Alexander County

Biography - William Cary

WILLIAM G. CARY, undertaker, Cairo. Among those whose residence in Cairo entitle them to the appellation of pioneers must be mentioned the name of William G. Cary, who came here in 1854. His father was a native of England, though of Irish descent, and married in Vermont Miss Aurilla Bishop, a native of that State. They reared a family of six children, all of them now living, and of whom William is the third. From Vermont the parents moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., N. Y., where our subject was born on the 14th of April, 1824. They then removed to Canada, and later to Michigan, where they died— the mother in 1858, and the father in September, 1881, at the advanced age of one hundred and eight years. At the age of twenty, William G. went from his home in Canada to Niagara Falls, where he remained about five years; then went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and ran the rivers from that place to St. Louis, Mo. He afterward engaged in business in Louisiana, from where he came to Cairo in 1854, as above stated. Being a practical carpenter and builder, he found the city of Cairo an ample field of labor, for some time employing a large number of men in his business. In 1858, he began the manufacture of coffins, and has remained in Cairo, engaged in the undertaker line, ever since. He was married, 1855, to Emma Crabtree, daughter of James Crabtree and Phoebe E. Cookney. Her father was of English and the mother of Scotch birth. They were married in Virginia, and had a family of ten children. Of this family, Mrs. Cary is the fourth member, and was born in Kentucky on the 29th day of September, 1829. Mr. Cary has a family of three children living, and has buried several — Aurilla J., wife of W. H. McFarland, was born September 23, 1858; Ella M., born January 27, 1864, and George W. Cary, born March 10, 1867. It is worthy of remark that Mr. and Mrs. Cary are still living in the same house in which they began their married life, where each of their children were born, and also a grandchild, daughter of Aurilla J., who was married at the "same old stand." They are members of the Episcopal Church, and he of the I. O. O. F.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 11.

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