James Albert Edds, a retired manufacturer of Pekin, was born in Cincinnati Township, Ill., December 18, 1854, his education having been obtained in the public schools and at Hedding College, Abingdon, Ill. Upon leaving the latter institution he learned the cooper’s trade with his father and remained with him during his life, the latter dying on Dec. 28. 1896. He engaged in various occupations until 1889, when, with his father and the Messrs, Herget, he organized the Pekin Steam Cooperage Company, with a capital of $5,000. In 1900 two other similar plants in Arkansas, with a capital of $5,000, at Paragould, Ark., were merged into the one company, and the name changed to The Pekin Stave and Manufacturing Company, of which Mr. Edds was secretary and general manager from the time of organization until January 12, 1903. He then sold his interest to H. Herget and retired from active business, taking up his residence in Pekin. In 1901 he was made president of the Pekin Gas Heating & Manufacturing Company, a position which he still holds; is also a partner in the firm of James A. Edds & Co., insurance and real estate broker of Peoria and Pekin, the other partner being Herman Struck.
Mr. Edds’ religious belief is in the Christian Church. His political principles are Democratic, and he has served his town as Alderman besides holding other local minor offices. Socially, he is a 32d degree Mason; belongs to the Mystic Shrine and the Scottish Rite, and is a member of the lumberman’s association called the Hoo-Hoos.
On December 24, 1884, the marriage of Mr. Edds occurred at Eureka. Ill., when he was united to Miss Lena Payne. Six children were born to this union, viz.: Venella Justine, Thomas Bartlett, Elsie V. (deceased), Albert Warren, Walter Eugene (deceased), and Florence Lenore. Mrs. Edds was born November 5, 1866, and departed this life February 23, 1903. She is buried in the Lakeside Cemetery at Pekin. Mr. Edds’ second marriage was to Anna M. Jurgens, of Pekin, on the l8th of October, 1904.
The father of our subject, William Thomas Edds, was a native of Springfield, Ill., where his birth occurred November 25, 1827. He married Miss Mary Ellen Dewar, who was born in Parkersburg, Va., June 6. 1829. The paternal grandfather was Bartlett Edds; the maternal, James Dewar.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 999
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