Biography - ABRAM C. GODFREY
For almost half a century the Godfreys, father and son, have been numbered among the progressive business men of Ottawa. They have been noted for their public spirit and liberality toward all local enterprises of a character that would tend to promote the welfare of the community.
Philip, father of Abram Godfrey, was born in Cork. Ireland, but came to America when young. At eighteen years of age he wedded Miss Mary Avary, a native of New York, and in 1850 this sterling couple came to Ottawa. For thirty-seven years Mr. Godfrey was successfully engaged in the grocery business, retiring in 1887- to enjoy the competence which he had won by years of diligence and indefatigable energy. He embarked in merchandising with the small capital of eighty dollars in gold, but he possessed much more pluck than money, and in the end this quality proved of even more value, for in time he became well-to-do and respected as a man of uprightness and fairness in all his dealings.
The birth of Abram C. Godfrey occurred in Ottawa, April 6, 1859, and here he passed his boyhood, working, at intervals, in his father's store, and early acquiring valuable knowledge of the business. Desiring a little wider experience in the commercial world, he went to Chicago in 1884, and for one year was employed by Fairbanks, Morse & Company. He then returned to Streator, Illinois, and was with Dennis Fielding in a shoe store for two years. In 1887, upon the occasion of his father's retirement from business, our subject assumed the management of the store, and has continued to enjoy the favor of our leading citizens as his customers.
On the 5th of November, 1894, Mr. Godfrey and Bertha T. Taylor, a daughter of W. W. Taylor, of Ottawa, were united in marriage. They have one child, Margaret Louise, born July 17, 1898. For over ten years Mr. Godfrey has been a member of the Masonic order, and, like his honored father, is actively interested in the success of the Republican party. He has served efficiently as an alderman while Albert F. Schoch was mayor, the administration being known as the “improvement council."
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 82-83.