SAMUEL H. REES, druggist at Belknap, is a representative young business man of Johnson County. He is a native of this State, coming of its sturdy pioneer stock, and was born in Jackson County March 11, 1861. He is a son of Dr. Alonzo P. Rees, the well-known physician, who is now a resident of Grand Chain, Pulaski County.
Dr. Rees was born in Missouri, where his father, James L. Rees, carried on the occupation of a farmer. Desiring a change of location, the grandfather of our subject loaded his household effects into a wagon and journeyed with his family Eastward until he arrived on the present site of Carbondale, Jackson County, where he purchased a tract of unimproved land. He constructed a primitive log cabin for a dwelling and then turned his attention to clearing his land, which he developed into a fairly good farm, only to sell it and buy another fourteen miles distant. The latter place he transformed into a valuable farm with line improvements, and made it his home until he passed from the scenes of earth. His wife is still living on the old place, which is yet in the family, she being seventy-two years old.
The father of our subject was quite young when he was brought to Illinois, and he grew to man's estate on the old homestead in Jackson County. Me was a studious, thoughtful lad and learned all that could be taught him in the schools of the day, which, however, were not of a very high order. He remained at home with his parents, working hard on the farm, until he was twenty-four years old, when he started out for himself. He first worked in a sawmill by the day, and at the age of twenty-five had sufficient means to justify his marriage with the lady of his choice. Miss Jane Crews, a native of Illinois. After taking that important step in life, the Doctor rented a farm in Williamson County and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He soon bought a farm in Jackson County which was improved. He continued to till the soil for seven years, but he was ambitious to enter some profession and naturally turned his attention to the study of medicine, which he began while farming. He devoted himself; heart, and soul to the acquirement of the fundamental principles of the profession that he intended to pursue and was enabled to establish himself in practice. He subsequently further fitted himself for his vocation by taking a thorough course at the Nashville Medical College, at Nashville, Tenn., whence he was graduated with honor.
After his graduation, the Doctor removed to Pulaski County and was engaged in practice there for a time. From there he came to Belknap and was one of the leading physicians in this section for a number of years. He finally returned to Pulaski County and has been located at Grand Chain since. He has control of a large and lucrative practice and has an extensive acquaintance in surrounding counties and is regarded as a sensible, intelligent and well-equipped physician, whose high standing is due to personal merit and a laudable ambition to make a name and a place for himself in the world. He and his estimable wife have been happy in their marriage, which has been blessed to them by the birth of seven children, as follows: Samuel H.; John D., a bookkeeper at Terrill, Tenn.; Mary D., wife of S. D. Peeler, a farmer at Belknap; Martha P., wife of T. E. Williamson, of Grand Chain, a traveling salesman; Georgie Ann, wife of David Copeland, a farmer of Grand Chain; and Nellie and Fred, at home with their parents.
Samuel H. Rees, of this biographical review, passed his boyhood on a farm and early became familiar with its labors. He attended the common schools until he was fourteen years old, and his further education has been acquired outside of schools. He assisted his father in the management of his farm until he attained his majority and then began to work for himself. He first found employment in a sawmill and afterward obtained a more congenial situation in a drug store, where he applied himself diligently to acquiring a complete knowledge of drugs and of business methods. He stayed in that drug store at Belknap two years and then resumed work in the sawmill, in which he was engaged two years. At the end of that time he again became interested in the drug business and for four or five years was in his father's drug store. When his father sold out he went to Vienna and was engaged in the same business, and later at St. Louis and Murfreesboro, and thus gained an extensive and valuable experience as a druggist. In July, 1887, he came to Belknap and bought a small drug store, with stock and fixtures, for $300, and from that small beginning he has built up a good business and has a well-appointed drug store for the size of the town, carrying a full line of all such drugs as are in usual demand in this section and making it a point to sell none but the purest obtainable.
The marriage of Mr. Rees to Miss Ella Hartman was solemnized in 1885. Mrs. Rees is a native of Johnson County, but her father and mother are now living at Chester, in Randolph County. Mr. and Mrs. Rees' attractive home is brightened by the presence of three children born to them, Walter A., Guy H. and Blanche.
Our subject is a man of much value in the community, as he is thoroughly alive to public interests, and while a member of the Village Board of Trustees and of the local School Board exerted his influence for its material advancement and to secure the best possible educational advantages for the children of Belknap. He and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he stands with the Democrats.
Extracted 17 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 152-154.
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