LOAR, JOHN RIGGS, local representative of the Standard Oil Company, and former Mayor, Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Bourbon County, Ky., May 31, 1832, the son of Alexander and Eliza (Riggs) Loar. His father was a native of Baltimore, Md., and his mother a descendant of an old family of French and English ancestry.
Mr. Loar was brought to Morgan County, Ill., in 1833 by his parents who settled in Jacksonville, where all his life has since been spent. His father, who was a contractor and builder, erected many of the residences and commercial houses of Jacksonville, and during the thirty-three years of his residence in that city won the respect and confidence of his contemporaries by reason of his straightforward and honorable business methods, and his clean, upright social life. He died in 1866, his wife having preceded him about 1842. They had four sons, named as follows: William Franklin and Erasmus, both deceased; George, of Ottumwa, Iowa; and John R.
John R. Loar was educated in the subscription schools of Jacksonville. Under the direction of W. D. Humphrey he learned the trade of a carpenter and builder, and for about eighteen years engaged in contracting. Among the important undertakings intrusted to his care was the construction of the main building of the State Institution for the Education of the Blind. For eight years following his work as a contractor he was engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery trade, and from 1884 to 1901 devoted his time to the wholesale oil business. In the latter year he disposed of his business to the Standard Oil Company, which he has represented in Jacksonville since. For five years he had been identified with the Jacksonville Building and Loan Association, of which he is Vice-President. He also served as a member of the Board of Education for several years. A stanch Republican, he has taken an active interest in the political undertakings of the party, and for two terms served as Mayor of Jacksonville, having been elected as the nominee of that party. Previous to his incumbency in that office he represented his ward in the City Council. For twenty years he filled the office of Deacon in the Christian Church, of which he is one of the active and helpful members. He is prominent in Masonry, affiliating with Harmony Lodge No. 3, Jacksonville Chapter No. 3, and Hospitaler commandery No. 31. He is also a member of Urania Lodge No. 243, I.O.O.F., and the Encampment auxiliary thereto.
Mr. Loar was united in marriage April 7, 1857, with Mary J. Carns, who died in 1873, survived by four children: Nellie Florence, deceased, who was the wife of F. D. Pendleton, of Independence, Mo.; Carrie B., wife of Cornelius F. Vandervoort, of Paterson, N.J.; Eliza, wife of Samuel J. Watson, of Paterson, N.J.; and John J., deceased. On August 31, 1882, he married Mrs. Sandy Tandy, and they have one daughter, Florence Nellie, who resides at home.
Mr. Loar is an unostentatious citizen, who has quietly endeavored to accomplish what he could for the betterment of the community interests. During his long residence in Jacksonville no taint has attached to his name; on the contrary, he has always been highly regarded as a model citizen, whose motives have been above question, and whose public spirit has been manifested on numerous occasions - not infrequently when it has called for no small measure of self-sacrifice.