CANFIELD, ERASTUS D. , a prominent and well-known citizen of Springfield, Ill., and a veteran of the Civil War, conducts a small broom-making factory at his home, 1245 West Governor Street, and is fairly successful in this enterprise. He has been occupying his present plant twenty-one years and has established a paying business. Mr. Canfield was born at Geneseo Valley, N.Y., April 17, 1837, son of John and Mary A. (Blair) Canfield, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Geneseo. The father moved from Massachusetts to Geneseo Valley as a young man and for some time conducted a barrel factory there. He followed the trade of cooper all his life and was located in business at various places. He took an active part in politics and became well-known as an eloquent public speaker. He died when his son Erastus was but nine years old. The father moved to Ohio in 1838 and conducted a factory several years near Hamilton. He died at Cambridge City, Ind., where the family had located. His widow moved back to Ohio with her children and later went with her son Erastus to Minnesota, where he took up a government claim and lived three years. The mother was a graduate of one of the largest seminaries in the State of New York. She died in 1865.
Erastus D. Canfield received his education in the country schools of Butler County, Ohio, his mother having returned to Millville, that county, after her husband's death and as a young man he worked at wood chopping in the winter and on a farm in the summer until he took up the trade of broom-making, at which he worked several years in Ohio. When he left Minnesota he spent short periods of time in various cities, going first to St. Louis and later to Pana, Ill., where he worked at his trade, until the breaking out of the Civil War. He enlisted from Pana in Company B, Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, and served three years, being mustered out at Springfield. He took part in many important engagements, among them being Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, in which he did his full duty as a soldier and won a praiseworthy record. Upon leaving the army he took up the occupation of broom-maker at Springfield, which he has since continued there. He and his son Wellington live together at the home of the former. He is now in his seventy-third year and enjoys excellent health, being able to carry on his business to good advantage. He is well known for the excellent work he turns out and never relaxes his vigilance in keeping up the standard he has set for his product.
Mr. Canfield was married near Springfield, in 1866, to Harriet Kelly, born near Spring Creek, Sangamon County, and two children blessed this union: Wellington and John C., both contractors, living in Springfield. Mrs. Canfield died in 1879 and Mr. Canfield married (second) Elizabeth Rodgers, a native of Ohio, who died in 1909, having borne her husband no children. Mr. Canfield is very fond and proud of his nine grandchildren. He was acquainted with Abraham Lincoln and remembers him well. Mr. Canfield is a prominent member of Stephenson Post No. 30, G.A.R., and in politics has always supported the measures and men of the Republican party. He is a member of the Douglas Avenue Methodist Church, of Springfield, and is an active promoter of its good work. He helped form the present organization and has always been prominent in furthering its interests. He has been successful in business through his own ambition and energy and is a self-made man, highly esteemed for his many fine qualities of mind and heart and his public-spirited and charitable actions.