Biography - Mrs. Sara Poor

MRS. SARA A. (DUNCAN) POOR, widow of Jasper Newton Poor, is a resident of Vienna, and well known in social circles as an amiable, attractive woman, living in the most beautiful home in the village, planned and built by herself and husband a short time before his death. She is a native of Williamson County, where her parents are still living on the old farm. Her father is one of the substantial farmers of his county, and he has also engaged in business as a general merchant and dealer in tobacco. He and his wife had a family of six children, as follows: Warren Webster, a lawyer at Marion; George Washington, proprietor of a general merchandise store at Lake Creek; James Thomas, who died in infancy; Perrin Wilson, a merchant at Lake Creek; Charles L., at home with his parents; and Sara A.
The subject of this biography was very well educated in her girlhood, and her advantages at home were such as to cultivate the best traits of her character and develop in her a true womanhood, which fitted her for the responsibilities of wedded life, when she was united in marriage with Jasper Newton Poor, September 3, 1882. They were congenial in their dispositions, and worked together hand in hand in the building of a dwelling that is at once the finest and coziest within the precincts of Vienna, its appointments luxurious, tasteful and comfortable. Here Mrs. Poor lives with and for her children, Mamie Newton and Grace Duncan, steadily and cheerfully pursuing the even tenor of her way, and not permitting the lives of her loved ones to be shadowed by her sadness at the loss of one who was a true friend as well as a devoted husband.
Jasper N. Poor was a Johnson County boy, born November 5, 1865, a son of Sampson D. Poor, a well-known pioneer of this county, now residing in the city of Metropolis, in Massac County. Sampson Poor is a native of Tennessee, and came to this State when quite young with his father, traveling hither with a team, their household effects being loaded into a wagon. The grandparents of our subject's husband had but little means with which to enter upon the new life in a comparative wilderness, that was thinly inhabited, and where a great deal of hard labor was required in clearing a farm before they could realize a competence. They were, however, well able to cope with the difficulties incident to pioneer life, and before they passed away had made a comfortable home and had done their full share in developing the county.
The father-in-law of our subject lived in Johnson County for many years, was married here to Sarah Jane Mount, the daughter of a pioneer family of the county of which she is a native, and after marriage he bought an unimproved farm here. He and his wife began life together in a cabin, and he devoted his energies to clearing his land, and in time made a fine farm of it. He and his helpmate also had to encounter the hardships of frontier life, and only through sacrifice and persistent industry carried out their plans, and in time had one of the best farms in the neighborhood. They continued to occupy it until 1886, when they removed to Metropolis, where they are spending their declining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of their early labors. They were the parents of ten children, as here recorded: Sarah Jane, wife of W. J. Fern, of Tunnel Hill Township; Jasper Newton, our subject's husband; Sydney Isabel, wife of Lewis H. Frizzell, of Vienna; George Washington, who died in 1887; Mary, wife of Pleasant Burris, of New Grantsburg; Elizabeth Alice, wife of L. G. Simmons, of Metropolis; Benjamin Franklin, who died in 1868; Dora Ann and Cora Ann, who died in 1873; and India M., who died in 1877.
Jasper N. Poor was the second child born to his parents. He was brought up on a farm, and besides doing what work was required of him as of all farmers' boys when not in school, he tended a general merchandise store, of which his father was proprietor. He had a natural talent for business, and this early experience, seconded by sound instructions in the principles of business and finance at the Evansville Business College, of which he was a graduate, gave him superior advantages and made him one of the leaders in commercial enterprises in his native county. He lived with his parents until he was twenty-four years old, and then came to Vienna to engage in the mercantile business, associating himself with C. Colin for the ensuing four years. At the end of that time, in 1884, he entered upon his career as a banker, establishing the Bank of Vienna, which, in the few short years that it was under his control, rose to lie one of the first moneyed institutions in this part of southern Illinois. He acquired an enviable reputation as a financier, whose keen insight into money matters seldom found him at fault in making investments, while he combined a progressive policy with cautious methods in the management of his bank. He was the soul of honor and integrity, and honest purpose characterized all his dealings. He met his obligations promptly, and his patrons, many of whom had known him from childhood, trusted liim implicitly, and their confidence was never betrayed. He was absorbed in his business and avoided civic life, although he was thoroughly public-spirited and was prominent and influential in furthering the progress of the village and county. While he was yet in the full Hush and vigor of a noble manhood, when life was at its brightest and all things seemed well with him, and a happy home and loving wife and children and many friends added to the charm of living, death came to him, and January 25, 1890, his hands and brain were stilled from their labors, and his eyes closed in the sleep that knows no waking this side of eternity.

Extracted 22 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 186-188.

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