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Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 675


One of the more recent acquisitions to the commercial enterprises of Girard is Dale Alvin Woolley, who is conducting a hardware and furniture store. Born in Macoupin county, in North Otter township, on the 14th of March, 1875, he is a son of Charles A. and Eunice (Langley) Woolley. The father, who was a son of David Woolley of Kentucky, was also a native of Illinois, where for many years he engaged in agricultural pursuits. He came to this county in the early 70s, locating on a farm which he cultivated until 1882, when he removed to Girard and engaged in the lumber business. He was identified with this line until 1884 when he sold his interest to the Philip Flood Lumber Company, withdrawing from business activities. From that time until his demise in 1910 he lived retired. The mother is the daughter of James Langley a representative of one of the old colonial families of Pennsylvania, some of whose ancestors participated in the Revolutionary war.

Dale Alvin Woolley was reared on the farm where he was born and in Girard, where his parents removed when he was a lad of seven years. He attended the public schools of the village until after the completion of his high school course, when he entered the Western Normal College at Bushnell, Illinois, from which institution he was awarded the degree of LL. B. with the class of 1896. While at Bushnell he was proprietor of the college book store by which means he managed to pay for his education. For two years thereafter he continued to conduct this enterprise, disposing of it in April, 1898, when he enlisted in Company D, Sixth Illinois Volunteers, at Abingdon, Illinois. He was sent to Porto Rico, where he remained for several months, being mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, in October of the same year. Returning to Bushnell he resumed the practice of law, being the successful candidate for city attorney in 1899. In 1901 he went to Lawton, Oklahoma, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land and engaged in the practice of law. Later he took a position in a hardware store, retaining this until he had proved up on his land. He went to St. Louis in 1903, obtaining a position with the Simmons Hardware Company, where he remained for two years, devoting his entire attention to acquiring a full knowledge of this business. At the expiration of two years, feeling he was fully competent to undertake the responsibility of a store of his own he established a store at Tupelo, Oklahoma. Returning to Girard in 1908 he engaged in the hardware business here, soon thereafter he had the misfortune to lose his stock by fire, but almost immediately resumed business. In 1908 he purchased the hardware and furniture stock of Bowersox & Finney, continuing the business under the name of D. A. Woolley.

Girard was the scene of the marriage of Mr. Woolley on the 16th of October, 1906, to Miss Elizabeth Pearl McElvain, a daughter of Jason N. and Nancy J. (Ballinger) McElvain, natives of Kentucky who for many years have been residents of Nilwood township. Mrs. Woolley is a granddaughter of Rev. John H. Ballinger and William McElvain, of Virginia. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Woolley, both of whom died in infancy.

They affiliate with the Presbyterian church, while fraternally Mr. Woolley is identified with the Knights of Pythias, being a member of Hiawatha Lodge, No. 131, K. of P., in which he has filled all of the chairs. He also belongs to Peach Tree Camp, No. 663, of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Girard Gun Club and the Illinois Hardware Dealers' Association. Mr. Woolley votes with the republican party, but since engaging in business has not prominently participated in political activities. He is one of the capable representatives of the commercial circles of Girard, whose methods of conducting his business are such as to win the patronage of the general population. During the three years he has been conducting his store he has met with good success, each year's receipts having shown a gratifying advance over those of the preceding year.

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