Randolph, William H.

Born: 1813-08-20 Lebanon, Ohio

Died: 1864-11-02 Macomb, Illinois

William H. Randolph was a merchant, county sheriff, state representative, court clerk, banker, hotelier, real estate investor, Whig, and, later, a Republican. After leaving the family farm and apprenticing in a wool mill in Lebanon, Ohio, he relocated to McDonough County, Illinois in 1834 and became a merchant. In January 1837, he married Matilda Jane Brooking, with whom he had at least five children. In 1838, he was elected sheriff of the county. He was reelected three more times, serving in the position six years in total. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1844 as a Whig, and reelected in 1846. After his term in the Illinois General Assembly was up in 1848, he won election as circuit clerk for the county, a position he held until 1856. He began investing in real estate in 1853, opened the Macomb Bank in partnership with several others in 1854, and built the Randolph Hotel in 1856. He remained in the hotel business up until his death, but the Macomb Bank failed in 1858 and he lost over $100,000. He spent the remainder of his life attempting to satisfy his creditors. By 1860, his personal estate was worth a mere $200, although he still held $10,000 in real estate. In 1863, he was appointed deputy provost-marshal for the McDonough County. He was killed while attempting to arrest a man for avoiding the draft.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Hancock, McDonough, and Henderson Counties Illinois (Chicago: Lake City, 1894), 151-53; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, McDonough County, 26 January 1837, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; History of McDonough County, Illinois (Springfield: Continental Historical, 1885) 256; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), McDonough County, IL, 236; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 2, Macomb, McDonough County, IL, 182; Gravestone, Oakwood Cemetery, IL.