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Biography of Lewis Prather

Lewis Prather has been a resident of Champaign County for many years. He has been one of the live and energetic business men and farmers of the community, though he was well educated for the law. Successful in business, he has not neglected the public welfare and is a man who can be depended upon for helpful support wherever the best interests of his home community are concerned.

Mr. Prather was born in Cumberland County, Illinois, April 20, 1862. His parents were James and Delilah (White) Prather, his father a native of Indiana and his mother of Illinois. The mother died in May, 1901, and the last five years of his life the father spent with his son Lewis and died March 10, 1906. He was an active farmer and developed and improved a good estate in Cumberland County. There were nine children in the family: Nettie, wife of William McGinnis, of Kansas; Lewis; Mamie and John, both deceased; Bartholomew, of Ludlow, Illinois; Josephine, deceased; Dollie, wife of Benjamin Neal, of Toledo, Illinois; Adolphus, of Champaign; and the youngest, a son, died in infancy.

Lewis Prather was educated in the district schools of Cumberland County and spent three years in Valparaiso University in Indiana. He was graduated in the law course in 1893. Instead of taking up the legal profession he taught school twelve years, three years in Cumberland County and nine years in Champaign County. In 1897 he married and soon afterwards bought the interests of the other heirs in the old homestead. Mr. Prather lias under his management a farm of 177 acres in section 23 of Urbana Township. This he has profitably devoted to grain and stock farming, and he is making the place pay good dividends both on the capital invested and for labor and management.

Mr. Prather married Lula Werts, a daughter of Jesse and Mary (Schlosser) Werts, both natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Prather have two children: Dewey and Jesse, both at home. Mr. Prather is now serving as school director, has been drainage commissioner and was the only township assessor elected in his home township on the Democratic ticket since the Civil War. He and his family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their home receives daily mail delivery over Rural Route No. 12 out of Urbana.

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