HARRY STOTLAR. Even in an age when much is demanded of the men of the younger generation few have attained to much prominence in the business world as has been the portion of Harry Stotlar, whose activities in the commercial and financial world have made his name well known all
over Franklin and Williamson counties. As the leading spirit in a number of large enterprises he has served to advance the interests of his native locality, and the success that has come to him has been the result of his own unaided efforts. Mr. Stotlar was born October 15, 1881, in Williamson county, Illinois, and is a son of James L. and Alice (Cox) Stotlar.
Samuel Stotlar, the grandfather of Harry Stotlar, was born in Pennsylvania, and came to Illinois with his family in 1855, settling on a farm in Williamson county, where he spent the remainder of his life. His son, James L., accompanied the family to this county, stopping for a short time in Ohio, and was reared on the homestead in Williamson county, the town of Herrin later being built on that property. James L. Stotlar was largely interested in selling land for building lots, became financially successful, and now lives on land situated south of Herrin, where he is engaged in farming and stock-raising. He is a Republican in politics, but he has always been an onlooker rather than an office seeker. He and his wife are members of the Christian church. Mrs. Stotlar's father, George Cox, was a native of Virginia, from which state he brought his family to Williamson county about the same time as the advent of the Stotlars, and the remainder of his life was spent in farming here, his farm being situated about three miles east of Herrin. Two of his sons enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil war, and both lost their lives in battle.
Harry Stotlar secured his educational training in the Herrin public schools, and his first serious employment was with his uncle, W. N. Stotlar, with whom he engaged in the lumber business with a capital of $3,000, borrowed money. After remaining with him three years Mr. Stotlar was encouraged by his success to assist in organizing and incorporating the Stotlar-Herrin Lumber Company, which was first capitalized at $20,000. This business, modest in its inception, soon grew to such an extent that to carry on its dealings it was necessary for a recapitalization, and there is now paid-up stock of $100,000, with a surplus of a like amount. This firm maintains yards at Herrin, Marion, Johnson City, Benton, West Frankfort, Christopher, Pittsburg and Franklin, and does a business amounting to $300,000 per annum. The officers are Fred Stotlar, a brother of Harry, president; Harry Stotlar, vice-president and manager of the business for Franklin county; E. M. Stotlar, a cousin, secretary. In addition to this, Harry Stotlar is a stockholder in the City Bank of Herrin, a director in the First National Bank of Christopher, president of the Benton Building and Loan Association and of the Christopher Building and Loan Association and a director in the West Frankfort Coal Company. He owns the bottling works at Benton and the Benton Steam Laundry, is heavily interested in building lots wherever he has lumber interests, and owns a half section of land near Benton, where he intends establishing a large stock farm.
Rated as one of the wealthiest men in Franklin county Mr. Stotlar's fortune has been gained in a strictly legitimate manner, and his reputation is that of a man of integrity and high business principles. He has so directed his affairs that they have advanced his locality, and he has always taken a keen interests in movements that have been for the good of this section, although his business has been so heavy as to deprive him of the honor that public office would bring. A prominent Mason, Elk and Pythian, Mr. Stotlar has served as chancellor commander of the latter society, is popular in all three connections, and has a host of admiring friends in every locality to which his interests have called him.