Lee County Biography


Samuel P. Zeller, who is filling the position of assessor in Ashton township and is also serving on the school board of Ashton, is one of the representative business men of Lee county, having conducted large and important interests. In earlier life he was connected with the grain and lumber business, and he is now engaged in the feed business, handling from fifteen to twenty thousand bushels annually. A native of Ohio, his birth occurred in Warren county, June 5, 1853, his parents being Andrew P. and Maria (Flickinger) Zeller, both of whom were natives of Ohio, where their entire lives were passed. They had a family of nine children, of whom three are living.

Samuel P. Zeller remained upon the old homestead until he had attained his majority. He then went to Iowa, where he engaged in the grain and lumber business for a year. On the expiration of that period he sold out and returned to Ohio, where he engaged in farming for a period of seven years. He next came to Lee county, Illinois, and engaged in the grain and lumber business for fifteen years, when he sold out. He was afterward located in Sterling, Illinois, in the same business for a short time but in 1902 came to Ashton, where he has since made his home. Here he embarked in the feed business, handling from fifteen to twenty thousand bushels annually. He has prospered in his undertaking, brooking no obstacles that could be overcome by persistent and determined effort. He had as the basis for his success a college education combined with energy and determination, and his persistency of purpose, his honorable dealing and his ambition have been salient features in making him one of the prosperous business men of his locality. He owns a fine residence in Ashton and is also the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of land in Dakota.

In 1880 Mr. Zeller was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Foster, who was born in Ohio and is a daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Foster, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state, where they spent their entire lives. To Mr. and Mrs. Zeller were born live children: Nellie F., who is a graduate of the high school in Ashton and has also spent some time in studying music; Samuel P., who is married and lives in Ashton; Clarence A., deceased; Ruth L., a graduate of the high school; and Ralph, who has also passed away.

The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are interested in its work and progress. Mr. Zeller is a republican and is now capably serving as assessor of Ashton township. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he has done good work as a member of the school board. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A.F.&A.M. He has taken high degrees in the fraternity and is now a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is also well known as a member of Ashton Lodge, No. 977, I.O.O.F., in which he has filled all of the chairs. He is ever loyal to the teachings of these organizations, which are based upon the principle of mutual helpfulness and kindliness with a recognition of the brotherhood of mankind.

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

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