Jackson County


While demonstrating his executive ability, fine business capacity and general readiness, resourcefulness and adaptability to requirements, in the teaching and management of several important schools in different cities of this state, Alphonso McCormick, of Carbondale, attracted the attention of the American Book Company, and was called into its service with bright prospects, a part of which have since been realized, with the rest still waiting for him as he advances toward them. In the service he has rendered it he has not disappointed the great book concern, and it always appreciates faithful attention to its interests and rewards it justly.

Mr. McCormick is a native of Indiana and a son of William and Sarah E. (Cotton) McCormick, and was born at Evansville in the Hoosier state on January 16, 1861. His father is a coal operator in that locality and a man of force and influence among his fellows. He appreciates the value of a good education as a means of advancement in life, and gave his son every educational advantage he was able to provide for him. The son used his opportunities for all they were worth, wasting no time while attending school and neglecting no means available to him for the acquisition of useful knowledge and full mental development.

He began his scholastic training in the public schools of his native city, continued it at Valparaiso University in the state of his birth and completed it at the University of Chicago. He began teaching school in 1881 and continued his work in this highly useful but very trying occupation until 1896. He was employed in several parts of Southern Illinois and served as principal of the schools of several different cities. In the year last named he accepted an offer from the American Book Company to act as its agent in Southern Illinois, and in 1896 was appointed its general agent for the whole of Southern Illinois, with headquarters in Carbondale, which has been his home for a number of years.

Mr. McCormick has been very diligent and vigilant in attending to the interests committed to his care, and they have prospered and grown stronger in his hands. He has applied to the management of them the same assiduous industry, determined will and fruitful persistence that he employs in everything else he undertakes, and he has made his efforts tell greatly to the advantage of the company, and at the same time they have served to raise him to the first rank in public estimation as a business man, while his high character, public spirit and general worth have given him a strong hold on the regard of the people as a citizen.

Mr. McCormick was first married, on July 8, 1882, to Miss Josie Crider of Marion, Kentucky. On July 8, 1910, he married Ella Lilly, of Carbondale. They have six children: Gertrude E., the wife of C. C. Neely, a train dispatcher for the Illinois Central Railroad; William P., a prosperous merchant in Jackson, Tennessee; Esther, who is a valued employe of the Carbondale Telephone Company; and Edith M., Alma L. and Archibald S., who are still members of the parental family circle, and strong elements of its popularity as a social center and source of genial and genuine hospitality.

Mr. McCormick has taken a great interest in the fraternal life of his community for a number of years, and his membership is highly appreciated in the various benevolent societies to which he belongs. He is a past noble grand in the Order of Odd Fellows, and had been the representative of his lodge in the meetings of the Grand Lodge many times. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Order of Elks and the United Commercial Travelers Association. His religious affiliation is with the Baptist church, and the members of his family also favor that denomination.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1159-1160.

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