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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JOHN A. MACE, editor and proprietor of the Saybrook Weekly Gazette, has been a resident of the Prairie State since 1869, in which year, when a youth of sixteen, he came to this county with his parents. His birth took place in Chester County, Pa., Oct. 10, 1853, and he is the son of Joseph and Mary E. (Thornbury) Mace, natives of the same county and State as their son. Joseph Mace was born Feb. 12, 1829, and learned the trade of a miller early in life, which he has followed since that time. Upon coming into this State he located first in Bloomington. whence after three years he removed to Shirley, and subsequently to Cheney's Grove, where he rented a farm and also purchased 120 acres, operating the two tracts of land for two years thereafter. He then sold the farm and removed to Saybrook, where he resided one year. In 1876 he went to Michigan and located in Durand, Shiawassee County, whence he removed in 1886 to Bancroft, that State, of which he is still a resident. He is a faithful adherent of the Republican party, and became a Mason before leaving Pennsylvania. The mother of our subject was born April 17, 1834, and married to Joseph Mace in 1850. Her parents were Yearsley and Elizabeth (Valentine) Thornbury, also natives of the Keystone State, and of English ancestry. Mrs. Thornbury is still living, having arrived at the advanced age of eighty-six years; her husband died in 1886. Their six children were Thomas, John, Mary E., Phebe, Pascal and Clara. Joseph and Mary E. Mace became the parents of Benjamin P., Marshall T., John A., Sarah Ella B. (deceased), Mary P., Joseph C., Paul V., Lizzie I., Hanson T., Clarence (deceased) and Nimrod.

John A. Mace commenced business for himself clerk in a drug-store. He soon afterward took up the study of pharmacy, and was employed three years in the drug-store of E. H. Shores, Saybrook, Ill., during which time he gained an excellent insight into the business, and was registered as a competent pharmacist. He was afterward connected with the drug establishment of Creed McDaniel, of Saybrook, with whom he remained until 1882. His attention in the meantime had been directed to journalistic matters, and he decided to change his occupation to one which he felt was more suited to his taste. He accordingly purchased the Saybrook Herald, afterward changing it to its present title. He is a clear and forcible writer, and has evinced rare business talent in the management of the Gazette, which has now become one of the leading papers of the county. He is of that happy turn by which he can adapt himself to almost all circumstances, and has been successful in his various undertakings, being possessed of unusual energy and the resolution which admits of no such word as fail. The subject of our sketch was married. to Miss Mattie S. Crigler, Feb. 20, 1884, and to them has been born one child, a daughter, Ruth E., the date of her birth being Oct. 15, 1886. Mr. Mace is what is called a genuine mossback Democrat, and for faithful service to the party was appointed Postmaster at Saybrook, Ill., Aug. 11, 1885, which position he still holds, and is proving himself a capable and efficient public servant.

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), 539. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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