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Biography of Lewis D. Oliver

Lewis D. Oliver. Bankers and financiers have been happily compared to pendulums of commerce and progress, and it is very true that they furnish the stability and the steadiness chiefly required for the business world. Every financial institution acquires estimation and influence in its community largely through the character and reputation of the men whose names are most intimately associated with the undertaking. One of Champaign County’s most prosperous banks is the First State Bank of Fisher and the success and prosperity of that institution are in no small degree a reflection of the personal integrity and business standing of its vice president, Lewis D. Oliver. Mr. Oliver has been identified with Champaign County many years, and his activities have been of such character as to merit the confidence reposed in him by a large community. He was born in McLean County, Illinois, January 20, 1857. He is the fifth in a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters, born to Jackson and Clarissa (Courtright) Oliver. Four of these children are still living. Henry is a retired agriculturist living at Hennessey, Oklahoma, is a Democrat in politics and is married. Leroy P. is a resident of Morristown, Indiana. John W. is an agriculturist, live stock breeder and dealer living at Ottawa, Kansas. Jackson Oliver was born in Ohio in 1817, grew up in that state, was educated in the common schools, and took up and successfully pursued for many years the vocation of agriculturist. He died in 1900. Politically he was a Democrat. It was in 1854 that he removed to McLean County, Illinois, and bought land...

Biography of Andrew, Scott Rev.

Rev. Andrew Scott. The qualities of real manhood and the power of leadership were never in greater demand in church work than today. The clergy have always been men of education and of fine moral standing, and with these qualities the successful pastor must now combine the spiritual enthusiasm and some of the same enterprise and energy which are such vital assets in the business world. A better type of this modern minister Champaign County does not have than in the case of Rev. Mr. Scott, pastor of the Christian Church at Fisher. Mr. Scott is a man of letters, has had the benefit of extensive travel, is a fluent and logical speaker, and in the course of his active career has shown unusual capacity as an organizer, administrator and a real church builder. Some of these qualities he undoubtedly inherited from the land of his birth. He is a Scotchman by nativity, and was born at Melrose in Roxborough. His birth occurred February 13, 1857. He was the third in a family of six children, three sons and three daughters. All these children are living and all in Canada except Mr. Scott. His parents were Adam and Agnes (Gilroy) Scott. His father, who was born in the same locality as the son, was a Scotch teacher, an occupation also followed by the grandfather of Rev. Mr. Scott. In 1863 he determined to bring his family to the broader and more generous opportunities of the New World. The intention was to locate in the United States, but the war then raging between the North and the South caused a...

Biography of Pearl M. Hollingsworth

Pearl M. Hollingsworth. A newspaper which has had a fine and vitalizing influence in its community is the Fisher News, of which Mr. Hollingsworth is editor and proprietor. This publisher and editor is a journalist from the ground up, had his first acquaintance with the printing trade when a boy and has done much to develop the power of the press in this section of Champaign County and has made his paper indispensable to business men, farmers and citizens generally. Mr. Hollingsworth is a native of Vermilion County, Illinois, where he was born December 20, 1890. He is the youngest of three children, two sons and one daughter, born to Henry and Anna (Martin) Hollingsworth. The daughter, Delia L., is the wife of Howard Barnes, a well known evangelist living in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. The older son, Charles T., is a very successful evangelist and now ranks among the first in that profession in America. During the great revival which moved the country of Wales from center to circumference he was an active worker in that field. The father of these children was born in Illinois, had a common school education, and is now living at Arrowsmith in McLean County. He is a blacksmith by trade. His lineage goes back to England. He was born about 1852, has always been an ardent Republican and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge at Metcalf, Illinois, and belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. His church is the Christian. His wife was born in Illinois, was educated in the common schools, and was a member of the...

Biography of Frank B. Means

Frank B. Means. As one of the leading business men of Fisher Frank B. Means is supplying a service which contributes to the standing and importance of that town among the communities of Champaign County and the skill and energy which he employs in the management of the only drug store and pharmacy in the town would be creditable to a city of much larger size. Mr. Means belongs to the pioneer element of central Illinois, and particularly McLean and Champaign counties. It is a fact that should not be forgotten in the history of Champaign County that his father, the late David D. Means, in 1850 broke up the first acre of land in Newcomb Township. He had one of the old-fashioned plows and a team of oxen drew the heavy implement through the virgin prairie. That pioneer plowing was done near the present Phillips estate. Frank B. Means was born in McLean County, May 18, 1875, and was the eleventh in a family of twelve children, eleven sons and one daughter, born to David D. and Rebecca (Cline) Means. Nine of these children are still living and all are in Illinois except David L., a resident of Post Falls, Idaho, and John E. of Arkansas. David D. Means was a native of the Blue Grass State of Kentucky, where he was born May 4, 1827. His life was a long and useful one and was protracted to eighty-eight years. He passed away August 22, 1914. The Means family is noted for its longevity. There are few families in Illinois that can present a like record of age...

