Biography of Samuel H. Montgomery
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Among the names of Rock Island County’s citizens none is better known and none held in more honor and respect than that of Montgomery. The elder Montgomery’s were among the oldest settlers of this county, and early acquired large holdings in farm proper-ties. Their children have been prominently identified with the business and farming interests of Rock Island County for more than a quarter of a century. It is of one of the sons of those pioneers, Alexander E. and Margaret Montgomery, the life history of the former appearing upon another page of this work, that this sketch is to treat.
Samuel H. Montgomery was born on a farm near Coal Valley in Rock Island County August 2, 1866, his parents, as has been stated, being Alexander E. and Margaret Montgomery. His early boyhood was spent upon his father’s farm, and later lived on the Arsenal Island for twenty years until married. He attended the public schools of Moline, and later entered and graduated from the high school of that city. After completing his studies he decided to master the machinists’ trade and to that end he secured a position in the machine shops at the Rock Island Arsenal. After serving his apprenticeship he continued to work at the Arsenal and later at Williams, White & Company in Moline until the summer of 1891, when with his brothers, Alexander E. Jr., James T. and Robert J. Mongomery, the firm of Montgomery Brothers was organized for the purpose of doing a general machine and repair business. In March, 1893, the above firm was merged with the Moline Elevator Company, and a few months later the Montgomery Brothers bought out the other interests in the Elevator Company and have since that time been the principal owners and managers. To Mr. Samuel H. Montgomery was assigned the direction of the manufacturing department of this manufacture, and he is at the present time president and general superintendent of this industry which has become a large and prosperous one. He is also a stock holder in the Deere-Clark Motor Car Company, the Moline Auto-mobile Company, Root & Van Dervoort Engineering Company, the American Harvester Company and the Columbia Voting Machine Company. He also has extensive farm interests in Alberta, Canada.
On April 19, 1898, Mr. Montgomery married, Miss Emma M. Hartz, a Rock Island young lady, the sister of B. C., W. T., A. P. and G. C. Hartz. They have one child, a daughter, Margaret Dorothy, who at the time this sketch was written is about three years of age. Since their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery have made their home in Moline, residing at 1542 Eleventh Avenue, in that city.
Mr. Montgomery’s life has been governed by Christian principles, and he has been active in religious work. He is a consistent member of the United Presbyterian Church, which he joined in Rock Island, March 17, 1883. Seven years later in November, 1890, he was elected and ordained ruling elder in the church with which he was affiliated, and he served as clerk of session until May, 1898. He also assisted in establishing a mission church in Moline, which work had been under-taken by the Rock Island congregation in 1895, Mr. Montgomery serving as its Moline representative and Sunday School superintendent. In May, 1898, together with sever-al others of the same religious faith, he was one of the organizers of the First United Presbyterian Church of Moline. This was the full fruition of the hopes and prayers and work of those zealous Christians who had established and fostered the little mission church. Upon the establishment of an independent church organization Mr. Montgomery was elected ruling elder and clerk of session, and also superintendent of the Sunday School, which positions he has held continuously ever since. In politics he is a Republican and takes a strong interest in the success of the party of his choice. He has not been much identified with any lodge or fraternal organizations.
Mr. Montgomery is an ideal type of the simple, sincere Christian gentleman, a man of exalted thoughts and generous acts, and having himself enjoyed material prosperity he has been ever ready to help his less fortunate fellow man whenever that help was needed and deserved.