JOSEPH B. BUNDY. Presenting as it does a worthy example to the rising generation, the life of Joseph B. Bundy, of Carbondale, Illinois, which from early boyhood has been one of assiduous industry, untiring energy and unquestioned integrity, is well deserving of being sketched, however briefly, in the pages of this volume. Possessing untiring perseverance, Mr. Bundy in his youth educated himself and rose to positions of honor and trust in the educational field, and since giving up that profession has been prominently identified with various large business enterprises, being at present auditor of the Ohio and Mississippi Valley, and the Murphysboro Telephone Companies. Mr. Bundy was born in Saline county, Illinois, April 9, 1868, and is a son of Thomas and Octave (Phillips) Bundy.
Thomas Bundy was born in 1829, in Wilson county, Tennessee, and was reared on a farm, coming to Illinois in 1861, and settling on a farm in the western part of Saline county, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring April 25, 1892. He was a prominent agriculturist of his day, was a stanch Democrat in his political views, and his religious faith was that of the Baptist church. The Bundy family is of French descent, the family name being originally spelled Bundeie, and first located in this country in North Carolina during Colonial days, from which members migrated to Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri. In 1857 Thomas Bundy was married to Octave Phillips, also of Tennessee, and she survives her husband and lives on the old homestead in Saline county, a firm believer in the teachings of the Christian church. They had a family of five daughters and five sons, and of these children Joseph B. Bundy was the fourth in order of birth.
Joseph B. Bundy's early life was spent on the old home farm in Saline county, and his early education was secured in the rural schools, made of logs, in which they were taught the "Three R `s" and spelling from the old blue-backed spelling book. He grew to manhood on the farm, and on reaching his maturity moved to Harrisburg, the county
seat, to make his home with his uncle, who was serving as county judge. During the summer he worked on his uncle's farm, with the understanding that he should be allowed to attend school, but in 1884 was prevailed upon to come to Carbondale and enter the Southern Illinois Normal University. His limited means necessitated the strictest economy, and before the close of the first year he had gone into debt one hundred dollars to complete his schooling, but during March, 1885, he passed the examination of the county superintendent of schools and received a teacher's certificate. He then returned to the old homestead, but secured a school known as the Hiller Schoolhouse, five miles west of Carbondale, where he taught a five months' term at a salary of thirty-five dollars per month. He then re-entered the normal school, for the spring term of 1886, and in the meantime secured a school known as the Keown Schoolhouse, just south of the city, for a six months term at forty dollars per month, in the spring following again entering the normal. He next taught the same school at forty-five dollars per month, and during the following winter secured a school north of town at fifty dollars per month for six months, each spring term being spent as a student in the normal school. At this time he was elected principal of the Grand Tower schools, at sixty-five dollars per month, but resigned this position to enter the normal school for the year of 1889-1890. In the spring of the latter year he was elected principal of the East Side school of Murphysboro, at seventy-five dollars per month, a position which he held for two years, during the latter year receiving an advance of ten dollars per month. At this time, lacking but a few subjects to complete his course, Mr. Bundy completed his work in the normal school, going back and forth between the two cities, and in the spring of 1892 was again elected to the same position, at a ten-dollar increase, but resigned this office to become superintendent of the public schools at Nashville, Illinois, the county seat of Washington county, and continued there for six years, during which time he built up the high school attendance from eighteen to one hundred and forty-seven pupils and placed it upon the list of accredited high schools of Illinois. In 1898 Mr. Bundy gave up his school work to enter the telephone and electric light business in Carbondale, and has associated himself with various other enterprises, including the hardware and implement business. The possession in which he takes the greatest pride, however, is the old homestead, which he has purchased, and on which he has made numerous improvements. Mr. Bundy's business qualifications have been universally recognized, and his associations in the business world of Southern Illinois have been such as to make him one of this section's most influential men. His political principles are those of the Republican party, but he has not engaged in public life, and is not a member of any fraternal associations. His religious affiliations are with the Methodist Episcopal church.