Temple, William H.

Born: 1811-12-10 Richmond, Virginia

Died: 1889-02-11 Bloomington, Illinois

As a young boy, Temple moved with his family to Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked on a farm and attended school. At sixteen, he held his first job in a dry-goods and hardware store. In 1835, he left Tennessee to visit his uncle in Bloomington, Illinois, and he settled there. In 1838, he opened a dry-goods store and was in business until 1871. In 1839, he married Melinda E. Parke and the couple made their home in Bloomington. In 1846, Abraham Lincoln was an opposing attorney in an Illinois Supreme Court case in which Temple was appealing a debt case from McLean County Circuit Court. In 1850, Temple was a prominent merchant with $1,000 in real estate.

U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), McLean County, IL, 14; E. Duis, The Good Old Times in McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington, IL: Leader, 1874), 46-47, 309-12, 369; Bloomington Daily Pantagraph (IL), 12 February 1889, 4:5; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, McLean County, IL, 19 February 1839, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Munsell v. Temple, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.