Holding distinctive prestige among the enterprising citizens of Marion county, is William F. Bundy, whose record here briefly outlined, is that of a man who has been the architect of his own fortunes, a self-made man, who, by the exercise of talents with which nature endowed him, has successfully surmounted unfavorable environment and rose to the position he now occupies as one of the influential attorneys of the city honored by his residence. He is a creditable representative of one of the old and highly esteemed pioneer families of southern Illinois, and possesses many of the admirable qualities and characteristics of his sturdy ancestors who figured in the history of the early days in this section of the great Prairie state.
Isaac Bundy, the subject's father, was born October 4, 1828, in Raccoon township, this county, where he devoted his manhood years to agricultural pursuits and became known as a most exemplary citizen, for many years a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, always doing his full share in the promotion and growth of his part of the county. On June 7, 1849, he was united in marriage with Amanda M. Richardson, after he had returned home from the Mexican war, in which he served with distinction, having enlisted in Colonel Newby's First Regiment, on June 8, 1847, and soon afterward began the long and arduous march from Kansas City, Missouri, to Albuquerque, New Mexico; after the close of hostilities, marching back over the same route. John A. Logan, afterwards a conspicuous general in the war between the states, was then a second lieutenant of Company H, of the famous First Regiment, which did such effective work in the land of the ancient Montezumas, in which regiment Mr. Bundy served until his honorable discharge on October 13, 1848, having been a member of Company C. This was usually referred to as the Illinois Foot Volunteer Regiment, in which General James S. Martin, whose sketch appears in this volume, was a private. Isaac Bundy was also in the Civil war, having enlisted as a private at Springfield, Illinois, November 18, 1861, remaining at Camp Butler, near that city for a time. He was appointed chaplain, October 7, 1862, and after serving faithfully until October 24, 1864, resigned on account of illness and returned home in Raccoon township, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing to his rest December 13, 1899, his death having been deeply lamented by the people among whom he had so long lived and by whom he was held in such high esteem.
Amanda M. (Richardson) Bundy, mother of the subject, was the daughter of Rev. James I. Richardson, of the Methodist Eiscopal church, who came to this state in an early days, and for some time was presiding elder of the Southern Illinois Conference, of the above mentioned denomination, having been located at Salem, McLeansboro, Benton, Spring Garden, Central City and many other charges in the southern part of the state. Although his education was gained by the pine knot and tallow candle, with a short term in the common schools, he developed a strong mind, and this, coupled with an indomitable will, enabled him to surmount many obstacles and accomplish much good. He was a large man physically, having stood six feet two inches in height. Being a strong Abolitionist, he took an active part in "underground railroad" work, assisting to free the negro from slavery whenever an opportunity came. His talents attracted public attention wherever he went, and he was sought for positions of public trust and very ably served as a member of the sixteenth General Assembly, from Marion county. Many of his associates in the House at that time later became noted in many walks of life. Reverend Richardson served in the Black Hawk war of 1832, having been a member of the Spy Battalion, Mounted Volunteers, under Capt. William Dobbins, which was mustered in June 17, 1832, taking part in the battle of Kellogg's Grove, eight days later, June 25th, under General Atkinson, in which engagement this company had fourteen horses killed, six wounded and three captured. The Spy Battalion, which was first organized in Marion county, May 4, 1832, was mustered out on August 16th, following. For his war record, his political service and his ministry, covering a period of over thirty years, Reverend Richardson was a noted character in Southern Illinois.
The subject's paternal great-grandfather, Jonathan Bundy, was also a well known character in this part of the state in its earliest pioneer period. He came from North Carolina in 1817, having made the trip overland with his family, consisting of the following sons: William, Robert, Frederick and John. William, who remained single all his life, was a soldier in the War of 1812, having fought at New Orleans, under General Jackson. Robert and Frederick reared families, the descendants of whom still live in Marion county, among whom is William K., the oldest son of Frederick Bundy. John Bundy's family consisted of five sons, namely: Isaac, Bailey, Alexander, George and Samuel.
To Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Bundy, parents of our subject, the following children were born: Elizabeth Jane, who married Noah E. Barr, is living near Salem, Dent county, Missouri, their family consisting of four boys and three girls; Asbury and Samuel both died in infancy; Laura Alice married James N. Adams, and they are the parents of four boys and one girl, namely: Ernest J. Sanford, James O., Rollin and Maud, all living in Centralia, with the exception of James O., who is living in Idaho. William F., the subject of this sketch, was fifth in order of birth, having been born in Raccoon township, Marion county, Illinois, June 8, 1858. He was educated in Southern Illinois Normal University, at Carbondale, Illinois, and decided to study law. He was married to Mary E. McNally, daughter of James J. and Sarah A. (Carter) McNally. Mr. McNally was born in Ireland, September 8, 1836. After coming to America, he located in New York state, and when the Civil war broke out he enlisted in the Thirty-fifth New York Infantry and later in the Twentieth New York Cavalry. In the latter he became second lieutenant in Company E. Mrs. McNally was born in Constableville, Lewis county, New York, April 16, 1843. She married Mc McNally September 21, 1862.
To Mr. and Mrs. William F. Bundy the following children have been born: Donald M. (deceased); Dorothy E., Sarah Pauline, and Margaret M.
Politically Mr. Bundy is a Republican, and he has been called upon to serve in various official capacities, among which was that of City Attorney, also City Clerk of Centralia, for several terms each. When he was young in the practice of his profession he represented the Forty-second District of Illinois in the General Assembly in the House of Representatives, both in the forty-second General Assembly (1901 to 1903), and in the forty-third General Assembly, (1903 to 1905). During the forty-second General Assembly he was chairman of the important committee of Senatorial Appointment and he was also a member of the Steering Committee of the Republican party, and in the forty-third General Assembly he was chairman of the Committee on Judicial Department and Practice. Mr. Bundy took a very active part in the Legislature while a member and won a record of which anyone might be justly proud. He was a member of the Republican State Central Committee for the Twenty-third Congressional District of Illinois from 1906 to 1908. Under the appointment of the Governor, our subject is serving as one of the trustees of the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale, his alma mater, having been appointed early in 1908. He has ever kept in touch with the interests of his city and county and is an ardent advocate and liberal patron of all worthy enterprises, making for their advancement and prosperity. As a lawyer he is easily the peer of any of his professional brethren throughout the southern part of the state and the honorable distinction, already achieved at the bar is an earnest of the still wider sphere of usefulness that he is destined to fill, as he is yet in the prime of manhood and a close observer of the trend of the times and an intelligent student of the great questions and issues upon which the thought of the best minds of the world are centered.
Extracted 06 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 336-337.