|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
R. L. Isherwood has demonstrated the full meaning of the word success as being the complete accomplishment of an honorable purpose. Integrity, energy. close application and good management -these are the elements which have entered into his business career and crowned his efforts with prosperity. He now occupies an enviable position in financial circles as vice president of the Chillicothe State Bank, and in the general business life of the city as the owner of some fine modern greenhouses and as the promoter of many other important enterprises which affect directly the present security and future growth of the city. He was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, December 6, 1856, and is a son of R. L. Isherwood, these initials having descended to the eldest son in the family through many generations. For hundreds of years representatives of this line were cotton manufacturers in England and the father of our subject was for a long time interested in this industry. He is now living retired in Argentine, Kansas, having reached the advanced age of ninety-four. His wife passed away in that city in 1885, at the age of sixty-five, and her grave is in the Argentine cemetery. She was a representative of the Spencer family, members of which have been well known in various lines of activity in England. It sent representatives to various English wars and the maternal grandfather of the subject of this review, H. Spencer, fought through the entire Crimean war as general of an army corps.
R. L. Isherwood acquired his education in Millbrook College, Devonshire, England, from which he was graduated in 1872, and in Oxford College, from which he received his degree of B. S. in the following year. Immediately after completing his education he came to America and here learned the tinner's trade, following that occupation at Carrollton, Missouri, for three years. Afterward he went to Cameron, Missouri, and spent one year there, going to Jamesport at the end of that time and establishing himself in the hardware and implement business, in which he was engaged for twenty years, winning a high and prominent place in mercantile circles of that locality. At the end of that time he came to Chillicothe and accepted a position as traveling salesman for the International Harvester Company, a connection which he retained until 1904, when he transferred his interests to the Studebaker Company, with whom he remained for two years. In 1906 he built a large greenhouse, which he owns today and the conduct of which forms one of the most important of his business interests. The building is the largest of its kind in northern Missouri, occupying over an acre of land, and it contains the first concrete benches ever installed in a building of this character. These are over one hundred feet in length and much credit is due Mr. Isherwood as the originator of the idea.
Since his arrival in Chillicothe Mr. Isherwood has made his influence felt in an important way in business circles of the city and has, therefore, been carried forward into important relations with general business life. In 1909 he became connected with the Chillicothe State Bank and has since been vice president of the institution, which, owing to a great extent to his great financial ability, has become one of the strong money concerns of the county, established on a reliable basis and conducted along conservative lines which merit the confidence of the people.
Mr. Isherwood married, at Jamesport, Missouri, December 27, 1897, Miss M. Gillilan, a daughter of John and Mary Gillilan, the former a pioneer farmer of Daviess county and a representative of an old German family. Both have passed away and are buried at Jamesport. Mr. and Mrs. Isherwood became the parents of a daughter, Edith, the wife of W. G. Wiley, a traveling salesman, with residence in Chillicothe. Mr. and Mrs. Isherwood are well known in social circles of the city and their home at 1516 West Calhoun street is one of the most modern and attractive in the community. Fraternally Mr. Isherwood is a blue lodge Mason and belongs also to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Follows, of which latter institution he has been a member for thirty-five years. He is a progressive democrat in his political views and is interested in the social and political development as well as in the material progress of Chillicothe. An analyzation of his work shows that his success is not the result of unusual circumstances but has come rather from his close application and ready use of opportunities. He has known how, when and where to put forth his best energies and the careful directing of his efforts, along the lines where mature judgment has led the way, has brought to him the prosperity which he now enjoys.