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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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Bank and is now one of its directors and its vice president. He is an
active and zealous member of the Christian church, and has served as one
of the trustees of the Carbondale congregation of that sect. In the fra-
ternal life of the city and county he has been active and serviceable as a
Knight of Pythias, an Odd Fellow and a member of the Order of Elks.
In the Knights of Pythias he has been the chancellor commander of his
lodge, and in the Order of Odd Fellows has twice occupied the chair of
noble grand. In the Order of Elks he belongs to Paducah, Kentucky,
Lodge No. 236.



1100 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

On' January 24, 1907, Mr. Hewitt was married to Miss Winifred
Barker, of Carbondale, a daughter of Hon. Oliver A. Harker, judge of the
Court of Chancery. They have two children, their son Francis Marion and
their daughter Winifred Harker, who cheer and brighten the family
hearthstone and add greatly to the attractiveness of the home for the
numerous friends of their parents who frequent it for the enjoyment of
its air of intellectual and social culture and the genuine hospitality which
is one of its leading and most characteristic charms.

OLIVER ALBERT HARKER. A quarter of a century on the bench of the
higher courts of Illinois and many years as an educator in the field of the
law, have earned for Hon. Oliver A. Harker, of Carbondale, a most sub-
stantial eminence in all that concerns the highest prestige of his profes-
sion. In 1897 he commenced his influential identification with the College
of Law of the University of Illinois as a lecturer, and since 1903 has
served as dean of its faculty.

Judge Harker is a native of Newport, Wayne county, Indiana, born
on the 14th of December, 1846, to Miflin and Anna (Woods) Harker.
He obtained his earlier education in the schools of Florid and Wheaton,
Illinois, and was a student at Wheaton College from 1860 to 1862. In
the following year, then only a youth of sixteen, he enlisted in the Union
army as a member of Company D, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteer In-
fantry and with that command concluded his military service at the cessa-
tion of hostilities.

Upon his return to Illinois he located at Lebanon as a student at Mc-
Kendree College, from which he graduated with high honors in 1866. To
his regular Bachelor's degree was added that of A. M. in 1869. In the
meantime (1866-7) he had pursued a law course at the University of In-
diana, and in 1867-8 taught various private schools at Vienna, Illinois.
Admitted to the bar in 1869, Judge Harker commenced the practice of
his profession in that place, where he continued for some eight years, or
until his first appointment to the bench.

In August, 1878, Governor Cullom appointed Judge Harker to the
bench of the first circuit, and he continued thus to serve, by elections in
1879, 1885, 1891 and 1897, until 1903. During that period he acted as
judge of the Appellate court for the second district from 1891 to 1897,
and of the third district from the latter year until 1903. As stated, he
was appointed dean of the law school of the University of Illinois in 1903,
and still honors the position. In 1895-6 Judge Harker was president of
the Illinois State Bar Association; he is also a leading member of the
American Bar Association, and for many years was identified with the
Illinois Council of the national organization. His high standing was
further emphasized when the Supreme court of Illinois appointed him as
a delegate to the International Congress of Lawyers and Jurists which
assembled at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis.

By virtue of his service in the Civil war Judge Harker is identified
with the Grand Army of the Republic ; he is also a member of the I. 0.
0. F. and of the fraternities. Phi Delta Phi and Theta Kappa Nu.

Married on the 3rd of March, 1870, at Vienna, Illinois, to Miss Sid-
ney Bain, the Judge is the father of three children George M., a prac-
ticing attorney; Oliver A., Jr., a farmer, and Winnifred, wife of Frank
M. Hewitt, a druggist of Carbondale. Judge Harker has been a resi-
dent of that city since 1880.

ROBERT J. MCELVAIN. As one of the distinguished members of
the bar of Southern Illinois and as one who has given most effective
service in offices of public trust, Judge McElvain well merits consider-



*- " "**
3FTHE



OF HL






HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1101

ation as one of the representative citizens of the favored section of
Illinois to which this publication is devoted. Further interest attaches
to his career by reason of the fact that he is a native son of the state
and a scion of one of its early and sterling pioneer families.

