F. C. Amsbary, superintendent and manager of the Champaign Waterworks, has been superintending waterworks plants in different parts of the country for upwards of thirty years. It has in fact been his regular profession, though some of his younger years were devoted to railroading. Mr. Amsbary has numerous connections that identify him with the substantial interests of his home city.
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A native of Illinois, he was born at Pekin, January 24, 1863, a son of William Wallace and Harriet E. (Harlow) Amsbary, both of whom are natives of New York State. William W. Amsbary moved to Champaign in 1907, and for several years was connected with the waterworks here. He died in 1911, and his widow is still living at Champaign. Their five children are: George E., of Urbana; F. C.; Wallace Bruce, of Chicago; Don H., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cordelia, still at home with her mother.
When F. C. Amsbary was four years of age his parents removed to Delavan in Tazewell County, Illinois. He attended the local schools there, and at the age of fifteen he left home and worked as clerk in a store at Tremont in the same county for two years. He then went to Peoria and acquired his initial experience in railroad offices, where he remained about three years. He was next at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the Chicago Northwestern Railway offices a year and a half, then for two years a railroad clerk at Burlington, Iowa, and returning to Pekin, Illinois, engaged in the grocery business for two years.
Mr. Amsbary began his career as a waterworks superintendent at Pekin, Illinois, in 1888. After two years he went to Wichita, Kansas, and had active charge of the waterworks in that city for three years. For nine years he was superintendent of waterworks at Little Rock, Arkansas, and in 1899 came to Champaign, where he has since been active manager and superintendent of this public utility.
Mr. Amsbary was married at Pekin, Illinois, April 16, 1890, to Addie A. Aydelott, a native of Pekin. They have five children: Helen A., Harlow A., Harriet E., Addie E. and Frank C.
Mr. Amsbary served as president of the Champaign Chamber of Commerce in 1912, is now president of the Champaign Club, and of the Rotary Club and is a director in the Loan and Investment Association, js a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Champaign Country Club and the Rotary Club. His church is the Presbyterian. Politically he is a Republican. For three terms he served as president of the Champaign Board of Education, and has always taken a keen interest in all local institutions.