Harry Herrick. The invention of the automobile not only brought a new element into business and social life, but in its subsequent development and improvement opened up other industries that have now become as essential to progress as the vehicle itself. The business of dealing in ‘automobile supplies engages the attention of many wide awake business men all over the country. Champaign, with its wealth, culture, business enterprise and close contiguity to a rich agricultural section has, perhaps, a larger purchasing class interested in automobiles than many cities of equal size, and all these car owners are, to some extent, dependent on the local dealers in supplies. One of these business men is Harry Herrick, who is doing a large trade in this line and is particularly well qualified because of his practical knowledge of the construction and operation of all the leading types of cars.
Harry Herrick was born in the city of Chicago, September 9, 1877, and is a son of Dwight C. and Belle (Warner) Herrick, the former of whom was born at Baldwinsville, New York, and the latter a native of Chicago, Illinois. The Warner family located in Chicago early and the maternal grandmother of Harry Herrick was a passenger on the first passenger train on what is now the Chicago & Northwestern Railway that went out of Chicago. There were five children born to Dwight C. Herrick and wife in the old home in Oak Park, Chicago, namely: Harry; a son who died in infancy; Florence, who is the wife of H. K. Hoblitt, who is cashier of the State National Bank at Bloomington; and Burton S. and Warner, both of whom are residents of Bloomington. Until 1902 the father was in a clothing business in Chicago and then moved to Bloomington and continued in the same line there.
Harry Herrick attended the public schools in Oak Park and was graduated from the high school in 1897. He had determined on a business career and began by becoming a stock boy in a house furnishing company in Chicago, his fidelity and industry being rewarded by promotion, and for two years he was a traveling salesman for this concern. For some time after that he was connected with his father’s business and then once more went on the road, this time for a clothing house and with a wide territory, his business travels taking him over Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Mr. Herrick continued in that line until 1909, in which year he came to Champaign and here embarked in the automobile business. Mr. Herrick was one of the pioneers in several business ventures in connection with rapid transportation, starting the first completely equipped garage at Champaign and also the first taxicab line. In December, 1909, he drove the first auto truck that ever came into central Illinois, the route being from Pontiac, Michigan, to Champaign. At present he is devoting his entire attention to the automobile supply business, having branch houses both at the Chanute Aviation Field, Rantoul, Illinois, and at Bloomington, Illinois. He is widely known in automobile circles and is president of the Champaign Automobile Club.
On April 4, 1903, Mr. Herrick was united in marriage with Miss Katheryn Walls, who is a member of an old Champaign family. She is a daughter of the late W. W. Walls, for many years a substantial business man here. Mr. and Mrs. Herrick have four children: Harriet, Robert W., Arthur James and Richard. Politically Mr. Herrick is a Republican, but he takes a more active part in business affairs than in politics, never failing, however, to give his support and lend his influence to every matter of good government. He is greatly interested in the subject of good roads. Fraternally he is an Elk, and he and wife belong to the Presbyterian Church.