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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
ELMER A. McILREE
In placing the name of E.A. McIlree in the front rank of West Unionís business men and the substantial and representative citizens of Fayette county, simple justice is done a biographical fact universally recognized in this part of Iowa by all men at all familiar with his history. A man of judgment, sound discretion and business ability of a high order, he has managed, with tactful success, important enterprises and so impressed his individuality upon the community as to gain recognition among its leading citizens and public spirited men of affairs, being a public official against whom not the shadow of suspicion ever rested and a man who has always taken an abiding interest in the general welfare of his community and county.
Mr. McIlree was born in Johnson county, Iowa, on January 5, 1865. He comes of one of the old pioneer families of sterling worth, being the son of Linus and Ann C. (Beam) McIlree, the father born in Niles, Ohio, and the mother in Stanton, Virginia.
E.A. McIlree was a printer in his early life and he followed this trade with much success until December 5, 1890, when he purchased The Leader at Riverside, Washington county, Iowa, which he conducted successfully until 1902, building up the property and increasing the circulation and making it one of the best papers of its type in that part of the state. He then bought The Fayette County Union and under his careful and judicious management it has become on of the leading and best weekly papers in the state. Its mechanical appearance has been greatly improved, as well as its circulation increased and its value enhanced as an advertising medium. It is well edited, newsy and is popular with the masses of the people and growing in power and prestige as a molder of public opinion.
Mr. McIlree is also the owner of a substantial and valuable business block and a modern and handsome residence in West Union. He is a man of excellent business ability and is deserving of great credit for what he has accomplished owing to the fact that he started in life practically empty handed and has never relied upon anyone for assistance, but has forged to the front by sheer force of energy, persistency, tact and the exercise of sound judgment.
Mr. McIlree has long been prominent in public affairs and has always performed his every duty in reference to advancing the general welfare of the community in which he lived. He is an uncompromising Democrat, and his ability being recognized by his party and friends he was elected mayor of West Union, which position he held with much credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned for a period of four years, from 1906 to 1910. He did a great many things that will be of permanent benefit to this city and he won the lasting gratitude of the citizens of this vicinity. For the past four years he has been secretary of the Fayette County Agricultural Society, the duties of which he has very faithfully discharged.
Mr. McIlree was married in December, 1886, to Myrtle Z. Seaton, daughter of Oliver and Harriet (Reed) Seaton, and this union has resulted in the birth of the following children: Paul L., Ruth, Reed and Vance. Mr. McIlree is prominent in fraternal circles in the Hawkeye state, belonging to the following orders: West Union Lodge, No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Unity Chapter, No. 62, Royal Arch Masons; Langridge Commandery, No. 47, Knights Templar; West Union Chapter, No. 110, Order of the Eastern Star; Elkahir Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Cedar Rapids.
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