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William Way, Orphan Train Rider

The story of William Way's life was preserved in the Historical Encyclopedia of Livingston County, IL. This is quite the accomplishment for an orphan boy, as the Historical Encyclopedias print the biographies of only the most prosperous and important residents of the county.

William was one of three children born to Thomas and Jane Way, two natives of England & Ireland who immigrated to New York. William's mother died in 1865, when he was seven years old. His older brother and sister were raised by a family in New York, but William was sent to the Asylum. William's father was a builder and contractor in New York and even worked and lived in Bloomington, IL for a time when William would have lived in Livingston County, just miles away from his father.

William married in 1880 to Elizabeth Harrison. They then farmed the farm of her grandfather in Livingston County for a time, but always farming and stock raising in Livingston or McLean County. They had four children, but both their sons died very young. Their daughter Jennie married John Kelso of Centralia Missouri and their daughter Nellie was still living at home when the encyclopedia was printed. She later married George Harlow King and lived in Fairbury, IL.

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