Cline, William N.

Born: 1820-12-20 Rockingham County, Virginia

Died: 1905-11-29 California

Flourished: Fulton County, Illinois

William N. Cline was a physician, local government official, state legislator, school commissioner, businessman, railroad executive, and insurance executive. Cline received his early education at a private school in his native Virginia. He resided on the family homestead until the age of fifteen, when he emigrated with his father to Ohio, where he attended local public schools. Having decided on a career in medicine, Cline entered Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1840. Two years later, he emigrated to Illinois, settling in Cuba, where he established a medical practice. In May 1844, Cline married Lois Webster, with whom he had five children. Cline's medical practice proved successful, allowing him to also engage in civic affairs. He was a Democrat and advocate for temperance. He was school commissioner for Fulton County from 1849 to 1851. From 1850 to 1855, Cline was town clerk for Putnam Township, and he was a member of the Board of Supervisors from 1856 to 1858. In 1854, Fulton County voters elected Cline, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served from January to February 1855. In 1857, Cline became president of the Mississippi & Wabash Railroad. In 1860, he was living and practicing medicine in Lewistown and owned real and personal property valued at $13,100. Upon the commencement of the Civil War, Cline became president of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ Insurance Company, a position he held throughout the war.

Portrait & Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois (Chicago: Biographical, 1890), 213-14; History of Fulton County Illinois (Peoria, IL: Chas. C. Chapman, 1879), 879, 978, 979; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Fulton County, 30 May 1844, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Lewistown, Fulton County, IL, 20; California, U.S., Death Index, 1905-1939 (Provo, UT: Operations, 2013); Gravestone, Rialto Park Cemetery, Rialto, CA.