Harry F. McAllister
Posted by Jean Crowl 7 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)|
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
HARRY F. MCALLISTER, of Oquawka, has for many years been prominently connected with business and official interests in Henderson County, and is widely and favorably known in this locality. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., April 27, 1840, and is of Scotch descent. The family was probably founded in America at a very early day in the history of this country. The grandfather of our subject, Archibald McAllister, who was one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War, lived for many years near Philadelphia, Pa., and the father, James McAllister, was born in the Keystone State. Having attained to mature years, he was united in marriage with Miss Christina Baker, who was also born in Westmoreland County, Pa., and they became the parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters, as follows: Mary, now deceased; Robert, of St. Louis, Mo., general agent of the American Refrigerator Car Line; William A., a grain merchant of Reinbeck, Iowa; Harry F., whose name heads this record; two sons who bore the name of John, and died in infancy; and Nancy J ., who died in infancy. The father was for some years prothonotary of Westmoreland County, Pa., and died when our subject was quite young.
Harry Foster McAllister was educated in the public schools of Greensburg and New Alexandria, Pa., and upon his father's death was thrown on his own resources, so that whatever success he has achieved in life is due to his own efforts. In 1854, when fourteen years of age, he left the Key- stone State and became a resident of Rock Island County, Ill. He began to provide for his own maintenance by clerking in a dry-goods store in Rock Island, where he was employed for about three years. He then entered the Circuit Clerk's office in that city, and learned the business of making abstracts and titles, after which he went to Milwaukee, Wis., where he engaged in the abstract business. He was also employed in a similar way in Waukesha County, and in McHenry County, Ill., remaining in the three places for a period of three years. In 1859, he took up his residence in Geneseo, Henry County, Ill., where for two years he was engaged in the dry- goods business.
The year 1861 witnessed the arrival of Mr. McAllister in Oquawka, where he has since made his home. In that year he was given a clerical position in the Circuit Clerk's office, with which he has been connected continuously since. He served as chief deputy from 1861 until 1868, and in the latter year was elected Circuit Clerk. The term of office is four years, and he was re-elected in 1872, 1876, 1880, 1884, 1888 and 1892. He is therefore filling the office at this writing, and has served as the superior officer for about twenty-six years, while for seven years he served as deputy. No higher testimonial of efficiency could be given than the fact that he has so long held the office, for his continuous service could only be secured through merit, ability and fidelity to duty.
On the 30th of August, 1866, Mr. McAllister married Miss Esther Root, a daughter of Christian and Sarah (Nye) Root, of Williamsville, N. Y. Mr. McAllister is a warm advocate of Republican principles, and does all in his power for the advancement of the party. He has served as Master in Chancery and Notary Public, holding the latter office since 1867, when he was commissioned by Richard J. Oglesby, then Governor of the State. He has also been Township Treasurer of Oquawka for several years, and has been a member of the Village Board of Trustees. He has served as a member of the State Republican Central Committee for ten years. His wife, a most estimable lady, holds membership with the Presbyterian Church, and he is a member of Oquawka Lodge No. 123, A. F. & A. M. He is also President of the Monmouth Miltona Club, a fishing and boating club of Lake Miltona, Minn., at which place he and his family spend a part of each summer.