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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (P)
William Patrick

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, was reached.

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.

Thanks to Jensen Crystal for sending in this account.

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