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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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the newer land across the Atlantic presented greater opportunity for
an industrious young man, he severed the ties that bound him to the
"land o - ' cakes" and in 1841 came to these shores in quest of his
share of opportunity. He located in East Liverpool, Ohio, where he
worked at the potter's trade, becoming an expert clay worker. In
1847 he went to Toronto, Ohio, and engaged in sewer pipe manufac-
turing, having the distinction of making in the year mentioned the
first sewer pipe ever manufactured in the United States. He con-
tinued in this line of endeavor for an extended period and built up
a large plant in his forty years activity in this line. He saw it grow
from small beginning to an immense concern which sold for nearly
$300,000. After retiring from business the elder gentleman removed
to Winchester, Kentucky, where he passed the declining years of life
and passed to the Great Beyond. He married Anna Hamilton, of
Knoxville, Jefferson county, Ohio, who survives him, this venerable
lady residing at the present time in Winchester, Kentucky, her years
numbering eighty-two. The subject is one of a family of three chil-
dren. Anna is the wife of Dr. J. W. Cochran, of Erie, Pennsylvania,
and George Edward is in Portsmouth, Ohio, where he is president of
the Carlyle Paving Brick Company, one of the large and important
Ohio river industries.

James Charles Carlyle received his education in the public schools
of Steubenville, Ohio, and graduated from the high school at the age
of eighteen years. Shortly thereafter he went to Cleveland, Tennessee,
and engaged in fire brick manufacturing, at that early age acting in
the capacity of superintendent of a factory. He remained in the south
until 1891 and then went to Cincinnati, where for a year and a half
he was commissary agent for the Pullman Car Company of the Queen
City. In 1892 he went to Winchester, Kentucky, where he accepted
a position as president of a brick manufacturing plant and remained
there until 1897, in which year he located in Brazil, Indiana. His
residence at that point in the Hoosier state was of nine years' dura-
tion, or until 1906, when he located at Brooklyn, Indiana, where he
became superintendent of the Indiana Drain Tile Company, a position
he held for one year. In 1907 he located in Portsmouth, where he was
in business with the Carlyle Paving Brick Company for one year. In
August, 1908, he came to Albion, where he accepted his present posi-
tion and in the fortunes of the enterprise which is justly valued by
Albion as a potent factor in its advancement he has played an im-
portant role. Fraternally this gentleman is identified with the Modern
Woodmen and his faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church.

In October, 1896, Mr. Carlyle laid the foundation of a happy house-
hold and congenial life companionship by his union with Ella Hall,
daughter of James E. and Ann Rebecca Hall, their marriage being
celebrated at Winchester, Kentucky, the home of Mrs. Carlyle. Both
of her parents were natives of Virginia and both are deceased, the
father having passed away on July 4, 1902, and the mother on January
31, 1912. These worthy people were the parents of seven children, the
following six surviving: Luella (Hillis), of Greencastle, Indiana;
James Edwin, of Sheffield, Alabama; Anna, living in Albion; Alice J.
(Johnson) of Winchester, Kentucky; Nancy F. (Wilson) of Columbia,
Missouri ; and Ella. The eldest daughter. Mary Elizabeth, is de-
ceased. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle share their delightful home with two
children. Glenn Wilson and Edwin Paul. Mrs. Carlyle is very promi-
nent in church and Sunday school work, and both are popular mem-
bers of society and aligned With the best interests of the community.



1661 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

RAAB DYSAET KEEN. Wayne county is justly noted for its old
families, and among these none are more highly honored than that
of Keen. Its members have always been found in the front -rank of
the county's successful men in the various walks of life, and have con-
tributed to the growth and development of its interests in no incon-
siderable manner. John Keen, Sr., a son of Ford Keen, of Virginia,
was the founder of the family in Southern Illinois. He was born in
Sumner county, Tennessee, and migrated to Wayne county in 1831,
becoming one of the pioneers of this section, where he took up gov-
ernment land and at one time was the owner of 3,000 acres. His
death occurred September 5, 1895, when he was eighty-eight years of
age. Mr. Keen was married (first) to Catherine Book, a native of
Kentucky, and a daughter of Harry Book, an early pioneer of Wayne
county, and she died December 19, 1867, having been the mother of
ten children, as follows : William, who is deceased ; James ; Samuel ;
John, deceased ; A. P., a farmer, operating north of Keenes ; a child
who died in infancy; Edmund, a farmer near Keenes; B. F., who is
deceased; G. W., a farmer near Keenville; and Mrs. Jane (Webber)
Fisher, of Keenes. John Keen, Sr., married for his second wife Alma
E. Atterbury, and four children were born to this union : Leathie Clark,
of Keenville ; Mrs. Alice Webber, also of that place ; Mrs. Laura Crask,
of Bluford; and Sallie, who is deceased.

Samuel Keen, son of John Keen, Sr., was born November 25, 1840,
in Hickory Hill township, Wayne county, and was reared on his father's
farm. When he was twenty years of age he took charge of l,pOO acres
of his father's land, but is now engaged in carrying on operations on
a .property of 1,250 acres, owned by himself and wife, and one of the
best farms in the township. He is prominent fraternally as a member
of the Odd Fellows, and has also taken a leading part in Democratic
politics, holding various minor local offices and acting in the capacity
of supervisor for six years. In 1865 he was married (first) to Amanda
J. Scribener, daughter of Joel and Lucy Scribener, and of the seven
children born to them three are still living: Edmund F., Nora B. and
Samuel R. Mr. Keen's first wife died in 1904, and in 1906 he was
married to Miss Alice M. Clark, of Boyleston, Illinois.

James Keen, one of the leading agriculturists of his part of Wayne
county, was born February 15, 1839, at old Keenville, and is a son of
John Keen, Sr. Reared to agricultural pursuits, he has followed the
vocation of farmer throughout his life, and is now the owner of a finely-
cultivated property embracing 900 acres. He has been a stanch and
active Democrat since attaining his majority, and has served in a num-
ber of local offices, such as township assessor and collector, has also
acted in the capacity of township and county supervisor,, and in 1881-2
was a member of the state legislature. On October, 18, 1871, he was
married to Miss Sarah Jane Ellis, daughter of Alfred Ellis, and she
died July 16, 1875, having been the mother of two children : Horatio,
deceased, and a child who died in infancy. On October 29, 1881, Mr.
Keen was married to Miss Rispah J. Whitney, daughter of Nathan and
Mary Jane (Moore) Whitney, and there were two children born to this
union: Raab Dysart and Rispah Catherine, the latter the wife of Dr.
William A. Dulany, a well-known physician of Keenes. The family
is well known in Methodist Episcopal church circles.

Raab Dysart Keen, son of James and Rispah J. (Whitney) Keen,
was born September 15, 1882, on his father's farm, and secured his
education in the common schools and the Southern Illinois Normal
University. In 1906, when the Bank of Keenes was organized by James
and Samuel Keen, James Strouse, Jacob Gregory and E. F. Keon, with



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1665

a capital of $200,000, Raab D. Keen was placed in charge of its affairs,
which he ably managed until January 1, 1912. Since that time he has
been conducting his father's farm of 900 acres, and has demonstrated
his ability as a farmer as well as a financier. He is one of the pro-
gressive young agriculturists of Wayne county, and is carrying on his
operations along modern methods. Following the example of his
father, he has identified himself prominently with Democratic politics,
and is at present central committeeman of Four Mile township and an
influential worker in the ranks of the organization. Fraternally he is
connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. He has numerous
friends throughout the township, and is known as a worthy representa-
tive of the old and honored family to which he belongs.

In 1906 Mr. Keen was united in marriage with Miss Otie L. Damon,
daughter of J. C. Damon, who is engaged in the milling business at
Keenes. Mr. and Mrs. Keen have two children: Helen, born in 1907;
and Rispah Susan, born in 1911.

CHARLES L. SCOTT. For the past ten years Charles L. Scott has
been identified with the communal life of Grayville, and has served
the city and county in many ways. In his first years of association
with this place he was engaged as principal of the North Side School
of Grayville, but in 1901 he engaged in the hardware business, in which
he has since continued with a most pleasing degree of success. He has
taken an important part in the political life of the county, having rep-
resented his district in the legislature on more than one occasion, and
ordinarily holding positions of importance in the administration of
affairs of the city.

