Alexander County

Biography - John Antrim

JOHN ANTRIM, tailor, Cairo, Ill., was born December 18, 1828, in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn Co., Ind. His father, Joel Antrim, was born in 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio, and was of Irish parentage. He was by trade a shoe-maker, and in early life moved to Indiana, where in 1827 he was married to Miss Mary Morgan. She was born in 1805 in Pennsylvania, of German ancestry. They had five children, John being the eldest; Eliza, deceased wife of Dr. R. Ward, of Harrison, Ohio; Sarah Antrim, who is also deceased; James Antrim, a grain-dealer of Peoria, Ill.; Elisha Antrim, a farmer in Macon County, Ill. The father is still living, and a resident of Richmond, Ind. The mother died in 1840 in Iowa. John was reared to manhood on the farm, and received a common school education. He early developed a taste for mercantile business, and when eighteen years old obtained a position as salesman in a dry goods house, where he had two years' experience. In 1848 he went to Kentucky, where he remained as a clerk until 1850. His next position was that of clerk on a merchant store boat. The two years immediately preceding his coming to Cairo, he was employed in a wholesale and retail clothing house in Madison, Ind., in which he obtained his first lessons in the business of merchant tailoring. In 1852, in connection with John Kelley, he established a business at Vincennes, Ind., under the firm name of Antrim, Kelley & Co., which continued about eighteen months, when the stock was removed to Metropolis, Ill., where they continued for some years. At the expiration of two years, however, Mr. Antrim retired from the firm, and in the same year (1855) came to Cairo and opened a clothing business, which existed until 1864, during which time he enjoyed unlimited success, amassing a fortune of over $100,000. But being yet a young man full of business enterprise, he was loath to retire from the arena of trade, and in 1864 sold his stock, went to the city of St. Louis and engaged in an extensive wholesale business, in which he lost heavily, being reduced to "first principles." He returned to Cairo in 1870, since which time he has engaged in the merchant tailoring business, employing three skilled workmen. He was married in Concordia, Meade Co., Ky., May 10, 1853, to Miss Eliza A. Parr (daughter of Col. Smith and Mary Parr, of Kentucky), in which State she was born in 1831. Their family consists of John M., Albert W., Nellie May, Addie, Viola M., Hugh S. and Walter Antrim. Mr. Antrim is a member of the Masonic fraternity of Cairo.

Extracted 29 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 4-5.


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