Biography - Arthur B. Alsbrook

ARTHUR B. ALSBROOK, senior member of the well-known milling firm of Alsbrook Brothers, of Vienna and New Burnside, and a man who has for many years been prominently identified with large business ventures in Johnson county, is one of those citizens who have conducted their own affairs in such a manner as to help to develop the resources of their community and to stimulate the healthy growth of trade. He was born October 30, 1870, at Marion, Illinois, and is a son of Stephen Wesley and Sarah J. (Blankenship) Alsbrook, natives of Tennessee. Stephen Wesley Alsbrook, who was the youngest of a family of fourteen children, migrated to Southern Illinois at an early day, settling in Marion, where at the time of his death, in 1872, he was the proprietor of a drug store. He and his wife, who was a daughter of Isom Blankenship, of Tennessee, had two sons: Arthur B. and Robert W. the latter of New Burnside.

Arthur B. Alsbrook was educated in the schools of Marion and New Burnside, to which latter place he was brought by his mother in 1877, and when nineteen years of age became station agent for the Big Four Railroad at Tunnel Hill, and also acted as telegraph operator. In 1890 he was sent to Paducah, Kentucky, as agent of the Cairo Short Line, which is now merged with the Illinois Central, but in 1893 gave up his position to engage in the mercantile business with a Mr. Clymer, under the firm name of Alsbrook, Clymer & Company. Buying out Mr. Clymer 's interest in the business, Mr. Alsbrook continued to carry on the business under the name of the Alsbrook Store Company, which became the largest of its kind in the county, handling implements, threshing machinery, sewing machines, etc., the annual business exceeding forty thousand dollars, and covering the counties of Pope, Johnson and Williamson. Mr. Alsbrook managed this business at New Burnside for sixteen years, or until 1909, in December of which year he sold out. In the meanwhile he had also engaged to some extent in the fire insurance business, and had superintended the operation of a farm of six hundred and ninety-two acres, which had started as a tract of eighty acres, and to which Mr. Alsbrook added from year to year, specializing in apple growing and at one time having fifty acres of apple-bearing orchard. In October, 1910, with his brother, he engaged in the milling business at New Burnside, purchasing the flouring mills and elevator at New Burnside, and in March, 1911, .the brothers purchased the J. B. Kuykendall Milling Company's interests at Vienna. "Mr. Alsbrook has a total investment in realty at New Burnside and Vienna in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, while his interest in property, grain, etc., exceeds thirty-five thousand dollars. The mills, which work night and day, employ fourteen men, and the daily capacity is flour, sixty barrels; meal, forty barrels, and feed, three tons, while the elevator capacity is sixty-five thousand bushels. Mr. Alsbrook owns a handsome residence at Vienna, and all of his activities have been directed toward assisting in forwarding movements for the betterment of his community. He belongs to New Burnside Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Vienna Chapter, R. A. M., as well as to the Odd Fellows at New Burnside. He and his family are members of the Methodist church and have been active in its work.

In 1898 Mr. Alsbrook was married to Miss Victoria Boulden, of Carbondale, Illinois, daughter of Henry N. and Harriet Josephine (Tise) Boulden, natives of France who now. live at Dermott, Arkansas, Mr. Boulden being the proprietor of a successful lumber business. Mr. and Mrs. Alsbrook have had one child: Sarah Josephine, who is thirteen years old and a student in the Vienna schools.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, page 811.

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