Among the prominent and influential citizens of Herrin, Illinois, Americus Gasaway holds prestige as a business man whose dealings have all been of a fair and straightforward nature. His civic attitude has ever been earnest and sincere and he has done
a great deal to advance the general welfare of this community and of Williamson county at large. Since March, 1910, Mr. Gasaway has devoted his attention to the real-estate and general abstract and title business. At the present time, in 1911, he is deputy to Sheriff Duncan of the Herrin precinct and he is noted for his stalwart support of Republican principles.
Americus Gasaway is a native son of Williamson county, Illinois, his birth having occurred in the vicinity of Alta on the 26th of November, 1874. He is a son of Mack Gasaway, who was born near the line dividing Williamson and Saline counties in 1847. Mack Gasaway was a farmer by occupation and he was summoned to the life eternal in 1881. His forefathers were of Irish descent and the original progenitor of the name in Illinois came hither from Tennessee. The paternal grandfather of him whose name forms the caption of this review was a prosperous merchant along the east line of Williamson county and his children to grow up besides Mack were: Marshall, who served as a gallant soldier in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion and who now resides at Galatia, Illinois; Martha became the wife of John Gasaway. and she passed to the great beyond in Williamson county in 1899; Julia died single; Anna wedded Sylvester Phillips and died in this county in 1879; and Elvira is now the wife of Hal Mason, of Seattle, Washington. Mack Gasaway married Emily Karnes, now a resident of Herrin, and they became the parents of four children, as follows,—Minnie is the wife of John Gogue, of Saline county, Illinois; Olive is Mrs. Thomas Barrett, of Herrin; Americus is the immediate subject of this review; and Pearl is now single, living at Herrin, Illinois.
The childhood and youth of Americus Gasaway was passed in Williamson and Saline counties, to whose public schools he is indebted for his early educational training. When he had reached his twentieth year his mother located with her family at Crab Orchard, where he became a student in the Crab Orchard Academy, which excellent institution he attended for a period of two years. At the age of twenty-five years he began to teach school in Williamson county, devoting the ensuing five years to pedagogical work. For two years he taught in the schools at Corinth and his last term was spent in the Bandyville district, just east of Herrin. In 1902 he gave up teaching as a profession and entered the employ of the Government as a clerk in the Herrin postoffice, under Postmaster Stotlar. Two years later he was appointed chief of the office to succeed Mr. Stotlar. He continued the popular and efficient incumbent of the position of postmaster for the ensuing four years, at the expiration of which he was succeeded by Mr. Perrine, who holds the office at the present time. In 1901 he was elected a member of the city council of Herrin, representing the First ward.
In 1909 Mr. Gasaway again turned his attention to private matters, acting for a time as manager of the Herrin Mercantile Company. In March, 1910, however, he decided to launch forth in the business world on his own account and at that time he engaged in the real-estate and general abstract and title business, the scope of his operations being Williamson county. In addition to his other interests he is now tending to the duties of deputy sheriff, under sheriff Duncan of the Herrin precinct. Mr. Gasaway is noted for his adherence to Republican doctrine and stanch support of Republican candidates for political office. In fraternal matters he affiliates with the Masonic order, being connected with the Blue Lodge and Chapter, of which latter organization he is secretary. He has passed all the official chairs in the
local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has represented the same in the grand lodge of the state. He is also a valued member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Herrin.
On the 28th of July, 1903, Mr. Gasaway married Annie McNiell, a daughter of Wallace and Sarah (Crenshaw) McNiell, of Herrin. Mrs. Gasaway was the second in order of birth of her parents five children. Mr. and Mrs. Gasaway are the parents of. three children, whose names are here entered in respective order of birth, —Florine, Wilmay and Americus, Jr.