Lee County Biography


Fred N. Vaughan, whose name figures prominently in connection with the business development of Amboy, has, since March 17, 1906, been president of the First National Bank. His record stands in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is never without honor save in his own country, for he has always lived in this city, where he has carefully directed his efforts and guided his business interests, until he now stands at the head of one of its foremost financial institutions. He was born February 1, 1865, and is a son of C. D. and Louise M. (Balch) Vaughan. The family is of Welsh lineage and was founded in America during the seventeenth century, Benjamin Vaughan, the great great grandfather of our subject coming to this country from Wales. His son and namesake, Benjamin Vaughan, at the age of seventeen years joined the New Hampshire state troops and later served in the continental army during the Revolutionary war. C. B. Vaughan was a pioneer merchant of Amboy, dealing in furniture for many years and was also mayor of the city and treasurer of Amboy township for an extended period. His worth was widely acknowledged by all who knew ought of his history. He died in 1886 at the age of fifty-six years, while his widow still survives and yet makes her home in Amboy.

Fred N. Vaughan attended the public schools of Amboy to the age of seventeen years, when he secured a position as messenger for the Illinois Central Railroad. Subsequently he acted as clerk in the office of the division superintendent and resigned that position to become general factotum in the private bank of Josiah Little. He has since been continuously connected with the bank, advancing from one position to another as he has proved his capability and has mastered the duties devolving upon him. He served for a time as bookkeeper, later as assistant cashier, subsequently became vice president and eventually was chosen president. The First National Bank of Amboy succeeded the private bank of Josiah Little which was organized in 1868 and is the oldest bank in the city. It is also one of the strongest financial institutions of the county and from the beginning has enjoyed a substantial growth resultant from its safe policy and progressive methods.

In Amboy on the 23d of November, 1887, Mr. Vaughan was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. Poland, a daughter of A. J. and Carrie (Potter) Poland. Her father was train master of the Illinois Central Railroad and one of the old settlers of Amboy. He passed away January 17, 1903, at the age of seventy-one years, having for a long period survived his wife, who died February 8, 1879, at the age of forty-one years. Both were laid to rest in Graceland cemetery of Chicago. One of the ancestors of Mrs. Vaughan on the maternal side belonged to the Culver family and came from England to America on the Mayflower. A descendant of the name of Sarah became the wife of Jonathan Woodworth, who figured in the Revolutionary war. Benjamin Poland was born in Maine in 1784 and was the grandfather of Mrs. Vaughan. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan: Glenn P., a student in the University of Illinois; Jeanette L., who was formerly a student in the college of Rockford, Illinois; and Fred N., who is attending the Amboy high school.

The family occupy an attractive home which was erected by Mr. Vaughan and it has been since he became president of the bank that the fine bank building was erected. He has been honored with a number of local offices by his fellow townsmen, who appreciate his worth and public spirit. For three terms he served as alderman and is now mayor of the city and a member of the board of education. In the former position he is discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity, giving to the city a businesslike and progressive administration, while in the latter office he proves himself indeed a friend to the public schools. Mr. Vaughan is prominent in Masonic circles. He holds membership with the lodge and chapter at Amboy, the commandery at Dixon, the consistory at Freeport and the mystic shrine at Rockford, Illinois. He also affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Elks lodge at Dixon and he is a trustee of the Congregational church of Amboy.

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

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