"DR. W.S. DUNCAN, of Hutton
Twp., spent his childhood and youth in Greene Co. IN, where he was born Feb.
26, 1825; his grandfather having been Isaiah Duncan, an enterprising
Southern farmer who was born, reared and spent his entire life in SC; he
married and became the father of a family, including five sons and two
daughters. The sons were Isaiah, George, John, Eli and Joshua. Of these, the
father of our subject was next to the youngest.
He received a common school
education and remained with his father on the farm until reaching manhood.
He then migrated North and, locating in Greene Co. IN, was married to Miss
Rebecca Stevens in the spring of 1822. Mrs. Duncan was born Feb. 28, 1801,
in KY, and was the dau. of William Stevens, who emigrated from the Blue
Grass regions to Harrison Co. IN. After marriage, Mr. Duncan rented a tract
of land and farmed until the spring of 1835; he then came to Edgar Co., this
State, secured possession of 40 acres of timber land, part of which he
cleared and occupied until spring of 1853; he then removed with his family
to Laclede Co. MO and died there in 1856, leaving a family of seven
While a resident of IN he
and his wife had become members of the Dunkard Church, but after coming to
IL united with the Christian Church. The mother survived her husband about
23 years, making her home with her children, and died Dec. 10, 1881. The
parental family included the following children: Isaiah who died in infancy;
W.S. of our sketch; John who died in infancy; George now a minister of the
Christian Church at AR; Joshua; Marion who died when 20 years of age;
Obadiah a resident of Piatt Co. IL; Jane; Elizabeth a widow, now residing in
Marion Co., and Polly A. who has carried on a millinery establishment in
Bement, IL, for the last 20 years.
Dr. Duncan was the 2nd
child of his parents and received but a common-school education; when 18, he
commenced working in a tanyard for 3 years, then enlisted in Co. H, 4th IL
Vol. Inf., started on 16 June 1846 by wagon to Springfield, IL, bound for
Mexico; after reaching the seat of war, he found that the precarious state
of his health would prevent him from continuing in the ranks, and in Dec.
received his discharge on account of disability, the result of measels
contracted at Matamoras, Mex.
Upon returning to Edgar
Co., he began teaching school, ... worked on farm, ... in about 1853 began
practicing (as doctor) in Coles Co. The marriage of Dr. Duncan and Miss
Charlotte W. Elsbury was celebrated at the home of the bride, Dec. 3, 1847;
Mrs. Duncan was born March 13, 1826, and is the dau. of John and Charlotte
(Winters) Elsbury, natives of IN. Dr. Duncan continued teaching for about 3
years after his marriage, ... located at Strington, ... until 1860, that
spring he took up residence at Sidney, Champaign Co. In Jan. 1864 during
progress of Civil War, he enlisted in Co. I, 10th IL Vol. Cav., and was
appointed Assistant Surgeon, receiving his commission 18 March ... until
Oct. 13 following, when he resigned, returned to Sidney, continued practice
Health compelled him to
leave prairie country so he moved to Farmersburg, IN; until Aug. 1884, then
returned to Sidney, then to Hutton Twp. in Oct. 1886, where he still lives.
Mrs. Charlotte Duncan died at Farmersburg, IN, in Oct. 1874; member of
Christian Church; bore nine children, recorded as follows: Minerva P. born
Oct. 3, 1848, is the wife of John W. Payne, of Evansville, IN; Melissa C.
born June 11, 1850, is the wife of Alfred Duncan of Fulton Co. MO; Mary E.
born Sept. 12, 1852, died 13 days later; Minnie C. born May 10, 1854, is the
wife of Joab Patton of IN; Laura B. born Jan. 14, 1857, died when 18 months
old; Josephine F.P. born May 15, 1860, is the wife of Dr. George H. Bogart,
of IN; Rebecca D. born July 12, 1863, died Aug. 15 following; her twin
brother, William M., died Aug. 5 following. Nora, born July 10, 1865, became
the wife of Lester E. Foulke and is a resident of Champaign Co.
The present wife of our
subject, whom he married Jan. 5, 1875, was formerly Miss Elizabeth Johns, a
native of Boone Co. IN, and born June 29, 1846; she is the dau. of Hardin W.
and Charlotte T. Johns, natives of KY; two children: William O. born Sept.
25, 1875, died Sept. 15, 1878; and Blach G. born April 16, 1883; the Dr. and
Mrs. Duncan members of 7th Day Adventist Church; while resident of IN, Dr.
Duncan identified himself with the Sullivan Co. Medical Assn, ... Fairbanks
IN Lodge A.F.&A.M., Terre Haute Chap.; Republican."