Pierson B. Updike, now deceased, was identified with the business interests of Litchfield, when he made for himself an honorable name as a representative of commercial interests. He was born near Trenton, New Jersey, July 14, 1834, and in his early boyhood days was brought by his parents to Illinois, where he was reared to manhood and acquired his education. After arriving at years of maturity he was married in Woodburn, Macoupin county, Illinois, on the 23d of October, 1856, to Miss Estella Opdyke, who was of Holland lineage and there was a distant relationship between the Updike and Opdyke families. They became the parents of two children: Ella E., the wife of G. L. Settlemire, by whom she has two sons, David P. and Wilbur Lynn, aged respectively twenty-three and twenty years; and Mrs. Cora May Cratty.

Pierson B. Updike became a resident of Litchfield in 1864 and through more than thirty years was connected with its commercial interests as a dialer in machinery and hardware. His patronage steadily increased and he continued in the business until a couple of years prior to his death, which occurred on the 28th of November, 1896. During the last two years of his life succeeding the dissolution of his hardware business he was receiver for the Litchfield Car and Machine Company and this position he was ably filling at the time of his demise. He was always straightforward and honorable in his dealing and his reputation in commercial circles was unassailable. Mr. Updike also took an active and helpful part in community interests and his public spirit was manliest in tangible way through his capable service as mayor of the city. He was three times called to that office and his administration of municipal affairs was at once businesslike, practical and progressive. He introduced needed reforms and promoted various improvements and the city benefited by his efforts. He gave his political allegiance to the Democratic party for many years, but in 1897 voted for William McKinley and was thereafter prominent in political circles until his demise. He was a member of the state legislature from 1891 to 1893.

Mr. Updike was a prominent Mason and had received the honors of the thirty-second degree. A Presbyterian in his religious faith he held membership in the church of that denomination in Litchfield, took a very active and helpful part in its work and was superintendent of its Sunday-school for many years. His life record covered sixty-three years and was filled with good deeds, with successful accomplishment in business and with loyalty and honor in citizenship. Mrs. Updike is a lady of strong intellectual qualities, broad-minded and cultured and has a very large circle of friends in Litchfield, where she still makes her home.

Extracted 11 Apr 2020 by Norma Hass from 1904 Past and Present of Montgomery County, Illinois, by Jacob L. Traylor, page 28.

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