Captain William M. Adair was born in Randolph County, Illinois, January 6, 1837. The family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His grandfather came to America from North Ireland, and settled in South Carolina, and there his son William was born in 1781. The latter grew to manhood, and was a soldier in the war of 1812, under Gen. Jackson. Soon after that war he came north to Illinois, and settled in Perry County, on “Six Mile Prairie;” subsequently removed to Randolph County to a place eight miles east of Kaskaskia, on the Shawneetown road. He died in Perry County while back here looking after the improvement of land that he had entered, the date of which was in 1856. He was also a soldier in the war of 1831-32, with Black Hawk, and was major of the regiment. He was appointed Receiver of the Land office, a few years before his death, and was in that position when he died. Soon after he first came to Perry County, he married the daughter of James Brown. She died, leaving two children, one of whom is yet living. He afterwards married Mrs.. Rebecca Lacey, widow of John Lacey. Her maiden name was Taggart. She was of Irish parentage, and born in South Carolina. She died in 1877, aged eight-two years. By this marriage there were two children, twins, son and daughter.
The daughter is the wife of Frank Moore, a resident of Randolph County.
William Miles Adair, the son, was reared upon the farm; received a fair English education, and remained at home until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted for three years in company “C,” of the 30th regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. On the organization of the company he was elected Orderly Sergeant. The regiment was brigaded at Cairo, and formed a part of the 3d Brigade, 3d Division of the 17th Army Corps, Gen. McPherson commanding. The regiment received its first baptism of fire at the battle of Belmont, and subsequently participated in the capture of Forts Donaldson and Henry, siege of Corinth; marched to Jackson; was in the battle of Britain’s Lane, in Tennessee, then to Memphis and to Vicksburg; took part in the siege and capture, and in the meantime was in the battle of Champion Hills.
While at Vicksburg the 30th regiment veteranized, then came home on a furlough; returned and was in the Atlanta campaign, and in the fight before Atlanta, on the 22d of July, 1864. Mr. Adair was taken prisoner, and was held until the 1st of September, of the same year, when under an arrangement between the Generals of the Union and Rebel armies, he and others that were captured were exchanged. He joined Sherman’s forces, and then went with him in his memorable march to the sea, up through the Carolinas and to Washington, where he participated in the Grand Review. The company was mustered out at Somerville, and finally discharged at Springfield, July 17, 1865, having been in the service a few days lacking four years. He enlisted August 20, 1861. He entered as a private; was elected Orderly Sergeant, commissioner 2d Lieutenant, January 28, 1862; 1st Lieutenant, May 16, 1863, and commissioned Captain of the Company, August 20, 1864. Captain Adair was in every battle and skirmish in which his company and regiment participated, except those occurring when he was a prisoner, which was only a few weeks.
After the war he returned to Randolph County, and engaged in farming. In 1872 he came to Perry County, and he continued in same avocation up to 1880, when he came to the village of Swanwick, and engaged in mercantile business, in which he still continues. He married Miss Parthena, daughter of John and Florinda (UHLES) HARMON. She was born in Randolph County, September 11, 1844, and died March 10, 1882, leaving no children. Capt. Adair is a member of the United Presbyterian church.
Reference: Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties Illinois – Biographical Sketches of some of their Prominent Men and Pioneers, Published by J. L. McDonough & Co., Philadelphia. 1883. Page 431. (Note: There may be more on page 432, but I do not have that page).