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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son are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Wilson has
succeeded his father as an elder. Fraternally Mr. Wilson belongs to the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in addition to having passed all
the chairs of his lodge has represented it in the Grand Lodge.

R. N. RAWSTRON, manager of the American Asphalt Company at
Lawrenceville, Illinois, is a son of Great Britain by birth, casting his lot
with America and Americans as lately as in 1909. Since his arrival in
America he has been manager of the Asphalt Company mentioned above,
and has, through his excellent business ability and his proven fitness for
the position he holds, established himself most firmly in Lawrenceville
and the surrounding country.

Born in Levenshulme, England, April 16, 1860, Mr. Rawstron is the
son of William Rawstron, also born in England, and a cotton manufac-
turer near Rochdale, England. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth
Nicholson. He was the second child in a family of six, and received good
educational advantages, attending Rossall College, near Fleetwood, Lan-
cashire, and later completing his education at a private school in Weis-
baden, Germany, conducted by Herr Kiindermann. His education com-
pleted, he entered the British army and served thus for a period of
twenty-eight years, from 1881 to 1909. In July, 1898, he was ordered out
to Egypt to take part in the Soudan expedition, then about to start, with
the purpose of smashing the Khalifa at Khartoum. When the campaign
was over he remained in the country for the following six years, during
the tedious period of pacification, finally returning home in 1904, where,
after completing a tour of duty at the War Office, he retired from mili-
tary life.

Throughout his military career Mr. Rawstron was an enthusiastic
cricketer, and so little was his health affected by the hardships of service
in Egypt that on returning home he was elected captain of the regi-
mental cricket team, a position that he subsequently proved himself to be
eminently fitted for and thoroughly deserving of holding by making the
largest number of runs and the biggest individual score of any member
of the team, and leading to victory his men in twelve out of sixteen
matches during the first year of his captaincy. He continued playing
with success this typically British game until he was forty-nine years of

In 1909 Mr. Rawstron came to the United States, coming directly to
Lawrenceville, where he assumed charge of the new factory of the Ameri-
can Asphalt Company, a large and fast growing concern with head of-
fices in Chicago. This company manufactures various kinds of asphalt,
their specialty being the product known as Pioneer Road Asphalt, a grade
of asphalt entirely different from the product of any other manufac-
turing plant, and generally conceded to be the superior in elasticity and
general endurance to any other asphalt known to the trade. Its basic
element is gilsonite, and its component parts are gilsonite and oil. A
very speaking tribute to the superior qualities of the product of this
company was given by Hon. James C. Wonders, state highway commis-
sioner of Ohio in September, 1910, when he reported officially on a
stretch of road constructed as an experiment in Columbus for the sole
purpose of ascertaining the various values of the different preparations
for preventing dust and for binding the surface of macadam roads. Sev-


enteen different materials were used in making seventeen separate
stretches of road, each four hundred feet in length, the sections forming
a continuous road. The report of the state highway commissioner reads
as follows : " In this section all of the pieces of stone are perfectly bound.
No excess of binder is in evidence, the surface is smooth, and its whole
condition is excellent." This report referred to the section of road pre-
pared by the American Asphalt Company with Pioneer Road Asphalt.
It follows but naturally that Mr. Rawstron should take special pride in
his management of a factory that produces something so manifestly su-
perior, and it is safe to assume that his own peculiar ability, with that of
his able band of assistants, has something to do with the excellency of the
output at this plant. The Lawrenceville factory, erected there in 1910,
is built on the most improved lines, and the process used differs much
from the old methods prevailing in the manufacture of asphalt. In 1911
the almost new factory at Lawrenceville was destroyed by fire, wrought
through carelessness on the part of a new workman at the plant. It was
rebuilt in less than six weeks' time, and is now as nearly fireproof as such
a plant could be. It has most complete fire equipment and all conven-
iences for dealing with fire, and is altogether a splendid specimen of the
most approved and modern plant. -The company, which operates another
plant at Grand Crossing, Illinois, also manufactures roofing, paint, etc.
The average number of men employed at the Lawrenceville factory is
twenty-five, and the average output of asphalt is fifty tons daily. This
factory was established here in order that it might be easily accessible to
the oil fields, oil being one of the principal parts of the product.

In 1885 Mr. Rawstron married Miss Josephine Hennessy, of England,
and they have one daughter, Mary. Mrs. Rawstron and their daughter
are at present sojourning in London.. Mr. Rawstron is a communicant
of the Church of England and is a member of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows.

THOMAS ALLEN CLARK, M. D., is the type of physician that is, un-
fortunately for the country at large,, rapidly becoming more and more
rare in the active life of this twentieth century. He has been willing to
devote the years since his graduation to the relief of the suffering close
about him without marring his usefulness by dreams of the city operating
room or of the specialist's fee. Of him Goldsmith might have said: "A
man he was to all the country dear " and even further,

' ' Remote from towns, he ran his godly race
Nor e'er had changed nor wished to change his place."

This doctor, who willingly gives of his skill and energy to soothe his
fellow men in their illness and affliction travels through the Southern Illi-
nois country by horse, visiting patients often fifteen or twenty miles dis-
tant from his home, such is the confidence of the people in his ability.

Thomas Allen Clark was born on the 21st day of April, 1874, on a
farm in Farmington township, Jefferson county, Illinois. He is the son
of Joseph Clark, who began his life in Nashville, Tennessee, in October of
1831. The senior Mr. Clark had grown to young manhood in Tennes-
see when the war cloud grew black and his father, Jesse, always a loyal
Unionist, brought his little family from the south to Jefferson county,
Illinois. On the Illinois farm purchased by his father Joseph Clark spent
the remainder of his life and here he passed away on the 28th day of Oc-
tober, 1904. having just celebrated his seventy-third birthday. He left
to mourn his death his wife, Sarah Smith Clark, the daughter of Mr. Cole-
man Smith, a Virginia gentleman, and seven grown children, of whom
five are daughters. The first born. Florence, who finished her life work


some years since, was the widow of Doctor S. H. Hilliard, who has been
deceased for eighteen years. The next sister, Cassie, married Horace
Maxey, of Eldorado, Kansas. Edith is now Mrs. Doctor A. G. Brown,
of St. Louis. Love of the medical profession seems to be a family trait.
Cora, next to the youngest of the girls, also married a physician, in this
case Doctor J. T. Whillock, of Mount Vernon, Illinois. Lillie, who mar-
ried J. Will Howell, still lives in the home city, while Walter Clark, the
older of the boys, occupies the home farm.

Dr. Thomas A. Clark attended, in his childhood, the district schools
of Jefferson county, graduating later from the Mount Vernon high school.
For the ensuing year he studied at Fairfield College, then for one year
at Ewing College. Feeling the necessity of becoming at once self sup-
porting, he left his college work unfinished that he might enter the nor-
mal school at Oakland, Indiana, and in his twentieth year began teaching
in the schools of his native county. During five years of life as a teacher
he was able to save from his earnings enough to help him to realize his
boyhood ambition a medical education. At the age of twenty-six he
entered the medical department of the University of St. Louis, receiving
his degree of Doctor of Medicine in the spring of 1904.

Upon graduation he settled in Di-x, Illinois, where his large general
practice covers a territory from fifteen to twenty miles in radius. His
nights as well as his days are given over to his profession, so popular has
he become with the people of his vicinity. In the autumn of 1907 he was
elected county coroner on the Democratic ticket. This office he has
filled with such ability that his friends of both political parties are anx-
ious that he continue to accept the responsibilities. He is a member of
the Jefferson County Medical Society and the Illinois State Medical As :
sociation. In lodge circles he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to
the Woodmen of the World.

