WILLIAM M. DEWITT
is one of the more prominent and prosperous merchants of Wayne City, where he has conducted business since 1896, first in a lumbering way and later branching out into other lines of
business. He is now the proprietor of two stores, one the purveyor of dry goods, clothing, etc., while the other deals in hardware, farming implements and like materials. The combined stock of the stores ag gregates probably $40,000.. Altogether he ranks prominently among the successful business men of the city, and is in every way deserving of the high reputation he bears.
Mr. DeWitt was born on September 3, 1858, in Hamilton county, Illinois, and is the son of Clinton and Penelope (Allen) DeWitt. Clinton DeWitt was a native of Ohio and the son of Jefferson DeWitt, also of that state, who migrated to Hamilton county, Illinois, in 1854. He was born in 1837 and died in 1875, and his wife was born in 1838, her death occurring in March, 1911. Clinton and Penelope DeWitt reared a goodly family of ten children,—six sons and four daughters. They were named: Rufus; Wm. M.; Rado; Alice; Mary; Thomas; Amazon; Jasper; Joseph; and Nellie.
William M. DeWitt was reared on the farm of his parents and attended the common schools of his district. When he was twenty years of age he began farming and continued that until 1896 in Hamilton, with a fair degree of success. He then came to Wayne county and engaged in the lumber business, later turning his attention to the mercantile field. He is now the proprietor of two fine stores in Wayne City, one devoted to dry goods and clothing lines, while the other is a hardWare store, as mentioned in a previous paragraph. Mr. DeWitt regularly employs twelve persons in the care of his two stores, and they are doing a thriving business in and about the city. The business tact and ability of Mr. DeWitt was never better employed than in the conduct of a business on his own responsibility, and he is making a large and worthy success of the small business which he established here some years ago. He is a director of the Southern Illinois Lumber Company, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen. His church affiliation is with t;he Missionary Baptists, as was that of his parents.
In 1880 Mr. DeWitt married Miss Nellie Irvin, a daughter of Abram Irvin of Hamilton county. They have reared a fine family of eight children, four of whom are regularly employed in the business establishments of their father. They are: Ethel, Charles J., Ernest Judson, Amy, Alma, Lois, Morris and Herman.