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Richmond & Arnold
Chicago, Illinois

Page 195


LEWIS C. DECK, one of the prominent citizens and successful business men of Girard, mayor of the city in 1889 and 1890, and identified with its affairs in many directions, belongs to one of the old pioneer families of Illinois. He was born August 6, 1848, in Palmyra township, Macoupin county, and is a son of Jacob and Nancy (Steele) Deck, and a grandson of Isaac Deck.

The grandfather of our subject was born in Virginia, moved to Tennessee and later, with the early pioneers, came to Illinois, locating for some years near Upper Alton. He came to Macoupin County with the early settlers, purchasing a partly improved farm in the vicinity of Bunker Hill, where he died in 1872.

Jacob Deck, father of Lewis C. Deck, was born in Madison County, Illinois, August 25, 1825, and lived there until after the death of his first wife, when he removed to Macoupin County, located first in Palmyra township and then removed to North Otter township, where he acquired a farm of 160 acres, in the improvement of which he passed the remainder of his life. His death took place March 3, 1882. He married Nancy Steele as his second wife. She was born in South Carolina, a daughter of Moses and Nancy (Watts) Steele, and died June 13, 1899. The six children of the family are: Lewis C., William B., Mary E., Melissa A., John A., and George M.

Lewis C. Deck obtained his education in the schools of North Otter township and Girard, and at the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, and subsequently at Kentucky University, at Lexington, Kentucky. During the years that he spent in thus cultivating his mind and training his faculties, at intervals he engaged in teaching and became well known through the county as one of the best qualified educators. In 1884 he gave up the profession in which he had met with such success, in order to enter upon a mercantile life, forming at this time a partnership with B. F. Clark. The firm of Clark & Deck became a leading one in Girard, their well appointed store being devoted to the handling of drugs, groceries, books and stationery. The business methods of the firm secured and kept patronage, and the house continues to stand for excellence of goods, honest prices and courteous treatment. Since January 5, 1895, Mr. Deck has been in the drug business alone. He carries a fine stock, worth at a conservative estimate about $5,000.

On December 27, 1883, Mr. Deck was married to Mary Josephine Long, who was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, and is a daughter of Joseph and Mary J. Long. Two sons have been born to this marriage: Harry L. and Lewis W. The family home is one of those handsome ones for which Girard is noted, and it is often the scene of social functions.

Politically Mr. Deck is a Democrat and upon many occasions he has been elected by his party to offices of responsibility. In 1888 he was elected clerk of the city, and in 1889 he was elected mayor, a position he filled with dignity and efficiency during that and the following year. Many reforms were inaugurated under his administration and many civic improvements were carried out. Although he is a keen business man, his cultivated intellect and cultured tastes lead him to encourage all that goes to make up the higher life of the city, and he is ever a friend of advanced education, art and music, believing these things should go hand in hand with practical advancement, such as he wishes his city to make. He is one of the directors of the Girard Building and Loan Association. In religious belief, he is a member of the Christian Church. Fraternally he is a member of the Mutual Protective League.

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