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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this as a foundation he has been able to keep in close touch with the
people, and he has always stood as the champion of any cause that would
improve conditions and would benefit the social and civic life of the

John Bruff Stout was born in Lawrence county, Illinois, on the 5th
of August, 1863. His birthplace was a farm near Clancy, Illinois. He
was the son of George Stout, who was born at Coshocton, Coshocton
county, Ohio, on the 18th of October, 1836. He was not yet grown
when he came to Illinois, the year being 1853. He located in Lawrence
county, and there took up farming. He has been a farmer all of his
life and is now living a very quiet life at his home in Sumner. At the
age of twenty-one he was married to Sarah Mushrush, who was at the
time a resident of Lawrence county, although she, like her husband, had
been born in Coshocton, Ohio. She is now seventy-three years of age
and is enjoying the companionship of her husband, as she was never able
to when she had the cares of a household and he had the work of the
farm. Her family of children numbered eight, seven boys and one girl,
and of these John B. was the third. George Stout is a Republican in his
politics and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist church.

The early years of John Bruff Stout were spent on the farm in the
western part of -Lawrence county, and, as farmer's lads usually do, he
spent about as much time working on the farm as he did in the school
room. Being one of the older boys, he was of great assistance to his
father, and it was hard to spare him, even for the few hours he spent in
school. He had inordinate thirst for knowledge, however, and when
this was clear to his parents they were as anxious that he make the most
of his advantages as he was himself. He first attended the public
schools, and then knowing that the money could not be spared from the
family exchequer for any further education, he determined to earn some
through the medium of a teacher. He taught school until he had saved
enough to enable him to enter the state university at Lawrence, Kansas,
and by making every penny do double duty, and by working while he
was studying, he managed to remain at the university until he had a
fair education.

On leaving the university he first taught in the county schools, and
then was elected assistant superintendent of schools at Sumner, Illinois.
He remained here for two years as assistant, and then was elected prin-


cipal, holding the latter position for two years. In 1894 he was elected
county superintendent of schools for Lawrence county, and he threw
all his forces into the work of improving and developing the school sys-
tem of the county. He modernized and improved the course of study,
raised the standard of scholarship in the schools and infused into the
life of the community a new enthusiasm for reading and for general
culture by the introdxiction of a reading circle which he organized and
developed. During his work as superintendent he had great difficulty
in placing his projects before the people, and he realized that the county
needed a newspaper that would stand for progress and would not only
fight for political reform but would also stand for civic and social

It is not surprising, therefore, that at the expiration of his term as
county superintendent he should buy the plant of The Republican, the
oldest newspaper in this section of the state, having the prestige that
age always gives to anything. It was established in 1847, and ever since
the founding of the Republican party the policy of the paper has been
consistently Republican. Into this staid, conservative publication Mr.
Stout infused new life, and now the paper has the largest circulation of
any in the county. It is popular because its editor is afraid of no one.
Catering directly to the people, he is not forced to pander to the men
who advertise in his pages. Being independent, he can say to men who
threaten to take their advertising away from him, "Take it out, if you
choose, the people believe in me, and you will be the loser in the fight. ' '
It is a great thing to have the trust of the people in this way, but the
responsibility is also a heavy one.

During the past years Mr. Stout has built a fine new fire-proof build-
ing, the ground floor of which is occupied by the offices of the paper.
He has the most modern machinery, and the attractive sheet which is
issued would be a credit to any community. The policy of the paper is
now, as it has always been, Republican, and opposed to the saloon ele-
ment and the liquor dealers. Mr. Stout was appointed postmaster by
Roosevelt in 1907 and he still holds the office. He has been a strong ele-
ment in the civic affairs of Lawrenceville, serving for four years on the
city council, and for one year acting as mayor. He is one of the
strongest men in the Republican party in this part of the state, and will
doubtless be of great value in the coming campaign.

He is a very active member of the church in which he was reared,
that is the Methodist Episcopal. He is a member of the board of stew-
ards, was elected as delegate to the General Conference in East St.
Louis in 1911, and since 1894 has been superintendent of the Sunday-
school. He was a member of the building committee that had the erec-
tion of the $35,000.00 church in charge. This edifice was completed in
1911, and is a very fine piece of architecture. In the fraternal world he
is prominent, being a member of the Masons, the Knights of Pythias,
the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Elks.

