ALVA R. DRY. There is perhaps no family is Southern Illinois that has done more in the way of pioneer settling of the state, or that has contributed more to the process of first civilizing, then settling, modernizing and upbuilding of the commonwealth than has the family of Dry. Representatives of this fine old family have been identified with the history of Southern Illinois since the days previous to the statehood of this section, when all was wilderness, or, as it has been so aptly expressed, "When Wilderness was King." They have given their lives to the advancement of the state in every good thing, and since Illinois was admitted to the Union members of the Dry family have been found in every generation contributing in divers ways to the best interests of the community in which they have lived, and adding their full quota to the varied lines of industry with which they have been connected. The splendid characteristics prevailing in this old and honored family have been of an order that has always been felt in the raising of standards of citizenship, and in the furtherance of all movements for the best good of the communal life.
John Dry, the great-grandfather of our subject, was the first of the family to settle in that section of the country now known as Southern Illinois, although for many generations the family had been identified
with the history of the Carolinas, John Dry coming to Illinois from Cabarrus county, North Carolina. He located in the neighborhood of where the city of Pinckneyville later materialized, and where his children and his grandchildren reared their families. He passed his life as a toiler among the ranks of the sturdy pioneers of his time, and died full of years, leaving a worthy name as the heritage of his children. Among his issue was Edmund, the grandfather of Alva Dry. Edmund Dry was born in Perry county and his life was much the same as that of his parent, but for his experience in the Mexican war. He passed his life in what was known as the Dry community, living to a good old age and passing away there in 1898. His wife was Nancy Harris, a sister of Reverend J. Carroll Harris and a daughter of Jonathan Harris, whose father was one of the older pioneers of Perry county and for years a successful farmer here. Edmund Dry and his wife were the parents of the following named children: Robert, of DuQuoin, Illinois; Jackson J., the father of our subject; Esculania, the wife of L. H. Campbell, of Pinckneyville; Julia, married to John Cooper and living at Hoxie, Arkansas; M. C. of Sunfield, Illinois; J. Wilshire, a farmer of Perry county; Addie, the wife of James Sawyer, of this county; and Mary, now Mrs. Charles Noward, of Pinckneyville.
Jackson J. Dry came to young manhood in the environments of country life, and acquired a creditable education for the youth of his time. He took up the occupation of a farmer, in which he had been early trained. He married Margaret Noward, the daughtbr of Jacob Noward, of German extraction, an old settler in these parts and a blacksmith-farmer for years. Of their union four children were born. They are Alva R., of this sketch; Viva E., who married William Hester, of Perry county; Emma, wife of Charles Morganthaler, of this county; and George R. of San Francisco, California. Jackson J. Dry was born May 1, 1850, in Pinckneyville, and is still an honored resident of that place.
The district schools and the high school of Pinckneyville gave to Alva R. Dry his earlier education. Following his graduation from the high school in 1893 the young man taught in the district schools of his community for four years, after which he passed two years as a dealer in the farm implement business at Tamaroa, Illinois. He next entered the Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso and was graduated from its law department in 1903. He immediately opened an office in Pinckneyville, and became a candidate the following year for the office of state's attorney on the Republican ticket. He was elected to the office, and had the further distinction of succeeding himself thereto in 1908. The ordinary routine of the office of prosecutor have comprised the chief feature of his work during the past eight years, and he has filled the position in a manner highly creditable to one of his name and to his constituents. He is at all times alive to the demands and responsibilities of the position, and proved himself in every respect the right man for the place. Mr. Dry has attended the party conventions of his state and judicial district at various times, and thus has kept in touch with the real issues of Republicanism and the atmosphere of the party is wholly familiar to him. Mr. Dry is the present master of Mitchell lodge, No. 85, of the Masonic fraternity and is also an Odd Fellow.
On May 8, 1903, Mr. Dry married Miss Carrie M. Brown, in Valparaiso, Indiana. She is a daughter of John A. Brown, now a resident of Pinckneyville but formerly a resident of New Philadelphia, Ohio, where he was engaged in the marble and granite business for years, and was also interested in farming pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. Dry have two children, Vaille, six years old, and Maxine, born in 1910.