Lee County Biography


Joseph W. Staples, engaged in the undertaking business in Dixon, is a representative of two of the pioneer families of this section of the state. He was born at Grand Detour, March 28, 1871, his parents being Elbridge G. and Lizzie (Ling) Staples, the latter a daughter of Joseph Ling, who was the first engineer of the Grand Detour Plow Works. He was one of the pioneer residents of this district, coming to the middle west from Maine. The paternal grandfather, William Staples, was also a native of Maine and came to Illinois during an early period in its development. He, too, was connected with the plow works and both the Ling and Staples families were thus actively associated with the early industrial development of Grand Detour. Elbridge G. Staples likewise became an employee of the plow company, remaining in that service for many years as one of its most trusted, efficient and capable representatives. At length, however, he retired from active business and went to California, where his last days were passed. Both he and his father were soldiers in the Civil war, enlisting as members of Company F, Thirty-fourth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, soon after the opening of hostilities. The grandfather was the first man in the Thirty-fourth Illinois Regiment shot in the battle of Shiloh. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge G. Staples were born three children, one of whom died at the age of eight years, while a daughter, Daisy, became the wife of Samuel Stakemiller, of Sterling, Illinois, and is now deceased.

Joseph W. Staples, the youngest and the only living representative of the family, acquired a public-school education and started in business life as an employee of the firm of Camp & Son, furniture dealers of Dixon, on the 1st of March, 1886. That he was diligent, trustworthy and industrious is indicated in the fact that he remained with that house for seventeen years. At length he determined to engage in business for himself and in 1903

His success is directly attributable to his industry, enterprise and capable management and he holds the esteem and respect of an extensive circle of friends.

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

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