William S. Blackford biography

WILLIAM S. BLACKFORD. This esteemed and influential citizen of Monroe township, Green county, is one of a family of seven children, born to William and Rachel (Johns) Blackford.

William Blackford, his father, was a potter by trade, and was of German lineage, while his mother’s ancestors were Welsh. Both parents were born in Pennsylvania, where they married, and lived until 1845. In that year they determined to seek better fortune in the West, and set forth, with their children and household goods, for Delphi, Ind. Proceeding by covered wagon from Fayette to Brownsville, Penn., they continued their westward journey by water, going by steamboat to Monongahela, to Pittsburg, and the Ohio to Cairo, Ill., at the junction of that stream with the Mississippi. As has been said, it had been their intention to ascend the Wabash to Delphi, but low water forbade this, and forced them to continue their journey in the manner described. They sailed up the Mississippi to Dubuque, thence went to Galena, where they hired a wagon and proceeded to Green county, Wis., making their first stop with William Goodell. The land chosen by Mr. Blackford on which to build a home for himself and his family was heavily timbered, and was situated in the township of Jefferson. To clear it was no easy task, but sturdy thews and sinews can accomplish much to their strength is added a firm resolve, inspired by love. On this farm, thus reduced to cultivation by the axe of the woodman and the plow of the pioneer, the parents, passed the remainder of their lives, the mother dying about 1859, and the father in 1871. Of their several children, two have died — Thomas and Lavina. Enoch, the eldest of the five yet living, resides in Juda, in Green county; Rebecca is the wife of Stephen Mann, of Page county, Iowa; William S.; Rachel is Mrs. Peter Roub, and lives in the South; and Samuel is a resident of Louisiana.

William S. Blackford was born Feb. 3, 1833, in Fayette county, Penn., and was consequently a boy of twelve years when he accompanied his parents to Green county, Wis., which has been his home ever since. In 1860 he was married to Nettie Hedge, whose native State was Indiana. Mrs. Blackford died in 1877, and he has not married again. He has three daughters: Jennie Florence, the eldest, the wife of Charles Hartwick; Nellie Josephine, who lives with her father in Monroe township. Mr. Blackford is well known as a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family, and is highly esteemed for his own good qualities of head and heart.

Source: [Anonymous], Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette Wisconsin (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1901), p. 927.