JOHN R. KANE is a worthy representative of the business interests of
Murphysboro, and is an influential and popular citizen in commercial and
social circles. He occupies the positions of Treasurer and manager of the
Jackson County Abstract and Title Guarantee Company, and is its leading
stockholder. Born in Rock Island, Ill., March 31, 1856, he is a son of John
and Lois A. (Willis) Kane, the former a native of Scotland, and the latter a
native of White County, Ill.
The maternal grandfather, James Willis, was an early settler of Jackson County, and served as Sheriff in an early day. He took part in the Mexican War, and during the gold excitement went to California, where he died. The father of our subject was a shoemaker by trade, but on emigrating to this country, he located in Jackson County, where he engaged in coal mining. He afterward followed the same pursuit in Rock Island. Later he removed to Carondelet, Mo., where he carried on coal mining until his death in 1864. His wife was a faithful member of the Baptist Church, and passed away in 1877. Their family numbered three children, two of whom are still living.
John R. Kane, the only son, was reared in Murphysboro from an early age, and attended the public schools until his father's death. He was soon afterward thrown upon his own resources, and began to earn his own livelihood by clerking in a store in this place. In 1879, when twenty-three years of age, he was appointed Deputy County Treasurer under Philip Kimmell, and served for one term. In 1882 he was nominated for the position of County Clerk on the Democratic ticket, and having been elected, entered upon the duties of the office the following December. In December, 1886, he was re-elected to that position, serving altogether eight years. He made a faithful officer and is recognized as a capable and trustworthy man.
In his business relations Mr. Kane has been a member of the Big Muddy Lumber Company, with which he was connected until the spring of 1892, when he went to Boulder, Colo., on account of his wife's health. He there remained for a year, and was engaged in the feed business. In the spring of 1893 he returned to his old home, purchased an interest in the Abstract and Title Guarantee Company, and became its Treasurer and manager. This company was organized in October, 1892, by two old businesses being consolidated. The capital stock is $50,000, and they have a complete abstract of all property in the county. The President is George W. Hill; Vice-President, J. M. Herbert, and Secretary, W. W. Kimball.
On the 26th of April, 1885, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Kane and Miss Maggie Murphy, who was born in De Soto, this county, her father, Riley Murphy, being one of its early settlers. Two children grace their union, Charles R. and John H. Socially, Mr. Kane is connected with Amity Lodge, I. O. O. F., and the encampment, and represented the subordinate in the Grand Lodge. He has also held some of its offices. In 1878 and 1879 he served as Township Collector, and was a member of the School Board from 1890 until his removal to Colorado. The best interests of the community have ever found in him a friend, and his worth and ability are recognized by his many acquaintances.
Extracted 26 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 632-633.
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