Biography of William Allison Hinton
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William Allison Hinton. There is no better known citizen, nor one whose work and public services are more appreciated, than William A. Hinton of Newcomb Township. His career is significant of that industry and energy which suffice to carry a man from a position among the many into the ranks of the successful few. Champaign County has scores of men who through the domain of agriculture have accumulated a share in such prosperity as few other sections of the United States enjoy, and Mr. Hinton’s present position is the more creditable because it has been won not by inheritance but through his own steady toil.
His loyalty to Champaign County is enhanced by the fact that he is a native of this rich and fertile section of Illinois. He was born November 26, 1857, the third in a large family of thirteen children. Seven of these children are still living and all of them but one have their homes in Newcomb Township. His father, Daniel F. G. Hinton, was born in Clinton County, Indiana, was reared there and attended the common schools, and after his marriage he moved in 1854 to Champaign County. This trip was made in true pioneer style, with wagon and team. The father had no capital to begin on and started at the very bottom of the ladder as a renter. After renting for a few years he bought 120 acres in section 18 of Newcomb Township. Not a furrow had been turned in the virgin soil. It was a raw and new neighborhood, and at that time only two other houses were in the locality. A part of the old building he first erected for his home is still standing on the premises. After selling this land to Mr. Buchan he removed to section 16 and bought eighty acres and then another similar tract, and was profitably engaged in its management and cultivation until he retired into Fisher, where he and his wife spent their last days. The father was a Jeffersonian Democrat. For years he served as township trustee and tax collector, and was a director of the local school twenty-one years. He was a fine type of citizen, one whose example and work brought about increasing betterment. He respected the true Christianity and his career was altogether exemplary. Both he and his wife are now at rest in the Willow Brook Cemetery, where a monument stands sacred to their memory. Mother Hinton was also a native of Indiana, gained her education there in the common schools, and gave her life to the welfare of her children and her home was her joy.
William Allison Hinton grew up on his father’s farm in Champaign County. With his own eyes he has witnessed the remarkable development of this part of the State. Land that he now owns and part of which cost only $28 an acre is now of such value that it could not be bought for less than $275 an acre. Wholesale changes have been made in the country and its industries within his lifetime. He had reached manhood before the first telephones were brought into Champaign County, and from time to time he himself has utilized in his home or on his farm the modern implements of industry, including the high power automobile. He fitted himself for life’s serious responsibilities largely through his own exertions, and has acquired more education by experience and reading than he did from the local schools. The first money he ever earned was 50 cents a day drawing straw from the threshing machine. That first 50 cents benefited him little, since he lost it soon after earning it. As a wage earner he worked for several years, then rented land and finally was able to make his first purchase. He went in debt for part of the payment of this forty acres. Later he and his brother Winfield bought eighty acres in partnership, and in time Mr. Hinton bought his brother’s interest. He paid up all his debts, and then added more land until his present place comprises 160 acres. For forty acres of this he paid $125 an acre. All the buildings on his farm have been erected by him or under his direct management, and he now has his magnificent rural home all paid for. He formerly owned a quarter section of land in the province of Ontario, Canada. The estate of Mr. and Mrs. Hinton in Newcomb Township bears the appropriate name of Park Lawn, and besides its superior comforts it has everywhere the sign and atmosphere of hospitality.
On September 18, 1883, Mr. Hinton married Miss Rose Shoppell. Two sons have been born to their union, and Mr. and Mrs. Hinton have taken the greatest of care in instilling in them the correct principles of living and guiding their useful ways to honor and integrity. James Myron, the older of these sons, is an agriculturist in Newcomb Township. He was educated in the common schools and has proved himself a practical man in his vocation. He married Miss Agnes Austin, and they have a little daughter, Helen Louise. James M. Hinton is a Democrat, a member of the Masonic order, belonging to Mahomet Lodge, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is now serving as school treasurer and tax collector, and has been treasurer of the school district six years.
Robert Wirt Hinton, the second son, is a practical farmer in Condit Township. He was educated in the common schools, the high school and Brown’s Business College. He married Miss Zora Daly, and their happy companionship was terminated with her death on May 23, 1917. She left a little daughter, Lyla Marie. Mrs. E. W. Hinton’s remains are at rest in Mount Hope Cemetery at Champaign. Robert W. Hinton is a member of the Masonic order at Fisher, Illinois, and he and his wife were regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. William A. Hinton was born in Champaign County, April 11, 1858. She is the sixth in a family of eight children, one son and seven daughters, born to Jackson and Mary Ann (Starling) Shoppell. Of the four children living Mrs. Hinton is the only one in Champaign County. Her father was born in Pennsylvania, of Pennsylvania German stock. His birth occurred April 18, 1820, and he died in Champaign County, March 28, 1864. He was a young man when he came to Champaign County and had married in Ohio. By trade he was a carpenter, and he aided in the construction of many early buildings in this county. He was buried in the old cemetery at Mahomet. He was a Democrat, and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church, in which he served as class leader. His wife was born and reared in Ohio. Mrs. Hinton attended the common schools of Champaign County and was well educated. She has been a most faithful wife and mother, and has done her part in the making of a home and the rearing of her capable sons while Mr. Hinton was busy with the duties of field and farm.
Mr. Hinton is a Democrat. His first presidential vote was given to General Hancock. Both he and his wife have realized the need of good schools in their community and have done all they could to support such institutions. For fourteen years he served as director of the home school district. He was One of the building committee of the beautiful new church known as the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church, which was erected’ at a cost of $8,000 and when dedicated on May 13, 1917, was completely out of debt. Mrs. Hinton is a member of the Ladies’ Aid Society. Fraternally Mr. Hinton is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias at Fisher. Mr. and Mrs. Hinton are now in a position to enjoy life. Their sons are independent and caning out their own careers, and Park Lawn represents to Mr. and Mrs. Hinton not so much a business as a’ home. For their diversion and the better enjoyment of their friends they have had a car in use for several years, formerly a Chalmers and now a Velie machine.