George Washington Smith.

A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) online

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A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its
People, and its Principal Interests


George Washington Smith, M. A.







History of Southern Illinois

ERNEST F. MILLER. One of the old and highly respected families
of Jackson county, Illinois, members of which have distinguished them-
selves in business life and the professions for a number of years, is
that of Miller, prominent members of which are found in Makanda, as
representatives of the well-known banking firm of R. H. Miller & Son,
of which R. H. Miller is president and Ernest P. Miller, cashier. Ernest
F. Miller was born on a farm near the village of Makanda, December
19, 1881, and is a son of Robert H. and Mahala (Oakes) Miller, and
a grandson of Alexander and Catherine (McMullough) Miller, the
former of Scotch and the latter of Scotch-Irish descent.

Robert H. Miller was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, February 2,
1837, and was a lad of fifteen years when brought to Illinois. Here
he was reared to agricultural pursuits, and on reaching manhood took
up that vocation, which he followed for many years. He is now liv-
ing on a farm near the old homestead, and his wife, a member of the
old Oakes and Zimmerman families of Union and Jackson counties,
also survives. They have had three children: Miss Hattie, Charles
A., a well known physician of Macon; and Ernest F. Mr. Miller is a
well-known Mason, has been interested in Republican politics, and is
a member of the Presbyterian church, with which his wife is also con-
nected.- Both are well known and highly esteemed in their community.

Ernest F. Miller's early life was spent on his father's farm, and
his early education secured in the public schools and McKendree and
Ewing Colleges. On finishing his education, at the age of fifteen years,
he entered the employ of the Jackson State Bank, of Carbondale. was
later in the First National Bank of East St. Louis, and eventually be-
came connected with the Diamond Joe line of steamers. Eventually he
became paymaster of the Defiance Box Company, at Defiance, Ohio, but
in 1905 resigned this position to engage in the banking business with
his father, and this has demanded all of his attention to the present
time. Although still a young man, Mr. Miller has been recognized
as one of the Republican leaders of his section, and has served as pres-
ident of the village board. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and
the Modern Woodmen of America, in both of which he is very popu-
lar, and his religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal
church, in the work of which both he and his wife are active.

In 1907 Mr. Miller was married to Miss Venita Hall, daughter of J.
C. Hall, of McLeansboro, and they have had one son, Frederick Eu-
gene. During the time the business of R. H. Miller & Son has been
operating in Makanda it has firmly established itself in the confidence
of the people here, and it is considered one of the solid, substantial in-
stitutions of this part of the state. The elder Miller has always borne
an unblemished reputation in all of his business dealings, and his son
has inherited the same high principles that have made his father so




highly respected. He has been ready at all times to aid by his means
and enterprising spirit the building up of this part of Southern Illi-
nois, and has many friends in both the business and social fields.

HENRY WILLIAM SCHROEDER. The city of Breese, Illinois, is the home
of some flourishing business houses whieh supply the large contiguous
territory with necessities, and one that controls an extensive trade and is
constantly enlarging its field of operations is that owned by Henry Wil-
liam Schroeder, a lumber and building material business. Mr. Schroeder
is well known to the citizens of Breese, as he has lived in this city all of
his life, his birth having occurred here September 15, 1869.

Mr. Schroeder is a son of Conrad Schroeder, who was born in Hessen,
Germany, and came to the United States at the age of eighteen years,
with a brother, John, who was sixteen years old at that time. Locating
in Clinton county, Illinois, they began to follow their trades, Conrad being
a wagon maker and John a blacksmith, and soon thereafter each entered
business on his own account and became well and favorably known to
the business citizens of the city of Breese. Conrad Schroeder married
Miss Christina Wiese, of Clinton county, where her father was a prom-
inent agriculturist, and they had a family of eight children, of whom
five survive : Carrie ; Henry W. ; Louisa, who became the wife of E. G.
Hofsommer ; Lydia, who married August Hofsommer ; and Emil J. Mr.
Schroeder continued in the wagon making business, in connection with
dealing in farming implements, up to the time of his death. His widow,
who survives him, resides in Breese and attends St. John's Evangelical
church, of which he was also a consistent member. In his political views
he was a Republican, but his business interests always demanded all of
his time and attention and he never held nor cared for public office.

