Biography - William Stokes
WILLIAM WATSON STOKES, blacksmith, Anna, was born in Jonesboro September 11, 1856, to Matthew J. and Sarah J. (Cruse) Stokes. The senior Stokes was also a native of the county, and during his life worked at the blacksmith's trade. He died in May 1869, his wife, subject's mother, was born in Jonesboro, and is now residing in Anna; she is the mother of eight children, of whom William, our subject, was the oldest. After the death of his father, he was thrown upon his own resources, and engaged in doing such work as his age and strength would permit. His education was limited to the common schools. At fourteen, he began to learn the blacksmith's trade, with Adam Cruse, and remained with him four years, and then engaged with Lenz, Dewitt & Braiznell, but remained with them only a short time, when he began traveling and working only a short time at a place, continuing the same until January, 1879, when he returned to Anna and entered into partnership with James Dewitt. They are both enterprising gentlemen of good standing in the community in which they live, and do a large and lucrative business, it being the most extensive business of the kind in Union County.
Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 85-86.