Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 300
EDGAR S. CHEANEY is accorded a position in the front rank of the leading and representative business men of Petersburg, his native city, where his birth occurred on the 13th of November, 1858. At the usual age he entered the public schools, where he pursued his studies until thirteen years of age, when he entered upon his business career as an employe in the lumberyard of Colonel C.D.Rourke, remaining there for three years. On the expiration of that period he embarked in the grocery business on his own account and for five years conducted his store, meeting with signal success in the undertaking. He then sold his store and again became connected with the lumber trade, going upon the road as a traveling salesman. He continued in the business in that capacity for twenty-two years and gained a wide and favorable acquaintance with lumber dealers in the territory through which he traveled. He confined his business mostly to central Illinois and was a most successful salesman, annually securing a large amount of business.
About 1887 Mr. Cheaney joined his father, J. W. Cheaney, in the establishment of a lumber business at Petersburg under the firm name of E.S. Cheaney & Company, his father taking charge of the local yard, while our subject continued upon the road. He soon secured a large and reliable class of patrons, making the business profitable and extensive. The father died February 21, 1902, at which time E. S. Cheaney purchased his interest in the business and has since been sole proprietor. He left the road January 1, 1904, and has since given his attention to the management of the business from the headquarters in Petersburg. The yard is one hundred and twenty-five by one hundred and fifty-two feet and the business is constantly increasing. At Athens Mr. Cheaney bought out the lumberyard of T. A. Swearingen & Company, in February, 1904, and is conducting that in connection with the Petersburg business. He has comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the lumber trade, is familiar with the various kinds of wood and their value as a building material as well as a marketable commodity, and he is now classed with the most successful business men of Menard county.
In July, 1888, Mr. Cheaney was united in marriage to Miss Mary S. Miller of Pekin, Illinois, a daughter of P.J. Miller, now of Athens. This marriage has been blessed with five children: Edgar, now deceased; Caroline, Herbert H., James W. and Francis.
Mr. Cheaney belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias fraternity and the Hoo Hoo, a national organization of lumbermen. He has a wide acquaintance in central Illinois and wherever he has gone he has made friends by reason of his unfailing courtesy, his deference for the opinions of others, his social nature and his genial disposition. Throughout the greater part of his life he has been connected with the lumber trade and his recognition of a commercial possibility leading to success has been supplemented by straightforward dealing that has grained him the confidence and the patronage of many with whom he has come in contact.