EADS, Albert, President of the Union National Bank, of Macomb, McDonough County, Ill., and one of the ablest financiers in this section of the State, was born in Knoxville, Ill., April 23, 1842. He is a son of John and Margaret (Anderson) Eads, natives of Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively. When Albert Eads was three years old he was left without a mother and was reared in the family of his grandfather, in Morgan County, Ill., until he reached the age of twelve years. He attended school at Knoxville, Ill., where he remained with his father until 1861. He spent one year (1859-60) in school at East Hampton, Mass. On the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in Company C, Fifty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, of which he was made Second Lieutenant, and promoted to First Lieutenant before reaching his twenty-first birthday, and thus served until January 14, 1865. In February, 1864, having suffered severe injuries from a fall, he had been detailed as military conductor between Nashville, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala. While in the performance of his duty he was taken prisoner, in September, 1864, by Gen. J. B. Forrest, and in the following November was exchanged. During the battle of Stone River, on January 1, 1865, Lieutenant Eads, with his Second-Lieutenant and sixteen men from Company C, Fifty-first Illinois Volunteers, captured a Confederate officer and eighty-five men, and, on June 24, 1904, had the privilege of returning to his former prisoner the sword which he had captured forty-one and a half years previously. In the meantime these two representatives of "the Blue" and "the Gray" had been in occasional correspondence with each other, and, in November, 1906, Mr. Eads visited his former foe at the home of the latter in Mississippi.
Resigning his commission on January 14, 1865, Mr. Eads returned to Knoxville, Ill., and in the fall of that year went to New York, where he pursued a course of study in Eastman's Business College. During 1866-67 he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Topeka, Kans., and in 1868 came to Macomb, Ill., where he conducted a dry-goods store two years. For the next few years he applied himself to farming in the vicinity of Macomb. In January, 1876, he entered the Union National Bank of Macomb as bookkeeper, was subsequently promoted to the position of Cashier and ultimately became President of the bank, an advancement which signally attests his sterling characteristics. He is also President of the National Bank of Colchester, and the Bank of Industry.
Mr. Eads was one of the leading spirits in the movements to secure the location of the Illinois State Normal School in Macomb, liberally contributing both of his time and money for this purpose. When this institution was overcrowded, in 1904, an appropriation for its enlargement was passed by the State Legislature. This was vetoed by the Governor, and Mr. Eads, together with other public-spirited citizens, came to the rescue of the project with personal contributions, he himself donating $1,000, which, with subscriptions from other sources, resulted in the addition of six spacious rooms to the school.
On January 28, 1868, Mr. Eads was united in marriage with Mary C. Tinsley, a daughter of Nathaniel P. Tinsley, whose biographical record may be found elsewhere in this volume. Two daughters have resulted from this union: Eleanor Eads, wife of Jame W. Bailey, who is in the banking business in Macomb; and Margaret Tinsley, who died at the age of four years and eight months. On political issues Mr. Eads was identified with the Democratic party until the campaign of 1896, since then having voted the Republican ticket, although he has never consented to become a candidate for public office. His religious connection is with the Presbyterian Church. Fraternally, he is a Royal Arch Mason, and served as Master of the Blue Lodge for eleven consecutive years--is a member of Macomb Lodge No. 17, A. F. & A. M., Morse Chapter No. 19, and Macomb Commandery No. 61. He is a thirty-second degree Mason of the Quincy (Ill.) Consistory, and belongs to the Veteran Masonic Association of Chicago, of which Venerable Veteran John C. Smith, one of the best-informed and most widely traveled Masons in the United States, is the founder and President. Mr. Eads has been for some time a Trustee of the Masonic Lodge of Macomb, in which he has been one of the leading spirits; is also affiliated with the Medinah Temple of the Mystic Shriners of Chicago, and is a member of the McDonough Post No. 103, G. A. R., and of the Illinois Commandery Loyal Legion.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907.