SPRINGER, FRANCIS M., one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born near Lexington, Fayette County, Ky., April 11, 1820, the son of Francis and Elsie (Runyon) Springer, all natives of that State. All of the family except the father came by team to Morgan County, in 1832, and he followed somewhat later, by water. They settled eight miles east of Jacksonville. Francis Springer, who was a cabinet-maker by trade, was a soldier in the War of 1812.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest of a family of five children, of whom he alone survives. He was twelve years old when he came to Morgan County. Shortly after his arrival he attended the subscription school in the vicinity of his home, first studying his lessons in a log school house, under the instruction of a gentleman named McClure. After his school days were over, he commenced work at $6 per month, having often split rails for fifty cents per day. He worked out until about the year 1842, when, in partnership with Dr. Cassell and Robert Cassell, he bought a sawmill on the Mauvaisterre, in the Cassell neighborhood, which they operated for several years. After his marriage Mr. Springer carried on farming until 1855, when he removed to Jacksonville, where the Cassell brothers and himself built the City Roller Mills. A year afterward Mr. Springer sold his interest, and has since, for many years, conducted a livery business.
On November 6, 1845, Mr. Springer was married to Eliza J. Alexander, a native of Ohio. This union resulted in the following named children: George, Mary, Laura, Kate, John and Hettie.
In politics, Mr. Springer is a Prohibitionist. He served for one year as City Marshal. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church. Mr. Springer is a man of high principles, and has a strong sense of duty. He has lived a long, busy and useful life, and, in his declining years, is comforted by the consciousness that he has the entire confidence and esteem of a host of friends.