Funkhouser, Presley

Born: 1811-11-01 Green County, Kentucky

Died: 1861-11-01 Effingham County, Illinois

Flourished: Effingham County, Illinois

Presley Funkhouser was a farmer, landowner, hotelier, merchant, state legislator, and pioneer settler of Effingham County, Illinois. Funkhouser moved with his parents from his native Kentucky to Illinois in 1814, settling in Saline County. In 1820, the family moved to White County, and finally settled in Effingham County in 1829. Funkhouser made a temporary settlement on Lucas Creek in what would become Lucas Township in 1831. In November 1832, he married Nancy Bishop, with whom he would have thirteen children. After one or two years, Funkhouser and his family moved to what would become Jackson Township, settling near Ewington. Funkhouser became a prominent citizen of the county, and acquired numerous tracts of public land in both Effingham and Fayette counties. Funkhouser devoted most of his energies to agriculture, but he also operated a store, hotel, and horse mill. In 1836, he became a commissioner on the Effingham County Commissioners’ Court, and he also served in that capacity from 1838 to 1840. He also served for many years as a justice of the peace and associate county judge. In August 1844, Effingham County voters elected Funkhouser, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, and he won reelection in 1846, serving in the House from December 1844 to March 1847. In 1850, Funkhouser was farming and owned real property valued at $5,000. In 1853, he returned to the Illinois House, serving this time from January 1853 to February 1855. In 1856, Funkhouser was a founding member and first vice president of the Effingham County Agricultural Society. He was society treasurer in 1857. By 1860, Funkhouser was living in Ewington and owned real property valued at $30,000 and had a personal estate of $13,000. In 1861, Funkhouser became a member of the Illinois Senate, serving in that body from January to May 1861.

William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Effingham County, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1883), 21, 23, 41, 53, 70, 71, 74, 245; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 399, 425; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Clay County, 29 November 1832, Illinois State Archives, Springfield; For an exhaustive list of Funkhouser's land purchases, search "Funkhouser Presley,"; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Effingham County, IL, 300; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ewington, Effingham County, IL, 102; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 212, 214, 218, 220, 223; Gravestone, Funkhouser Cemetery, Funkhouser, IL.