One of the prominent figures in the journalistic field of Southern Illinois, and a man who has been identified with educational movements here for many years, is William H. Gilliam, editor of the Vienna Weekly Times. Mr. Gilliam, who has the best interests of the community at heart, is editing a clean, wholesome sheet which wields a great deal of influence among the people of this part of the country and may always be counted upon to support all movements of a progressive nature. William H. Gilliam, who is serving in the capacity of postmaster of Vienna, was born December 1, 1856, in Weakley county, Tennessee, and is a son of Thomas H. Gilliam.

Thomas H. Gilliam was born in Dinwiddie county, Virginia, and was there married to Sarah E. Hill, daughter of Thomas Hill, a Virginian by birth. After his marriage Mr. Gilliam went to Gibson county, Tennessee, thence to Henry county, and eventually to Weakley county, in the same state. Later he removed to Galloway county, Kentucky, but in 1862 disposed of his interests there and came to Johnson county, Illinois, buying a fine farm in Burnside township, on which the village of Ozark is now located, and there he died November 18, 1892, aged sixty-two years, his wife having passed away in 1889. Six children had been born to them, namely: Joseph, William II., Alice, Charles, Robert and Mary of whom Robert, William H. and Mary survive.

William H. Gilliam was six years of age when the family came to Illinois and after completing his studies in the public schools he entered Ewing College. When nineteen years old he commenced teaching during the winters and working on the farm during the summer months and then became clerk in the postoffice at New Burnside, subsequently filling a clerical position in the circuit clerk's office at Vienna. In 1882 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Johnson county, serving in that capacity and in the circuit clerk's office until 1885, and in that year purchased a half interest in the Weekly Times, with G. W. Ballance as partner. In October, 1886, he became sole proprietor of this newspaper, which has become one of the leading news sheets of this part of the state. Mr. Gilliam has always tried to give his subscribers the best and latest news of both a national and local nature, and the rapid growth of this periodical shows that his labors in the field of journalism have not been in vain and that the people have not failed to appreciate his efforts in their behalf. In connection with his plant he conducts a job printing office, where only the best class of work is done, and he has built up quite a large trade in this line. Mr. Gilliam has been prominent also in the educational field. From 1893 to 1898 he was clerk of the board of education, serving as such at the time the new high school was erected. In 1897 he was appointed postmaster at Vienna, and his work in this capacity has been so successful that he is now serving his fourth term. He is an efficient and courteous official and has discharged the duties of his office with so much ability and conscientiousness that his service in his important position has been an eminently satisfactory one. Fraternally Mr. Gilliam is connected with Vesta Lodge, No. 340, I. 0. 0. F., and Vienna Encampment, No. 53; Romeo Lodge, No. 651, Knights of Pythias; and is popular in all. His wife is a member of the D. of R., Vienna Lodge, No. 187. Politically he adheres to the principles of the Republican party.

In June, 1890, Mr. Gilliam was married to Miss Dimple Perkins, a native of Howard county, Missouri, and daughter of Henry Stewart Perkins, deceased. Three children have been born to this union: Frank, born in 1891; Lois, born in 1894; and Marian, who died in May, 1908, aged twelve years. Mr. and Mrs. Gilliam are faithful church members, he of the Baptist and she of the Methodist.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1304-1305.

Templates in Time