Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
HENRY HERRING, ex-chief of police of Springfield, was born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of May, 1850, and is a son of John and Mary (Ackermann) Herring, the former of Irish and the latter of German descent. Mr. Herring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and his wife in Berks county, of the same state. By occupation he was a farmer and in 1858 he removed to Illinois, settling in Macon county. At the time of the Civil war he offered his services to the government and became one of the boys in blue of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry. While in the army he contracted yellow fever and died of that disease at Youngs Point in 1863. His widow survived him for a number of years and died in Tarkio, Missouri, in 1901.
Henry Herring had but limited school privileges on account of his father's early death. He pursued his studies for a short time in Niantic, Illinois, but after his father's demise the responsibility of aiding his mother in the support of the seven children of the family fell upon him. He was but thirteen years of age at that time and his youth was largely a period of hardships and unremitting toil. After leaving school he worked on a farm until about twenty-three years of age, when in 1873 he entered the employ of the Springfield Iron Company as a common laborer. There step by step he worked his way upward until he was advanced to the position of foreman and assistant superintendent. He remained in the employ of the company until 1897, when eh was appointed sergeant of police by Mayor Wheeler, and has since been connected with the police department. On the 12th of May, 1901, he was appointed by Mayor Phillips to the position of Chief of Police and has since acted in that capacity, his service being highly commendable because of the fearlessness and impartiality with which he discharges his duties. In Springfield in 1878 Mr. Herring was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Lane and unto them were born the following named: Herbert, who died at the age of three and one-half years; Orinta, who became the wife of William Kikendall; Harold, who was a member of Company C, of the Illinois National Guard, and was accidentally killed during the riot in Pana, Illinois, in 1898, when twenty years of age; and Maude, how is at home.
In his political views Mr. Herring has always been a stanch Republican. He is a member of the State Association of Chiefs of Police and of the Association of Police chiefs of the United States and Canada. He also belongs to the Police Benevolent Association and at one time was connected with the Order of United Workman. He now belongs to Lodge No. 30, of the Knights of Maccabees; to the Court of Honor; Navarre Lodge, K.P.; and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His residence in the city covers thirty years, during which time Mr. Herring has gained a wide acquaintance. He is well known in business and political circles and his official record is a blameless one, because of his unfaltering fidelity to duty.