GEORGE F. FANNING. Among the business men of Macoupin county who have won high standing by years of perseverance and intelligent application George F. Fanning occupies an honored place. During a large part of his life he successfully engaged in farming and he has also evinced marked ability as a merchant and financier, and is recognized as the possessor of keen discrimination and clear judgment, so essential in making headway against obstacles. He was born in Morgan county, Illinois, March 1, 1857, a son of William R. and Nancy (Moore) Fanning, both of whom were natives of Morgan County. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Joseph Fanning, a native of Illinois and a pioneer of Morgan county. He assisted in raising the first log cabin on the present site of Jacksonville. His wife was Susan Nichols. He was one of the useful members of the community and lived to be eighty-six years of age, his wife passing away at the age of eighty-five. They had seven children, William R., Lydia, Jane, Mary, George, Agrippa and Frank. The maternal grandparents of our subject both died from cholera in Arkansas about 1848. They had four children, one of whom died in infancy, the others being Ann, Josephus and Nancy.
The father of our subject was reared on a farm in Morgan county and lived in Scottville township, Macoupin county, about fifteen years. He then moved to Melvern, Kansas, and engaged in farming there until his death, which occurred in 1899, when he was sixty-eight years of age. His wife died in 1903, being then about sixty-five years old. They were both members of the Baptist church. Mr. Fanning was an industrious and public-spirited man and held various township offices while living in Illinois. He and his wife were the parents of fourteen children, twelve of whom grew to maturity: George F., of this review; Huldah Jane, who married James J. Hubbel and died in March, 1911; Robert M., of Delaware, Oklahoma; Anna, who is the wife of John H. Dugger, of Melvern, Kansas; John M., who lives in New Mexico; Hester, who married Thomas Langston, of Mattoon, Illinois; Daniel, of Oklahoma; Helen, of Kansas; Emma, who married Edward Smith, of Melvern, Kansas, and is now deceased; Edward, who is a division superintendent of the Santa Fe Railway in New Mexico; Jesse, of Melvern, Kansas; and Amelia, who became the wife of George Bogue, of Wellington, Kansas.
George F. Fanning was reared on his father's farm in Morgan and Macoupin counties. He received his preliminary education in the district schools and later attended Blackburn University. After leaving the university he began teaching school, a vocation in which he engaged for seven years. He then turned his attention to farming and engaged in agriculture and stock-raising until he was thirty-five years of age. In 1892 he came to Carlinville and for eight years was connected with the Cooperative store. He then associated with L. E. Ross, his brother-in-law, in the clothing business under the title of Fanning & Ross, and has continued without interruption in that line. They carry a large and well selected stock, which is constantly replenished according to the demands of the season. By reliable methods and close attention to the wants of customers the firm has become one of the prosperous concerns of the city. Mr. Fanning assisted in organizing the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Carlinville in 1904 and is assistant cashier and a member of the board of directors. He is also one of the four general managers of the bank, which is a steadily growing institution. His wife owns a farm of one hundred acres in South Palmyra township.
On the 25th of August, 1881, Mr. Fanning was married to Miss Amelia F. Ross, a daughter of Erastus H. and Elizabeth L. (Pocklington) Ross. To this union three children have been born, one of whom died in infancy, the others being: Earl P., who married Miss Flora C. Steinmeyer and has one child, Dorothy Elizabeth; and Lolah F., who is at home. Mrs. Fanning is a native of Macoupin county. Her parents were born in England and were early settlers of this county, locating in South Palmyra township, where they spent the remainder of their lives. In their family were five children, Mary Jane, Martha, Amelia, Thomas P. and Leonard. The grandfather of Mrs. Fanning on the paternal side was Thomas Ross and there were six children in his family, Erastus H., Jane, William, Joseph, Sarah and Mary.
Mr. and Mrs. Fanning are both earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He belongs to Orient Lodge, o. 95, K.P., his son Earl P. now serving as chancellor commander of this organization. Politically Mr. Fanning gives his support to the democratic party. He served three terms as supervisor for South Palmyra township and one term as member of the school board in Carlinville. He has the much desired faculty of making and retaining friends and never hesitates to lend his assistance to any cause that gives evidence of promoting the welfare of the community. The enviable reputation which he has gained throughout Macoupin county is convincing evidence of his business integrity and personal worth.