Lee County Biography

Elias B. Stiles


Elias B. Stiles, formerly of Dixon, was born in Huntingdon, Luzerne County, Pa., March 9, 1820 and was the son of Lewis and Srah (Dodson) Stiles. He wsa reared in his native county, and when twenty years old came to Dixon, where he followed the occupation of a clerk for two years. Later, he formed a partnership with another gentleman and operated under the firm name of Eddy & Stiles until 1846, when he removed to St. Louis and there resided for two years. After his return to Dixon. be engaged largely in the land agency and the real-estate business, and was successful in his various enterprises.

In 1853, Mr. Stiles opened a private bank an transacted a prosperous business until 1864, when owing to unfortunate speculations, he was obliged to suspend. Afterward he engaged, in agricultural pursuits and also as one of the largest and more daring speculators on the Chicago Board of Trade. In his busincss career, he experienced many disatrous and sudden vicissitudes as well as many favorable turns in the tide of fortune, but bore disaster and success with equal nerve and fortitude.

Mr. Stiles had long been a prominent member the Democratic party in his district and for ten years served as County Treasurer. In 1862, he was Democratic candidate for Congrcss in his district against the late Hon. E. B. Washburne and made a sharp and close contest for the position. August 8, 1847, he was married in Dixon to Miss Sybil Van Arnam and they became parents of three sons: Charles, Alexander and Eugene B.

On the morning of August 26, 1881, the sad and sudden announccment of the death of Mr. Stiles, in Chicago, from paralysis of the heart, came to the citizens of Dixon, taking them by surprise, as few knew of his illness. His remains were brought to Dixon, and the funeral services held at the Methodist Episcopal Church were attended by a large concourse of people who wished to show their esteem for this honored and worthy citizen. He was a man of jovial, companionable disposition and very popular wherever he was known.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 815


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