Few men are more prominent or more widely known in the enterprising city of Petersburg than DAVID S. FRACKELTON He has been an important factor in business circles and his popularity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags. He is public-spirited and thoroughly interested in whatever tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of Menard county. He has for almost forty years stood at the head of a leading banking institution of the county and his career is notable from the fact that without any special advantages to aid him in early manhood he has steadily progressed, winning his way to the foremost position among the successful business men of his county and at the same time gaining an untarnished name.
Mr. Frackelton was born in Dromore County Down, Ireland, on the 14th of February, 1827. His father, William Frackelton, was a native of the same locality and there wedded Elizabeth Waddell. He died when his son David was but six years of age. The lad remained a resident of his native land until 1843, when with a brother he came to the new world, crossing the Atlantic on a sailing vessel, which was thirty-five days in making the New York harbor after leaving the European port. Four years later his mother came to America. Mr. Frackelton, of this review, went to Ireland for her, but the letter stating that he would be there was lost in the mail and ere he reached his destination she started for New York and when he arrived he was greeted with the news that his mother had already sailed to America. He hurried back and found her with friends in New York and afterward brought her and his sister to Menard county. Mrs.l Frackelton was a member of the Presbyterian church, strict in her religious faith and living a life of absolute conformity with her belief. Her father had been a minister of the Presbyterian church in Dromore, Ireland, for more than thirty years. Mrs. Frackelton continued a resident of Menard county until her death, which occurred in 1872, when she was eighty-four years of age.
Landing in America Mr. Frackelton and his brother remained in New York only a few days and then made their way to Illinois, and going out about eight miles from Springfield they established a subscription school in which Mr. Frackelton taught for six months, while his brother continued teaching for nine months. At the end of the half year the subject of this review was offered a situation by W. M. Cowgill and came to Petersburg in 1844 to become a clerk in a general store, receiving fifty dollars per year in addition to his board and washing. He occupied that position for two years and his salary was increased to one hundred and fifty dollars per year. His business aptitude and capability being fully demonstrated in that time, he was then admitted to a partnership under the firm style of William M. Cowgill & Company and this relation was maintained for eleven years. His brother Robert also became a partner at the same time and when they severed their business relations with Mr. Cowgill they continued merchandising together under the style of R. & D. Frackelton, continuing to conduct their enterprise until 1874. In connection with that business they began banking in 1865. Robert Frackelton died in 1874 very suddenly and David S. Frackelton was then alone in business for about two years. On the expiration of that period he admitted his son Charles to a partnership and the firm name was changed to D. S. Frackelton & Company, the mercantile enterprise being conducted with success until 1899, when they disposed of the store in order to give their entire attention to the banking business. In 1898 his son David became a partner in the bank. The Frackelton Bank was organized in 1865 and has had a continuous and prosperous existence for forty years. The present bank building was erected in 1889 and is a model structure, splendidly equipped. A general banking business is carried on and from the beginning the firm has enjoyed a prosperous career as representatives of the financial interests of Petersburg, conducting their business along safe, conservative and yet progressive lines. Mr. Frackelton owns both city and country property, including a valuable farm of three hundred and twenty acres.
On the 15th of March, 1856, occurred the marriage of Mr. Frackelton and Miss Louise Chandler, a daughter of Dr. Charles Chandler, a native of Connecticut. Her parents were married in the east and in 1830 located at what is now Chandlerville, Illinois, the town being named in honor of her father. Both are now deceased and Mrs. Frackelton has also passed away, her death occurring in December, 1885. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Frackelton were born three sons and three daughters and five of the number are now living. Charles, who married Iona O. Antle, a daughter of Dr. Antle, of Petersburg, is a representative citizen of the county engaged with his father and brother in the banking business and also secretary of the Rosehill cemetery. He is one of the elders of the Presbyterian church, is a Republican in politics and has served as city treasurer and for several terms was a member of the school board. He wields a wide influence in public affairs, his course being characterized by unfaltering loyalty to the general good and his efforts in behalf of his city have been far-reaching and beneficial. Robert Frackelton, the second son, is engaged in the manufacture of printing presses in connection with his uncle as a stockholder in the Chandler & Price Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. He is secretary and treasurer of the company, which is conducting an extensive business. He, too, is a Republican, stanch in his advocacy of the party principles and is deacon in the Calvary Presbyterian church at Cleveland. Clara and Louise are at home with their father. David, the youngest son, is connected with his father and brother in the banking business and is manager of the Charter Oak elevator. In 1901 he married Caroline Roberts, of Jacksonville, Illinois, and they have one daughter, Mary Louise. Like the others of the family he is an earnest Republican and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. Both Robert and David Frackelton are graduates of the Illinois College at Jacksonville, and Louise completed a course in the Jacksonville Female Academy of that city.
David S. Frackelton has always been a champion of Republican principles, yet has never sought or desired office. He is now the oldest living member of the Presbyterian church of Petersburg and through long years served as one of its elders. In business affairs he is energetic, prompt and notably reliable. Tireless energy, keen perception, honesty of purpose, a genius for devising and executing the right thing at the right time joined to every day common sense are the chief characteristics of the man. He has been watchful of all the details of his business and of all indications pointing toward prosperity and from the beginning he had an abiding faith in the ultimate success of his enterprise. He has gained wealth, yet it has not been alone the goal for which he was striving, for he belongs to that class of representative American citizens who promote the general prosperity while advancing individual interests.