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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Merchant, banker, coroner, village trustee


Henry Loomis Peaslee was born August 13, 1810, in Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont. He was the second child of Robert Peaslee and Amanda Loomis. He attended the public schools in Burlington until the age of 16. Henry then went to work as a clerk for a mercantile business until about the age of 20 at which time he took a position as a teller for the Burlington Bank. He remained there about two years and then formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Amos W. Butler, in a mercantile business.

Henry married Amelia Mary “Emma” Butler on July 31, 1831, in Essex, Vermont, and they were the parents of Lucia D., Luther L., Julia Adela, Horace Horatio, and Harriet Loomis, who married William Ellison Moore.

Henry and Amelia came to Naperville in 1836 where he took charge of the mercantile business of Harmon & Loomis until 1841.

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Henry was elected as the first DuPage County Coroner when the County was established in 1839 and also served as Justice of the Peace.

He and Amelia returned to Vermont in 1841 owing to sickness in his family. They returned to Naperville in 1845, and, in partnership with Mr. Loomis, conducted a general mercantile business, H. L. Peaslee & Co., for ten years, which they advertised as “The Cheapest Cash Store in DuPage County.”

Henry then joined with James Wright and George Martin and established the Producers Bank with which he was connected for about three years. Following his connection with the bank, Henry started another mercantile business, with the object of establishing his son, Luther, in the business.

When the Civil War broke out, Luther joined the 105th Illinois Infantry and served as a Second Lieutenant, resigning when he received notice of his father’s failing health.

Henry was elected and served as a Naperville Village Trustee in 1861. He was a member of Euclid Lodge No. 65, A.F. & A.M. and Euclid Chapter No. 13, R.A.M.

Henry Loomis Peaslee died January 1, 1893, in Naperville, DuPage County, Illinois and was buried in the Naperville Cemetery with the members of Euclid Lodge No. 65 performing the simple Masonic funeral service.

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Tim Ory
Tim Ory
Tim Ory is a fifth-generation Naperville native, descended from Francois Sebastien Ory, who immigrated to America from Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1844. Signing off as "Tim Ory, Historian, Euclid Lodge No. 65 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons," Tim adds that he continues to research the History of the Masonic Lodge and Naperville every day. Contact him at tjory@sbcglobal.net.


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