Cyrus E. Jackson. In an enumeration of the magnificent resources of Champaign County too much cannot be said of the banks and the bankers, since without their functions and their power all industry would soon be paralyzed. In this group of live and enterprising business men stands Cyrus E. Jackson, cashier of the Dewey Bank at Dewey. Mr. Jackson has been identified with that center of trade and population for a number of years, and is not only a banker but a merchant and one of the leading men in public affairs.
Though a resident of Champaign County most of his life, Mr. Jackson was born in Piatt County, Illinois, September 4, 1872. He is a son of Isaac A. and Adaline (Smith) Jackson. Of their family of three sons and two daughters, three are still living. Isaac A. Jackson was born in Indiana in 1843 and died very suddenly in 1906. When he was ten years of age he accompanied his parents from Indiana to Illinois, the family locating near Farmer City. Grandfather Jackson was one of the early settlers in that part of central Illinois. Isaac Jackson acquired only a common school education and applied his efforts in a practical and energetic fashion to farming throughout his active career. At the time of his death he owned 260 acres of the splendid soil of Champaign County. This branch of the Jackson family is of English origin, the lineage being traced directly back to old England. Isaac Jackson was reared in the atmosphere of Whig politics when a boy, and on coming of age joined the Republican Party and cast his first vote for Lincoln, the Great War president. He himself had fought as a gallant soldier in the Civil War for three years, being finally discharged on account of disability. He enlisted with a regiment of Illinois cavalry, and though present and a participant in many hard fought battles was never wounded nor taken prisoner. He and his wife were long active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Champaign, to which city they had retired in 1898. Isaac Jackson was also an honored member of the Grand Army post at Fisher, Illinois. His wife was a native of Indiana and her parents were of English extraction. Both Isaac Jackson and wife are buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Champaign.
Cyrus E. Jackson was two years old when his parents removed to Champaign County. He is self-educated and early learned to depend on his own exertions as the key to substantial success. Up to the age of twenty-three he remained on his father’s farm, and during that time acquired a thoroughly practical experience as a farmer, which has been utilized in his later career in the supervision of his own land. After his marriage he left home but continued farming until the fall of 1901. At that time he became a salesman in the large general store of Mr. Rome at Fisher, but on August 1, 1902, he established a small general store of his own at Dewey. This business he rapidly developed with corresponding increase of trade territory. In January, 1912, the store, containing a stock of $10,000 worth of goods, was destroyed by fire. Though he was protected by insurance to the value of $7,500, the fire proved a heavy loss and inconvenience. Since 1903 Mr. Jackson, in connection with his store, has conducted a banking business and after the fire he devoted all his time to banking and gave up his active career as a merchant.
On December 18, 1895, Mr. Jackson married Miss Clara Rome. They have three children: Cecil, who is in the eighth grade of the Dewey schools; Neva, also in the eighth grade and a student of music; and Lyle, the youngest, who is in the first year of the primary schools. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson are taking great pains to give their children thorough and adequate educational advantages.
Mrs. Jackson was born in Bellflower, Illinois, June 6, 1878. She was educated in the public schools. Her parents were Robert and Agnes (Brown) Rome. Her father was for many years one of the leading general merchants at Fisher in Champaign County, and since his death the large store has been continued successfully by his widow and their son. Both of Mrs. Jackson’s parents were born in the land of the thistle and heather, Scotland. Mr. Jackson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while his wife belongs to the Christian denomination.
For a number of years Mr. Jackson has been before the public both as a business man and as a citizen, and has gained the complete confidence of all who know him. His banking house at Dewey has been maintained at a high standard, has a notable record of integrity and solidity, and its patrons are among the wealthiest farmers of this locality. In politics Mr. Jackson began voting as a Republican and has continued so to the present time. His first presidential ballot was given to President McKinley. He has served as supervisor of his township for eleven years and is still in office. He was also one of the main factors in urging his fellow citizens to construct good roads, the crying need of the central Illinois farming district today, and especially in the Corn Belt, where the heavy rich black soil grows a wealth of crops but is not a natural road material.
Fraternally Mr. Jackson is affiliated with Sangamon Lodge No. 801, A. F. & A. M., at Fisher. Besides his bank Mr. Jackson has a fine farm of 120 acres, and he also has the management of 960 acres for non-resident property owners from Chicago. This extensive body of land is situated in East Bend Township of Champaign County.
For several years Mr. Jackson has also been in the automobile business at Dewey, in partnership with Harry Hamm. They conduct the leading garage and are agents for the Ford car. These young gentlemen are doing a fine business and besides their capital they are known as obliging, cordial and genial men with, hosts of warm friends. In 1906 Mr. and Mrs. Jackson erected their modern residence in Dewey. It is a home of comfort, where they extend their hospitality to their many friends.