William Badley

Photo added by D C McJonathan-Swarm

William Badley

  • Birth 7 Jul 1815 England
  • Death 15 Dec 1865 Upper Alton, Madison County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Upper Alton, Madison County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 8567290

Born in Dudley, Worcestershire, England, the second son and third child of Mary Fisher (Badley) and John Badley, F.R.C.S., he apprenticed in his father's surgery, but did not care for that profession. He tried his hand at farming on a family property "Insetton" Bellbroughton, Worcestershire. Hearing of American from their Uncle Anthony, who was at Box Hedge, by this time and knowing that their own father had taken an interest in the 'experiment' in America, but was unable to abandon the responsibilities of his patients and family, so the two eldest sons, John and William set sail for the new world in the 1840. William at this time suffered from a lung disorder and his father recomended that the sea air and travel would be helpful. Following the earlier course of their father's one brother and sister they landed in New York City. They traveled west as far as Illinois and visited with the Reverend Ebenezer Rodgers to whom they had letters of introduction from their father. Then they travelled on to the Rockies and Mexico. After their return to England William decided to make America his home and returned and married Sarah Ann Rodgers, the eldest daughter of their host in Illinois. Both brothers would ultimately settle there, developing properties and raising their families there. A colorful Victorian biography from a Madison County history had this to say of him: "Even in his early childhood he was remarkably studious, and at the age of seven years read Latin readily and soon became distinguished for his attainments in classical literature. Upon closing his school life in 1833, he received from the presiding officer four works of Aristotle in its original language. At that time and throughout his entire life, he read Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish as readily as he did English. He also possessed a good knowledge of Hebrew, and yet such was his love of freedom of display, or the slightest appearance of egotism, that only the most intimate friends knew that he possessed this superior knowledge. He was perfectly familiar with every phase of the financial, commercial, political and military history of France, Germany and England, and so studious was he and so retentive his memory, that he could give in detail all the incidents of every battle fought by Napoleon in all of his various campaigns. ... Though a foreigner and strongly attached to his native land, yet he was greatly attracted by the free insitutions of his adopted country. During his last years of his life, he was a great sufferer and in 1859 took a trip to his native land, thinking a voyage might prove of benefit, but the relief was only temporary. He was a true Christian, and it was his custom each morning to read a chapter in his Greek testament. Toward the end he called his children around his bedside and read and explained to them passages of Scripture." All of his living children were included in their grandfather's will, written in 1867 after both of his eldest sons had died, to receive thier father's portion the remainder of which was £2,000 sterling when he died in 1870. This was divided between the six grandchildren living at that time and would be roughly $300,000 or $50,000 each in 1998 American dollars*. They had five sons and three daughters: John Badley, Henry Badley, William Badley, Jr., Mary Payton Seiter, Sarah Ann Hart, William Ebenezer "Ebb" Badley, Eleanor Winchester, John Badley, II. (bio by: David McJonathan-Swarm)

*based on a House of Commons Research Paper 99/20 on the value of the pound sterling.


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  • Created by: D C McJonathan-Swarm
  • Added: 27 Mar 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8567290
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Badley (7 Jul 1815–15 Dec 1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8567290, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Upper Alton, Madison County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by D C McJonathan-Swarm (contributor 46611006) .