Among the prominent families of Wayne county none are better or more favorably known than that of Cisne, members of which have been identified with the growth and development of Southern Illinois for more than sixty years, and in whose honor the flourishing city of Cisne was named. One of the leading representatives of this family is William H. Cisne, who for a number of years has been engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Cisne, and who was formerly extensively connected with agricultural affairs. Mr. Cisne was born on his father's farm in Wayne county, Illinois, May 13, 1856, and is a son of Levi M. and Jane (Ray) Cisne, a grandson of Emanuel Cisne, and a great-grandson of Girard Cisne of Ohio.

Levi M. Cisne was born in Monroe county, Ohio, December 28, 1830,


and migrated to Southern Illinois about 1852. He was a prominent farmer and a man of wide influence, being active in securing the promotion of the Springfield & Illinois Southeastern Railroad, and inducing the people of this section to vote subsidies to the railroad which was completed in 1879. In the front rank of progressive farmers, himself the owner of four hundred acres of valuable land, and a man greatly interested in church work, he was justly considered one of his locality's foremost citizens, and when the town of Cisne was laid out on what is now the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad it was named in his honor. His death occurred January 27, 1892. Mr. Cisne's wife was a daughter of Major Ray, who came to Southern Illinois in 1851.

William H. Cisne received a common school education and was reared on his father's farm, on which he remained until he was twenty-four years of age. In 1880 he engaged in the seed and implement business in Cisne, with which he was connected until 1895, and in that year became a commercial traveler, his work during the next four years taking him through the states of Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Arizona. On returning to Cisne, he again identified himself with the seed and implement business, but in 1900 accepted the cashiership of the Customs House in Chicago, a position which he held for three and one-half years, without the shortage of a cent, an irregularity—or any complaint from his superior officers. Since 1904 he has been engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Cisne, doing a large volume of business and being the representative of some of the leading old line companies. For a number of years he was the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Wayne county, but in 1911 disposed of it, although he still owns twenty-six head of cattle, two spans of mules and two teams of horses, and recently purchased eighty acres of the finest land in the locality of Cisne, the price being $70.00 per acre. His handsome modern residence is located in Cisne. Mr. Cisne has been identified with Republican polities since he was nineteen years of age, and has had many personal friends among the leaders of the party, including the late Mark Hanna, ExSenator Mason, and others. For twelve years he has served as central committeeman and is regarded as one of the influential Republicans of his county. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Modern Woodmen.

In 1876 Mr. Cisne was united in marriage with Miss Viola Brock, daughter of J. C. and Rebecca Brock, of Wayne county, and one son, Fred Leo, has been born to this union. He is an employe of the Navy Department at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Cisne is now one of five directors promoting a railroad proposition known and chartered as the Terre Haute & Southwestern Railway Company, and one of the finest propositions in the country.

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