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A Standard History of Champaign County, Illinois, J. R. Stewart, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1918.
William J. Quinlan. Any list of big farmers and land owners of Crittenden Township would include the name of William J. Quinlan. Mr. Quinlan has been a resident of Champaign County for nearly half a century, and he used the generous rewards of his agriculture labors here to extend his investments to several states.
Mr. Quinlan was born near Covington, Kentucky, March 15, 1856, a son of Daniel and Margaret (Harty) Quinlan. Both parents were born in Ireland. His father came to America in 1847, locating in Kentucky. In June, 1856, a few weeks after the birth of William J., the family moved to Illinois, locating in Peoria County, and in 1868 they came to Champaign County, locating in section 20 of Crittenden Township. Daniel Quinlan was a man of marked prosperity and industry. He died at Tolono, Illinois, in 1899. His widow is still living in Ohio, at the advanced age of ninety-two. They have six children: Margaret, who died in infancy; William J.; John, who died in childhood; Bridget, wife of Frank Hesler, of Ohio; Mary, who died in 1891; and Ellen, wife of W. J. Reinhart, of Ohio.
William J. Quinlan has always lived close to his old home, grew up and received his education largely in Champaign County, and after reaching manhood his father gave him as a start eighty acres. The passing years have brought notable increases to his holdings and he is now the fortunate possessor of 560 fertile acres in sections 20 and 29, Crittenden Township. He also owns a farm of 320 acres in Iowa and another place of eighty acres in the State of Ohio. Mr. Quinlan has made his prosperity as a general farmer and stock raiser and hard work and intelligent management have been the keynote of his career. He is a director of the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Pesotum and has also been a prominent figure in public affairs in Crittenden Township. Four years he served as assessor, as collector fourteen years, and was a director of the local schools for thirty-five years. Mr. Quinlan is a Democrat and a member of the Catholic Church.
He gets his daily delivery of mail from rural route No. 46 out of Tolono. On April 23, 1879, Mr. Quinlan married Mary A. Ryan, a native of Ohio. Eight children have been born into their home: Margaret; John T., deceased; James E., at home; Nellie; Mae; William T.; Josephine C.; and Daniel Francis, deceased. These children were liberally educated and Mae and Josephine C. are successful teachers.