Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


SAMUEL L. ESLINGER. It is in such countries as the United States that full swing can be given to the energies of the individual. A man may choose any business or profession he desires, and he is limited only by competition. He must meet the skill of others and give as good service as they or he will not get the positions, will not attain a place in the front ranks of the men of affairs. Such adaptation to any work or business is well shown in the career of Samuel L. Eslinger, vice-president of the Springfield Bakery Company. He has turned his hand to various things and proved that there were more than one occupation which he could make successful.

Mr. Eslinger was born on June 18, 1866, at Sullivan, Sullivan county, Indiana. He is a son of James E. Eslinger, who was born in Tennessee, from which state he removed to Indiana when a young man, learned the carpenter's trade and he has devoted his active life to carpentering, contracting and building houses, bridges, etc. He is now living in retirement in Sullivan county, Indiana, having attained the advanced age of eighty-three years. Politically he is a Republican. He is a member of the Christian church. He has always been a quiet, unassuming home man, one who attends strictly to his own affairs. He married Elizabeth Allen, who was born and reared in Kentucky. Her death occurred thirty-nine years ago, in 1876 when she was a comparatively young woman. To these parents three children were born, namely: Gus and. Thomas are farming in Sullivan county, Indiana; and Samuel L. of this sketch.

William Eslinger, paternal grandfather of our subject, was a resident of Tennessee in the early days of that state, finally removed to Sullivan county, Indiana, where he spent the rest of his life, reaching the unusual age of ninety-eight years. For many years he was a large planter in Tennessee and owned many slaves. He was also interested in river commerce.

Samuel L. Eslinger grew to manhood in his native county and there he received a common school education, also attended school in Shelby county, Indiana. He was ten years old at the death of his mother, and soon thereafter he went to live with his uncle, Capt. T. M. Allen, with whom he remained until he was thirteen years old. He then came to Springfield, Missouri, with his uncle, and here, in 1885 he entered the retail grocery business for himself in the five hundred block on Boonville street, renting a room there the second day he was in Springfield. Although he started out on a very small scale, he managed well and soon had an increasing trade and finally his quarters were outgrown and he moved a block farther north on the same street in more commodious quarters, occupying a store fifty by one hundred feet, and here he remained for some twenty years, enjoying a large and lucrative business, ranking among the leading grocers of the city. Some idea of the gain in his sales may be had when we learn that his first day's sales in the grocery business in Springfield amounted to only two dollars, and when he sold out in 1907 his last day's sales totaled nearly two hundred dollars. He first entered the bakery business in 1905, in the Springfield Bakery Company, of which he is now vice-president and with which he has been connected for ten years during which period he has been the principal motive force and has assisted in making it one of the largest and most successful enterprises of its kind in the state. He has been a large stockholder in the same all the while. An article regarding this concern will he found on another page of this work. Our subject is actively engaged at the company's large plant, taking care of the shipping end of the business. He has been very successful in a business way and owns considerable property, including a valuable residence on North Jefferson street.

Politically, Mr. Eslinger is a Republican, and has been active in party affairs for some time. For two years he was a member of the city council. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a member of the Springfield Club, and belongs to Grace Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Eslinger was married first to Belle Lippman, a daughter of Jacob Lippman. This union was without issue. He subsequently married Clara Danforth, a daughter of Joseph Danforth, of Greene county, Missouri.

Leonard D. Eslinger is now twelve years of age. Our subject's present wife was known in her maidenhood as Lula Knotts, daughter of Col. Robert Knotts. This union has been without issue.

[1766-1768]


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