Biography of Henry A. Ainsworth
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Henry A. Ainsworth, president of the Moline Trust and Savings Bank, and president of the Williams & White Company, manufacturers of steam hammers and other special tools, is classed among the truly representative citizens of Moline, and dates his residence there since 1870. He is a native of Vermont, born in Williamstown, September 28, 1833. His father, Calvin Ainsworth, was also a native of Vermont, born in Brookfield, but in early life moved to Williamstown, where for fifty years he was a general merchant, well and favorably known in all that section of the country. He married Miss Laura Lynde, a native of Vermont, whose father, Cornelius Lynde, was the first circuit judge of Orange County, that state. The Ainsworth family was of English descent, the first of the name coming to New England in the Seventeenth Century and locating in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The Lyndes are also of English descent, having settled in this country prior to the Revolutionary War, several of the name taking part in that struggle.
The subject of this sketch grew to man-hood in his native village, and in the district schools received his primary education which was supplemented by attendance in two academies. In 1853, at the age of twenty years, he left home and came west, locating in Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois, where he engaged in general merchandising on his own account. In this line he continued eight years, then sold out, and for a few years was engaged in the hardware and agricultural implement trade in the same place. In both lines he met with good success.
In 1870 Mr. Ainsworth came to Moline and secured an interest in the manufactory of Williams & White. Within a year later the business was incorporated, and Mr. Ainsworth was elected secretary of the company, a position he held for about fifteen years, when purchasing about three-fourths of its capital stock, he was elected president, a position he still retains. Under his general management the business has attained mammoth proportions, and is one of the leading industries of Moline. Soon after coming to Moline he took stock in the Moline National Bank, and also in the Moline Savings Bank, and for some years served as director and. vice president of both institutions. His ability as a financier and good executive ability were recognized by his associates, and in 1894 he was elected president of the former institution, a position he is well qualified to fill. On his election as president of the Moline National Bank, he resigned the vice-presidency of the Moline Savings Bank, but was retained in its directory. April, 1892, he resigned as president of the Moline National Bank, when it was changed to Moline Trust and Savings Bank. He was elected president of that bank in 1894 and still holds that position.
On the 28th of July, 1858, Mr. Ainsworth was married at Ashland, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Andrews, a native of Ohio, and a sister of Mr. Andrews, president then of Kenyon College. After a happy married life of thirty-three years, Mrs. Ainsworth was called to her reward, dying in a hospital at Chicago, leaving two children, Harry and Mary. The former is a graduate of Oberlin College, and of the law department of Harvard University. He is a man of exceptionally good business ability, and is now secretary of the Williams & White Company. Mary is also a graduate of Oberlin College, and is a woman of rare attainments. At present she is making a tour in Europe. Mrs. Ainsworth was a sincere and honest Christian woman, one who delighted in the service of the Master, and when the summons came she was ready to go, having that perfect confidence and trust in the Blessed Redeemer and the life beyond the grave.
For his second wife, Mr. Ainsworth wedded Miss Sarah F. Anderson, June 30, 1896. She was born in Bucyrus, Ohio; moved to Geneseo, Illinois, in early life, and was a graduate of Rockford Female College. A teacher of recognized ability, a woman of grace and refinement, and of good executive ability, she was called to the presidency of her alma mater, and for six years occupied that position. She was still serving as such when her marriage with Mr. Ainsworth occurred. In February, 1896, Beloit College conferred, on her the degree of M. A., a degree worthily bestowed.
Mr. Ainsworth has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs, though never to the neglect of his business interests. He believes it the duty of every American citizen to keep posted and act intelligently upon all questions affecting the people, and in pursuance of that idea he carefully reads the current literature of the day, and attends the public speaking as his time will admit.
The conventions of his party he also attends, more frequently as a delegate than otherwise. Politically he is a strong Republican. Attaining his majority the year that party occurred, he gave adhesion to its principles, and has never deviated therefrom.
While a resident of Geneseo, Mr. Ainsworth was elected a member of the board of village trustees, and was the youngest member of that body. For six years he was a member of the state board of equalization, and was state senator from the Moline District from 1882 to 1886. He was later appointed by Governor Fifer president of the state board of labor statistics, which office he resigned when Alleged was elected governor. In every position filled he discharged its duties faithfully and well, and to the satisfaction of all interested.
Religiously, Mr. Ainsworth and family are members of the First Congregational Church, of Moline, and in the work of the church he has always manifested an interest, being among its most liberal contributors. Fraternally, he is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of both the Blue Lodge and Chapter at Moline. In the former body he is now past master. As a citizen he has ever taken a lively interest in every enterprise calculated to build up his adopted city and county, and few men have a wider circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the state.