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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ness men in Clinton county who is doing much towards advancing his
community's commercial interests is George Washington Gum, the
proprietor of a nourishing mercantile business at Keyespqrt and a
member of a family that has long been identified with the county 's ac-
tivities. The Gum family was founded in this part of the state by the
Rev. Isaac Gum, a pioneer circuit rider of the Methodist faith. John
R. Gum, the father of George W., was born about four miles from Keyes-
port, in Bond county, Illinois, November 22, 1851 and during pioneer
days carried the mail from Litchfield to Greenville. He was too young
to enlist in the Civil war but an elder brother participated in it as a
member of an Illinois regiment. He grew to manhood on the old Gum
homestead in Bond county, where he has been engaged in agricultural
pursuits all of his life, and where he still makes his home. He is a
Democrat in politics. Mr. Gum was married to Matilda E. Barth,
daughter of Jacob Barth, a native of Germany, and five children were
born to this union, namely: E. G., who is rural free delivery mail car-
rier at Delmore ; Clara C., who married E. J. Barcroft ; George Wash-
ington ; Anna Belle, who resides with her father, for whom she is keep-
ing house ; and Bert E., who is engaged in teaching school in Keyesport.
The mother of these children met death in a runaway accident Septem-
ber 4, 1907.

George Washington Gum spent his youth on his father's farm in
Bond county, his early education being secured in the Pleasant Grove
district school, from which he was graduated at the age of twenty years.
The next term he began teaching school at West Chappell, Fayette
county, and after continuing there for two terms he took two summer
courses at Valparaiso University, to fit himself for advanced work.
After four years spent in teaching the public schools of Keyesport he
clerked for one summer in the store of Frank Laws, and on the follow-
ing November 13th, with his brother-in-law, Mr. Barcroft, he purchased
the old Laws stock, and the firm of Gum & Barcroft was formed, an
association which continued until May, 1908, when Mr. Gum purchased
his partner's interest and has since conducted the business alone. Mr.
Gum has a fine stock of first-class goods, and his progressive spirit has
led him to adopt many of the ideas of the big city department stores.
He keeps fully abreast of the times, constantly replenishing his stock
with modern articles and endeavoring to give his customers the best
value obtainable for the money. This policy has caused his business to


grow steadily, as he has won the confidence and esteem of his fellow
townsmen in the only way that such confidence and esteem can be
acquired a fair price and honest goods to all. His politics are those of
the Republican party, but so far his business has claimed all of his at-
tention, and outside of taking a good citizen's interest in public mat-
ters he has had little to do with public affairs. He is a popular member
of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Odd Fellows, and his re-
ligious views are those of the Christian church.

On December 24, 1903, while teaching his first term in the Keyes-
port public schools, Mr. Gum was married in this city to Sadie A. Dill,
daughter of Ambrose and Rebecca Dill, of Keyesport, an old and well-
known family. Mr. and Mrs. Gum have had no children. She is a
member of the Methodist church, and well and popularly known in
church circles.

CHARLES HENRY FILE. One of the successful business men of Bond
county, who at the same time belongs to that typically American prod-
uct, the self-made man, is Charles Henry File, a native son of the
county. He is a man of varied interests, owning a large farm in Old
Ripley township ; conducting a, livery barn in Pocahontas ; and being
prominently identified with the development of the oil fields. Mr. File
was born in Old Ripley township, January 24, 1872, the son of James F.
File. The father was born near the same place in the year 1.848. He
was reared amid rural surroundings and spent his life on a farm. Al-
though only seventeen years of age at the outbreak of the Civil war, he
ran away from home to join the army, but owing to his youth was
brought back and his plans of leading a military life frustrated. Sev-
eral of his brothers were in the Union army. James F. File was mar-
ried at the age of nineteen years to an adopted daughter of Charles
Pickern, Ella Pickern. Mrs. File was reared in Pocahontas and became
the mother of six children, five of whom are living at the present time
and C. H. being the eldest of the number. The father was a loyal Demo-
crat in politics, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He
was identified in various ways with the many-sided life of the com-
munity. He died in 1901, in Serento, Illinois, where he was leading a
retired life, the demise of his cherished and devoted wife occurring some
years earlier.

