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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lau, of Nashville. Her father and mother, Frederick and Minnie
(Krumwieder) Franzlau, were German people, and the parents of
Lizzie, wife of Dr. Krumsieck, of Nashville ; Frank H., engaged in the
drug business at Manito, Illinois ; William, of Hartford City, Indiana ;
Mrs. Lesemann; Ella, the wife of Rev. Charles Krugoff, residing at
Jamestown, Missouri; Emma, who married Oscar Grote, of St.
Louis ; and Harry, a resident of Freeburg, Illinois. Dr. and Mrs. Lese-
mann have two children : Ralph, twelve years old ; and Ferrol, who is
four years his brother's junior. The family are members of the Ger-
man Methodist church, of which Dr. Lesemann is steward.

ELMER BURCH, M. D. Comparatively brief has been the period of
the residence of Dr. Elmer Burch in DuQuoin, but it has been of suffi-
cient duration to win for him a fair degree of eminence in that city and
in the surrounding district. He is a member of the professional firm of
Gillis & Burch, M. D. 's, and has been active in the practice of his pro-
fession in DuQuoin since 1908. As physician for the Children's Home of
DuQuoin and district surgeon of the Illinois Central Railway Company,
together with his private practice, Dr. Burch is one of the busy men
of the city.

Elmer Burch was born on a farm near Monmouth, Illinois, on April
8, 1864, and was there reared. His grandfather was Thomas Wells
Burch, a native of Wales, born in that country in 1795, who came to
the United States in infancy and was reared in North Carolina. He
later became a resident of Illinois, settling at Monmouth. He married
and became the father of thirteen children, but only four grew to years
of manhood and womanhood. They were Benjamin, who died recently
in Hancock county, Illinois, leaving a wife and daughter to mourn their
loss; Lizzie, who became the wife of Jackson Gossett and resides in
Nebraska ; Thomas J., who became the father of Dr. Elmer Burch ; and
Sarah, who died at Monmouth, Illinois, as Mrs. John Easton.

Thomas J. Burch lived the life of the farm boy as a child, and when
he became a man accepted that vocation as his own. He re-
ceived the usual district school training, and passed his boyhood and
youth as a typical farmer's lad, the real business of life beginning when
he volunteered for service in the Union army in Company K of the
Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, with Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll in com-
mand. An active and honorable army career was his, and when the
viscissitudes of army life were over he returned to his home, where he
resumed work on the old farm. He remained thus occupied for some
time, until he subsequently moved to Missouri, and is now passing his
remaining days in the peace and quiet of the town of Ewing in that
state. He is an active Democrat and a member of the G. A. R. Thomas
J. Burch chose as his wife Miss Marie L. Shellenbarger, a daughter of
George Shellenbarger, from Erie county, Pennsylvania, who, with his
wife, was of German extraction. Mr. and Mrs. Schellenbarger were

Vol. Ill 12


the parents of eleven children, of whom Mrs. Burch was the fourth
in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Burch were the parents of two sons,
Dr. Elmer, of this review, and Dr. George W., a graduate of the Col-
lege of Physicians and Burgeons of Keokuk, Iowa, now located at
Quincy, Illinois, and active in the practice of his chosen profession.

Dr. Elmer Burch, after finishing with the high school of his home
town, completed a course of literary studies in the U. P. College of
Monmouth. He took up his medical studies in the College of Physi-
cjans and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, graduating therefrom in 1886
He began the practice of his profession at Cameron, Illinois, continu-
ing his work there for a space of six years, then entered the Baltimore
Medical College and was graduated from that institution in 1893. His
next location was at Clearmont, Missouri, where he remained for five
years in practice and then removed to Doe Run, St. Francois county,
and after a residence of ten years came thence to DuQuoin. While
located in Missouri Dr. Burch connected himself with the professional
societies of both county and state, and holds similar affiliation with
corresponding societies of Illinois, as well as with the American Med-
ical Association. He is physician for the Children's Home of Du-
Quoin and district surgeon of the Illinois Central Railway Company,
and in connection with the latter named position holds membership in
the Illinois Central Association of Surgeons. Dr. Burch is a member of
the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Masonry, is past noble grand of Odd
Fellowship, past sachem of the Red Men, and is also a member of the
Eagles, Elks and the Modern Woodmen.

