Biography - Henry H. Jenkins

HENRY H. JENKINS, secretary and treasurer of the Murphysboro Paving Brick Company, one of the largest industries of Jackson county, has been connected with the business interests of Murphysboro for a number of years, and has become a recognized power in the commercial world. Possessing business ability of more than ordinary capacity, he has assisted materially in developing the resources of Murphysboro, and as a public-spirited citizen of much civic pride has lent his influence to movements calculated to be of benefit to his community. Mr. Jenkins was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 28, 1874, and is a son of Thomas C. and Ann (Williams) Jenkins.

Thomas C. Jenkins, who for more than twenty years was closely associated with the coal mining industry in this section, acted as a general foreman and contractor, and developed properties all over the state, among which were the Big Muddy Coal and Iron Company, the Garkite Coal Company, and other large coal mines in Jackson and Williamson counties. Henry H. Jenkins received a public school education, and under his father was initiated into the developing of coal mines as a youth. At the age of nineteen years he entered the company stores as a clerk, and also spent some time in the West, but in 1896 returned to Murphysboro, and with Peter Schneider opened a plumbing establishment under the firm name of Schneider & Jenkins. Associating himself with William H. Hill, a well-known contractor of East St. Louis, Mr. Jenkins next laid the first street paving and a part of the first sewerage system in Murphysboro, Carbondale and Johnson City, and the water works in the first-named city, and for some time was also identified with the diamond drilling business. He and Mr. Hill then formed a partnership under the firm style of Jenkins & Hill Company, street paving contractors, and in January, 1909, the Murphysboro Paving Brick Company was organized, with Mr. Hill president, and Mr. Jenkins secretary and treasurer. This firm has grown rapidly and now gives employment to one hundred and twenty-five persons, the plant covering twenty-five acres of ground. Approximately eleven million finest-grade paving bricks, of all sizes and weights, are manufactured yearly and are shipped to the various large cities for distribution, although the bulk of the business is done in the towns of southern Illinois, where the Murphysboro product is used almost exclusively.

Mr. Jenkins was married September 9, 1895, to Miss Minnie Schneider, and they have had two children: Lillian Maurice and Anna May. Fraternally Mr. Jenkins is connected with the Knights of Pythias and the Elks. In all that pertains to the welfare of Murphysboro in any way Mr. Jenkins has shown an active interest, whether it be in the direction of education, religion or social improvement, and he has proven that the confidence and esteem in which he is held in this city have not been misplaced.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 807-808.

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