A happy combination of characteristics is possessed by the honorable
gentleman of whom the biographer now essays to write, for he has shown
during his long residence in Salem, Marion county, Illinois, that he is a
man of rare business acumen, foresight and sagacity, at the same time
possessing laudable traits of character such as integrity, industry,
sobriety and kindliness; these, combined with his public spirit and model
home life, have resulted in winning for Mr. Pace the unqualified esteem of
all who know him.
H. T. Pace was born one and one-half miles south of Salem on a farm, February 3, 1850, and, believing that better opportunities awaited him right here at home, he early decided to cast his lot with his own people rather than seek uncertain success in other fields, and, judging from the pronounced success which has attended his subsequent efforts, one must conclude that he made a wise decision.
The subject's father was George W. Pace, a native of Kentucky, who came to Jefferson county, Illinois, when a young man, but soon after locating here he moved to Marion county, where he engaged in farming, later in the furniture business, having spent many years in this; he also learned the tailor's trade and conducted a tailor shop for a time soon after coming here. He was a man of considerable force and influence, honest, hard working and hospitable, who spared no pains in rearing his family in the best possible manner, always holding out high ideals and lofty aims. He was noted as a great story teller as well as a kindly, neighborly man. He was born December 18, 1806, and passed to his rest June 1, 1867. He was one of the oldest pioneers of Marion county, being one of the best known and most beloved men in the county and familiarly called "Uncle George."
The mother of the subject, whose birth occurred on the same day of the month as that of her husband, December 18th, in the year 1808, was known in her maidenhood as Tabithia J. Rogers, a native of Tennessee, the representative of a fine old Southern family, and she "crossed over the mystic river" to join her worthy life companion on the other shore February 26, 1881, at the age of seventy-three years, after closing a serene and beautiful life of the noblest Christian attributes and wholesome influence. One of the most commendable traits in our subject was his devotion to his mother, with whom he lived until her death, joyfully administering to her every want and sacrificing much in his own life that she might be comfortable and happy. Nine children were born to the parents of the subject, only three of whom are living at this writing, 1908. The living are: O. H. Pace, of Mount Vernon, Illinois, at the age of sixty-eight years; Mrs. O. E. Tryner, living at Long Beach, California, at the age of sixty years; H. T., our subject. The parents of the subject were married May 13, 1830.
H. T. Pace remained under his parental roof-tree during the lifetime of his parents. He attended the common schools in Salem, where he diligently applied himself and received a good education. However, thirsting for more knowledge, he attended college at Jacksonville, Illinois, for a short time. The stage having allurements and he having natural talents as a comedian, he traveled for three years with some of the best companies on the road as a black-face comedian, winning wide notoriety through this medium.
Tiring of the stage, he went to Denver in 1880, where he clerked for a while in a jewelry store, later worked as a Pullman conductor between Denver and Leadville over the South Park Railroad. In 1884 Mr. Pace came back to Salem and has remained here ever since prospering in whatever he has undertaken.
The harmonious domestic life of the subject dates from 1884, when he was united in marriage with Alice H. Andrews, the accomplished and popular daughter of Samuel Andrews, who sacrificed his life for his country, having met death in the Union lines while fighting in defense of the flag. At the time of their marriage Mr. Pace was supposed to be on his death bed from a sudden and serious illness. The married life of this couple has been a most ideal one and has resulted in the birth of seven children, five of whom are living. Their names follow: Claude S., of Salem, engine foreman at the Chicago & Eastern Illinois shops; Effie Jenella, Lynn Harvey, Ned R., Gladys D., Lowell died in infancy, as did also the last child, Mona.
After his marriage Mr. Pace went into the piano business, which he has since conducted for twenty-five years, the greatest success attending his efforts, his house being known throughout Marion county, and his trade extending many miles in every direction, as a result of his skill in managing this line and his uniform fairness and courteousness to customers. His piano parlor is one of the popular business houses of Salem. Mr. Pace keeps a modern and up-to-date line of musical instruments, talking machines and similar goods.
Fraternally Mr. Pace is a member of the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen and the Eastern Star, being the Worthy Patron in the latter order.
Mr. Pace is now the only member of this worthy family in Marion county, and he is one of the oldest native born residents of Salem. Among his interesting collection of relics and curios is an old clock which his father and mother bought when they first went to housekeeping.
In all the relations of life our subject has been found worthy of the trust imposed in him, being a man of rare business ability, force of character and possessing praise-worthy qualities of head and heart which make him popular with all whom he meets, and he is today regarded by all classes as being one of the staunchest, most upright and representative citizens of Marion county.
Extracted 11 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 42-44.