HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
1911

Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 606

JAMES P. ROODHOUSE.

James P. Roodhouse, for thirteen years past cashier of the Bank of Medora, has given indisputable proof of acquaintance with financial matters and has reflected credit upon a position for which he is eminently adapted by birth and education. He was born in Carrollton, Illinois, March 4, 1869, a son of Benjamin and Abigail Eliza (Wales) Roodhouse, the former of whom was born in Yorkshire, England, February 8, 1825, and the latter at Vergennes, Vermont, October 4, 1829. The Roodhouse family is one of the old families of Yorkshire. The grandparents of our subject on the paternal side were Benjamin and Jane (Moses) Roodhouse. The grandmother was twice married, her first husband being William Wood, and after his death she married Benjamin Roodhouse, who died about one year after their emigration to the United States. The family settled upon government land at White Hall, Illinois, and Mrs. Roodhouse there spent the remainder of her life. She was the mother of five children, all of whom are deceased, their names being: Jane; John, of Roodhouse, Illinois, a town which was named in honor of an uncle of our subject; Benjamin; Peter, a resident of White Hall; and James, of Fort Scott, Kansas.

Benjamin Roodhouse, the father of our subject, was reared to the pursuit of farming and received his education in a log school house. In 1866 he located at Carrollton where he engaged in farming, also dealing in live stock. He became interested in the Carrollton bank and was its president from 1877 to 1883. On the 22d of February, 1849, he was married to Abigail Eliza Wales, and by this union the following children were born: Ella May, John Moses, Eliza Jane, Charles Benjamin; Mary Elizabeth, Ada, James Peter and Edward Isaac. Mrs. Abigail E. Roodhouse was a daughter of Charles Wales and a representative of the eighth generation from Elder William Brewster, who was one of the leaders in the Plymouth colony and came to America in the Mayflower. His descendants have been identified with the progress of the country for nearly three centuries. Charles Wales was married at Weybridge, Vermont, January 12, 1817, to Elethear Britell. He removed with his family to Ferrisburg, Vermont, in 1820, and came to Illinois in 1845, settling near Medora, in Shipman township, Macoupin county. he participated in the Plattsburg campaign in the war of 1812 and was a man of energy and determination of character, gaining recognition as a substantial farmer of this county. He died December 16, 1871. Of his family of six children five are deceased, namely: William Brewster, of Medora; George Roger; Charles Edward, who was president of the Bank of Medora for twenty years; Abigail Eliza; and Elizabeth, who married Marcus North, of White Hall. Harriet, the surviving member of the family, is the wife of William W. Hays, of Bunker Hill. Benjamin Roodhouse died in 1893 and his wife was called away in 1898. They were prominent members of the community with which they were identified for many years. Mr. Roodhouse took a great interest in the development of the agricultural resources of the state and served for four terms as president of the Greene County Agricultural Association.

Mr. Roodhouse of this sketch was educated in the public and high schools of Carrollton and later attended the Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana. He taught school for two years in Greene county and then entered the University of Illinois where he pursued the scientific course. After leaving the university he became connected with the People's Bank at White Hall, Illinois, and two years later accepted a position as bookkeeper in the Bank of Medora. He soon demonstrated his ability and was made assistant cashier, being advanced to the position of cashier in 1898, an office which he has ever since held. He has given his attention exclusively to banking and has gained an enviable reputation as a man of sound judgment and clear discrimination. He keeps in close touch with the financial movements of the country and is an active member of the American and Illinois State Bankers' Associations.

On October 12, 1895, Mr. Roodhouse was married to Miss Jessie E. Dain, a daughter of E. T. Dain of Brighton, Illinois. She died in 1896 and in 1908 Mr. Roodhouse was married to Miss Leita L. Loper, a daughter of Thaddeus L. Loper, of Chesterfield township. They have one child, Doris L., who was born December 23, 1909. George Loper, the grandfather of Mrs. Roodhouse, was born in New Jersey and came with his parents to Illinois when he was twelve years of age. The family settled on Challacombe Hill, in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county. After growing to maturity Mr. Loper was married to Sarah Norton and they located at Summerville, where he became the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Loper were fourteen children, five of whom died in infancy, the others being: John T., of Summerville, who is now deceased; Lucinda, who married William Brewer, of Fort Scott, Kansas, and is also deceased; Theodore, of Summerville, who is deceased; Melville L. and Emmons B., both of whom are living at Summerville; Thaddeus L.; Emeline, who married Allen Eastham, of Medora, and is now deceased; Alithea, the wife of John T. Eastham, of Summerville; and Sabian W., also a resident of Summerville. Thaddeus L. Loper married Mattie C. Hunter and to this union three children were born.

Fraternally Mr. Roodhouse is identified with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America, and politically he gives support to the republican party. He has served as school trustee but has never sought public office, preferring to make use of his energies in channels of business rather than in the turmoil of political strife. A man of sound principles, he has met all the responsibilities of life courageously and successfully and has attained a recognized position as one of the capable and progressive citizens of Macoupin county.


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