Mr. Scott was born on January 26, 1876, on a farm in Edwards
county. He is the son of Joseph K. Scott, born in Kentucky, in 1837.
The father of Joseph K. Scott was James, a native of Virginia, and a
pioneer settler of eastern Kentucky, who migrated to Edwards county
in about 1862 and lived on a farm there with his son, Joseph K. The
farm of which Joseph Scott became the owner was a tract of about two
hundred acres, situated midway between Grayville and Albion. He
married Mary J. Coles, the daughter of William Coles and his wife,
Rachael, Mrs. Scott still lives in Albion, although her husband died in
1885. They reared seven children, five sons and two daughters, here
named in the order of their birth : Laura, who married a Mr. Brews-
ter, is now deceased ; John K. lives on the old homestead ; Charles L.,
of Grayville, Illinois; Katie, married Mr. Harris, and lives in Ellery,
Edwards county ; Ella is in Albion with the mother ; Josephine married
Mr. Schroeder and lives on a farm near Grayville; Rachael died in
infancy.

Charles L. Scott was educated in the public schools of Edwards
county. After his graduation from the high school he spent two years
in study at the Danville (Ind.) Normal, and in 1899 was graduated
from the Southern Collegiate Institute of Albion. When he was eigh-
teen years of age he began teaching between his college courses, and he
continued in that profession until 1904. He was principal of the North
Side school of Grayville for three years, as stated in a previous para-
graph, which was the last position he held in that line of work. In 1901
Mr. Scott became associated in the hardware business with Joseph
Robinson, under the firm name of Robinson & Scott. They began with
a small capital, but the business has grown since then until today the
total investment is in excess of $25.000. Aside from his business, to
which Mr. Scott gives close and careful attention, he has been promi-
nent in a political way for a number of years. He is a Democrat in



1666 HISTOKY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

his party belief, but served as a non-partisan member of the Grayville
city council for four years, and in that .position did excellent work for
the city. He served as president of the school board for two terms,
and has ever been an important factor in the growth and upbuilding
of the school system of the community. In 1908 Mr. Scott was elected
a member of the forty-sixth general assembly, and was re-elected to
the forty-seventh assembly in 1910. He is at the present writing a can-
didate for re-election. Mr. Scott is possessed of all the qualities which
might be calculated to fit him for the position of a legislator, and his
services to his district have been of a most unquestionable order since
he has represented them in the legislature. Fraternally he is affiliated
with a number of societies, among which are the Modern Woodmen, the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Mystic Workers of the World
and the Knights and Ladies of Security.

In 1899 Mr. Scott was united in marriage with Miss Flora Johnson,
daughter of Thomas Johnson. Two sons have been born to them,
Marion Joseph and Joseph Thomas.

Louis H. WEAVER. A splendid representative of the self-made and
self-educated men of Wayne county, Louis H. Weaver has won note-
worthy success in life through his own efforts, meeting every obstacle
intelligently and courageously, and as chief clerk of the Southern Illi-
nois Penitentiary is rendering efficient service, spending a large part
of his time in Menard, although he claims Fairfield as his home. A
son of the late David Weaver, he was born February 11, 1862, on a
farm in old Arrington township. His paternal grandfather, George
Weaver, was born in Pennsylvania, of German ancestry. Left an or-
phan when young, he settled in Ohio, from there coming, in 1852 to
Illinois, locating in Indian Prairie township, near Johnsonville, where
he spent his remaining years.

David Weaver was born in Orange county, Ohio, December 3, 1830.
In 1850 he migrated to Southern Illinois, locating near Johnsonville,
Wayne county. Energetic and persevering, he became one of the lead-
ing farmers and stock raisers of his community, at one time owning
fifteen hundred acres of land. During his earlier life he followed his
trade of a cabinet maker in addition to farming, making furniture for
the new-comers, and making all of the coffins required by the people
for miles around, taking the lumber employed in their manufacture in
the rough and hand dressing it. Prior to his death, which occurred in
April, 1910, he gave to each of his children a farm of one hundred and
sixty acres, retaining three hundred and forty acres in his own name.

David Weaver was twice married. He married first Naomi Sicer,
who passed to the life beyond in 1886. She bore him nine children, as
follows: Mrs. Matilda Whitson, of Johnsonville; Louis H., the special
subject of this brief biographical sketch ; George H., engaged in farm-
ing and stock raising in Hickory Hill township ; Cynthia J., wife of
John Tibbs, of Johnsonville ; Franklin, a farmer and stock-grower in
Berry township ; Theodore, also engaged in agricultural pursuits in
Berry township; Nettie, wife of Owen Galbraith, of Saint Louis, Mis-
souri ; and Arthur and Everett, twins, who died in infancy. He mar-
ried for his second wife Mary J. Taylor, who survived him.

