The sturdy pioneer ancestors of William F. Bundy bequeathed him a heritage of
pluck and perseverance sufficient to carry him through any trials the fates
might send him in life. He has given ample evidence of his possession of those
traits on various occasions, and in a residence of upwards of a quarter of a
century in Centralia he has made for himself a name and fame that is singularly
worthy of emulation.
Born in Marion county, June 8, 1858, William F. Bundy is the son of Isaac and Amanda M. (Richardson) Bundy. They were both born in Marion county, the former in 1828 and the latter in 1832. The Bundy family were originally from North Carolina. John Bundy, the grandfather of William F. Bundy, was born in North Carolina in 1796, on the 13th day of March, and came to Illinois with his family, which included Isaac Bundy. The latter was reared with the purpose on the part of his parents that he become a minister of flie gospel, and he served for three years as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, but gave up the ministry and became a farmer. In 1847 he enlisted for service in the Mexican war, and with his regiment marched from what is now Kansas City to Mexico, reaching there immediately after the cessation of hostilities and too late for active service. The regiment was mustered out on October 31, 1848, and Mr. Bundy returned to his home after which he finished his schooling and entered the ministry. He had an opportunity to render active service to his country, however, when the Civil war broke out in 1861, and in September of that year he enlisted in the Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteers. He first served as regimental sergeant, but was very shortly appointed to the post of chaplain. He resigned from the service on August 24, 1864, and returned to his farm home, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1899. Mr. Bundy was one of the old time Republicans, and always a stanch supporter of the cause. He was well known throughout his own and adjoining counties as a citizen of great intrinsic worth, and in his passing Marion county suffered a permanent loss.
Among many interesting facts in connection with the life and work of John Bundy, paternal grandfather of William F. Bundy, is particularly noted that he sat, upon the first grand jury ever convened in Marion county. The maternal grandfather of William F. Bundy was also a man of considerable prominence and note in his time. He was James I. Richardson, born in Tennessee, and came to Illinois about 1826. He served through the Black Hawk war, enlisting in Captain Dobbins spy battalion on May 14, 1832, and was active in various engagements of that brief uprising. He was mustered out of the service on August 16, 1832. He became the owner of a valuable tract of land, which he entered upon as a homesteader, but his calling in life did not permit him to live upon the land continuously. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and served for twenty years in that work. He was presiding elder of his district for several terms, and was prominently known throughout all southern Illinois. He died in 1871, leaving the heritage of a worthy life well spent in devotion to the labors of his church.
William F. Bundy passed through the common schools of his home town, and in 1879 attended the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale for a year. His finances were low, and with no one to depend upon for assistance in that way he was compelled to return to the farm and work for a year before he might continue his studies. But his inherent perseverance made it possible for him to surmount all difficulties of that nature, and in 1881 he secured a position teaching school, by means of which he was enabled to return to the University at Carbondale for another term. He repeated that performance in 1882 and also in 1884. In 1887 he was so far along with his studies that he began to read law, and in 1889, after two years of constant application to his books, he was admitted to the bar, and he has been in active practice through the intervening years, attaining an unusual measure of success.
From the beginning his practice was wide in its scope, and he was so fortunate as to experience none of the lean years which so frequently characterize the early efforts of men who finally achieve brilliant successes. In addition to his wide general practice Mr. Bundy is the attorney for the Southern Railway Company, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, the Centralia Coal Company, the Centralia Electric Company and the Centralia State Bank. Aside from his official capacity, he is a trustee of the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale, as well as being a member of the directorates of the Merchants State Bank and the Centralia Water Supply Company. Mr. Bundy is a stanch Republican, and has served the party in various capacities during his career. He was a delegate to the forty-second and forty-third general assemblies in 1901 and 1903. During the forty-third assembly he was chairman of the committee on general apportionment and the committee on judicial department of practice, his labors while chairman of those committees resulting in much good. As a citizen his influence in a political way has always been of a nature calculated to serve the best interests of his community, and he can be depended upon to lend his aid in the furtherance of any upward movement contributing to the welfare of the people.
In 1890 Mr. Bundy married Miss Mary E. McNally, a daughter of James McNally. The latter was a native of New York who settled in Centralia, becoming connected with a nail factory in this city, with which he remained until the dissolution of the firm, his death occurring shortly thereafter. Three daughters were born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bundy; Dorothy E., now a student in Rockford College; Sarah Pauline, attending the Centralia high school; and Margaret, also a student in the Centralia schools.
Mr. Bundy is particularly active in Masonic circles, being a member of the Chapter, Knights Templar and the Chicago Consistory. He is also a member of the Blue Lodge and is now eminent commander.
Extracted 07 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1479-1480.