ABRAM G. GORDON
is eminently deserving of recognition and representation among the men who have been strongly instrumental in promoting the welfare of Chester, Illinois, where he is a senior member of the bar. The son of a family of ancient lineage and high birth, he has faithfully upheld the traditions of his house, and the name of Gordon is as bright and untarnished today as it was in the days of Richard of Gordon, Lord of the Barony of Gordon in the Merse, midway of the twelfth century. The family has ever been one of strong purpose, dominant will and highest integrity. The father of Abram G. Gordon is but another of the many illustrious examples of the strength and power which are the glowing attributes of the name of Gordon. The founder of the church of the Free Will Baptists and ever the ardent and faithful disciple of the church of his organization, he has done more for the religious and spiritual growth and the broadening of Christian charity in the hearts and minds of the people who came within the sphere of his influence than any other man in Southern Illinois. As the son of his father, Abram Gordon has been as active in a busines way and in the developing of the material resources of Chester as was that parent in the development of the spiritual life of this section of the state.
Abram G. Gordon is the son of Rev. Henry and Nancy (Hill) Gordon, and he was born in Randolph county, Illinois, on the 6th of November, 1849. He was one of the nine children of his parents, the others being: Mary; Rev. George A., who is carrying on the work which his father commenced; Henry C., deceased; Parker, a merchant of Ava, Illinois; Dr. Noel R., of Springfield, Illinois; Charles S., in business at Ava, Illinois; Edward B., a railroad man of St. Louis; and Ora C., a merchant of Percy, illinois. The father passed away in 1896, after a long and noble life of good works, and his devoted wife survived him until 1905.
After completing the curriculum of the public schools of his native place Abram G. Girdon was matriculated as a student in McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, in which worthy institution he completed both the scientific and Latin courses, and in which he also prosecuted the study of law. He was duly graduated in 1873, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and initiated the active practice of his profession in 1874. He is well known as one of the most prominent and able law-years in Randolph county, the years telling the tale of an eminently successful career, due to the possession of innate talent along the line of his chosen profession. Most of his attention has been devoted to civil rather than criminal practice, and a review of the docket of the courts of his jurisdiction will show his connection with much of the varied litigation that has come up within the last thirty years. In addition to his law practice he has had time for the development of various business projects affecting the welfare of the city, and his part in many of the industrial activities of the county has been large and worthy. He assisted in the promotion of the Grand View Hotel and the knitting mills at Chester, and in connection with his son built the Gordon telephone system of Chester in 1898. The telephone exchange since then has developed extensively and now covers much of Randolph county. It has toll lines to Steeleville and Percy and owns the exchanges in those places, in addition to which it also owns farmers lines of its own construction and gives connection to co-operative rural lines, thus bringing the country into close touch with the towns. Various other enterprises have also felt his influence and power, all of which has redounded to the good of his city and county.
In politics Mr. Gordon maintains an independent attitude, preferring to give his support to men and measures meeting with the approval of his judgment, rather than to vote along strictly partisan lines. In his religious faith he is a member of the Baptist church, in kind with the other members of his family. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is past noble grand of that order, as well as having sat in the Grand Lodge of the order in Illinois.
On November 6, 1873, Mr. Gordon was married at Percy, Illinois, to Miss Clara J. Short, a daughter of R. J. Short, long a prominent farmer in Randolph county. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have three children:. Eugene R., manager of the Gordon telephone system at Chester, married Miss Agnes Aszmann; Clarice is the wife of Edward W. Meredith, of Chester; and Florence married B. C. Mc Cloud, also of Chester.