At a very early age the problem of making his own livelihood pre-
sented itself to Charles Henry File. At the age of nine years he began
working at various occupations, and in the meantime attended the pub-
lic schools, during the most of his educational period working for his
board. He was the eldest in a family of very modest resources and as
there is no arguing with necessity he was soon forced to that self-sup-
port which gave him the self-reliance which has been one of the greatest
factors in his success. He has divided his time in late years between
Pocahontas and Old Ripley township, in the latter neighborhood own-
ing an excellent farm, which he has brought to a high state of cultiva-
tion. In Pocahontas he conducts a well-patronized livery barn and this
as well as his agricultural work is successful. He was also interested in
a creamery in Old Ripley. He is a director in the Pocahontas Oil Com-
pany and is deeply interested in the development of the oil resources of
this section. He is, indeed, a substantial and progressive citizen.

Mr. File was married November 4, 1907, the young woman to become
his wife being Rosana Boyer, of Old Ripley township, daughter of John
Boyer, a prominent farmer. Mr. File's father-in-law was a lieuten-
ant in the Union army at the time of the Civil war, and was one of five
brothers who served during the great conflict between the states, all


being aligned with the cause of the preservation of the integrity of the
Union. Mr. and Mrs. File maintain a hospitable home and possess a
wide circle of friends. Mr. File belongs to the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, of which order he has been a member since his twenty-first
year and in whose affairs he takes an enthusiastic and whole-hearted

SENATOR ALBERT E. ISLEY. In 1908 there took his place in the state
senate a young man of the type upon which the state founds its hope of
cleaner and better politics, Albert E. Isley, of Newton, who still repre-
sents this district in the upper house of the state assembly. He is par-
ticularly well fitted by nature and training for the duties of his office
and manifests in himself that combination of the theoretical and prac-
tical which produces the man who begets fine ideas and knows how to
make them realities. He has carried with him to the senate well defined
and unfaltering ideas of duty toward his constituents and is in refresh-
ing contrast to the self-seeking politician who has proved the menace of
modern society. As a lawyer he has taken rank among the best in the
section and has been in active practice since 1897.

Jasper county is particularly to be congratulated upon the number
of native born sons it has been able to retain within its boundaries and
Senator Isley is one of these. The date of his birth was January 18,
1871. His father, Emanuel F. Isley, was born in Iowa, in 1840. The
elder gentleman was born and reared upon a farm and he is still a suc-
cessful representative of the great basic industry. In his younger years
he was a school teacher. He came to Illinois about forty-five years ago
and located in Jasper county, upon the very homestead farm which is
now his place of residence. He was married about the year 1867 to
Vanda Apple, of Indiana, and into their household were born eight chil-
dren, Senator Isley being the second in order of birth. The father is
one of the most loyal of Democrats and he is not unknown to public
office, having for instance been county supervisor. Originally he was
a member of the Lutheran church, but is now of the Christian congre-
gation. The family is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent and share the
staunch and rugged characteristics of that people. The family circle
has never been entered by death, father and mother and all the sons and
daughters being alive.

The early life of Senator Isley was spent on the parental farm in
Jasper county and he enjoys the wholesome experiences and rugged dis-
cipline, of rural existence, from actual participation becoming familiar
with the many secrets of seed-time and harvest. He received his pre-
liminary education in the common schools of the neighborhood and
having finished their curriculum he himself assumed the preceptor's
chair and for about seven years taught school in Jasper county. His
school teaching was interspersed by attending college at Valparaiso, In-
diana (now Valparaiso University), and he was graduated from that
noted institution in 1896, with the degree of LL. B., his desire to become
identified with the legal profession having come to fruition in his early
school-teaching days. In 1897 he was admitted to the bar of Illinois and
he has been actively engaged in practice since 1898. He was very soon
found to be of the right material to which to entrust public responsibil-
ities and in his brief career he has held a number of public offices. The
first of these was Democratic member of the board of managers of the
state reformatory at Pontiac, the appointment coming under Governor
Yates and being of four years' duration. He ultimately resigned and
was shortly afterward elected state's attorney of Jasper county, which
office he held for four years with general satisfaction to all concerned.


