William Lilly (deceased), son of Joseph and Mary (Fisher) Lilly, was born in Allegany County, Md., August 12, 1822, and came to Tazewell County in 1835, where he spent the remainder of his life. He obtained his early education in the public schools, and after marriage located in Adair County, Mo., where he purchased land and engaged in farming until 1864. During the Civil War he served as a private in the Missouri State Militia. In April, 1865, he located in Little Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, and engaged in farming, becoming one of the most extensive land-owners in the township, his holdings aggregating 800 acres. Politically Mr. Lilly was a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and held the office of Justice of the Peace for several years, besides which he was Supervisor and Assessor, serving one term each, and was Highway Commissioner for three years. Socially he was a member of the Pioneer Society, and was one of the most progressive and enterprising citizens of the township. His death occurred December 5, 1898.
Mr. Lilly was married to Miss Elizabeth Aldrich on July 28, 1859, and of this union four children were born: Mary, wife of E. O. Garrett: Janet, who married William Aldrich: Joseph, who died in 1862; and William, who was born January 22, 1866, and now resides on the old homestead with his mother. The three older children were born in Missouri.
Mr. Lilly’s paternal grandfather, Richard, was born in Wales, while his maternal grandfather, Adam Fisher, was a native of Germany. His parents, Joseph and Mary (Fisher) Lilly, were born in Maryland, the former in Frederick County, and the later in Allegany County. Joseph Lilly, the father, settled on Section 13. Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, in 1835, was one of the prominent pioneers of the township, at the time of his death being the owner of 260 acres of land, which he had cleared and improved. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and received a land grant for his services. He died in 1852 and his wife in 1849. Adam Fisher, the maternal grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1039