On July 23, 1893, Dr. Burch was married to Miss Trella M. Reg-
nier, a daughter of Eugene and Frances (Holcomb) Regnier. Mr.
Regnier is of French origin and is a mason contractor of Galesburg.
Dr. and Mrs. Burch have two children, Beatrice and Claire.

MILO R. CLANAHAN. As manager of the Southern Illinois agency
for the National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier, Vermont, Mr.
Clanahan is recognized as one of the representative figures in the field
of life insurance in this section of the state, and he maintains his of-
ficial headquarters in suite 506-7 Metropolitan building, East St. Louis.
He is one of the popular and representative business men of this thriv-
ing city and has made an admirable record in his chosen field of en-

Milo R. Clanahan finds a due amount of satisfaction in reverting
to Illinois as the place of his nativity, and he is a scion of a family
whose name has been identified with the history of this favored com-
monwealth for fully three quarters of a century. He was born on a
farm in Pope county, Illinois, on the 4th of March. 1864, and is a son
of Augustus Hamilton Clanahan and Ann Eliza (Modglin) Clanahan,
who established their home in Pope county many years ago, the father
becoming one of the prosperous farmers of that section, where both he
and his wife continued to reside until their death. He whose name
initiates this review was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm and
in the meanwhile the district school found him enrolled as a duly am-
bitious pupil. He amplified his educational discipline by attendance in
summer schools and finally by an effective course in the Northern Illi-
nois Normal University, at Normal, McLean county. In this institu-
tion he admirably qualified himself for the work of the pedagogic pro-
fession, and for six years he was a successful and popular teacher in
the public schools of his native state. Thereafter he served five years
as chief deputy in the office of the United States collector of internal
revenue at Cairo, Illinois, a position from which he retired in 1894. In


1896 he became district manager for the Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany of New York, this position having been given him after a specially
excellent record as a local underwriter for the Mutual Benefit Life In-
surance Company. His service as district manager for the Mutual Life
continued until the 1st of January, 1904, and he maintained his execu-
tive headquarters in the- city of Cairo until 1901, when the same were
transferred to East St. Louis. On the 1st of January, 1904, Mr. Clan-
ahan assumed his present position, that of manager of the Southern
Illinois agency for the National Life Insurance Company of Montpe-
lier, Vermont, and he has added materially to his prestige in his chosen
profession since forming such connection with this admirable New Eng-
land company, for which he has built up a large and substantial busi-
ness in his jurisdiction. He has shown marked initiative and executive
ability, is progressive and alert and has a broad and exact knowledge
of all details of the life-insurance business, in which he has gained a
high reputation and unqualified success. In 1908 Mr. Clanahan pur-
chased a fine stock farm near Vienna, the judicial center of Johnson
county, Illinois, and he has found great pleasure and satisfaction in
the development and improvement of this property and in exploiting
the stock industry through progressive and effective methods. His farm
is now one of the best devoted to the raising of pure bred live stock
to be found in Southern Illinois, and he gives to the same his personal

In politics Mr. Clanahan gives a stanch allegiance to the Repub-
lican party and as a citizen he is essentially loyal and public-spirited.
He is a member of the East St. Louis Commercial Club, is affiliated
with the Masonic fraternity and is identified with other civic organiza-
tions. The church relations of Mr. and Mrs. Clanahan are with the

On the 26th of June, 1889, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Clan-
ahan to Miss Lollie Mittler, and they have three children, Elsie Mittler,
who is a student in Washington College, at Washington, D. C. ; Julius
Harrington, who is a member of the office force of the Pittsburg Alumi-
nuni Works, which is one of the largest industries of East St. Louis,
Illinois; and Walter Hamilton, who is a student in the East St. Louis
high school.

