William H. Bundy was born in Tennessee April 2, 1846. His father Dr. Samuel H. Bundy, was a prominent physician and surgeon for more than fifty years. He moved from Tennessee with his family to Williamson County in 1852, and for more than half a century was one of its most successful practitioners. He served in the Union army for four years as surgeon of the 9th Illinois Volunteers. He was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky in 1865 and resumed the practice of his profession here. He died on November 21, 1899 at the age of 77.
William attended the public schools until 1865 when he had the benefit of President Clark Braden’s instruction In the Southern Illinois College until it was merged into the Southern Illinois Normal School in 1871. Being much attached to Prof. Braden he refused to enter Normal and took a school of his own. From this time on, for ten years, four of which were spent in Marion schools, he followed teaching as a profession.
In 1869 he took a hand in politics for a short time, and served one term as County Surveyor.
On April 10, 1870 William married Isabelle “Belle” Warder and in 1876 went into the drug business with C. H. Dennison, president of Marion State Savings Bank and later Mayor of the city. After two years Denison sold out his interest to W. S. Washburn.
By the 1880 census, the couple was engaged with their drug business and in farming on land they had purchased. They had three children, Mamie 7, Ben 2 and Lizzie 1. On June 29, 1883 his wife Belle passed away, a double hit, since their youngest child Lizzie had died previously. Belle was buried at Hurricane Cemetery, Carterville, Illinois.
In 1882 he was appointed deputy sheriff by James H. Duncan and served from 1882 to 1886. In the fall of 1886 he was elected to the legislature and served two years.
On April 9, 1885 he was married to Miss Alice Bevard, born September 3, 1861, of Carterville, Illinois and was Master of Marion Lodge 89, A.F. & A. M. in 1895. In 1896, they built and moved into a large, new home at 403 S. Market St.
As secretary of the Williamson County Agricultural Board, he was for more than 20 years the moving spirit of that organization. He served for five years as Director before accepting the position of secretary, which he held continuously from 1888 to at least 1905, except for 1899 when George H. Goodall served.
He always took an active interest in school matters, and served on the Board of Education as its first president in 1898 and was re-elected for a second term. He continued to serve as Director on the Board till after 1905. He was Mayor of the city one term from 1901 to 1903 and did good work getting the Electric Belt Line Railway in operation.
By the 1900 census, William was 64 and his wife Alice was 48. Their son Ben was 22, still living with his parents, and working as a drug clerk at his father’s drug business at 605 Public Square, later location of Parks Pharmacy next to the Orpheum Theater. The family was living in their home at 403 S. Market St. Their daughter Mamie had married Edward Longbons two years earlier in 1898.
Between the 1910 and 1920 census, William and Alice gave up their roomy home on S. Market St. for a residence at 312 W. Main St. that they had purchased. In 1920, William was 74 but still engaged in his drug business.
The next year, in 1921, his second wife Alice died and was buried at Rose Hill cemetery. William stayed shortly at the West Main address but by 1927 he was living alone at 513 S. Madison Street. In 1930, he moved to Paulton village and was renting a home for himself paying $5.00 a month.
On March 31, 1938 William died in Herrin, Illinois at the age of 91. He was buried in Rose Hill cemetery on April 2nd.
William was a member of the Gethsemane Commandery No. 41; Knights Templar Marion Chapter; No. 100 R. A. M. Fellowship Lodge; Williamson Lodge No. 392 I.O.O.F.; Marion Lodge No. 800 Benevolent Order of Elks where he served as ex-ruler and charter member, in addition to his Masonic membership in Lodge 89.
William’s son Ben Bundy would go on to marry and on September 30, 1906 brought another William Bundy into the world. William, the grandson of the subject of this biography, would follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and go on to teach and become principle of Marion High School, he died on Febraury 27, 1964. Ben died in 1953 and he and his son William are buried in the family plot at Rose Hill cemetery.
William’s daughter Mamie, who married Edward Longbons would give birth to Helen Longbons, a lifelong music teacher in Marion, Illinois. They lived for years at 514 E. Everett St. in Marion, Illinois. Mamie died August 12, 1961 and her daughter Helen died March 11, 1999. The Longbons family is interred at Rose Hill cemetery.
( Photo and data from 1905 Souvenir Book and Marion Memory Kit 1964; familly photos from Wiliamson County Historical Society; Federal Census records, Death Records, Marion City Cemetery Records, City and Business Directories; compiled by Sam Lattuca on 01/24/2013)