Alexander County

Biography - George Poor

GEORGE B. POOR, present Wharfmaster at Cairo and one of the oldest of its inhabitants, is a native of Steuben County, N. Y. He was born on the "old Holland Purchase" February 29, 1828, and when eight years old his parents, Samuel Poor and Elnora Begole, removed to Michigan. The father was a native of Massachusetts, and was born about 1782; was a soldier under Gen. Harrison in the war of 1812, and was wounded at the battle of Black Rock. He was married in Steuben County, N. Y., about 1822, to Miss Elnora Begole. She was born in Maryland, and descends from French origin, and was a first cousin to Hon. Josiah Begole, present Governor of Michigan. She died in Michigan May 9, 1848. They had a family of nine children, of whom George P. is the second; Elizabeth, widow of Daniel Fenn, of Jackson, Mich.; Jane, deceased wife of M. Powel, of Grass Lake, Mich.; Hannah, wife of Aaron Morfort, of Barry County, Mich., William, deceased; Samuel B., of Dongola, Ill., married to Nettie Hite, of Pulaski County, Ill.; David M. Poor, Methodist Episcopal minister, of Kansas; Evan J., of Barry County, Mich.; and Harlan Poor, killed in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House in Virginia. George B. grew to manhood in Michigan, and took the trade of millwright, which he followed until the fall of 1850, at which time he commenced laying railroad track for the Michigan Central Company. In 1854, on the 9th of April, he arrived at Cairo, where he took charge of the track-laying for the Illinois Central Railroad Company, putting down the first rail in Cairo on the following day, April 10. He remained in the employment of the company until July, 18G1, as the supervisor of their track from Cairo to Jonesboro. On the 26th of July, 1861, he was mustered into military .service as Captain of Company K, Ninth Illinois Volunteers, in which he served until December of the same year, when he resigned on account of the ill health of his wife, who died on the 30th of April, 1862. He afterward took command of a dispatch boat from Cairo southward. In November, 1865, he became Captain of the boat "Ike Hammitt," and held the position until August, 1875, since which time he has devoted his attention to the interests of his farm in Union County, Ill., until November, 1882, at which time he took the office of Wharfmaster at Cairo. He was first married in Cairo, June 14, 1855, to Miss Julia Clerry, who was born at Jacksonville, Ill., in 1838, and died as above stated. Married to his present wife, Addie Osborn, daughter of Otis A. Osborn, of Cairo, Ill., on the 17th of September, 1863. She was born in Hartford, Conn., December 17, 1839. Their family consists of six children, only two of whom are living, viz.: Lewis C. Poor, born January 24, 1869, and Vida Y. D. Poor, born November 29, 1877. Mr. Poor is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Dongola Lodge, No. 581.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 37-38.


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