THE City of McLeansboro


Judge Charles B. Thomas

     The present county judge of Hamilton county, is 29 years of age, and one of the most promising young lawyers of his county.  He is fast climbing to fame in his profession and is considered one of the most successful politicians in the democratic party.

     He was born and reared on a farm in the northeast corner of Hamilton county and began life by teaching school in the winter and attending college in the summer, until he obtained a first-class education, after which he took up his chosen profession of law.  He is a good business man, industrious and always at his post of duty, and making one of the best judges the county has ever had.  Judge Thomas has been elected to and filled four township offices before entering county politics, and with his ability and pleasant social way his future must result in a bright and successful career.


Frank Lockett

     The present efficient county court clerk, whose picture our readers will readily recognize, gained his present position by force of pure grit and hard licks and for which he is to be highly commended.  Born in Sumner county, Tenn., in 1867, his parents dying when he was quite a child, at the age of 12 years he was sent to an uncle who was living at the time about three miles north of McLeansboro to be reared and educated.  Here he was assigned his daily task of hard plodding work hauling logs, but allowed to attend the district school during the winter months.

     Being possessed with a determination to be little more than a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, he applied himself to his books to such an extent that at the age of 17 we find our young friend teaching school at Buckingham.  Being desirous to push himself still further forward he came to this city and entered the employ of A. A. Lasater, with whom he stayed one year;  then aiming for something higher we find him again teaching school, to which he devoted the most of his time for the next eight or nine years, and during his vacation he served as assessor of McLeansboro township in 1889, and in Dahlgren township in 1893.  In 1894 he solicited and was elected county clerk, receiving the largest majority of any candidate in the primary election.  Having proven faithful to his trust he was re-elected in 1898, again receiving the largest majority of votes cast.  Mr. Lockett has always been a democrat, his work along party lines has been of the kind that counts; is the present chairman of the democratic central committee of the county, is a married man, having two children, the latest of whom being a bouncing boy of 4 weeks old; is a consistent member of the Baptist church, and we point with pride to his success, which is due in a large measure to his untiring zeal, constant watchfulness and unswerving probity.

John Hawthorn

     The present treasurer of Hamilton County, was born in White county, this state, in 1837, and where he resided until 1853, receiving his education in the common schools of the county.  When about 14 years of age he was stricken with typhoid fever, which rendered him a cripple for life.  After leaving White county in 1853 he came to Logansport, in this county, and in 1860 received his appointment as postmaster under James Buchanan and served continuously in the office through each administration up to 1891.  During this time he served as treasurer of Crook township for twenty successive years, making a most remarkable record.  In 1865 he was elected a justice of the peace, and served continuously in that office until 1891, when he resigned, after he had been elected county treasurer.  In 1890 he was elected treasurer of Hamilton county, serving four years, and in 1898 he was re-elected for another term of four years; and in all these years of financial management it is of record that not one cent has gone astray.

     Mr. Hawthorn was married in 1869 to Miss Margaret J. Denny, who has been a faithful helpmate to him.  They have four children and live on a farm of 130 acres two miles from town, where he gives the few hours at his disposal from official business to the raising of fine stock.  He is a democrat, his first presidential vote being cast for Stephen A. Douglas.

     Personally, Mr. Hawthorn is a most companionable and agreeable gentleman, is a consistent member of the Baptist church, and no man in the county stands higher in the esteem and confidence of the people than does the affairs of the county are conducted by such men the people need have no fear but that every dollar received will be faithfully and honestly accounted for.

David J. Underwood

     The present county superintendent of schools of Hamilton county, was born in this county in 1864, the son of William B. and Fatima (Jines) Underwood.  The father was born in North Carolina in 1814, and in 1860 left his native state and settled in Hamilton county, where he continued to reside until his death in 1884.  The mother was born of English stock in Muhlenburg county, Ky., in 1822 and died in 1899.  Eight of their thirteen children survive them.  The subject of this sketch received his education at Fairfield Collegiate Institute, and at Ewing collect after leaving the public schools, and since his 17th year he has taught continuously until 1894, when he was elected to the office which he now holds.

     In 1881 he began teaching in his home district (a county school) and taught it successfully for three terms, and in 1888 he was principal of the Thackery school.  In 1889 and 1890 he was principal of the McLeansboro High school and in 1892 he was principal of the Broughton schools.  He has taught four summer select schools in the county, and always met with marked success, never averaging under sixty pupils.  County Superintendent Underwood is one of the leading educators of this county.  He is a democrat and first voted for Cleveland; is a Missionary Baptist, is a member of the Southern Illinois Teachers' association and has held prominent positions in same.  He is also a member of the I. O. O. F.  He is closely identified with interest of the county, having a farm in Dahlgren township and another in this (McLeansboro) township.  Surely a bright future is in store for our worthy county superintendent.

Dr. James J. Hassett

     One of the busiest and most successful physicians in our city today, is the one whose portrait stands at the head of this article and one who reflects credit upon a learned profession like that of medicine.

     The doctor was born in Henderson county, Ky., in the famous Green River country, Sept. 26, 1862, and in 1875 he came with his parents to Hamilton county, where he attended the public schools of the period, after which he entered Ewing college, remaining two terms.  In 1887 he entered Rush Medical collect of Chicago, from which institution he graduated in 1890, and then came to McLeansboro, where he has since resided and where he has won an honorable position, both as a physician and a citizen.

     The profession of medicine, while not an exact science, has arrived at that degree of certitude that compels its members to thoroughly equip themselves for the practice of the healing art.  Disease, its cause, prevention and cure is the sine qua non of the physician's study and effort, to the accomplishment of which he utilizes all the experience of the past, together with the research and appliances of the present.  The physician, therefore, who applies himself assiduously to the mastery of this study is fulfilling the high demands of his profession, and will surely meet the success he deserves.

     The doctor takes a lively interest in all that concerns the public, and is never backward in his support of enterprises for the general good.  Is married, has three children and is a whole-souled genial gentleman and hard worker, who will no doubt achieve still greater triumphs in the field he has chosen for his life work.

     Dr. Hassett was for years the president of the state board of examining surgeons for pensions, and has for the past eight years been the coroner for Hamilton county.

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