JOHN GEORGE TAFFEE. One of the more prominent men in public life of Perry county is John George Taffee, for many years foremost in the political life of his district, who has held numerous responsible offices of varied character, and is now master-in-chancery at Pinckneyville, as well as vice-president of the Murphy-Wall Bank & Trust Company, a leading banking house of Perry county and recognized as one of the stronger financial institutions of Southern Illinois. Until 1910 Mr. Taffee had never been identified with any private business interests, his entire time being taken by the multiplicity of duties devolving upon him as the incumbent of public office, and while the city and county has been the gainer as a result of his singularity of interests, it is obvious to all that a man of Mr. Taffee's sagacity and inherent business ability could not have failed to make a brilliant success of business life had he devoted himself to such endeavor.
Born on October 10, 1854, at Chester, Illinois, Mr. Taffee is the son of George Taffee, who lived for years in Perry county and was coroner of the county at the time of his demise, when he was forty-five years of age. George Taffee was the founder of the family in America. He was a native of Prussia and came to this country in his young life, here marrying in Randolph county Miss Sarah Schulze, who passed away at Pinckneyville, where the family home was early established. The issue of their union comprise two sons who were spared to reach years of maturity. They are Charles, who is in the employ of the state in the administration of the Southern Illinois Penitentiary at Chester, and John G., of Pinckneyville, and whose name introduces this review.
All his life a native of Perry county, John G. Taffee received his early education in the schools of Chester. When he had attained to years of young manhood he became employed as a clerk in Tamaroa, and he spent the ensuing years between that point and DuQuoin, for sometime as a clerk and later rising to a managership. Instead of entering business on his own responsibility, as his wide experience and natural ability so aptly fitted him, he permitted himself to be drawn into the toils of public life, and in 1894 he filled his first office when he was elected to the county clerkship of Perry county as the successor of R. G. Williams and a well known character of Perry county. He served two terms, as a result of re-election, and was then succeeded to the office by H. H. Ward, a Democrat, who died while in office, and Mr. Taffee was named to fill out his unexpired term of office. At the succeeding general election he was again the Republican candidate and was elected for the ensuing term. He was succeeded by a Democrat in 1910, and retired from public life after nearly fifteen years of service.
Once more resuming private life. Mr. Taffee engaged in the insurance business, and was appointed master-in-chancery in 1911 by Judge Crow of this judicial district. As previously noted, he is vice-president of the Murphy-Wall Bank & Trust Company, and is assistant to the cashier of that institution. Mr. Taffee has been active and prominent in the fraternity work of Pinckneyville, being a Blue Lodge Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Modern Woodman and a member of the Court of Honor. In his religious affiliations he is connected with the Missionary Baptist church, and has for a number of years been treasurer of the Illinois State Association of the Baptist church.
Mr. Taffee has been twice married. His first marriage occurred on April 4, 1877, when Sarah Thompson became his wife. She was a daughter of J. Norton Thompson, of Tamaroa, Illinois. On the thirteenth anniversary of her wedding Mrs. Taffee was buried, leaving her husband and three children to mourn her untimely loss. Their children are: J. Norton, who is a department manager of a store in Kansas City, Missouri; Charles, of Trinidad, Colorado; and Lena, the wife of Lee Thedford, deputy county clerk of Perry county, and who lives in Pinckneyville. On September 16, 1894, Mr. Taffee married Mrs. Ellen McElvain, of DuQuoin, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Taffee have no children, but Mrs. Taffee is the mother of two daughters by her former marriage: Myrtle is the wife of L. J. Winters, of DuQuoin, and Lillian is Mrs. Arthur J. Eisfelder, of Pinckneyville.