Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
POWER, CHARLES A.Progress and improvement are never the work of one man alone, but public advance is the result of aggregate endeavor, and the county owes its advancement to those men who, in various walks of life, are reliable in business and trustworthy in citizenship. All such are worthy of mention on the pages of the county's history, and among this number in Springfield is Charles A. Power, who is successfully engaged in the planning mill business.
A native of Springfield, he was born May 14, 1852, and is a son of Maurice and Margaret (Smith) Power, both native of Ireland, whence the mother came to America with her parents in early life and located in Logan county, Illinois. The father grew to manhood in Ireland and was twenty-five years of age when he crossed the Atlantic the voyage being made on a sailing vessel. It was about five weeks after leaving the shores of the Emerald Isle that he landed in New ORleans, whence he proceeded up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Meredosia, Illinois. He located in Springfield, where he continued to reside until called to his final rest, on the 24th of December, 1902. For a time he was engaged in the fraternal insurance business. In politics he was a Republican and in religious belief, was a Catholi, holding membership in the Immaculate Conception church. Hi widow died April 29, 1904.
In the family of this worthy couple were seven children, of whom Charles A. is the eldest. Jospeh married Susan Fiery, of Edinburg, and died at his home in Springfield in 1890, leaving a wife and one son. Mary is the wife of H. T. Loper and they reside on South Sixth street, Springfield. Maurice E. married Julia Gilland and is now connected with the Historical Publishing establishment at Washington, D. C. Mathew J. married Caroline Ricker and lives on Holmes avenue, Springfield, being editor of the "Loyal American", published in this city. Annie L. is a teacher in the Feitshans school of Springfield. Frederick L. is a bookkeeper for our subject.
During his boyhood Charles A. Power attended the public schools of Chatham, Illinois, and was later a student in Christian Brothers School and the public schools of Springfield, where he completes his education at the age of eighteen years. He began his business career by working on a farm by the month and later learned the cabinet-maker's trade in the furniture establishment of Mr. Westenburg, with whom he remained for three years and a half. During the following three years he worked as a carpenter, and at the end of that time he accepted the position of superintendent of William White's planing mill, in which capacity he served for nine years. In 1895 he purchased his present property and embarked in the planing mill business on his own account. Success has attended his well-directed efforts and he has built up an excellent trade, furnishing much of the woodwork for many buildings erected throughout central Illinois in the last decade. There is hardly a street in Springfiled that does not contain some building with which he has been identified. He rebuilt the city hall and has furnished material for the Pierik block, on South Sixth street; the Reisch building, at the corner of Fifth and Monroe; the residences of Colonel H. Davis, on South Fifth; H. L. Ide; Mrs. A. J. Jess, on South Second; Dr. Fisher, on South Sixth; the Court of Honor building; the Rush building, on Monroe street; an addition to St. John's Hospital; Sacred Heart Convent; Dominican Girls' Academy; Ursuline Convent; Schliz building, corner of Eleventh and Madison; Conrad Hartman store building on East Adams; Schlitz building, corner of Miller and Ninth; the residences of Joseph Zimmerman and John Pierik; an addition to the Clark Hotel; the Dirkson building, the dome, dairy, poultry and custodian's residence at the State Fair grounds; the Dr. Babcock residence on the corner of Second and Allen; the residence of Henry Conway on South Seventh; the Smorowski flats at Capitol avenue and Third; store building at Twenty-second and Cook; four residences for Pierik & Conk; the McCourtney residence, in Hawthorne place; the Chester M. Lane store building, on Washington; Charles Long's residence, at 846 Douglas avenue; and three buildings at the corner of Eleventh and Washington. He has either built or furnished materials for many building within a radius of seventy-five miles of Springfield, including the bank at Ashland, which was burned and he rebuilt it; the Sheppard House at Pawnee, the Catholic, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian churches at that place and one school building and two stores; the elegant residence of Congressman Caldwell, at Chatham, and a schoolhouse at that place; a schoolhouse and the Calloway Bank building, at Taylorvillle; churches at Beason, Divernon, Elvin, Auburn and Farmersville; several residences in Mount Olive; the Hitch House, at Alhambra; the residence of M. W. Threadway and four store buildings, Virden; the residence of Dr. Sihler, in Litchfield; the W. Burton building and others in Carlinville; the Catholic church, at Athens; the parochial residence at Greenfiled, and a store building at Thayer.
Mr. Power has built for himself an elegant two-story residence at 1401 Whittier avenue, Hawthorne, with all modern conveniences and tastefully furnished. He was married at the Church of Immaculate Conception, September 10, 1873, by Rev. Father Brady, to Miss Elizabeth White, who was born in Fancy Creek township, this county. Her father, who was a native of Ireland, died during her infancy. Our subject and his wife have no children of their own, but have reared three, which they have adopted.
Mr. and Mrs. Power are members of the church in which they were married,
and he is also connected with the Western Catholic Union; Council No. 364,
Knights of Columbus; the Modern Woodmen of America; the Mystic Circle; the
Loyal Americans, and the Royal Circle. He is a fourth degree member of the
Knights of Columbus, of which he has been a trustee for several years. He
has also served as a national officer in the Loyal American; president of
the Sangamon Savings & Homestead Association, and vice-president of the
Mercantile Club. Politically he is a Democrat, but has never cared for
political honors, preferring to devote his undivided attention to his
business interests. His record is that of a man who, through his own
unaided efforts, has achieved success. His life has been one of industry
and perseverance, and the systematic and honorable business methods which
he has followed have won him the support and confidence of many.