William A. Coolley. Of the financial institutions of the smaller communities of Champaign County, which, by reason of the character of their officials and the manner in which their business has been conducted, have acquired and held in greater or less degree the confidence of the public, one of the best and most favorably known is that operating as the Bank of Broadlands, a house which has been built upon an honorable policy and maintained along straight-forward lines. Much of the success that has attended this institution has been brought about through the splendid business and financial ability of William A. Coolley, one of its founders and now its president. Formerly an agriculturist, Mr. Coolley is familiar with this part of the country, where he has built up a reputation for sound integrity and practical ability.
Mr. Coolley was born in Douglas County, Illinois, March 4, 1862, being a son of John A. and Harriet (Wyckoff) Coolley, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Ohio. John A. Coolley was for many years engaged in farming in Douglas County, where he owned a large and valuable property, but after his retirement came to live at Broadlands, where he died June 8, 1915, Mrs. Coolley having passed away August 30, 1903. There were six children in the family, as follows: William A.; Nettie, who is the wife of D. P. McIntyre, of Champaign; Luella, the wife of A. M. Kenny, of Decatur; Jonathan M., who lives on the farm in Douglas County formerly owned by his father; and two boys who died in infancy.
William A. Coolley secured his education in the public schools of Douglas County and grew up in an agricultural atmosphere, his boyhood and youth being filled with the tasks that train men to become farmers. When ready to adopt a vocation he took up the cultivation of the soil as his life work, and his energy and industry were rewarded by the accumulation of much valuable farming property. Having succeeded in this direction, and having become interested in monetary matters, as connected with farm loans and other ways, in 1892 he joined Messrs. Kenny and McIntyre in the formation of the Bank of Broadlands. At the time of the organization Mr. Kenny, now a resident of Decatur, was made president, and when he left that office was succeeded by Mr. McIntyre. Subsequently the latter removed to Champaign, and Mr. Coolley succeeded to the presidential position, which he still retains. He is rather of the conservative type of banker, but has the courage to enter into large undertakings when assured that they are absolutely safe and legitimate. His policies have served to attract and hold the faith and esteem of the public, and the depositors come from all over the countryside adjoining Broadlands. Politically Mr. Coolley is a Republican, but he has only taken a good citizen’s interest in public matters, and has not cared to have his name used in connection with candidacy for public office. His fraternal identification is with the Masons. In the civic affairs of Broadlands he has done his part to help good movements and to conserve the best interests of the thriving little city.
On October 10, 1894, Mr. Coolley was united in marriage with Miss Jeannette McIntyre, who was born in Ontario, Canada, and to this union there has been born one daughter, Anna, who is single and resides with her parents.