Lee County Biography


The firm of Edwards & Case, general merchants at Paw Paw, enjoys a reputation second to none in the county for strict honesty, progressive business methods and for carrying a stock of goods which is not only reliable but complete. This happy result is largely due to the efforts and ability of Frank Edwards, who untiringly has given his energies toward building up this business. He is one of the younger merchants of the city and worthily follows in his father's footsteps, who also was engaged as a dry-goods merchant in these parts. Frank Edwards is a native of Lee county, his birth having occurred at Paw Paw, December 18, 1883. His father is William H. Edwards, also born in Paw Paw, and the latter 's father came here in the early days of 1848. The mother of our subject in her maidenhood was Eva A. La Porte. William H. Edwards, the father of our subject, was one of the first to establish a dry-goods store in this part of the county. After a long and successful career he now resides retired in Dixon, Illinois. The maternal grandfather of our subject was one of the oldest settlers in this part of Illinois and in 1847 crossed the plains to California in search of gold. He was a friend of the Indian chief Shabbona and when he and his family made their home here an unbroken wilderness existed where flourishing farms now thrive. Both parents of the mother of our subject are deceased and buried in Stevens cemetery, near Rollo. William H. Edwards owns one of the finest collections of Indian relics in that state of Illinois--a collection which is so comprehensive that it has found a place of honor in the Dixon library. The Edwards family is of English origin, the grandfather coming to the United States about 1840 and making his way to this section of the middle west in 1848, as above mentioned.

Frank Edwards received his education in the Dixon public schools, leaving the high school at the age of eighteen. To complement his education along commercial lines he then took a course in the Dixon Business College and subsequently accepted a position as clerk for the Dixon Grocery Company. He then bought an interest in the firm of which he is now a partner and which has become by his able thought and effort the largest of its kind in the town. Progressive and energetic, Mr. Edwards is a business man of the modern type and, although well informed upon the smallest detail of the business, he never loses sight of the general trend of affairs, always preserving his energies for the most important matter at hand. In this way he has succeeded in building up an organization which is well suited to take care of the extensive patronage which is accorded his store.

At Dixon, on May 22, 1907, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Miss Mary Woodbridge, a daughter of John K. and Nellie Woodbridge. Both parents are dead. The father passed away in Evanston, Illinois, where he is buried, his wife preceding him in death in 1884, finding her last resting place in a Chicago cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards have one son, William, who is four years of age. Mr. Edwards adheres to the Presbyterian church and fraternally is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, belonging to the Dixon lodge. He owns his residence, where both he and his wife often entertain their many friends. He is not only highly regarded as a business man but has won the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens because of his high qualities of mind and character. He is interested in all matters of public welfare and ever considerate of the interests of others. His success is largely due to his own efforts and inherent ability and a bright future may be prophesied for the firm of Edwards & Case as long as the business is directed by the guiding hand of the senior partner.

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

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