One year previous to his entering medical school the doctor was
united in marriage to Miss Dora May Smith, the daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Nelson Smith, of Jefferson county. They were married on the 30th
of November, 1889, his bride going with him to St. Louis there to make a
home for him while his hopes were becoming realities. Dr. and Mrs.
Clark are now the parents of two attractive little daughters : Doris Alene
is seven years of age, while the baby sister celebrated her third birth-
day on the 30th of October, 1911.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM KINNEY MURPHY. The roll of those men who have
been the builders of Southern Illinois would not be complete without the
name of Captain William Kinney Murphy, lately deceased. The men
who seize an opportunity when it comes to them are rare and when found
are quite certain to be successful, but the men who make opportunities
for themselves are still more uncommon and are certain to be discovered
only among the ranks of the great captains of industry. It was to this
latter class that Captain Murphy belonged. Although he confined his
operations to a comparatively small portion of the country, his genius as
a financier and a promoter of successful enterprises, make him compare
favorably with some men whose names are blazoned forth upon the front
sheets of our daily newspapers. He was chief among the business men,
financiers and agriculturists of Perry county throughout the years of his
life, and the record which he left behind as a politician was an enviable
one. With his remarkable power of foreseeing future events he knew
just when a new project should be launched. At various points through
Southern Illinois he has left monuments to his memory in the shape of
financial institutions, and all of these have met with only the most unvary-
ing success, thanks to his steady hand upon their rudders. While it is


quite natural for a man to desire success and material prosperity for
himself and family, yet there was more than this behind the work of Cap-
tain Murphy. He had a deep love for the land of his birth, and desired
nothing so much as the prosperity of the country and her people. For
this, therefore, the people of Perry county and of Southern Illinois owe
him a debt of gratitude which they can not repay, except by their en-
deavors to be as public spirited and to give as freely of themselves as did
their benefactor.

William Kinney Murphy was born on the 12th of July, 1835, on
"Four Mile Prairie," on a farm now owned by Porter Baird. His father
was the Honorable Richard G. Murphy, who came from White county,
Tennessee, in 1821, and settled in Perry county. William K. Murphy was
brought up on the farm, but his father was determined that he should
have an education, so his school days were spent in the private school
conducted by the famous Benjamin G. Roots, who later became renowned
through his work as a civil engineer and as chief engineer of the con-
struction work of both the Illinois Central and of the Wabash, Chester
and Western railroads. When his father considered him old enough to
leave school he decided to give him a chance to try his wings in the busi-
ness world, and to that end sent him to the cattle markets of Minnesota
with a drove of fine cattle. Other drivers were along, but the lad had a
good opportunity to learn how to take care of himself, and see how busi-
ness of this type was carried on. He later took up the study of law with
William McKee, but the swift pace of events brought about the bom-
bardment of Fort Sumter before he was admitted to the bar, and he for-
got that such a man as Blackstone ever existed. He was soon engaged in
the attempt to raise a regiment, and after he had succeeded a weary wait,
followed, while he tried to get it accepted by the war department. At
last this end was accomplished and his enlistment took place on the
15th of August, 1862. He was commissioned captain of Company H, of
the One Hundred and Tenth Illinois Infantry.

Captain Murphy was forced to resign from the army in April of
1863, on account of ill health. He went reluctantly back to his deserted
law books and was admitted to the bar. He formed a partnership with
the Honorables John and Thomas Boyd, the firm being known as Mur-
phy and Boyd Brothers. This association was continued for many years,
and Captain Murphy became a noted lawyer and one of the most success-
ful in Southern Illinois. He was particularly well known as a criminal
lawyer. As a public speaker and effective advocate his fame was wide-
spread. This success at the bar laid the foundations of his later success
as a financier and business man. The qualities that brought him the
confidence of his clients and the esteem of the brother lawyers, brought
him later the trust of those who had money to invest, and the regard of
his confreres.

