Engle, William

Born: 1801-04-13 Virginia

Died: 1870-03-08 Menard County, Illinois

Flourished: Menard County, Illinois

William Engle was a farmer, merchant, state legislator, and pioneer settler of Menard County, Illinois. Engle emigrated from his native Virginia first to Kentucky and later to Ohio. He arrived in the portion of Sangamon County, Illinois, that would become Menard County in the spring of 1823. After raising a crop, Engle returned to Ohio, and returned soon after with the family of Leonard Alkire. In February 1825, he married Elizabeth Alkire, daughter of Leonard Alkire. Engle played a prominent role in the organization of Menard County, was among the first county commissioners, and opened the first mercantile establishment in the Sugar Grove precinct near Greenview. In 1850, Engle was operating his store and owned real property valued at $3,500. In 1853, Engle helped lay out the village of Sweet Water. Engle moved his store from his farm to the village, and in June 1853, he became postmaster of the village, serving in that role until April 1856. In November 1858, Engle won election, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body from January to February 1859. In 1860, he owned real property valued at $20,000 and had a personal estate of $15,650. Engle was survived by eight children.

The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 358-59, 364-65; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 1 February 1825, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Menard County, IL, 301; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1845-1855, 18:136; 1855-1865, 20a:27, National Archives Building, Washington, DC; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 9 September 1858, 2:3; 13 November 1858, 2:3; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 222; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Menard County, IL, 141; Gravestone, Alkire Cemetery, Sweet Water, IL.