Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
ANSELL, OSCAR , proprietor of the Oscar Ansell Machine Shop, on South Third Street, Springfield, is a practical machinist and an enterprising business man. He established his present enterprise, at the location it still occupies, in 1889, and has been steadily increasing his output since. He was born in Elmira, N. Y., November 27, 1863, and came to Springfield with his parents in boyhood, receiving his education in the schools of the latter city. His father, William Ansell, was born in Peru, N. Y., March 21, 1832, and when four years of age accompanied his parents to Riga, Monroe County, N. Y., where he grew to manhood. He did not attend school after he was ten years old, but began at that age to work on a picker in a wooden mill. He worked successively at carding, spinning, weaving and finishing. He was married at Elmira, May 18, 1856, to Miss Elizabeth Oliver, who was born in England, January 4, 1838, and came to the United States with her mother, brothers and sisters, when she was five years old. She is a daughter of John and Mary (David) Oliver. John Oliver located at Auburn, N. Y., and for a few years carried on farming in the vicinity then moved to Elmira. He was a woolen worker by trade and before his death located in Springfield, Ill. His wife also died in Springfield.
William Ansell located in Springfield in 1866, and for twenty-four years was employed at Thayer's woolen mill. Later he worked eleven years in the city electric light plant. He purchased his present home in Springfield in 1868. William Ansell enlisted, at Elmira, N. Y., as private in Company B, One Hundred Sixty-first Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged at the end of the war. His wife is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church and in politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the Masonic Order. He and his wife had children as follows: Oliver died at the age of six years; Cora A., Mrs. Chisholm; Oscar; Mary Elizabeth; Fred died at the age of twenty-three years; Jane Scott; Alice D. married W. S. Wooley, of Auburn, Ill.
Oscar Ansell left school at the age of thirteen years and went to work in a rolling-mill machine-shop, which was about three miles from his home. As there was then no street care he walked both ways. After completing his apprenticeship he worked as journeyman machinist until embarking in his present enterprise. He has been obliged to increase his capacity because of increased business, and now employs fourteen men.
Mr. Ansell was married, in 1885, to Miss Annie Schwarburg, of Springfield, and they have two children, Edna Marie and Raymond H. Mr. Ansell owns a handsome residence at 109 Allen Street, Springfield. He is a self-made man and is active in the councils of the Republican party. He served six years as a member of the City Council. He and his family are members of the Second Presbyterian Church and his is a member of the Knights of Pythias.