Clay County

Biography - Henry C. Bothwell

This family name was familiar among the early settlers of three states and its members figured both in Ohio and Illinois during the pioneer period. James Bothwell, the founder, was a Pennsylvanian, who migrated into Ohio at an early day, settled on a farm purchased from the government, reared a family and ended his earthly career about 1863. His son, James K. Bothwell, was born in Vinton county, Ohio, near McArthur, during the first quarter of the nineteenth century and removed to Illinois in 1840, settling at old Maysville, then the county seat of Clay. He was a cabinet maker by trade, but afterward engaged in the mercantile business. In 1863 he removed his store to Clay City and continued in business until 1887, when he retired to his farm of seventy acres, within the corporate limits of the town. At this homestead he passed peacefully away, May 24, 1899, in the eighty-first year of his age. He married Mary A. Brissenden, who was born near Albion, in Edwards county, Illinois, her parents being of English stock. She died July 16, 1898, at the age of seventy-seven years. This pioneer couple had seven children, of whom four are living, the complete list being as follows: Henry C., subject of this sketch; J. Homer, an attorney at Sedalia, Missouri; Florence: Camilla, deceased, and William, who died when ten years old: James K., in the loan and insurance business at Seattle, Washington, and Frank, deceased.

Henry C. Bothwell, the oldest child, was born in old Maysville, April 11, 1847. He was reared in Clay City, where he attended the local schools. During the years 1863-64, he was a student at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, afterwards attended Nelson's Commercial College at Cincinnati, Ohio, and then accepted a clerkship in his father's store. Holding this position and later as a partner, he spent the years from 1865 to 1886 in this line of business. In the year last mentioned he became a candidate on the Republican ticket for Treasurer of the county, and was elected. In 1894 he was re-elected to the same office, and served during the four following years. After retiring he devoted some time to the abstract business, continuing in this line until 1899, when he was made Chief Clerk of the Joliet Penitentiary, which position he held two and a half years. Returning to Clay City he formed a partnership under the firm name of Bothwell & Gill, and this business engaged his attention until 1907, when he received the appointment of post master at Clay City. This was no new experience, as he had previously served as postmaster for sixteen consecutive years, while in the mercantile business. Besides this, he had served as Tax Collector of Clay City township a number of times and was county collector for eight years. He was always popular and successful both in his business pursuits and official holdings, being regarded as one of the prominent and influential men of the county. His fraternal relations are extensive and conspicuous, especially in the Masonic Order. He is a member of Blue Lodge No. 488 at Clay City, Chapter at Flora, Commandery at Olney and the Shrine at Medina Temple in Chicago. He is also an Odd Fellow and a Woodman.

In 1869 Mr. Bothwell married Mary C. Myers, who was born near Wilmington, Ohio. They lost four children in infancy, but have three living, to wit: Lucy, E. L., who is practicing law at St. Joseph, Missouri, and Ada, a teacher in the Hillsboro (Illinois) high school.

Extracted 27 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay & Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 306-307

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