The name of Ferrell has for several generations been familiar to the inhabitants of Williamson county, Illinois. The family sprung from stanch old Irish stock and the original representative of the name in America was one James Ferrell, who was transported from Ireland to the Maryland colony in commutation of a death sentence about 1720. James Ferrell located where Frederick, Maryland, now is. He was a soldier in the French and Indian war, in General Braddock's army, which marched on Fort Pitt in 1755 and which was surprised and almost annihilated in what is known as “Braddock's Defeat.” James Ferrell married Lydia Dent, and they became the parents of three children, namely,—Hezekiah, Zephaniah, and one daughter.


Hezekiah and Zephaniah Ferrell were patriots of the Revolutionary period and both served with General “Light Horse” Harry Lee's legion throughout the war, taking part in the slaughter at McNeil's Lane, in which some four hundred Tories were killed.

Hezekiah was born about 1724 and died at Georgetown, Virginia, in 1804. In civil life he was a farmer, living near where the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, now is. His wife was Susan Allison, of English lineage, and among their children were: James, who passed his life in North Carolina, where he died in 1870, survived by a family; Dent settled in Dyer county, Tennessee, and his posterity can be found about Dyersburg, Humboldt and Memphis, Tennessee; Lydia married W. P. Mangum, for thirty years United States senator of North Carolina and one of the able men of the south before the Civil war period; Mary became the wife of a Mr. Fuller and reared a large family, whose posterity is scattered about over western Tennessee. William Ferrell, who established the family in Illinois, was born at the old farmstead, or plantation as it was then known, in 1788. He married Jailie Barnes and removed to Shelbyville, Tennessee, in 1811. The year following his advent in Tennessee, William Ferrell enlisted in Colonel Coffey's regiment for the Creek war and served under “Old Hickory” in that struggle and in the war of 1812, his military career ending with the defeat of the British at the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. He subsequently moved to Smith county, Tennessee, and thence proceeded on his final journey westward to Illinois, arriving here in 1839. He passed the remainder of his life as a farmer and as a Baptist minister in this state. He was originally an old-line Whig in politics but upon the formation of the Republican party, transferred his allegiance to that organization. He passed to the life eternal in 1867, and his cherished and devoted wife died in the following year.

Among the children of William and Jailie Ferrell were Reverends Hezekiah and Wilfred Ferrell, leaders in the work of the Missionary Baptist church in Southern Illinois for many years. They married sisters from Virginia and both were strong men in their calling and useful citizens. Wilfred Ferrell represented Williamson county in the general assembly of Illinois in 1850-1 and was an associate of Abraham Lincoln. It was that assembly that gave the Illinois Central Railroad its corporate existence and there was much politics played in the selection of the railroad route across the state. In 1859 Rev. Wilfred Ferrell removed to Hallville, Texas, where he passed away in 1875. His first wife was Mary Walker and his second was Eliza J. Smith. Some of his children are numbered among the old residents of that Texas community. Rev. Hezekiah Ferrell married Martha Walker and died in Williamson county, Illinois, in 1860. George, another son of William Ferrell and father of Dr. Hosea V. Ferrell, was born near Rome, Tennessee, in 1816. He passed his life as a farmer and merchant, married Laura M. Waller, and died in 1856. His widow survived until 1905, dying at the venerable age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Ferrell, a daughter of John Waller, who came to Franklin county, Illinois, from Virginia in the territorial days of this state. Her great-uncle, Ned Waller, was the first justice of the peace in Mason county, Kentucky, and lived at Waller and Clark's Station, near Kenton's station in Mason county, Kentucky. George and Laura Ferrell became the parents of seven children, namely, —Leander, Dr. Hosea V., Levi, James M. (deceased), Amanda, Callie and Georgia (deceased).

Of the above children Dr. Hosea V. Ferrell is he whose name forms the caption for this review. The Doctor was educated at Indiana University and received his degree of Doctor of Medicine at the old


St. Louis Medical College. He has been a resident of Carterville since 1872. He married 1Miss M. C. Davis, a daughter of General John T. Davis, who was born in Trigg county, Kentucky, on a farm adjoining that of the father of Jefferson Davis. General Davis was born in 1803 and accompanied his parents to Illinois in 1819. He was liberally educated and in 1832 was commissioned brigadier general of the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk war. He was the first member of the general assembly from his county and was the first justice of the peace of Williamson county. During the greater part of his active career General Davis was engaged in the general merchandise business at historic old Sarahville, which place was named for his daughter, Sarah. He was unusually successful in his various business projects, was an extensive property owner and was known as the wealthiest citizen of his county at the time of his demise, in 1855. Davis Prairie, in the eastern part of Williamson county was named for his father. His wife was Nancy Thompson, a daughter of William Thompson, of Kentucky, and his surviving children are Mrs. Hosea V. Ferrell and Mrs. Sarah Walker. General Davis was a Democrat in his political convictions and as a citizen gave freely of his aid and influence in support of all projects for the general welfare.

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