Biography - Robert H. Wing

ROBERT H. WING. In considering those among New Burnside's citizens whose activities have been directed toward developing that city's industries, and whose foresight has been rewarded in a most substantial manner, prominent mention should be given Robert H. Wing, of the firm of R. H. Wing & Company, who after a career that has been remarkable in the rapidity with which he has attained success finds himself the head of the largest general merchandise business in Johnson county, with the exception of Vienna. His industry and hard and faithful labor have advanced him from a poor but ambitious youth to a place among the foremost business citizens of his community, and he may certainly lay claim to being a self-made man in all that the term implies. Robert H. Wing was born November 4, 1878. on a farm near Golconda, in Pope county, Illinois, and is a son of William H. and Mary A. (Tune) Wing.

William H. Wing was born November 12, 1844. in Robinson county, Tennessee, and is a son of Allen H. and Nancy F. (Shaw) Wing, natives respectively of Alabama and Tennessee, who moved to Kentucky in 1847. William H. Wing enlisted, August 15, 1862. in Company D, Eighth Kentucky Cavalry, and saw service in Tennessee and Kentucky, being principally engaged in skirmish and police duty during this service of twelve months. He re-enlisted August 6, 1864, in Company C, Seventeenth Kentucky Cavalry, under Colonel Samuel F. Johnson, but for the greater part of this service was sick, being ill in the hospital for four months. He was honorably discharged September 20, 1865, and on December 18th of the same year migrated to Southern Illinois, first locating on a farm near Golconda, Pope county, where he resided until 1880. In that year he moved to Stonefort, but a few months later removed to a farm about ten miles from New Burnside, and after living there for two years settled in the village, where until his retirement he was engaged in timber work and as a manufacturer of staves. He is a member of William Lawrence Post, No. 794?, Grand Army of the Republic. In 1869 Mr. Wing was married to Miss Mary A. Tune, daughter of Robert B. and Jane (Knott) Tune, of Tennessee, who later moved to Pope county, Illinois, and four children were born to this union, namely: Robert H., Charles Edward and Cora Nell, one dying in infancy.

When Robert H. Wing was four years of age his parents moved to New Burnside, where he received his education in the common schools. As a youth he showed his industry and enterprise by accepting odd jobs during vacations, while other youths of his neighborhood were at play, and when he was eighteen years old he began to work during vacations as a clerk in the post office. His first regular employment was as a section man on the Big Four Railroad, when he was twenty-one years of age, but after four years decided he could better himself in the mercantile field, and subsequently secured a position with P. W. Riddon, the New Burnside merchant. Later he was employed by Alsbrook Brothers & Company, with which firm he continued for five years, and in the fall of 1909 entered the employ of Dennison & Gholson Dry Goods Company, wholesalers of Cairo, Illinois, where he gained six months of very valuable experience. In March, 1910, feeling that he had sufficiently learned the details of the business, Mr. Wing formed a partnership with E. F. Throgmorton, of Vienna, and purchased the business of P. W. Riddon, Mr. Wing's former employer. It is now housed in a handsome brick building sixty by fifty feet, two stories and basement, which has a stock worth fifteen thousand dollars, including an excellent line of groceries, general .merchandise, dry goods, hardware and harness, an undertaking business being carried on in connection. He also owns two warehouses, several building lots and other real estate, and the total investment of the business aggregates a sum of about twenty-one thousand dollars. This business, which is the largest in the county outside of Vienna, requires the constant service of five salesmen. It is due to the business ability and progressive ideas of Mr. Wing that this large enterprise has been built to its present proportions. He has always possessed the happy faculty of being able to recognize an opportunity and the ability to carry and venture through to a successful conclusion, and has associated himself only with those movements which have promised a profit through legitimate dealings. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and the Mystic Workers of New Burnside, and with his family attends the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which he has been active. He is popular with business associates and all who know him, and has numerous warm, personal friends through the city, who are always sure of a sincere welcome at his home, one of the hospitable residences of New Burnside.

On January 23, 1902, Mr. Wing was married to Miss Marietta Goings, daughter of Pinckney and Serilda (Dills) Goings, of New Burnside, both of whom are now deceased.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 806-807.

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