JOHN E. CAMP, editor and proprietor of the Star-times of Staunton and also highly successful as a business man, was born in Fayette county, Illinois, November 4, 1869. He is a son of W.E. and Mary E. (Shaffer) Camp, the former of whom was born in Staunton and the latter in Madison county, Illinois. The parents were married at Worden, Illinois, by Hampton Wall who was at the time serving as justice of the peace. The young couple spent several years at East St. Louis and then took up their residence at Duquoin, Illinois, where Mr. Camp engaged in farming. The grandfather of our subject on the maternal side came to Illinois from Pennsylvania and for a number of years was in charge of an old tavern at Center Grove, Madison county, becoming well known as one of the successful innkeepers of that section. The mother of our subject was a daughter of George and Mary (Jones) Shaffer and was a woman of many admirable characteristics. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Camp were four children: Hampton, deceased; John E, of this sketch; Isabelle, who is also deceased; and Daisy, the wife of W. P. Wall, a prominent banker of Staunton. The father died in 1875 and Mrs. Camp was married later to Andrew Lovejoy, a farmer of Olive township, Madison county. Subsequently they moved to Staunton and Mrs. Lovejoy died in this city in 1899.
At six years of age John E. Camp was deprived of his father but grew to manhood under the kindly influence of a devoted mother. He attended the public schools of Staunton and the Hazel Dell school of Olive township, Madison county, thus securing the foundation of an education to which he has largely added by reading and by contact with men and affairs. At the age of nineteen he was married and for ten years thereafter applied himself as an agriculturist and stock raiser at New Douglas. He then reopened a coal mine at New Douglas, which he sold to a company and continued for two years as superintendent of the mine. In 1904 he entered the newspaper business with which he has ever since been prominently identified. He owned and edited the New Douglas World and the Worden Universe, and five years ago started The Star of Staunton. In 1910 he became the owner of the Staunton Times and combined the two papers under the title of The Star Times. The paper is one of the leading publications of this section and its appearance and contents reflect great credit upon its proprietor. In connection with his newspaper business Mr. Camp maintains an up-to-date jobbing office; which yields a handsome income upon the investment. He is a successful business man and owns an attractive home in which he lives at Staunton and also one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land near New Douglas.
In 1888 Mr. Camp was united in marriage to Miss Pearl Olive, a native of Olive township, Madison county, and they have had five children: Grace, who assists her father in the newspaper office; Verna, who is engaged in teaching school; Edward, who is also identified with his father in the newspaper office; Harold, who is at home; and Walton, who died in infancy.
In politics Mr. Camp is a strong supporter of the democratic party and is an active worker on its behalf. He served as county supervisor of Madison county, filling the office of chairman of the board for several years, and also for four years discharged the duties of justice of the peace at New Douglas. His wife is a member of the Baptist church of New Douglas. Mrs. Camp and her two daughters are identified with the Order of the Eastern Star while the son Edward is a member of the lodge of Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Camp is prominent in fraternal circles and holds membership in the Masonic Order, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of the Maccabees and the Order of the Eastern Star. He is active and efficient in all his undertakings and his efforts have met with financial reward. He is a man of kindly disposition and loyalty to his friends is one of his distinguishing characteristics. It may truly be said of him that his influence is a potent element in the work of progress which is noticeable on every hand in Macoupin county.