Judge Robert James McElvain was born at DuQuoin, Perry county,
Illinois, on the 20th of March, 1849, and is a son of Joseph H. and
Esther (Lipe) McElvain, who established their home in that county
in an early day and who continued their residence in Southern Illi-
nois during the residue of their lives, secure in the high regard of all
who knew them. The father contributed his quota to the industrial
and social development and progress of this section of the state and
wielded no little influence in public affairs of a local order. Judge Mc-
Elvain gained his early educational discipline in the common schools
of his native county and supplemented this by a course of study in the
Southern Illinois College, now known as the Southern Illinois Normal
University. In preparation for the work of his chosen profession he
began the study of law under effective private preceptorship and there-
after continued his technical studies in the law school at Lebanon, St.
Glair county. He was admitted to the bar in 1878. In 1884 he found
it expedient to establish an office in Murphysboro, the county seat, to
which city he removed in 1890, since which year he has here main-
tained his home and professional headquarters. In 1884 he was elected
state attorney for Jackson county, in 1894 was elected county judge
and at the expiration of his term, in 1898, he was chosen as his own
successor. In 1902, shortly after his retirement from the county bench,
he was elected representative of the Forty-fourth Senatorial District
in the Lower House of the State Legislature, and significant evidence
of his popularity was again given on this occasion, as he received at
the polls a majority of more than two thousand votes. In 1904 he was
elected representative of the Forty-fourth district in the State Senate,
and the best voucher for his effective record in this important office was
that given in his re-election in 1908, his second term expiring in 1912.

Judge McElvain has ever given a stanch allegiance to the Re-
publican party and has been one of its influential representatives in
Southern Illinois. He is known as a most effective campaign speaker
and his services in this connection have been much in requisition in the
various campaigns in the state. On the 19th of September, 1901, he
delivered the principal address at the memorial services held in honor
of the lamented President McKinley at Murphysboro, and he has given
many other public addresses of a general order.

Judge McElvain and his wife and son hold membership in the
Christian church, and he is prominently affiliated with the Knights of
Pythias, in which he has passed the various official chairs of the local
organization and in which he held the office of grand chancellor of
the Grand lodge of the state in 1900. He also holds membership in
the Murphysboro lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks.

On the 29th of January, 1874, was solemnized the marriage of
Judge McElvain to Miss Mary A. Schwartz, of Elkville, Jackson
county, her parents, George and Sarah Schwartz, having been early
settlers in that locality, where her father became a representative agri-
culturist and stockgrower. Judge and Mrs. McElvain have one son,
Robert J., Jr., who is now successfully established in the real-estate and
insurance business at Murphysboro. He was born on the 4th of Sep-
tember, 1880, and was afforded the advantages of the excellent public
schools of Murphysboro, where he has gained distinctive prestige and

popularity as one of the representative young business men of the city,
voi.'m 2



1102 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

He holds membership in the Christian church, is a stanch Republican
in his political proclivities, and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias.
He married Miss Naomi McCuan, of Creal Springs, Williamson county,
Illinois, and they have one son, Howard Harvey.

GEORGE JOSEPH MONKEN. Numbered among the prominent and influ-
ential citizens of New Baden is George Joseph Monken, who has long
taken an active and intelligent part in the management of public affairs,
and as mayor of the city aids and encourages the establishment of all en-
terprises conducive to the advancement and growth of the community.
A son of the late John B. Monken, he was born February 26, 1865, at
Columbia, Monroe county, Illinois, of thrifty German stock.

Born at Frankfort, Germany, January 12, 1830, John B. Monken re-
mained in the Fatherland until eighteen years old. Immigrating then
to America, he spent a year in Greene county, Illinois, being employed on
a farm, and was afterwards similarly employed in Saint Clair county,
near Belleville. In 1863 he established a vinegar factory in Belleville,
and managed it for a year and a half. Moving then to Monroe county,
he resided there a short time, but in 1865 a longing for the sight of his
early home seized him, and he went back to Germany to visit friends and
kinsmen. In the spring of 1868 he returned to Illinois, and in 1869 set-
tled at New Baden, where for nineteen years he was a teacher in the
public schools. He was active in public life, being a loyal supporter of
the Democratic party and for a period of twenty years was assessor of
Clinton county. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, and both he and his wife were members of the German Catholic
church. At the age of twenty-one years he was united in marriage with
Annie Gundlach, of Belleville, Illinois, and they became the parents of
four children, as follows : Ida, wife of Rudolph Herdenstein ; Mary, de-
ceased ; George Joseph ; and Melinda, deceased. The mother of these chil-
dren died in 1884, and Mr. Monken, who survived his wife, passed away
January 27, 1896, in New Baden.

