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Full text of "William Henry Edgar. 1839—1917"

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674 



WILLIAM HENRY EDGAR. 

1839—1917. 

William H. Edgar was born September 10, 1839, at Bur- 
lington, Iowa. His father, Dr. William S. Edgar, was the son 
of William Edgar of Eahway, New Jersey. His mother, 
Lavinia Janes Edgar, was the daughter of Judge Janes of 
Pittsford, New York. Dr. Edgar was for many years a 
prominent physician in St. Louis, Missouri, later moving to 
Jacksonville, Illinois. 

William H. Edgar attended the public schools of Jack- 
sonville, Illinois, and was a graduate of Illinois College of 
that city, class of 1860-61. 

In the summer of 1861 he enlisted as a private in the 
Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers, and was, after some months, 
transferred to the Thirty-second Illinois Volunteers as second 
lieutenant. In 1867 he was admitted to the bar at Aurora, 
Illinois, but never practiced law, preferring journalism to 
the law. In 1868 he was city editor of the Daily Journal at 
Jacksonville, Illinois, and remained such until 1870, when he 
took charge of the Jerseyville (HI.) Eepublican, which he 
afterwards purchased and conducted until 1890. 

Mr. Edgar was well and favorably known in Jerseyville 
and throughout Jersey County. He was a brilliant scholar, 
a splendid writer, especially upon political topics, and was 
what would be termed one of the leaders of the Eepublican 
party in that section. He filled many places of honor and 
was always interested in the upbuilding of the communities 
in which he lived. In 1876 he was made a colonel on the staff 
of Governor CuUom. 

In 1880 he ran for Congress in the Twelfth Illinois dis- 
trict against General Singleton of Quincy, but the district 
being overwhelmingly Democratic, he was defeated. 

In 1881 he was appointed postmaster of Jerseyville by 
President Arthur and served four years, being succeeded by 
a Democrat. 



675 

In 1890 he leased the Pike Comity News at Louisiana, 
Missouri, and edited same for two years. In 1892 he moved 
to Beatrice, Nebraska, to take charge of the editorial depart- 
ment of the Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Express, and continued as 
editor until 1902. 

In 1900 he was elected State Senator from the Twenty- 
first Nebraska district and served two years. In 1902 he was 
commissioned postmaster of Beatrice, Nebraska, by President 
Roosevelt and served four years. In 1906 he moved to 
Chicago, where he was a member of George Meade Post 
No. 444, G. A. R. 

In 1890 he married Mrs. Mary E. Davis of Jerseyville, 
Illinois, daughter of Henry Beekman and Margaret Van 
Deventer Beekman, who were early Jersey County settlers. 

He was a gentleman of the old school, courteous, genial, 
of a happy disposition, a great lover of his home, a musician 
of rare ability, a scholar, and was deeply interested in the 
betterment of humanity. 

His death occurred at his home in Chicago, HI., December 
14, 1917, after an illness of fifteen months' duration. 

Colonel W. H. Edgar, for twenty-six years publisher 
of the Jerseyville Republican, died at his residence, 6417 Har- 
vard Avenue, Chicago, Friday at the age of 78 years. 

The remains were brought to Jerseyville by Mrs. Edgar 
and daughter, Mrs. C. A. Bowman, and husband, and the 
funeral services were held Monday at the home of Elias Cock- 
rell, conducted by Rev. Mr. Neely of the Presbyterian Church. 
The pallbearers were Elias Cockrell, S. H. Bowman, M. A. 
Warren, Jett Kirby, L. M. Cutting and Ed. Cross. Music was 
furnished by a quartet composed of Rev. Mr. Neely, Dr. J. G. 
Schwarz, Dr. J. 0. Rice and Paul Hamilton. 

A friend contributed the following sketch: 

*^ Another gentleman of the old school has passed from 
our midst. The group of friends that gathered around the 
bier of Colonel Edgar to pay their last tribute of appreciation 
could truthfully say * another gentleman of the old school has 

passed on.' ^ , , -, . . , i. 

**In days gone by the courtly demeanor and jovial greet- 
ing of Colonel Edgar added to the good fellowship in the 
community. Good fellowship lived in his heart to the very 
end. The colonel always loved the Jerseyville people. 



676 

** While the activities of this man^s successful life form a 
long list containing many honors, the quality that brought the 
most joy to the community was a gift for music. The melo- 
dies that flowed from his fingers were as natural as bird notes. 
The melodies from the piano blended into other songs until 
many hours quickly passed. Thus will Colonel Edgar be 
remembered in Jerseyville. At his residence in Chicago he 
extended a cordial welcome to friends of earlier years, a 
welcome repeated by his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Mr. 
and Mrs. C. A. Bowman, all of whom eased his declining 
years and gladdened his life by their loving service.''