Biography - Lawrence Root

Lawrence E. Root, member of the well-known dry-goods firm of Root Brothers, of Newman, was born in Rome township, Athens county, Ohio, November 16, 1848, and was the ninth child born to Mr. and Mrs. Levi Root, pioneer settlers of Athens county (see sketch of brother, D.O. Root, for ancestry). He remained on the farm with his parents until 1863, when, in the spring of that year, he enlisted in Company K, Third West Virginia Calvary. At the time of his enlistment he was only a little past fourteen years of age, being the youngest private soldier there has been any record found of so far. Going out in the winter of 1862-63, he served with Sheridan in the Shenandoah valley, Custer's division, and served up to the surrender of Lee, at Appomattox Court House. at the close of the war, Mr. Root returned to Athens, and in 1867 came west and settled in Douglas county, locating on a farm south of Newman, where he was successfully engaged in farming up to 1888. In that year he formed a partnership with his brother, D.O. Root, in the general dry-goods business, which has continued most successfully up to the present time. While on the farm he served four years as supervisor of Sargent township, in which township he resided from 1871 to 1888. He also served as supervisor of Newman township two years, and from 1890 to 1894 he served most efficiently as treasurer of the county. Mr. Root since his residence in Newman has served in the city council, and has been thoroughly identified with the best interests of the city. He is a large stockholder in the Newman Electric Light & Canning Company. He is a member of the Newman Lodge, No. 369, of Masons; a Knight Templar, belonging to Melita Commandery, No. 37, of Tuscola; a Knight of Pythias, and a member of the G.A.R. and Knights of Honor.
The store room occupied by Root Brothers is one hundred and twenty feet by twenty, two stories; the upper story is filled with clothing, boots, etc. The firm employs five clerks, and carries from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars worth of stock.
In 1870 our subject wedded Miss Vashti Winkler, of Newman, a daughter of Charles and Sarah (Lane) Winkler, natives of Kentucky and Ohio respectively. To the union have been born nine children, whose names and dates of birth, are as follows: Melvin L., January 27, 1871; Wallace E., January 11, 1873; Blanche, March 28, 1875; Ina, March 22, 1877; Grace, July 22, 1879; Paul A., September 8, 1881; Hattie Lane, December 28, 1883; Madge, December 11, 1877; Lois, August 9, 1890. Only Melvin and Wallace are married. The members of the family are identified with the M.E. church in Newman.

Extracted by Linda Lang from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, pages 216-217.

Templates in Time