Henry W. Sehroeder spent his boyhood in Breese, where he attended
the public schools, later entering the Southern Illinois Normal Univer-
sity, and eventually took a course in architectural drawing at Shenk's
Architectural Drawing School, St. Louis. Entering an architect's office
in St. Louis, Mr. Schroeder continued to follow that line for a time, but
eventually went into the carpenter and building business at St. Louis,
having learned that trade before he took up architectural work. In 1892
he came to Breese, where he formed a partnership with E. G. Hofsom-
mer in the building and contracting business, and this association con-
tinued for five years, when Mr. Schroeder purchased Mr. Hofsommer 's
interests. Lately, however, he has almost entirely abandoned the con-
tracting business, giving the major part of his attention to dealing in
lumber and building material, and to the manufacture of artificial stone,
as secretary of the Breese Artificial Stone Company. This company has
extensive yards at Breese, and is one of the largest industries of this
thriving city. In addition Mr. Schroeder is secretary of the Breese Water
and Light Company, and takes an active and intelligent interest in all
matters pertaining to the material welfare of his native city. He is a
Republican, but, like his father, he has found no time to mix in politics.
He attends St. John's Evangelical church, and is a member of the South-
ern Illinois Lumber Dealers' Association and the Concordia Singing

In 1903 Mr. Schroeder was married to Miss Lily Hofsommer, daugh-
ter of William J. Hofsommer, of Breese, and four children have been born
to this union, namely : Melva, Irma, Margaret and Carl. Mr. Schroeder
is an excellent business man, and has demonstrated that a man may be-
come successful through the use of honorable and upright business meth-
ods. His standing as a citizen is equally high, and personally he is very
popular having many warm friends in the city of his birth.


ROBERT P. HILL. Among the distinctively prominent and brilliant
lawyers of the state of Illinois none is more versatile, talented or well
equipped for the work of his profession than Robert P. Hill, who main-
tains his home and business headquarters at Marion, in Williamson
county. Throughout his career as an able attorney and well fortified
counselor he has, by reason of unimpeachable conduct and close observ-
ance of the unwritten code of professional ethics, gained the admiration
and respect of his fellow members of the bar, in addition to which he
commands a high place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citi-
zens. At the present time, in 1911, Mr. Hill is a member of the law
firm of Hill & Skaggs, of Marion, and he is representing the Fiftieth dis-
trict of Illinois in the general assembly.

The original representative of the Hill family in Illinois was John
W. Hill, grandfather of the subject of this review. John W. Hill ac-
companied his father to Illinois from North Carolina in an early day and
he passed his life in Hamilton and Franklin counties where he was long
engaged in agricultural pursuits. Robert P. Hill was born in Franklin
county, Illinois, the date of his nativity being the 18th of April, 1874.
He is a son of James B. Hill, a fruit commission man at Anna, Illinois.
James B. Hill was born in Hamilton county, this state, in 1844. He was
a gallant and true soldier in the One Hundred and Tenth Illinois Vol-
unteer Infantry during the war of the Rebellion, having belonged to the
Army of the Cumberland. He participated in strenuous conflicts at
Murfreesboro, Lookout Mountain and Mississippi Ridge and received his
honorable discharge from service in 1865. For a number of years he was
most successfully engaged in farming operations in Franklin county,
Illinois, but in 1899 he located at Anna, where he has since been en-
gaged in the commission business. In 1869 was solemnized his marriage
to Miss Rebecca Spilman, a daughter of a noted Christian minister, who
died at Mulkeytown, this state, at the advanced age of eighty years.
Mrs. Hill passed to the life eternal in 1884, and concerning her children,
Robert P. is the immediate subject of this review; James J. is circuit
court clerk of Franklin county, Illinois ; Rebecca A. is the wife of Joseph
Webb, a prominent merchant and farmer near Ewing, Illinois; and
W. J. Hill, of St. Louis, Missouri. Two daughters, Sarah and Alice, are
both deceased.