Brought up in New Baden, George J. Monken attended the rural
schools until fourteen years of age, when he began learning the art and
trade of a painter. Instead, however, of following the craft with which
he had become familiar, Mr. Monken was employed in a hotel at Belleville
for awhile, and in 1890 entered the employ of the New Baden Milling
Company, with which he has since been actively associated, his efficiency
in the different departments having won him the position of bookkeeper
of the mill.

True to the political faith in which he was reared, Mr. Monken is a
zealous advocate of the principles that govern the Democratic party, and
is a most useful and highly esteemed member of the community. He is
now filling the mayor's chair ably and acceptably, having been elected to
the position by a handsome majority, and is also supervisor of Clinton
county and a trustee of the township schools. Fraternally he belongs to
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Knights of Pythias, and to
the Modern Woodmen.

On July 1, 1897, Mr. Monken was united in marriage with Louisa
Butzow, of New Baden, and their union has been blessed by the birth of
seven chldren, namely: Arthur, George, Alfred, Fred, Edmund, Laura,
and one that died in its infancy.

LINDORF WALKER. The gentleman whose name forms the caption of
this article is one of Cobden's progressive and highly esteemed young citi-
zens. Lindorf Walker, cashier of the First National Bank, is a banker of
honorable and unassailable methods, and in his residence in this place he



HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1103

has won the unbounded confidence of his fellow citizens. He is a native
son of Illinois, his birth having occurred, September 29, 1881, on a farm in
Johnson county. His father, William P. Walker, is now living on his
farm in Johnson county, and that section of the great state of Illinois is
the scene of his birth and lifelong residence. He is a son of Robert J.
Walker, a native of North Carolina, who first migrated to Tennessee and
thence to Southern Illinois. He was one of the dauntless company of
pioneers who paved the way for latter day prosperity and civilization.
The maiden name of the subject's mother was Sarah E. Gillespie, and she
was born in Tennessee, the daughter of John H. Gillespie, who came to
Johnson county with her parents when five years of age. This worthy
lady was born in 1848 and was summoned to the life eternal in June,
1911, when her years numbered sixty-three. Mr. Walker was the second
of a family of three children to grow to maturity, the others being Dr.
H. W. Walker and Lizzie Naomi (Hand). William P. Walker has made
a great success of the great basic industry of agriculture and enjoys the
esteem of his particular community.

Lindorf Walker was educated in the public schools of Johnson county
and at an early age, feeling inclined toward a business career, he took an
appropriate preparatory course in the Gem City Business College, from
which well-conducted institution he was graduated in 1900. His first
experience as an actual factor in the world of affairs was in the capacity
of bookkeeper for a mercantile firm in Saxton, Missouri. He first en-
tered upon his connection with the banking world when he took the
place of the cashier of the Drovers' State Bank at Vienna, the incumbent
of the office suffering from ill health. In the spring of 1901 he was. em-
ployed in the county clerk's office and at the conclusion of these services
he spent a few weeks on his father's farm and then wishing like most
alert young men to see something of the world he started out in June,
1901, and journeyed to Oklahoma and Texas. He then remained in the
Indian Territory for a year and returned to Illinois in 1902, entering the
mercantile business at Ganntown and remaining thus engaged for a year.
He worked for his brother, the Doctor, for a few months and then came
to Cobden, in September, 1903, remaining here for a year and a half.
During the sojourn he was employed in the First National Bank. He
later returned to Vienna and acted as bookkeeper of the First National
Bank of that place until May 1, 1907. At the date mentioned he returned
to Cobden to accept the position of cashier with the First National Bank.
This thriving and well managed monetary institution is incorporated with
a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars, while its total resources
amount to two hundred and thirty thousand dollars. Its officers are as
follows : President, William C. Rich ; vice-president, I. H. Lawrence ; and
cashier, Lindorf Walker. The directorate consists of the three given
above with the addition of H. A. Dubois and H. H. Lamar. No small
part of the bank's prosperity is directly traceable to the intelligent
methods of its cashier.

