James F. Rankin has proved his ability both in general business affairs and as a banker, and is the organizer and active official of the State Bank of Sidney.
Mr. Rankin was born near Deland, Illinois, October 31, 1879, a son of Joseph H. and Emma (Brown) Rankin. His parents were natives of Ohio, and his father was for a number of years a general merchant at Deland, but about 1902 removed to Champaign County and located in the city of Champaign, where he is still living. James F. is the only surviving child, his younger brother, Willis D., having died in infancy.
Mr. Rankin was graduated from the public schools of Deland in 1898, and soon afterward entered the employ of John Kirby, a private banker. With that experience he assisted in organizing the State Bank of Deland, which he served as assistant cashier. Then, realizing the needs of further education, he entered the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Chicago, and from there in 1901 went to the National Bank of Commerce at Kansas City, Missouri, one of the largest banks in the Missouri Valley. He served as teller there two years, and with this metropolitan experience returned to Champaign County and for four years was draft and collection teller with the First National Bank of Champaign, Illinois. He then gave up banking and for four years was assistant superintendent of the great plant of the Republic Iron & Steel Company at Moline, Illinois. It was in 1911 that Mr. Rankin organized the State Bank of Sidney and has since given it his chief time and energies.
On February 10, 1901, he married Miss Irma K. Dresback, a native of Deland, Illinois. They have four children: Esther B., Helen M., Dwight D., and Irma Catherine. Politically Mr. Rankin is a Republican voter. He has attained the thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Masonry and is present worshipful master of his lodge at Sidney. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a church man, active in the Methodist Society at Sidney, and is assistant superintendent of the Sunday school.