In the pursuit of his business career Mr. McQuin has displayed
unfaltering devotion to the principles he has learned to cherish and his
honesty and integrity have earned him a place among the representative and
staunchest citizens of Marion county, Illinois.
Robert T. McQuin was born in Johnson county, Indiana, October 16, 1853, the son of William I. McQuin, a native of Kentucky who went to Indiana when a young man. He was a carpenter by trade. He moved from Indiana soon after our subject was born, locating at Oconee, Shelby county, Illinois, where he lived for three or four years. Then he moved to Salem, Illinois, in July, 1859. The first work he did here was on the Park Hotel, which was built in that year by Amos Clark and which was known then as the Clark House. William I. McOuin continued to live in Salem, where he was regarded as a man of integrity and influence, until his death in October, 1899. The mother of the subject of this sketch was known in her maidenhood as Mary E. Sturgeon, who was a native of Kentucky and a woman of many estimable traits. Her mother lived to reach the remarkable age of ninety-seven years. One of her brothers was a policeman in St. Louis, Missouri. She died in April, 1908, in Denison, Texas, where she was living with her son, Edwin S. McQuin.
The father and mother of the subject were the parents of nine children, five of whom are living. Their names in order of birth follow: Tarlton, deceased; William F., deceased; Robert T., our subject; James S., who is living at New Castle, Indiana, and is secretary and treasurer of the Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet Company, which is doing an extensive business all over the world; Sarah E., deceased; Agnes, deceased; Edwin S., living at Denison, Tex., being a conductor on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company's lines; John T., a carpenter, living in St. Louis; May lives with her brother in Denison, Texas.
These children all received every advantage possible by their parents, who tried to raise them in a wholesome home atmosphere, setting worthy ideals before them at all times.
Robert T. McQuin, our subject, lived with his father until he was twenty-five years old, assisting with the work about the place and attending the public schools of Salem, in which he diligently applied himself, and received a fairly good education. When twenty years old he began working as a harness maker and two years later commenced the shoemaker's trade, following this with much success until 1881, when he launched into the shoe business for himself, having continued the same ever since with satisfactory results, building up a large and extensive trade by reason of his honest business principles and his uniform courtesy to customers. His trade extends to all parts of the county and his store is well known to all the citizens of Salem and surrounding towns for his patrons have learned that he handles the best grade of footwear in the market and always gives good value. He augmented his business in 1889 by adding a complete stock of harness and by doing a general line of repair work. He now handles a full line of harness and similar materials. He manufactures most all of his heavy harness and some buggy harness, being recognized as the leading dealer in this line in Marion county.
Mr. McQuin was happily married to Jennie Slack, October 16, 1879, the refined and accomplished daughter of Frederick W. Slack, who lived in Salem at that time. Her family were natives of Kentucky. It was rather singular that this family moved from Kentucky to Oconee, Illinois, and then to Salem simultaneously with the McOuin family; however the last move was made a few years after the McQuin family came to Salem. Two children have been born to the subject and wife, namely: Maud, who is the wife of Dwight W. Larimer, in the abstract business in Salem; Ralph is the second child and a student of the Salem public schools.
Mr. McQuin has been twice honored by being elected City Council of Salem. He is associated with his brother-in-law, W. S. Slack, in the monument business in Salem, which is also a thriving business, the firm name being R. T. McQuin & Company.
Our subject is a Modern Woodman in his fraternal relations and he belongs to the Presbyterian church, having been a consistent member of the same for a period of thirty-four years in 1908. Mrs. McQuin also subscribes to this faith. Our subject has been a deacon in the church and is now a ruling elder.
Mr. McQuin has ever been known as a loyal citizen and has done his share in aiding the march of progress and development in this county, and during his residence in Salem his characteristics have won for him recognition as a man of upright dealing and by his many virtues he has won the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 26-27.