Jackson County

Biography - John T. Galbraith

JOHN T. GALBRAITH. Connected actively with newspaper work for a number of years, and owner and editor of the Carbondale daily and weekly Free Press during the last eight years, John T. Galbraith has been zealous and influential in molding public sentiment in Jackson county and directing the thought and action of its people into proper channels for the wholesome development and enduring good of the region in which he lives and operates. He is wide-awake to the needs of the county, and fearless and able in calling attention to them.

Mr. Galbraith is a native of Illinois, and was born in Wayne county on December 11, 1866. His parents were William M. and Elizabeth (Casey) Galbraith, both born in Jefferson county, Illinois. The father was a merchant until the beginning of the Civil war, and during the remainder of his life, a farmer, except while that memorable conflict was in progress, and then he was at the front giving a practical and heroic proof of his patriotism and devotion to the Union.

He enlisted at the very beginning of the combat and served to its close, serving most of the time as regimental quartermaster of the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry. He stuck to his regiment till "the war drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled," participated in the Grand Review of the whole Federal army in Washington, and was then mustered out of the service and returned to his Wayne county home. In 1886 he moved his family to Carbondale, and in that town he died in 1890. His widow survived him fourteen years and passed away in Carbondale in 1904.

Their son John was educated in the public schools and at the Southern Illinois State Normal School. Almost immediately after leaving that institution he entered the field of journalism with a determination to make that his life work. His start was necessarily a modest one, his range of work was narrow and his compensation was small. But he expected these limitations at the beginning, and was prepared to make the most of them. He performed every duty assigned him with his utmost ability and faithfulness, and kept his eye over on the brighter light and higher range above him, to which he meant to work his way, and his progress was steady and rapid.

Mr. Galbraith moved to Carbondale with his parents when he was but seventeen, and he had therefore a considerable apprenticeship in becoming acquainted with the people and familiarizing himself with their industries, customs, habits of thought and aspirations before he began his newspaper work. When he did begin it he was able to speak the language of their true inwardness and make it potential in one common current of persuasiveness for whatever was likely to promote their general welfare and advance the development and improvement of the region in which they lived.

They soon recognized his value and gave his efforts in their behalf their ardent support. He became influential among them and was acknowledged to be the man for any public duty requiring superior intelligence and executive ability. When the census of 1910 was to be taken he was appointed census director for his district, and it is high praise but only a just tribute to merit to say that he performed the duties with satisfaction to both the people of the district and the authorities at Washington. For a number of years he has shown his interest in the welfare of his section of the state by membership in the state militia, and he is now a lieutenant-colonel on the general staff detail in the ordnance department.

In political allegiance Mr. Galbraith is a pronounced and firmly loyal Republican, and one of the wheel-horses in his party's organization. He is now a member of the executive committee of the county central committee of the party for Jackson county, and is accorded a high rank as an energetic, effective and skillful worker in organizing the party forces and directing their work in the county. His religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is a member of the official board of the congregation to which he belongs.

Mr. Galbraith was married on September 15, 1903, to Miss Carrie Dillinger, a daughter of John Dillinger, a prosperous farmer of this county with residence in Carbondale. Within the same year Mr. Galbraith bought the Free Press, of which he has ever since been the owner, editor and publisher. He has fine capacity and well trained faculties for journalistic work, and has applied them with all his force to the wise management and steady improvement of his paper. It is issued in daily and weekly editions, and conducted with a view to giving full, free and exact expression to the wishes of the people and promoting their best interests. While in a sense a party organ, the paper is essentially a family newspaper, and contributes to the benefit and enjoyment of every member of the household and all classes of readers. It is very enterprising in gathering and publishing the news, and its editorial columns sparkle with light and safe guidance of all public questions, local and general.

Fraternally Mr. Galbraith is a Knight of Pythias and a member of the Order of Odd Fellows. He also takes an interest in the cause of public education, the general enlightenment of the people, the moral improvement of the community and the graceful and culticating agencies of social life. No citizen of Jackson county is more highly esteemed, and none is more deserving of the general regard and good will of all the inhabitants of his locality.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 578-580.

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