BLAKE, Louis C.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 765-766
Louis C. BLAKE, a well known resident of Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], now living a retired life, was born in Newburg [Wyoming County], NY, in 1833, and there acquired his education in the High School and an academy. While still in his teens he became an auctioneer, learning the business in Albany [Albany County], NY, with his grandfather, with whom he worked for some time. He later became advance agent for circus companies, and in this way traveled for many years through the South, becoming well acquainted with all the Southern States and the mannners and customs of the people. His first connection was with the famous *Wizard fo the Bugle,* Almon MENTOR, who was killed by a burglar at Covington, KY. Mr. BLAKE afterward went upon the stage in the role of an Irish comedian. For some years he was with the Bailey Theatrical Company, and played in all the leading cities of the North and South. He seemed especially adapted to this role and was very successful.
Mr. BLAKE at length came to IL, locating in Rochelle, where he spent about four years. During that time the Civil War broke out, and he enlisted in Company D, 11th IL Infantry, under his friend, Captain ANDRUS, and Colonel W. H. L. WALLACE. He went with his command to the front and in October of the same year was made Sergeant of the company. The following April he was made Sergeant Major of the regiment, and in Nov 1862, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Company G, to which he had been transferred from Company D. His promotion was an acknowledgement of his meritorious conduct at the battle of Fort Donelson. In the latter part of 1863 he resigned and was honorably discharged. His first colonel having been killed at Fort Donelson, he was afterward under the command of Colonel RANSOM, and participated in every engagement of his regiment until mustered out of the service. Rheumatism ws the cause of his resignation, and it afterward confined him to his bed for nearly a whole year.
Mr. BLAKE married Miss Anna KISSAM, of Newburg, NY, who was there reared and educated. She is a refined and cultured lady, and is descended from the old KNICKERBOCKER stock of NY. Her great uncle, Colonel Richard M. VARRICK, was the first Recorder and Mayor of NY City. In their home they have some of the valuable silver plate that belonged to the Colonel, which is treasured by them as a family heirloom. They also have a chair which belonged to Colonel VARRICK, and was frequently occupied by General Washington while the Colonel was serving on his staff. Other branches of the family, including the LIVINGSTONs and ROOSEVELTEs, have figured prominently in the history of the country.
Mr. BLAKE came to Rockford in 1877, and secured a position with the Chicago & Iowa Railroad, now belonging to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Three years later he became ticket agent for the latter road, and also for the Chicago & St. Paul, both having the same depot. A few months since, he severed his connections with the railroad companies, having acquired a comfortable competence. He is a genial, jovial man, warm-hearted and well-read, and is quite prominent in social circles. He belongs to G. L. Nevius Post No. 1, G. A. R., and to the order of Red Men. He has filled all the offices in the latter lodge, and has been representative to the Great Council of the [p 766] State and the U. S. He has also passed through all the chairs of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has been its representative to the Grand Lodge of the State.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. BLAKE were born three sons and two daughters, but May died in childhood. Cora is now the widow of C. H. LARGENT, and has one child; Louis C., Mason K. and Collins K. are all at home. The parents attend the Episcopal Church. Their beautiful home is at No. 527 North Church Street. Mr. BLAKE also owns a residence next to his home, which is one of the finest in the city.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.