and his estimable wife were blessed in their union by the birth of nine children: Mahala, wife of James Hamer; Albert, James, Malcolm and Newton, all deceased; William Franklin; Elizabeth, wife of John Vernon, of Tennessee; Minnie, wife of William Stears, of Bloomfield, Mo.; and James R., who died in Missouri.
Our subject is the sixth child of the family. His boyhood was passed much like that of other farmers' boys. He received a good home training and obtained a fair education in the common schools. He made his home with his parents until he was twenty-five years old, and at that age married Ettie L. Redden, of Pope County, and actively set about making a home of his own. For a month after his marriage he worked out, and then took advantage of a good opportunity to go into the dry-goods and grocery business at Belknap, commencing on a very small scale. He did well, but at the end of two years disposed entirely of his grocery stock, continuing the sale of dry goods for a year and a-half, and then entered upon his present business. He has a neat and well-conducted establishment, has a fine assortment of everything in his line, and his constantly increasing patronage testifies to the satisfaction that his customers are sure to receive at his hands. His push and business tact are shown in the fact that he has built up this business without any help, and he is clearly entitled to succeed. He and his wife have a cozy, happy home, which was blessed with three children: Everet Guy (deceased), William V., and a child that died in infancy. Politically, Mr. Weeks is an ardent Democrat. He and his wife are identified with the religious element of the community as church members — he of the Baptist Church and she of the Methodist.

Extracted 16 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 135-136.

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