Submitted by Kevin Martin April 5, 1997 Ward L. Candor
Ward L. Candor is a worthy representative of one of the oldest pioneer families of Mercer county and is now following general farming on a valuable tract of two hundred and forty acres, situated in Ohio Grove township. He was born in Rock Island county, Illinois, September 28, 1857.
The family was founded in Illinois by the paternal grandfather, Thomas Candor, who was a native of Union county, Pennsylvania, born February 29, 1796, of Scotch-Irish descent. The tradition of the Candor family is in effect that the founder was a Huguenot who went from Holland to England at the time William and Mary took possession of the throne in 1688. He went from England to Ireland with the expedition that went to raise the siege of Londonderry, and formed a part of Count Schomberg's battalion at the battle of the Boyne about 1690. He settled in Enniskillen, Ireland, from whence one Joseph Candor came to America and settled in Derry township, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, about 1740. Thomas Candor, the grandfather of our subject, was a son of Josiah Candor and his wife, Mary Howard, both born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, who about 1806 moved to Union county, Pennsylvania. Josiah was a son of Joseph, the pioneer and emigrant, and Mary was the daughter of Thomas Howard and his wife, Elizabeth Harris, and a granddaughter of Gordon Howard, a noted Indian trader. In early life Thomas Candor learned the tanner's trade, following the same in the east for many years. Believing, however, he could find larger opportunities in the middle west, in 1836 he made his way across country to Mercer county to establish a permanent home, the overland trip being a long and tedious one. He settled on section 12, Abington township, and section 7, Ohio Grove township, the home being located in the latter township. Mr. Candor from the time of his settlement her until his death was identified with the progress and development of this section, and not only witnessed the transformation that was here made, but was an active participant in bringing about this change. He was one of the organizers of and for many years served as elder of the Pope River Presbyterian church, which was the first religious society formed in Mercer county and was one of the first Presbyterian churches organized in the state. It was while still a resident of Pennsylvania that Thomas Candor was married to Miss Margaret Montgomery, whose brother, Rev. John Montgomery, was the first man to hod religious services in Mercer county. They reared a family of five children: John M., who at the time of his death, which occurred when he was twenty-four years of age, was attending a theological seminary in preparation for the ministry; Robert and Josiah, deceased; Mary H., who became the wife of Graham Lee, and is now deceased; and Daniel M., deceased. It was but a few years after the family located in Mercer county that the wife and mother was called from this life, her death occurring September 30, 1841, and hers was the first body to be interred in Pope River cemetery. Mr. Candor was married a second time to Miss Mary L. Boardman, whose death occurred May 27, 1874. Mr. Candor passed away on the farm which for more than three decades had been the scene of his activities, March 13, 1871, and thus the county lost one of its most honored and valued pioneer settlers.
The father of our subject, Robert Candor, was the second in order of birth in his father's family, his natal day being May 4, 1828. He was a little lad of nine years when he accompanied the family on their removal from Pennsylvania to Mercer county. He remained under the parental roof until he had reached mature years, when he went to Rock Island county and for fourteen years was there engaged in farming. At the end of that period he returned to Mercer county, succeeding to the ownership of the old homestead in Ohio Grove township, and in 1872 built the house which till stands upon the place. He was married to Miss Rebecca J. Linn, who was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, April 2, 1829, a daughter of John and Anna (McGaughey) Linn, who settled in Mercer county, near Viola, in 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Candor reared a family of six children: J.M., deceased; Thomas H., who was minister of the Presbyterian church and is now a missionary in South America; W.L., of this review; Sarah, the wife of A.W. Hill of Denver, Colorado; Maggie, the wife of W.S. Ross of Chino, California; and Mary L., the wife of W.S. Shields, a civil engineer living in Chicago. Robert Candor followed farming until 1884, when he moved into Aledo, where he resided until his demise which occurred in 1900. His wife survived him and passed away at the home of a daughter in Evanston, Illinois, in 1903. They were devoted members of the Presbyterian church, and their lives were lived in harmony with the teaching thereof.
Ward L. Candor who, as above stated, was born in Rock Island county, Illinois, there spent his early boyhood to the age of eight years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Mercer county. He acquired his education in the district schools and in the Aledo Academy, and after putting aside his textbooks, returned to the duties of the home farm, assisting largely in its cultivation and improvement during his youth and early manhood. He eventually inherited eighty acres of the old homestead, which was slightly improved, and as the years have passed and he has accumulated the means, he has added to his possessions until his acreage, located on section 7, Ohio Grove township. He has made all of the improvements on the place, having torn down all the former buildings, with the exception of a barn. He has built a modern and up-to-date country residence, barns, silo and other outbuildings, and now has a farm that is supplied with every convenience for carrying on his work. In addition to doing general farming he makes a specialty of raising Polled Angus cattle for breeding purposed, and this branch of his business returns him a gratifying income.
Mr. Candor made arrangements for a home of his own through his marriage on the 28th of December, 1882, to Miss Izora Bopes, who was born in Rock Island county, a daughter of David and Sarah (Titterington) Bopes, both of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Candor have two sons and one daughter: David B., who wedded Etta Kinnamon, by whom he has one daughter Mary Katherine, and who is on the farm with his father; Sarah, the wife of W.B. Jones, a farmer of Abington township; and Thomas W., who is high-school student at Aledo.
Following the religious teachings of his forefathers, Mr. Candor and hi family are affiliated with the Presbyterian church, while in political belief he is a republican. He has served a township school trustee for the past thirty years but aside from that has not held political office. He has always followed the same line of work that was here begun by his honored grandfather and continued by his father, and like them, has met with success. He also fully sustains the high reputation that was borne by them, and there is no more familiar name in the households of Mercer county than the old and honored one of Candor.
-"Past and Present of Mercer County Illinois", Vol. II, SJ Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago 1914