Louis H. Weaver was brought up on the home farm, receiving very
limited educational advantages, his father putting his boys to work at
an early age v so that his education was largely acquired after his mar-
riage, under the instruction of his wife, or by reading. He did his full
share of work as a youth, remaining at home until his marriage, when
he settled on a farm of eighty acres, to which he subsequently added



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1667

another eighty acres of land. This farm Mr. Weaver sold, but he has
other landed interests, owning, with his brother, eighty acres in Wayne
county, and being owner of three hundred and twenty acres in Kansas,
and one hundred and twenty acres in Missouri.

In his political affiliations Mr. Weaver is a Republican, and has
faithfully performed his duties as a citizen in various capacities. For
twelve years he was school director; for three years he served as high-
way commissioner; was township tax collector one term; and for one
year was a member of the county board of supervisors. In 1902 he was
elected county sheriff, and served four years. Embarking in the livery
business in Fairfield in 1906, he carried it on successfully until selling
out in August, 1911. In 1910 he was elected a member of the county
board of supervisors from Grover township. On June 30, 1911, he was
appointed chief clerk of the Southern Illinois Penitentiary, at Menard,
and is filling the position with marked ability and fidelity.

On March 20, 1884, Mr. Weaver was united in marriage with Nancy
A. Dickey, a daughter of William R. Dickey, and into their home eight
children have been born, namely : David Arthur, born in 1885, married
and has one child, Dorothy ; Mrs. Edna Gates, of Fairfield ; Mrs. May
Goodall, of Saint Elmo, Illinois, has one child, Madeline; Etta, attend-
ing the Fairfield high school; Chloe; Edith; and Ida; and a child un-
named, which died in infancy.

PROFESSOR ANDREW EMANUEL LIBKE, since 1909 superintendent of
schools in West Salem, and identified with the profession since 1900,
was born on a farm immediately south of West Salem, on April 9, 1877.
He is the son of Charles A. Libke and Catherine (Breining) Libke.

Charles A. Libke was born in Edwards county, February 23, 1854,
and was the youngest son of Frederick Libke, a native of Germany,
and the only one of the family to be born in America. Frederick Libke
immigrated from Germany in 1852 and settled in Edwards county on
a farm near West Salem. He had a family of eight children, all of
whom were born in Germany with the exception of the youngest son,
Charles, who is the father of Andrew Emanuel Libke of this review.
One of the children- died and was buried at sea while the family was
making the passage from the Fatherland, and three of the number are
now living, Charles A., Frederick and Mrs. Lucy Felderman. Charles
Libke owns a fine farm of one hundred and ten acres near West Salem,
where he has lived the greater part of his life. He was twice married.
His first wife was Catherine Breining, born November 12, 1852, in Ly-
coming county, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Jacob Brein-
ing, a native of Germany, who first settled in Pennsylvania, later moved
to Missouri and finally established a home in Wayne county, Illinois.
She died on November 13, 1894, having reared a family of nine children.
They are: Andrew E. ; Mrs. E. A. Moody, living at Port Stanley, On-
tario, Canada; Mrs. Daisy Elliot, living on a farm near West Salem;
Samuel, a resident of the state of Washington ; Harry, living in West
Salem ; Nora, married to Harry Voigt, living in West Salem ; Lloyd,
who lives at home ; and Lora and Roy, who died in infancy.

Andrew Emanuel Libke was a student in the Little Brick district
school just south of West Salem as a boy and was graduated from the
West Salem high school with the class of 1898, after which he studied
in the Southern Collegiate Institute at Albion. In 1900 he began teach-
ing, for six years confining his labors to the country districts, four of
which were in his home district. In 1906 he became assistant principal
of the West Salem high school, and in 1909, so well had he fulfilled his
duties, he was appointed to the position of superintendent of the



1668 HISTORY OF SOUTHERX ILLINOIS

schools of the town and principal of the high school. The high school
has an average attendance of twenty-six students, while the schools of
the town have an enrollment of two hundred and seventy-five, and he
has a corps of six teachers as assistants. His success in his chosen line
of work is in every way worthy of the approbation of his fellow men,
who have expressed their pleasure and appreciation by giving him po-
sitions of higher importance with each succeeding year.

