The modern pharmacist is a man of many callings, for he is expected to
bear upon his shoulders the burden and responsibilities of others, and
not only must he understand his own profession thoroughly, but he must
be able to rectify and detect the occasional blunders of the medical
fraternity, to give kindly advice to those unwilling or unable to call
in a physician, and to at all times place his establishment and time at
the disposal of the general public. The course of training is long and
arduous and the fitting up of a modern store expensive, and no other
line of human endeavor demands such prolonged hours of service, so that
the pharmacist of today, in order to be successful, must be a man whose
love of his chosen vocation is placed above all other things. One who
has proven worthy of the trust and confidence placed in him, and a man
who has been prominent in public life, is Samuel H. Rees, owner of the
only pharmacy at Belknap, a man than whom there is no more highly
esteemed nor popular citizen in the community. He was born on a farm in
Jackson county, Illinois, March 11, 1861, and is a son of the late Dr.
Alonzo P. and Jane (Krews) Rees.
James L. Rees, the grandfather of Samuel H. Rees, was a native of Virginia, of German descent, who migrated to Tennessee and thence to Jackson county, Illinois, where he became one of the earliest settlers. Dr. Alonzo P. Rees was born and reared in Tennessee, and as a young man took up the study of medicine, which he practiced for many years in Jackson, Johnson and Pulaski counties. He was one of the earliest practitioners of this section, and at the time of his death, in 1887, when he was fifty-eight years of age, no man was better known or more sincerely liked in this part of the state. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Jane Krews, was born and reared in Jackson county, and died in 1895, at the age of fifty-six years. They had a family of seven children, as follows: Samuel H.; John D., who is engaged in the clothing and general merchandise business at Owensboro, Kentucky; H. F., who is a United States rural free delivery carrier; Mary D., the wife of Samuel D. Peeler, one of the leading agriculturists of Cache township; Martha P., wife of T. E. Williamson, of Claremore, Oklahoma; Anna, the wife of J. D. Copeland, of Blythesville, Arkansas; and Nellie, the wife of W. P. Weeks, of Joppa, Illinois. Samuel H. Rees spent his boyhood on the home farm and attended the district schools until he was fifteen years of age, at which time he came to Belknap and secured employment as a clerk in the drug store, also attending school in the winter and doing sawmill work until he was twenty years of age. In 1881 he took a position in a drug store at Vienna, where he remained until 1884, and then went to Murphysboro, where he followed the same line until the summer of 1886. At this time he came to Belknap and purchased the business which he has continued to conduct for the past quarter of a century, his popularity being so great with the people of his community that no rival establishment has offered competition. Until 1910 he was the owner of a farm near Belknap, but in that year disposed of it, and he also has engaged in life insurance work, but the major part of his attention has been given to his pharmacy. He has a full and up-to-date line of drugs, proprietary medicines, and other articles usually found in a first-class drug establishment, and his business extends all over Belknap and the surrounding country. He is the owner of his own residence and the building in which his business is carried on. A stanch Republican, Mr. Rees has, up to a year or so ago, taken an active interest in the success of his party, in the ranks of which he has ever been a willing and faithful worker. Enjoying to the fullest degree the friendship and confidence of the men high up in the councils of the party, he has always sought rather to assist his friends than himself, although at various times he has been mayor, alderman and school director of Belknap, and has shown marked executive ability. He started in life without a dollar, his business in Belknap having been opened on borrowed capital, with no other security than his personal word, but he was soon able to repay the loan and to build up a profitable business. He has been, however, a man of many charities, and in giving assistance to his friends has often embarrassed himself in a financial way. A faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Rees has been liberal in supporting its movements, and, being a modest, unassuming and unostentations man, the extent of his charities will probably never be known. Fraternally he is popular with the members of the Masons, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Odd Fellows and the Tribe of Ben Hur, to all of which he belongs. During ing President Cleveland's first administration Mr. Rees was appointed postmaster at Belknap, and again, on August 1, 1902, he received the appointment to that position, serving therein until April 15, 1911.
In 1885 Mr. Rees was married to Miss Ella Hartman, of Chester, Illinois, daughter of Tobias and Mary A. Hartman, the former of whom is now deceased, while the latter resides in Washington, D. C., and six children have been born to this union, namely: Walter A., a Methodist minister at Gillette, Arkansas, who is married and has a son, William; Guy H., a barber by trade, and now an attendant at the hospital at Kankakee; Mrs. Blanche Carter, who has one child, Glen; Theodore, a carpenter by trade, who resides at Gillette, Arkansas; and Edith and Helen, who reside at home with their parents.
Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 2, page 736.
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