Ruffin Drew Fletcher, local superintendent of the Chicago, Wilmington & Vermillon Coal Company, Streator, Illinois, has resided in this city and been identified with this company for a number of years and is well known and highly respected.
Mr. Fletcher is a native of Montgomery county, Tennessee, born December 2, 1840, and is a son of John H. and Alice (Bennyworth) Fletcher, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of England. Mrs. Fletcher came to the United States with her parents when she was a girl of thirteen years, and in Illinois, in 1838, she and Mr. Fletcher were married, he having come to this state when a young man and located in Greene county. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Tennessee, where they remained until 1851, that year coming back to Illinois and again settling in Greene county. From there he moved to Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1855, where he died in 1878. His widow survives him and still makes her home in Nilwood, Illinois. Her father was Samuel Bennyworth.
Mr. Fletcher's paternal grandfather was John Fletcher. He was a native of North Carolina, of which state the Fletchers were early settlers. The family, it is supposed, came to this country from Scotland.
R. D. Fletcher, the immediate subject of this review, spent the first twelve years of his life in Tennessee, and accompanied his parents on their return to Illinois, as above stated. He attended the district schools in Greene and Macoupin counties and later was a student in a seminary at Greenfield, Illinois. In 1862 he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twentysecond Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and rendered faithful service for three years, until the close of the war. He was a participant in a number of engagements. A portion of the time he was on detached service in the quartermaster's and commissary departments, with Captain Langdon, who was stationed a part of the time at Cairo, Illinois.
After receiving an honorable discharge, in June, 1865, he returned to his home in Macoupin county, Illinois, and in 1869 began railroading on the Chicago & Alton Railroad, with which he was connected for seven years. At the end of that time he accepted a position with the Chicago, Wilmington & Vermilion Coal Company, first as shipping clerk, in which capacity he served for ten years. In 1889 he was promoted to the position he now fills, that of local superintendent. This year is his twenty-sixth in the service of the company.
In January, 1873, Mr. Fletcher married Miss Rachel S. Proctor, of Mason City, Illinois, daughter of Richard and Rachel (Harris) Proctor. To them have been born a son and a daughter. The son, Ralph Proctor Fletcher, is deceased. The daughter, Edna May, is at home.
Mr. Fletcher has always been a stanch Republican and taken a deep interest in the general growth and good of the town in which he lives. For thirteen years he was a member of the school board. He is prominently identified with the Masonic order, maintaining membership in Streator Lodge, No. 607, F. & A. M.; Streator Chapter, No. 168, R. A. M.; and Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, K. T.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 263-264.