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                                      EBEN F. RUNYAN
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 47-48

EBEN FITCH RUNYAN, one of the most industrious and
successful lawyers in Chicago, has been for over forty years
actively engaged in practice in this city.  He has also been
identified with its business interests and has borne his
full share in building up the material, intellectual and
moral interests of the city.  His father, Archibald Runyan,
was a farmer in New York State, where he died December 4,
1838, and young Eben was early thrown upon his own
resources.  His mother, Eva Viele, was a native of New York,
born in Old Saratoga, in Saratoga County.

The subject of this biography was born December 3, 1831, in
the town of Butler, Wayne County, New York.  In the spring
of 1838, at the age of seven and one-half years, he began
supporting himself by working upon a farm, and continued
that occupation until sixteen years of age.  In the mean
time he was permitted to attend the district school in
winter, and laid the foundation which enabled him to secure
a practical education in the hard school of experience.  He
attended a school at Saratoga Springs, New York, for six
months, and then became a clerk in the store of Capt. T. F.
Comstock, at Wilton, Saratoga County, New York, where he
continued one year.

In the spring of 1850 he came to Illinois and settled in
Hebron, McHenry County.  He worked upon a farm in summer and
taught school during the winter, continuing for three years.
In the spring of 1853 he entered Waukegan Academy, where he
continued two terms, under the tutorship of Hon. Francis E.
Clarke, still a prominent citizen of Waukegan.  He commenced
the study of law with W. S. Searls, and at the end of two
years was admitted to the Bar.  June 11, 1855, he located in
Chicago and began practice, and has prosecuted a successful
general law business ever since.

He early began to invest his savings in real estate, and has
erected numerous buildings in the city, all of a good class.
He has also been interested in farming, and was for several
years engaged in the grain business.  He built two elevators
in Chicago, and several small ones along the line of the
Chicago & Danville Railroad.

Mr. Runyan was a member of the West Park Board from its
first organization, and continued in that capacity until
1876, when business reverses caused him to resign in order
to give closer attention to his private affairs.  He takes a
keen interest in the needs and development of the
public-school system, and was for nine years a member of the
Chicago Board of Education, serving one term as its
Vice-President and was twice President of the Board.  He has
always been a patriotic citizen of the city, and has given
aid and encouragement to the extent of his ability to every
movement tending toward its proper development.
In religious matters he adheres to the Baptist Church, and
has always been a consistent and straightforward Democrat in
politics.  During the Civil War he was one of the Committee
of Five in the then Sixth Ward of Chicago to assist the
families of soldiers at the front, and otherwise look after
the prosecution of the struggle to preserve the Union.
Among other duties, they furnished substitutes for several
drafted men.  That committee consisted of John A. Tyrrell,
George Sherwood, U. R. Hawley, James B. Bradwell and E. F.

January 2, 1860, at Waukegan, Mr. Runyan was married to Miss
Flora, daughter of E. W. and T. T. Avery, of Waukegan, Lake
County, Illinois.  Mrs. Runyan was born at Brandon, Vermont,
and moved from there with her parents to Lake County,
Illinois, in 1843.  Mr. Runyan’s family includes six
children.  Emma F., the eldest, is now the wife of G. E. M.
Pratt.  Eben F. Runyan, junior, and Edward D. Runyan are
associated with their father in practice.  Grace F. is the
wife of S. S. Parks.  Julia M. is Mrs. Harrie E. Gordon; and
Estelle M. still resides with her parents.
The career of Mr. Runyan is commended to the poor youth of
the land as an example worthy of emulation and as affording
encouragement in the struggle for advancement.

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