Biography - Robert Gillespie

ROBERT E. GILLESPIE. The president of the Illinois State Trust Company, of East St. Louis, has won precedence as one of the strong and influential factors in connection with financial affairs in Southern Illinois, and his advancement represents the concrete results of his own ability and well directed efforts. He is one of the prominent business men and liberal and progressive citizens of East St. Louis, where he has maintained his home since 1907, and is a native of Illinois, with whose annals the family name has been long and worthily linked.

Robert E. Gillespie was born in Johnson county, Illinois, on the 21st of January, 1878, and is a son of James B. and Mary (Enloe) Gillespie. To the public schools of his native county Robert E. Gillespie is indebted for his early educational discipline, which included a course in the high school at Vienna, the county seat. This training was effectively supplemented by his attendance in Drury College, at Springfield, Missouri, and at the age of nineteen years he was appointed deputy circuit court clerk of his native county, a position of which he continued the incumbent for three years. Thereafter he served one year as assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Cobden, Union county, and at the expiration of the period noted he was advanced to the position of cashier of the institution. He retained this office until 1907, when he removed to East St. Louis and effected the organization of the City National Bank, of which he became cashier. In the following year this institution was merged into the Illinois State Trust Company, of which Mr. Gillespie was elected vice-president. He became a potent factor in defining the policies and directing the management of this substantial and popular institution, and appreciation of his ability and sterling character was emphatically shown by his election to the office of president of the corporation in the spring of 1911. He proves a most discriminating and progressive chief executive and to him must be attributed much of the success which has attended the operations of the staunch banking and trust company of whose administrative corps he is the head.

Liberal and public-spirited in his civic attitude, Mr. Gillespie shows a vital and helpful interest in all that concerns the welfare of his home city, and in politics he pays staunch allegiance to the Republican party. In the Masonic fraternity he has attained to the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and is also identified with the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is past master of his lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and is also a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In the year 1901 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Gillespie to Miss Ida Spann, of Vienna, Johnson county, where her father, William A. Spann, is a representative lawyer and citizen. Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie have one child, Martha, and Mrs. Gillespie is a popular figure in connection with the representative social activities of her home city.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 572-573.

Templates in Time