BISSELL, the leading photographer of Effingham, and the oldest artist lives in that city in his line of business,
has been located here since July 4, 1874. Since he came to this place he has seen eighteen galleries established
in Effingham, which were run for a time and then discontinued on account of our subject receiving such liberal
patronage. His is conceded to be the largest and best-equipped gallery between Chicago and New Orleans, and its
patrons can depend on receiving as fine work as can be done this side of Chicago. This gallery draws trade from
a radius of forty miles, and Mr. Bissell deservedly enjoys a high reputation for fine work. His courteous and fair
treatment has won him an extended patronage.
subject of this sketch was born in Huntington, Ind., on the 29th of June, 1859, and is a son of Rev. Sanford R.
and Sarah (Preston) Bissell. His father was born in Connecticut and was descended from the old Puritan Presbyterian
stock. He is still living and makes his home in Spokane Falls, Wash. The mother of our subject was born in Middleboro,
near Akron, Ohio, and died at her home in Effingham on the 18th of October, 1887.
1865, when a lad of six summers, Mr. Bissell of this record came with his parents to Effingham, where his father
kept a private: school for several years. Lewis H. was educated in the public schools and under the supervision
of his father, and at the age of fourteen years he began learning the photographer's art, having considerable taste
and talent in that direction. At the age of sixteen he bought an interest in the business of William Lawson, which
connection was continued for a year under the firm name of Lawson & Bissell. That partnership was then discontinued
and one formed in the same line of business with Thomas Lyon, and under the firm name of Lyon & Bissell they
carried on operations for a year. On the expiration of that period our subject was alone in business for a year,
after which he became associated with Mr. Rankin, and this partnership continued for a year or more. Since 1877
he has been alone and has had a most successful career.
the 29th of March, 1882, Mr. Bissell was married to Miss Ruby Whittlesey, their union being celebrated in Chicago.
The lady was born in Madison, Wis., and is a daughter of Elisha and Ruby Whittlesey. She is a member of the Baptist
Church and possesses many excellencies of character. Two children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Bissell, a daughter
and son: Ruby and Garnet.
Bissell has always taken quite an active part in public enterprises tending to upbuild and improve the town of
his adoption. He has, indeed, proved himself a valued citizen. He was identified with the establishment of Austin
College and Normal Institute
and is a member of its Board of Trustees. He was one of the organizers of the Effingham Canning and Wood Package Company, and for a time served as Secretary of
that organization. Socially, he is a Master Mason, holding membership with Effingham Lodge No. 149, A. F. &
A. M. He also belongs to Venice Lodge No. 168, K. P., and to Effingham Division No. 43, Uniform Rank, of that order.
He was Chancellor-Commander of the lodge of Knights of Pythias and served in the position of Recorder in the Uniform
Rank. In politics he is a Populist, but is not active or strongly partisan. He devotes the greater part of his
time and attention to his business, in which he has met with such excellent success. Mr. Bissell is widely known,
not only through Effingham County, but in adjoining counties, and by all with whom business or social relations
have brought him in contact he is held in high regard as a man of upright character.
and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago:
Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 437. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.