ALVIN J. BLAKEY

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 50-51.

ALVIN JAY BLAKEY was born February 28, 1855, in Racine County, near Union Grove, Wisconsin, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Stott) Blakey, who came from Rochdale, England, and are now deceased.  Thomas Blakey was the son of William Blakey, who was associated in business with John Bright, the noted English statesman.  In 1840 Thomas Blakey left England, in company with a cousin, and they landed in Boston after a long and perilous voyage, having two English shillings as their combined capital on arrival.  They immediately found employment in the woolen-mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, where Mr. Blakey continued five years.  He then went to Wisconsin and bought land, on which he settled and continued to reside until his death, which occurred April 17, 1886.  His wife died December 28, 1878.  They had nine children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eighth.

Besides farming, Mr. Blakey took up the work of Christian ministry after going to Wisconsin, preaching without compensation for over thirty years and ceasing the work only when death closed his labors.  He affiliated with the Bible Christian Church.  He said he had plenty of this world's goods, and was willing to work for Christ on account of his love for Him.

A. J. Blakey has been independent since he was sixteen years of age, and has attained a considerable measure of success in life.   He attended the common school at Yorkville, Racine County, Wisconsin, meantime assisting in the farm work during the intervals of school.  He began teaching school at the age of nineteen, and in 1872 entered the State Normal School at Whitewater, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1877.  He continued to teach in the schools of his native state for four years, being employed most of the time in the city of Milwaukee.  For ten years he was a commercial traveler, carrying a line of jewelry, watches and diamonds from Chicago, Illinois.  His long continuation in this employment indicates his success, which can only be acquired in that occupation by the employment of energy and brains.

Since 1889, Mr. Blakey has been an investor and real-estate dealer in Chicago, and now occupies offices in the Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the firm of Bobb & Blakey, general brokers and real-estate dealers.   This firm handles large and valuable pieces of city and country property, their operations extending over many states.

On the 4th of March, 1885, Mr. Blakey espoused Miss Carrie A. Turner, a native of New York City.  Mrs. Blakey's parents were Herbert and Kate Turner, who came from Berlin, Germany, and were children of worthy German ancestry.  One son was given to Mr. and Mrs. Blakey, named Harold A., who died April 21, 1894, at the age of fourteen months.

Mr. Blakey is a strict believer in the teachings of the Bible, and entertains charity for the frailties of human nature.   Politically he is and always has been a Republican, having cast his first vote for Rutherford B. Hayes, and his last for George B. Swift.  He is a thorough bi-metallist, and sincerely believes in the ultimate success of the policy of American protection.  His genial nature and affable manners secure and retain the friendship of all with whom he is brought in relation, either socially or in business.  Mr. Blakey is an extemporaneous speaker, and is capable of making a speech on any subject with which he is acquainted at all at a moment's notice.

                                -- Submitted on 9/15/99 by Sherri Hessick ( slhessick@crosswinds.net )