Robert P. Hill was reared to the invigorating influences of the old
homestead farm in Franklin county and his preliminary educational
training was completed by a course in the Ewing, Illinois, College, in /
which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1896, duly receiving
his degree of Bachelor of Science. While attending college he taught
two sessions of county school in the vicinity of his home and after leav-
ing college he came to Williamson county, where he was elected principal
of the Crab Orchard Academy, serving in that capacity for two years.
Being ambitious for legal training, he located at Marion, where he began
to read law under the able preceptorship of Messrs. D. T. Hartwell and
E. M. Spiller. He was engaged in the real estate and life and fire in-
surance business while in the embryonic stage as a lawyer. In June,
1906, Mr. Hill went to Chicago, where he passed the state bar examina-
tion and where he was admitted to the bar of Illinois. He initiated the
active practice of his profession at Marion, where for a time he was alone
but where he is now associated in a business way with Walter W. Skaggs.

The first public service of an official nature rendered by Mr. Hill was
that of police magistrate of Marion, to which office he was elected prior
to his admission to the bar. Subsequently he was elected city attorney
of Marion, succeeding Hosea Ferrell in the office and serving therein for
a period of two years. It was during his incumbency as city attorney
that the city paving was inaugurated. In 1910 he was nominated as one
of the Democratic candidates of the Fiftieth district for representation


in the general assembly of the state. The district comprises the counties
of Franklin, Williamson, Union, Alexander and Pulaski, and while the
district is normally Republican by a wide majority he was elected to the
office. His interest in legislation has not taken a wide range but it is
shown to be practical by the activity he has manifested in legislating for
good roads, to reform the bill of lading practice of railroads and other
common carriers, to remove the technicality of "exceptions" in cases on
appeal to higher courts of the state and to eliminate the fee evil of the
state's attorney's office by placing the incumbent of that position on a
salary instead of tempting him with the fee graft, as of old. In the
Forty-seventh general assembly Mr. Hill was made a member of the com-
mittees on judiciary, judicial department and practice, good roads, mili-
tary affairs, railroads and the committee to visit penal and reformatory
institutions. He was also selected by his party as a member of the
Democratic steering committee.

Mr. Hill's plan for good-roads legislation was agitated in the house
and the same resulted in the naming of a committee to meet with a com-
mittee of the senate for the purpose of selecting another committee to
investigate conditions and make recommendations to the next general
assembly in that connection. Existing laws upon the subject will be re-
vised and the element of economy will enter into the consideration of
the question by the committee. As chairman of the sub-committee of the
house on railroads Mr. Hill was enabled to report favorably on the
" uniform bill-of-lading bill" and he secured its passage through the
house. As the end of the session was near the bill was hurried over to
the senate, where its friends secured prompt action, and the measure is
now a law.

Mr. Hill introduced a bill to change the court practice of requiring
"exceptions" to be made and noted during the trial of a cause before an
appeal to the higher courts could be taken and have standing with the
body. The bill provides that where any point in a bill is controverted
and passed on by the trial judge the party ruled adversely against may
take up the case on appeal on a writ of error without reference to form
of "exceptions" heretofore required to be made. The bill is now a part
of the statutes of 1911.

It has been common knowledge for years that the office of state's
attorney should be placed upon a salary basis in order to get the best
moral and financial results for the state. The temptation for graft is
ever present with the incumbent of the office and it has too frequently
been taken advantage of. A bill to abolish the fee evil came over to the
house from the senate end of the capital and Mr. Hill, as a friend of
the framer of the measure, fathered it and secured its passage, with the
result that it is now a law.

Mr. Hill in his legal practice is recognized as a particularly able law-
yer and among his clients are numbered some of the largest corporations
and most influential business concerns in this section of the state. As
already intimated, he is a stalwart Democrat in his political affiliations
and he is a zealous and active factor in all matters bearing on the party
welfare. He is connected with a number of fraternal organizations of
representative character and his religious faith is in harmony with the
tenets of the Baptist church, in whose faith he was reared. He is a
man of broad human sympathy and fine mental caliber and is held in
high esteem by all with whom he has come in contact.

