From the Biographical Record of Whiteside County, IL 1900
MICHAEL CARNEY, Who is industriously engaged in the prosecution of a calling upon which the support and wealth of a nation largely depends, and in which he is meeting with deserved success, has been a resident of Portland township, Whiteside county, for thirty-three years, during which time he has witnessed important changes for the better. He was born in Massena, St. Lawrence county, New York, April 5, 1848, a son of James Carney.
James Carney, a native of Ireland, came to this Country when a young man, and located in St. Lawrence county, where he was engaged in the independent occupation of a farmer until his death, in 1857. He married Miss Sally England, a life-long resident of New York state, and a daughter of Robert England, Who emigrated from old England to America in early life, becoming a pioneer of St. Lawrence County. She survived him many years, passing away in 1888, leaving eight children, as follows: John, who settled in Whiteside county as a farmer in 1864; Mrs. Margaret Andrews, of St. Lawrence County, New York; William, of the same county; Michael, the particular subject of this brief biography; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Cockings, of Erie, Illinois; Jane, wife of Joseph Crump of St. Lawrence county, New York; Mary, who lives with her sister, Mrs. Andrews; and Robert, who owns and operates the old home farm in St. Lawrence county.
Michael Carney received excellent educational advantages in the graded schools of Massena, where he lived until the spring of 1866, when he came west to join his elder brother, John, in Portland township. The first season of his sojourn here he worked as a farm hand by the month, and was afterwards employed by the year. Commencing then to work for himself, he rented land and for several years carried it on with excellent pecuniary results. In 1877 he invested his money in a tract of land containing one hundred and twenty acres, and there continued general farming and stock raising and feeding, meeting with such good success that he was enabled to buy more land, and build a convenient residence and substantial barn and outbuildings. Disposing of that property at an advantage, he bought a farm of one hundred and twenty-two acres in the same neighbourhood; there he continued his operations with an equal amount of success. In 1897 he sold that farm, and has since had charge of the estate on which he now resides. It contains eight hundred acres of land, lying on the Rock River Bottoms, very favourably situated, and well adapted to his chosen occupation of general agricultural and stock raising.
Mr. Carney was married, in June, 1870, to Esther M. Chase, who was born and bred in Allegany county, New York, but came to Whiteside county with her father, David D. Chase, about 1850. On November 27, 1885, Mrs. Carney passed to the life beyond, and her body was laid to rest in Sharon cemetery. Two children were born of their union, as follows: Zene D., who is married, is engaged in business in Erie, this county, and Dency M., who married August Sourbeck, of Spring Hill, has one child, Edith Esther.
Politically Mr. Carney has invariably voted the Republican ticket since casting his first presidential vote, in 1872 for General U. S. Grant. He has served sixteen consecutive years as constable, and for several terms was one of the school board. Fraternally he was a charter member of Erie lodge. I. O. O. F., but for the past twelve years he has belonged to the Prophetstown lodge of Odd Fellows, and he is likewise a member of the Home Forum, Spring Hill lodge.