CHARLES J. NORTHRUP, proprietor of the dry-goods house at No. 118 N. Center street, and 208 West Washington
street, Bloomington, was born in Lisle, Broome Co., N. Y., May 20, 1847. He is the son of Solomon J. and Annie
Lavantia (Buell) Northrup, natives respectively of Lenox, Mass., and Fairfield, N. Y. The father was born Dec.
6, 1811, and the mother, May 16, 1815. Both were deeply religious people, and contributed liberally and cheerfully
to the support of the Congregational Church, with which they were connected when quite young.
Solomon Northrup was Superintendent of the Sabbath-school for many years. He was a farmer by occupation, and removed from his native town to Lisle, N. Y., in 1840, where he remained for a period of thirty years, then sold out and engaged in merchandising in the same town.
Thence he removed to Binghamton, in response to a call to take charge of the Susquehannah Valley Home for the Poor [Susquehanna Valley Home and Industrial School for Indigent Children], which office he held for several years. He resigned the position finally on account of failing health, and died at Long Branch, while visiting there, Aug. 1, 1882.
The mother departed this life on the 21st of September, 1847. The record of their four children is as follows: Julia, Mrs. G. W. Livermore, was born Sept. 4, 1837, and died May 4, 1883; James E., a resident of Binghamton, during the late war enlisted in Co. F, 89th N. Y. Vol. Inf., of which he was made First Lieutenant, participated in many battles, and was wounded at Antietam.
He was married to Miss Ruth Sykes, of Berkshire, N. Y., and they have one child, a daughter, Hattie E. They belong to the Congregational Church, and he is a prominent Mason, having taken all the degrees. Ira W. enlisted in Co. F, 89th N. Y. Vol. Inf., but before engaging in active service was taken ill from exposure, and brought home by his father, dying soon afterward, Feb. 22, 1863, when not quite twenty-one years of age, his birth occurring Dec. 28, 1842. C. J, of our sketch is the youngest living.
After the death of his first wife, Solomon J. Northrup was united in marriage with Miss Lucy E. Carroll, of Springfield, N. Y., Jan. 10, 1849, and of this union there were born two children: Emma L., Mrs. B. L. Osborne, of Camden, N. Y., and Lydia C., who died Feb. 24, 1862.
The father of our subject was essentially a self-made man, and started out in life at the foot of the ladder. He was employed first as a farm laborer, and received his education by attending school during the winter seasons. After his marriage he farmed on rented land, his first purchase being in Lisle, N. Y. He became prominent in the political affairs of that State, and a citizen greatly respected for his moral and intellectual worth. Politically he was a strong Republican. He held the office of Supervisor several years, was Deputy Sheriff of the county, and Trustee of the school at Lisle, and took an active part in all measures calculated to promote the interests of his adopted county or State. He put forth every effort to educate his children, often remarking that he would prefer leaving them a good education rather than gold.
The subject of this history was born in a log house, on his father's farm in Lisle, and remained there until eighteen years of age, attending the common schools. He studied two years at Owego Academy, and afterward went to Springfield, N. Y. engaging as clerk in a country store at $5 per month, for one year.
He then removed with his father to Canandaigua, Ontario Co., N. Y. He attended the academy there under the tutorship of Prof. Clark, and in the spring of 1867 entered the dry-goods store of William Richardson & Co. He remained there until fall, then came West with Mr. Richardson, and settled at Bloomington. He continued with his former employer, who had associated himself with partners, Messrs. Wilcox Bros., and carried on the dry-goods business. Our subject remained with the firm over seven years, which then became Wilcox Bros., by the withdrawal of Mr. Richardson.
Mr. Northrup established his present business Feb. 15, 1876, on the spot where he is still located. He began with one clerk and an errand-boy, and was prospered from the beginning. His business increased each year, and in 1882 he secured the extension of his store to Washington street. In 1885 he purchased a stock of goods at Lexington, where he established a branch house. In 1886 he purchased another stock, in the same place, and consolidated the two. He employs from ten to fifteen clerks in Bloomington, and from five to seven at Lexington.
The subject of our sketch was married, Sept. 27, 1877, to Miss Rose Whipp, of Normal, who was born in 1850, and is the daughter of John W. and Elizabeth (VanNess) Whipp. Her father was a banker for many years at Bloomington City, but is now in Springfield, employed by the State Board of Charities. Mr. and Mrs. N. have three children—Fred W., Charles B. and Julia E. They occupy an attractive home at No. 510 East Front street, and enjoy the association and friendship of the cultured people of the city.
Both our subject and his wife are members in good standing of the Second Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. N. has been Trustee for the last six years, and is Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday-school. He contributes liberally and cheerfully to the support of the church, and takes a deep interest in its welfare and prosperity. He is in all respects a representative citizen.
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), 436. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.