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Biography - Francis Dressor

FRANCIS DRESSOR. The well-watered valley of Shoal Creek Township is an admirable locality in which to raise stock. The tender juicy grasses make the finest tissue, if they do not give that strength and endurance obtained from the blue limestone deposits found in the Blue Grass region. So profitable is the business in Bond County, that our subject, Mr. Dressor, gives to it almost his exclusive attention and he is one of the most prominent farmers and stock men of the locality. He was born in the State of Maine, May 30, 1827, and is one of the family of eight children born to Rufus and Tamar (Cothren) Dressor. Of this family there are now two brothers and two sisters living, namely: Joshua P., who is a farmer living near Reno, and Nathaniel, a wealthy stockman near Wisetown, of this same county. Polly is the widow of the late James Cruthis, and Olive is the wife of J. B. Denny, of Sorento.

When the subject of this sketch was a lad of ten years of age his parents started Westward from Maine, coming hither with team, and living, during the overland journey, in their wagon, as do the gypsies of to-day. After two months spent on the way they settled on a tract of land that is only a mile or so distant from Mr. Dressor's present home.

The Dressor family is of English extraction, the great-grandfather Dressor having been born in England in 1740. He later came and settled in Massachusetts, and there the grandfather was born in 1768, and our subject's father July 29, 1795. The latter died in Bond County, October 13, 1858. His wife, who was born in Farmington, Me., February 12, 1797, also died in Bond County, July 17, 1880. She was of Scotch and Irish ancestry; thus it is readily seen that from both sides of the family Mr. Dressor has the goodly inheritance of nationalities noted for their superior traits and natures.

The original of this sketch was brought up on the home farm. He received but a limited education, the advantages offered in this way in the pioneer settlements being of the scantiest and most ordinary character. August 23, 1853, Mr. Dressor took upon himself the bonds of matrimony and was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Rosebrough, who was born in Perry County, Mo., January 7, 1830. She died August 14, 1854. The one child that she left her husband was named Almira C. She died September 18, 1855.

Mr. Dressor again married, January 10, 1856, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary E. Rankin, a native of this county and State, having been here born March 31, 1832. By this union six children were added to the family: Emma Alice, who died when an interesting baby of a year old. Hattie also died when young. John C., who was born November 6, 1856 is a graduate of the State University of Champaign, Ill., and is now Assistant Cashier of the Western Bank and Trust Company, at Piedmont, S. D. James Rufus, who was born April 22, 1858, was educated at the Greenville High School, finishing at the State University at Champaign. He married Leona Conkling, and they have two children. He is now engaged in the carriage manufacturing business in Pueblo, Colo. William F., who was born July 16, 1864, and who also received the advantages of a good education, graduating at the Business College at Greenville, now looks after his father's farm. He was married October 25, 1892, to Miss Callie Cary. Lucy J., who was born March 9, 1866, is a graduate of the High School at Greenville, Ill. and received valedictorian honors at that place. She for five years has been engaged in teaching.

Mr. Dressor is a prominent figure in the Prohibition party. He was formerly a Republican, but although a lifelong temperance man, he felt that a greater stress should be laid upon the purity of personal life as regarding National politics. For one term he was the incumbent of the office of Associate County Judge. His father had held the office of Township Treasurer from the time the township was organized until his death, when Francis Dressor was elected. Our subject and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, he having been an Elder in the same for twenty years. He has also been a great Sunday-school worker and for the past six years has been County Superintendent of Sunday-school Conventions. He is the present President of the District Sunday-school Association and devotes much of his time to this work. His fine farm, which comprises three hundred acres, is the site of a beautiful home, in which comfort reigns supreme.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 161-162.

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