William Fread, of Serena township, LaSalle county, is entitled to rank with that class of citizens known as pioneers, he having taken up his abode on Fox river in this county in 1857. His father, also named William Fread, came to LaSalle county in 1856 and died here in the fall of that year. He was a Kentuckian who had at a very early day gone up into Indiana and settled at a frontier home in Franklin county, where he married and reared his children. His wife, a New Jersey lady, was before marriage Miss Abigail Rockefeller. Their graves are side by side in Mission township, LaSalle county, across the river from the old Fread homestead. Of their family we record that John, who had married Ruth Clark in Indiana, went to Texas, and died there some fifty years ago; Samuel and Henry, the next two, died young; the fourth born was William, whose name introduces this sketch; and James married a Miss Scott and died in Livingston county, Illinois, leaving a number of children.
William Fread was born in Franklin county, March 7, 1816, and was there reared and married. Since coming to Illinois he has devoted his energies to farm work, his efforts have been rewarded with success, and he is now the owner of two hundred and sixteen acres of choice land, well improved and highly cultivated, ranking with the best farms to be found on Fox river.
Mr. Fread was married, in 1841, to Miss Elizabeth Spradling, who died about ten years ago. She bore him the following named children: Martha, wife of Henry Miller, of Kansas; Henry R., of Sheridan, Illinois, who married a Miss Pooler; Leonidas, who married a Miss Hoag, resides in Iowa; Sarah J.; Louise, wife of Henry Plauger; and Nancy E., wife of Daniel Bagwell, of South Dakota.
Mr. Fread cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren for president of the United States. He then deserted the Democracy and has since affiliated with the Republican party. He has never sought nor filled office, his own private affairs having occupied the whole of his time and attention.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 349-350.