HERBERT ALVA LANCASTER. In the list of farmers who are making a success of their business in Macoupin county should be named Herbert Alva Lancaster, of South Otter township, who is now in the prime of life and has given convincing evidence of his ability in the calling with which he has been closely identified since early manhood. He was born in Girard township, May 1, 1871, a son of William and Mary (Hovey) Lancaster, the former of whom was born in England in 1836, and the latter in Massachusetts. The grandparents of our subject were Frank Lancaster, of England, and Gilbert Hovey of Massachusetts. William Lancaster came with his parents to America in 1844, when he was eight years of age. The family located at Bunker Hill, Illinois, and as he grew to maturity the son assisted in a brickyard of which his father was the owner. He was married in 1855 to Miss Mary Hovey and two years later came with his wife to Girard and started the first brickyard at that place. He continued in the manufacture of brick until his death, which occurred in 1898, his wife surviving until 1907. He was actively interested in politics and gave his support to the democratic party, serving as road commissioner and as school director. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster were six children: Nellie, who married O. H. Parks, of California, and has three children; Walter, of Nebraska, who married Alice Barnes and is the father of two children; Ray, also of Nebraska, who married Nettie Cripe and has a family of four children; George, of Girard, who married Ada Morse and has one child; Charles, who married Edith Morse and resides at Girard; and Herbert Alva, of this review.
In the public schools of Girard Herbert A. Lancaster possessed good advantages of education, also making himself useful in his father's brickyard during his boyhood days. In 1889, when he was eighteen years of age, he began farming on three hundred and twenty acres in South Otter township and has ever since continued upon this place. He engages in general farming, but makes a specialty of feeding and buying stock. As he is a good judge of animals and keeps well informed as to market conditions he has met with marked success and the years have witnessed a gratifying increase in his income. He is also a stockholder in the Nilwood State Bank.
On January 2, 1889, Mr. Lancaster was married at St. Louis to Miss Bessie Dix, a native of South Otter township and a daughter of Charles and Helen (Davidson) Dix, the former of whom was born in Connecticut and the latter in Illinois. The grandfathers of Mrs. Lancaster were Thomas Dix, of Connecticut, and Alexander Davidson, of Alabama. To Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster six children have been born: Nellie E., who married C. H. McMahan, of Nilwood township; and Mary E., Myrtle A., Alva L., Paul Roscoe and Helen Mildred, all of whom are at home.
Mr. Lancaster is a firm believer in the Bible and is affiliated with the Baptist church. He also holds membership in Peach Tree Lodge, No. 633, M.W.A., of Girard. His study and observation of political parties led him years ago to indorse the principles of the democratic platform and he is an earnest supporter of its candidates. He has served to the general satisfaction of the people as assessor of South Otter township and also as a member of the school board. Thoroughly competent and reliable, he is greatly respected by his neighbors and friends as a steadily growing factor in this section.