TRAPP, HENRY - Springfield is the center of the vast coal interests of Sangamon County, and many of her foremost citizens are carrying on business along this line. One whose success in the coal business is gratifying because it has been self-gained, is Henry Trapp, who was born May 20, 1861, in Otto, Fulton County, Ill., a son of Oliver and Maria (Gilson) Trapp.
Oliver Trapp was born near Zanesville, Ohio, and was married in Illinois to Maria Gilson, a native of Buffalo, N.Y. He was a cooper by occupation and established himself in business at Otto, Ill., where he enlisted in the Twenty-Eighth Regiment, Illinois volunteer Infantry, for services in the Union Army, in 1861. He served three years and his death which was a result of his army experience, occurred at Nashville, Tenn. He and his wife had four children. After his death his widow married John Babcock, who survived her twenty years, dying in 1908. Two children were born by her second marriage.
Henry Trapp was one of four children born to his parents, and until he was nineteen years of age attended school at Ipava, Ill. He then worked at coal mining and for Charles Foote and in the woolen mills, going thence to the coal mines at Rushville, Schuyler County, in which he continued to work for seven years. The following four years were spent in coal mining at Astoria, and the next two at Dunfermline, Ill., after which he went to Cripple Creek, Colo., and worked for three years in the celebrated gold mines there. On his return to Illinois he again took up coal mining, and in 1908, engaged in business for himself. He is a self-made man in all that the term implies, and his success is the result of hard and faithful labor. On first coming to Springfield he had not enough money with which to buy a meal, and this contracts strongly with the fact that he now owns several valuable properties, in addition to his flourishing business. In political matters he is a Republican, but he has never cared for office. His religious views are liberal.
In 1882 Mr. Trapp was married at Knoxville, Ill., to Zella Bates, of Rushville, who died in 1898, leaving two children, Raymond and Nellie. In 1901 he was married (second) at Springfield to Mrs. Alice (Allison) Harvey, and four children have been born to this union: Allen, Blanche, Lawrence and Charles, the latter of whom died in 1907. Mrs. Trapp had four children by her former marriage; James, Arthur, Ruth and Grace Harvey.