BYRON F. BLAKE, merchant, Cairo, Ill., was born November 21, 1848, at Kensington, N. H. His father, Josiah T. Blake, was also a native of New Hampshire, and born August 15, 1812. His mother, Joanna H. Raynes, was born March 16, 1814, in York County, Me. They had a family of seven children, B. F. Blake being the third. When he was yet a child, his parents removed to Lynn, Mass., where he grew to manhood and was educated, and where the parents still reside. In the above-named city he learned the trade of a last-maker, which he preferred to that of his father, who was a carpenter. He worked at last-making in the city of Lynn for six years, but finally left the parental roof to seek his fortune in the West. He first came to Chicago, where for several months he did a fair business at his trade, but soon returned to his home in Lynn, with the expectation of remaining; but, having seen a portion of the West in its rapid development and numerous business advantages, he soon decided to return, which he did in 1869. In that year, he came directly to Cairo, Ill., which has since been his home. On coming to Cairo, he associated himself with Benjamin F. Parker in business, under the firm name of Parker & Blake. The stock consisted in paints, oils, glass, wall-paper, window-shades, etc., in which Mr. Blake is still engaged, on an increased scale. In 1874, the partnership terminated by the retirement of Blake, but was again renewed in January, 1876, and in the fall of the same year was again dissolved, this time by the retirement from the firm of B. F. Parker. Since that time, Mr. Blake has conducted the business alone; has a large stock of supplies in his line, and does an extensive business in house-painting, by which he gives employment to quite a force of practical painters. Business location, on the corner of Eleventh street and Commercial avenue. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Royal Arch and Knights Templar, also of the Knights of Honor. In politics, he is an enthusiastic Democrat. He has served the city of Cairo as Treasurer two terms, and is serving his third year as a member of the City Council. He was married in Cairo, Ill., on the 29th of June, 1876, to Miss Annie E., daughter of John B. and Rachel J. Phillis. She was born in Washington County, Penn., March 8, 1851. John B. Phillis died in Cairo on the 25th of September, 1881. The mother is still living, and makes her home with the subject of this sketch. Mr. Blake has one son, Frank F. Blake, born in Cairo February 17, 1883.
Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 7-8.
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