GEORGE W. CONSTANT. - George W. Constant is now living a retired life in Illiopolis, but for many years his name figured prominently in financial circles of Sangamon County in connection with banking interests. He made for himself an enviable reputation as an honorable, progressive and enterprising business man and through the improvement of opportunity and unrelaxing attention to his invested interests he gained a very desirable success.
Mr. Constant was born in Mechanicsburg township, June 7, 1837, and is a son of Jonathan C. Constant, whose sketch appears on another page of this volume. George W. Constant was reared under the parental roof and was educated in the public schools and in a private school in Springfield. He remained with his father until he reached adult age, when he went to Springfield and learned the tinner's trade, which he followed for ten years. He afterward located on a farm in Macon county, Illinois, where he carried on agricultural pursuits for five years, and then became connected with the hardware business in Springfield. In 1872 he sold his Store and purchased a farm in Lanesville township, which he continued to operate for four years and then traded it for a farm in Illiopolis township. He carried on farming until 1880, when he took up his abode in Illiopolis and established a hardware and implement business which he conducted for a number of years. In 1890, he started a private bank in connection with Mr. Tracy, of Springfield, purchasing the banking business of Reuben Smith & Son, which they conducted for six years, Mr. Constant being president and in active control. They sold out in 1896 and since that time, Constant has devoted his attention to his landed and other invested interests and to the settlement of estates. He is a careful and practical man of business, of unquestioned probity and keen sagacity, and in the management of his affairs has won that success which is the goal of every business man. He owns two business houses in Illiopolis and has aided materially in the improvement of the town.
Mr. Constant is a stalwart Republican and served for two terms as supervisor, during which time he was on a number of important committees. He has also been alderman of Illiopolis and chairman of the board of education and his public service has been characterized by the most unfaltering fidelity to duty. He has also been a delegate to numerous county and state conventions of his party.
In Springfield, July 25, 1857, Mr. Constant married Miss Sarah E. Kent, a native of that city and a daughter of Jesse H. Kent, who is also represented elsewhere in this volume. They have three living children: John D., of Springfield; Fanny, the wife of John Sheller, cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Illiopolis; and Georgia A., wife of P. P. Correll, bookkeeper in the State Bank. They also lost four children, three who died in early childhood, and Nettie E., the wife of 0. J. Lucas, a banker of Latham. She died in 1895.
Mr. and Mrs. Constant and their children are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and he belongs to The Masonic fraternity, belonging to the lodge and chapter of Illiopolis and the commander of Springfield. He has served as treasurer and chaplain of the first two. His life has been well spent. In his business career each step has been thoughtfully and deliberately made and his judgment is rarely, if ever, at fault. He has found in each transition stage of his active career incentives for renewed effort, and as the years have gone by he accumulated the handsome compentence which makes possible his present retirement from labor.