Biography of William H. Acker

William H. Acker, a distinguished farmer in Amboy Township, exemplifies success through his well-maintained farm and evident prosperity. Born in New York in 1832, Acker moved to Indiana before settling in Illinois, where he has significantly contributed to his community since 1871. Married to Mary Calkins, the couple has two surviving children, reflecting a family life marked by both joy and sorrow. Acker’s commitment to education and politics, serving on the School Board and as an active Republican, highlights his dedication to civic engagement. His and his wife’s family backgrounds, rooted in early American states, trace a journey of perseverance and community building.

William H. Acker, one of the farmers whose place, by virtue of its well-tilled acres, its neat buildings, and general appearance of prosperity, proclaims him to be a man who is not satisfied with mere existence, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, and who is at the present time making his home on section 11, Amboy Township. He was born in Rensselaer County, N.Y., January 2, 1832, where he remained until reaching his fifth year, when his parents removed to Orleans County. In the latter-named place our subject received his education and grew to man’s estate, being of great help to his father while remaining under the parental roof.

When reaching his majority William H. Acker determined to see what fortune would do for him in the West, and accordingly went to Fayette County, Ind., where he made his home for the succeeding three years, and thinking that he could still better his prospects, made his advent into the Prairie State and located in this county, choosing May Township as his abiding place. This was in 1857, and he remained in that township for fourteen years when he made another removal, this time moving into Amboy Township, where he has been a resident since the spring of 1871.

The gentleman whose name heads this sketch was united in marriage March 27, 1871, soon after his removal into this township, the lady of his choice bearing the maiden name of Miss Mary Calkins, a native of Palmer, Mass., her birth occurring there February 23, 1849. Her union with Mr. Acker has been productive of four children, only two of whom are living, namely: George H. and Mary Eunice. Those deceased are Bertha and Emma, both of whom died in childhood. Mrs. Acker is a very worthy lady and is much esteemed in her neighborhood.

William H. Acker has always been interested in educational affairs, which fact is manifested by his having been elected to serve his township on the School Board for several years. In politics, the Republican party considers him as one of its most active members. Mrs. Acker worships with the members of the Baptist Church where she is a regular attendant.

Our subject’s father was Frederick Acker and a native of the Empire State, while the mother, who bore the maiden name of Miss Hannah Green, was born in Rhode Island. The former passed from this life in Fayette County, Ind., and the mother died in May Township, this county. They were aged respectively seventy-five and sixty years. The father of Mrs. Mary Calkins bore the name of Dudley Calkins and claimed Massachusetts as his native State. Her mother was Mary E. (Shaw) Calkins, also a native of Massachusetts. On coming West her parents first located in Will County, this State, but later came to this county, settling in 1865 in May Township, which they made their home until 1871, when they came to Amboy Township. In the spring of 1882 they went to Holt County, Neb., and there spent their last days, dying greatly esteemed by all who were honored with their acquaintance.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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