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Biographical Sketch of James Archibald Locke

James Archibald Locke

James Archibald Locke - was born in Carrollton, Greene County, Ill., June 26, 1838. He was the third son of David and Caroline Matilda, (Burford) Locke who soon after the birth of James, moved to Lexinton, Lafette County, Missouri.

He grew from childhood to manhood in Lexington, Mo., receiving his early education in the public schools of Lexington, graduating at the Masonic College of that city.

His father being a large contractor and builder, James A., first learned the mason trade with his father, when a mere boy.

About 1869, he became editor of the "Missouri Expositor", published at Lexington, Mo. His paper was Democratic and supported S. A. Douglas for the Presidency in 1860.

Mr. Locke through his paper took an active part in seccessional politics, advocating the doctrines of seccession.

He attached himself to Gen. Shelby's brigade, and was assigned to the Quartermaster's Department, where he was captured in 1862, with a train of supplies.

He was taken back to Lexington as a prisoner of war, and was paroled and sent to Jerseyville, Ill., there to remian until exchanged, or furthur orders of the Federal Government. In 1863, he went to the Pacific coast, and edited teh "Reese River Review", published at Austin, Nevda. In 1864 he returned east, but shortly went south and located in Memphis, Tenn., where his health failed him, and he returned to Jerseyville, Ill.

Mr. Locke was war correspondent of hte "St. Louis Republic" and so remained to his death.

He was also manager of the "Life Association of America" for Southern Illinois.

In 1872, James A. and Morris R. Locke, he brother, formed in Jerseyville, Ill., a partnership in Law, Real Estate and Insurance, and conducted a successful business for eight years. Mr. Locke was connected with almost every movement for the improvement and building up of Jerseyville, such as the Jerseyville Elevator Company, The First National Bank, the St. Louis, Jerseyville and Springfield railroad, of which he was President when he died; was a member of the Masonic fraternity at Jerseyville and Carrollton, and of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jerseyville. On Nov. 17, 1867, Mr. Locke was married to Miss Anna M. Wharton, ceremony celebrated at the Centenary M. E. Church, St. Louis, Mo,

The fruits of this union were four children, George, David and Mrs. Edith A. Slaten, both residents of Jerseyville. The other two died in infancy. During the contruction of the railroad of which he was president, he died suddenly, largely the result of exposure and overwork, August 1st, 1881, at the age of 43 years.

In his death, Jerseyville lost one of her best, and most enterprising citizens, the Masonic order a loyal member and the church with which he was connected, a liberal and devoted member.

Source: [History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901, by Rev. Marshall M. Cooper, Jerseyville Republican Print. 1901]