Professor Libke is connected with a number of fraternal orders,
among them the Ben Hurs, the Odd Fellows and the Rebekahs. He
has been financial secretary of the Odd Fellows for the past eight years.
He is a Republican in his political faith, and firm in his convictions,
although not in any sense a politician.

In 1905 Professor Libke was united in marriage with Miss Carrie
J. Lopp, the daughter of Jacob and Eliza Lopp, of West Salem. Mrs.
Libke also taught a number of terms in the village and country schools
before her marriage, and has filled a number of vacancies, assisting her
husband since her marriage.

BENJAMIN F. THOMAS. A man of broad mentality and high schol-
arly attainments, Benjamin F. Thomas, of Fairfield, occupies a place
of prominence among the leading attorneys of Wayne county, his habits
of industry, well trained mind and professional skill and knowledge
having gained for him noteworthy success at the bar of Southern Illi-
nois. A native of Wayne county, he was born August 18, 1873, in Jas-
per township, where his early life was spent.

The father of Mr. Thomas, Jason H. Thomas, was born near Salem,
Ohio, July 9, 1827, and now, in 1912, is living on his farm of one hun-
dred and five acres, which he improved from its original wildness.
Coming to Wayne county in 1854, he followed the trades of a tanner
and cabinet maker for many years, also being successfully engaged in
agricultural pursuits. During the Civil war he enlisted in Company
D, Eighty -seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served
until the close of hostilities.

Acquiring his preliminary education in the common schools, and
afterwards graduating from Harvard College, Benjamin F. Thomas
subsequently studied law, and in February, 1898, was admitted to the
bar. On March 21, 1898, he formed a professional partnership with
Thomas H. Creighton, of Fairfield, with whom he is at the present time
associated, being junior member of the firm of Creighton & Thomas.
In November, 1900, Mr. Thomas was elected state's attorney by a ma-
jority of seventy-three votes, and at the same time gained the distinc-
tion of being the first state's attorney ever elected on the Republican
ticket in Wayne county. The administration that followed was an ex-
cellent one, and in November, 1904, Mr. Thomas was re-elected state's
attorney by a majority of four hundred votes, the increase in the num-
ber of ballots cast in his favor bespeaking his popularity with all classes
of people. During his eight years as state's attorney Mr. Thomas made
a notable record, achieving over fourteen hundred convictions in the
time ; ridding the county of boot-leggers ; thoroughly cowing the tough
element by his strenuous work as prosecutor; at the expiration of his
term turning over to the school funds more money than ever has been
by a state 's attorney before or since ; and through his wise and efficient
labors converting Wayne county into a law-abiding community. The
abilities of Mr. Thomas receive hearty recognition not only in his home
city, but throughout the county. He is highly esteemed and profes-
sionally and financially has attained marked success, being a large land



HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1669

owner and having a financial interest in a number of prominent busi-
ness ventures.

Mr. Thomas married Miss Minnie Farmer, of Noble, Illinois, and
they have one daughter, Marjorie.

CHESTER ARTHUR McCujRE. A well-managed and up-to-date mer-
cantile establishment is one of the most valuable institutions a com-
munity can possess and contributes in marked degree to its prosperity
and standing and also to the pleasure and convenience of living. One
of the most successful and enterprising of the mercantile businesses of
Edwards county is that of which Chester Arthur McClure is proprietor
and manager. He is following in the footsteps of his honored father,
who from 1883 until his death in 1905 operated a ' general mercantile
store in this place. The subject is of pioneer stock in this section and
may point to an ancestral record distinguished for its patriotism and
good citizenship, and in these qualities he shares, being a veteran of
the Spanish-American Avar and a young man whose hand is extended
toward all public-spirited measures.

Mr. McClure was born at Dexter, in Effingham county, September
19, 1885, the son of G. W. McClure. The grandfather was a native of
Maryland and of Scotch-English descent. However, he early left his
native heath and came to the west, and his son, the subject's father,
was born within the boundaries of Edwards county. The first of the
McClures in Illinois was among the forty-niners, making the trip over-
land to California in that year, but soon returning and devoting his
energies to Illinois agriculture, finding far greater peace and happiness
in the tilling of the soil than in the quest of gold. When the Civil war
cloud broke, plunging the nation into sorrow and devastation, he en-
listed and served under the flag of the cause he believed to be just as
a member of an Illinois regiment.

The subject's father, after his marriage, removed to Dexter, Ef-
fingham county, and there started a general mercantile business, which



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 90 of 98)