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Biography of William E. Durant

William E. Durant. Few citizens of Clay County are better known than William E. Durant, who is clerk of the District Court, a veteran of the Civil war, and a representative and bearer of a name that had been honorably known in this state for over a half century. He was born in Will County, Illinois, April 25, 1843. His parents were Edward T. and Sally Ann (Whallon) Durant, and his paternal grandparents were Edward and Lucina (Willey) Durant, natives of New York. The Durant ancestors went from France to England and in colonial days came to the United States and located in Connecticut, a later generation moving to New York and those still later establishing homes in Kansas. Edward T. Durant, father of William E., was born in Geneseo County, New York, in 1819. His father died when he was young and he remained in Geneseo County until 1837, when he became a pioneer in Will County, Illinois. He engaged in farming fox a time and then worked at the carpenter trade until 1861, when he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering the Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He participated in many battles and was in the siege of Vicksburg and in much of the military activity along the border west of the Mississippi River. He was honorably discharged and was mustered out December 7, 1865. In the spring of 1866 he came to Monrovia, Kansas, and worked at his trade there until 1869, when he removed to Waterville in Marshall County, and there he died in 1915. He supported the principles of the republican party, belonged...

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