THE City of McLeansboro

Our Business Men

     Fitts & Davis, jewelers and Opticians, an excellent view of their establishment we herewith present, is situated on the north side of the Public Square and quite metropolitan in appearance.  The handsome show cases surrounding the store in which are displayed the productions of the most reliable manufacturers of the country have a most artistic effect, which cannot be secured in any other line of business.  Watches, clocks, diamonds, silverware, spectacles, opera glasses, etc., in sufficient quantity to supply the demands of a large city are to be found under the personal supervision of Mr. Orlan Davis, who is so well known in this community as an upright, conscientious business young man that he needs no introduction at our hands more than to say that he is McLeansboro boy, born and reared here in our midst where he received his early education and where early in life he evinced a national gift for the watch making and jewelry business, and by close application to its smallest details he is fast coming to the front as a successful business man.

     In this department they are ably assisted by Mr. Monta Doss, (formerly associated with Mr. C. M. Wiseman), who is an experienced watchmaker and jeweler and an expert in his line of business.

     The optical department of this establishment is under the personal direction of D. M. H. Fitts, who gained a reputation in his line of work before coming to McLeansboro about a year ago.  After graduating from the Cincinnati Medical College he determined to pursue special studies and with this end in view he later took a course in the New York Post-Graduate Medical school, spending most of his time in the study of diseases pertaining to the eye, ear, nose and throat.

     Since coming to McLeansboro the doctor has made many friends by his companionable, generous nature; his services are in constant demand where important skill is required, therefore doing a noble work for humanity, which no doubt is a source of gratification to him to know that his work is appreciated in the community.


     Robert Lee Jones whose jolly face will be recognized by the traveling community over the L. & N. R. R. is the son of Lieutenant T. L. Jones, who served with distinction in the Civil War.  Mr. Jones is one of the most versatile young men to be found in any community.

     As his name indicates, he is a descendant of one of the most illustrious families in American history, his grandparents, originally from Brunswick county, Virginia, came to Illinois in 1843, and settled in Hamilton county, where the subject of this sketch was born in 1867.

     Receiving a common school education and preparing himself for the battles of life he desired to make a name for himself, so left the farm in 1892 and came to McLeansboro where it was not long before his ability was recognized, for in 1893 we find him authorized by law to sign J. P. after his name, and in 1896 he was elected assessor of McLeansboro township, making for himself an enviable record.  


In the fall of this year he sought and obtained a position on the L. & N. R. R., since which time he has made his daily run between this city and Shawneetown, enjoying the esteem of the company which he represents and of the community in which he lives.

     The success in life of Mr. Jones is due more to a herculean energy and perseverance applied to whatever task he undertakes than to anything else, and only proves the well-worn adage that "We build the ladder by which we rise."

     Mr. Jones married Miss Mary Anderson and they have three children to brighten their cozy home.  He is a K. of P. in good standing and his many friends, both here and abroad, are legion.


     Augustus Gibson representative of Uncle Sam in the McLeansboro post office, was born in Mt. Vernon, Ill., in 1853, where he received his early education.  His boyhood days were spent upon the farm, where he sowed the seeds of a strong and sturdy manhood.  Being of a progressive nature and wishing to enter business life, he engaged in the lumber business, which he carried through to a successful culmination, and then went on the road representing the Deering Harvester company, traveling over Southern Illinois.

     In 1888 Mr. Gibson came to McLeansboro and has since been identified with our city's interest to such an extent that in 1898 he received the appointment as postmaster, succeeding P. L. McNabb.  Since taking charge the receipts have steadily grown and the office, in July last was raised from grade 6 to grade 7 of the third class.  It has control of five star routes, viz: 37,175, which supplies Palo Alta and Snow Flake; No. 35,182, which supplies Rural Hill, Olgay and Hungate; No. 35,183, supplying Piopolis, Belle Prairie, Garrison, Aden and Ellis Mound; No. 36,184, supplying Martin's Store and Thurber, and 35,186 supplying Flint and Macedonia.

     The personal popularity of Mr. Gibson arises from his uniform courtesy and accommodating spirit, which has contributed so much to the success of the office here.  He differs with us in politics, but withal he is a gentleman, a courteous official and a man in whom our citizens have the greatest confidence.



     The Metropolitan Pharmacy, which is situated on the south side of the square, is controlled by Drs. V. S. and J. G. Benson, the former being one of the pioneers of the city and one who has contributed so much to the city's growth, being identified with several of our leading industries.

      Dr. J. G. Benson, the son, who is in actual charge of the drug store, was born in this county, where he attended the common schools, and then went to Ewing College, after which he engaged in mercantile pursuits, in the meantime reading up medicine, having decided to make the profession his life work, and with this end in view he went to St. Louis in 1878, and entered the medical department of the Missouri Medical College, from which institution he graduated with honors in 1881.  Being thus equipped he returned to McLeansboro, and at once entered upon a good practice, which he followed successfully for several years.  During the last few years he has given his time almost exclusively to the drug business, keeping in touch with the varying wants of the trade, to such an extent that his patrons express themselves in gratifying testimonials to his acquirements.  At their store can be found everything that might be expected in a first class drug house.  Their leading line, of course, is drugs, in addition to which they carry a full line of paints, oils, varnishes, druggists' sundries, cigars and tobacco.  The prescription department is in careful hands, only the finest of chemical being used, and the utmost care with which prescriptions are filled makes this place much sought after.

     Their line of patent medicines, perfumery, fancy toilet articles, soaps, combs and brushes is full and complete, and with the assistance of Mr. Leroy Smith, who is a valuable adjunct to the business, the Metropolitan Pharmacy, a view of which we give, is rightly considered on the leading institutions of the city.

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