Fraternally Mr. Walker is one of the most enthusiastic of Masons, and
exemplifies in his own living the principles of moral and social justice
and brotherly love for which the order stands. He belongs to the Blue
Lodge of Cobden ; the Chapter of Vienna ; and the Eastern Star ; and he
is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Pythian Sisters of
Vienna.

Mr. Walker established a pleasant home and congenial life compan-
ionship by his union, in November, 1905, to Pearl Debnam, of Johnson
county, daughter of William C. and Lizzie (Dunn) Debnam. They
share their pleasant home with one son, W T illard, aged three years.



1104 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

FRANCIS MAIN EDWARDS, M. D. Distinguished not only as a promi-
nent physician and surgeon of Clinton county, but as a leading citizen of
New Baden, Francis Main Edwards, M. D., is eminently worthy of repre-
sentation in a work of this character. He was born May 14, 1876, in
Sandoval, Illinois, a son of Dr. S. G. H. Edwards.

S. G. H. Edwards, a native of Mount Vernon, Illinois, where his birth
occurred December 23, 1850, spent his earlier years in Jefferson county,
and during a large part of the Civil war traveled with his parents, during
the later years of the conflict accompanying his maternal grandfather,
Col. S. G. Hicks, on his trips. In 1872 he was graduated from MeKen-
dree College, in Lebanon, Illinois, with the degree of A. M., and in 1875
received the degree of M. D. at Cincinnati Medical College, in Ohio. Im-
mediately locating in Sandoval, Illinois, he was there successfully en-
gaged in the practice of medicine until his death, in 1887, while yet in
manhood's prime. He was a Democrat in his political affiliations, and
held various town offices. Fraternally he was a member of the Ancient
Free and Accepted Order of Masons and of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. He married, in 1875, Tilda Main, who is still living in
Sandoval, Illinois, and to them four children were born, as follows:
Francis Main, the special subject of this brief biographical sketch ; Lydia,
wife of P. E. Lewis ; Ralph ; and Elizabeth, wife of Charles Hall.

Having completed the course of study in the public schools of Sand-
oval, Francis Main Edwards spent a year in Valparaiso College, in Val-
paraiso, Indiana, and in 1898 was graduted from the Saint Louis College
of Physicians and Surgeons with the degree of M. D. Coming then to
New Baden, Clinton county, Dr. Edwards met with such encouraging suc-
cess from the start that he has continued here since, having now a large
and lucrative patronage in this vicinity, his professional skill and ability
being widely recognized and appreciated. He is a member of the
American Medical Association ; of the Clinton County Medical Society ;
and of the Southern Railway Surgeons' Association.

Politically the Doctor is a stanch adherent of the Republican party,
and has served two terms as president of the Village Board. During the
Spanish- American war he was a member of Pittinger's Provisional Regi-
ment, being mustered in as first lieutenant of his company, but subse-
quently resigning the position to enter the medical department. Fra-
ternally Dr. Edwards is a member of the Knights of Pythias; and is
prominent in the Modern Woodmen of America, having been instru-
mental in organizing the New Baden camp of that order.

In 1899 Dr. Edwards was united in marriage with Mary Griesbaum,
of New Baden, and they are the parents of four children, namely :
Estelle, Elizabeth, Irene and Francis, Jr.

HON. JOHN H. BURNETT. Having attained an eminent position in the
financial world and risen to the chief executive office in Marion, Illinois,
the Hon. John H. Burnett may be classed among the representative citi-
zens of the southern part of the state. As president of the Marion State
and Savings Bank he has carefully conserved the interests of the deposi-
tors, and in the capacity of mayor he has administered the affairs of the
city with the same ability that has characterized his business dealings.
Mayor Burnett is a product of Williamson county, and was born Sep-
tember 29, 1844, a son of Thomas H. and Nancy (Parks) Burnett.

