Biography - REV. JAMES T. ALSUP

The city of Vienna, Illinois, is fortunate in the character of its representatives of the ministerial profession, and one of the most highly respected and gifted men now engaged in that line of work here is the Rev. James T. Alsup, pastor of the Church of Christ. Rev. Alsup springs from a strain of sturdy pioneer stock, it having been his grandfather, James Alsup, who settled in Massac county in 1841, his death occurring shortly after that date. He had lived in the Choctaw nation for a time before coming to Illinois.

James T. Alsup was born July 13, 1864, in Unionville, Massac county, Illinois, a son of William Alsup, who was a native of Tennessee. His wife was Hannah C. Neal, also a native of Tennessee, who came to Massac county from near Nashville. They had a family of four children, all of whom are living as follows: Mrs. Dora Pierce, Mrs. Annie Hight, Robert and James T. The elder Alsup was a blacksmith by trade, and he died when James T. was but a small boy and the son was accordingly obliged to make his own way from a very early age. After the father's death the mother moved with her family to Johnson county, Illinois, and when ten years old James in order to lift a portion of the burden of the support of the family from her shoulders hired out to a farmer. He continued to thus work until his eighteenth year, when he decided to supplement his meager schooling with further study and entered the public school. Later he became a pupil at a select school, where he studied under the tutorage of Professor W. Y. Smith for two years.

The summer of 1888 marked the beginning of Rev. Alsup's career as a minister of the Christian church, his ordination taking place soon after he had started to preach. In January, 1889, he accepted a call to the Metropolis, Illinois, Christian church, and retained that charge for two years. He then resigned in order to pursue higher studies and entered Eureka College, remaining there five years, receiving his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1896. While attending college Rev. Alsup devoted a portion of his time to preaching, filling at various times the pulpits of Pontiac, Flanagan, Saunemin and Cerro Gordo, all of which were located near Eureka College.

He responded to a call from the Washington, Illinois, church in 1896, and remained with that charge for two years, at the expiration of which period he accepted the appointment of state evangelist at the hands of the State Board of Christian Missions. This evangelical work he continued for a year and then, having received an urgent call from the Pekin, Illinois, Church of Christ, he took up work there and served for three years, severing his connection with the charge in April of 1902. It was while a resident of Pekin that Rev. Alsup suffered bereavement in the loss of his first wife, her demise occurring in October, 1901. She was Mollie Davison. daughter of Amazinah and Jane Davison, and her marriage to Mr. Alsup took place in 1892. They became the parents of four children, Janet, Winifred, Errett and Vivian.

In 1902 Rev. Alsup decided to seek a change of location and selected as his choice Harrison county, Missouri. Purchasing a farm at that point, he continued to live thereon with his family, cultivating the land, teaching and preaching and doing a great amount of good. For seven years he continued to pursue this mode of life and character of activity in Missouri, when a desire to return to his old home state seized him and he went back to Metropolis. Illinois, remaining there until the spring of 1911, when he returned to his first charge in Vienna.

While in Missouri, in January, 1904, Rev. Alsup married his second wife, who was Miss Josie L. North, of Washington, Illinois, daughter of Luther S. and Ellen North. To this union three children were born, two of whom are living. James and William.

Rev. Alsup is a man of good business ability and he has accumulated some valuable property, among his holdings being a two hundred acre farm near Vienna, which he purchased in 1908. He is active in social life and is a member of the Modern Woodmen and Court of Honor lodges and is also a Mason. As a minister he is a man of power, a forceful speaker and endowed with marked oratorical ability. He possesses great energy and has many pleasing personal qualities and a sterling character that have won for him the highest respect and esteem of all with whom he comes in contact.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1509-1511.

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