CRABTREE, Edgar Erman, banker, member of the firm of F. G. Farrell & Company, Jacksonville, Ill., was born near Franklin, Morgan County, Ill., August 4, 1869, and is a son of James Washington and Mary Elizabeth (Woods) Crabtree. (A sketch of James W. Crabtree appears elsewhere in this work.) Edgar E. received his education in the public schools of Jacksonville. As a youth and a clerk at $3 per week, he entered the employ of William Newman & Company, jobbers in notions and furnishing goods. His business ability was readily recognized even then, and his employers showed their appreciation of his talent and industry by promoting him rapidly through the various grades of employment to the positions of buyer and credit man. For some time he traveled for the concern throughout the Middle West. He with others then organized the Columbia Manufacturing Company, with which he remained for four years, when he disposed of his interest therein and became a department manager for the Ferguson-McKinney Drygoods Company, of St. Louis, in which he was a minor stock-holder. On February 1, 1901, he sold his stock and resigned his position, in order that he might return to Jacksonville to engage in the banking business, and was immediately admitted as a partner into the banking firm of F. G. Farrell & Company, with a one-third interest in the concern. Upon the death of the elder Farrell, with Felix E. Farrell he purchased the interest of the remaining heirs of F. G. Farrell, and since that time the two have been equal partners in the operation of the bank. Under their management the business of the institution has greatly increased, and there are men of discriminating intelligence in Jacksonville who have made the prediction that it is but a question of a few years when their enterprise will rank with the strongest financial institutions of the Middle West, outside of the larger cities.
Mr. Crabtree is Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the State Street Presbyterian Church, in which he is an earnest worker. In Masonry he affiliates with Jacksonville Lodge, No. 570, A. F. & A. M., of which he is Past Master; Jacksonville Chapter, No. 3, R. A. M.; Jacksonville Council, No. 5, R. & S. M.; Red Cross Conclave, No. 4, Saint John Knights of Constantine; Hospitaler Commandery, No. 31, K. T.; and of Mohammed Temple, N. M. S., and the Consistory of Peoria. He is also a member of the Illini Lodge, No. 4, I. O. O. F.; Jacksonville Lodge, No. 152, K. P., of which he is Past Chancellor Commander; and of Ilderim Temple, No. 62, D. O. K. K., of which he is Acting Royal Vizier. He was united in marriage August 20, 1896, with Anna, daughter of the late F. G. Farrell.
Mr. Crabtree is a thoroughly representative man of the younger generation of Illinois citizens: Beginning life in a lowly position as a clerk at $3 per week, he has attained his present position of recognized success in the business world solely through individual industry, energy and perseverance. His strong personality, the foundation of which is inherited from a long line of rugged and honorable ancestry, has been developed through contact with some of the most sagacious business men of the Mississippi Valley, with whom he is now classed.