GEORGE L. HUTCHIN, editor and proprietor of the Sunday Eye, of Bloomington, is a native of the Prairie State and born in De Witt County Sept. 25, 1854. He is the son of John D. and Elizabeth Hutchin, natives of Ohio, where the father was engaged extensively in farming and the raising of fine stock. John Hutchin came to Illinois about 1840, and settled in De Witt County. While on a visit to Bloomington he was offered the central portion of the site of the present city for $300, being an area of about 640 acres, but he preferred to take his chances in De Witt County, and there purchased 2,500 acres. He was the first man to introduce fine Berkshire hogs into this part of the country, and also what is known as the Hutchin corn. In 1849 he took a trip to California for the purpose of speculating, being absent about eighteen months, and then, satisfied with his experience in that direction, he returned to De Witt County, where he resumed his farming operations and passed the remainder of his days. He departed this life in 1861. Mrs. Hutchin was subsequently married to Mr. G. Gandy, and is still living in De Witt County. Their family consisted of nine children, of whom six are living.
George L. Hutchin was the fourth child of his parents' family, and after receiving his primary education in the public schools entered Wesleyan College, from which he graduated in 1876. In all he spent six years in high schools and colleges and received a thorough education, by which he became well fitted for the duties which he has assumed in his later life. After completing his studies Mr. Hutchin first took a position as city editor of the Bloomington Leader, having already had considerable experience as a reporter. After a year with the Leader he became traveling agent for the Pantagraph, which occupied him another year, and he then purchased the Sunday Eye, which, after conducting one year he sold, and was one of the original projectors of the Bulletin. This occupied his attention for a year, and he then sold his interest in it and purchased a half interest in the Sunday Eye, with which he has been connected as publisher since 1882. This journal was established in January, 1877. Mr. Hutchin possesses genuine literary talent, and has been a contributor to the publications of Harper Bros., the Century and other standard periodicals. He is a member of the American Press Association, and President of the Press Club of Bloomington. In politics our subject is independent, and socially belongs to the Knights of Phythias.
The Sunday Eye was first established by H. R. Persinger as a society paper. It was a five-column folio, and was issued every Sunday. It was conducted by Mr. Persinger for about one year, when M. I. Leland, who was a silent partner, assumed control of the paper and put it in charge of George L. Hutchin. This arrangement lasted about one year, when a stock company was formed which had financial control of the paper. Then Mr. Hutchin secured a half interest. Subsequently the plant was taken to Chicago, where it was issued for that city and Bloomington. This did not prove a financial success and in about two years a move was made back to Bloomington, when Mr. Hutchin became sole proprietor. By able management the patronage has been increased until the Eye now has a circulation of upward of 6,000.
Mr. Hutchin is a forcible and facetious writer, and his short and humorous articles make people nervous as well as merry. Connected with him as associate editor is Cornelius M. Leek, a facile, pungent and polished writer, and an experienced editor. The two make a strong editorial team, which has made the Eye very popular and given it a wide reputation. The Eye is chiefly a literary journal, and independent in politics. It is a seven-column quarto, extensively and well illustrated. It is elegantly got up in all its parts, and is one of the best literary and family papers in the country.
It is ever ready and bold in exposing fraud, injustice, hypocrisy and immorality, and to commend justice, honesty, worth and virtue. The office of the Sunday Eye is located in the Opera House Block.
The marriage of George L. Hutchin and Miss Cora Leland took place in Bloomington in 1877. She is a daughter of the late Moses F. Leland, formerly editor of the Leader; and who died in March, 1886. Of this union there have been born two children Elberon and Louise. Mr. Hutchin and his family occupy a pleasant home at No. 305 Northeast street, and are highly esteemed for their social qualities and cultivated tastes.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 196-7. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards