Biography - Henry Appleton

H. E. APPLETON. The name with which we commence this biography is that of one of the oldest residents of the town of Litchfield. He came here in 1854, at which time the place had just been platted, and can therefore give a great many points with regard to the early history of the section of the country in which he has so long made his home.
Mr. Appleton is a native of Hampshire. England, his birth having occurred February 13, 1828. He received his education in England, and after completing the same took up the trade of wagon-maker as the vocation he chose to pursue through life. In the year 1851, the tide of emigration from the Mother Country swept near the home of our subject, and he became inspired with the spirit of enterprise, which soon compelled his departure for the United States, where the possibilities of a prosperous future seemed to be more easily realized than in his native land.
Mr. Appleton first settled at Alton, Madison County, Ill., where he worked at his trade. Afterward he moved to Ridgley, where, with James W. Jeffries, R. W. O'Bannon and W. T. Elliott, he inaugurated a town, and there our subject continued as a wagon and carriage maker, and was very successful in his line. In the year 1866, he took a position as superintendent in a coal company, and increased the business to such an extent that in 1875 he assisted in incorporating a company with $10,000 capital stock, and assumed the direction of same as Vice-president. For some time after the incorporation of this company, the enterprise did not prove as successful as was anticipated, but owing to the keen business management and excellent ability of Mr. Appleton, it was recognized in a few years as one of the best paying concerns of its kind in that part of the country. Mr. Appleton is the possessor of a farm, and is also one of the stockholders of the Electric Light and Water Supply Company.
The residence of our subject is one of the beautiful spots in the city with which he has been so closely allied as founder, citizen and promoter of its enterprises. One of the first pieces of real estate he owned in this locality is what is now known as Market House Square, which was a gift from Mr. Appleton to the town. He is a man of generous and kindly impulses, and fortune has crowned his efforts with success, placing him in a position of independence with regard to his fellow-men. He is a firm believer in the doctrine of giving to the poor and lending to the Lord, but his charities are of the kind that seek no publication, and none but the donor and recipient have knowledge of the many deeds of kindness that are somewhere recorded against his name.
The immediate family of our subject consists of a wife and two children. Mrs. Appleton was Miss Alva E. Butt, a lady of English birth and parentage, and one whose life and labors have won for her the hearty respect of those who know her, and the more loving regard of all with whom she is more intimately associated. Our subject's children are E. B. and Miss Jessie Appleton.
When the story of the organization and early development of Litchfield is fitly told, the name of H. E. Appleton will be found among those who have always had the welfare of the place at heart, and generously aided the settlement, improvement and growth of Litchfield by their own exertions and means. It is to such men that our country owes her success, and the characteristics of him whose biography we have here sketched are the same personal attributes possessed by the founders of our Republic.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 228-229.

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