Apropos of Mr. Clanahan !s deep interest in stock-growing it may be
said that he is specially enthusiastic as a lover and breeder of fine horses,
in which connection he has prepared and published an attractive little
brochure, dedicated to the American saddle horse in general, but more
particularly to Forest Dudley, No. 2850, and his noted sire, Forest King,
No. 1462, the former animal being owned by Mr. Clanahan. Concern-
ing the pamphlet to which reference has just been made pertinent in-
formation is given in the preface of the same, and the context thereof
is consistently reproduced in this sketch of the career of the author:
"Upon my first conception of the idea that I would prepare a pamphlet
and dedicate it to 'The American Saddle Horse' in general, but more
particularly to the one in which I felt most deeply interested, I little
realized the enormity of what first appeared so small a task, but which in
reality proved a large one for me, coming, as it does, not from a horseman,
familiar with 'boss' talk, but simply from a life-insurance man who in
early boyhood and while on the farm formed a love and admiration for
horses, which is my hobby. . . . It has been said that every man
must have his business and his hobby. Imagine yourself, if you please,
trying to write something of your hobby and to make it of interest to any-
body else, especially when you are not a member of or applicant for mem-
bership in the Ananias Club, and you will agree with me that it would


be far easier to talk or write intelligently and, as in this case I have
tried to do, truthfully upon the line of business in which you are in
every-day life engaged. But as I was never accused of being a ' quitter, '
I have stayed at this self-imposed task until it is now 'up to the printer'
and ' me for the bill, ' and if this pamphlet contains any information of
interest to you, either with reference to Forest Dudley, No. 2850, or any
of his distinguished ancestry or to the American saddle horse in gen-
eral, let me assure you that I have taken no little pains but have spent
much time and labor and some money in the preparation of the book-
let, and in an honest effort to substantiate every statement made herein,
and which I now ask you to accept as authentic, with the compliments
of the author. ' ' Copies of the pamphlet may be had upon application
to Mr. Clanahan, and at a purely nominal price. Further statements
made by Mr. Clanahan in this connection are as follows: "By a care-
ful study of this publication you will find that it contains much valuable
and general information, in fact the boiled-down essence of the various
published volumes of the American Saddle Horse Register, as to the or-
ganization of the association, the foundation sires and later noted sires,
outlining from official sources the distinctive upper blood lines of the
American saddle-horse family, with show records and achievements of its
most noted sires; also the sources, breeds and crosses from which the
' American saddle-horse family has sprung ; therefore we trust that every-
one into whose hands this booklet may fall may find it both interesting
and worthy of preserving for future reference."

In conclusion of this sketch of Milo R. Clanahan, will say that he has
always applied his energies faithfully and loyally to whatever task he
undertook, always remembering, and usually applying that good old rule
"Business first and pleasure afterwards."

JUDGE MOSES PEARCE MCGEHEE. "With the passing of Judge Moses
P. McGehee in 1883, Saline county lost one of her earliest pioneers and
most valuable citizens. Judge McGehee was early in life thrown upon
his own resources and he had to struggle along in the best way he
could. He was, however, full of the true spirit of the pioneer, the
spirit that went forward no matter what the odds, sustained by the
vision of the great and glorious country which was to rise on the foun-
dations of which the pioneers were the 'builders. He could turn his
hand to almost anything from blacksmithing to acting as a judiciary.
This versality, together with the wisdom which he had gathered dur-
ing his long life and the common sense which had been Nature's gift
to him, made him a very popular member of the community and he
was in demand on all occasions.

Moses Pearce McGehee was born in Montgomery county, Tennes-
see, in 1823. He was the descendant of an old and honored Virginian
family which had migrated to Tennessee. His parents were Pyrant
and Jemima Pearce McGehee, who left Tennessee in 1832, and came to
Gallatin county, Illinois. In 1838 Judge McGehee was left an orphan,
and finding that he would have to shift for himself he bound himself
as an apprentice to A. Mitchell and learned the blacksmith trade. He
plied his trade for several years on the western frontier and then re-
turned to Illinois and settled in Galatia, Saline county, in 1847. The
following year of 1848 witnessed his marriage to Mary Priscilla Davis.
She was a native of White county and a daughter of Dr. Robert Davis.
Judge McGehee lived in Galatia until 1856, and then he moved his
family to Harrisburg, where he spent the remainder of his life with the
exception of two years, 1876-77, when he lived at Carrier Mills.

