gentleman whose name introduces this sketch is one of the leading farmers
and fruit growers of Marion county, and also enjoys the distinction of being
a representative of two of the old and highly esteemed pioneer families of
the township in which he lives. John Storment, his grandfather, a South
Carolinian by birth, moved to Marion county about the year 1838, and
purchased a large tract of government land, principally in what is now
Haines township, the patents for which bearing the signature of President
Van Buren are now in the possession of the subject of this review. John
Storment became a prosperous farmer and representative citizen and wielded a
strong influence among the early settlers of Haines township, having been a
man of great force of character and determination of purpose. He did much to
promote the interests of agriculture and will long be remembered as one of
the sterling yeomen to whose labors and influence the present flourishing
condition of Haines township is largely due.
William K. Storment, son of John Storment and father of William T., was a native of Marion county and for many years one of the progressive farmers and enterprising citizens of the township of Haines. He, too, was public spirited and a natural leader among his fellow men, stood high in the esteem of all with whom he came into contact and belonged to that large and eminently respectable class who in a quiet but forceful way do so much for the material progress of the country and give moral tone to the body politic. At the breaking out of the late Civil war he enlisted in the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Infantry and devoted three of the best years of his life to the service of his country, participating in all the campaigns and battles in which his regiment was engaged and earning an honorable record as a brave and gallant defender of the Union.
When a young man William K. Storment married Miss Martha I. Wham, of Marion county, and in due time became the father of five children, namely: Elmer (deceased); Minnie (deceased); John R., a farmer and fruit grower of Mississippi; William T., of this review, and one that died in infancy.
The parents of these children were esteemed members of the United Presbyterian church and spared no pains to impress upon their young minds and hearts the principles of religion and the beauty and value of a living Christian faith. William K. Storment was not only an influential man in the affairs of his church, but was also a local politician of considerable note, having been one of the leading Republicans of his township, though never a partisan, much less a seeker after the honors and emoluments of public office. He died some years ago on the home farm in Haines township, lamented by all who knew him, leaving to his descendants the memory of an honored name, which they value as a priceless heritage. Mrs. Storment is the daughter of William Wham, one of the early settlers of Marion county and an influential factor of the pioneer period. She is still living and enjoys the acquaintance of a large circle of friends, who hold her in the highest personal regard.
William T. Storment, to a brief review of whose career the following lines are devoted, was born in Haines township on the farm one mile north of Kell, which he now owns and occupies, September 10, 1867. Like the majority of country lads, he was reared to habits of industry, early became familiar with the various duties of farm life and in the public schools, which he attended at intervals during his minority, received his educational training. Manifesting a decided taste for mechanical pursuits while still young, he turned his abilities in this direction to practical use by learning carpentry, at which he acquired more than ordinary proficiency and which he followed for some nears in his own and neighboring localities, a number of residences and other edifices bearing witness to his ability and skill as a builder. After a time, however, he discontinued his trade and purchasing the home farm, has since given his attention to agriculture and fruit growing, meeting with most encouraging success and achieving much more than local repute as a progressive and up-to-date tiller of the soil. In the meantime he has made many valuable improvements on the place, remodeling the house and converting it into a first class modem dwelling with all the latest conveniences, including among others a heating plant that adds greatly to the comfort of the home, besides lessening in no small degree the expense of providing fuel. The barn, which is one of the largest and most conveniently arranged buildings of the kind in the neighborhood, is a model of architectural and mechanical skill, while all the other improvements are in keeping therewith, the farm consisting of one hundred and twenty-five acres of highly improved land, being one of the most valuable as well as one of the most desirable places of its area in Marion county.
Mr. Storment takes a pardonable pride in his home and has spared neither pains nor expense in making it beautiful and attractive and it is now conceded to be one of the finest country seats not only in Marion county, but in the southern part of the state. Believing this section of Illinois to possess the necessary characteristics for successful fruit growing, Mr. Storment some years ago planted a part of his farm in choice apple, pear and peach trees, the results in due time more than realizing his highest expectations. Encouraged by the success of the venture, he continued planting from time to time, until he now has one hundred and ten acres in fruit, the income from which far surpasses what he ever received from the raising of grain. He makes horticulture not only his chief business, but pursues it with the enthusiasm and delight of a pastime. He devotes much time to the study of the subject reduces his researches to practical tests, and in this way has made the business very remunerative. By employing scientific methods, such as proper fertilizing, spraying, pruning, etc., he never fails to realize abundant crops of the finest fruits raised in this part of the state, and that, too, when other orchards fail entirely or at least bear but a scanty supply and of a poor and. inferior quality. Among the improvements of which he makes use is a portable gas engine for the purpose of spraying, the value of which in the saving of time as well as of insuring full yields is many hundred fold in excess of the amount the contrivance cost.
Mr. Storment is not only the leading horticulturist in Marion county, but as a farmer he also occupies a place in the front rank, making use of modern implements and machinery and employing only the most approved methods in the cultivation of the soil. He is essentially progressive in his ideas, believes that satisfactory results can only be obtained from the exercise of sound judgment and wise discretion and possessing the ability to foresee with remarkable accuracy the future outcome of present action, he is seldom if ever disappointed in any of his plans or undertakings. A man of strong character and inflexible integrity, he stands high as a citizen, takes an active interest in public matters both general and local and all measures and enterprises for the material progress of the country and the social and moral advancement of the people are sure to enlist his hearty cooperation and support. His political views are in harmony with the principles and traditions of the Republican party, and while firm in his convictions and earnest and fearless in maintaining the soundness of his opinions, he cannot be called a partisan, nor has he ever disturbed the even tenor of his life by aspiring to office or leadership. He is first of all a creditable representative of the ancient and honorable calling of agriculture and as such he ranks among the most enterprising and successful men in the state, this, with the simple title of citizen, being sufficient to make him contented with his lot, as well as an example to his fellow men in correct living.
The domestic life of Mr. Storment dates from 1892, in which year he was united in marriage with Esta Davis, of Marion county, daughter of Bloom P. and Mariah (Albert) Davis, both natives of Illinois, the father of Jefferson county, the mother of the county of Marion. Mr. and Mrs. Storment are esteemed members of the United Presbyterian church, belonging to what is known as the Romine Prairie congregation and active in all lines of religious and charitable work under the auspices of the same. Socially they are numbered among the best people of the community in which they reside and their popularity is limited only by the circle of their acquaintance. The Davis family, to which Mrs. Storment belongs, has long occupied a conspicuous place in the confidence and respect of the people of Marion county and its reputation for honorable manhood and womanhood is second to that of no other family in this part of the state. For many years the name has been identified with the Christian church of Marion and neighboring counties, Mr. Davis and his wife having been prominent members of that body and influential in religious work in their own and other localities. Mrs. Storment is the oldest of a family of four children, three sisters and a brother, namely: Maggie, who married Ernest Kell, of Marion county; Anderson, who lives on the home farm, and Minnie, who is unmarried and also a member of the home circle.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 144-147.