CAPT. HENRY SHREVE BLAIR, post office, Illiopolis; father and mother both born in Pennsylvania, were of Scotch origin. The subject of this sketch was born May 21, 1818, and married in 1844 to Miss Catharine A. Read. She was the daughter of Robert and Margaret Read, but was raised by her uncle, William Read, of Louisville, Kentucky, and the dwelling house then occupied by them is now converted into what is known as the Fifth Avenue Hotel. In 1834, he went to St. Louis, and entered as clerk in the employ of Vairin & Reel, extensive steamboat owners and wholesale grocers. In 1842, Capt. John W. Russell received his commission as superintendent of western river improvements, was instructed to employ the subject of this sketch, as chief clerk, with headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky. He accepted the position and reported for duty at once; in 1846 and ‘47, was steam boating between Louisville and New Orleans, on the boats Diana and Mohawk.
In 1853, ‘55 and ‘57, was elected city treasurer, of Louisville; resigned the third term, to enter mercantile business; moved to Illinois, in 1864, purchasing the property where he now resides. He follows farming and stock raising, giving especial attention to raising roadster horses, of the "Gold Dust" stock. The children of Capt. Blair and wife were six in number; two daughters died in Kentucky, named Katie M. and Harriet L., and one son, Morris B.; three sons are still living, William Read Blair, of Bunker Hill, Macoupin county, Illinois; henry A. Blair, lives adjoining the homestead; and George L., who lives at home, and is devoted to the improvement in horses.
Note. - While on the floor being married, it was announced that New York State had given her electoral vote for James K. Polk, for President, causing quite a commotion, as that defeated Henry Clay of Kentucky.