Having been born and reared in Noble township, Richland county, Illinois,
and since reaching manhood's estate identified with some of the most
important business interests of that community, it is not strange that
Charles Edward Palmer should be widely and favorably known within the
confines of the territory in question. His career has been marked with
success at almost every turn, and he certainly is an example worthy of
emulation by the young men of today, who would embark upon the sea of
commercialism. Perseverance coupled with energy and brains has placed him in
an enviable position in the business world.
Charles Edward Palmer was born in Noble township, October 14, 1859. His father was James F. Palmer, born in Brown county, Ohio, in 1829. while the mother was Maria C. Danbury, also a native of the Buckeye state, having been born there in 1833. Their deaths were not far apart, the husband passing away in 1893, and the wife and mother two years later. The father of the subject was a graduate of the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, and in 1856, rode horseback from Ohio to his future home in Noble township. His wife followed a year afterwards on the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad, which had just been completed. The grandfather of the subject was a soldier in the War of 1812; his paternal grandmother was a niece of the Revolutionary General Stark, while his uncle, Jacob A. Palmer, did valiant service throughout the Civil war.
Mr. Palmer was educated in the public schools, and when quite young began to read law. Later he entered the insurance business, and also took part in politics, finally being elected Supervisor of Noble township. While discharging the duties of this office he was instrumental in having the county board appoint an expert accountant to check up the accounts of the county officers. He eventually became an expert accountant himself, and investigated the books of other counties, serving in that capacity for eight years. In 1899 he conceived and organized the mercantile firm of Palmer & Company, and this concern has forged to the front with remarkable rapidity, carrying an immense stock of dry goods, furniture, stoves, hardware and agricultural implements. In connection with this concern the firm operates a concrete block factory, and an evaporator. Mr. Palmer is the president and general manager of the establishment, and is also vice-president of the bank of Noble. He was wedded in 1882 to Mollie U. Philhower, and this alliance resulted in the birth of two children, one of whom died when quite young. The other, Beulah May Palmer, became the wife of a prominent contractor of Olney, Illinois.
Mr. Palmer is a Mason, an Odd Fellow, Red Man, and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has for years been more or less prominent in politics, being an adherent of the Independent party. When the Spanish-American war broke out he raised a company, and was made captain thereof. They reported to Colonel Pittenger, at Centralia, and the company, although placed on the list, was never called out.
The wife of the subject was the child of Ira B. and Adeline (Smith) Philhower, of Clermont county, Ohio, who removed to Illinois in 1854, and purchased a farm in Noble township. Mr. Philhower was for eight years station agent at Iuka, Illinois. At the end of that time he returned to Noble township, and worked as a miller, after which he became a merchant. He was a member of the Methodist church, and for years served on the School Board.
Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 469-471.