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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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school teacher, who is highly educated, and in addition to having trav-
eled extensively in the United States will spend the summer of 1912
in Europe ; Ethel D., a teacher in the Bridgeport, Illinois, high school ;
0. E., a lawyer, in partnership with his father, is prominent in frater-
nal circles, being a Mason and a leading member of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks; and Lawrence D., who is attending school.
Judge Lewis and his family are members of the Christian church, and
in their every day life exemplify its teachings.

WILLIAM H. HART. In the ranks of the legal profession in Frank-
lin county it is safe to say that no name is better or more widely known
that that of William H. Hart, former county judge and now conduct-
ing a most successful partnership with Walter W. Williams, the same
constituting a combination of professional ability second to none here-
about. Extensive as his practice may be. Mr. Hart's interests are by
no means limited to it, for he is identified in an important manner with
the coal commerce, his legal associate also being with him in this en-
terprise, which is known as the Hart-Williams Coal Company, Mr.
Hart holding the offices of secretary and treasurer.

William H. Hart is a native of Williamson county, his eyes having
first opened to the light of day within its pleasant boundaries on
August 31, 1862. He is the son of William Jasper and Sarah Ann
(Murphy) Hart, the former of whom was born in Kentucky and the
latter in Indiana. They came to Illinois at an early day, when the
state was still wild and the Red man still claimed it as his own hunting
ground, and here they lived their wholesome useful lives, carving a
home out of the wilderness and laying the paths of civilization straight
and clean. The father was a farmer, it goes without saying, and he
was prominent and honored by his neighbors, affording in his own
life a worthy example for the young men of his acquaintance. He was,
nevertheless, quiet and unassuming and took no decided part in poli-
tics and public life. He was a Democrat in his political faith. The
mother was a devout member of the Missionary Baptist church and a
worthy and admirable helpmeet for her pioneer husband. The sub-
ject 's grandfather was an early settler in Kentucky and was unknown
by him, the older gentleman's demise having occurred before his time.
The mother's family, the Murphys, were early Hoosier settlers.

Mr. Hart received his first introduction to Minerva in the Frank-
lin county schools and entered upon his career as a wage-earner in the



OF THE

OF WISSE



HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1275

capacity of a teacher. For ten years he engaged in a pedagogical
capacity, but during most of that time he was arriving at the conclu-
sion that he wanted to be a lawyer and later effected his preliminary
studies. He taught in several localities in Franklin, Jackson, Ran-
dolph and Monroe counties, and always with satisfaction to all con-
cerned, for he had an enlightened idea of the duties of a preceptor.
In 1890, while engaged in teaching, he met and married Mary W. East,
a pioneer of Coulterville, Illinois. Mrs. Hart was also a teacher and
received her education in the Carbondale Normal School. To this
union a fine quartet of sons and daughters have been born, namely;
William W., Marion M., Mary M. and Mable E. All of them are in
attendance at school, and William W. graduated from the township
high school with the class of 1912.

Mr. Hart attacked his Blackstone under the able direction of Daniel
M. Browning, and to such good effect that he was admitted to the bar
in February, 1889. Subsequent to that he entered the office of Brown-
ing & Cantrell, and remained thus engaged until Mr. Browning was
made commissioner of Indian affairs during Cleveland's administra-
tion. He then formed a partnership with W. S. Spiller, and remained
with that gentleman in successful practice until Mr. Hart's high stand-
ing as a lawyer and citizen received signal recognition by his election
to the county judgeship in 1898. He served one term and then re-
entered the active practice of law. He now enjoys one of the largest
practices in all Southern Illinois, and he has been connected with a
great deal of important litigation. He has always been a Democrat
since he had any ideas upon the subject or was old enough to have the
right of franchise, and he is influential in party councils. From 1900
to 1902 he was a member of the State Democratic Committee. He
formed a partnership with W. W. Williams in 1906, which partner-
ship still exists. Their important connection with coal mining has been
previously noted.

Mr. Hart is a Mason, belonging to the Chapter and being very popu-
lar in the time-honored order. He and his family are members of the
Christian church.

SAMUEL MONROE DAILEY. Eleven years ago when Samuel Monroe
Dailey became connected with the enterprise in Louisville which he
has conducted with so much success since its inception, he possessed as
his sole asset H?is ten years of valuable experience as a clerk in an es-
tablishment similar to the one which he proposed to launch. To off-
set this asset he had a goodly handicap in the way of borrowed capital.
In spite of the meagreness of his resources as to material wealth, his
resources of shrewdness, far-sightedness and all around business abil-
ity have been sufficient to win to him a degree of success far in ad-
vance of that of his contemporaries, and he has from the first enjoyed
a prosperity and a generous trade almost in excess of his expectations.

Born in Perry county, Indiana, Samuel Monroe Dailey is- the son
of T. J. and Sarah Ellen (Whitmarsh) Dailey. The father was a na-
tive of Kentucky, and as a young man he moved thence to Grantsburg,
Crawford county, Indiana, and began the practice of medicine, in which
profession he had been trained in his native state. He carried on a
lucrative practice there from the year of his advent into Indiana (1867)
until the time of his death, which occurred in 1893. He died in Posey-
ville, Indiana. He was a member of the Methodist church all his life
and was a Republican in his political faith. The maternal grandfather
of Samuel Monroe Dailey, was born in New York city. He also was a
member of the medical profession, and after his removal to Indiana con-



1276 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

tinued there in practice for the remainder of his life. Young Dailey
attended the public schools of Poseyville, and after his graduation from
the high school took a two years' course at the normal at Danville,
Illinois. He then taught school for a period of five years, after which
he took a position as clerk in a general store in Poseyville, where he
remained for ten years, and where he gained a generous fund of expe-
rience and a working knowledge of the general run of such a business.
Thus equipped, and with practically no capital, Mr. Dailey determined
to launch out into business on his own responsibility. He accordingly
chose Louisville for the scene of his operations and in 1901 he located
there, putting in a stock of general merchandise and opening his doors
to the public. From the first he drew a large trade, and has continued
to hold the best business in Louisville. He has increased his lines from
time to time, always keeping well abreast of the popular demands, and
his establishment has a reputation for up-to-dateness that is one of its
most valuable characteristics. His complete interests are centered in
his mercantile establishment and he has made no other investments of
any kind regarding one well-protected investment as more profitable
than a number of less safe ones. Mr. Dailey is connected with the Ma-
sonic order, the Pythian Knights, the Elks and the Odd Fellows.

In 1902 Mr Daily was united in marriage with Lena Davis, the
daughter of J. B. Davis, who was born, reared and still lives in Posey-
ville, and where Mrs. Dailey also was born and reared. Mr. Davis is
postmaster in Poseyville, and he is a veteran of the Civil war, as was
also the father of Mr. Dailey. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Dailey, Alan Dailey.

ALSIE N. TOLLIVER. Many of the prominent and valuable citizens of
Louisville of the younger generation are men who were born and bred
in Clay county and of such men Alsie N. Tolliver is a bright example.
The familiar aphorism "far off hills look greenest" has carried no
weight with Mr. Tolliver, and he has been well content to devote his
energies to the opportunities which presented themselves in his home
town and county. The very agreeable degree of success which he has
thus far experienced is ample evidence that his judgment of the future
of Louisville was well founded.

Born in Clay county, October 12, 1870, Alsie N. Tolliver is the son
of John H. and Margaret (Lauchner) Tolliver. The father was born
in Lawrence county, Indiana, in 1844, while the mother was born in
Tennessee in the same year. John H. Tolliver came to Illinois in the
fifties, where he was occupied with farming interests for a number of
years. He also became interested in the drug business, and was thus
connected for a period of twenty years. He is still a resident of Clay
county and is an honored and useful citizen. He is a veteran of the
Civil war, serving three years in the Forty-fourth Illinois, and seeing
much active service in the various campaigns he participated in. He
is a Republican of strong and sturdy character and has ever been a
faithful adherent of the party and an advocate of party interests. In
his own town he has filled practically all the offices of a public char-
acter. The father of John H. Tolliver was Isom Tolliver. born in In-
diana and there reared. He came to Illinois in the early fifties and
entered upon government land, which he improved and worked as a
farm of considerable value. He passed his life on the farm thus ob-
tained and there died. He was a particularly successful man in his
business, and was regarded as being exceptionally well-to-do for his
day and age. Certain it is that he possessed a wide acquaintance in
Southern Illinois and was prominent among the more important men



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1277

of his time. The maternal grandfather of Alsie Tolliver was Daniel
Lauchner, born in Tennessee, who came to Illinois in about 1850. He
settled on an Illinois farm in Clay county and devoted the remainder
of his life to farming pursuits, being known as one of the more solid'
and conservative men of his district.