In 1891 Mr. Stout was married to Miss Jennie Dobbins, who lived
in the northwestern part of the county. She was the daughter of a
retired farmer, Vincent Dobbins. Three children were born of. this
marriage, but they were early bereft of their mother, who died at the
age of twenty-eight. The eldest of these children, Lela, is dead, and the
other two are Mable and Leslie. In December, 1898, Mr. Stout married
again, his second wife being Sarah A. Salter. She is the daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. William Salter, who lived at that time in Lawrenceville,
but who have since moved to Wisconsin. There are no children from
this second marriage.


WILFOBD F. DILLON. One of those men whose influence has been
deeply felt in Franklin county, Illinois, because of the part he has
played in promoting the best development and progress of this sec-
tion of the state, is Mr. Wilford F. Dillon, the well known lawyer of
Benton. Mr. Dillon first saw light of day in Franklin county, Novem-
ber 25, 1853, his parents, Isaac, Jr., and Malinda (Rea) Dillon, hav-
ing also been natives of the same community. Jesse Dillon, grandfather
of Wilford F., was one of the earliest pioneer settlers of Franklin
county. Both he and his son followed the pursuit of agriculture and Wil-
ford Dillon is owner of a fine two hundred and forty acre farm, the cul-
tivation of which he superintends during the time he spares from his
legal practice. Our subject's father was a Douglas Democrat and a man
of wide acquaintance. His death occurred February 6, 1861. Mrs.
Dillon survived him many years and died on February 14, 1890. Her
father, Colonel Abraham Rea, came to Franklin county in an early day,
when the country was very sparsely settled and the Indians trouble-
some, and Mr. Ra was a colonel in the army which fought the Black
Hawk war.

Wilford F. Dillon received his early education at the city schools
of Benton, later supplementing that training with a course at Ewing
College. Upon completing his educational training he adopted the
pedagogic profession and for fifteen years was engaged as a teacher
in the schools of Franklin and Monroe counties, and was at one time
principal of the Benton schools.

In 1886 Mr. Dillon began the study of law in the office of D. M.
Browning and was admitted to the bar in 1889. He did not, however,
engage in active practice at tha.t time. He was appointed a master in
chancery, in which capacity he served until 1890, when he was elected
county superintendent of schools, receiving the nomination at the
hands of the Republican party, in the principles of which he believed
and in whose councils he was always interested and active. The follow-
ing year, 1891, Mr. Dillon was appointed by Governor Yates as superin-
tendent of stone at the Southern Illinois Penitentiary at Chester and
resigned that position. In 1894 Mr. Dillon was called to official position
again in Franklin county and served as county judge for a term. He
later received the nomination for circuit judge, but was defeated at the
election by a small margin in one very heavily Democratic district.

Locating in Benton, Mr. Dillon formed a partnership with A. A.
Strickland, and the firm has ever since done a very large general prac-
tice in all the courts. Mr. Dillon is a man of many attainments and
acute foresight and has conducted his personal business affairs in such
a manner as to have won for himself through his own unaided efforts
a comfortable fortune. Whatever his official or private interests he
always maintained great activity in educational lines and has done
much to promote higher education in this part of the state. The pub-
lic schools owe much to his efforts for their present high efficiency and
it was through his influence that the Benton township high school, with
one of the finest buildings in the state, was established here.

The marriage of Mr. Dillon to Miss Nellie Hudelson occurred on
November 17, 1889. She is the daughter of Joseph A. Hudelson, who
came to Franklin county from Indiana in early days and still lives on
his farm in this county. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Dillon has been
blessed in the birth of four children, all of whom are in school. Joseph
and Dorothy are high school students, while Richard W. and Nellie C.
attend in the lower grades. Mrs. Dillon is a member of the Baptist

In fraternal circles both Mr. and Mrs. Dillon are prominent, being


members of the Eastern Star order and Shriners. Mr. Dillon is a mem-
ber of the Masonic order and is a past master of Benton Lodge, No. 64.
He is a man whose attainments and position fit him for leadership
among his fellows, and he has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances,
by whom he is held in the highest respect and esteem.

