Rankin, Nathaniel A.

Born: 1809-02-01 Kentucky

Died: 1891-12-16 Warren County, Illinois


Rankin lived on his father's farm until 1831, when he married Anna Louisa Holloway. In 1833, Rankin went to Springfield, Illinois, to commence a mercantile business in partnership with William Holloway. In December 1833, Anna Rankin died. In December 1834, Rankin wed Martha Holloway, with whom he would have ten children. The couple moved to Springfield to allow Rankin to attend to his business, which bore the name N.A. Rankin & Co. In February 1838, Rankin dissolved his partnership with Holloway, purchasing the latter's interest in the enterprise. In March 1838, he was among the prominent Springfield residents who pledged money to secure the removal of the Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. Rankin and Ninian W. Edwards were partners in a store from November 1838 until June 1840, when Rankin sold his share of the business to Eliphalet B. Hawley. In 1843, Rankin and his family moved to Shelbyville, Illinois, where he resumed a mercantile business. Two years later, he moved to Monmouth, Illinois. In 1850, he was a merchant in Monmouth and owned real estate valued at $7,000. Voters in Monmouth elected Rankin as alderman in 1852, and he became a member of the first City Council. In 1859 and 1860, he was mayor of Monmouth. In 1860, he owned real estate valued at $13,000 and had a personal estate of $15,000. In 1861, he retired from the mercantile business to become a farmer. He remained active in civic and political circles, serving as president of the Warren County Agricultural Society in 1864 and 1865 and as U.S. Assessor of Internal Revenue from 1862 to 1865. He was an elder in the Christian Church and a Republican.

Sangamo Journal, 3 May 1834, 3:6; 17 February 1838, 2:7; 17 November 1838, 3:5; 26 June 1840, 3:2; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 48-49; Promissory Note of John Hay and Others to State Bank of Illinois; Gravestone, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Warren County, IL, 87; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Roseville, Warren County, IL, 138; The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 220; Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman, 1886), 215-16.