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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 723

DREW, GEORGE manufacturer and dealer in harness of Bunker Hill, has carried on business in that line longer than any other in the county. He is a native of England, his birth having occurred in Stallbridge, Blackmore Valley, Dorsetshire, March 2, 1828, His parents, John and Hannah (Jeans) Drew, were also born in Dorsetshire. His father was a harness maker by trade and followed that business throughout his entire life in pursuit of fortune. He married Miss Jeans, whose father was a blacksmith of Dorsetshire. The parents of our subject spent their entire lives in the county of their nativity, the father dying at the age of seventy-five years, and the members of the established Church of England. In their family were twelve children of whom George is the fourth in order of birth. He has one brother and a sister, who came to this country. The former, Martin Drew, came to America and after living for two years in Bunker Hill, went to Minnesota, where he spent the remainder of his days. The sister, Martha, wife of Thomas Sawyer, lived for a time in Bunker Hill, and then with her husband went to Kansas City where both died.

Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the parental home and with his father learned the trade of a harness maker. After working for a few years as a journeyman he decided to try his fortune in America, and in January, 1851, having bade goodby to home and native land, embarked on the sailing vessel, "Cato" bound for New Orleans, but during the voyage the ship was stranded on the Island of Little Bermuda in the Atlantic. The passengers were carried by another vessel to Nassau and afterward to New Orleans, from whence Mr. Drew made his way up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and on across the country to Bunker Hill, where his brother Martin had located the year before. He at once established business in the line of his trade and for forty consecutive years has now carried on harness making in Bunker Hill. His trade increasing he has at times furnished employment to several persons. He has always received a good share of the business of Bunker Hill and the surrounding country and is well known throughout this section of the State as a straightforward, honest business man, well deserving of the liberal patronage which is accorded him.

In the city where he makes his home, Mr. Drew was joined in wedlock with Mrs. Mary James, widow of Joseph James. She was born in Hamilton in the Province of Ontario, Canada, in 1823, and is of English and Scotch descent. Her parents were also natives of the Province of Ontario, where they spent their entire lives. The daughter was a young maiden when she came to Bunker Hill and some years later she married Mr. James by whom she had two children - Robert, who is a harness maker of Athens, Ill.; and Martha, a music teacher of recognized ability in St. Louis. By the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Drew have been born six children - Frank, now a student in college at Bloomington, Ill.; Fannie at home, Edward who is now located in Sacramento, Cal.; Addie, wife of Eugene Barnes, a resident farmer of Bunker Hill Township; Mary, wife of John Ayers, a hardware dealer of Ft. Smith, Ark.; and Charles who is employed as a salesman in the mercantile establishment of Charles Johnston in Decatur. The Drew household is noted for its hospitality and the members of the family rank high in the social world. Mr. Drew is a sound Republican in political sentiment and his wife is a member of the Baptist Church.

1891 Index
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