Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ROBERT MINTO. One of the best-known railroad men of Springfield during the past generation was the late Robert Minto, who maintained his residence in Greene county for a period of nearly three decades, during which time he formed a very wide acquaintance and was rated among our best citizens, and his unfortunate death occasioned wide-spread regret. Like all men of positive character and independence of mind, he was outspoken in what he considered right, and his convictions were such that his neighbors and fellow citizens knew well his position on all questions of a political, social or religious nature. His private life was exemplary and his amiable disposition and many virtues made him widely popular.
Mr. Minto hailed from England and he was the possessor of the many admirable traits of the great Anglo-Saxon people. His birth occurred in Durham, England, June 22, 1853, but he spent practically all of his life in America, having been but six months old when he was brought to the United States by his parents, Thomas and Sarah Minto, both of whom were born, reared, educated and married in Durham, England, the birth of the father having occurred in 1830 and the mother was born in 1831. Thomas Minto was educated for a bookkeeper in which he became quite expert. After immigrating to America the latter part of the year 1853 he became a mine owner in Illinois, but while he remained in his native land he followed mercantile pursuits. He is now living in retirement on a fine farm near Shelbyville, Illinois, having accumulated a comfortable competency through his good management. He has reached his eighty-fifth year. His wife also attained a ripe old age, and was called to her eternal rest at the homestead at Shelbyville in 1913. Politically he is a Republican, and belongs to the Masonic order. He is a grand old man and is highly respected in his community.
Twelve children were born to Thomas and Sarah Minto, but only two survive at this writing, namely: Elizabeth, Thomas, Robert (subject); Clement, are all deceased; Henry lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and Mrs. Bertha Cook still makes her home in Shelbyville, Illinois; the other six children died in infancy or early life.
Robert Minto spent his early childhood in Alton, Illinois, where his parents resided until he was about ten years old. He received his education in the schools of Shelbyville, that state, and by wide home reading in later life. He was married in Shelbyville on December 24, 1874, to Annie Lane, who was born in Ohio, February 27, 1857. She is a daughter of Marcus D. and Colista (Benadum) Lane, both natives of Baltimore, Ohio, the birth of the father having occurred in 1833, and that of the mother in 1834. There they grew to maturity and received good educations. Mr. Lane followed teaching and became a well-known educator in Shelbyville, Illinois, and there his death occurred in 1880, and there his widow, now advanced in years, is still living, having survived him thirty-four years. To Mr. and Mrs. Lane thirteen children were born, nine of whom are still living. Mrs. Minto grew to womanhood in Shelbyville, Illinois, and there received a good education.
To Mr. and Mrs. Minto one child was born, Robert Minto, Jr., whose birth occurred in Shelbyville, Illinois, October 11, 1880. There he spent his early childhood, being six years of age when he removed with his parents to Springfield, Missouri, where he grew up and was educated. He married Belle Keet in Springfield. They now reside in Kansas City, Missouri, and to their union two children have been born, namely: Virginia Lane, and Robert Keet.
Robert Minto, of this memoir, first began his railroad career in Beardstown, Illinois, soon after his marriage, as brakeman on the Baltimore & Ohio, later was promoted to freight conductor on this road. He removed with his family to Springfield, Missouri, in 1886, and went to work as freight conductor on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad, which is now operated under lease by the Frisco System. His run was from Springfield to Thayer and that continued to be his run until his death. He could have become passenger conductor but preferred to remain on a freight train. He performed his duties most faithfully and stood high in the estimation of the company and his fellow employees.
The death of Mr. Minto at St. Joseph's Hospital, Springfield, on June 13, 1914, was the result of an unfortunate accident at Cabool, Missouri, while on his regular run. He was injured while assisting in unloading freight, receiving a severe blow on the head; however, he lingered for seven weeks before death came to his relief. He was sixty-one years of age, and had been a resident of Springfield twenty-eight years, during which time he had been a freight conductor on the Ozark division continuously.
The pleasant Minto home, where Mrs. Minto still resides, is on Guy street, Springfield.
Politically, Mr. Minto was a Republican. He belonged to the Masonic order and to the Order of Railway Conductors. Religiously he held membership with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he was an active worker, and was a trustee of one of the local churches for a period of twenty years, and was one of the most active and influential members of the congregation that built the Daly Methodist church in this city. When such men are removed from any community their loss can not but be keenly felt for a long time to come.
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