Prominent among the energetic, far-sighted and successful business men of
Marion county, Illinois, is the subject of this sketch, whose life history
most happily illustrates what may be attained by faithful and continued
effort in carrying out an honest purpose. Integrity, activity and energy
have been the crowning points in his career and have led to desirable and
creditable success. His connection with banking institutions and various
lines of business has been of decided advantage to the entire community,
promoting its welfare along various lines in no uncertain manner, while at
the same time he has made an untarnished record and unspotted reputation as
a business man.
Henry Warren, the widely known bank president and gallant Civil war veteran of Kinmundy, Marion county, Illinois, was born in this county in 1845, the son of Asa Warren and his mother's maiden name was Sina Howell. Grandfather Howell was sup-posed to have come from Virginia, settling with the pioneers in Marion county, Illinois, in a very early day, and spending his life on a farm doing much for the upbuilding of the community. He entered land from, the government on which he spent the remainder of his life and on which he reared his family. He lived to be more than eighty years of age. He was a member of the old Hardshell Baptist church, as was also his wife. - One of the first log churches built in this community was erected on his farm, of which he was one of the principal supporters. The major portion of his neighbors were Indians when he first came to this county, and the woods and prairies teemed with wild game of nearly all species and varieties. There were but few settlements in the county at that time. The green flies were so thick and aggressive that people could not cross the prairies in the day time during part of the year. He man-aged this farm until his death which then fell to his heirs. All of the second generation of Howells have passed on to their rest.
Asa Warren, father of our subject, came from Tennessee to Illinois when a young man and entered land from the government. He sold out in time and moved to Texas where he died when fifty-five years of age, being survived by four children, three of whom were boys. He was a man of much influence, integrity and force of character. He was a gallant soldier in the Mexican war, having served until peace was declared after which he returned to Illinois. He followed farming all his life. Both he and his wife belonged to the old school Baptists. The subject's mother was called to her rest at about the age of forty years. She was a kindly and good woman in every respect.
Henry Warren, our subject, was reared in Marion county, Illinois, having attended the common and district schools, part of the time in old log school-houses with their primitive furnishings. He worked most of the year on his father's farm during his school days. He was about twelve years old when he accompanied his father to Texas, and he returned from the Lone Star state to Illinois one year after his father's death, the home place in Texas having been sold. Then our subject worked out as a farm hand, sometimes receiving only eight dollars a month, continuing as a farm hand for twelve years. He then rented land for two years. Then he married and bought eighty acres of land which he improved and made into a good farm on which he lived for about thirty-eight years, which were prosperous, in the main, and during which he laid up a competency for the future. From time to time he added to his original eighty until he finally had eight hundred acres, all of which was in cultivation and kept in a high state of improvement and efficiency. He drained this large tract of land and securely fenced it with wood and wire. Substantial and modern buildings, a large dwelling, two barns and other out buildings were erected, and the place, which Mr. Warren still owns, is one of Marion county's model farms. While he still looks after the farm he keeps it rented. When our subject gave his personal attention to this place it was in somewhat better condition and he devoted him time largely to grass and stock.
Mr. Warren moved to Kinmundy in 1896 and one year later opened under the most favorable auspices what is known as the Warren Banking Company's establishment, which met with instantaneous success and is today regarded as one of the most substantial and safest institutions of its kind in this part of the state. He is president of the same, having filled this position with much credit to his ability and the satisfaction of the many patrons of the bank since its establishment. His son, Henry L., who was made cashier at the organization of the concern, is still ably attending to these duties. Mr. Warren owns the substantial building in which the business of the firm is conducted. He also owns a large, comfortable, modern and elegantly furnished dwelling house besides other buildings on the same street where he lives in Kinmundy. He deserves much credit for the wealth he has amassed partly because of the fact that he started life empty handed and has made it unaided, and partly because he has not a single dishonest dollar in his possession, having always been scrupulously honest in his dealings with his fellow men. During the last panic and bank depression his was the only bank that kept open in the county.
Mr. Warren was first married in 1867 to Mary C. Nichols, a native of this county, the accomplished daughter of Robert Nichols, and to this union the following children were born: William, born October 6, 1868, now a farmer and minister in Jefferson county, Illinois, to whom two children were born; Harry L., born September 1, 187I, is living in Kinmundy associated with his father in the banking business, and who is married and the father of one child; Charley W., born March 21, 1874, is assistant cashier in the bank, being married and the father of one child, Lowel F., born October 27, 1897.
Mr. Warren's first wife passed to her rest in 1903, and the subject was again married in 1906, his last wife being Ida Shriver, a native of Marion county and the daughter of William Schriver, who was a native of Ohio. One child has been born to this union, May Margaret, whose date of birth fell on January 14, 1908.
Mr. Warren was one of the patriotic de-fenders of the flag during the dark days of the sixties when the fierce fires of rebellion were undermining the pillars of our national government, and he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served with credit and distinction to the close of the war and was honorably discharged. He draws a disability pension of twelve dollars. One brother, Larkin A. Warren, was also a soldier, having been a member of Sixth Missouri Cavalry. He died at New Orleans while in the army, after having served out his first enlistment of three years, and it was toward the close of the struggle when he was attacked by a disease while in line of duty from which he did not recover.
Our subject is a loyal Republican and in religious affiliations is a liberal subscriber and supporter of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Warren's methods are progressive and he is quick to adopt new ideas which he believes will prove of practical value in his work. Indolence and idleness are entirely foreign to his nature and owing to his close application to his business and his honorable methods he has won prosperity that is richly merited, while he enjoys the friendship and esteem of the people of Marion county.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 75-77.