The gentleman whose name forms the caption of this sketch did not seek
any royal road to the goal of prosperity and independence, but began in
legitimate ways to advance himself and the result is that he is now numbered
among the successful newspaper men of Southern Illinois, having devoted
practically his entire life to the management of an old and popular paper,
the Democrat, published at Centralia, and he has been a molder of public
opinion, having been a faithful defender of the rights and interests of the
people of this vicinity at all times.
C. D. Tufts was born in Centralia, Illinois, January 27, 1864, the son of Samuel P. and Zerelda (Goodwin) Tufts, the former having been born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, January 28, 1827. The latter was born in Indiana October 6, 1833. They were married October 4, 1857, in Marion county, Illinois. Four of their children are now (1908) living, namely: Gay L.; C. D., our subject; Elsie M., and Zerelda D. Elsie M. married Ray Greene, of Sterling, Illinois. They have no children. Samuel P. Tufts passed to his rest October 4, 1903, at the age of seventy-six years. His widow is still living and enjoys excellent health; she is a woman of beautiful Christian character, being a member of the Baptist church.
The early education of C. D. Tufts was obtained in the Centralia high school, in which he graduated in 1882. He has published the Democrat since 1883, having had charge of the office since then. His father was formerly the editor of this paper, which was established in 1869. Samuel P. Tufts had charge of the paper when it was burned out in 1871, and he re-established it as a weekly. It has been conducted as a daily and weekly since 1892. The circulation has gradually increased from the first until it now consists of one thousand and two hundred on both the daily and weekly. The paper has always been popular with the people of Marion county, having been a faithful defender of the local interests. It is ably and carefully edited, and the news service is prompt and of the best. The mechanical appearance of the paper shows that the best and most modern equipment is used in the plant.
Mr. Tufts has been honored with many official positions, all of which he has discharged with ability. He was president of the Board of Education of Centralia for one term, also president of the Illinois Press Association for one term. During Governor John P. Altgeld's administration he was private secretary of the Lieutenant-Governor for a period of four years. He was a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and is at present Master in Chancery of Marion county. He has long been an able exponent of the principles of the Democratic party and his support can always be depended upon in furthering the local interests of this party.
In his fraternal relations, Mr. Tufts is a member of Centralia Lodge No. 201, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Centralia Council, No. 93, Royal Arch Masons; Centralia Council, No. 28, Royal and Select Masters; Cyrene Commandery No. 23, Knights Templar. He is in command of the Commandery. Mr. Tufts is also a member of Centralia Lodge No. 394, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; also a member of Helmet Lodge No. 26, Knights of Pythias, of Centralia. He is a member of the Order of Eastern Star and the Pythian Sisters, of Centralia lodges.
Mr. Tufts is a man of sunny disposition, affable, approachable and makes friends easily, which 'he has no trouble in retaining. While strong in his views, he is always willing to be fair and is candid at all times and under all circumstances. He enjoys an extensive acquaintance all over the state of Illinois among men of all classes, and he is held in high favor by all who know him for his honesty of purpose, pleasing manners and the future to such a man cannot help but be replete with abundant success.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 539-540.