ZANE, ROBERT H., was born in Cartwright Township, Sangamon County, Ill., March 3, 1855, a son of John and Elizabeth (Smith) Zane, natives of Cape May County, N.J.
The grandfather of Robert H. Zane, John Zane, Sr., came to Sangamon County and made his home with his son John. There were six sons in his family, and of them Wesley came to Sangamon County and farmed for many years but later returned to New Jersey and there died; Simon came and worked on the farm of his brother John, and in 1855 went to Colorado, where he became a well-to-do rancher; Charles S. came to Sangamon County and worked for his brother John, also engaged in teaching school, finally saved enough money to put him through McKendree College. He then returned to Springfield, where he studied law with Abraham Lincoln in the office of Lincoln, Herndon & Cullom, which was changed to Cullom, Herndon & Zane, after Mr. Lincoln's election to the presidency and which was one of the strongest law firms in the State. He was twice elected Circuit Judge, but after his second election resigned to take the office of Chief Justice of Utah, to which he was appointed by President Arthur in 1883. Two years later he was superseded by appointment of a successor by President Cleveland. In 1895 when the Territory became a State he was elected Justice of the Supreme Court by the people. He is now engaged in the practice of law in Salt Lake City, and one of his sons is a lawyer of ability in Chicago.
John Zane was one of the early settlers in Sangamon County, settling in Cartwright Township in 1835, and he was engaged in carrying on agricultural affairs until his death in 1880. He was a great friend of Abraham Lincoln and another intimate of his was Peter Cartwright. Always a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was liberal in supporting it and donated the land on which the Bethel M. E. Church stands. There were twelve children in the family of John Zane: Robert H.; Andrew, a prominent citizen and implement dealer of Carthage, Mo.; Hannah M., wife of John B. Jones, a resident of Williamsville, Ill.; one child that died in infancy; James S., deceased, formerly Sheriff of Jasper County, Mo., where he died, leaving a widow, three sons and a daughter; Rhoda, deceased, was the wife of John Epler; Mary F., deceased, was the wife of Dr. Henry VanMeter, who was Regimental Surgeon of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, but is now deceased; Elizabeth, deceased, who was the first wife of W. S. Bullard, of Mechanicsburg, Ill.; Ellen, deceased, who was the wife of B. F. Jones, deceased, formerly a resident of Williamsville; John W., deceased, formerly a leading merchant of Springfield, Mo., who died in New York; Jeremiah F., a conductor in the Mexican Central Railroad service, died in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Robert H. Zane spent his boyhood on the home place and was educated in the district schools and the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. After teaching school for a period he entered the law office of Palmer, Robinson & Shutt, but in 1883 went to Texas to practice at Midland, and while there was elected to the office of State's Attorney for six years and again appointed to fill out an unexpired term, but finally refused to accept the office further and in 1903, came to Pleasant Plains on account of the ill health of his wife and in order to give his children better educational advantages.
On November 25, 1886, R. H. Zane was married to Elma Atherton, who was born in Pleasant Plains, a daughter of Dr. Albert Atherton, and to this union there have been born two children, Lela, the wife of Charles Boynton, an enterprising young farmer of Cartwright Township, and Lora E., at home. Mr. Zane is a Republican in politics. He has retired from active professional life, and is now Mayor of Pleasant Plains.