Mr. Michaels, of this review, is one of those strong, sturdy characters
who has contributed largely to the material welfare of the community and
township in which he resides, being a modern agriculturist and a business
man of more than ordinary sagacity and foresight, and as a citizen
public-spirited and progressive in all that the terms imply. For a number of
years he has been an important factor in promoting the progress of Marion
M. W. Michaels was born near Sumner, Lawrence county, Illinois, May 19, 1861, the son of Samuel Michaels, a native of Pennsylvania, who was born in 1815, and came to Illinois when a young boy, before Chicago was known. He was a sturdy pioneer and braved the dangers, inconveniences and obstacles of the early days, securing a wild piece of land which he transformed into a valuable and highly productive farm, devoting his entire life to agricultural pursuits. He came to Marion county in 1880 and was called from his earthly labors in Romine township, Illinois, in 1897. The mother of the subject was also a woman of the strongest mould and possessed the sterling qualities of the typical pioneer woman. Samuel Michaels was three times married and had a family of twenty children, eighteen of whom are living in 1908, a somewhat remarkable record. His first wife was a Eakas, who became the mother of six children, all now living, as follows: Mary A., wife of W. J. Jones, of Iuka, Illinois; Anna, the wife of Joseph Clevy, of Pomona, Kansas; Adline, the wife of Isaac Williams, of Browns, Illinois; Mrs. Lafe Jones, of Calhoun, Illinois; Mrs. Martha Jones, of Sumner, Illinois; William B. lives at Kremlin, Oklahoma. The second wife of Samuel Michaels was Mary A. Collins, daughter of William Collins, who was murdered near Lawrenceville, Illinois, in the seventies. The following children were born to this union: M. W., the subject of this sketch; Samuel, of Gettysburg, Washington; L. G., of Franklin, Alaska; C. J., of Iuka, Illinois; R. B., of Centralia, Illinois; W. N., of Iuka, Illinois; Rose, widow of John Meadows, living in St. Louis, Missouri; Charlie, who is living in one of the Western states. The mother of these children passed to the other shore December 13, 1879. The third wife of the subject's father was Caroline Turner, a native of Illinois, who became the mother of the following children: Cora, wife of Charles Bryan, of Iuka, Illinois; Elizabeth, who was the wife of Charles Williams, is now deceased; Alvin, Ida and Minnie all live in Romine township; Albert died in infancy. L. J. Michaels, brother of the subject, has been in Alaska since about 1897, and has made a great success at placer mining, refusing fifty thousand dollars for his claims.
The subject of this sketch lived with his father, assisting with the farm work and attending the neighboring schools in the winter, until he became a young man, when he went west, where he spent several years in the railroad business, gaining a fund of valuable experience and information. He finally returned home and married, November 6, 1883, Maggie Taylor, daughter of P. A. Taylor. Both he and his wife were natives of Kentucky. Mr. Michaels went west again in 1887 with his family and worked from Colorado to New Mexico, but was in California most of the time. He returned to Illinois in 1897, and began farming in Romine township. He made a signal success of farming, having improved a good tract of land and skillfully managed the same until he soon had not only a comfortable living, but quite a competency laid by. Mr. Michaels is a stockholder in the First National Bank at Salem, however, he devotes his attention to farming interests principally and is known as one of the best and most painstaking agriculturists in the township and his farm shows unmistakably that a man of thrift and industry manages it.
Mr. Michaels is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also the Woodmen, and both he and his wife are members of the Christian church. The subject and wife are the parents of two children, namely: Clarence, who was born July 18, 1885. He is a bright young man who gives promise of a brilliant and successful future. The second child, Everett, died in infancy.
Mr. Michaels has always taken considerable interest in political matters and of recent years has been influential in local elections, being well grounded and well read in his political opinions and on political subjects. Having a laudable ambition for official preferment, and being a popular man in his party, his Republican friends selected him for Sheriff, having been elected to this important office in 1906, by a big majority in a county nominally Democratic, which shows that he is regarded as a strong man in his community. He also served as a member of the County Board for two terms, representing his township. He has shown himself eminently capable in all the offices or positions of public or private trust that have been proffered, giving entire satisfaction to all his constituents and, in fact, everyone concerned.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 292-294.