SCANLAN, JOHN J. - Some of the very best men of our county, State and Nation, are self made, and many of these have come to America from foreign shores. Among these representatives of other countries, none rank higher than those from Ireland, which has contributed more than its quota to the intelligent citizenship here. In speaking of such men none are more worthy of mention in a work of this character than John J. Scanlan, who is engaged in a real estate business in Springfield. He has been a lifelong resident of this city, and now lives in his beautiful home at No. 1401 South Eighth Street. He was born on East Capital Avenue, Springfield, February 28, 1861, a son of James and Honora (Griffith) Scanlan.
James Scanlan was born in Ireland and as a young man left County Tipperary for the United States. On locating in this country he secured employment as a railroad conductor and for several years was in the employ of the Wabash Railroad Company. He died in Springfield in 1867, his widow surviving him for some years. John J. Scanlan was their only son.
The latter received his education in the parochial school of the Immaculate Conception, and when he was but eleven years old went out to work on farms, receiving seven dollars per month for his services, and continuing thus for five years. He then drove a grocery wagon for several years and was engaged in various enterprises for several years more, including mule driving and mining. Meanwhile his father had died, and the mother mortgaged her little home in order that the boy might have a chance to go into business, and he accordingly invested the money in a grocery at the corner of South Grand Avenue and Eleventh Street. He rented for a few years, then bought the property on the southeast corner, across the street, where he put up a brick building and continued in business for twelve years, but finally sold it. For the past few years he has been engaged in real estate business and has holdings in many concerns. Besides his home, he owns a number of other dwellings and a valuable farm of 240 acres in Woodside Township.
Mr. Scanlan was married in Springfield, May 14, 1890, to Cecilia A. Merrick, daughter of Michael and Bridget Merrick, and they have one child, Gertrude, born February 19, 1891, who is a teacher of music. The family attend the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
In his business dealings Mr. Scanlan has always been actuated by motives of honesty and integrity, and has reached his present enviable position through open-handed transactions. Having a reputation unsullied by doubt of his sincerity of purpose, and being a man of upright character, he stands high in public esteem. He is a great lover of his family and has always had their interests at heart. Genial and kindly of manner and nature, he has made hosts of friends, among whom he is very popular. Always interested in the cause of education, and maintaining high ideals with regard to everything of a public nature which he believes will advance the moral, financial, or intellectual welfare of the community in which he lives, he wields a strong influence for good. To such men as he is due the credit for the remarkable growth and development of Springfield, Sangamon County and the State of Illinois.