Shortly after his arrival in Galatia, in 1850, he and Dr. Harvey


Pearce opened a general merchandise store. They also had the first
steam saw and grist mill in the county. The location of this mill was
about one and one-half miles southeast of Galatia. Since there were
no railroads in those days the machinery had to be hauled overland
from St. Louis, and created more excitement than a circus. In 1858
this mill was moved to Harrisburg, Illinois. In 1849 he was elected
justice of the peace and from 1853 to 1856 he served as associate jus-
tice. He was a clear thinker and was truly desirous of giving each
man his due, and his worth is deeply felt by the people of the county.
This was proven when they elected him county judge in 1856, to serve
four years. He was again elected to this office in 1865, serving until
1873. He was a staunch Democrat, and was a loyal believer in frater-
nal societies. He was a charter member of Harrisburg Lodge, No. 325,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and he was the first senior war-
den of the Lodge. He died in 1883 and was buried with the Masonic
ritual. His widow is still living in Harrisburg, at the age of seventy-
nine. The Judge and his wife were the parents of the following chil-
dren : Martha Louisa, who is the widow of Daniel Stiff, and with whom
Mrs. McGehee makes her home ; Sarah, who died in infancy ; Thomas,
who also died in babyhood ; Robert Solen ; Nora, who married H.
Thompson ; Axel, who died as a baby ; and Davis A.

The business ability of Judge McGehee was inherited by his chil-
dren and grandchildren. His grandson, Dennis B. McGehee, of Harris-
burg, is the assistant to the general manager of mines of the O'Gara
Coal Company, the most important enterprise in this section of the
country and which was organized in 1905, with T. J. O'Gara as its
president, and its officers and directors were all men of excellent busi-
ness ability and of executive capacity. It was incorporated under the
laws of the state of New York with a capital of six million dollars,
with headquarters in Chicago, in the Marquette building. This com-
pany owns or controls thirty thousand acres of coal land, enough to
keep its mines in operation for fifty years yet to come. The twelve
mines it is now working have a capacity for an output of seven million
tons of coal each year, and if fully worked would necessitate the em-
ployment of six thousand men. Its monthly pay roll now amounts to
$250,000, with a royalty for coal of $10,000. The O'Gara Coal Com-
pany's entire investment in lands and plants in Saline county, alone,
approaches $10,000,000, a vast sum of money which yields very satis-
factory returns. Mr. H. Thomas, as general manager of mines, and
Mr. McGehee, his assistant, so handle the works, the men and the
business as to make this organization of the utmost importance not
only to Harrisburg and to Saline county, but to Southern Illinois,
placing it in the foremost rank among the substantial industries of the

HARVEY F. PIXLEY. The able and popular president of the First
National Bank of Flora, Illinois, is most consistently accorded recog-
nition in a work of the province assigned to the one at hand, since it
has to do with the representative citizens of Clay county, of which
number he is a worthy member. He has had a prominent part in the
financial and commercial development of the county, during the long
period of years in which he has been identified with the business world
of this part of the state. Not only have the interests of business
claimed his time and attention but politics have also found him wide
awake and interested. He is particularly active in any movement for
the civic betterment of the town, as is shown by the leading part he
took in the founding of the Carnegie Library.


Harvey F. Pixley was born in Ingraham, Clay county, Illinois, on
the 25th of November, 1869. He is the son of Osman Pixley, who
was a native of New York, having settled in Edwards county at an
early date. In 1852 he moved to Clay county, and became well known
as a merchant. For years he was president of the First National Bank
of Flora, and his ability and strength of character won the confidence
of his fellow citizens to such an extent that they elected him their rep-
resentative in the lower house of the legislature for 1871-1872. For
the long period of forty years he was post-master of Ingraham. He
received a request from Postmaster General Wanamaker for his pho-
tograph, to be used in the Chicago "World's Fair, he being the fourth
oldest postmaster in point of service in the United States. After an
active and useful life he was called to rest on the 7th of April, 1903.
His wife was Frances Wood, who was born near Allendale, Wabash
county, Illinois, on the 29th of June, 1832. She was a woman of beau-
tiful character, and to her influence is due many of the fine qualities to
be found in Harvey Pixley. She was the daughter of Spencer Wood,
who was born near New Haven, Vermont, on the 14th of February,
1788, and died on the 5th of December, 1846. Her mother was Ma-
tilda Flower, who was born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, on the 19th of
March, 1791, and died on the 12th of March, 1855, the mother being
the last surviving member of the family. Mrs. Pixley was one of a
large family of children nine in number, and she in turn became the
mother of nine children. Of this number four girls and one boy are
dead. Harvey is the seventh in order of birth, and of his two broth-
ers, Dewitt C. is living in Orange, California, where he is a prominent
business man, .being married and having five children, while Arthur
H., who lives in Chicago is associated with the firm of Ware and Le-
land, and is a member of the Board of Trade. The mother of these
boys passed to her rest on the 16th of May, 1907.

