Newspaper Unknown - August 15, 1927

Author of 2 Books Which Gave Life of War President
Henry B. Rankin, one of Springfield's famous personages, and well known author and authority on subjects relating to Abraham Lincoln, died at 8:15 o'clock yesterday morning at the home of his daughter, Attorney and Mrs. Clayton J. Barber, 510 South Second street. Mr. Rankin was past 90 years old.

Although an invalid for the last forty years, Mr. Rankin's actuated always by that spirit of enthusiasm and perseverance which had characterized his career from early childhood when he began the study of law in the offices of Lincoln and Herndon (part of article missing).

Was Born Near Athens
Mr. Rankin was born April 7, 1837, near Athens, in what is now Menard county, a son of Amberry A. and Arminda Rogers Rankin. He was reared on the farm, and at Petersburg, where his father served as sheriff of Menard county.

He was educated in North Sangamon academy, and was a student in the office of Lincoln and Herndon. His early manhood was spent in farming and banking, and for many years he served as vice president of First National bank of Petersburg. In 1891 he removed to Jacksonville, and in 1905 to this city. He married Alma Hurd, of LaSalle county, May 4, 1864. She preceded him in death twelve years ago, after they had celebrated their fifty-second wedding anniversary.

Learned Life Of Lincoln
During the period Mr. Rankin spent in the law office of Lincoln and Herndon he learned much of the life of the emancipator. Of an observant nature, and possessing a keen analytical mind, the decedent became a close friend of Mr. Lincoln. While he was but 19 years old when he met Mr. Lincoln they became close friends immediately the intimate acquaintance between the two men, one of whould be one hundred years before a clear history of the emancipator would be written, probably not realizing that his two volumes, with their information gleaned at first hand and by personal contract, would be the ones he prophesied the future would bring.

Of buoyant and optimistic nature, he ever maintained a forward vision and strove to live to his active ideals, formed when he was a young man. While his literary world brought him fame, Mr. Rankin's demeanor and his writings were always characterized by modesty and a desire for accuracy of statement, which but gave him the greater authority of the subject.

Watched Daily Events
His keen mind always alert he took great interest in events of the day, his informative reading and keen memory allowing him to judge accurately and criticize intelligently. From early childhood he was a voracious reader, and perused many daily newspapers.

Mr. Rankin is survived by three children: Fred H. Rankin, assistant dean of the college of agriculture of the University of Illinois; Albert H. Rankin, vice president of First National bank of this city; Mrs. Clayton J. Barber, with whom he made his home; and two grandchildren; Mrs. Albert F. Martin, jr of Chicago; and Henry Rankin Barber, of this city.

Funeral To Be Tomorrow
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the Barber home, 519 South Second street. Dr. John T. Thomas, pastor of First Presbyterian church officiating. Interment will be made at Indian Point cemetery, near Athens. The family requests that flowers be omitted.

Transcribed by:Bertha Emmett


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