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Richard I. Empey

EMPEY, Richard I., a well-known dealer in groceries and meats in Macomb, was born in Stephenson County, Ill., March 4, 1868, and there received a common school education. He is a son of Lafayette and Rachel A. (Holley) Empey, the former a native of Oneida County. N. Y., and the latter born in New Jersey. The grandparents on the paternal side were Richard and Elima (Putnam) Empey, born, respectively, in Washington County, N. Y., and the State of Connecticut. His grandmother's great-grandfather, John Putnam, came from England in 1636. In the maternal line, the grandfather was Isaac Holley, a native of Connecticut. The grandmother, who was born in New Jersey, bore the maiden name of Kilgore.

Mr. Empey was the eldest of four children. At the age of fourteen years he came to Bardolph, McDonough County, and when sixteen years old was employed in his father's grocery. In 1888 he went to Kansas City, Mo., where he worked in a grocery for one year. He then came to Macomb and was employed about four years in J. W. Wyne & Brother's dry-goods store, after which he worked a year in a general store at Bardolph. Returning to Macomb, he was employed in E. L. Allison's boot and shoe store about eleven years. November 1, 1904, he and his brother-in-law, James E. Pelley, went into the grocery and meat business on the corner of Randolph and Carroll Streets. On February 1, 1907, he bought Mr. Pelley's interest and has since run the entire business. which has been a success from the start. In October, 1898, during the riots at Pana, Ill., he was sworn in as First Lieutenant of Company F, Sons of Veterans, which was made a part of the State Militia; he resigned in February, 1899.

Mr. Empey was married September 19, 1891, to Rosa Pelley, who was born and schooled in McDonough County. Politically, Mr. Empey is a Democrat, and fraternally, belongs to various branches of the Masonic Order and the M. W. A. He is an active and useful member of the Presbyterian Church in Macomb, in which he has been a deacon since October, 1904, being Chairman of the Board of Deacons at the present time. He was an elder in the Bardolph Presbyterian Church, and served as Superintendent of its Sunday school for two years. For six years he has been a Sunday school teacher in Macomb. Mr. Empey is a man of high character. His strict probity inspires general confidence, and he enjoys the cordial regard of all who know him.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 874, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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