JOSEPH F. PANCAKE, attorney-at-law and Justice of the Peace at Bloomington, is a native of this county, born
in Bloomington Township, Aug. 7, 1841. His father, Isaac Pancake, who is still living in McLean County, was born
in Madison County, Ohio, about 1811, and there married Miss Elizabeth Steele, of Clarke County, that State, and
daughter of William Steele.
Isaac Pancake left Madison County, Ohio, in the fall of 1837, and coming to this State and county located first at Lexington, whence after one year he removed to Bloomington, where the mother died in 1873. The parental household included five children, three sons and two daughters, the former of whom still survive. The subject of our sketch was the third child and second son.
Joseph F. Pancake passed his boyhood in the city of Bloomington, where his father was engaged in the lumber trade and milling. This gave employment to the bright and ambitious boy, while at the same time he attended the city schools and supplemented his studies by a later attendance at Wesleyan University [Illinois Wesleyan University], from which he graduated in 1864.
He then taught school two terms, after which he entered the office of Judge O. T. Reeves and commenced the study of law. In this he made good progress and was admitted to the bar in 1867. He commenced practice at once, and soon became the partner of C. B. Butler, Esq. After operating together one year the firm was dissolved and Mr. P. continued his business singly until 1870. He was then elected Justice of the Peace, to which office he has been continuously elected since that time. During that time he has disposed of 1,300 cases in each of ten dockets, and while many have been appealed to higher courts his decision has usually been affirmed.
Our subject was first married, in 1867, to Miss Ella A. Campbell, of this county, who became the mother of three children—Elmer, Clara and Lloyd. The wife and mother departed this life Feb. 5, 1883. Mr. P. was afterward married to Mrs. Ella T. Schick, who was at the time of marriage Superintendent of Schools in Nemaha County, Neb. Her former husband was Theodore Schick, and they were the parents of two children—Murray and Jessie.
Mr. Pancake, during the late war served as a soldier in the Union army, having enlisted in Co. G, 68th Ill. Vol. Inf. He is a member in good standing of the G. A. R., belongs to the K, of H. and is connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Bloomington.
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), 447. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.