Biography - CHARLES A. CARY
In following the history of successful men in the business world how often does the truth of the saying of the great poet come to us that "there is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." Happy is the man who is prepared, by nature and education, to grasp the opportunity at the instant that it presents itself, and then, with all the powers of his mind, molds and adapts himself to the opportunity, and it, in turn, to his own uses.
Charles A. Cary, a prominent citizen of Utica, is an example of the keen, energetic business man of to-day, one who, even in his early manhood, evinced marked talents, and by the time that he had seen thirty summers was fully launched upon the flood tide which is bearing him on to fortune. One of LaSalle county's native sons, he was born in the city of that name, December 4, 1857, a son of Charles A. and Mary J. (Blakeslee) Cary. When he was eleven years old he removed with the family to Chicago, which was his home for several years. His elementary education w-as acquired in the public schools of LaSalle and Chicago. He then attended University of Notre Dame, at South Bend, Indiana, after which he attended the Highland Military Academy at Worcester, Massachusetts. Returning to Chicago, he then pursued a course in telegraphy, and in 1877 was appointed as an operator at Ottawa, and in the following April was transferred to Utica,. where for nine years he was in charge of the Rock Island Railway office. At the end of that period, in 1887, he entered into partnership with W. C. and E. J. Reynolds, under the firm name of E. J. Reynolds & Company, and engaged in the shipping of washed sand from the celebrated sand hills near this place. The company controls a large area of this sand, which is of an extremely fine quality, possessing the features especially desirable in the manufacture of glass, its chief use. Thousands of car-loads are annually shipped to glass factories in Chicago and points in Illinois and Indiana, the output of this plant finding a market within a comparatively limited area of the country. Mr. Cary is a stockholder in the Utica Hydraulic Cement Company, and is now acting in the capacity of vice-president of that flourishing concern.
On the 4th of December, 1883, the marriage of Mr. Cary and Miss Julia M. Peckham, of Pontiac, Illinois, was solemnized. She is a daughter of Professor John B. and Charlotte (Clark) Peckham. Two sons and three daughters bless the home of our subject and wife, namely: Howard Clark; Alta Beulah; Viola Belle; Charles Arthur and Marjorie M.
Socially Mr. Cary is a member of Acacia Lodge, No. 67, A. F. & A. M., of LaSalle, and of Peru Chapter, No. 60, R. A. M.; Peru Council, No. 12, R. & S. M.; and St. John's Commandery, No. 26, K. T. In political matters he adheres to the platform of the Republican party, and is an earnest supporter of its nominees. In local affairs he takes an intelligent interest, his ballot and influence being always used for the improvement of the town.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 354-355.