Patten, William

Born: 1817-01-21 New York

Died: 1897-02-01

Born in Greenwich, New York, William Patten was a farmer, town leader, real estate investor, state representative, military officer, Republican, and Presbyterian. He moved to DeKalb County, Illinois in May 1843, married Elizabeth Pratt in October of that year, and soon became a leading figure in Somonauk Township and in the nearby town of Sandwich. He eventually owned nearly 500 acres of land in the township and served as Sandwich's supervisor for multiple terms as well as its chairman for a year. He also owned more than 300 acres of real estate in Iowa. In 1850, his real estate was valued at just $1,400, but, by 1860, he owned $4,000 in real estate and another $1,600 in personal property. He served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1854-55 and again in 1858-59. He was a delegate to an Anti-Nebraska Convention in Bloomington, Illinois in September 1856 and served as an alternate delegate to the Republican State Convention in 1858. After his first wife died in January 1856, after the two had five children together, he married Jane Somes, with whom he had another five children. Toward the end of the Civil War, he formed and commanded Company H of the 156th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry at the rank of captain. He died while visiting a son in Yuma, Colorado.

The Voters and Tax-Payers of DeKalb County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1876), 211; R. Waite Joslyn and Frank W. Joslyn, History of Kane County, Ill. (Chicago: Pioneer, 1908), 1:447-48; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), DeKalb County, IL, 335; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield, IL), 2 January 1855, 2:3; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL), 25 September 1856, 2:2; 17 June 1858, 2:3; 13 November 1858, 2:3; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), DeKalb County, IL, 217; Gravestone, Oak Mound Cemetery, DeKalb County, IL; Somonauk Reveille (DeKalb County, IL), 12 February 1897, 1:3.