Alsie Tolliver received his education in the common schools of Clay
county. Finishing his studies, he began life as a teacher, and for ten
years was thus occupied, in the meantime continuing his own studies
until in 1898 he gave up teaching and took up the study of the law.
In 1903 Mr. Tolliver was admitted to the bar, and he began the prac-
tice of his profession in Louisville in the same year. Since that time
he has made his headquarters in Louisville and has built up a fine and
lucrative practice. He has been an important factor in the political
and civic life of the town, and has done much for the uplift of civic
conditions within the sphere of his activity. In 1906, only three years
after his admission to the bar, he was elected to the office of county
judge on the Republican ticket, of which party he is an enthusiastic
supporter, and again in 1910 he was re-elected to that important office.
Mr. Tolliver has filled that office in a manner wholly creditable to his
ability as member of the legal fraternity and as a citizen of unblem-
ished integrity. Always deeply interested in the fortunes of the Re-
publican party, he has been "up and doing" for the cause since his
earliest manhood, and since his residence in Louisville has been prom-
inently identified with the party and its activities. He has been chosen
to represent the party in its state conventions on numerous occasions and
his name is always to be found on any committee of importance relative
to the labors of that political body in his county.

Mr. Tolliver and his family are members of the Baptist church of
Louisville, in which denomination he was reared by his parents, them-
selves members of that church ; and he is prominent in local Masonic
circles. He is a member of the Chapter and has been through all the
chairs of the blue lodge.

On June 15, 1892, Mr. Tolliver was united in marriage with Miss
Elizabeth Bryan, daughter of Josiah Bryan, an early settler of Clay
county, of which he is still an honored resident. He was actively en-
gaged in farming for years, but is now retired, and is passing his de-
clining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his labors of earlier
years. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Tolliver, and all
are attendants of the Louisville schools. The wife and mother passed
away, and Mr. Tolliver was subsequently united in marriage with
Miss Rachel Kincaid, daughter of Jonathan Kincaid, of Clay county,
prominent in his district for many years as a stock-raiser and agricul-
turist of considerable importance. Of this latter union, one child has
been born.

SAMUEL H. FELDMEIEB. Well directed energy is an asset to every
modern business man, without which even the most favorably situated
may fail, and as an element of success it may be considered of first
value. When men of large capital or large corporations select officials
for important positions in their enterprises and undertakings they are
very liable to make choice from among those who have already dem-
onstrated business energy. In this connection attention may be called
to the present efficient secretary and treasurer of the Salt Lick Milling
Company doing an extensive business at Valmeyer, Monroe county. Illi-
nois Samuel H. Feldmeier, who was born at Waterloo, Illinois. March
27, 1885. He is a son of Henry and Ernestine (Kurt) Feldmeier.

Henry Feldmeier was born March 2, 1861, at Maeystown, Monroe

Vol. 313



1278 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

county, Illinois, and at present is a resident of Waterloo. His father,
Frederick Feldmeier, was an early settler on the rich bottom land along
the river near Waterloo, and was a veteran of the Mexican war. Henry
Feldmeier engaged in farming near Waterloo until 1885, when he
moved into the town, where he is at present serving as superintendent of
the Waterloo electric light plant. He still owns his farm of one hun-
dred and twenty acres. He married Ernestine Kurt, who was born
in Dresden, Saxony, Germany, and they have three children, namely :
Samuel H., Louise and Florence, the last named being Mrs. M. A.
Koenigsmark. Henry Feldmeier and wife are members of the Lutheran
church.

