JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

EVAN FITZGERRELL



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, 
M. A. VOLUME I - III ILLUSTRATED 
THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 1912
Page 1024 - 1025 

Submitted by Robert W. Loman 

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