The grandfather of Harvey Pixley was Asa Pixley. He was a na-
tive of Vermont, but moved to western New York and finally came
still further west and settled near West Salem, Edwards county, Illi-
nois, about the year 1830. This was during pioneer days, and Asa
Pixley showed the spirit of his Puritan ancestors, who also braved
the dangers of an unknown country. Asa Pixley was born on the
26th of March, 1805, and died on the 9th of February, 1883. He
was married to Amanda Ingraham, the daughter of Philo Ingraham
and Arvilla (Barney) Ingraham. Her father was born on the 28th
of June, 1768, and died on the 21st of April, 1842. The date of her
mother's birth was the 12th of September, 1782, and her death oc-
curred on the 19th of September, 1854. They are supposed to be the
first white people buried in Clay county, and now lie at rest in In-
graham Cemetery. Amanda Ingraham Pixley was born on the 22nd
of February, 1806, and died on the 26th of September, 1844. The
town of Ingraham was named for this fair dame of the early eight-
eenth century who scarcely lived to reach her prime. The town-
ship of Pixley was also named for a member of this family, that is,
her son Osman.

Harvey F. Pixley spent his life up to 1899 in Ingraham. After
receiving an elementary education in the common schools he attended
Eureka College, where he made an excellent record. He spent two
years at this institution, and then came home to work in his father's
store. For twelve years he assisted his father, and while he was
helping to build up a fine trade for his father he was at the same
time gaining a valuable training in the twists and turns of the busi-
ness world. In August, 1899, he came to Flora, and went to work in


the First National Bank, becoming its cashier on the 1st of January,
1900. He held this position for four years, at the end of this time
being elected vice president of the institution. After four years
spent in this capacity he was made president of the. bank by the vote
of the board of directors at their meeting in January, 1909. He has
done much to increase the prestige of this bank and to place it on a
solid foundation. It is today recognized as one of the most reliable
banks of Southern Illinois. His financial ability may be gathered
from cold statistics. When he first became associated with this bank
there was a surplus of only $12,000. This has been more than doub-
led, being now $25,000. The undivided profits were less than $1,000.
They are now $25,000. The dividends are now five per cent, payable

Among the other interests that occupy Mr. Pixley are the Breese,
Trenton Mining Company, of which he was treasurer for some time,
and of which he is now president. This company operates three coal
mines, at Breese, Beckmeyer and Trenton, and the business trans-
acted by the company is one of considerable magnitude. He is also
treasurer of the Ebner Ice and Cold Storage Company, operating
four plants, at Vincennes, Seymour and Washington, Indiana, and
Flora, Illinois. In addition to his official connection with the above
corporations he is a director and large stock-holder in both of them.
Mr. Pixley also has an interest in the Flora Canning Company, and
is a stock-holder, as well as one of the organizers, of the Flora Tele-
phone Company. He has quite a bit of money invested outside of
his home town, notably the stock which he holds in two of the large
wholesale houses of St. Louis. His ability as an investor and his un-
questioned integrity brought him the responsibility of being made an
executor of the late General Lewis B. Parsons, of Flora. The es-
tate which he was called upon to administer was over $100,000, and
the responsibility was not a light one. He is a member of the direct-
ors of the Flora Mutual Building, Loan and Homestead Association.

Mr. Pixley has always had a keen interest in the public welfare,
and was at one time president of the school board. He is now one of
the trustees of the Carnegie Library, having held this position ever
since the opening of the library. He was a member of the building
committee and is now in charge of the financial affairs of the institu-
tion, being treasurer. Politically Mr. Pixley is a Republican, and
has done his duty by the party in serving on the county central

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 28 of 98)