WILLIAM F. BUNDT. The sturdy pioneer ancestors of William F.
Bundy bequeathed him a heritage of pluck and perseverance sufficient
to carry him through any trials the fates might send him in life. He
has given ample evidence of his possession of those traits on various
occasions, and in a residence of upwards of a quarter of a century in
Centralia he has made for himself a name and fame that is singularly
worthy of emulation.

Born in Marion dounty, June 8, 1858, William F. Bundy is the son
of Isaac and Amanda M. (Richardson) Bundy. They were both born
in Marion county, the former in 1828 and the latter in 1832. The
Bundy family were originally from North Carolina. John Bundy, the
grandfather of William F. Bundy, was born in North Carolina in 1796,
on the 13th day of March, and came to Illinois with his family, which
included Isaac Bundy. The latter was reared with the purpose on the
part of his parents that he become a minister of flie gospel, and he
served for three years as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church,
but gave up the ministry and became a farmer. In 1847 he enlisted for
service in the Mexican war, and with his regiment marched from what
is now Kansas City to Mexico, reaching there immediately after the cessa-
tion of hostilities and too late for active service. The regiment was mus-
tered out on October 31, 1848, and Mr. Bundy returned to his home after
which he finished his schooling and entered the ministry. He had an
opportunity to render active service to his country, however, when the
Civil war broke out in 1861, and in September of that year he enlisted
in the Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteers. He first served as regimental
sergeant, but was very shortly appointed to the post of chaplain. He
resigned from the service on August 24, 1864, and returned to his farm
home, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1899. Mr.
Bundy was one of -the old time Republicans, and always a stanch sup-
porter of the cause. He was well known throughout his own and ad-
joining counties as a citizen of great intrinsic worth, and in his passing
Marion county suffered a permanent loss.

Among many interesting facts in connection with the life and work
of John Bundy, paternal grandfather of William F. Bundy, is partic-
ularly noted that he sat, upon the first grand jury ever convened in
Marion county. The maternal grandfather of William F. Bundy was
also a man of considerable prominence and note in his time. He was
James I. Richardson, born in Tennessee, and came to Illinois about 1826.
He served through the Black Hawk war, enlisting in Captain Dobbins
spy batallion on May 14, 1832, and was active in various engagements
of that brief uprising. He was mustered out of the service on August
16, 1832. He became the owner of a valuable tract of land, which he
entered upon as a homesteader, but his calling in life did not permit
him to live upon the land continuously. He was a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal church, and served for twenty years in that work.
He was presiding elder of his district for several terms, and was promi-
nently known throughout all southern Illinois. He died in 1871. leav-
ing the heritage of a worthy life well spent in devotion to the labors
of his church.

William F. Bundy passed through the common schools of "his home
town, and in 1879 attended the Southern Illinois Normal University


at Carbondale for a year. His finances were low, and with no one to
depend upon for assistance in that way he was compelled to return to
the farm and work for a year before he might continue his studies. But
his inherent perseverance made it possible for him to surmount all dif-
ficulties of that nature, and in 1881 he secured a position teaching school,
by means of which he was enabled to return to the University at Car-
bondale for another term. He repeated that performance in 1882 and
also in 1884. In 1887 he was so far along with his studies that he began
to read law, and in 1889, after two years of constant application to his
books, he was admitted to the bar, and he has been in active practice
through the intervening years, attaining an unusual measure of success.

