JOHN B. BRODMARKLE
John B. Brodmarkle, one of the active business men of Greenfield, whose life record forms an integral chapter in the commercial history of the city, has been a representative of hardward trade here since 1870. He is numbered among the early settlers of Illinois, his residence in the state dating from 1839, at which time he located in Greene county. He is a native of Maryland, his birth having occurred in Cumberland, on the 2d of April, 1836. His father, John Brodmarkle, was born near Cumberland, Maryland, and was a son of John Brodmarkle, Sr., a native of Germany, who, coming to America in colonial days, espoused the cause of liberty at the time the attempt was made to throw off the yoke of British opression. He became a drummer-boy in the service and he afterward lived to enjoy the independence of the nation for a number of years. He died in Maryland in the prime of life, while his wife, long surviving him, passed away at the advanced age of ninety-four years.
Their son, John Brodmarkle, Jr., learned the blacksmith?s trade in early life and in 1839 removed to the west, establishing his home in Greene county upon a farm. He purchased part of the land and entered some from the tovernment, thus becoming the owner of three hundred and twenty acres. He later located in Greenfield and here ingage din conducting a blacksmith shop. His last years, however, were passed in Missouri, spending six months at working at the blacksmith?s trade at St. Joseph, Missouri. He then returned to his home in Illinois and on [sic] again going to St. Joseph he met death by drowining at St. Louis, Missouri, December 23, 1850. His first wife passed away January 18, 1842. She bore the maiden name of Ellen Bell, was a native of Maryland and a daughter of Theophilus Bell, who lived to a ripe old age. After losing his first wife Mr. Brodmarkel married again.
John B. Brodmarkle was reared in Greene county, being but three years of age when brought to Illinois by his parents. He attended the common schools to a limited extent but is largely self-educated. He learned the trade of blacksmithing here and in his early manhood he clerked for three years for George Sheffield. This was prior to the time that he served his apprenticeship to the business of blacksmithing. He afterward conducted a shop of his own for several years and in connection with blacksmithing he also engaged in repairing and making wagons. As his fincial resources increased he extended the field of his activity. In 1870 he began handling farm implements and the following year he erected a business house which he stocked with hardware. He now carries a well selected line of shelf and heavey hardware, stoves, buggies, wagons, carriages, mowers, plows, planters and other farm implements. He has built up a desirable trade because he handles an excellent line of goods and is always reliable in his business transactions. Since he erected his first building he has purchased another good business house and has likewise improved the city by the erection of a substantial and neat reisdence. In trade circles he sustains an unassailable reputation and has long been accounted one of the leading merchants of his city.
On the 25th of March, 1858 Mr. Brodmarkle was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Lee, a native of Monroe county, Illinois, who was reared in Greene county and is a daughter of Archibald Lee. Her father was one of the early settlers of Illinois, to which state he came from Tennessee, although he was a native of Virginia. Three children have bene born unto Mr. and Mrs. Brodmarkle: J. Edwin, a merchang of Lebanon, Kansas, is married and has two children, J. Edwin and Clara May. Lizzie Lee is the wife of W.T. Parish, a partner in the store, and they have one child, William Love. Ellen Love Brodmarkel, the youngest child, is at home.
Politically Mr. Brodmarkle is a stanch republican, having given his support to the party since casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He was elected and served on the town board and has been a member of the school board for twenty-one consecutive years, acting as clerk for some time. He was president of the town board for two or three years and afterward served as alderman, discharging each official duty in a prompt and capable manner, so that his course has ever been above suspicion or reproach. He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and he has served on its official board and for some years was superindendent of the Sunday-school. He is amember of Greenfield lodge, No. 127, A.F.&A.M., and Greenfield Chapter, No. 186, R.A.M., and has served as both secretary and treasurer in the blue lodge. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has passed all of its charis and is a past noble grand. He became a member of his organization May 1, 1857, and for eight consecutive years he served as delegate to the grand lodge, being first sent to Cairo, while for seven consecutive years he attended its sessions in Springfield. He is in hearty sympathy with its principles, purposes and teachings and in his life exemplifies the brotherly spirit of the order. He is recognized as one of the active and substantial business men of the eastern party of the county and as a public-spirited citizen is worthy of the confidence and good will of all who know him. Almost his entire life has been passed in Greene county and therefor his history from boyhood down to the present is largely familiar to its citizens. His life has been as an open bood which all may read, and the sterling traits of his character have endeared him to a large circle of friends.
Transcribed by: Carole Ann Heller