WILLIAM P. McGUIRE belongs to one of those Tennessee families who emigrated to Illinois many
years ago and found upon the prairie the air of liberty and the institutions which they desired
for their children. The year 1850 is the date of his first coming to Moultrie County, and he has
been in the business of merchandising most of the time since 1853.
Our subject was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., September 17, 1829, and is the son of Thomas
and Rachel (Ashmore) McGuire, Tennesseeans by birth, of whom more is told at length in the
biography of their son, Joseph H. McGuire. In 1840 the family removed to Illinois and made
their first home in Coles County, where they resided until they came to this section. The early
life of William McGuire was spent upon a farm and he assisted his father until he started out
for himself. He thus gained a thorough knowledge of farm work and a sound and hearty constitution
as well as invaluable habits of industry and application.
Margaret Ashmore, a daughter of Alfred Ashmore, became the wife of our subject in 1856. She was
born in this county and had been brought up here and by the judicious training and education
which had been given her she was well fitted to fill the position which she occupied. The ordinary
trials of a young wife and housekeeper, were supplemented within four years after her marriage by
the cares and anxieties which befell the wives of soldiers, for in 1861 her husband enlisted in
the service of his country, being mustered into service with Company F, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry.
The regiment with which our subject was connected was commanded by Col. William Norrison, and Mr.
McGuire served under him, until 1863, when he received an honorable discharge on account of a wound
received in the battle of Ft. Donelson. This wound had very serious effect upon his constitution as
the injury resulted in partially paralyzing his left side. After recruiting from this injury Mr.
McGuire engaged in the business of merchandising at Bethany and has since that time continued in
this line of work.
A truly patriarchal family of twelve have clustered around the fireside of our subject, and nine
of this number are living, whose names are as follows: James L. an implement dealer in Bethany; Thomas,
a druggist of Bethany; William who is in the store with his father; Clarence, Claude, Mary E., wife of
Thomas Lytle of Decatur; Rachel A., Cora and Nannie. The members of the family seem to inherit the
ability and characteristics of parents and although still young the sons and daughters are adding to
the family reputation by their good judgment, business qualities and attractive traits of character.
The Republican party in its declarations embodies the political principles which out subject considers
a safe guide for State and nation. He has been a member of the Board of Supervisors for some fifteen
years and Justice of the Peace for the same length of time and still holds this latter office. For
more than forty years he has been a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and for a number
of years, has served as Elder therein. He is identified with the Knights Templar and also with the
Grand Army of the Republic, in which latter organization he has been Commander of the Washington
Alexander Post No. 176. Aside from his business in Bethany he was for one year carrying on mercantile
business in Dalton City.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 340/341
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb