|Birth: ||Jul. 24, 1819|
|Death: ||Dec. 21, 1905|
De Witt County
Dr. John Warner December 22, 1905
END OF A BUSY LIFE.Dr. John Warner Dies at His Home After Brief Illness Yesterday Afternoon.
CLINTON'S OLDEST BUSINESS MAN.Was Eighty-Six Years Old; Had Lived in Clinton Sixty-Two Years; and Had Been Engaged in Banking Nearly Forty Years Known Throughout the State. Dr. John Warner is at rest. After a busy pilgrimage of four score and six years he answered the final roll call. For several years his health had been failing, but he journeyed on giving little heed to the warning that comes with ripened age. Though several years past the eightieth mile post in the journey from the cradle to the grave he continued in business and attended to most of the affairs pertaining to his large landed estates. He realized the danger to one of his years from overwork, but his courage, like his bravery on the field of battle, would not allow him to shrink from his personal duty. It was not until about a year ago when paralysis deadened and weakened his physical powers, that he was compelled to lessen his attention from business. He recovered sufficiently to go about and seldom was there a day when his familiar form was not seen about his place of business. But little more than twenty-four hours before his death he was at his banking house, and not feeling well he returned home at 2 o'clock. Soon afterward he complained of pains in his breast; his physicians were summoned, and his family was informed of his dangerous condition. He grew worse and a few minutes after 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon the end came. Dr. Warner began life at the bottom of fortune's ladder; by steady and industrious effort he had ascended well up on its coveted rounds. After the invaluable schooling of farm life, he resolved to seek a new field of labor. After a few months as teacher he began the study of medicine and receiving his diploma sought opportunity in the then West. He drifted to DeWitt county, which became his field of action. The outlook was not bright, but his ambition and determination opened the way to success. Hope parted the clouds and sunshine cast its encouraging rays along his pathway. His safe reasoning and keen foresight led him to invest his money in the rich prairie land that was then considered, by many, almost worthless. Its rapid advance in price soon added greatly to his wealth, and in 1867, in company with Henry Magill, Lawrence Weldon and J. R. Warner, under the firm name of John Warner & Co., he engaged in banking, which he had since continued. For seven years previous to enlisting as a soldier he was in the mercantile and real estate business. His wealth grew until he had long been one of the wealthiest men in Central Illinois. Besides the controlling interest in the bank he owned five business buildings and several residences in Clinton, besides the palatial homestead at the south limits of the city. His landed interests are vast. In DeWitt county he owns (number unreadable) acres; he also owned a farm near Olney, Ill., two or three farms in Indiana; a farm near Lincoln, Neb., and about 700 acres in Iowa. There seems no doubt of this estate being more than $1,000,000, which has been the result of his own efforts. A fitting monument to his enterprise and benevolence is the new hospital, a view of which is given on this page. Last spring he set apart $25,000 for the building and endowed it. The hospital is enclosed, but will not be completed for several weeks. It will be a pride to Clinton and will endear Dr. Warner's memory to every citizen.
John Warner was born in Rockingham county, Va., July 24, 1819, his parents being David and Catherine Warner, of German descent. They lived on a farm and there in the beautiful valley the first sixteen years of his life were spent. Sept. 3, 1835, they started westward in two wagons. They crossed the Allegheny mountains and reached Wayne county, Indiana, late in the following month, where they spent the winter. In March of the following year they moved to Henry county where the father had purchased a farm. One year later John began teaching school at $25 a month, and at the same time began the study of medicine under a medical firm of Anderson. Oct. 30 of that year he was married to Miss Cynthia A. Gardiner, of the same county, and June 2 of the following year they started westward with no particular place for location in view. Eighteen days later they landed in Mt. Pleasant, now Farmer City. There were only five residences and one hotel in the town. The hotel was kept by John Smith, and they remained there until he could procure a house, and it was only 12x12 feet. He lived there and practiced medicine two years when he moved to Clinton, which had since been his home. He continued the practice of medicine until he had spent about twelve years in that work, though he always disliked it, and engaged in another business at the first desirable opportunity. From 1848 until 1852 he was clerk of the circuit court. When the Civil war began he was among the first in the county to enlist, and raised a company and was made major of the 41st regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was at the surrender of Ft. Henry; in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Davis Bridge, the Hatchie and Corinth. At Shiloh he contracted chronic diarrhea, from which he never fully recovered. On account of this he resigned his position and returned home. In 1865 his wife died. May 28, 1874, he was married to Miss Isabella Robinson, of Huron county, O. He served one term in the legislature, from 1864 to 1866. In 1867 he engaged in the banking business, and had since continued in that business, though his health for a few years had prevented his taking an active part in the work, yet he seldom missed being at the bank every day when able to be from home. The bank-room had been his business home nearly forty years, and it was only fitting that he be there only a few hours before the closing of his earthly career. Dr. Warner is survived by his wife and the following children: Vespasian Warner, Commissioner of Pensions; Mrs. Harrison Mettler, of Chicago; Mrs. Grant Bell, of Clinton and Florence, of New York City; his grandchildren and the child of Dr. and Mrs. Mettler and the children of Vespasian Warner They are Clifton M., John and Mrs. Guy G. Dowdall, of Clinton; Vesper M., of Kansas, and Mary Frances, who is attending school in Pennsylvania, but arrived home yesterday. Their father will arrive from Washington tomorrow afternoon. Dr. Warner was a member of no church but was strongly inclined to the Universalist church, of which his wife is a member. He was a liberal contributor to the building fund of that church and gave it the new pipe organ which cost $2000, making a total cost of over $3000. The funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 o'clock at the residence, conducted by Rev. C. E. Varney. Burial in Woodlawn cemetery.
Isabella Robinson Warner (1850 - 1930)*
Cynthia Ann Gardiner Warner (1822 - 1865)*
Vespasian Warner (1842 - 1925)*
Minnie Warner Mettler (1875 - 1972)*
Arabella Warner Bell (1876 - 1962)*
De Witt County
Created by: Kathy and Norm Evans
Record added: Nov 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61432784
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Added: Jan. 7, 2011