His election to the state senate came about in 1908 and he is still serving
in that office. He has by no means been a mere figure-head in the state
assembly, his influence, in truth, having been of the best and strongest
sort. He was the leader in the anti-Lorime.r movement, an agitation
which was to stir state and nation, and he made the first speech against
that senator. He was a member of the committee to revise county and
township organization and the road and bridge laws of the state. He
was one of the leaders in general legislation before the senate and was
recognized as one of the ablest debaters and parlimentarians of the
upper house. His readiness in debate, his mastery of every subject he
handles are everywhere remarked, as well as the unfailing courtesy with
which he treats friend and foe alike. He has an extraordinary power of
marshalling and presenting significant facts so as to bring conviction
and is a true lover of his country and its institutions. He has been, in-
deed, the direct source of a great deal of legislation favorable to the in-
terest of his constituents. He is a Democrat by inheritance and the
strongest personal conviction and his word has great weight in party

Senator Isley was married in 1903, to Miss Grace M. Sullender, a
native of Newton. One child has been born to them, a son, Leslie L.
Both the senator and his wife are interested in the truest manner in the
many-sided life of town and county and maintain a hospitable abode.
Senator Isley finds pleasure in his fraternal affiliation with the time-
honored Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America.

GUY CARLETON BARCLAY. Noteworthy among the active and valued
citizens of Carlyle is Guy Carleton Barclay, who was widely known to
the traveling public as agent for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, a po-
sition for which he was eminently fitted, and in which he gave the ut-
most satisfaction to all concerned during the years of his service, which
he terminated in March, 1912. A son of James Barclay, Jr., he was
born May 28, 1859, in Weston, Platte county, Missouri, of Southern

His grandfather, James Barclay, was for many years a prominent
resident of Paris, Kentucky, where he carried on a thriving business as
a dealer in live stock, making frequent trips with boat loads of horses
from Louisville to New Orleans. On one of his business journeys he
was stricken with yellow fever, which caused his death in 1830. His
widow died three years later, in 1833, during a siege of cholera which
in that year devastated the country.

Born in Paris, Kentucky, October 10. 1821, James Barclay, Jr., was
left an orphan in boyhood. He was educated principally in George-
town, Kentucky, and after his graduation from Georgetown Academy,
at the age of sixteen years, he began teaching school, and followed that
profession for several years. He was afterwards manager and propri-
etor of the Georgetown Hotel for some time. Migrating to Missouri in
1859 with his family, he spent a brief time in St. Louis, and then went
to Weston, Missouri, where he represented a large mercantile house,
having charge of its branch store at that place. Coming from there to
Carlyle, Illinois, in 1860, he was the first publisher of the Carlyle Con-
stitution, and for a number of years was superintendent of the Carlyle
schools, a position that he also filled in Cape Girardeau. Missouri, in
1873 and 1874. He was a noted educator, especially brilliant in mathe-
matics, a branch that he often taught in county institutes. He died in
1900. just one week after the death of his loved wife. He was a Demo-
crat in politics and a member of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.
He married in 1842 Miss Elizabeth Jones, of Georgetown, Kentucky,


and to them five children were born, as follows: Sarah, the wife of Ed-
win Fink; May, now a physician in Carlyle; Guy, of this sketch; Lina,
living in St. Louis; and Lalee, deceased.

Spending his earlier days in Carlyle, Guy Carleton Barclay acquired
his preliminary education in the public schools of this city, completing
his studies in the normal school at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. On re-
turning with the family to Carlyle, he was for a time in the employ of
Lafey Brothers as bookkeeper, but he afterwards engaged in the rail-
road business, in February, 1880, being appointed agent for the Ohio &
Mississippi Railroad, now known as the Southwestern branch of the
Baltimore & Ohio. As stated in a previous paragraph, Mr. Barclay sev-
ered his connection with the Baltimore & Ohio in March, 1912. ,

Politically Mr. Barclay is a Democrat. He is especially interested
in advancing the educational interests of city and county, and for the
past eighteen years he has been a member of the Carlyle board of edu-
cation. He has labored wisely in the interests of the public schools, and
was largely instrumental in securing the site for the present beautiful
school building of the city, and in causing its subsequent erection.

