Lee County IL Biography


Stelzer Appalonia Durkes, cashier of the Franklin Grove Bank, which position he has filled continuously since 1901, was born January 9, 1873, in Franklin Grove, his parents being Conrad and Mary Elizabeth (Jones) Durkes. The father was a pioneer merchant of that town and also the organizer of the Franklin Grove Bank. He was born in Germany, but came with his parents to America when about thirteen years of age and for many years was prominently and actively identified with the commercial and financial interests of the community in which he made his home. His wife was a native of Canada but came to the United States at an early age.

In the public schools of Franklin Grove Stelzer A. Durkes pursued his education until graduated with the class of 1889. He afterward took a commercial course in the Bryant & Stratton School in Chicago. Subsequently he was employed by his brother in the grocery business at Erie, Illinois, for several years, thus receiving his initial business training and learning something of the responsibilities and obligations which feature so largely in business affairs. He has been connected with banking interests since 1898, in which year he entered the Franklin Grove Bank as assistant cashier, succeeding to the cashiership in 1901. He is now thoroughly familiar with all forms of banking and is most careful in safeguarding the interests of the patrons of the institution. He is ever found a courteous and obliging official and is classed with the representative business men of the city.

On the 14th of March, 1895, at Franklin Grove, Mr. Durkes was married to Miss Elizabeth Lahman, a daughter of Joshua E. and Hannah Lahman. The father and his parents were among the early settlers of Franklin Grove, arriving in that vicinity in 1845. At the time of the Civil war J.E. Lahman responded to the country's call and did valiant service for the Union. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Durkes are Dorothy Jane, Luther Lahman, Clara Esther, Marion Elizabeth, Josephine Edith and Phyllis Mabel. In politics Mr. Durkes is independent, yet is not remiss in the duties of citizenship, for he is interested in all that pertains to the general welfare and cooperates in many movements for the public good. His entire life has been passed in the community where he yet makes his home and that his record is an honorable and commendable one is indicated in the fact that his warmest friends are numbered among those who have known him from his boyhood to the present time.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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