Col. William L. Dunavan


Col. Wm. L. Dunavan, who was well known to all the old settlers of this county, died at Denton, Texas, on Friday last, of Bright’s disease. His last hours were painless and peaceful.

Col. Dunavan was born in Licking Co., Ohio, November 9, 1808, and in 1831 came to La Salle county, settling on Sec. 22, in what is now Rutland tp., where he lived until 1881, when he went to Texas. In 1832* he married Eliza Green, daughter of John Green, their marriage being the first held in that township. He was for over 20 years a justice of the peace for his town and served one term of four years as postmaster. He was also one of the heaviest contractors in the construction of the I. & M. canal; served in the Black Hawk war; made the overland trip to California in 1849, remaining two years, when he returned and lived in Rutland until his removal to Texas. His wife bore him six children, two sons living in Texas, two sons and a daughter in this county and a daughter in Iowa.

Wm. L. Dunavan was a type of the best class of Illinois pioneers: a man of sterling integrity, industrious, a good neighbor, a firm friend, genial, courteous, considerate. His departure for Texas in 1881 was a source of sincere regret to his old friends here, who will now so much more keenly regret his death even at the ripe age of 80 years, in that those last years were not spent here in the old home of his early manhood.

A friend in Rutland hands us the following:

In Memoriam
Col. W. L. Dunavan, Denton, Texas

Death came in with silent footsteps
At the early dawn of day,
And beckoned to our father gently,
And bore him from our midst away.

“The Savior’s arm sustains me,
I am not afraid to go;”
Oh! words of cheering comfort,
To those dear ones, on earth below.

A father dear, is taken from us;
A husband’s chair will vacant be;
Oh, faithful wife, bowed down with sorrow,
May God’s love, support and comfort thee.

For he promised us a home in heaven
Where tears and sorrow come no more,
But joy and peace will reign forever
And your loved ones meet on that golden shore.

Mrs. Eva Barkley, Rutland.1

  1. The Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader, May 11, 1889, p. 4, col. 5
  2. *Obituaries are to be taken with a grain of salt. They were actually married November 6, 1831.