JOHN P. BLANE is accounted one of the leading citizens of Greenview, actively connected with its business and public affairs. He is now president of the school board and in the line of commercial activity is president of the Greenview Coal & Mining Company. He also has farming interests in Menard county and in the control of his business displays keen discernment, sagacity and unfaltering enterprise-qualities which always insure a fair measure of success.
Mr. Blane was born July 25, 1845, upon the farm where he now resides, his parents being George and Mary (Alkire) Blane. The family is of Irish lineage and the father, who was born in County Down, Ireland, came to America in 1818, locating at what is now known as Irish Grove. He and other men of his nationality on settling in Menard county worked in the woods and thus the grove obtained its name. From the government George Blane entered the land which now constitutes the farm upon which his son John P. Blane resides. He prospered in his agricultural pursuits and the boundaries of his home place were extended until they surrounded six hundred and forty acres of rich land. At one time he owned altogether twelve hundred acres and was justly accounted one of the representative and successful agriculturists of his community. He carried forward his farm work along progressive lines and transformed the wild prairie into productive tracts which annually returned to him golden harvests. He also found opportunity to aid in the promotion of public interests and he served as justice of the peace for many years, his decisions being characterized by the utmost fairness and impartiality. He died upon the old homestead farm January 10, 1864, at the age of sixty-five years and his loss was regretted deeply throughout the entire community, because of the important and helpful part which he had played in business and public life. His wife survived him for about ten years and died April 15, 1874, at the age of seventy-five years. In their family were ten children: Edward, who died at the age of twenty years; Arminda and Maria, both deceased; G.W., a resident farmer of Arkansas; A.P., who is now justice of the peace in Greenview; Samuel H., who was one of the leading attorneys of Menard county, but is now deceased; John P., of this review; Mary E., and Melissa H., twins, the former now in Blunt, South Dakota, and the other in Menard county; and W.F., of Iowa.
John P. Blane acquired his education in the public schools and in Eureka College and was thus well qualified for life's practical duties. On putting aside his text-books he took charge of the home farm for his father had passed away and his brother was with the Union army. In September, 1867, he built his present home and took up his abode there. He has been a feeder of cattle in connection with the raising of grain and is a member of the Farmers Elevator Company. When the Greenview Coal & Mining Company was organized he was made its president and in control of its business interests he has shown marked capability and discernment. He possesses strong purpose and gradually he has advanced in his business career until he now occupies and enviable position as a representative of agricultural and industrial interests in Menard county.
On the 7th of February, 1867, Mr. Blane was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Bracken, a daughter of O.P. and Nancy (Meadows) Bracken, early settlers of this county. Her father is now deceased, but her mother makes her home with Mrs. Blane. Unto our subject and his wife have been born six children: Emma, who died in infancy; Ella, the wife of Dr. L.J. Goodson, of Springfield, Illinois; Carrie, the wife of A.J. Propst, of Greenview; L.E., who is a practicing physician of Greenview and is represented elsewhere in this volume; Inez Mabel, who died when about eighteen years of age; and Edna, at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Blane are consistent members of the Christian church of Greenview and are worthy people who receive the friendship of many, while the hospitality of a large majority of the best homes in the locality is extended to them. Mr. Blane has served on the school board for twenty years and is now its president, the cause of education finding in him a warm and helpful friend, and he has put forth effective service in behalf of the public school system of the city. He belongs to Loyalty lodge, No. 627, A.F. & A.M., and to the Anti-Horse Thief Association, called the Greenview Rangers Association, of which he is the vice president. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party and he stands to-day as one of the representative citizens of Greenview, a man strong in his business capacity, in his successful accomplishment, in his honor and his good name.