William Usborne               

Born 18th February 1819.
Baptised at Staplehurst 23rd May 1819.
Married 5th March 1845 to Jane Gilbert 
(b.1827 in Kent)
William died in August 1881.
Jane died 5th March 1898 at Huntley.

William came to America with his father's family in 1830, aged eleven and received a good common school education at Eaton, Madison Co. NY. He was raised on a farm by his father and step-mother and began to work for others when about twelve years old. He lived for six years with Ebenezer King in Sangerfield, and afterwards went to Jefferson County, NY., still continuing at farm labor, being last in the employ of Jacob Ten Eyck, a banker, caring for his horses. At about 27 years old he married a girl from Kent, England, Jane Gilbert, a niece of his step-mother. They journeyed by way of the Lakes to Chicago, arriving in October 1845 in Grafton Township, McHenry Co. Illinois. For $200 they bought 120 acres of partly improved "oak openings" from James Williams a resident of New York State. Stopping with a neighbor until his house was completed he gradually improved the farm and built a good log house raising three sons and three daughters in true pioneer style. He added to his purchase until he owned 156 acres, creating one of the finest farms in Grafton Township. He was an industrious and respected citizen. In politics he was an old line Whig, later one of the original Republicans, voting for John C. Fremont and later for Abraham Lincoln. In 1881 they moved to Huntley where he purchased a number of lots, built a pleasant residence for his family. Mrs Usborne was a member of the Methodist church of Harmony, and a pioneer woman of excellent character. William was a hard-working man of upright character who raised a respected family. (Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, vol. two, 1903)

Craig Pfannkuche writes: "There was no white settlement in McHenry County until about 1830. Although Chicago, 70 miles to the south-east was settled (Fort Dearborn) by 1809, noone saw any reason to settle out in the wilds of McHenry County until all the Indians were removed in 1832. The 1885 HISTORY OF McHENRY COUNTY states (on page 540) that John Usborne (Williams son?) came from Madison Co. NY to settle in McHenry Co in 1846. John settled in Grafton Township, two miles west of Huntley which he sold in 1881 and retired. In 1885 he was living in Section 33 of Coral Township, McHenry Co. (Ed: There seems to be some confusion between John and William).

The 1880 census lists William, Jane and Louisa living in Grafton Township.