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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor

Page 125

JOHN M. AMOS was born on South Sixth street in Springfield, August 18, 1844, and has always lived in this city with the exception of three years spent in Kansas. His father, Joshua F. Amos, was a native of Maryland, born in 1812, and on the 10th of June, 1835, he arrived in the capital city of Illinois. On the lst of March, 1838, he was united in marriage to Julia A. Hay, a daughter of John Hay, one of the distinguished citizens of Sangamon county. He became the parents of three children: Sarah E., now the widow of Colonel L. W. Shepard, of California; George A., who is living in Kansas, and John M. In his political views the father was a stalwart Republican and he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, taking a deep interest in the moral development of his community. During the early years of his residence in Springfield he was engaged in contracting and building and subsequently he turned his attention to the lumber business, but his last years were spent in honorable retirement from labor and in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He spent six years in Lagrange, Missouri, from 1845 until 1851, and was there engaged in contracting and in the lumber business. In 1852 he joined Nathaniel Hay in the establishment of the firm of Amos & Hay, dealers in lumber, this relation being maintained until Mr. Hay's demise. Mr. Amos then carried on the business alone until 1865, when he retired. He had accumulated a valuable property, having in the meantime made judicious investments in real estate, and at his death he was the owner of seventeen hundred acres of valuable land. He was also one of the heavy stockholders in the Illinois National Bank. In 1859 he took up his residence at the place where his son John M. is now living. This adjoins the city at the present time, but was then almost a mile away from the town. In matters pertaining to public progress and improvement Mr. Amos bore an active and beneficial part. His business affairs contributed to the commercial prosperity of the city and he was known as a co-operant factor in many movements for the general good. He died in Springfield in February, 1888, and his wife survived him for only a brief period, passing away in July 1889. John M. Amos was afforded good educational privileges, attending the public schools and the English Lutheran College. He received his business training under the direction of his father and in connection with his brother, George A., purchased the father's lumber interests in 1865. They continued in that line until 1870, when they went to Humboldt, Kansas, where they continued in the lumber trade until 1873. In that year the brothers dissolved partnership and John M. Amos returned to Springfield, giving his attention to agricultural pursuits upon the home farm. He has had the management of the property from 1874 until the present time, the farm belonging to the Amos estate. In April, 1864, Mr. Amos offered his services to the Union, enlisting in Company A., One Hundred and Thirty-third Illinois Infantry under Captain Ames, Colonel Phillips and General Payne, and after serving for the six months' term of his enlistment was honorably discharged in October of the same year. He acted as third sergeant and was mostly engaged in guard duty. He is now a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Amos gives his political support to the Republican party and served as assistant supervisor of his township from 1897 until 1899. He was a member of the building committee that remodeled the courthouse and also when the building was raised and a story added. Matters pertaining to the improvement and progress of the city and county have always elicited his interest and support and he has given helpful aid to many measures for the general welfare. On the 30th of October, 1867, Mr. Amos was united in marriage to Miss Caroline I. Clark, who was born in Sangamon county, and died in 1878, leaving four children: John J., George O., Julia W., and Edward C. The eldest, now a resident of Humboldt, Kansas, is the secretary and a stockholder in the Humboldt Brick Company and is also a lawyer by profession. He pursued his legal studies with the firm of Hay, Greene & Humphrey, of Springfield, and was graduated here. He wedded Miss May Massey and they have two children, Mary Louise and Milton Hay. George O. Amos, who wedded Miss Belle Boyle is a fruit raiser and farmer of Elmonte, California. Julia W. is the wife of Warren Taylor, principal of the DuBois school of Springfield and they have three children, Caroline, John and Julian. Edward C is engaged in the cultivation of lemons at Los Angeles, California. In 1883, John M. Amos was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary E. Wallace, of Springfield, they have daughter, Marie Jospehine, now at home. Mrs. Amos was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a daughter of Dr. George W. Wallace, who came to Springfield in 1864 and died in this city in 1865 when in his fortieth year. Her mother, who bore the maiden name of Eliza Alvey, was born in Springfield and is now living on South Fourth street. In the Wallace family were seven children: George W., a resident of California; William A., of Chicago; Florence of Springfield; Alfred, of Hartford, Connecticut; Clara, of this city; Lincoln, who is also living in California, and Mrs. Amos. Having spent almost his entire life in Springfield, John M. Amos has a wide acquaintance here. He represents one of the distinguished families of this section of the state and he has a very large circle of friends whose high regard he has fully enjoyed because of an upright life in consistent harmony with manly principles. From this beautiful home on Amos avenue he superintends his horticultural and agricultural interests and is a man of excellent business ability, whose life demonstrates that success is not a matter of genius, but the outcome of clear judgment and experience.

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