William F. Bacon, deceased, was a resident of Adams county for many years and was identified in early life with its agricultural interests and afterward with mercantile pursuits. He was a native of Massachusetts, born July 18, 1834, his parents being Benjamin and Mary (Smith) Bacon, the former a native of England and the later of Pennsylvania. At an early day the father came to America, settling in Massachusetts, where he was married and resided for several years.
He afterward removed to Saratoga Springs, New York, and was there engaged in the hotel business until his death. His wife also died at Saratoga. There were the parents of eleven children, one son being a resident of Seranton, Pennsylvania.
William F. Bacon acquired his early education in the common schools of his native state and then began to study pharmacy, completing a full course in that branch. He afterward engaged in teaching school in Massachusetts for a few years, when, attracted by the business conditions and opportunities of the west, he came to Illinois settling first in Chicago. There he was engaged in railroading for a few years, after which he came to Adams county and settled upon a farm in Liberty township in 1859. He continued in the tilling of the soil until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the Fiftieth Illinois Infantry, the company going soon afterward to the south. He participated in the battle of Shiloh, and in that engagement was shot in the hand, after which he was taken to the hospital at St. Joseph, Missouri, where he remained for some time and was then discharged, being incapacitated for further duty by his wound.
When Mr. Bacon could no longer render his country active aid in the field he returned to his farm in Liberty township and was actively engaged in agricultaural pursuits for a brief period. He then removed to the village of Liberty, and soon afterward established his home in the village of Fairweather. A few years later he removed to the village of Eldara, Pike county, where he conducted a drug business, continuing to carry on that business with gratifying success up to the time of his death, being a reliable enterprising merchant, whose prosperity was attributable entirely to his well directed effort and business sagacity.
Mr. Bacon was married, October 2, 1862, to Miss Sarah E. Harkness, a native of Liberty township, born March 30, 1838, and a daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah (Golden) Harkness, the latter born in Virginia. Mr. Harkness was a native of Maine and became one the early settlers of Fall Creek township where he engaged in general farming during the greater part of his life. In his later years he removed to the village of Payson and live retired until called to his final rest. Mr. & Mrs. Bacon had but one child, Edna E., now the wife of Henry H. Barthlomew, a registered pharmacist who is employed in the Newcomb Pharmacy in Quincy and they make their home with her mother. Mr. Bacon departed this life November 17, 1884.
In politics he was a very stanch republican and did all in his power to promote the growth and insure the success of his party. The and by reason of his good business ability and careful management in mercantile affairs he was enabled to leave his widow in comfortable financial circumstances. He numbered among the pioneers of the county and had many warm friends in Quincy, so that his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret. After her husband’s death Mrs. Bacon sold the drug store in Eldara and removed to Quincy, having promised her husband to do so. and she now resides at No. 425 Sixth avenue north. She is a member of the Baptist church of this city and, like her husband, enjoys favorable regard of many friends here.
File contributed by Mary Love Berryman
Source: Past and present of the city of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, p. 1095; by William H. Collins, Cicero F. Perry, joint author; John Tillson. History of the city of Quincy, Illinois. [from old catalog]. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1905.