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Back in the early history of Virginia the name Fitzgerrell was a well 
known one, and like many other illustrious families the sons gradually 
moved westward and became in their turn factors in the development of 
other sections of the country. One branch of the family of this name 
is now a prominent citizen of Benton, Illinois, 

Mr. Evan Fitzgerrell, who was born in Jefferson county, this state, on 
November 10, 1844. His grandfather, James Fiitzgerrell, was a native 
Virginian who, when a young man, removed to Kentucky, where he met and 
married his wife, and from there he went to Indiana, settled on a farm 
in that state and continued to reside thereon until the time of his death. 
Evan Fitzgerrell's parents, James J. and Patsy Ann (Martin) Fitzgerrell, 
both were born in Indiana, the father in 1812 and the mother in 1816. 
After their marriage the young couple moved west to Illinois, about the 
year 1840, settling in Jefferson county and they remained there throughout 
their lives. The mother died in 1861, the father surviving her many years, 
his death having occurred in 1889. The elder Fitzgerrell was one of the 
most successful farmers and stockraisers in Jefferson county. With quick 
perception he foresaw the great future in store for that part of the 
country and with great sagacity purchased a large amount of cheap land, 
which in later years became very valuable. He added to his acreage from 
time to time and finally accumulated holdings amounting to five thousand 
acres. During a part of his early life he engaged in the operation of a 
flat boat on the Ohio river, running to New Orleans, and was well 
acquainted with much of that country along the Mississippi river. He 
was a strong believer in Democratic principles throughout his life, and 
never voted any other political ticket. His interest in moral and 
religious affairs was also pronounced and he held membership in the 
Missionary Baptist church. He belonged to the Masonic order and was 
always greatly interested in its affairs. Evan Fitzgerrell was the 
fortunate recipient of a better education than was received by most 
young men of his time. He first attended the common schools of Jefferson 
county, then went to high school at Owensville, Indiana, and completed 
his studies in a two-year course at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois. 

The business world first knew Mr. Fitzgerrell as a dry goods merchant at 
Benton, at which point he soon built up a flourishing trade. He was also 
for nineteen years engaged in the milling business, in which line of 
endeavor he was likewise very successful. In 1885, however, he traded 
his mill for a Texas ranch, upon which he lived for four years. Not being 
satisfied to remain there indefinitely, in 1889 he again became a citizen 
and business man of Benton, engaging in the dry goods business for a 
second time, in this instance becoming a partner of his son-in-law, F. H. 
Stamper. They disposed of the store in 1910 and since that date Mr. 
Fitzgerrell has devoted his time and attention to conducting his four 
hundred and fifty acre farm, his activities including the buying and 
selling of cattle and stock. He is one of the large property owners 
of Benton and is counted as one of the community's most substantial and 
prosperous men. The Fitzgerrell home is one of the largest and most 
beautiful here and is most graciously presided over by the wife and mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerrell were married in 1868. She was before her marriage 
Elizabeth Blake, a daughter of Aaron Blake. They are the parents of three 
living children, Anna being the wife of F. H. Stamper, a retired business 
man of Benton, while Nellie May and Inez are still members of their parental 
home. The family belong to the Christian church, in which they are willing 
and effective workers. Mr. Fitzgerrell is a member of the Masonic order 
and is a Chapter Mason. In politics he has always taken a great interest 
and works enthusiastically for the success of the Democratic party. In 
1874 he was elected and served one year as county clerk, but in later years 
has avoided official life, preferring to exert his influence in private 
capacity. A man of comprehensive talents, unimpeachable integrity and the 
possessor of many admirable personal qualities, he is held in the highest 
esteem by the entire community.

Source: History of Southern Illinois George Washington Smith, 
Page 1024 - 1025 

Submitted by Robert W. Loman 

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