JOHN H. DELANO, President of the Board of Trade of Murphysboro, and
dealer in general merchandise, is numbered among the native sons of
Illinois, his birth having occurred in Bunker Hill, Jackson County, January
28, 1843. His father, William A. Delano, was born in Massachusetts, and the
grandfather, Gideon Delano, was a native of New Bedford, Mass. The latter
was a farmer, and in 1848 emigrated to the west, where his last days were
spent. The family is descended from the old French Huguenots, and the first
American ancestors crossed the Atlantic in the ship "Fortune" in 1623, the
second ship that sailed from England. The name was originally spelled De La
The father of our subject was reared on a farm in Massachusetts, afterward engaged in merchandising in Ellington, Conn., and later was connected with the silk industry of New Jersey. In 1838, he became one of the pioneer settlers of Jackson County, Ill., and about 1848 went to St. Louis, where he carried on merchandising until 1859. He then engaged in the lumber and milling business in Ironton, Mo., and was also a merchant of that place, where he made his home until his death, in 1876. In politics he was a Republican, and served as a delegate to the national convention in Baltimore. The Presbyterian Church found in him a faithful member, and he served as one of its Elders. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sophia Hall, was born in Ellington, Conn., and was of English lineage. Her father, Prof. John Hall, established the high school of Ellington, and continued its Principal until his death. Mrs. Delano yet makes her home in St. Louis.
John H., the subject of this sketch, is the second in a family of eight children, five of whom are yet living. He was educated in the public and high schools of St. Louis, but left that city the year before his graduation and aided his father in the Store. On attaining his majority, he enlisted, in the fall of 1864, as a member of Company F, Forty-seventh Missouri Infantry, and was mustered in at Pilot Knob. Soon afterward he was detailed as Sergeant-Major of the regiment. Pursued by Price after the battle of Pilot Knob, he went to Rollo, Mo., and then proceeded to Tennessee to relieve Thomas. Later he went south, where he did garrison duty until the close of the war. In May, 1865, he was mustered out in St. Louis as Second Lieutenant of Company E, Forty-seventh Missouri Infantry.
Immediately after his return, Mr. Delano resumed work in his father's store. He afterward carried on business in Pocahontas, Ark., for a year, and then again went to Ironton, Mo., where his father had built a water mill. He became agent for the Southern and Adams Express Companies, which position he held for four years, and was Assistant Postmaster for two years. After his father's death he closed up the business, and in 1882 became a traveling salesman, representing the firm of Krafft, Holmes & Co., of St. Louis, wholesale grocers. In September of that year he was offered the management of the mercantile store at Pilot Knob, owned by the Ore & Steele Company, of St. Louis. His time was thus occupied until the year 1884, when he was sent to this place as manager of their store. The Illinois Truck Law prevented the firm from selling goods in this state, so in connection with W. S. Craine, our subject bought out the store of his employers. He now deals in general merchandise and all kinds of miners' supplies. He occupies a storeroom 25x70 feet, with a basement, and employment is furnished to four salesmen.
In Ironton, Mo., in 1868, Mr. Delano wedded Miss Mattie Harvey, a native of Keeseville, N. Y. They now have seven children: John, a fireman on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad; Arthur, who was graduated from the Manual Training School of St. Louis in the Class of '93; William, Carrie, Jennie, Harvey and Chester.
While living in Ironton, Mr. Delano served as School Director for four years, and proved an efficient officer, for the cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend. Socially, he is a Mason, belonging to the blue lodge and chapter of Carbondale. He is also the honored Commander of Worthen Post No. 128, G. A. R. In politics, he is a stalwart Republican, and in religious belief is a Presbyterian. He takes a very prominent part in church and benevolent work, and is now serving as Elder and Trustee of the church, and as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. In the spring of 1891, he aided in the organization of the Board of Trade, of which he was made Vice-President, and at the death of C. C. Smith, he succeeded to the Presidency. He is recognized as one of the leading business men of Murphysboro, and his prominence in business, church and social circles makes him well worthy of representation in the history of his adopted county.
Extracted 26 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 620-621.
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