Thomas H. Burnett was born in 1813, in Wilson county, Tennessee,
and came to Williamson county during the early 'thirties, spending the
remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits and passing away in 1875,
in the Crab Orchard neighborhood, where his brother James also reared
a family, the rural neighborhood becoming known as the "Burnett Set-



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1105

tlement. ' ' Originally a Democrat, he later became a Republican, but his
life was spent in the quiet vocation of farming and he never entered the
stormy field of politics. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Nancy
Parks, was a daughter of Hugh Parks, whose forefathers were North
Carolinians, from which commonwealth he himself came to Illinois. Mrs.
Burnett died at the age of sixty -two years, having been the mother of the
following children : George, lieutenant in the One Hundred and Tenth
Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war, and later a
merchant and farmer in Williamson county, where he died in 1886 ; John
H. ; Milo, who served in the One Hundred and Forty -fifth Illinois Vol-
unteers during the rebellion, spent some years in the mercantile business
and died in Kansas during the eighties ; Leander, also an agriculturist of
this county; Eliza, who died single; William F., deceased, and Sarah,
the wife of Roily Carley, resides in Williamson county.

The youth of John H. Burnett was spent in much the same manner as
other farmers ' lads of his day, and when the Civil war broke out he, like
his brothers, was fired with patriotism and desired to serve his country.
He did not succeed in enlisting, however, until May, 1864, at which time
he became a private in Company F, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regi-
ment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, his immediate commanders being
Captain Evans and Colonel Lackey. His command rendezvoused in camp
at St. Louis and dropped down to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, later on and
was discharged without reaching the front. Mr. Burnett's service cov-
ered some five months, and after leaving the army he taught country
school for a time, but eventually settled down to farming, in which he
was engaged until coming to Marion in 1887. As a dealer and shipper of
live stock and a buyer of grain he enjoyed a measure of success, and in
1886 he was elected to the office of sheriff of Williamson county, succeed-
ing Mr. Hartwell Duncan. After serving one term he again engaged in
business, and he subsequently held the office of special agent of internal
revenue, with headquarters at St. Louis. The voters of Marion elected
him mayor in 1895, and he has since served capably as a member of the
school board and the council, and again in 1911 he was chosen as the
chief executive of Marion. The Republican party has found him an able
and influential leader in this part of the county. He became identified
with banking as a member of the firm of Denison & Burnett, a private
institution out of which grew the Marion State and Savings Bank, of
which Mr. Denison was president until his death in 1908, at that time
Mr. Burnett becoming president.

In March, 1866, Mr. Burnett was married to Miss Mary A. Davis,
daughter of Thomas Davis, a pioneer of Williamson county, and the fol-
lowing children have been born to this union : Misses Delia and Eliza,
who reside in Marion ; Senator 0. Herman, who was one of the leading
members of the Williamson county bar and state senator at the time of
his death ; Lillie, who married Frank Throgmorton and resides in Harris-
burg; Amy, who married Harry Mclntosh, of Marion; Estella ; and
Bertha, who married Philip Cline, of Marion. The family is connected
with the Missionary Baptist church.

FRED JOHN KOCH. Distinguished as the foremost citizen of New
Baden, and one of the ablest business men of Clinton county, Fred John
Koch is an important factor in advancing the industrial and financial
prosperity of this part of Southern Illinois, and as a representative to
the State* Legislature from the Forty-second district he is as faithful to
the interests of his constituents as it is possible for any man to be, per-
forming the duties devolving upon him in that capacity in a praiseworthy



1106 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

manner. A native of Clinton county, he was born September 16, 1870,
in Gerraantown, where he grew to manhood.

His father, Herman Koch, was born in Neuenkirchen, Germany, Octo-
ber 10, 1839, and was there bred and educated. Leaving the Fatherland
when nineteen years old, he crossed the ocean to the United States, and
for nearly two years followed his trade of a cabinet maker in Saint Louis,
Missouri. Migrating to Clinton county, Illinois, in 1860, he became one
of the pioneer settlers of Germantown, and one of its first cabinet makers.
When the railroad became assured in that locality, he embarked in the
lumber business, with which he has ever since been prominently identi-
fied, and also engaged in mercantile pursuits, his stock at the present time
consisting of lumber, hardware and furniture valued at nine thousand
dollars. He is a Democrat in politics, and for twelve years served as
justice of the peace. Religiously he is a member of the Catholic church,
and has reared his family in the same faith. He has been three times
married. He married first, in September, 1864, Elizabeth Frerker, whose



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 3 of 98)