Cover: Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties
1891 Portrait and Biographical Record:
Wilkinson Brothers


WILKINSON BROS. The union of the family interests in business enterprises has long been made prominent both in the old country and in America. Many prominent firms have for generations borne the family name and it has been the pride of those thus connected to maintain these business relations and to build up an honorable record as a commercial family. So strong has been this feeling in some notable instances as to compel any who joined the firm as members to loyally adopt the family name. This union of the family affection and business interests is well illustrated in the record of the well-known firm whose name appears at the head of this paragraph.

The Wilkinson Bros., dealers in lumber, tile and coal at Bethany, Moultrie County, established business under the present firm and style in 1882. The members of the firm are four brothers, namely: Jasper N., John J., Warren A., William W., all of them natives of Vinton County. Ohio, and sons of Jacob and Mary (Morrison) Wilkinson. The parents were also natives of Vinton County, were there married and reared their family, removing to Illinois in the fall of 1864, and passing the winter at Millmine. The following year they located at a small town (now defunct) which bore the name of Dawtown, and the father of the family worked in a sawmill there as his business in Ohio had been in the line of operating sawmills and gristmills.

The family removed in 1868 to a farm near Argenta, Macon County, Ill., and there they rented land and afterward purchased a farm of three hundred acres, tilling and improving it and placing upon it fine stock. There the parents still reside and the father who has made a success of stockraising, is now engaged in breeding red-polled cattle. These faithful parents who have succeeded in bringing up to maturity so fine a family are people of true Christian character and prominent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Twelve children blessed this frugal pioneer home and nine of the number are still living, namely: Jasper N., Warren A., John J., William W., Mary E., George E., Charles E., Arthur L. and Luella J. Mary is now the wife of Walter L. Williams; Jasper N. was born in 1851 and early distinguished himself in local circles by his studious disposition, fitting himself for teaching at the early age of fifteen. In 1874 he was graduated from the State Normal University at Normal, Ill., and he is now a Professor in the State Normal School at Emporia, Kan. He has formed a congenial marriage with Miss Nellie Reynolds, of Buda, Ill.

Warren A. was born December 14, 1857, and was reared upon a farm until 1881, when he came to Bethany and engaged in the manufacture of tile, being associated with his brothers; he built a tile factory, which they still own and operate, and thus was inaugurated the successful business which bears their name. His marriage with Grace, daughter of Dr. E. A. Piatt, brought him three beautiful children, all of whom are now deceased; his wife also passed to the other world in 1891. Warren A. resides at Bethany and gives his whole attention to the business of the firm. John A. was born September 23, 1859, and, like his eldest brother, is a graduate of the State Normal University at Normal, Ill., being a member of the Class of '85; he also gives his attention to teaching, being the Principal of the grammar school at Springfield, Ill., and having held the principalship of the Lovington schools from 1885 to 1889. William W. was born September 1, 1861, and when he had completed his elementary education he devoted himself to the study of book-keeping and commercial law at Lincoln, Ill., and later attended Bryant A Stratton's Business College at Chicago. After completing his studies he became a useful member of the firm of Wilkinson Bros. in 1882. He and his brother Warren are the active members of the firm and the efficient and capable managers, making their home at Bethany.

This honorable and intelligent family have shown themselves capable both in the intellectual and business world and the parents of these sons have abundant reason to rejoice, not only in their success in life in their respective fields and in the respect which is meted out to them by all who know them, but also in their admirable Christian characters and in their efficiency in church work as they are all workers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with which most of them are personally identified.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 362/363

Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb