Among the old settlers of Rock Island County, who has assisted during his residence here in accomplishing many permanent reforms, is the Hon. William Jackson, who is entitled to honorable mention. Mr. Jackson was born in the City of Liverpool, England, August 14, 1834, of English parentage. His early boyhood was spent in his native city. After leaving school, the last being the Liverpool Collegiate Institution, he was, at an early age, apprenticed to a grocer. Serving part of his apprenticeship, and being very desirous of trying his fortune in the new world, where he had many relatives, he left the 28th of May, 1851, his native city and landed in New York, July 2, of the same year. The great west being his objective point he arrived in the County of Rock Island in August of the same year.
In April, 1852, he came to the City of Moline where he first engaged in service in the plow factory of John Deere, then in its infancy, working there one year, during which time he performed alone particular labor which requires now in the extensive Deere Plow Works the labor of many persons. During the succeeding years he worked in the Sears Mill, of Moline, until the fall of 1858, when he commenced the study of the law. He was admitted to practice in 1860, and then formed a law partnership with James Chapman of that city.
In 1862 Mr. Jackson moved to the City of Rock Island. In 1864 he formed a law partnership with E. D. Sweeney, Esquire, under the firm name of Sweeney & Jackson. About 1876 Mr. C. L. Walker entered the firm, which was afterwards known as Sweeney, Jackson & Walker. The firm continued until 1883, Mr. Jackson then retiring on account of ill health.
In 1888 he formed a law partnership with E. W. Hurst, Esquire, under the name of Jackson & Hurst, which continued to 1903, when the firm was enlarged, being now known as Jackson, Hurst & Stafford:
In the practice of his chosen profession Mr. Jackson has had his fair measure of success, having been engaged in many important suits. At the present time he is in active practice and one of the local attorneys of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway.
May 21, 1863, he was married to Miss Jennie E. Sammis, one of the teachers in the public schools of Rock Island. Mrs. Jackson was born in the City of New York. Two children are living, Mrs. Carrie A. Barth and Mrs. Hattie J. Babcock.
In politics he is and always has been a Republican; in church association for fifty-eight years a Methodist, and is now a member of the official board of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Rock Island. During his life Mr. Jackson has held two important offices: postmaster of the City of Rock Island from 1873 to 1876, and member of the board of managers of the Illinois State Reformatory from 1897 to 1901. At present he is president of the board of park commissioners of the City of Rock Island, a work in which he takes great interest as shown in the improvement and beautifying of Spencer Square, which was done under his direction.
Mr. Jackson has always aimed to advance the best interests of the city of his residence, believing that the community in which he has lived, and which has liberally contributed to whatever success he has attained, deserved on his part a reciprocal obligation.