Biographical Record of
Macoupin Co, ILL 1904
WILLIAM Patrick, one of the
highly esteemed retired residents of Staunton, Macoupin County, was born
April 28, 1831, in Ayrshire, Scotland, and was nine years of age when he
accompanied his parents, John and Margaret (Stirritt) Patrick, to America.
John Patrick was born September 25, 1788, in Ayrshire, Scotland, and died
near Bunker Hill, Illinois, October 13, 1867. In his own land, he was an
expert silk weaver, but, with a family of 13 children, he found it necessary
to make a change in order to provide for their necessities.
Hence, in 1841, with his family and household possessions, among which was a
sword which had done good work in the hands of an ancestor in the early
wars, he sailed from Liverpool, and by slow traveling at length reached
Bunker Hill, Illinois, which was then a hamlet of 10 houses and one general
store. Here he bought 120 acres of land and spent the remainder of his life.
His wife Margaret was the only daughter of James Stirritt, and was born
September 16, 1792, in Dairi (Dalry), Scotland, and died January 18, 1874,
aged 83 years. The eight members of their family who reached maturity were;
James, who died at Alton, Illinois; John, who died at Bunker Hill, Macoupin
County; Mrs. Ann Templeton, who died at Bunker Hill, Macoupin County; Mrs.
Margaret Muir, who died near St. Louis, Missouri; Mrs. Janet Galloway, who
died at Bunker Hill, Macoupin County; William, who is the subject of this
sketch; Mrs. Mary Dickie, who is the mother of Postmaster Dickie, of, Bunker
Hill, Macoupin County; and Robert E., of Omaha, Nebraska. The family was
reared in the Presbyterian Church.
Although 63 years have passed since Mr. Patrick left his natitve land,
during which period he has lived an active and at times an adventurous life,
he distinctly recalls the family embarkation at Liverpool, the long voyage
of 39 days before landing at New York and the continued trip across the
country to Pittsburg, from which point an Ohio River boat transferred the
travelers to one on the great Mississippi, and at length Alton, Illinois,
Including the wait of two weeks at Pittsburg, the trip from the coast had
taken over a month which can now be accomplished in less than 24 hours. Mr.
Patricks boyish interest was excited by the way the hinged smokestacks on
the locomotives were worked as the noisy little engines passed under
bridges. One Winter was passed by the family at Alton, but in 1842 they
permanently located at Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, and our subject
remained with his father until he was 18 years of age.
In 1850 he started with an ox team to cross the plains to California,
accompanied by his brother-in-law, Andrew Muir. After many adventures and
dangers from the Indians, they reached the gold regions and Mr. Patrick
spent seven years there, accumulating a capital which gave him a good start
in life. He earned it by hard work, working in deep canyons, where he saw
the sun neither rise nor set, enjoying its light for but a few hours a day.
He returned to Bunker Hill, but a year later crossed the plains again with a
mule team, in 1859.
Mr. Patrick has the honor of being one of the discoverers of gold at Central
City, and was a companion of Green Russell, of Georgia, who named Russells
Gulch, a rich mining locality. Mr. Patrick discovered the noted Mammoth
Lode, and in the fall he returned to Bunker Hill. In the following spring,
equipped with tools and mining machinery, including a quartz mill, he made a
third trip and worked in this lode until late in the fall and again
returned. This was Mr. Patrick’s last trip to the far West.
When the last call was made for troops for the Civil War, Mr. Patrick
enlisted in Company G, 20th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., and served until the
close of the war, taking part in the battles of Nashville, Tennessee, and of
Wise's Forks, North Carolina, and was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky
in July, 1865. Mr. Patrick draws a pension, and is a member of the Grand
Army of the Republic.
After remaining one more year at Bunker Hill, he went to Montgomery County,
Illinois, where he improved a farm and continued to operate it for 12 years,
removing then to Staunton, where he has resided ever since. Mr. Patrick
opened up a stone quarry, but this venture was not successful, and brought
upon him a loss of some $2,000.
He built his present pretentious home for a hotel and operated it for 10
years as the Patrick Hotel, and since then has occupied it as a private
residence. For seven years he was engineer for the Consolidated Coal
Company. For some years he has lived retired from business responsibilities.
Mr. Patrick was married March 14, 1860, to Althea Aeolian Wood, who was born
near Bunker Hill, Illinois, March 14, 1837, and is one of a family of eight
children born to Samuel and Keziah (Daugherty) Wood, natives of Kentucky.
The children of this marriage were: William H., who is a banker at
Clarendon, Texas; Jeannet, who is the wife of Charles R. Wall, a banker of
Staunton, Macoupin County; Elgin, who is a resident of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; Rosalie, the widow of Charles D. Mitchell, who resides with
our subject, with her two children, Leland and Margaret; George Bley, a
resident of Decatur, Illinois, who is a conductor on the Wabash Railroad,
and has two children, Hazel and George; and Bernean, who lives at home. One
son, Bernard, died aged one year.
Mr. Patrick has always supported the Republican party, but has not sought
political honors, although his friends have upon several occasions elected
him alderman. He was reared in the Presbyterian Church. Fraternally he is a
Royal Arch Mason, and is an honorary member of the Woodmen.
Jensen Crystal for sending in this account.