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

Page 1079

HARRY O. MCGRUE - The name of Harry O. McGrue is closely associated with industrial interests of Springfield, for he is now the senior member of the firm of McGrue & Powell, manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds and interior furnishings. This business was established by his father, Thomas A. McGrue, in the year 1876, and has since had a continuous and successful existence. The father, who was a native of England, and in early life learned the carpenter's trade, became a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, upon his emigration from the mother country to the new world. For a year he remained in that city and then went to Batavia, Ohio, where he was united in marriage to Miss Martha Cummings, formerly of Lexington, Kentucky. In the year 1854 he came to Springfield and here spent his remaining days. Throughout his business life his efforts were directed in the line of his trade or some kindred industry. For a number of years he engaged in contracting and building in Springfield and in 1876 he established the planing mill and from that time forward until his death was engaged in business as a manufacturer of sash, doors and blinds. In this undertaking his practical knowledge of lumber and of the building business proved most important and formed the basis of his success. He died in this city in 1890 and his widow, still surviving him, resides in this city. Like her husband she enjoys the friendship of many with whom she has been brought in contact. Mr. McGrue in his life record furnished an example well worthy of emulation. Coming to this country a young man with no capital he learned to take advantage of opportunities, to utilize the means at hand and to make a business opening where there was none. His capability in the line of his chosen pursuit enabled him to gain a good patronage as a contractor and builder and through these channels he acquired a capital sufficient for the establishment of an industry which yet exists as one of the important business concerns of the state.

Harry O. McGrue was born in Springfield in June, 1860, and at the age of six years he entered the city schools. When still quite young, however, he became an assistant in his father's business and continued his studies in night schools until his fifteenth year. He then put aside his text books and was associated with his father in the planing mill until the latter's death, when he succeeded to the business and soon afterward associated himself with J. L. Powell under the firm name of McGrue & Powell. the planing mill is equipped with modern machinery of excellent make so that they are enabled to turn out any fashion or design in wood material whether for outside or interior furnishings of buildings. The plant is eighty-five by one hundred and fifty-seven feet and two stories in height and the entire building is sued in their business. Employment is furnished to from fifty to sixty men throughout the entire year and the firm enjoys a large local. trade in the city and in Sangamon county and also ships quite extensively to adjacent towns and counties in Illinois.

In 1881 Mr. McGrue was united in marriage to Miss Julia G. Church, of Springfield, a daughter of William and Hattie M. (Morse) Church. She was born, reared and educated in this city and by her marriage has become the mother of five children: Edna A., Harry R., Robert, James and William. Harry is in the office with his father.

Politically Mr. McGrue is a Republican, whose influence is widely felt in local political circles. For seven years he was a member of the city council, representing the fifth ward and officially he did much for the welfare and progress of the city. He belongs to St. Paul Lodge, No. 500, A.F. & A.M., and Springfield Chapter, No. 1, R.A.M. He is likewise connected with Capital Lodge, No. 14, K. P., and Sangamon Lodge, No. 6, I.O.O.F. For several years he was a director of the Odd Fellows Building Company. He owns a splendid residence at No. 822 East Capitol avenue and is one of the representative business men of Springfield, wide-awake, progressive and alert to business opportunities.

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