Biography - William Faris
REV. WILLIAM W. FARIS, editor of Anna Talk, minister of Presbyterian Church, was born in Barlow, Washington Co., Ohio, August 25, 1843; passed through the high school of Fredericktown, Knox Co., Ohio, in 1855-56; spent the winter of 1856-57 on the farm of his grandparents in Ohio County (now West), Va.; was at Miller Academy, Washington, Guernsey Co., Ohio, during the summer of 1857, and immediately thereafter took the freshman and sophomore years at Washington College, Pennsylvania; taught school in Winnebago County, Ill., during the winters of 1859-61, spending the one summer mostly as a farm laborer, and the other as a book-keeper in N. C. Thompson's bank. Rockford; went to California in August, 1861, spending most of the time until September, 1864, in teaching; enlisted in the First Nevada Cavalry in September, 1864, and received his commission as Second Lieutenant of the same in 1865; owing to the close of the war, he was not mustered in as such. Returning East, he graduated from Chicago University in 1866, and from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the Northwest at Chicago in 1869. He was licensed in April, 1867, and ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in June, 1868. He served the church of Vermont, ILL, from 1867 to 1869, and again from 1871 to 1874, spending a few months in 1869 in charge of the Twenty-eighth Street Church, Chicago, and the interval till 1871 as pastor in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He was pastor of Grace Mission Church, Peoria, from 1874 to 1876; of the church in Clinton, from 1876 to 1881, and the church in Carlinville, from 1881 to 1883; when, finding a large family on his hands inadequate1y provided for by strictly ministerial income he removed, May, 1883, to Anna, under call to the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church in that place, and also to the Principalship (with the Rev. C. W. Sifferd as his associate) of the Union Academy, originated by the citizens of that place, and announced to be opened in September, 1883. With this work, he has also undertaken the conduct of a local newspaper with religious and literary features, known as The Talk, the first number of which was issued May 11, 1883. On June 22, 1868, he was married in Chicago to Isabelle Hardie Thomson, daughter of the late Thomas and Marion (Somerville) Thomson, who was born in Linlithgow, Scotland, in 1843. To them have been born nine children, eight of whom survive, one having died in infancy. In 1876, he was awarded by the Trustees of Dartmouth College the Fletcher prize ($500) for the best essay on worldliness among Christians, and the book was published in 1877 by Roberts Bros., Boston, under the title "The Children of Light." Further than this his literary productions have so far been confined to pamphlets and fugitive articles in Scribners Monthly, the Independent, and other secular and religious periodicals. His political sympathies have always been with the conservative wing of the Republican party.
Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 64-65.