HON. CHARLES L. ROANE is now living a retired life in Sullivan, Moultrie County, has made his home
in this locality since 1854, and in the years which have come and gone has occupied a prominent place
in public affairs. He has been prominently connected with both the business and official interests
of the county and is widely known throughout this part of the State. The story of his life is as follows:
Charles L. Roane was born in Loudoun County, Va., October 3, 1820, and is the son of James and
the grandson of William Roane. The latter, a native of the Old Dominion, belonged to the F.F.V.'s;
he spent his entire life in Virginia and died when well advanced in years. The father of our subject
was born and reared in Virginia and became a contractor and builder of turnpike roads. In Loudoun
County he was joined in wedlock with Mrs. Mary Bartlett, daughter of Col. Timothy Taylor. The Colonel
was born in Bucks County, Pa., and came of one of the old and highly respected families of the Keystone State.
Mr. Taylor removed to Loudoun County, Va., and after some years, on the breaking out of the War of
1812 he enlisted and became Colonel of the Fifty-sixth Regiment of Virginia Volunteers. His two
sons were also in that service, one serving as Colonel, the other as Adjutant and the old Colonel
commanded a regiment engaged in protecting the city of Washington against the British forces. Father
and sons escaped uninjured and Col. Timothy Taylor spent his last days in Virginia. The daughter Mary
grew to womanhood in her native county and when she had attained to years of maturity gave her hand
in marriage to Mr. Bartlett who died, leaving two children. She afterward became the wife of James Roane
and unto them were born four children, of whom our subject and his sister, Mrs. Clark of Virginia, are
now living. The latter is a widow of Leonard Clark, a Union soldier of the late war who laid down his
life on the altar of his country. James Roane and his wife continued their residence in Loudoun County,
Va., for some years, the husband there dying in 1832, when past middle life. His widow spent her last
days in Harrison County, W. Va., where she lived to a ripe old age. An intelligent and cultured lady,
she had many friends and was highly respected by all who knew her.
The subject of this sketch is the eldest of the parental family. After his father's death he was tenderly
cared for and reared by his mother until able to care for himself. He is truly a self-made man and deserves
no little credit for the success which has crowned his efforts. As before stated he came to Moultrie County,
Ill., in 1854, and soon afterward, his fellow-townsmen having recognized his worth and ability, was appointed
Deputy County Clerk. A short time elapsed and he was elected to the position of County Clerk, which he filled
acceptably four years, then in January, 1862, embarked in the general merchandise business, establishing a
store at the southeast corner of the square in Sullivan where he carried on operations for twenty-three years.
Mr. Roane possess good business ability, is energetic and enterprising and soon won a liberal patronage which
constantly increased until his large trade netted him a good income and he became one of the substantial citizens
of the community. His success was truly deserved for he tried to please his customers and honesty and fairness
characterized all his dealings.
In the meantime Mr. Roane was nominated, in 1883, on the Republican ticket for the Legislature and when the
election returns were received it was found that he had been elected by a good majority to represent the district
which includes Moultrie, Shelby and Effingham Counties. He was appointed on several important committees,
including those of Banking and Drainage, and was one of the members sent to visit and report on the State
charitable institutions. His course as a member of the House won credit for himself and his constituents and
he formed many pleasant acquaintances among the prominent men of the State. As before stated Mr. Roane
continued in the mercantile business for twenty-two years, at the expiration of which time he sold out.
Later he built and operated a tile factory for a few years, but it was subsequently destroyed by fire. He
has now retired from business life but is still interested in Decatur and Sullivan property.
In the city where he yet makes his home, Mr. Roane was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Garland, a native
of Bedford County, Va., and a daughter of Nicholas A. and Mary (Mitchell) Garland. The family came to
Sullivan at an early day and Mr. Garland built the first mill at the place, operating it for some years.
Subsequently he and his wife removed to Springfield, Ill., where he engaged in merchandising. He was also
Deputy Sheriff of the county for some time and with his wife spent his last days in the capital city. Mrs.
Roane is one of quite a large family. She has been a true wife and her union has been blessed with five
children, four of whom are yet living, namely: Lucy, wife of W.A. Cash, a commercial traveler residing in
Decatur; Fannie, wife of John K. Munsey who is employed as book-keeper for the firm of Stratton & Bird,
wholesale grocers of Cairo; Charles, who wedded Eva Woodruff and is now engaged in the lumber business in
Campbell, Franklin County, Neb., and Austin at home. One daughter, Mary, is now deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Roane are members of the Presbyterian Church and are people of worth who rank high in social
circles and are widely and favorably known throughout the community.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 327/329
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb