Solomon Mantle. Of the families whose lives of integrity and industry have identified them permanently with the best interests of Champaign County, one that deserves special mention is that of Solomon Mantle, who now lives with his family in Rantoul, and from that village still superintends his extensive farming interests.
Mr. Mantle is a son of Isaac and Mary J. (Kuder) Mantle. Mary Kuder’s father was born in Pennsylvania. Isaac Mantle, a native of Ohio, came to Illinois when a young man, lived for a number of years in Champaign County and afterwards moved to Vermilion County. Solomon Mantle had grown to young manhood before they removed to Vermilion County. Isaac Mantle and wife had eight children, four sons and four daughters, all of whom were educated in the district schools. Their names were John, George, Charles, Solomon, Mary J., Francis M., Lizzie and Alice, two of whom died in youth.
Solomon Mantle was twenty-seven years of age when his father’s death occurred. He then assumed the active responsibilities of looking after his widowed mother and his two sisters. Through the remaining years of his mother’s life he provided and tenderly cared for her and repaid by filial devotion the love and care she had given him and all her children when they were young. It was a sad day in the Mantle home on September 3, 1898, when the beloved mother, after a busy life of industry and toil, was claimed by death. The loneliness of the home was keenly felt by those left behind, since when a mother dies the light of a home goes out.
Mr. Solomon Mantle was forty-three years of age when, on October 6, 1898, he married Miss Alice Shumate, daughter of George and Sarah Shumate, both natives of Illinois and reared in the state. Mr. and Mrs. Shumate still live in Champaign County. They had seven sons and three daughters: Harry, John N., George, Scott, Elmer, Ira, Oliver, Alice, Elsie and Ella. The Shumate children acquired their early training in the district schools of Champaign County. Mr. and Mrs. Shumate are devoted members of the Christian Church.
After his marriage Solomon Mantle and wife settled down on the Mantle homestead, which he actively managed. In the course of time there came into their home a little daughter to gladden them by the sunshine of her presence. She was born March 22, 1900. After attending the Kuder district school one year, her parents moved to Rantoul in order to give her the better advantages of the schools there. She was of studious nature and was graduated with the highest honors from the eighth grade or grammar school. As a reward for her excellence in her studies she was given a free scholarship in a normal course. She was pronounced the best scholar in the eighth grade in the Rantoul school, and during the year 1916 ranked No. 1 in every month except two in the year. Those two months she was hindered in her studies on account of illness. At the present writing she is in the first grade of the high school. Besides her literary studies she has taken instrumental music, is a capable performer on the violin, and is still taking lessons in music from Miss Ida Little. She is a member of the High School Orchestra, the orchestra of the Methodist Episcopal Church and also a member of the church choir, possessing a beautiful and well cultured voice. Mr. and Mrs. Mantle, realizing the advantages of a good education, have endeavored to give their daughter every encouragement in the development of her talents.
Mrs. Mantle and daughter are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Rantoul. Mr. Mantle in politics is a Republican and has given his support to that party first, last and always. When in 1909 Mr. and Mrs. Mantle moved to Rantoul they bought themselves a comfortable and attractive residence on Main Street. Mr. Mantle has a tenant on the old homestead and still keeps active superintendence over the management of the farm and fields.
On the old Mantle farm there still stands the old log schoolhouse where Mr. Mantle’s mother attended school when she was a girl. Mr. Mantle has taken great pains to preserve this school building as a landmark and as a lesson to coming generations, whereby they may see and realize some of the hardships through which their forefathers passed. An interesting relic of the past in Mr. and Mrs. Mantle’s home is his Grandfather Kuder’s clock. It is now 100 years old, and the tired hands that for a century pointed the family to the time are at last stilled, and the clock stands in the corner, a silent reminder of days long gone by.