Biography of
Harvey C. Vise

p. 1311

     HARVEY C. VISE. Probably no citizen of Franklin county has been more closely identified with conditions in the monetary and commercial fields than Harvey C. Vise, of Macedonia, and few have demonstrated their ability in as many different fields. Country bred, and reared originally for agricultural pursuits, he has been successful alike as farmer, merchant and financier, and has been educated for one of the professions. Today he is one of the leading capitalists of Franklin county, president of the Farmers Exchange Bank of Akin and of the Bank of Macedonia, and a worthy representative of an old and honored family. He was born in Hamilton county, Illinois, October 17, 1856, and is a son of Eliphas H. and Ester (Choiser) Vise.

     Hosea Vise, the grandfather of Harvey C., one of the most renowned Missionary Baptist preachers the state of Illinois ever knew, was born in 1811, in the Spartanburg district of South Carolina, the seventh of the nine children of Nathaniel and Dorcas (Meadows) Vise, the former of Welsh descent and the latter of English and descendants of Pocahontas. His grandfather served with Washington at Braddock's defeat, and subsequently fought during the Revolutionary war at Eutaw Springs and Guilford Court House, as captain of the famed Virginia Blues. He died at the age of one hundred and three years, and his wife when one hundred and seven. In 1835 Hosea Vise moved to Posey county, Indiana, but a short time later came to Illinois and settled in Hamilton county, where he commenced farming and expounding the Gospel. In 1864 he established a general store at Macedonia, which he owned until his death, and which is now being conducted by his grandson. In 1861 he enlisted as a captain in an Illinois regiment, served therewith for twenty months, and on his return again took up merchandising, farming and preaching. He served for twelve years as postmaster at Macedonia and for ten years as pension agent. In 1871 he sold his Hamilton county farm and purchased a tract in Franklin county, on which he lived until his death. He preached forty-eight years and during that time filled all of his appointments but four, was moderator of his district for a period covering thirty-eight years, during which time he missed but two meetings; delivered the first temperance lecture in the counties of Hamilton and Franklin, and organized more churches than any man in Southern Illinois. He cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson, as a p. 1312 Democrat, but at the time of Lincoln's nomination became a Republican and so continued throughout the remainder of his life. Fraternally he was connected with Governor Yates Lodge of Masons, and was buried by the order at the time of his death, February 11, 1897. His wife, Lettie Moore, was a daughter of Ellsworth Moore, and was born in 1814 in South Carolina and died in 1886. Their son, Eliphas H. Vise, was born in the Spartanburg district, October 11, 1835, and died May 25, 1888, having been a successful farmer and merchant all of his life. He married Ester Choiser, daughter of William Choiser. The latter was born in Illinois and lived in the state all of his life, serving in the Black Hawk, Mexican and Civil wars, and dying at the age of eighty-six years, at Eldorado, Illinois. His father, also named William Choiser, was born in Canada and came to Kaskaskia, Illinois, later removed to Shawneetown, where he reared a family of fourteen children, and eventually removed to Saline county, where until his death he maintained a tavern on the road for the accommodation of travelers headed west.

     Harvey C. Vise was educated in the common schools and Ewing College, and after studying law for some time was admitted to the bar. His tastes did not run towards the legal profession, however, and in 1872 he turned his attention to the operation of the store at Macedonia, where he has been a merchant ever since. He now has the largest stock of merchandise in Franklin county, and in addition owns a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres. He is president of the Farmers Exchange Bank of Akin and of the Bank of Macedonia, the latter of which was organized in 1897, with a capital of eight thousand dollars, and has a surplus of five thousand dollars, with annual deposits averaging fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Vise has been too busy looking after his business interests to engage actively in politics, but he supports Republican principles and has served as supervisor of his township. Fraternally, he is connected with Royal Lodge, No. 807, Macedonia, in which he has served as master, and belongs also to H. W. Hubbard Chapter, No. 160, R. A. M., Mount Vernon. As a member of Oddfellowship he has been noble grand of Macedonia Lodge, No. 315.

     In 1872 Mr. Vise was married to Miss Sarilda Plaster, daughter of John Plaster, an old resident of Franklin county, and she died in 1886, having been the mother of three children: John, an implement dealer of Macedonia; Nellie, who married J. W. Johnson, of this city; and Hosea A. On October 16, 1888, Mr. Vise was married to Miss Ellner McGuyer, daughter of William McGuyer, and a sister of John B. McGuyer, Mr. Vise's business partner. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Vise, namely: Ava, who became the wife of B. F. Sparks and lives at Mount Vernon, Illinois; Orrie A., at home; and Clyde H. and Evan H., who also reside with their parents. The family is connected with the Missionary Baptist church, and its members are well and favorably known in religious and charitable work. Mr. Vise during his residence in Macedonia has been active in almost every movement for the public good, and the benefit that the city has derived from his activities in the financial and commercial world cannot be estimated. His business ventures, however, have been conducted in such a manner that he has earned the reputation of being a man of the highest integrity, and as a consequence he has the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends and well wishers.

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