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


HARRY H. FINCH. If industry, hard work and ceaseless activity, united with a strong and determined perseverance can accomplish anything in this world, then Harry H. Finch, engineer at the Springfield Gas & Power Company, is bound to succeed, for in him are to be found all the characteristics mentioned and indeed he is deserving of more than ordinary credit for his career thus far in life, having et scarcely begun his serious life work.

Mr. Finch was born in Springfield, Missouri, March 8, 1894. He is a son of John S. and Lillie (Robinson) Finch, the latter residing at her own home on West Poplar street, this city. The father was born at Strafford, Greene county, Missouri, and grew to manhood in this county and attended school here. Securing a position on the St. Louis & San Francisco road here when a young man, he worked his way up to a locomotive engineer, in which capacity he was long connected with this road and which he was holding at the time of his death, on October 2, 1903, when about forty-six years old. His death was by accident in a head-on collision at Thayer, this state. He was reared on a farm, and when he first came to Springfield he worked in the south side shops, then went on the road as fireman, and was in due course of time promoted to engineer. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, also belonged to the First Baptist church. His family consisted of three children, namely: Nellie is the wife of Charles Gardner, lives with her mother, and has one child, Juinita; Harry H., of this sketch; and Jesse, who is an apprentice plumber.

The Finches were early settlers in Greene county, the grandfather having located there in pioneer times, became a successful farmer, and served in the Civil war.

Harry H. 'Finch received his education in the ward schools of his native city, but left school when fourteen years of age and went to work in the plant of the Steineger & Rountree Harness Company, as an apprentice harness maker, but he found the work not altogether to his liking, having had a natural bent toward machinery, so he gave up the idea of becoming a harness maker and he secured a position as apprentice in the Frisco shops, later, when the shops closed down temporarily, he accepted a position with the Springfield Gas & Electric Company as an oiler, on October 25, 1907. He held this position for two years, then began work as an engineer, having successfully passed the required examination on October 15, 1911, and received his license, having enjoyed the honor of being the youngest licensed engineer in Springfield. But he had thoroughly prepared himself, having not only been a close observer while acting as oiler, but also mastered the prescribed course of the American Correspondence School in steam engineering. He is still a student of everything that pertains to his calling and is unquestionably one of the most up-to-date steam engineers in Springfield.

Mr. Finch was married on August 7, 1913 to Pearl Stine, a daughter of Cassius H. Stine. She received a common school education. This union has been without issue.

Mr. Finch is a member of the National Association of Stationary Engineers. He is a member of the Baptist church on Grant street, and, politically he votes the Democratic ticket.

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