It was an easy step from the law to politics, and he entered this field
to become the recognized leader of Democracy in Perry county. The first
political office that he held was master-in-chancery in his county. He
was presently elected to the lower house of the general assembly and
after the expiration of his term in that body was sent to the state senate.
He was almost universally a delegate to all of the conventions in which
his county participated, showing how unbounded was the confidence in
which he was held by the people. In 1882 he was nominated for Con-
gress and was defeated by only two hundred and sixty-one votes in a dis-
trict that normally polls three thousand Republicans. He was a regular
delegate at the national Democratic conventions, and was one of the num-
ber who brought about the third nomination of Grover Cleveland. The
president partially rewarded him by appointing him collector of internal


revenue for his district. This post he accepted in 1893 and made his
headquarters at Cairo. One year of his service was held under the Mc-
Kinley administration, five years in all being spent in this capacity. In
1896, when the money question was the leading issue, Captain Murphy
became a "sound money" man, and was a delegate to the convention
that nominated Palmer for president and Buckner for vice-president
upon that platform. He was a warm friend of General Palmer 's and the
general was only one of the many prominent politicians and business
men of the state of Illinois who were proud to claim Captain Murphy as
a friend.

Deciding that the world of business was more interesting than that
of the law courts, Captain Murphy resolved to abandon the practice of
law. He had previous to this time been a factor in the development of
the coal mining interests in this section, along the route of the Illinois
Central Railroad. He had organized the Beaucoup Coal Mining Com-
pany, and opened up a mine on the old Cairo Short Line Railroad, two
miles north of Pinckneyville. He was the president and maager of this
plant until the resources of the mine were exhausted, and then, although
he continued to acquire and maintain other mining interests, he never
went into the industry again as an operator. Instead he decided to take
up banking, and he immediately took the initial steps towards the organi-
zation of a string of banks across Southern Illinois. His maiden venture
in this direction was the organization of the private bank of the Murphy-
Wall Company, which in recent years has been converted into the Mur-
phy-Wall Bank and Trust Company. Until the end of his life he was
always president and leading stockholder in this reliable old institution.
He next organized the First National Bank of Murphysboro, Illinois,
and after several years' service as president of this bank resigned to take
charge of newer ventures. The First State Bank of Thebes, Illinois, owes
its existence to this man, and he became its first president. He was also
the organizer and first president of the First State Bank of Illmo, Illi-
nois. For a time he was president of the City National Bank of Mur-
physboro, and he was one of the leaders in the establishment of the Citi-
zens State and Savings Bank of Murphysboro, as well as of the Savings
Bank of the same city. In all of these institutions he was a director and
the leading spirit up to the time of his death.

Banking alone did not engage his attention through these years. He
was active in numerous business enterprises. He organized the Murphys-
boro Electric Light and the Gas Light Companies, and was chosen first
president of both concerns. In these enterprises he showed the true pio-
neer spirit, and how urgently he felt the need of progress. He was one
of the organizers of the Southern Illinois Milling Company, of Mur-
physboro, and was a heavy stockholder in the company. He aided in
the organization of the Pinckneyville Milling Company and was a chief
stockholder. In both of these firms he was a prominent member of the
board of directors. In the launching of the Hinke, Ismery Milling Com-
pany of Kansas City, Kansas, he was one of the most conspicuous, and
later as treasurer and one of the directors of the company had a large
share in its success. In all of these industries Captain Murphy held large
interests until he passed away. His wide experience and sterling com-
mon sense made him a man to whom to defer in any gathering. He pos-
sessed the necessary initiative ability and the power to influence others
through the force of his own enthusiasm. A remarkable man, in his
death the county suffered a loss which can scarcely be estimated.

Captain Murphy was married to a girl with whom he had grown up
on ' ' Four Mile Prairie. ' ' This was Penina Ozburn, a daughter of Haw-
kins Ozburn. Mrs. Murphy was born on the 16th of December, 1836, and



she became the mother of two children : Hawkins 0. and Sarah V., the
latter of whom married Joseph Crawford, of Pinckiieyville, and died at
the age of thirty-six years. Captain Murphy died in December, 1911.
He was a member of Mitchell Lodge, No. 85, of the Masonic order.