In the public schools at Waterloo, Illinois, Samuel H. Feldmeier se-
cured an excellent education. A farmer's life did not appeal to him,
hence when seventeen years of age he left home and went to St. Louis,
Missouri, where he became an employe of the Standard Stamping Com-
pany and remained with the same firm until May 25, 1910, when he
became interested in the grain business in connection with the W. L.
Green Commission Company. He continued with the same firm until
April 1, 1911, and displayed such excellent judgment in this line that
he made a very favorable impression and severed his pleasant business
relations only to accept his present position, that of secretary and
treasurer, as above mentioned, with the Salt Lick Milling Company, at
Valmeyer. This enterprise is a stock company, backed by large capi-
tal, with J. J. Koenigsmark as president. The capacity of the mill is
two hundred barrels, the leading brands of flour being the Valmeyer
Patent and the Purity. Employment is afforded fifteen workmen, the
mill is equipped with modern, improved machinery, and the outlook
for the future is very promising.

On November 17, 1909, Mr. Feldmeier was united in marriage with
Miss Wilhelmina Koenigsmark, a daughter of J. J. Koenigsmark, and
they had one son, Robert Louis. Mrs. Feldmeier died at Valmeyer on
September 30, 1911. In his political views Mr. Feldmeier is a Repub-
lican and fraternally he is identified with the Masons and the Modern
Woodmen of America. He is a member of the Lutheran Evangelical
church.

WILLIAM MOHLENBBOCK. Among the well known citizens of Jack-
son county was William Mohlenbrock, who immigrated to the United
States in 1859, coming directly to Illinois, and located in Red Bud, Ran-
dolph county.

In 1861, loyal to his adopted country, he enlisted in Company C,
Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and for four years did service in
the army. In 1866 he settled at Campbell Hill, and was here extensively
engaged in mercantile pursuits until his death, which occurred April
16, 1898. He was a man of great business enterprise and judgment, and
was largely influential in building up the interests of the city, which he
served as mayor several years. He founded the milling company which
bears his name, and took especial pride and pleasure in advancing the
cause of education, serving as an active and valued member of the school
board for many years. Fraternally he belonged to the A. F. and A. M.
and to the G. A. R.

He married while in Red Bud Minna Kroemer, a daughter of Conrad
Kroemer, a Randolph county farmer, and to them were born nine chil-
dren: Malte, Charles, Eva, Fortis, Eric, Haydee, Osser, Herman and
Ludwig. Charles and Eric are deceased.



HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1279

JOHN FRANKLIN PORTERFIELD. All the years of the life of this es-
teemed citizen of Carbondale since he left school have been devoted to
railroad work, and he has risen step by step in the service, as he dem-
onstrated his fitness for advancement, from the humble position of
messenger to that of superintendent of one of the busiest and most
important divisions of the road with which he is connected. His sev-
eral promotions have not come to him, however, as gratuities, or
through favoritism or influence. He has earned them, one after an-
other by fidelity to duty, capacity in his work and loyal devotion to
the interests of his employers, with due regard for the welfare of the
public.

Mr. Porterfield is a native of Pulaski county, Illinois, where his life
began on February 23, 1871. He is a son of Benjamin F. and Sarah
Margaret (Hunter) Porterfield. The father was a manufacturer of
lumber and prominent in the business. He died in 1907. The mother
is still living, and has her home in Chicago. While they were able to
provide the ordinary comforts of life for themselves and their off-
spring, they did not find the way to furnishing their son John with
opportunity for advanced scholastic training. And it is doubtful if
he would have availed himself of it if they had. For from his boy-
hood he was eager to do something for himself, and make his own way
in the world. He obtained a district school education and then en-
tered the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company as a mes-
senger at Pulaski in his native county. After serving the road for a
time in this capacity he became its telegraph operator and later its
agent at Pulaski. He was next chief clerk to a succession of super-
intendents at Cairo, New Orleans, Chicago and La Salle. He com-
pleted his apprenticeship in this department of the service with credit
to himself and benefit to the road and its patrons, and was made train-
master for a period sufficiently long to prepare him for higher duties
and more important responsibilities.

He served as division superintendent at Vicksburg, Mississippi,
New Orleans, Louisiana, Memphis, Tennessee ; in 1910 was transferred to
the St. Louis division, of which he has been superintendent ever since,
with headquarters in Carbondale and with a large and active territory
to supervise in his particular line of very important work.

