My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

CHARLES W. PLATER, one of the prominent citizens of Murphysboro, now holds the position of foreman of the lumber and wrecking department of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, and also furnishes and receives the supplies of the St. Louis Division. He was born in Jonesboro, Union County, Ill., August 3, 1852, and is a son of James L. and Anna C. (Stell) Plater, both of whom were natives of Washington, D. C. The father served as cashier in a bank in the Capitol City, but afterwards removed to New York, and subsequently located in Centralia, Ill. There he engaged in merchandising, hauling his goods from St. Louis by team. His last days were spent upon a farm near Jonesboro, Ill., and he became well-to-do. His death occurred in 1864, at the age of sixty-four years.

Our subject’s wife passed away February 1, 1892, at the advanced age of eighty-four. In the family were nine children, seven of whom are yet living. Three brothers, John, James and W. W., were members of the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry during the late war, and the first two were numbered among the boys in blue of Company D.

Upon the home farm, Mr. Plater of this sketch was reared, and in the public schools of Jonesboro acquired his education, graduating from the high school in 1871. He had previously learned the trade of cabinet-making, and in that year he purchased a cabinet shop in Ava, Ill., and embarked in business for himself. He also carried on a furniture store there for three years, and was one of the first merchants of the place. In 1874, he came to Murphysboro and engaged in contracting and building. The following year, however, he entered the employ of the St. Louis & Cairo Railroad as a bridge builder under W. M. Wood. He was afterwards put in charge of the rebuilding of the tunnel, which is four hundred and twenty feet in length, and on the completion of this work he was made foreman of the bridges and buildings between Murphysboro and Cairo, which position he held until 1891. During that time he was also engaged in bridge building at the new shops in East St. Louis for one year, and then again took charge of the bridges. After the road was sold to the Mobile & Ohio, in 1886, he continued with it in the same capacity, and in August, 1892, was appointed to his present position, as foreman of the lumber and wrecking department. The wrecking train is always ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice and is supplied with one of the finest outfits of the kind in the Mississippi Valley.

Mr. Plater was married in Jonesboro, October 1, 1886, to Miss Olive O. Cruse, a native of that city. Two children grace their union, Clarence and Roland. They have a pleasant residence on South Blanchard Street and also own another dwelling on the same street.

Mr. Plater is a stockholder in the Jackson County Homestead and Loan Association, and is Past Grand of Mt. Carbon Lodge No. 34, I. O. O. F., in which he holds membership. In politics, he is a Democrat, and for two years served as Alderman of the Fourth Ward, during which time the water works, electric light and sewerage systems were put in. He has ever had the best interests of the city at heart, and has done all in his power for its promotion and upbuilding.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.