Mr. Barclay married in 1886 Miss Annie Lietez, a daughter of Hon.
Frederick A. Lietez, of Carlyle, and to them five children have been
born, namely: Guy C., Jr., Anna Lietez, Emma E., Robert H. and
Paul C. Fraternally Mr. Barclay is a member of the Masonic order.

HENRY Cox. No list of professional men of Jackson county would
be complete without extended mention being made of its educators whose
untiring labors during the past decade have brought the standard of
education in this section to a point where it is unexcelled by any com-
munity in Southern Illinois, and who, not content with present condi-
tions, are laboring faithfully to still further advance their chosen work
and by their example set a pace that will be worthy of emulation by
teachers all over the state. Professor Henry Cox, principal of the pub-
lic schools of Oraville, is one of those whose work as an educator has had
much to do with the present desirable condition of affairs, and his entire
professional career has been spent in the schools of Jackson county. He
was born on his father's farm in Levan township, June 16, 1870, and is
a son of Benjamin F. and Mary B. (Crossin) Cox.

Benjamin F. Cox was born at Beaver Dam, Kentucky, in 1842, and
as a youth accompanied his parents to Indiana and from that state to
Illinois. When Benjamin was a lad of ten years his family located on a
farm situated on the road leading from Murphysboro to Carbondale,
and as a youth he hunted squirrels on the present site of the former
city with his chums, John and Thomas Logan. Reared to agricultural
pursuits, he followed the vocation of farmer throughout his life, and at
the time of his death, which occurred October 3, 1895, he was the owner
of an excellent property situated two miles southwest of Oraville. In
political matters he was a Democrat, but took only a good citizen's inter-
est in public matters, and the only office he held was that of deputy
sheriff under his brother. Sheriff "William Cox, familiarly known as
"Biddle. " who held that office in Jackson county for many years. His
wife, who was a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church,
South, was a native of Jackson county, and died on the home farm Jan-
uary 2. 1911. Of their six children Henry was the fifth in order of
birth and he and his brother. Samuel Cox, who is engaged in the laundry
business at Colorado Springs. Colorado, are the only survivors.

As a youth -Henry Cox attended the public schools in the vicinity of
his father's farm, and this training was supplemented by attendance at
the Southern Illinois Normal School at Carbondale and the normal


school at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, graduating from the latter in 1891.
Since that time he has been engaged in teaching at various places in
Jackson county, at the same time conducting the farm with his father,
since whose death Mr. Cox has owned the homestead and superintended
its operation. The Oraville school has an enrollment of sixty pupils, in-
cludes eighth grade work, and some high school training has also been
done. A close student of educational methods and conditions, Mr. Cox
has proved an able and efficient tutor, and he has given of the best of
himself in training the youthful minds placed under his care. He has,
however, found time to serve his township in public office, has served as
assessor aud collector, and was elected on the Democratic ticket to the
position of deputy sheriff of Ora township, in which capacity he is at
present acting. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows and
the Modern Woodmen of America, and he is popular with his fellow
lodge members, as he is also in his profession and with his pupils.

On June 19, 1892, Professor Cox was married to Miss Maggie Under-
hill, daughter of William Underbill, a farmer of Jackson county, and
five children have been born to them, namely: Arthur, Arden, Floyd,
Mabel and Jessie.

CICERO L. WASHBURN, M. D. After a number of years devoted to the
professions of teaching and medicine Dr. Cicero L. Washburn, of
Marion, is now devoting himself to the affairs of his farm, and is living
a quiet, unpretentious life. He gained a widespread reputation both as
a physician and educator, and is now proving himself just as efficient
in the agricultural field, his farm being one of the most productive of his
section. Dr. Washburn was born near Carthage, Smith county, Tennes-
see, August 10, 1852, and he is a son of the late Hon. James M. Wash-

