President of the First
National Bank of Effingham,
has been a resident of Illinois since 1867, and six years later he came to Effingham, where he has resided continuously
since. He has been prominently connected with the best interests of the city, and with pleasure we present to our
readers this record of his life work. He was born in Meade County, Ky., near Brandenburgh, on the 26th of July,
1832, and is a son of Richard and Elsie (Brown) Partridge. His father was a native of Virginia, and was born in
the Shenandoah Valley in that State in 1802, and died in 1875. His mother was born in Meade County, Ky., and is
subject of this sketch received such educational advantages as were afforded by the common schools of the neighborhood
in which he resided. At the age of sixteen years he started to make his own way in the world, depending entirely
upon his own efforts. When thirteen years of age he removed with his parents from his native State, the family
taking up their residence in Evansville, Ind., where he served an apprenticeship to the painter's trade. He continued
to make his home in Evansville until November, 1861, five years of the time being employed as express messenger
for the Adams Express Company, after which he went to Cairo, Ill., and entered the service of the Adams Express
Company at that place, serving as their agent at Cairo during the war. He continued an employe of that company
for eleven years, after which he was employed by the Merchants' Union Express Company at St. Joseph, Mo., serving
as route agent for a period of two and a-half years. In 1868 he embarked in the hotel business in Richmond and
Lexington Junction, on the old North Missouri Railroad, continuing at that place for one year, when he removed
to Jewett, Ill., on the Vandalia Railroad, where he kept a railway eating-house until early in 1873.
disposing of his business in Jewett, Mr. Partridge came to Effingham and leased the Effingham Hotel, which he operated
successfully for six years. On the expiration of that period, in November, 1878, he purchased the old Pacific House,
a frame building at the junction of the Vandalia and Illinois Central Railroads. The same year he built the brick
structure on Banker Street now known as the Pacific House. It is 63x45 feet, three and a-half stories in height,
with a basement, and has thirty-four rooms. This house is steam heated and is well fitted for hotel purposes. Mr.
Partridge also erected in 1880 a three-story brick building with basement at the Junction, which has a dining-room,
lunch-room, office and sixteen sleeping-rooms. It is also steam heated. The two houses, which are near together,
are operated as one, under the name of the Pacific House. They are now leased and carried on by B. C. Smith, a
brother-in-law of Mr. Partridge. The Pacific House is complete in all its appointments, having good sample rooms
and modern conveniences, and is well kept, being the only first-class hotel in the city of Effingham. In 1892,
Mr. Partridge purchased the Fleming House, near the business center, which he now also leases. While our subject
personally engaged in the hotel business he was a most popular landlord, and not only pleased his patrons, but
made the business a paying one.
1885, Mr. Partridge opened a private banking house at Effingham, which after a brief period was conducted by his
son, Joseph Partridge, Jr., who held the position of Cashier. After a successful career of five years the private
banking business was merged into the First National Bank of Effingham, with Joseph Partridge as President, and
Joseph Partridge, Jr., Cashier. A history of the bank is given elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Partridge continued
to operate the Pacific House until July 10, 1892, when he leased it to B. C. Smith, its present proprietor, and
retired from active hotel business.
April, 1869, in St. Louis, Mo., Mr. Partridge was married to Miss Alice Smith. The lady is a native of that city
and is a daughter of Bernard and Bridget Smith. By the union of this worthy couple have been born four children,
three sons and a daughter. Joseph, Jr., is Cashier of the First National Bank of Effingham, and is represented
elsewhere in this work; Elsie, the daughter, is a student in Sacred Heart (St. Louis) College; Paul also attends
the same school; and Hugh, who completes the family, is still at home.
politics, Mr. Partridge is a supporter of the Democracy. He has served as a member of the City Council of Effingham
and also as Mayor of the city, and was President of the Effingham School Board for three years. He proved himself
a capable and efficient public officer. Socially, he is a member of Echo Lodge, A. O. U. W.
Partridge has always been active and influential in the support of local enterprises calculated to advance the
best interests of the city, and has been very liberal in support of religious and educational institutions. He
was one of the first to contribute, and he contributed liberally, toward building and equipping Austin College,
of which institution he has been Treasurer since it was founded. He helped to establish the Effingham Canning and Wood Package Company, and was president of the same for a time,
being elected to the position on its organization. He is still a shareholder in the same, and the bank of which
he is president acts as the company's treasurer.
Partridge is a plain, unassuming man, whose success in life has been the result of his own untiring and industrious
efforts and his business sagacity. As a landlord he was very popular, and is widely known, especially among railroad
men, from which class he has always had a large patronage. Among them he is universally known as "Jo."
Mr. Partridge is quite fond of hunting, and always keeps some good guns and well-trained dogs. His guests can testify
to his success as a shot, as quail on toast in season is a regular morning treat at his table, and other game is
also liberally supplied when the game laws permit.
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. 395. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.