Clay County


Foremost among the leaders of the legal profession in Southern Illinois, Harvey W. Shriner stands pre-eminent as one who has achieved success in his chosen profession. He has long practiced in all the courts of the state, and has handled successfully some of the most important cases that have come to litigation. His courteous and kindly disposition, together with his alert and enterprising mind and his excellent preparation for his work, has brought about his reputation as one of the representative men of Clay county.

Harvey W. Shriner was born in Vinton county, Ohio, October 25, 1861. He is the son of Silas and Susan (Luse) Shriner, both natives of Ohio. Silas Shriner was a farmer and came to Clay county, Illinois, in October, 1864, where he remained until his death, which occurred in June, 1906. His father Francis Shriner, the grandfather of Harvey W., was a native of Pennsylvania, who afterwards removed to Ohio and devoted his life to farming interests. The mother of Harvey W. Shriner is still living and is a resident of Flora. She is a woman of splendid character and pleasing personality and is passing her declining years happily in the love of her children. Six children were born to her, five of whom are now living. They are: Ibbie, deceased; Mrs. Louisa Frame, of Chicago; Harvey W., of this review; Albert G., of Springfield, Illinois; Mrs. Ida MacGregor, of Flora; and Pearl V., who is living on the old farm home, five miles from Flora.

Mr. Shriner received his early education in the public schools of Flora, later attending a business college at Cairo, Illinois. He then completed a course at the National University at Lebanon, Ohio, in which institution his scholarship was of an especially high order. After graduating therefrom he taught school for six winters in Clay county, performing his work with all efficiency and winning high reputation as a teacher. But the life of a pedagogue did not appeal to him, and he felt that he possessed the ability for greater things. The law especially appealed to him, and after some deliberation he began the study and was admitted to the bar in February, 1887. In June of that year he formed a partnership with one D. C. Hagle, prominent in legal circles in these parts, and that partnership endured until dissolved by the death of Mr. Hagle in 1897. The two formed a particularly strong combination and built up a splendid practice during the years of their association. Since the death of his partner, Mr. Shriner has conducted his practice alone, although his ever increasing popularity makes him a very busy man.

Since his earliest association with the legal profession Mr. Shriner has taken an active part in the political life of his community. In 1888 he was elected state's attorney of Clay county on the Republican ticket, and was re-elected in 1892, which term was followed by reelection again in 1896. The excellency of his service is vouched for by the number of terms he was called to the office. He was a member of the board of education of Flora for several terms and supervisor of his township. In 1904 Mr. Shriner was named for the office of representative to the state legislature, and he was elected to the office by a flattering majority, running away ahead of his ticket at the election. He employed his time as a representative in a manner that was conclusive proof of the wisdom of his constituents. He was known to be one of the strong advocates of local option, and did much for the furtherance of the cause. In November, 1905, Mr. Shriner was appointed deputy revenue collector for Division No. 4 of the thirteenth district of Illinois, which position he has filled with all credit and efficiency.

Aside from his many other interests Mr. Shriner has devoted some of his time to farming and is the owner of a very fine farm in Stanford township, Clay county, near to Flora. It is well equipped and wisely managed, and among his stock, of which he is an excellent judge, may be found many of the better breeds. In a fraternal way, he is a Mason and a Woodman. He has ever been a power in the civic life of his community, and his labors in behalf of his city and county have been of a most unselfish nature. The dominant qualities of his life have been of an intense and forceful nature, and the success of his career is but the natural outcome of such a character as his.

Mr. Shriner has been twice married. In September of 1885 he was united in marriage with Emma Critchlow, of Louisville, Clay county, the daughter of an old and highly esteemed family of that place. Three sons were born of their union: Austin D., Carlton C. and Silas. Mrs. Shriner passed away in January, 1896. In recent years Mr. Shriner married Miss Francis Higginson, of Flora, and they are the parents of a daughter, Mabel.

Extracted 09 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1255-1257.

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