CAPT. GEORGE J. CASTLE, one of the foremost men of Macoupin County, the present postmaster of Carlinville, was born in Watertown, Litchfield County, Connecticut, March 22, 1839, and is a son of John and Clarinda (Welton) Castle, both of whom were natives of Connecticut.
Capt. Isaac Castle, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Connecticut of Scotch parentage, and was a soldier of the War of 1812. John Castle, our subject's father, died in 1847. George J. Castle was the only child born to his parents. His mother formed a second union with Samuel Holt and is now living at the advanced age of 85 years, her home being in New Haven, Connecticut.
George J. Castle was reared in Litchfield County and attended the public schools there until he reached the age of 13 years when he came west to Illinois to live with an uncle, Samuel Welton. He continued here until 1859, during most of which time he attended public school, then returned to his Eastern home, where he attended Watertown Academy during the winter months for two years.
On August 22, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company D, Connecticut Squadron. The regiment to which he belonged, known as the 2d Reg., New York Vol. Cav., or Harris Light Cavalry, and commanded by that dashing cavalry officer Kilpatrick, was composed of companies from Connecticut, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The Harris Light Cavalry was known for its dash and won for its colonel, Kilpatrick, a general's star. It was in every raid of importance in the Army of the Potomac and stands third in the list of killed and wounded. In the fall of 1863, when he had attained the rank of orderly sergeant, he was transferred to Company A, 13th Reg., New York Vol. Cav., and promoted to 1st lieutenant, and was active in organizing and drilling it for active service. In February, 1864, he was promoted to be captain of Company H. The 13th Regiment was engaged with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley; during that fighting Company H and three other companies under Captain Castle captured Mosby's artillery on Little Cobbler Mountain; and with the same companies he escorted General Sheridan through the mountains to Piedmont three days before the latter's great ride. In February, 1865, he resigned on a surgeon's certificate of disability. He then returned east and remained home one month, after which he came west to Carlinville, Illinois. He engaged as a clerk in the employ of J. D. Weaver, a grocer, and continued with him for one year, when he engaged in farming on account of poor health. He followed that line of work until 1873 in Carlinville and Brushy Mound townships, then returned to the city of Carlinville where he engaged in the livery business and breeding of standard bred trotters until 1890. In the latter year he was appointed postmaster of Carlinville by President Harrison, and served as such until the beginning of President Cleveland's administration. He was reappointed by President McKinley on May 28, 1898, and has served in that office continuously since that time. He is a stanch Republican and an earnest advocate of the principles of his party. He served a term as mayor of the city and was also a member of the Board of Aldermen. In 1884, he was elected a member of the 34th General Assembly of Illinois, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Logan during that spirited contest. Since 1873 he has been very active as a member of the Macoupin County Fair Association, of which he was president for a time and is now secretary. He has for several years been a member of the Macoupin County Republican Central Committee, and president of the Republican Club of Carlinville.
In September, 1868, Mr. Castle was united in marriage with Emma B. Fishback, daughter, daughter of William H. Fishback, a prominent farmer and former sheriff of this county. They are the parents of four children, as follows: William H.; Louise R.; George J.; and Claribel, who died in November 1888, aged seven years. Religiously, our subject is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he was vestryman for some years. He is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Fraternally Mr. Castle is a member of Mount Nebo Lodge, No. 76, A. F. & A. M.; Orient Lodge, No. 85, K. Of P., of Carlinville; and is venerable consul of Camp No. 125, Modern Woodmen of America. He has always taken an active interest in the welfare of the city of Carlinville, and is one of the city's best known business men. His portrait accompanies this sketch.