PALMER, MRS. JOHN M. - the lives of all great men are largely formed by their mothers and wives. Too much credit cannot be given to the women who, remaining in the shelter of their homes, exert the most powerful influence in the world, ever pointing upward and onward. The majority of our great statesmen frankly admit their debt of gratitude to the women of their family, and Mrs. John M. Palmer, widow of the distinguished statesman for many years Senator from Illinois, is one who always inspired her husband to deeds that resulted in good to his country and distinction to himself and family.
Mrs. Palmer was born in Springfield, Ill., July 6, 1838, and is one of the most eminent of its daughters. She is a daughter of the late James L. and Susan H. (Cranmer) Lamb. Mr. Lamb was born in Pennsylvania in November 1800, while his wife was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in August, 1803. He was a prominent man, engaging in large enterprises as a merchant and packer, and he left a comfortable fortune at his demise.
The educational advantages enjoyed by Mrs. Palmer were secured at Monticello Seminary, at Godfrey, Ill., where she was a favorite with teachers and classmates alike, and from which she returned home to become, on June 18, 1862, the bride of Legh R. Kimball. For three years she made him an excellent wife, and mourned his death May 30, 1865. Meanwhile John M. Palmer was playing an important part in illinois affairs. He had been Governor of the great commonwealth and Mrs. Kimball learned to esteem the great statesman. When both were deprived by death of those they had selected as life partners, the distinguished man and the charming widow were mutually attracted, and their admiration for each other resulted in their marriage, April 4, 1888. From then on Mrs. palmer was her husband's constant inspiration. During the time he was Senator she graced Washington society and she sustained him during his campaign for the Presidency. During his last days she was his comfort and delight, and when he died, September 25, 1900, it was in their beautiful home in Springfield, which her loving care had made so pleasant for him. She now resides at 1104 South Sixth Street, sustained by her memories of him and his devotion to her.
Mrs. Palmer is a consistent member of the Baptist church, in which she has long been an active worker, and she is loved for her sympathetic nature, as well as for her many graces of character, her wide experience and her knowledge of men and events. The people of Springfield are proud of her and her long associations with the capital city where she was born and which has ever been her home.