At the head of one of the infant enterprises of Marseilles, Mr. R. F. Knott has plainly demonstrated his executive and financial ability and his right to be classed with the progressive business men of LaSalle county.
Born about thirty-six years ago, in the city of Mobile, Alabama, Mr. Knott represents two old and highly honored southern families. His father, Richard F. Knott, who was a very successful cotton merchant, was stricken with the dread yellow-fever scourge in 1873, and died when still in his prime. He not only bore an enviable reputation as a business man but also ranked high in the Masonic fraternity, having taken the thirty-third degree, and having occupied the exalted office of first grand commander of the state of Alabama. For his wife he chose Miss Charity Prince, a lady of superior education and social attainments, and five children blessed their marriage.
With his brothers and sisters, R. F. Knott was reared in the sunny southland and received a liberal education. He suffered an irreparable loss when he was about ten years old in the death of his father, but the memory of his judicious counsels and worthy example served as a guiding star through his youth. In 1889 he married Miss Sallie Oliver, daughter of Thomas Oliver, of Birmingham, Alabama, and they have one bright little son, Richard F., Junior, now four years of age.
Coming to Marseilles, Mr. Knott assisted in the organization of the Crescent Paper Company in May, 1896, and has since acted as president of the concern, while J. H. Collough is the secretary and treasurer, and D. Samuels is the superintendent. This company has succeeded in establishing a large and lucrative trade within the past three years, and now affords employment to a force of more than one hundred people. They manufacture paper box-board, egg cases and crates of various kinds, paper boxes, and other receptacles for shippers' and merchants' supplies. The growing importance of this industry to this town and vicinity is duly acknowledged by its citizens, and it promises to be a still greater factor in the development of commercial enterprises here.
In his political convictions, Mr. Knott is a loyal gold Democrat, and takes great interest in the leading issues of the day. Fraternally he has followed in the footsteps of his father, being identified with the Masonic order, as a Knight Templar of the Ottawa Commandery, No. 10. Both he and his estimable wife are members and regular attendants of the Episcopal church.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 323-324.