WILLIAM PATTERSON. A general farmer and stock-raiser living near the city of Sullivan, Moultrie
County, which place has grown from an unbroken prairie to its present populous condition since he
came here in the spring of 1836, is one of the old timers of the county, and was a merchant for
several years in Sullivan. He came here prior to the winter which is so, famous in the annals of
the county as being marked by the "sudden change" in temperature, when ice froze several inches
thick in fifteen minutes according to the traditions of the old inhabitants.
Mr. Patterson took his farm when it was mostly unbroken prairie, and has achieved success, although
at one time he lost a modest fortune. He still owns an excellent farm of more than one hundred acres
which is well improved, but most of his property is within the city limits. While he was engaged in
the mercantile business he was unfortunate and met with heavy losses, but has recovered from them.
He was here before the county was changed from Shelby to Moultrie, and in the early days wild game
was abundant, and he says that he has seen as many as forty deer together at one time.
Mr. Patterson is a native of this State, being born in Union County, August 6, 1817. His father, Levi
Patterson, was a native of Kentucky, and his grandfather, James Patterson, was a Virginian by birth,
and prominent in the War of 1812, fighting with Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, and being one
of the regiments that met, defeated and slew Gen. Packingham. He is now interred in the soil of Sullivan
County, having spent his last years in this region and dying in old age. His religious belief had led him
to connect himself with the Baptist Church, and his political opinions allied him with the Democratic party.
Levi Patterson was reared in Kentucky, and there married Jane Penrod, a Tennesseean by birth and
education, and the young couple soon emigrated to Illinois, settling at an early day in Union County,
where all their children were born. In 1836 the whole household removed to what is now Moultrie County,
traveling a distance of just two hundred miles, which trip, at that time traveling with team and covered
wagon, occupied one month. Levi Patterson entered a large tract of Government land which was at that time
known as the "Lost Land", the Government's first survey having been lost. Here he lived and died, passing
away at the age of fifty-five years, an earnest member of the Christian Church in his religious belief,
and a stanch Democrat in politics. He was twice married and both wives brough to him children, and died
in this county.
Our subject is the second child by his father's first marriage, and he has all the experience of a pioneer,
and loves to tell the story of the log schoolhouse with its stick chimney, puncheon floor and rough seats.
After reaching his majority, he returned to Union County to claim his bride in the person of Miss Margaret
Carriker, a native of that county where her parents had settled at an early date, coming there from North
Carolina. They came of Dutch stock, and belonged to old and highly esteemed North Carolina families and,
died in Union County full of years.
For more than half a century Mr. Patterson and his faithful and devoted wife have labored together and
she is now in rather poor health, while Mr. Patterson is still robust and active. They were both members
of the Christian Church, and helped to organize that body here, being among its charter members, and Mr.
Paterson acting as Deacon for years. He had held some local offices of trust and responsibility, and has
always adhered to the principles of the Democratic party, and at present the Farmers' Mutual Benefit
Association claims his allegiance.
A truly patriarchal family, is that of Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, six children having passed to the other
shore, and eight being still upon this side. They are as follows: Daniel, who took to wife Ellen Hoke,
and now farms in Sullivan Township; William J., who is in the same line of work, and married Rebecca
Lynder; Bushrod who married Miss Kate Blackwell, who has died, and who now makes his home with his father
while managing a farm in this township; George, who took to wife Miss Lydia Glabrook, and now lives on
a farm in Whitley Township, this county; Belle, who lives at home; Maggie, who is the wife of Stephen
Underwood, and lives on a farm in this township; and Sarah, is the wife of Richard Palmer, and lives in
Nelson Township; and Sue A., wife of John Ham, and lives in Washington State.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 220/221
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb