Robert T. McMillanPosted by Jean Crowl 7 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
ROBERT T. MCMILLAN, one of the highly respected and well-known citizens of Henderson County, who is serving as County Sheiiff, now makes his home in Biggsville. His entire life has been passed in Illinois. He was born on the 9th of November, 1835, near Jacksonville, Morgan County, and is a son of James and Mary (Thompson) McMillan. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, and when a young man came to the United States, and in the Revolutionary War aided the Colonies in their struggle for independence. His wife was a native of Scotland, and the maternal grandparents of our subject were also born in the same country. The father, James McMillan, was born and reared on a farm in South Carolina, but, not wishing to follsw agricultural pursuits, he learned the wagon-maker's trade. He served in the War of 1812, and in 1833 emigrated to Morgan County, Ill., but after a year he came to Henderson County and purchased a farm near Oquawka, whereon he spent his remaining days. His death occurred in 1846, when about forty-eight years of age. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, and his many excellencies of character gained for him high regard. His wife, who was also a native of South Carolina, survived her husband only two weeks, both dying of measles. The family numbered nine children: Hugh D., who now carries on farming in Henderson County; Sarah, the wife of William Andrew, of Kansas; William L., an agriculturist of this community; Nancy E., who is living in Henderson County; Robert T., of this sketch; Daniel, a physician now engaged in practice in Mercer County; Martha, who is living in Henderson County; Rachel, wife of Alex Thompson, of Kansas; and Elizabeth, who died in childhood.
Robert McMillan was a lad of only twelve years at the time of the death of his parents. He went to live with a paternal uncle, Dr. William McMillan, a farmer and physician, who was born in South Carolina, and in 1837 came to Henderson County, where he made his home until his death. For many years he was the only physician in this locality. He was numbered among the honored pioneers, and passed away at the advanced age of eighty years.
Our subject remained with the Doctor until the 1st of September, 1862, when he entered the army as one of the boys in blue of Company K, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He enlisted for three years' service, and participated in many of the noted battles and campaigns, including the engagements at Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Franklin, Nashville and the Atlanta campaign. When the war was over he was honorably discharged, and returned to the North to again make his home with his uncle until 1870. In that year he was married, and removed to a farm near Biggsville, where, in connection with general farming, he also carried on stock-raising.
On the 27th of May, 1870, Mr. McMillan was united in marriage with Miss Mattie Graham, of Henderson County, and to them were born five children ; Mary, who died at the age of fifteen years; Jessie B., who is now attending college in Monmouth, Ill.; and Laura, Edward and Walter, who are still at home. The parents are both members of the United Presbyterian Church, and are prominent people, who have many friends in this community.
Socially, Mr. McMillan is connected with Ellsworth Post, G. A. R., of Oquawka. In politics, he is a Democrat, and in 1890 was elected Sheriff of the county, the only Democratic Sheriff who has been elected in the county for a half-century, for this district is strong Republican. He is fearless and faithful in the discharge of his duties, and has therefore won the high commendation of all concerned. In business, Mr. McMillan has also won success. He now owns two hundred and sixty acres of good fanning land, a part of which he rents, using the remainder as pasture land, for he raises, buys and sells considerable stock. He also owns an interest in a tile factory in Biggsville.