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George A. Lackens

LACKENS, George A., who is the present popular and efficient Mayor of Good Hope, McDonough County, Ill., and the proprietor and publisher of the "Good Hope Reflector," has furnished, in his comparatively brief career, an impressive illustration of what can be accomplished by energy, perseverance and integrity of character. Mr. Lackens was born in Franklin County, Pa., on June 19, 1860. He is a son of William and Eleanor (Mackey) Lackens, also natives of that State and county. William Lackens was a shoemaker by trade, and a very industrious and worthy man. He and his estimable wife lived fifty-three years in Franklin County, occupying during that long period four different houses, not more than three miles apart. In early youth, the subject of this sketch utilized the advantages afforded by the district schools of his native State, and afterward supplemented this rudimentary instruction by a course of study in Kennedy Academy.

At the age of sixteen years, he had saved a sufficient amount of money to pay his way to Carroll County, Ill., where he was employed for one year on a farm. He then returned to Pennsylvania and entered the institution above mentioned, in which he remained four years. After graduating, he was engaged for two years in teaching school there. In March, 1883, he located in Good Hope, Ill., teaching school in the town and its vicinity about ten years, closing his work in the schoolroom in 1892 as principal of the Good Hope school. At the end of that period, Mr. Lackens moved to a farm a short distance northwest of Good Hope, which he cultivated for six years, and then returned to town. The following two years he spent in organization work for the M. W. A. in Indiana.

In November, 1899, Mr. Lackens purchased the "Good Hope Reflector," a newspaper which was established, as a five-column folio, about the year 1885, under the name of the "Good Hope Index," with W. J. Herbertz as editor. From 1889 until the spring of 1892 it was conducted by W. J. Aleshire, under the name of "Good Hope Torpedo," Mr. Aleshire being succeeded by W. D. Campbell. The latter changed the name of the paper to the one which it now bears, and continued as its proprietor and publisher until November, 1897. In that year VanPelt & Benjamin became the owners, retaining the management until November, 1899, when Mr. Lackens bought the "Reflector," and has since successfully conducted it. He expended about $2,000 on machinery and other improvements of the plant, enlarged the paper to a six-column quarto, and has placed the paper on a plane with the leading papers of the county in influence and pecuniary profit.

On March 26, 1891, Mr. Lackens was united in marriage at Good Hope, Ill., with Thalie E. Dennis, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., but has been a resident of Good Hope since her childhood. Mrs. Lackens is a daughter of Nathan S. and Martha (Ash) Dennis, and her father at that time was engaged in farming in the vicinity of Good Hope. The following children have resulted from this union, namely: Eulalia, who is thirteen years of age; Clara, Georgia, Gerald, and Wendall, who is in his third year. In politics, Mr. Lackens is an earnest supporter of the Republican party, and a prominent and influential factor in its local councils. He was elected Mayor of Good Hope in 1902, to which office he was re-elected, and is still serving in that capacity. His administration has been characterized by notable ability, and fidelity to the best interests of the community. In fraternal circles, the subject of this sketch is identified with the A. F. & A. M., in which order he has officiated as Master of the local lodge during twelve of the sixteen years of his residence in Good Hope, and bears the certificate of Grand Lecturer. He is also affiliated with the M. W. A., and fills the position of clerk in the local camp. Mr. Lackens is regarded as one of the most prominent citizens of McDonough County.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 930-931, extracted 15 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass.

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