On January 27, 1892, Mr. Porterfield was married to Miss Cora
Stewart, of Pulaski. They have one child, their son Robert Rowley,
who is a student at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wiscon-
sin. The father is a prominent member of the Association of Railroad
Superintendents and chairman of the transportation committee of the
St. Louis lines in that organization. In fraternal circles he is a Free-
mason of the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite and a Noble of
the Mystic Shrine holding his membership in these branches of the
order in Memphis, Tennessee. His religious affiliation is with the Pres-
byterian church. He is zealous in his support of all commendable
undertakings for the progress and improvement of Carbondale and
Jackson county, the substantial welfare of their people, and all agen-
cies for good at work among them. He and his wife are welcome ad-
ditions to every good social circle, and are universally regarded as
among the most estimable and worthy citizens of the county.

C. D. STILWELL. Coming from Chicago to Harrisburg in 1905,
C. D. Stilwell soon gained a position of note among the leading mem-
bers of the legal profession of Saline county, and in 1906 was honored
by the voters of Harrisburg as their choice for city attorney. Posses-
sing great tact and good judgment, coupled with a splendid knowl-



1280 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

edge of the law, he has since met with every requirement of that re-
sponsible office. Enterprising and progressive, Mr. Stilwell takes an
active interest in municipal affairs, and is known as a consistent and
persistent "booster," and one who will do his full share in advancing
the public welfare.

When Mr. Stilwell located in Harrisburg the public thoroughfares
were well-nigh impassable three months in the year, the mails being
hauled from the depot to the postoffice in hand carts, while the com-
mercial men walked through the muddy streets, carrying their bag-
gage in their hands. Mr. Stilwell began talking sewerage and pave-
ments, and so aroused the people that many were induced to second
his efforts, the councilmen becoming particularly enthusiastic in the
matter. The materialization of well formed plans, for which he as-
sumed the legal responsibility, and shaped the necessary legislation,
resulted in the laying of nine miles of sewers, five miles of brick pave-
ments, and long stretches of concrete walks in the city, improvements
that are now absolutely indispensable.

Two or three years before a mile of stone road had been constructed
by the state, but was of no practical value in these low lands. Mr.
Stilwell advocated a brick pavement laid on a concrete foundation
for country roads, stating his reasons clearly. The Commercial Club
of Harrisburg took up the matter, and having $23,000 to spend for
road improvements appointed, in July, 1911, a committee to investi-
gate the subject. This committee appointed visited different places in
Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, in each county inspected hundreds of miles
of stone, gravel and brick roads, and each member of said committee
decided in favor of the brick material. Soon after the committee's
report was made public a contract was let for the construction of a
nine-foot, concrete base, vitrified brick road, which is now well begun,
and is surely to be the entering wedge to brick country roads through-
out Southern Illinois. Too much credit for the improvement of the
public highways cannot be given Mr. Stilwell, his championship of the
good roads movement having borne good results.

MARION S. WHITLEY, who occupies a prominent place among the
leading members of the Southern Illinois bar, has been a resident of
Harrisburg since 1892, when he moved to the county seat to enter
upon the duties of attorney for Saline county, to which office he had
that year been elected. A brief review of his life reveals the following
facts:

Marion S. Whitley was born three miles north of Eldorado, Saline
county, Illinois, June 17, 1860, son of Silas A. and Hannah (Craw-
ford) Whitley. His paternal grandparents, George and Sherel (Wal-
ler) Whitley, natives of North Carolina, came north about 1820 and
settled in Williamson county, and it was in Williamson county in
1837, that Silas A. Whitley was born. For a number of years Silas
A. Whitley was engaged in the sawmill business in Saline, Hamilton
and Johnson counties. -Finally he settled down at Eldorado, in Saline
county, where he passed the rest of his life, and where he died in
1900. He was twice married. His first wife, Hannah, was a daugh-
ter of William Crawford, a pioneer of Saline county who came here
from Virginia some time between 1820 and 1830, and who died at
about the age of sixty years. Hannah (Crawford) Whitley was born
in this county, and died here in 1866, at the age of twenty-three years.
She left three children: Silas A., a druggist at Eldorado; Angie, now



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 30 of 98)