LORANZEY D. KIMZEY. The farming districts of Illinois have produced some of its most able business men, and many of those who are now following business careers in the cities and villages received their training as agriculturists and entered mercantile pursuits only after years of tilling the soil. Jackson county has many such men, and they may be counted among their most representative citizens. Prominent among them in his community is Loranzey D. Kimzey, the proprietor of a large grocery and meat market at Fordyce, who in addition to being a valuable addition to those who have charge of the commercial interests of his section, has proven himself an able and conscientious public official. Mr. Kimzey was born on a farm in Hard in county, Illinois, October 22, 1868, and is a son of Ephraim and Mary (Schumacher) Kimzey.
Ephraim H. Kimzey was a native of Kentucky, but was a stanch Union man, and at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war he left his native state to come to Illinois, and here enlisted as a member of Company E, Forty-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, and served three years and six months, or until he was badly wounded and received his honorable discharge on account of disability. At the age of twenty-five years he was married in Hardin county to Miss Mary Schumacher, of that locality, and three children were born to this union: Loranzey D., Milo and C. A. After his marriage Mr. Kimzey engaged in farming in Hardin county, but eventually sold that land and came to Jackson county, and until his death, in 1888, was engaged in farming near Murphysboro. His widow is still living, on a farm near Sand Ridge. Mr. Kimzey was a stanch Republican in his politics, and was a popular comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic.
L. D. Kimzey received his education in the public schools of Hardin county, and was engaged in farming with his father until seventeen years of age in that locality. At that time the family came to Jackson county, and he remained in association with his father until the latter’s death, at which time he purchased a farm of his own. Reared to agricultural pursuits, and taught scientific methods of farming, Mr. Kimzey was successfully pursuing that vocation, but decided to try his ability in the mercantile field, and during the early months of 1911 rented his land, moved to Fordyce. and there purchased the grocery and meat market of R. Grain. As a business man he has shown himself to be enterprising, progressive and capable, as well as possessed of the attributes which enable a man to successfully follow more than one vocation. He has built up his business considerably, added needed reforms, and established himself firmly in the confidence and esteem of the people of his adopted locality. Like his father a stalwart Republican, Mr. Kimzey has served as highway commissioner of Sand Ridge township, was school director several years, and is at present acting as township treasurer. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Kimzey was married at the age of twenty-five years, to Miss Celesta C. Porter, of Jackson county, daughter of L. D. Porter, a farmer of Sand Ridge township, and to this union there have been born four children: Walter, Helen, Lucevia and Ida. Mr. and Mrs. Kimzey are well and favorably known in their locality, and have numerous warm, personal friends.
Extracted 23 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, published in 1912, volume 2, pages 922-923.
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