Among the citizens of Meacham township, Marion county, whose lives have
been led along such worthy lines of endeavor that they have endeared
themselves to their fellow citizens, thereby being eligible for
representation in a volume of this nature, is the gentleman whose name
Winfield S. Lacey was born in Morrow county, Ohio, September 30, 1849, the son of Hiram G. and Sophia (Sell) Lacey, the former a native of Ohio, who grew to manhood there and married before leaving that county. He lived in Ohio until 1855, when he brought his family to Marion county, Illinois, settling in Meacham township. He drove through the country from Ohio, bringing twenty-two head of cows with him, also three teams. He secured one hundred and twenty acres of land in sections 10 and 15. It was partly improved and had an old house eighteen by thirty-six feet, of split timber, and there was an old log stable. These soon gave way to comfortable and substantial buildings, and the place was put under a high state of improvements. Being thrifty he soon bought more land and lived on this place until his death. His wife died in Farina, this state. They were Methodists. Mr. Lacey was a Republican, but never aspired to office. The following children were born to them: Gabriel S., who lives in Meacham township; Mahala also lives in Meacham township; Thomas S. lives in the same township; Francis M., enlisted in the Union army when eighteen years old and served during the war. After the war he married and moved to Cowley county, Kansas; Abram F., was also a soldier in the Federal ranks, who served three years. After the war he returned to his home in this county, where he remained until his death; A. H., resides on the old place, and was also a soldier; Nancy married Michael Butts, and is living in Meacham township; W. S., our subject; Anthony and Catherine were twins, the former is deceased, and the latter is the wife of Jacob Althon, of Clay county, Illinois; Hiram is living in Meacham township, this county; Hugh is deceased; Mary is the wife of Douglas Roberts who lives in Fayette county, Illinois.
The subject of this sketch had only a limited education, not having an opportunity to attend school very long in his youth. He remained a member of the parental family circle until he was twenty-four years old.
He was married February 27, 1873, to Nancy Hitchcock, of Harrison county, Ohio, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Hitchcock. Her parents moved to Marion county, Illinois, in 1870, and located in Omega township, where they remained two years and then moved to Meacham township, remaining here one year, then they went to Iowa, where Mr. Hitchcock died. His wife is living at this writing in Nebraska. Seven children were born to the subject and wife as follows: Edward, who is farming in Meacham township, married Margaret Gotshall, of Ohio; Lydia, who is now deceased, was the wife of Lon Myres; Haman is living in Farina, Illinois, engaged in the hardware business, and in married to Olive Warren; Orville is deceased; Hugh is also deceased; Ollie married Jesse Norman, and is living in Meacham township; Milton is living at home. These children attended the local schools, receiving fairly good educations.
After his marriage the subject bought forty acres of land in Meacham township lives, in section 4, Meacham township. It was raw land, but Mr. Lacey was always a and lived there for three years, when he sold out and bought the place where he now hard worker and a good manager, and he rapidly improved the place up to its present high state of efficiency. The subject now owns three hundred and forty acres, which he rents, being now retired. His farm is well up to the standard of Marion county's choice farms, being well fenced, and in every way in first class condition. He has a substantial and beautiful dwelling and a good barn and other out buildings.
No little part of Mr. Lacey's income has been derived from live stack, raising an excellent grade of hogs, cattle and sheep. He is also a good judge of horses and has always kept some fine ones. He has devoted his life to farming, consequently he has mastered every detail of this class of business. In politics he is a Populist, but has never held office. He started in life in a small way, but he is now one of the substantial men of the township, having gained all his property unaided, by his careful management and hard work. The subject's first wife was called to her rest in February 1903, and he married Rebecca Minard, of Harrison county, Ohio, in October, 1905. Mr. Lacey is known by the people of Meacham township for his honesty and useful life.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 386-387.