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


CHARLES WILLIAM VESTAL. Success in the varied vocations of men is won practically along the same line by industry, persistency of effort, the exercise of sound judgment and correct ideals properly applied. The chronicles of our captains of industry and men of affairs in general indicate that these characteristics always win the goal sought in the sphere of human endeavor, no matter what the environment may be or what obstacles are met with, for they who are endowed with them make stepping stones of their adversities to higher things. These reflections are suggested by a cursory study of the career of Charles William Vestal, who, while yet a young man, has forged his way to the front in the jewelry business in Springfield, and is among the worthy native sons of Greene county, throughout which he is widely and well known, principally by virtue of the fact that he was for years connected with the office of county collector.

Mr. Vestal was born in Greene county, Missouri, March 2, 1885. He is a son of James R. and Margaret E. (Wadlow) Vestal. James R. Vestal was born in the above named county and state also on December 20, 1859, and here, too, occurred the birth of the mother of our subject, on December 19, 1863, and here they grew to maturity, were educated in the common schools of their day and were married, and here spent their lives. They each represented pioneer families, well known in the northern part of the county. Dr. James R. Vestal, our subject's paternal grandfather, was a native of Indiana, from which state he emigrated to this locality when it was sparsely settled. He was a physician of the old school and he practiced in the vicinity of Cave Spring for many years and was one of the best known early-day doctors in that vicinity. His son, James R. Vestal, Jr., there grew to manhood, and when a young man learned the jeweler's trade in Walnut Grove, this county, and he worked at the same in that town for nearly twenty years, during which period he was post master for some time, maintaining the office in his jewelry store, and he cared for the telephone interests of his town when the telephone was in its infancy. He was a resident of that town when he was elected by the Republicans county collector, whereupon he removed to Springfield. After serving faithfully his first term he was nominated by his party to succeed himself in office and he was elected by a handsome majority. After his second term expired he spent the rest of his life in retirement.

His family consisted of two children, a son, Charles W., of this sketch, and a daughter, Nora E., of near Willard, this county. The mother of these children was a daughter of Dr. Wadlow, also a well remembered pioneer doctor of the vicinity of Cave Spring, who died some years ago, but his widow survives at an advanced age, and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Nora Claypool, at Walnut Grove. The death of Mrs. Vestal occurred in July, 1908. Fraternally James R. Vestal was a member of the Masonic order, the Blue Lodge and the Royal Arch division; also belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World and the Court of Honor. He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. His death occurred after an illness extending over a period of some three years, on April 16, 1914, at the home of his son, our subject, on North Jefferson street, Springfield. In its issue on the following dav, The Springfield Independent, said of him, in part, as follows:

"James R. Vestal's familiar nickname was 'Ruff.' Everybody in north-western Greene county knew him and respected him. The town of Walnut Grove loved him. While a citizen of that town he enjoyed the happiness of his family, consisting of Mrs. Vestal, their son Charles and a daughter. The son is now a business man in Springfield. During his term of office his son was one of his trusted clerks. He and Mrs. Claypool, nee Miss Nora Wadlow, sister of Mrs. Vestal, are well known to every tax payer in Greene county. They were the faithful helpers in Mr. Vestal's office.

"Mr. Vestal was a great big-hearted man. He was the idol of his friends and a companion to them. He was ever ready to assist in the home of suffering and he was always ready to the assistance of the distressed. There was never a night too stormy or too dark for him when he heard the cry of want, neither did he ever flinch when duty called him. He had implicit confidence in humanity. This caused him some trouble as well as abundant joy. Many times he was deceived, yet his confidence was soon restored and he would go forward with greater determination. The many traits of splendid character he possessed endeared him to all the people and that is what placed him in one of the best positions in the giving of Greene county. The writer of this has known Mr. Vestal for nearly a quarter of a century. He has gone with him on missions of mercy and he has been cheered by him in seasons of gloom. His tender heart was the pride of his friends. He loved his family, his sainted wife, one of the purest of women, and his children were his idols."

Charles W. Vestal grew to manhood at Walnut Grove and there received his education, attending the high school there. He had in the meantime learned the jeweler's trade under his father, and worked at the same for several years. He came with his father to Springfield as deputy county collector not long after leaving school and remained in the office during the two terms his father was incumbent of this office. In 1913 he resumed the jewelry business, opening a shop at 207 McDaniel avenue, Springfield, and in May, 1914, purchased the Osborn jewelry store and is now located at 211 McDaniel avenue in neat quarters and is enjoying a large and rapidly growing business, his friends of former days coming to him from all over the county and he has a large city trade of the best people. He carries an extensive, attractive and carefully selected stock, one that would be a credit to any city, keeping a large line of watches, clocks, diamonds and all kinds of precious stones, cut glass, hand-painted china, novelties, optical goods; in fact, everything to be found in an up-to-date and modernly appointed jewelry store in large cities. He makes a specialty of repair work of all kinds, doing all kinds of high grade watch work and diamond mounting; in fact, makes a specialty of the two latter. High grade, honest and prompt work is his motto, and by fair and courteous treatment he can attribute much of his pronounced success in his chosen vocation, and the biographer predicts for him a future replete with success of a still vaster degree.

Mr. Vestal was married, June 20, 1910, to Ella J. Campbell, a native of Greene county, where she grew to womanhood and received a good education. She is a daughter of George W. and Serena (Miller); Campbell. Mr. Campbell was born in Greene county and Mrs. Campbell is a native of Pennsylvania. They were married here and are both living, Mr. Campbell being a farmer. Mrs. Vestal received a common and high school education and is a graduate of the Chicago Musical College.

Politically, Mr. Vestal is a Republican. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic order, including the Blue Lodge and the Royal Arch Masons, and is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a young man of unquestioned integrity and industry and worthy of his business success and the high regard in which he is universally held.

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