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


LEWIS F. PIPKIN. The gentleman of whom the biographer now writes is known as one of the progressive men of affairs of the city of Springfield, having been actively identified with the industrial world in this locality for many years. Mr. Pipkin's well directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his own business, interests and his sound judgment have brought to him prosperity, and his life demonstrates what may be accomplished by the man of energy who is not afraid of work and has the ambition to continue his labors, even in the face of seemingly discouraging circumstances. Our subject has been content to spend his active and useful life in his native county, and he is a product of one of our honored pioneer families, having been born here over a half century ago, he has lived through the wonderful changes that have taken place in this vicinity, his boyhood having been spent in an epoch when practically everything was different from what it is today when Springfield was little more than a village.

Lewis L. Pipkin, secretary and treasurer of the: Springfield Grocery Company, was born at Fair Grove, Greene county, Missouri, September 14, 1861. He is a son of William H. and Christina, (Hoover) Pipkin. The father was a native of Tennessee and the mother was born in North Carolina, the birth of the former occurring in the year 1833. These parents spent their earlier lives in the South, attended the early-day schools and migrated to Greene county, Missouri, in frontier days and spent the rest of their lives in this locality, Mr. Pipkin dying here in 1893. He became a successful and well-known business man and was postmaster of Springfield during President Cleveland's administration, during his first term. At one time he was a candidate for county collector, and was defeated by only eight votes. His friends believed that he had been elected and endeavored to induce him to contest the election, but he refused to do so. While he took much interest in public affairs he was not an office-seeking politician, however, was always willing to do his duty as a good citizen, having at heart the welfare of his city and county. He was known as a man of excellent business ability, broad-minded, well-informed, scrupulously honest and a true friend and genteel gentleman. He was an active church worker and was a delegate to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1890, also in 1892. He served for years as a member of the board of stewards of the local church of this denomination and was very prominent in church affairs. The death of his wife occurred in the year 1899. They were the parents of one son and five daughters, all of whom survive at this writing, namely: Lewis F., of this sketch; Cyntha Jane, Margaret Alice, Rosina Ida, Carrie Bell and Mary Etta.

Lewis F. Pipkin spent his boyhood at Fair Grove where he attended school until he was seventeen years of age, when he began working in his father's general store at that place. He had a natural bent for mercantile pursuits, and, having ambition to forge to the front in this line, he soon gave evidence of unusual ability. He remained in the store with his father, until the latter removed his family to Springfield in 1879, and here founded the firm of Doling & Pipkin, general merchants, which venture was successful from the first and grew to large proportions with advancing years. The firm retained the services of our subject until 1882, when he accepted a position in a book store in this city, which business he bought out in 1884, and continued to conduct it with very gratifying results for a period of nearly twenty years or until 1903, when he sold out. During the following year he was connected with the Springfield Traction Company, and in 1904 became associated with the Springfield Wholesale Grocery Company as bookkeeper, and in, 1909 was elected secretary and treasurer of the company, which responsible position he is still holding in a manner that reflects much credit upon his business ability and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned.

Mr. Pipkin is thoroughly informed upon all details in connection with the grocery business and is one of the prime factors in this great institution, which does an enormous annual business, covering a vast territory in the Southwest. He has a capacity for detail and has introduced new systems which have greatly increased the volume of the business to a large degree. In all his transactions he has proven himself worthy of the trust reposed in him and is faithful to all obligations in every relation of life.

Mr. Pipkin was married in Springfield, May 6, 1886, to Lillie Y. Murray, a daughter of Lilburn H. and Asenath L. (Anderson) Murray, one of Springfield's most prominent families, Mr. Murray having been one of the leading business men here during a past generation. Here Mrs. Pipkin grew to womanhood and received an excellent education, and here she has long been a favorite with the circles in which she moves.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Pipkin has been blessed by the birth of the following children: Eula Lillian, Louise M., Marguerite, William H., and Lilburn Murray Pipkin.

The family are members of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal church, South, and are regular attendants. Politically Mr. Pipkin is a Democrat, and he has always taken an active interest in the welfare of his party, particularly as regards its local affairs, and his influence has been most potent for the general good. For three terms he has served as city collector discharging his duties faithfully and with circumspection. He is a member of the Springfield Club, the James River Club, and the Young Men's Business Club, and is thoroughly in sympathy with the aims of the last named organization, collaborating with the members in order to increase the commercial importance of the Queen City of the Ozarks. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Royal Arcanum.

Mr. Pipkin has risen to his present commanding position in the business world solely through his individual efforts, his industry, fidelity, honesty and because he has from the first been an adherent of correct principles and lofty ideals, and his career is most creditable in every respect.

[1853-1855]


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