Clay County


Clay county claims a goodly number of prosperous business men who have distinguished themselves by worthy accomplishments in a financial way, but among them all none is more prominent or more worthy of mention in this history of Southern Illinois than is Horatio C. Chaffin, whose principal labors have been along educational lines, but who has been variously connected with financial and commercial enterprises of distinctive character.

Born in Clay county, Illinois, January 4, 1873, Horatio C. Chaffin is the son of John and Mary E. (Claypool) Chaffin, both natives of Ohio, the former of Scioto county and the latter of Ross county. John Chaffin was a carpenter by trade, and he was also an experienced farmer. He came to Illinois as a young man and when he died he had achieved a fair measure of success, judged by the standards of his time. His demise occurred in 1886, and he left an estate of four hundred acres of fertile Illinois land. He was a Republican of staunch faith, and with his wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. They reared three sons, all of whom are living at this time. John Chaffin was the son of Reuben and Sarah Chaffin, the former born and reared in Ohio, and there he passed his life and finally died. He at one time entered Illinois land from the government, intending to move there, but never did so. After his death his widow came to Illinois and died in this state. The maternal grandfather of Horatio C. Chaffin was James Claypool, born in Ohio. His son, the uncle of the subject, is H. C. Claypool, member of congress for the Chillicothe, Ohio, district.

Horatio Chaffin was given the advantage of a broad education, which he put to excellent use in later years. He finished the schools of Clay county, and after graduating from the high school of his town entered McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, where he was graduated in due season with the degrees of B. S. and LL. B. Thereafter he taught school for nine years in Clay and St. Clair counties, and was for some time superintendent of the schools of the city of Flora. He was editor of the Olney Republican at Olney, Illinois, the oldest newspaper in Southern Illinois, and while acting in that capacity demonstrated amply his fitness for work in an editorial capacity. In 1902 Mr. Chaffin established the Rinard Banking Company at Rinard, Illinois, but he eventually sold out his interests in that organization and returned to Flora, where he reorganized the Bank of Flora, becoming its cashier. Later, in connection with C. McDaniel, of Rinard, he organized the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Creal Springs, Illinois. He is also financially connected with a grain and seed business in Flora, the name of the concern being Borders Chancy & Company, this being one of the largest concerns of its kind in the state of Illinois.

Mr. Chaffin is a Republican, although he has never been a candidate for office. He rather inclined toward helping his friends in their political struggles than to struggling for himself. He is a Mason and a member of the Modern Woodmen. He is widely known in and about his community, and is regarded as a particularly able young business man by those who have watched his career thus far.

In 1899 Mr. Chaffin married Miss Olive Miller, the daughter of Dr. L. T. Miller, for thirty years a practicing physician in Southern Illinois. He has now retired from active practice and is passing his declining years on a farm near Collinsville. One son has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Chaffin.

Extracted 09 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, page 1253.

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