Biography of Luke E. Hemenway

Mr. Luke E. Hemenway, father of Charles, F., was born in Shoreham, Vermont, August 7, 1816. His father was Francis S., born at Grafton, Massachusetts, January 23, 1784, and his mother was Clara Turrill, born in the year 1786.

He was a direct descendant of Ralph Hemenway and Elizabeth Hewes, who were married at Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 5, 1634. He received a common school education at Shoreham, Vermont. Leaving home at the age of thirteen, he worked in a store at Bethel, Vermont, until the year 1838, when he removed to Grand de Tour, Illinois, where he married Jane E. Marsh, June 23, 1842.

On August 7, 1855, Mr. Hemenway removed to Moline, Illinois, to take charge of the offices of the John Deere Plow Works. In the year 1860 he became a member of the firm of Hemenway, Wyckoff & Company, now the Barnard & Leas Manufacturing Company, and 1864 the call of his country prevailed against the demands of business. He was elected Captain of Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-second Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war. Then, his public duty discharged, he returned to Moline and took charge of the office of the Moline Plow Company, in which connection he continued until failing health led him to resign his position in 1875. Subsequently, he was agent for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, continuing therein until his appointment as postmaster in 1877, which office he held for a period of nine years, Mr. M. J. McEnery succeeding him, under appointment by President Cleveland. He served the City of Moline as Trustee for several terms; also as Alderman, and as City Clerk.

Mr. Hemenway died at Moline, Illinois, April 27, 1903.

Though active in public business, Mr. Hemenway was of a quiet, retiring disposition, and of strong literary tastes. He was a great reader, and up to the time of his death, kept posted in all important current events, and was familiar with the latest literary productions. He was surpassed by few, in private life, in knowledge of Ancient History.

Politically, Mr. Hemenway was originally a Whig, and afterwards a Republican. At the time of his death he was a member of the Tippecanoe Club of Des Moines, Iowa.

His religious affiliation was, for a number of years, with the Universalist Church in Moline, and after that church was dissolved, he joined the Congregational Church.

He was one of the charter members of Doric Lodge. Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; also a member of the Odd Fellows, and of Graham Post, Grand Army of the Republic.

MLA Source Citation:

Biographical Publishing Company. Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County. Illinois; Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co. Web. 31 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 6th, 2011

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