Dr. Washburn was five years of age when his father came to Illinois,
and was reared in Marion and near Carterville, where his parents spent
many years of their vigorous lives. After the common schools he at-
tended Ewing College, where he graduated in 1874, and entered the
profession of teaching, following it a few years at DeSoto, Illinois, and
in Fredonia, Kentucky. Finding the indoor work telling upon his
health, he decided to study medicine, and read under the direction of
Dr. S. H. Bundy, who had been once a member of the faculty of Van-
derbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and widely known as a scholar
and Baptist minister. When ready for college he enrolled in the old
Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, now a part of Washington Uni-
versity of that city, and graduated therefrom in 1882. In choosing a
location the Doctor selected Hampton, Kentucky, where he spent twelve
years, and the two years that followed he was located at Rich Hill, Mis-
souri. At this time he gave up the profession and came to Marion, de-
siring to be near his father, who was then approaching the evening of
life, and since then his activities have been directed to the affairs of the

Dr. Washburn was first married at Metropolis. Illinois, in October,
1896, his wife being Miss Katie Markey, who died in 1898, without liv-
ing issue. On June 1, 1899, the Doctor married Mrs. Laura Champion,
the daughter of Rev. M. H. Utley, a Baptist minister. The children of
Mrs. Washburn by her first marriage are three, as follows : Pauline, who
is the wife of George H. Dietrich, of Marion, a traveling salesman;
Claude Champion, who is the proprietor of a butcher establishment in
Marion ; and Robert G. Champion, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a sales-
man for the Banke-Wennecke Candy Company.

Dr. Washburn is fraternally connected with the Elks and his re-


ligious belief is that of the Baptist church. He is not concerned with
politics, other than taking a citizen's interest in good government, but
casts his vote with the Democratic party. Dr. Washburn has always
been identified with movements of a religious, educational or charitable
nature, is considered one of the good, reliable citizens of his community,
and has a host of warm, personal friends in this locality.

HUGH PENVLEE, M. D. Eeputed one of the most skilful physicians of
Jefferson county, Hugh Penvler, M. D., of Ina, pays close attention to
his professional duties, and by means of his acknowledged skill and high
personal character has built up a fine practice. A son of the late Dr. H.
J. Penvler, he was born July 10, 1864, in Mount Vernon, Illinois.

Dr. H. J. Penvler was born in East Tennessee, in 1837, and died at
Mount Vernon, Illinois, April 23, 1899, aged sixty-two years. An am-
bitious student and a lover of books he was given excellent educational
advantages when young, and after his graduation from the old Emory &
Henry College, where he completed the classical course, he entered the
Missouri Medical College, in Saint Louis, from which he was graduated
with the degree of M. D. He subsequently held the chair of physiology
in the Missouri Medical College for a number of years, during which
time he was honored with a degree from the University of Nashville, in
Nashville, Tennessee. At the outbreak of the Civil war, he offered his
services to his country, enlisting in the Federal army, and for a time
was army surgeon at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1862, he located at
Mount Vernon, Illinois, and was there actively engaged in the practice
of medicine until his death. He married Ellen Hawkins, a daughter of
Samuel Hawkins, who migrated from Indiana to Jefferson county, Illi-
nois, in pioneer days, and they reared two children, namely : Hugh, the
subject of this sketch ; and Mrs. Nora Hartzell, of Mount Vernon. The
mother still occupies the old homestead in Mount Vernon.

Receiving his preliminary training in the public schools of Mount
Vernon, Hugh Penvler subsequently attended the Southern Illinois Nor-
mal University in Carbondale, and in 1883 began the study of medicine
in Saint Louis, at the Missouri Medical College. Going to Nashville, Ten-
nessee, in 1884, he was graduated from the medical department of the
University of Nashville in the spring of 1885, and during the following
nine years he was associated with his father in the practice of medicine at
Mount Vernon. Removing to Spring Garden in 1894, Dr. Penvler was
there prosperously engaged in the practice of his profession for ten years.
Coming to Ina in 1904, he has here built up a lucrative patronage, being
numbered among the leading physicians of the county. He is well known
in professional circles, and is a member of the Southern Illinois Medical

Dr. Penvler married, in July, 1894, Maggie McCullough, a daughter

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 63 of 98)