CHARLES W. CRIM. From the farm to the vice presidency of a modern bank may seem a far cry to the uninitiated, but that is the record of Charles W. Crim. A farmer in Franklin county between the years of 1890 and 1906, he made a reputation for himself among the progressive agriculturists of Southern Illinois that was most enviable, and he not only made a record, but he made a comfortable fortune as well. In 1906 he assumed the vice presidency of the West Frankfort State Bank, likewise the positions of manager and cashier, and he has occupied those positions with all credit and efficiency since that time. He is generally regarded in West Frankfort as one of the representative and most valuable members of society in that place, and is particularly active in every movement calculated to be an uplift to the welfare of the community of which he is a part.
Charles W. Crim was born in Franklin county, Illinois, three miles southwest of Frankfort, on March 28, 1867. He is the son of William L. and Mary M. (Ratts) Crim, both of whom were born in Washington county, Indiana. The grandfather of Charles W. Crim was Jesse Crim, born in Kentucky and there reared. In 1858 he moved to Illinois with his family and settled on a farm in Franklin county. There he was a farmer, while in Indiana he was a merchant and hotel keeper, and during his life in that district was connected with many other occupations of a similar nature. The maternal grandfather of Charles W. Crim was Reinard Ratts, born in North Carolina, and moved to Washington county, Indiana, early in life. He lived and died on his farm in Indiana, after having reared a family of ten children.
William L. Crim came to Illinois in 1858 with his father, as mentioned above, and there he bought forty acres of farm land. He returned to Indiana about the time the Civil war broke out and enlisted in Company E, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, serving three years in the defense of the Union. He was captured in Stoneman's raid and thrown into Libby prison,
where he remained for some months. Upon his release he was discharged and sent home to Indiana. Arriving home, he prepared to move his little family to his Illinois farm, and in 1866 he settled on the place, clearing it up as rapidly as possible, and he soon began to farm and trade. He also gave a portion of his time to preaching, and for forty years preached in the Christian church. He was railroad and warehouse commissioner during the tenure of office of Governor Joseph Fifer, and he was a member of the state legislature. He was defeated for Congress on the Republican nomination, the country being solidly Democratic at that time, but he was able to cut the Democratic vote by two thousand votes over previous elections. He was always a Republican, and cast his first vote for John C. Fremont. A successful business man, as well as being prominent in political circles, William Crim accumulated a valuable estate, and when he died in 1909 he was regarded as one of the wealthy men of his section and one of the best known men in Southern Illinois.
Charles W. Crim passed through the schools of Franklin, following which he spent a year in study in the Old College Building at Carbondale. Later he went to a select school at Benton, but his declining health made it necessary for him to give up his studies and take advantage of a change of climate. He went to Colorado, and for a year he roughed it on a sheep and cattle ranch. The experience was sufficient to restore him to full health and vigor, and when he returned to Illinois in 1890 he bought a farm and became actively engaged in the farming industry. He prospered in that business from the time he entered it until in 1906, when he gave up rural life in all its attractions and moved with his family to West Frankfort, where he became connected With the West Frankfort State Bank, a thriving institution with a capital of $25,000 and average, deposits of $125,000. He is vice president of the bank, as well as cashier and manager. In addition to those offices he is treasurer of the West Frankfort Building and Loan Association, and conducts a private loan business, as well as being actively interested in numerous outside enterprises. Mr. Crim is the owner of three hundred and thirty acres of the finest farm land in Southern Illinois, and with his various other holdings is with good reason regarded as one of the wealthiest men of West Frankfort. He is a public spirited, progressive citizen, and his affiliation with local affairs has always been for the betterment of the welfare of the community.
On December 13, 1893, Mr. Crim married Miss Lillie B. Cox. She is a daughter of Lewis W. Cox, of La Fayette county, Missouri, a one time farmer, banker and always a well-to-do man of affairs. He left an estate of $100,000 at his death. Mr. and Mrs. Crim are the parents of one child, Jessie, now in school. They are members of the Christian church.