From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 330-331, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Hon. Arthur A. Leeper, attorney at law, Virginia, Illinois, was
born at Chandlerville, Cass county, this State, August 21, 1855, son of
William D. Leeper, a native of Edmonson county, Kentucky.
Rev. Robert Leeper, grandfather of Hon. Arthur A. Leeper, is
supposed to have been a native of Kentucky. He removed form that State
to Illinois in 1829, and entered a tract of Government land, a portion
of which is now included in the village of Chandlerville, being one of
the first settlers there. He at once built a log house, and began the
improvement of his land. He erected the first grist mill ever build in
that locality. He operated the mill, superintended the improvement of
his land, and resided there until his death.
William D. Leeper was twelve years old when his parents moved to
Illinois. The greater portion of the State was at that time unsettled,
and deer, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful in this vicinity.
It was long before the railroads entered this section of the country,
and for many years Beardstown was the market and depot for supplies for
miles around. He entered a tract of Government land that joined his
father's farm on the east, located on it at the time of his marriage,
and passed his life there dying in 1866. The maiden name of his first
wife, mother of the subject of our sketch, was Mary Runyan. She was
born in Kentucky, and died in 1857. His second wife, previously Maria
Hermeyer, was born in Germany.
In the public schools of Chandlerville, Arthur A. received his
early education. At the age of sixteen he entered Eureka College, and
graduated with the class of 1874. He then entered the law department of
Iowa University, graduating in 1875. Returning to Chandlerville, he
opened an office and practiced his profession there until the fall of
1876, when he came to Virginia, where he has since practiced.
September 18, 1878, he married Eva Howe, a native of Ohio, and a
daughter of Rufus and Eva (Miller) Howe. They have two children: Mabel
Politically, Mr. Leeper is a Democrat. He cast his first vote
for Samuel J. Tilden. In 1876, he was elected State's Attorney for Cass
county, and filled that position until 1880. He has served as City
Attorney three years, and was School Director three years. In 1885 he
was the nominee of his party for member of the House of
Representatives. This was the time of the memorable contest which
finally resulted in the election of John A. Logan to eh United States
Senate. The Republican made a still hunt in this campaign, and Mr.
Leeper was defeated. He was re-nominated, however, in 1888, for State
Senator, and was elected, serving through two sessions. He was one of
the 101 who voted continually for John M. Palmer. Among the various
committees on which he served, we mention the following: Special
Drainage, Insurance and Judiciary, Highways and Bridges, Judicial
Department, Corporations, Canals and Rivers, Labor and Manfactures,
Rules, State Charities, License and Miscellaneous, and County and
Township organizations. He faithfully performed the duties of his
responsible position, his efficient work being recognized and highly
appreciated by his constituents. He was re-nominated for Senator in
Fraternally, he is a member of Virginia Lodge No. 554, A.F. & A.M., and Saxon Lodge, No. 68, I.O.G.T.