From the beginning his practice was wide in its scope, and he was
so fortunate as to experience none of the lean years which so frequently
characterize the early efforts of men who finally -achieve brilliant suc-
cesses. In addition to his wide general practice Mr. Bundy is the at-
torney for the Southern Railway Company, the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy Railroad, the Centralia Coal Company, the Centralia Electric
Company and the Centralia State Bank. Aside from his official capac-
ity, he is a trustee of the Southern Illinois Normal University at Car-
bondale. as well as being a member of the directorates of the Mer-
chants State Bank and the Centralia Water Supply Company. Mr.
Bundy is a stanch Republican, and has served the party in various
capacities during his career. He was a delegate to the forty-second
and forty-third general assemblies in 1901 and 1903. During the forty-
third assembly he was chairman of the committee on general apportion-
ment and the committee on judicial department of practice, his labors
while chairman of those committees resulting in much good. As a citizen
his influence in a political way has always been of a nature calculated
to serve the best interests of his community, and he can be depended
upon to lend his aid in the furtherance of any upward movement con-
tributing to the welfare of the people.

In 1890 Mr. Bundy married Miss Mary E. McNally, a daughter of
James McNally. The latter was a native of New York who settled in
Centralia, becoming connected with a nail factory in this city, with
which he remained until the dissolution of the firm, his death occurring
shortly thereafter. Three daughters were born to the union of Mr. and
Mrs. Bundy; Dorothy E., now a student in Rockford College; Sarah
Pauline, attending the Centralia high school ; and Margaret, also a
student in the Centralia schools.

Mr. Bundy is particularly active in Masonic circles, being a member
of the Chapter, Knights Templar and the Chicago Consistory. He is
also a member of the Blue Lodge and is now eminent commander.

WILLIAM 0. HOLSHOUSEB. From the beginning of the establishment
of the rural free delivery service the men to whom this important
branch of the country's mail department has been entrusted have been
recruited from those who have shown themselves faithful and reliable
citizens. As so much responsibility rests in their hands it is necessary
for them to be men of strict honesty and integrity, and that William
O. Holshouser has carried the mail on rural free delivery route No. 2
for seven consecutive years speaks well for the confidence in which he
is held by his fellow citizens. Mr. Holshouser was born July 20, 1881,
on a farm in Williamson county, Illinois, and is a son of Wiley J. and
Mary (Smith) Holshouser.

Wiley J. Holshouser was born May 3, 1857, in North Carolina, a
son of Jacob and Annie (Beaver) Holshouser, natives of the Tar Heel
state, of German descent, the former of whom was born July 16, 1822,


and died December 30, 1885. In 1880 Wiley J. Holshouser was married
to Mary Smith, daughter of Joseph and Sophia Maria (Klutts) Smith,
natives of North Carolina, and granddaughter of Richard Smith. Sophia
(Klutts) Smith was born in 1830, the daughter of Daniel Klutts, who
went from North Carolina to Tennessee and thence, in 1849, to Union
county, Illinois, later moving to Williamson county, Tennessee. The
Smith family settled in Williamson county in about 1840, and from
that section Joseph Smith enlisted for .service during the Civil war, but
died before the war was finished, while at home on a sick furlough. Wiley
J. Holshouser left Williamson county, Illinois, in 1885 and located at
McClure, but two years later went to a farm of one hundred and seventy
acres located in Cache township, near Cypress, where he now resides.
He is the father of four children, namely : William ; Dennis, who is
carrying on operations on the home farm ; and Ida and Emma, who live
with their father.

William 0. Holshouser received his education in the district schools
of Cache township, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. Eventually
he started farming on his own account, accumulating a well-improved
property of eighty acres in Cache township, but this he disposed of
January 1, 1911. In 1904 he was appointed rural free delivery car-
rier No. 2, traveling out of Cypress, and this position he has held to the
present time. He is a general favorite all along his route, his genial,
courteous manner having made him very popular, while his conscien-
tious, faithful discharge of the duties of his office has made him one
of the service's most trusted employes in this section.

