Lee County Biographies



Walter L. Preston is a partner in the firm of Morris & Preston, conducting an undertaking business in Dixon. He had previously been connected with commercial interests in the city as the representative of others and is both widely and favorably known here. He possesses the spirit of enterprise characteristic of the middle west. He has always lived in the Mississippi valley, his birth having occurred at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, January 10, 1875, his parents being L.T. and Rosie Preston, who in the year 1878 came to Lee county. The father was a school teacher and was also the owner of a small farm near Dixon, living in this vicinity until 1880, when he removed with his family to Sublette, Illinois, where he accepted the position of superintendent of public schools, where he remained for four years. He taught school in Lee county until 1905. He was a capable educator, holding to high standards in his profession, and his ability to impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired made his service of notable value to those under his instruction. He is now living retired and makes his home in California. He is numbered among the veterans of the Civil war, having enlisted in 1861, near Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and served until the close of hostilities, making a most creditable military record. In politics he has always been a republican, stanchly supporting the party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has always been accounted a party of reform and progress.

Walter L. Preston, after attending the public schools, spent three years as a student in the Northern Illinois Normal School and thus received good business training, qualifying him for the responsibilities and activities which have since claimed his attention. In 1889 he entered the furniture and undertaking business in the employ of the firm of Camp & Son and afterward worked for various people until July. 1911. when he joined H.W. Morris in opening undertaking parlors, which are conducted under the firm style of Morris & Preston. The enterprise has been attended with success, for it has been conducted along the most progressive and enterprising lines. They have quarters in a hue brick business block and occupy the first floor and basement. Theirs is one of the best equipped undertaking establishments, not only in the county, but in this part of the state. They have a large reception hall and parlor as well as a show room containing an extensive line of fine caskets and in addition there is a tastefully appointed chapel capable of seating two hundred people. Tact and care are exercised in the performance of the delicate duties which devolve upon them and their services are sought throughout the surrounding country. Business has steadily grown as it deserves to do as the result of the enterprising and progressive methods of the partners.

On the 2d of November, 1898, Mr. Preston was united in marriage to Miss Julia Fielding, of Dixon, and unto them have been born four children: Frances, Louise, Robert and Julia. Mr. Preston belongs to Dixon Lodge, No. 7, A.F.&A.M., and also holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. His political indorsement is given to the republican party at the polls, but he is not an active worker in its ranks in the matter of office seeking. He is, however, interested in all matters pertaining to the public welfare and cooperates in many movements looking to the betterment and improvement of the community.

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

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