CAPTAIN S. H. BLANE was a native of Menard county, born January 17, 1840. His parents were George and Mary (Alkire) Blane, who resided upon a farm near Greenview. George Blane, with his three brothers, came from Ireland and located at what is known as Irish Grove about the year 1830. On the old family homestead in the vicinity of Greenview Samuel H. Blane was reared to manhood and the district schools provided him his early educationional privileges, which were supplemented by study in the North Sangamon Academy. He was but twenty-one years of age when the country became involved in civil war. In the meantime he had taken up the study of law, but on August 15, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company A, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry; on June 26, 1863, he was promoted to second lieutenant of Company K; on March 30, 1864, he was again promoted to first lieutenant; on May 19, 1865, he was promoted to captain of said company, and he was mustered out July 12, 1865.
When his military service was ended Captain Blane resumed his interrupted study of law, which he pursued as opportunity afforded until he was admitted to the bar, on January 9, 1874. Almost immediately he secured a good clientage, which constantly grew in extent, connecting him with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district. His mind was analytical and logical and he presented his case in the clear light of cogent reasoning. The Petersburg Observer said of him: "That he never persuaded a man into litigation when he did not see the justice of his claims to such an extent that he should win. He seemed to care less for fees than individual or neighborhood harmony. In his decisions he was not only deliberate, but carefully weighed justice. He had no use for misrepresentation and deception for the purpose of gaining a point. What he sought was the truth and on this he built the foundations for the many important trials in which he was engaged. He was always fair to the opposing side in litigation and thus made friends of the men against who he obtained verdicts." Captain Blane remained an active member of the bar up to the time of his demise and for some years was associated in practice with his son Frank E. Blane, and the firm maintained a foremost place in the ranks of the legal fraternity, their clientage being of a distinctively representative character. In 1884 Captain Blane was elected state's attorney of Menard county, having the distinction of being the only memeber of his political party to hold the office in this county.
On the 4th of January, 1866, occurred the marriage of Captain Blane and Miss Mary J. Spear, and as the years passed five children were added to the household, namely: Frank E., Mrs. Nora A. Brahm, Mrs. Iona L. Shepherd and Mrs. Myrtle Whipp, all of who are now living; and Eva Maria, who died in 1872, at the age of two and a half years.
Captain Blane was prominent in Masonry, being a valued representative of Clinton lodge, No. 19, A. F. & A. M. He also belonged to Estill Post, G. A. R., of Petersburg, and in the line of his profession was connected with the Bar Association of Menard county. When twenty years of age he became a memeber of the Christian church and continued his active and helpful identification therewith up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 17th of June, 1904. Resolutions of respect were passed by Clinton lodge, by the bar and county officials of Menard county and by the church with which he was so long connected. His funeral services were held at his late home on the Sunday succeeding his demise. His entire life was permeated by his religious faith and his pastor at the funeral services said: "His religious convictions were deep, unfaltering and abiding; no one ever questioned the sincerity or reality of his Christian character. He belived and he lived by his belief; and yet his tolerance toward all opinions and shades of honest belief transcended all bounds of creed and won for him the confidence and love of people of widely divergent standards of thought. His humility was profound, and yet it was of that noble type that served to exalt him in the eyes of all who ever knew him. Self-assertion had no part in his mental make-up; but a serene self-knowledge, dignity and calmness of purpose, as native to him as the air he breathed, secured for him the respect of all with whom he had dealings, and gave him an influence far beyond the confines of his immediate sphere of life. Of his loyalty as a friend, his public-spiritedness as a citizen, his nobility, devotion and unselfishness as a husband and father, as his grandeur as a man, it would take a volume to speak. Well might it be said that we have had few such men as he, and his life and memory will be a lasting benediction upon all who knew him."