Clay County

Biography - A. N. Tolliver

It is with a great degree of satisfaction to the biographer when he averts to the life of one who has made a success in any vocation requiring definiteness of purpose and determined action. Such a life whether it be one of prosaic endeavor or radical accomplishment, abounds in valuable lesson and incentive to those who have become discouraged in the fight for recognition or to the youth whose future is undetermined. For a number of years the subject of this sketch has directed his efforts toward the goal of success in Clay county, and by patient continuance has won.

A. N. Tolliver, the well-known County Judge of Clay county, Illinois, is a native of the same, having been born October 12, 1870, the son of John H. Tolliver, who was a native of Lawrence county, Indiana, and who came to Clay county, Illinois, when a young man. He has spent most of his life engaged in farming, but he has been in the drug business at Ingraham, this state, for many years. Isom Tolliver, the judge's grandfather, was also a native of Indiana who came to Clay county, Illinois, being among the first settlers here. He died in 1874. The judge's mother was Margaret Sanchner, whose people were from Tennessee. She passed to her rest in November 1905. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John H. Tolliver, as follows: A. N., the subject; Fred D., living in Hoosier township; Dora S., of Hoosier township; Mrs. Minnie O'Dell, living in the same community; Myrtle; Mrs. Cora Erwin, of Hoosier township; Claud, deceased.

A. N. Tolliver spent his boyhood days on the parental farm in Hoosier township, where he developed a sturdy manhood. He attended the country schools during the winter months, applying himself in a most assiduous manner and becoming well educated. Deciding to take up the teacher's profession, he had no trouble in finding an opportunity and for a period of ten years taught in an able manner, becoming known as one of the popular educators of the county, but believing that the law was his proper calling, he began the study of the same while teaching, and he was admitted to the bar in Clay county in 1902, soon beginning practice. Successful from the first, he soon built up an excellent business, becoming active in political affairs; it was not long until the party leaders singled him out for public office. He was the choice of the Republican party for the nomination of County Judge, and he was triumphantly elected to this office in 1906, and is now serving in that capacity in a manner that stamps him as an able jurist, thoroughly versed in the law and fair and unbiased in his decisions. His term is for four years, and before it is half gone he has shown that his constituents made no mistake in selecting him for the place. He had held various minor township offices prior to his election to the judgeship, and his services were always characterized by a strict fidelity to duty. He was principal and superintendent of the Louisville schools from 1898 to 1901.

Judge Tolliver was united in marriage, June 15, 1892, with Elizabeth A. Bryan, daughter of Josiah Bryan, of Hoosier township, and to this union five children have been born as follows: Zola A., Flossie E., Lowell S., Elizabeth and Bryan. They are attending the local schools.

The judge devotes his entire time to the duties of his office and to the practice of his profession. His clients come from all over this locality and he handles some very important cases, always with satisfaction to his clients. In his fraternal relations, he belongs to the Masonic Order, the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen and the Tribe of Ben Hur. He has occupied the chairs in the Masonic fraternity, and is secretary of the Knights of Pythias. He is a member of the Baptist church.

Mrs. Tolliver was called to her rest December 10, 1905.

Judge Tolliver takes an abiding interest in the progress and improvement of the schools in Clay county and, in fact, all matters that pertain to the development of the community. He belongs to the class of substantial citizens whose lives do not show any meteoric effects, but who by their support of the moral, political and social status for the general good, promote the real welfare of their respective communities, and are therefore deserving of honorable mention on the pages of history.

Extracted 27 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay & Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 364-365.


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