Isaac S. Lightle. The influence of a sound, conservative banking house is wide and its practical results far reaching. Without such an institution in its midst, no city can hope to take its place among its sister communities, and to it will come no reliable outside concerns. It may be truly said that the growth and development of a community depends largely upon the quality and stability of its banks, and this means the sagacity and integrity of the men who stand at their head. Therefore the thriving community of Arcadia, in Crawford County, is fortunate in the possession of such a stable institution as the Arcadia Home State Bank, at the head of which, in the office of president, is Isaac S. Lightle. Mr. Lightle has had a long and interesting career, which has included participation in the battles of war and peace, and which has invaded various fields of endeavor. He has been successful in the numerous enterprises with which he has been connected, and is representative of the type of men who lend strength to banking institutions because of their personal worth and ability.
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Mr. Lightle is of Irish extraction on the paternal side of the family, and of German descent on his mother’s side. He was born at Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois, December 9, 1840, a son of James and Maria (Julian) Lightle. The family settled during pioneer days in Ohio, and in Ross County, that state, James Lightle was born, November 3, 1803. He was reared and educated there, engaged in farming as a young man, and was married to Maria Julian, a native of the same county. Shortly after their marriage they removed to Illinois and settled on a farm in the vicinity of Griggsville, Pike County, where the wife and mother died May 2, 1844, aged thirty-three years, two months and ten days. Mr. Lightle continued to carry on agricultural pursuits on the farm which he had broken from the prairie and through hard and faithful work accumulated a modest competence. He died March 6, 1859, aged fifty-five years, four months, three days. A democrat in politics, he was prominent in public affairs of both city and county, and was accounted one of the good citizens and public-spirited men of his locality. Mr. and Mrs. Lightle were the parents of the following children: Margaret, who married first William Burns and second James Miller, both farmers and now deceased, and died at Griggsville, Illinois; William, who spent his life in farming and died at that place; Sarah Jane, who married George Elliott, a farmer and general workman, both dying at Griggsville; Samuel, who followed farming throughout his life and died in Bourbon County, Kansas; Becky, who married John Moulton, a farmer, both dying at Griggsville; Isaac S., of this notice; and James, who also followed the life of a farmer and passed away at Griggsville.
Isaac S. Lightle received his education in the district schools of Pike County, Illinois, and remained on the home farm until he was about twenty years of age, at which time his father died and the young man started out in life on his own account. His first employment was in running a ferry-boat on the Illinois River, this occupation receiving his attention for about two years, when his patriotism led him to enlist in Company H, Seventy-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for a term of three years or during the war. The Seventy-third saw some hard fighting, including the battles of Perryville, Stone River and Chickamauga, in all of which Mr. Lightle participated, and at the last engagement he received a severe wound in his right arm, which incapacitated him for further service and he received his honorable discharge. When he had recovered, the young soldier occupied himself at whatever honorable employment presented itself, but he felt that he was not making progress and decided to try his fortunes in Kansas. Accordingly, in the spring of 1868, he came to Fort Scott, where he found work in handling cattle, and driving them from Texas, and this he followed for six years, during which time he had many trying and exciting experiences. In 1874 he came to old Arcadia, where he invested his hard-earned capital in a small general store, thus becoming one of the first merchants of the town. He disposed of his interests here in 1877 and went to Barton County, Missouri, where for eight years he was similarly occupied, and in 1885 returned to Arcadia, which community has since continued to be his home and the scene of his success. From 1885 until 1906 he was the proprietor of a successful mercantile business which under his excellent management grew and developed into large proportions and gave its owner an established prestige as a man of business sagacity and judgment. He retired from the commercial field in 1906, but still retained his grasp upon business and financial affairs as he does today. He is president of the Arcadia Telephone Company, and of the Arcadia Home State Bank, both of which have benefited under his wise, conservative and efficient executive administration. He has large holdings in realty, which include his own residence on Race Street, a building on the same street, near the depot, and a modern restaurant, and in other ways is interested commercially. In politics Mr. Lightle is a republican, and the first town board found him a member. Later he served as a member of the council and of the school board, and his public service was always faithful, efficient and conscientious. He belongs to Arcadia Lodge No. 329, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
Mr. Lightle was married in 1874, in Barton County, Missouri, to Miss Eliza Clanton, who died in 1885, at Arcadia, having been the mother of three children, namely: Elsie, who married W. P. Conneff, a meat cutter in a large packing plant at Kansas City, Missouri; Ollie, who died in 1913, as the wife of J. T. Fowler, cashier of the State Bank of Arcadia; and Vernon, who is a traveling salesman with headquarters in Iowa. Mr. Lightle was again married, February 22, 1905, at Kansas City, Missouri, to Mrs. Lydia (Capps) Smith, widow of Stephen Smith, who had been in business at Kansas City for some years prior to his death.