Prominent among the wealthy men of Union county who have added very materially to their store of this world's goods through the fruit growing industry is William E. Harreld, a resident of Alto Pass for the past quarter of a century, and engaged there, first in a mercantile way, carrying on the business his father established in former years, and later in the brokerage and fruit growing business, with which he is now identified.

William E. Harreld was born February 16, 1863, on a farm in Jackson county. His father, Cyrus Harreld, also born and reared in Jackson county, was the son of James Harreld, who migrated to Jackson county in 1817. The state of Illinois was then in a most primitive state, and offered many opportunities to the far sighted pioneer. James Harreld entered upon government land under the homestead laws, and further engaged in buying and selling farming and other lands then to be had for a mere pittance. He also engaged in the merchandising business and carried on a lucrative trading business. He died in 1844, while building a steamboat convoy on Big Muddy river, leaving a family. The Harreld family was of a somewhat warlike tendency in its earlier history, the ancestors of James Harreld having fought in the Revolutionary war, five of his great uncles having fallen at Kings Mountain. He, himself, was a first lieutenant in Captain Jenkins company in the Black Hawk war in 1832. After his father's death, Cyrus Harreld continued to reside on the old homestead until 1851, at which time he opened a store in the vicinity. In 1860 he went to Carbondale and engaged in the mercantile business there for a period of eighteen months. In 1872 he again ventured out in that line of business and^ continued so for six years. In May, 1883, he bought a store and business in Alto Pass, and there he remained until the end of his life. The business prospered, and he became a comparatively wealthy man. He owned two thousand acres of farm lands in Jackson and Union counties, in- addition to the business in Alto Pass and other holdings in that city. In 1857 Cyrus Harreld married Miss Amelia Tuttle, a daughter of Matthew Tuttle, a native Pennsylvanian. Three children were born to them: James, William and Cora.

When Cyrus Harreld died in October, 1902, his son William E. succeeded to the mercantile business in Palo Alto, and for fifteen years he conducted it successfully, after which time he sold out the place and engaged in the brokerage business. For the past two years he has bought and shipped fruit in Utah and other western points. His brokerage business will exceed $15,000, in addition to which he owns a fine residence, eight public buildings and twenty lots, the latter of which will aggregate in value fully $10,000. In addition to the above, Mr. Harreld is the owner of five hundred acres of land, and is part owner of a company owning two hundred acres. A portion of Mr. Harreld's holdings lie in Jackson county, on which is grown annually a considerable quantity of fruit and grain. In 1911 he raised one thousand bushels of wheat, three thousand boxes, or six hundred barrels, of apples, and quantities of other products.

Mr. Harreld has been three times married. His first wife was Emily Cheney, and they were separated by divorce, some time subsequent to their marriage, in 1890. On February 24, 1894, he married Miss Molly Parsons. She died in December, 1906, leaving one son, William E. His third marriage took place in October, 1907, when Ora B. Hartlins became his wife. They are the parents of two children, Cora Amelia and Mary Louise.

Extracted 13 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 3, pages 1344-1345.

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