Biography of Bert Leroy Chapman

Bert Leroy Chapman. Aggressive methods, keen insight into commercial conditions, a thorough and far-reaching appreciation of the needs of the trade, are characteristics which develop a man into a successful factor in the business life of any community and result in the founding and development of concerns that give that community prestige. Conditions today are so complex, competition is so keen, and the needs of the world are increasing so rapidly that every branch of commercial and industrial life feels the impetus of the times. The day of slow and sure business policies is gone; the business enterprises of today are conducted along entirely different lines than those of our forefathers, and the men who attain success are those who are possessed of power of initiative, resource and aggression. One of the most enterprising of the merchants of Fisher is Bert Leroy Chapman, senior member of the hardware firm of Chapman & Wade. This young business man has achieved success and reputation at a time when many men are merely starting upon their careers, and the characteristics above noted have been important concomitants in the working out of his career. Bert Leroy Chapman was born in Vermilion County, Indiana, September 18, 1878, the third in a family of three sons born to Nelson and Rosanna (Sims) Chapman. He has one brother living, Pearl Albert Chapman, who was educated in the common schools and is now editor and manager of the Bellflower News at Bellflower, McLean County, Illinois. He married Miss Laura McGowan, and has four children. Nelson Chapman was born in Indiana of English ancestry, and spent his career...

Biography of Luther C. Wade

Luther C. Wade. While the agricultural community of Champaign County is known as one of the most progressive and prosperous of the world, the same quality of enterprise distinguishes the commercial element. A business organization that has made a successful record due to the hard work and enterprise of its members is the hardware house of Chapman & Wade at Fisher. Both members are young merchants, know thoroughly the art of sticking close to their business, and at the same time can take a long look ahead when that is required. They have made their house one of the leading establishments in the northwest part of the county, and the volume of their yearly business aggregates $30,000. The junior member of this firm is Luther C. Wade, who has been a resident of Champaign County for twenty-two years. In that time in his relations as a merchant and as a citizen he has earned the respect of all who know him. Mr. Wade was born in Adams County, Ohio, November 1, 1886. He is the fifth in a family of six children, four sons and two daughters, born to Edmund and Susannah (Potts) Wade. Five of the children are still living. E. L. Wade, the oldest, was educated in the common schools, had two terms of instruction in Westfield College of Illinois, and is now married and a successful agriculturist in Brown Township, with home at Fisher. Charles H., the next in age, had a common school training, was an agriculturist and owns a well equipped farm of 160 acres in Colorado. He married Miss Lucy Ring, and they...

Biography of John W. Reardon

John W. Reardon. The people of a large section of central Illinois as well as northwestern Champaign County know the name Reardon because of its prominent associations with the live stock industry as well as with agriculture and commercial affairs. The Reardon family established its home in Champaign County nearly half a century ago, and with a farm as the foundation of their efforts steadily progressed until they became large and extensive land owners. A younger representative of this family is Mr. John W. Reardon, whose field of enterprise has been gradually extended until he has almost a statewide, if not an interstate, reputation as a breeder and importer of fine draft horses. Mr. Reardon was born in Champaign County, October 3, 1869, the only child of James and Ellen (Burns) Reardon. His father was a native of the Emerald Isle, born there in 1832. He lived long and usefully and well, and died on Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1916. The close of his life found him honored, esteemed and to a degree a man of wealth. Far otherwise was it with him when he came to America at the age of fourteen. He was a penniless boy and arrived to find himself alone and among strangers. He had come across the ocean on one of the old-fashioned sailing vessels. He left the city of Cork, his native county being Cork, and landed in Baltimore. Here he soon found employment with the construction forces of the Pennsylvania Railway System. He aided in building one of the lines of that road to Pittsburgh. James Reardon came to Illinois in 1857....

Biography of Alva Gilmore

Alva Gilmore. With all due credit to the great metropolitan dailies that keep people informed of the life of the world, the local paper now as always has its great field of influence and value and is an indispensable factor in the life of a community. One of the leading papers of Champaign County is the Fisher Reporter, which has been regularly published since 1890 and is now a weekly visitor to all the leading homes in the northern part of the county. Since 1902 its editor and proprietor has been Mr. Alva Gilmore, a practical journalist and business man, who has made his paper a medium of communicating his public spirit and enterprise to the public in general. Mr. Gilmore is a native of Champaign County, where he was born January 15, 1871. He is the second in a family of seven children, consisting of three sons and four daughters. Their parents were David B. and Maria (Edwards) Gilmore. Only two of the children are living. Mr. Gilmore’s younger sister, Minnie, is living at Fisher with her mother. She was educated in the common schools and is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. David Gilmore was born in 1835 in that section of old Virginia now the State of West Virginia. He grew up in his native state, and on coming West lived for a short time near Columbus, Ohio, and in 1869 located in McLean County, Illinois. He had a common school education, and in early days taught schools when education was furnished on the subscription plan. For the greater part of his years he...

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