On the 25th of December, 1901, Robert P. Hill was united in mar-
riage to Miss Lora Corder, of Marion. Mrs. Hill is a daughter of the late
Willis Corder, who was born and reared in Williamson county, Illinois,
and whose father was a pioneer here. Mrs. Hill is a grand niece of the
historic character and frontier lawyer of this county, Anderson P. Cor-


der, who was a compeer of Lincoln and other ante-bellum lawyers of
Illinois. Willis Corder married Julia Springs, and Mrs. Hill was their
only child. Robert P., Jr., born on the 30th of June, 1905, is the issue
of Mr. and Mrs. Hill.

WALTER CLYDE SHOUPE. An enterprising and successful journalist,
Walter Clyde Shoupe, editor of the Constitution at Carlyle, and a mem-
ber of the firm of T. D. Shoupe & Sons, publishers, is widely known
throughout Clinton county in connection with his paper, which has the
distinction of being the only Democratic paper published in Clinton
county, Illinois. He was born at New Athens, Saint Clair County, Illi-
nois, March 25, 1876, where his father, Theodore David Shoupe, was
then living. His grandfather, Abram Shoupe, a native of Pennsyl-
vania, married Catherine Tannehill, who was born and bred in Kentucky,
and in 1830 settled in Belleville, Saint Clair county, Illinois, becoming a
pioneer of that locality.

One of a family of seven children, Theodore David Shoupe was born
in Belleville, Illinois, November 24, 1837. In his youthful days he
learned the printer's trade in the office of the Belleville Tribune, which
was then edited by his brother, William H. Shoupe, but was later con-
ducted by G. A. Harvey. Becoming proficient at the trade, he went to
Tamaroa, Perry county, Illinois, and there published the True American.
In 1871 he purchased the New Athens Era, in Saint Clair county, and
published it three and one-half years, after which he worked at the case
in the office of the Republican, at Saint Louis, Missouri. On July 4,
1881, he bought a half interest in the Constitution and Union, at Carlyle,
Illinois, and conducted it, in partnership with R. D. Moore, until 1885.
From that time he was in partnership with R. H. Norfolk until Mr. Nor-
folk's death, in 1892, when he bought out the heirs of his former part-
ner. Admitting then to partnership his two sons, under the firm name of
T. D. Shoupe & Sons, he changed the name of the paper to The Carlyle
Constitution, under which it has since been conducted. He has made the
paper thoroughly Democratic in its principles, and the public has shown
its appreciation in a gratifying way, its circulation being large and emi-
nently satisfactory. Although he has outlived the appointed three score
and ten years of man 's life, Mr. Shoupe is still active both mentally and
physically, and puts in full time each day in the office of his newspaper.
He is indeed a veteran journalist, and is distinguished as the oldest
editor in Southern Illinois.

Fifty-three years ago, in 1858, Mr. Theodore D. Shoupe was united
in marriage with Louisa J. Moore, who was born in Saint Clair county,
Illinois, of pioneer parents, and of the children born of their union five
daughters and two sons are living, both of the sons being associated with
him in the publication of the Constitution. Mrs. Shoupe is a faithful
member of the Baptist church, and Mr. Shoupe was formerly a member
of the Knights of Honor.

Walter Clyde Shoupe was educated in Carlyle, being graduated from
the Carlyle High School with the class of 1890. He immediately began
work in his father's printing office yielding, no doubt, to a natural ten-
dency toward journalism. His natural ability in that line brought him
rapid promotion, and a few years later, as above stated, he and his
brother were both made members of the publishing firm of T. D. Shoupe
& Sons, and have retained their connection with the Canstitution. The
Shoupe family have been associated with the newspaper world for sixty
or more years, and the journal which it is now editing is one of the very
few Democratic papers of the state which has faithfully supported the
principles of the party at all times.


"Walter Clyde Shoupe is an intelligent, progressive journalist, and
as a stanch Democrat in politics is chairman of the Democratic County
Committee. He is now rendering excellent service as master in chancery
of Clinton county, and is president of the Carlyle Board of Education.
Fraternally he is a member and master of Scott Lodge, No. 79, Ancient
Free and Accepted Order of Masons.

NATIONAL STOCK YARDS NATIONAL BANK. In connection with the es-
tablishment of the Saint Louis National Stock Yards and the develop-
ment of the live stock industry in Southern Illinois and Missouri it be-
came evident to the business interests located at the Stock Yards that a
bank was necessary for the proper carrying on of the business.

