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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


F. M. SPRINGER of the city of Jacksonville, was born in Fayette County, Ky., near the city of Lexington. His parents were Francis and Elsie (Runyon) Springer. The family circle included five children, viz.: Julia Ann, George, Catherine, our subject and Elizabeth; the latter died in Missouri in the year 1878.

The father of our subject who was born in the Blue Grass State, was by occupation a cabinet maker and carpenter. His father had migrated from Virginia in days when Kentucky was an almost unknown region, and became one of the pioneers of its settlement. In his day he was a prominent citizen and labored hard to bring his adopted State to the front so far as was in his power.

In the fall of 1833 our subject left Kentucky and came to this county. For a time he lived with his brother-in-law, Robert Castle, continuing until he was about twenty-five years of age, when he married. The interesting event was celebrated in the Autumn of 1844. The maiden whom he had chosen as his companion in life was Eliza Alexander, one of Morgan County's fair daughters. As soon as he was married he began farming upon his own account and rented a farm for two years near Jacksonville. At the end of that time he purchased a farm twelve miles east of the city and continued to live upon it for between ten and twelve years, when he sold it to advantage, and moved to Jacksonville, where he has continued to reside ever since.

The family circle of Mr. Springer includes five children whose names are given as follows: Mary Ann, who still makes her home with her parents; Laura, who is happily married to David Hamilton of Greenwood County, Kan.; Catherine, who is single and is still at home; John T., who is now the husband of Eligel B. Banks; and Hettie who is also at home. The wife of our subject died in the year 1864, and in April, 1865, he became the husband of Mrs. Mary M. Long. He was again left a widower by her death, which occurred in September, 1886. June 19, 1888, our subject married to Mrs. Jennie Jones, a native of Jacksonville.

Our subject being one of the pioneers of the county has always been alive to its interests and has been by no means backward in shouldering his share of effort and expense to bring it to the front and supply it with educational, benevolent, and religious institutions and corporations of commercial value. He has been a resident of the county for fifty-four years, and is consequently strongly attached to it by all the ties of home and friendship that enter into a life in that period. His religious home is within the pale of the Christian Church, of which he is an earnest member and generous supporter. He is also connected with the Masonic fraternity, and has been raised to the degree of a Master Mason. For many years he was a stanch adherent of the Republican party, but being impressed with the grave issues presented by the Prohibition party he has cast in his lot with them, and now votes that ticket.

The Springer family is of Swedish origin. About the year 1700 Charles Christopher Springer was sent from his home in the city of Stockholm to London, England, in order to be educated; but it so happened that he did nor reach his destination. While on the way he was kidnaped and carried to the United States, where his services were sold for his passage, and he continued to serve his master for five years. He settled in Wilmington, Del., and was granted a tract of land where Wilmington and New Castle now stand. The different members of this family in the United States met at St. Louis for the double purpose of a family reunion and in order to ascertain if a title to the above grant of land could not be made out or discovered, as it is claimed that the title is vested in the Springer family. The remains of Charles Christopher Springer rest in Wilmington, Del., and the name is still intelligible on the marble slab that marks his last resting place. He was a finely educated man, and for many years occupied the position of a lay-reader in the old Swedish Church. The subject of this sketch is the youngest of the fourth generation of the family in this country that claims an heirship to the above land grant. The issue at stake is not yet decided, although hopes are still entertained that the matter may yet be righted.

1889 Index
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