WILLIAM THEODORE GLASS.
Public-spirited, enterprising and progressive, William Theodore Glass occupies a position of prominence among the foremost business men of Harrisburg, which has been his home for a score of years. A son of Francis S. Glass, he was born September 4, 1855, near Golconda, Pope county, Illinois, coming from honored pioneer ancestry. His paternal grandfather, David Barnhill Glass, a native of North Carolina, migrated to Tennessee in early manhood, and there married. About 1810 he came with his bride to Illinois, settling on the Old Cape Girardeau road, near what is now Golconda, Pope county, but was then called Green's Ferry. He took up land, and there trained his children to habits of industry and honesty. On the farm which he redeemed from its primitive wildness one of his sons, James L. Glass, lived until his death, in 1904. Another son, John B. Glass, who lived to the venerable age of ninety years, was a leading member of the Presbyterian church from his boyhood days until his death, serving for many years as an elder, while his house was headquarters for all the church people of that denomination.
Francis S. Glass was born on the home farm in Pope county, Illinois, where he learned the trade of a carpenter and builder. During the progress of the Civil war he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twentieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and continued with his command until honorably discharged at the close of the conflict. One of his brothers, William Glass, was in the employ of the government at the same time, building gun boats on the Ohio river. Francis S. Glass attained a good old age, passing away at the age of seventy-eight years. He married Emily Modglin, who was born in Pope county, Illinois. Her father, James Modglin, came from North Carolina to Illinois in an early day, locating at what is now Golconda, just opposite the pioneer home of the Glass family, where he was for years a frontiersman merchant and trader. Francis S. Glass became identified with the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which he was an active and valued member during the greater part of his life. To him and his wife six children were born and reared, namely: Felix and Amzi who died in early manhood; William Theodore, the special subject of this brief sketch; Louis A., died at the age of forty years; Ellen, wife of Porter A. Rector,
of Cass City; and Emma, wife of John L. Marberry, of Johnson county, Illinois.
After leaving the district school, in which he gleaned his early education, William T. Glass learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in Pope county until thirty years of age, having a shop and mill near the village of Golconda. Coming from there to Saline county in November, 1891, Mr. Glass opened a mercantile establishment at Harrisburg, and, in company with the late M. Johnson, dealt in agricultural implements, wagons, machinery, etc., until the death of his partner. Buying out then the interests of Mr. Johnson's heirs in the business, Mr. Glass conducted it successfully until 1906, at which time it had assumed large proportions, its stock being valued at from $8,000 to $10,000, while its annual trade amounted to about $20,000. Mr. Glass in the meantime had also dealt a good deal in real estate, buying good farming property, which he sold at an advance.
For the past five years he has been an extensive trader, and has taken contracts for building road bridges in Saline county, in 1911 having erected four steel and concrete bridges, varying in length from twenty to forty feet, at the same time continuing his dealings in realty.
An active worker in Republican ranks, Mr. Glass has served as township supervisor, and is now, in 1911, assessor of Harrisburg township, which includes the city of Harrisburg. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, belonging to both the lodge and the chapter; and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Grand Lodge. Religiously he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, in which he is an elder.
Mr. Glass married, at the age of twenty years, Mary J. Dill, of Pope county, who died in Harrisburg, Illinois, leaving seven children, namely: Rherla, wife of Morris Gaskins, a Saline county farmer; Era, wife of Webb Ingraham, a traveling salesman; Lula, wife of Edward Horning, a grocer; Mabel, wife of Arthur Michem, a mine examiner; Esther, wife of Sherman Wilie, a coal miner; Bessie, wife of Louden McCormick, a clerk in a coal office; and Theodore, a coal mine operator. Mr. Glass married for his second wife Miss Georgia A. Rude, who was born in Cottage Grove township, Saline county, where her parents, John Slayton and Hannah Rude, spent the later years of their lives.