William Lester Diggs


One of the most pleasant homes in Nora Township is that of the subject of this biography, who is comfortably located on section 7, and superintending the careful cultivation of 121 acres of prime farming land. This is supplied with good buildings, comprising a neat residence, barn and out-houses, while there are fruit and shade trees and all the other embellishments of the ideal country homestead. In passing over the threshold we come in contact with one of the nicest families in Jo Dayiess County.

Next in importance to a man's individual record is that of the family whence he sprang. The father of our subject was Henry H. Diggs, who married Miss Sarah Wright, and both were natives of Indiana; the former of Randolph County. They emigrated to Northern Illinois during the days of its early settlement, locating first in Rush Township, this county, where they sojourned until 1864. That year they changed their residence to Nora Township, where the mother died in the spring of 1877: the father is still living in the village of Nora. Their family consisted of two sons and two daughters; William L. being the eldest born. He first opened his eyes to the light in Rush Township, April 6, 1856, and accompanied his parents in their removal to Nora Township, of which he has since been a resident, with the exception of about one year spent in Madison County, Iowa. His education was obtained in the common schools, but his habit of thought and observation has greatly enlarged his learning, so that there are few men with whom it is more pleasant or profitable to converse. Mr. Diggs was first married in Rush Township March 28, 1878, to Miss Elvira Cox, who was born in Wayne County, Ind. She remained the faithful and affectionate companion of her husband only a little over four short years, passing away on the 26th of April, 1882. She was a lady possessing all the womanly virtues, and her name will ever be held in tender remembrance by her husband. Her amiability of character had drawn around her many friends; both in her childhood home, and later in the community to which she came with her parents. The latter were natives of Indiana, and are now residents of that State.

Our subject contracted a second marriage, Feb. 19, 1883, in Madison County, Iowa, with Miss Elnora, daughter of Elijah and Agnes (Brown) Peacock, who was born in Randolph County, Ind., Aug, 28, 1857. By her union with our subject she has become the mother of two children - Laura B. and Elroy. Mr. Diggs, politically, uniformly votes with the Republican party, and has held the office of Highway Commissioner.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)