William Dancer is one of the prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of Mona township, deriving an excellent annual income from a farm of four hundred acres, while through the raising and feeding of stock he yearly augments his capital. His life record began in Will county, Illinois, on the 12th of November, 1844, his parents being Benjamin and Emily Dancer. The father was a native of Rochester, New York, and became a resident of Illinois when it was a frontier district. The early settlers had to endure many hardships and privations incident to the settlement of the frontier and at times the Indians, who were still hunting and trapping over this district, were hostile, resenting the encroachment of the white race upon their hunting grounds. In the family of Benjamin and Emily Dancer were seven children, of whom three are still living. William and John were twins and always remained together, associated in their social, business and other interests until the death of the latter. Marie, the next in order of birth, is still a resident of Will county. Mary is deceased. Emily is the wife of George Haley of Will county and the others have passed away.
William Dancer, whose name introduces this review, remained upon the old home farm, assisting in its development until the death of his father, which occurred when the son was nineteen years of age. He afterward engaged in herding cattle, being thus employed for four years, and in 1868 he and his brother John came to Ford county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, situated on section 14, Mona township. Three years later in 1871, they began to improve and cultivate this tract and upon the farm William Dancer has since remained. The brothers were associated in the development of the fields and in feeding cattle until the death of John Dancer, at which time they were the owners of six hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land in Mona township. Their interests were then divided, the brother's widow receiving three hundred and twenty acres, while a similar amount came into the individual possession of William Dancer. He has since purchased an additional tract of eighty acres, so that he now owns a large and valuable farm of four hundred acres in Mona township. He is today the most extensive feeder of Ford county and a man of splendid business ability, executive force and keen discernment. In his business affairs he so ably directs his interests that splendid success has attended him, making him one of the wealthy representatives of agricultural life in Mona township and this part of the state. He had no special advantages at the outset of his career but depended upon his own labors and his diligence has been the foundation of his success. He still operates his home farm.
In his political views Mr. Dancer is a stalwart republican and recognized as one of the leaders in the local ranks of the party, doing all in his power to promote its growth and insure its success. For three years he filled the office of school director and is the present drainage commissioner, having acted in this capacity for twelve years. He is justly accounted one of the most successful business men of this part of the state and is widely known as a stock-feeder.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 835-836.

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