Richard B. Fulks
Biography

From: "Biographical  Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892, page 512-513; reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971; sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Richard B. Fulks is a retired merchant, living at his pleasant home at Beardstown.  He was born at Rushville, Schuyler County, New York {correction from original print - It should be "Illinois"}, February 6, 1840.  This boy grew up under the name of Dick, and has borne that title ever since, being scarcely known by any other title.  He is a man who has made his own fortune and carved his own history.  His early life was a struggle to acquire book knowledge.  During his boyhood days he studied hard and served as clerk as early as fourteen.  He was with the firm of Shew & Merriman of Beardstown for some time, and in 1857 he became a clerk for Charse, Rich & Parker, of this city, and was thus engaged until the breaking out of the war.  He enlisted August 21, 1861, as private in Company K, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Captain Lippincott and Colonel Charles Hovey, of Normal, Illinois, in command.  In 1862, while encamped at Ironton, Missouri, Mr. Fulks issued for three months a camp journal called the Camp Cricket.  This knowledge of newspaper work he had acquired when but yet a boy; and later, in 1860, by working at night and at odd times in the offices of Thompson & Irwin as assistant in publishing The Central Illinoian of Beardstown.  After a service of two and a half years as a private Mr. Fulks was commissioned as Quartermaster Sergeant and in that capacity served till the close of the war on the staff of General Lippincott.  After serving as a brave soldier he was mustered out and discharged properly and honorably at Springfield, in December, 1865.  During the war he was in many engagements, including the burning of the big bridge on the Iron mountain railroad in 1861, later at Frederickstown, Missouri, and afterward did guard work on the Mississippi river, and he saw much active service, but escaped without a scratch.  He went through the battles of Vicksburg, Jackson, Mobile and Spanish Point and at Placeo, Texas.  While at Meridian, Mississippi, he received a severe sunstroke, from which he has never recovered.  The Government remembers him with a pension.  When the war closed he laid aside the soldier's habiliments and resumed citizen's dress and returned to Beardstown.  He then resumed his mercantile pursuits.  The qualities for which Mr. Fulks is noted are grit and push, and as he put them in his business he has made a success of it.  He has added to the general welfare of the city, which gives him credit for making it the thriving place it has become.  No misfortune ever shocked or worried Dick.  He has had three disastrous fires, which in each case represented heavy losses to his stock and his business, but he has pulled through and managed to have a surplus at the bankers, to supply all demands.  Hard work and years finally told upon him, he lost his health, and had to retire from active labors in 1887.  He has owned and dealt, sometimes quite extensively, in city property.
  He was married first, in this city, to Lydia M. McClure, who was born and reared in Cass county and died in Denver, Colorado, April 10, 1878.  Her body was brought to this city and interred in Oakland cemetery.  She was then in the prime of life, being born about 1843, and was a well educated woman, having been second principal of the school in this city.  She was a member of the Congregational Church, and left one daughter, now a well educated young lady, named Inas.  He was a second time married, in this city, to Miss Mattie, of Louisville, Kentucky, a bright young woman, who died two years after, and was buried at her old home.  He was married a third and last time to Miss Etta Brown, who was born and reared here, but died at the birth of her first child, in 1885.  The child is a bright little girl of seven years, named Anna D.  He has been a member of I. O. O. F. for some twenty-five years, a member of the Knights of Honor, and one of the promoters and charter members of the G. A. R. order.  He has served the city as an Alderman for some time, and has been a member of the Board of Education.  He has always been a strong Republican.



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