Prather, William

Born: 1804-XX-XX Maryland

Died: 1870-08-30 Decatur, Illinois

Born near Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland, William Prather was a court clerk, judge, and lawyer. He married Rachel Ann Smith in 1842, and they lived in Little Rock, Arkansas before moving to Decatur, Illinois in 1843. In 1847, Prather was appointed clerk for the Macon County Circuit Court. He was the fourth person to hold the position, and, following the adoption of the Illinois Constitution of 1848, he was elected to the position in 1848 and again in 1852. He remained a circuit clerk until 1856. Rachel Ann died in 1848 and in 1849, Prather married Ellen M. Bohan, with whom he had at least three children. He was also elected judge for Macon County in 1849, as just the sixth person to hold that position. He served from 1850 to 1856. Active in the community, he served on the Board of Trustees for the city of Decatur from 1850 to 1854, including as its president. He also became a founding member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Decatur in 1856. In 1858, he married Francis E. Carter, who brought at least two children to the marriage. By 1860, he was quite prosperous, owning a personal estate valued at $1,600 and another $14,000 in real estate.

History of Macon County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1880), 123-24; John W. Smith, History of Macon County, Illinois, from its Organization to 1876 (Springfield, IL: Rokker's, 1876), 45-46, 50-51, 183; Maryland, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850, 3 May 1842, Montgomery County (Provo, UT: Operations, 2004); Gravestone, Rachel Ann Prather, Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur, IL; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Macon County, 12 December 1849, 12 January 1858, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Decatur, Macon County, IL, 7; Decatur Weekly Republican (IL), 1 September 1870, 1:5; Gravestone, William Prather, Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur, IL.