Biography of Henry Roscoe Shade

Henry Roscoe Shade is a graduate of the agricultural department of the University of Illinois, and since that time has applied his efforts successfully to farming in Champaign County. He has mixed the correct proportions of science, brains and practical experience in his work, and as to his success his fine farm in Somer Township, his standing and position in the business and civic community, can testify better than words.

Mr. Shade was born in Dale Township of McLean County, Illinois, November 1, 1880. He is a son of John K. and Anna (Bower) Shade, both of whom were Pennsylvanians. His father came out to Illinois about 1874, locating on a farm in McLean County, and living there until his death on June 2, 1896. His mother passed away on the 18th of March, 1898. Henry R. Shade was their only son. He has one sister, Imogene, wife of Charles A. Shoults, of Detroit, Michigan.

Henry R. Shade was sixteen years of age when his father died. He had in the meantime attended the country schools, and had acquired considerable knowledge of farming on the home place. Subsequently for four years he worked on the farm and at the same time attended the Bloomington High School, from which he was graduated in 1900. Mr. Shade has had considerable business experience as well as association with farming. For three years after leaving high school he traveled, handling household specialties. Largely with such money as he was able to acquire by his own efforts he entered the University of Illinois and pursued the agricultural course from the fall of 1903 until his graduation in 1907. The vacations he had utilized as an employee of the International Harvester Company. He traveled for this company as salesman and collector in the states of Iowa and Illinois and also in Canada.

On December 24, 1906, Mr. Shade married Mary Thornburn, a native of Urbana. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1907 Mr. Shade and wife went to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and resided there until January 1, 1908. While there Mr. Shade was employed by the International Harvester Company. In the spring of 1908 the young couple located on Mr. T. B. Thornburn’s farm six miles north of Urbana, where Mr. Shade had ample opportunity to demonstrate his ability as a farmer and the value of his university course. They remained there until the spring of 1914, when they removed to Mr. Shade’s own farm of 100 acres in Somer Township. His farm lies in sections 16, 15 and 20. Mr. Shade made considerable profit by raising seed corn, and he also specializes in the Duroc hogs and Holstein cattle. Besides his Illinois farm, which is a model place, Mr. Shade owns 320 acres in the Province of Alberta, Canada, and also 170 acres in Owen County, Indiana.

He is secretary of the Somer Township Telephone Company, has been township supervisor two years, being chairman of the printing and stationery committee and a member of the buildings and grounds committee of the board, and for a number of years he has been director and president of the local school board. He is a Republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church and affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Mr. and Mrs. Shade have two children: Genevieve Frances, born April 26, 1908, and Richard Norman, born April 15, 1912.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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