Log In

William Grant Edens

banker , good roads promoter

William Grant Edens, American banker, good roads promoter.


Edens, William Grant was born on November 27, 1863 in Richmond, Indiana, United States. Son of Hervey D. Washington and Elsie Jane (Fought) Edens.


Student in public schools.


1 son, William McKinley. Began as messenger boy Western Union Telegraph Company, later mail carrier and in railway service, advancing to freight and passenger conductor. Vice-grandmaster Brotherhood of R.R. Trainmen, 1887-1890, chief clerk and cashier nat. headquarters, Galesburg, 1890-1896.

Canvassed Illinois for William McKinley for President, 1895. State organizer Illinois Republican League, later on staff Republican National Committee, under director of Marcus A. Hanna, chairman, with supervision of organization of railroad voters, 1896. Assistant general superintendent free delivery system Postoffice department, 1897-1904.

Resigned to serve in Republican nat. campaign. With Central Trust Company of Illinois (now Central Republic Bank and Trust Company), 1905-1931, vice president, 1919-1931, retired. Organized Group Four, Illinois Bankers’ Association, 1907, and served as secretary and chairman.

Secretary commission on agriculture and vocational education Illinois Bankers’ Association, 1910, later chairman good roads committee. Member agricultural commission American Bankers’ Association, 1919. Member executive council American and Illinois bankers’ associations Elected president Illinois Highway Improvement Association, 1912, and conducted campaign culminating in adoption of $60,000,000 good roads bond issue in Illinois, 1918.

Member Board Highway Advisers of Illinois, 1917. Chairman of Campaign Committee for William B. McKinley for United States senator in 1920. Represented organized railroad labor as chairman legislative committee, at 43d General Assembly of Illinois, brought about formation of labor conference for entire state.

Vice president (inactive) Chicago National Bank. Honorary recruiting officer, United States War Department, World War I. Member 17th Engineers Regiment, Advertising Educational Foundation, 108th Engineers, Illinois National Guard.


The teaching of Bible shows methods by which a man can obtain salvation.


God, who is heard throughout the Bible, calls for justice for the widows, orphans and aliens who were oppressed by the powers of the day. Therefore the involvement in political life is something that Christians should not avoid.


The erroneous notion that one gender must strive against another cannot be accepted.


Member American Institute Banking, American, Illinois, Reserve City bankers associations, Dixie Highway Commission, Mississippi Valley Waterway Association (treasurer Chicago branch), St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Commission, National Rivers and Harbors Congress for Illinois (vice president), American Geological Society, Illinois History Society, Ohio, Indiana societies, Chicago Association Commerce, National Association Letter Carriers (honorary), Old Time Printers’ Association (honorary), Order of Bookfellow (charter. Member Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Member board of trustees Sarah Hackett Stevenson Memorial and Home for Aged and Disabled R.R. Employees.

Member Original Mount Harney Memorial Association (erecting monument on Rushmoore Mountain in Black Hills), Abraham Lincoln Association Washington representative A Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago, 1932. Member supreme lodge, since 1905). Moose (life).; Clubs: Hamilton (chairman political action committee), Midday, Bankers, Traffic, Press, Illinois Auto (honorary), Bob O’Link Golf, Tam O’Shanter Golf.

Received citation from War Production Board for directing national scrap metal salvage campaign for Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, 1942.


Married Lillian Maud Brunner, December 9, 1896.

Hervey D. Washington Edens

Elsie Jane (Fought) Edens

Lillian Maud Brunner