Hawkins 0. Murphy, the only son of Captain Murphy, was born in
Pinckneyville, Illinois, on the 6th of December, 1862. He first attended
the public schools, and after the completion of his preparatory work he
was sent to Washington University, St. Louis, and later to Georgetown
College at Washington, D. C. After the completion of his education
came his introduction to the business through the mediiim of the firm of
C. H. Glister & Company. He was a member of this firm of merchants
for eight years and then he embarked in business for himself as a men's
furnisher arid clothier. He ran this business for five years and then
leaving Pinckneyville went to Murphysboro, where he opened the Mur-
phy Shoe Store. After conducting this business for three years he turned
to banking. He became assistant cashier of the First State Bank of
Thebes, and two years later took the position of cashier of the First State
Bank of Illino, Illinois. He remained here for three years, and then his
father and business associates having acquired large timber interests in
Louisiana Mr. Murphy was sent to that state to take them in charge.
He made his headquarters at Maryville, Louisiana, and stayed there for
several years, overseeing the sawmill and the cutting and hauling of the
timber. When the industry was abandoned he returned to Pinckney-
ville and took up the management of Captain Murphy's farming inter-
ests, which were extensive. Captain Murphy had purchased large quan-
tities of farming land throughout Southern Illinois, and had been oper-
ating it on the tenant system. He had taken especial pride in the fine
horses and mules with which he had stocked some of his places, and his
importations of stock from time to time had done much to raise the stand-
ard of horses and mules in the county. Mr. Murphy is now continuing
his father's policy and since his death, being one of the three beneficiaries
under the will, has had a great deal to do in the settling and managing
of the estate.

Unlike his father, Mr. Murphy is a Republican in politics. He was
a member of the city council of Thebes and during his short residence at
Illino, Illinois, was elected mayor of the town.

On the 12th of September, 1900, Mr. Murphy was married to May
Roberts, a daughter of A. H. Roberts, one of the oldest and most promi-
nent merchants of Murphysboro, where the ceremony took place. Mr.
Murphy is prominent in the fraternal world. He is a Mason, being a
member of the Blue Lodge. He organized the Knights of Pythias lodge
at Pinckneyville and was its first chancellor commander. He also organ-
ized the Elks lodge in Murphysboro, was its first exalted ruler and repre-
sented the order in the national convention. The universal opinion is
that Mr. Murphy is a worthy son of his father, and when one stops to con-
sider what this means one is certain that no higher compliment could
be paid him.

F. M. BROCK, the present postmaster of Fairfield, Illinois, was born
on a thriving farm in Wayne county of that state, on the 15th day of
January, 1852. His early education was in the common schools of his
native county. At the age of twenty young Brock went to Missouri to
pay a visit to his sister, and he passed the next two years in traveling
about that state. From Missouri, in 1874, he went to Texas, where he
became traveling salesman for a hardware house in the southern part
of the state, and he continued to be thus employed for four years. Rail-
road development in Southern Texas in that day had not reached its


present state of completion, and the duties of Mr. Brock made it neces-
sary for him to make his trips between towns by means of the horse.
For four years he lived this wholesome life in the open, sometimes riding
or driving more than fifty miles in one day, so great was the distance
between towns. Fortunately, however, Texas roads, unlike those of
Southern Illinois, are quite passable at all seasons. His headquarters
during his sojourn in the Lone Star state were at Austin, the capital
city, and at the charming old town of San Antonio, where the Alamo
still rears its walls and the ruins of missions of the past vie with a
modern army post in points of interest. It was near this interesting
city that Colonel Roosevelt chose, in later years, to equip his famous
company of Rough Riders.

The attractions of Texas might have claimed Mr. Brock for an in-
definite period but that old Wayne county held for him a still greater
charm in the person of Miss Ella Collins, the daughter of Major Collins,
an old settler of that district. Thus in 1878 he returned to the home of
his birth, where he was united in marriage with Miss Collins. Two
years after their marriage they located at Cisne, where Mr. Brock en-
gaged in the seed and grain business, a line for which his experience had
peculiarly fitted him. Later he extended his stock to include general
merchandise, and he continued in business at Cisne until in 1886 when
he was elected to the office of county clerk on the Republican ticket. In
that year he moved to Fairfield, which has since represented his home
and the center of his business activities. He served the county in the
office of clerk for eight years, two terms of four years each, and at 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 88 of 98)