Alexander County

Biography - Hugh S. Antrim

HUGH SEYMOUR ANTRIM. One of the prominent business citizens of Cairo, whose activities in the commercial world have been such as to make his name familiar to the large grain-buying firms of Southern Illinois, and who has also interested himself in the public welfare of his adopted city and with social and religious matters, is Hugh Seymour Antrim, head of the H. S. Antrim Grain Company and president of the Cairo Board of Trade. Mr. Antrim was born at St. Louis, Missouri, October 14, 1867, and during the following year his father, John Antrim, brought his family to Cairo, where he had been engaged in business during the Civil war, and where he passed the remaining years of his life.

The progenitor of the Antrim family, according to tradition and history, came to the United States as a member of Penn's Colony, being of Scotch and Irish descent. The grandfather of Hugh S. Antrim, Joel Antrim, came from the Keystone state of Indiana during the early history of the latter commonwealth, and there died. John Antrim was born in Madison, Indiana, in 1830, and there spent his youth in a modest clerkship. He began life with little more than an elementary education, became a flatboatman when nearing his majority, and ran the Ohio river for several years, passing late in the 'forties and during the early 'fifties the site of Cairo when a single house marked it. When he left the river he engaged in merchandising at Metropolis, Illinois, but left that point and came to Cairo, being a merchant in the latter city during the Civil war, while it was occupied by Federal troops. He made the intimate acquaintance of Generals Grant and Logan and other officers of high rank, a fact which served him advantageously later on in life. Going from Cairo to St. Louis, Mr. Antrim carried on a mercantile business in the latter city for a rather brief period, when he returned to the city at the junction of the big rivers and died here in 1904. He became a stockholder in the old First Bank of Cairo, contributed as a public-spirited citizen toward the general welfare of the town, took a citizen's interest in politics as a Republican and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He was a Knight Templar Mason and past high Priest of his Chapter, and was a consistent and liberal member of the Presbyterian church. He married Eliza Parr, a daughter of Eli Parr, an agriculturist of Concordia, Kentucky, where Mrs. Antrim was born, and she died in 1892, having been the mother of the following children: John, who is a traveling salesman out of Cairo; Albert, who passed away in 1891, unmarried; Nellie May, who became the wife of John A. Haynes and died in 1899; Addie P., who married Fred A. Kent, of Chicago; Miss Viola, who lives in Chicago; Hugh Seymour; and Walter S., who died at New Orleans in 1899, leaving a son, Charles F. Antrim, of Chicago.

Hugh Seymour Antrim was educated in the Cairo graded schools and began his business career at the age of fourteen years as a clerk in the grain firm of C. M. Howe & Brother. He became a member of the firm in 1900 and succeeded to the business in 1906. His business is a purely domestic one and embraces the handling of food-stuffs as a shipper to points affording the best market for grain. In his public relation to the community Mr. Antrim is active among the commercial interests of Cairo. He is president of the Cairo Board of Trade and has represented his city as a delegate from that body in various meetings over the country, Chicago, Washington, D. C., St. Louis and Kansas City, and as a delegate to the Deep Waterway conventions he represented his city at Washington, December 7, 1911. He served as a member of the city council from the Third ward of Cairo for one term, and is a member of the Commercial Club and a director of the Central Building and Loan Association. He is a Master Mason and past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, and past exalted ruler of the B. P. 0. E., representing that order as delegate at Detroit in 1910, and at Atlantic City in 1911.

On October 9, 1894, Mr. Antrim was married at Carbondale, Illinois, to Miss Claribel McNeal, of Denver, Colorado. Her father was the late Judge R. T. McNeal, prominent in church and at the bar of Denver, and founder of the Women's College of Colorado. He passed away January 14, 1911, and he and his wife, who was a Miss Ellett, of Virginia, had seven children. Mrs. Antrim was educated in Potter's College, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and she and Mr. Antrim have three children, namely: Hugh Seymour, who is a junior of the Cairo High school; Walter Ellett, a freshman in the same school; and Virginia. Mr. Antrim has brought up his household in the Presbyterian church, and was trustee of the congregation during the erection of the new house of worship of that faith some years ago.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 2, pages 740-741.


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