From: History of Illinois and Her People
by Professor George W. Smith, M. A.; pub. 1927; Vol. VI, p.129

Capt. John H. Stelle

Capt. John H. Stelle, who won his military rank as an officer in the World war, represents a prominent family of Hamilton county and has been actively identified with the professional and business interest of McLeansboro since early manhood.  He is a lawyer and manufacture.

Captain Stelle was born at McLeansboro, August 10, 1891.  His great-grandfather Stelle was an early settler of Hamilton County, coming from North Carolina.  His grandfather, Jacob Stelle, was born in Hamilton County, was a Union soldier in the Civil war, and followed farming as his occupation.  Thompson B. Stelle, father of Captain Stelle, was born and reared in Hamilton County, acquired a common school education and taught school for a time.  He graduated in law from McKendree College and was engaged in practice at McLeansboro until his death in 1907, at the age of sixty years.  Thompson B. Stelle had unusual gifts not only in his profession but in business, and successfully conducted a number of interests.  He became one of the largest land owners in Hamilton County, accumulating an estate of about 2,000 acres.  He also operated a general department store at McLeansboro.  As a lawyer he enjoyed exceptional skill in the criminal branch of practice.  He served one term as judge of Hamilton County and was a democrat in politics.  Thompson B. Stelle married Laura Blades, a native of Hamilton County, who died in 1919.  Their children were: Eleanor, wife of Z. W. Graff, of McLeansboro; Edith, who married C. C. Wright; William H., who practiced law at McLeansboro until his death in 1908; Cyrus B.; Raleigh B.; Elsie, wife of Dr. W. H. Weirick, of Jacksonville; and John H.

John H. Stelle finished his high school course at McLeansboro, attended Western Military Academy, and was graduated in law at Washington University of St. Louis.  From 1908 to 1913 he played professional baseball with several leagues.  He was admitted to the bar in 1916 and was engaged in practice at McLeansboro when America entered the World War.

He volunteered in 1917, attended the First Officers Training School at Fort Sheridan, and was commissioned a first lieutenant.  In January, 1918, he went overseas with the Seventy-seventh Division, and subsequently was detailed for service with Twenty-eight and Thirtieth Divisions, and finally with company B of the One Hundred Fifteenth Machine Gun Battalion.  He was in much of the fighting in France during the year 1918, and in December of that year was promoted to the rank of captain.  Captain Stelle received his honorable discharge May 19, 1919.  He attended the first meeting of the America Legion in this country and is a past commander of the post at McLeansboro.

Captain Stelle has given much of his time since the war to business and industrial interests.  Since 1920 he has been owner of the McLeansboro Creamery, a successful industry manufacturing ice, ice cream and butter.  He is president of the McLeansboro Shale Products Company, manufactures of brick, drain tile and building blocks.  He was president in 1923 of the Hamilton County Fair Association, of which he was an organizer, and was elected president for 1926 of the McLeansboro Chamber of Commerce.  Captain Stelle is a Royal Arch Mason, member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and B. P. O. Elks.  He is a democrat and a Methodist.  He married, in 1913, Wilma Wiesehardt, of Shawneetown, Illinois.  They have two children, John Albert and Russell Thompson Stelle.

From: Felty's Legacy of Kin, Vol. II,  p. 803
Pub. Illinois State Register, Springfield, IL on July 6, 1962, p. 1&3
Gov. John H. Stelle, aged 71 years, b. Hamilton county died July 5, 1962 at hospital in St. Louis, Mo.; (son of Thompson B. & Laura E. Glades Stelle).  Married Wilma Wiseheart of Shawneetown.  Leaves wife; 2 sons: John Albert Stelle & Russell Stelle.  Elected Lieut. Governor of Ill. in 1936; served as governor from Oct 6, 1940 to June 12, 1941.  Veteran of WWI.  Hoped organize the American Legion.  Interred IOOF, McLeansboro, Ill.

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