In 1872, therefore, a private bank was organized by Messrs. Newman
and Farr, who carried on the business until 1887. That year the bank
passed into the control of Isaac H. and C. G. Knox, who in 1889 incor-
porated the institution under the state law, with a capital stock of
fifty thousand dollars, under the name of the Stock Yard Bank of
Brooklyn the name Brooklyn was included from the little town of
Brooklyn adjoining the Stock Yards on the northwest. With the growth
of the market and the enlargement of the transactions there it became
necessary to increase the facilities of the bank. In 1892 the capital was
increased to one hundred thousand dollars, the deposits then being about
three hundred and fifty thousand. Mr. C. G. Knox, at this time acting
as president of the bank, was also managing officer of the Saint Louis
Stock Yards Company. He was a director of the Mechanics- American
National Bank of St. Louis, a member of numerous prominent clubs, and
a man very highly thought of in social and business circles in the city of
Saint Louis. There was very great regret manifested by his business
associates at his death in 1907, which occurred on ship board in the Gulf
of Mexico, terminating a vacation trip to the Panama Canal.

Snelson Chesney, at that time cashier of the bank, was made pres-
ident, and in 1908 the bank was reorganized under the National Banking
Law as the National Stock Yards National Bank, with a capital of three
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and a surplus of seventy thousand
dollars, the deposits being two million and forty-five thousand dollars.

On the first of January, 1910, Mr. Wright was elected president and
Mr. Sullivan, cashier. At the present time the officers are as follows:
Wirt Wright, president ; C. T. Jones, vice-president ; M. A. Traylor, vice-
president ; O. J. Sullivan, cashier ; H. W. Kramer, assistant cashier ; R.
D. Garvin, assistant cashier. The directors are as follows : L. F. Swift,
Edward Tilden, G. R. Collett, William Cullen, C. M. Macfarlane, C. T.
Jones, Wirt Wright, 0. J. Sullivan, M. A. Traylor. The bank now has
a capital of $350,000 ; surplus and undivided profits of $238,000, and the
deposits are about $4.000,000.

Of the active officers of the bank- the president was born at Liberty-
ville, Illinois, in 1878 ; was graduated from Beloit College in 1901 and im-
mediately entered the office of N. W. Harris and Company, bond dealers
in Chicago. After three years' service there he accepted the cashiership
of the First National Bank of Edgerton, Wisconsin, remaining there until
April 1, 1907, at which time he was elected cashier of the then Stock
Yard Bank at the National Stock Yards.

Mr. Traylor, vice-president, is a native of Kentucky, was born in
Adair county in 1878, and spent his youth in the mountains of that
state, leaving there at the age of twenty for Texas. There he was ad-
mitted to the bar and became assistant prosecuting attorney of Hill
county. Mr. Traylor practiced law for some years and finally became
interested in the banking business and was associated with several banks


in Texas, ultimately becoming president of the First National Bank
of Ballinger. This position he resigned to accept the vice-presidency of
the National Stock Yards National Bank.

Mr. Sullivan, cashier of the bank, was born in 1878, in Saint Louis,
and received his early education in the Saint Louis schools. Quite early
he entered the office of the Mechanics-American National Bank in Saint
Louis, and joined the force of the Stock Yards Bank in 1901. He has
since filled every subordinate position in the bank, becoming cashier in
January, 1910.

JOHN RUF, JR. A worthy representative of the native-born citizens
of Carlyle, Illinois, John Ruf, Jr., is well known in the newspaper world,
and as editor of the Union- Banner, is devoting all his thought and energy
to making that journal bright, newsy, readable and clean. He was born
January 12, 1879, in Carlyle, and is the third in direct line of descent to
bear the name of John Ruf.

His paternal grandfather, John Ruf, the first, was born in Germany,
and was there bred and married. In 1852, soon after the death of his
wife, Elizabeth Ruf, he immigrated with his family to America, locating
in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he was variously occupied for a few years.
Coming to Illinois in 1863, he was a resident of Waterloo until 1878, when
he returned to his old home in Germany, where he lived until his death,
two years later. He reared four children, of whom his son John, the next
in line of descent, was the second child.

John Ruf, second, or senior, as he now is, was born November 26,

Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) → online text (page 1 of 98)