In 1896 Mr. Holshouser was united in marriage with Miss Eva E.
Parker, daughter of Dr. C. A. C. Parker, formerly a well-known physi-
cian and surgeon of Cypress, who is now possessed of a large practice
in Dougale, and Alice (Henard) Parker. Mr. and Mrs. Holshouser
have three children, namely : Maude Marie, Hazel and Paul. Frater-
nally Mr. Holshouser is connected with the Odd Fellows, the Knights
of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America, and is popular with
all. ,

DAVID EDWARD KEEPE. Among the most prominent of the many
well-known lawyers of Southern Illinois is David Edward Keefe, of
the firm of Wise, Keefe & Wheeler, of East St. Louis. Mr. Keefe is a
self-made man, and although the phrase has become hackneyed from
over use, yet in this case nothing else is applicable. Forced to earn
the money for his education, he early learned to depend on himself.
With no backing, he started out to win a place for himself in a profes-
sion already overcrowded and succeeded by his own merit, alone. As
a lawyer he is keen, a clear and logical thinker, and above all possesses
that rare quality among lawyers of having a deep sense of honor and
of truth. He is one of the men upon whom the country will have to
depend to raise the legal profession from the depths to which it has
been dragged by unscrupulous lawyers. It is fortunate that here and
there such men are to be found, and it is more than fortunate in this
case, for Mr. Keefe is also interested in politics and has considerable
influence in the councils of his party.

David Edward Keefe was born in Madison county, Illinois, at Dorsey
Station, on the 13th of December. 1863. His father was John Keefe,
who was a native of Ireland. He emigrated from Ireland in 1848,
and settled in St. Louis in December of the same year. He later moved
to Madison county, Illinois, and in 1855 settled on a farm near Dorsey
Station. Here he spent the remainder of his life, continuing his occu-
pation of a farmer till his death, which occurred on the llth of May,


1893. Mr. Keefe's mother was also a native of the Emerald Isle, and
her name was Honorah Quiiilan. She was the daughter of the superin-
tendent of the beautiful Goskin estate in county Limerick, Ireland.

Mr. Keefe was educated in the common schools and later attended
the Northern Illinois University at Dixon, Illinois. His father was
none too well supplied with this world's goods and in order to obtain
his college education the boy was forced to teach school and to put by
every penny towards his education. He taught for five years and then
began the study of law under Solomon H. Bethea, who was afterward
made judge of the United States court at Chicago. Mr. Keefe was
admitted to the bar in 1890 and opened his office at Bunker Hill, Illinois.
The fame of the young lawyer soon spread, for he inherited from his
Irish forefathers the facility of tongue, for which they are noted, and
his experiences had given him the steadying influence which the Irish
temperament often lacks. In 1898 he was elected county judge and
served in this office four years. So satisfactory was his service to the
people that he was urged to accept another term, but refused in order
to enter into partnership with Wise and McNulty at East St. Louis,
Illinois. This firm of Wise, McNulty & Keefe ranked as one of the
best firms of lawyers in Southern Illinois. The present firm of Wise,
Keefe & Wheeler has one of the largest practices in the southern part
of the state. Mr. Keefe was appointed corporation counsel of East
St. Louis in 1905, and it fell to him to handle the largest financial
questions with which the city has ever had to deal. Strong pressure was
brought to bear in the attempt to persuade him to run for congress in
1912, from the twenty-second district in Illinois, but he declined, prefer-
ring to devote himself to his profession.

In politics Mr. Keefe has always been a Democrat and he has given
much of his time to campaign speaking, where his eloquent tongue has
helped the cause of many candidates. In his religious affiliations he
is a Roman Catholic, having been raised in the church and having al-
ways been a consistent member of the same.' He is a member of the
Knights of Columbus and of the Elks. He is grand knight of the
East St. Louis Council and has filled various offices in this order, tak-
ing a deep interest in the work of the society.

Mr. Keefe was married at Bunker Hill, Illinois, on the 29th of
November, 1893, to Jennie C. Eline, of Littlestown, Pennsylvania. She
received her education at St. Joseph's Academy, McSherrystown, Penn-
sylvania, being a graduate of this institution. She is the daughter of
John W. and Annie Eline. Her father was a general contractor and
his great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary war, taking part in
the battle of Brandywine. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Keefe, namely : Robert, May, Virginia, Agnes, Helen and David.

WILLIAM URIAH BARNETT. The development of the United States
mail service has been rapid and sure, but not until recent years has it
attained its highest efficiency, although it at present ranks with any
in the world. The various improvements made, the cutting down of ex-
penses in every department and the general rapidity with which the

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 61 of 98)