Charles L. Jeffrey, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles L. Jeffrey

CHARLES L. JEFFREY - A formative figure in the life of Valparaiso, now serving as president of the Farmers' State Bank, and for many years conspicuous in the financial circles of this region, Charles L. Jeffrey is a native of Jo Davies County, Illinois, where he was born March 7, 1869, the son of Charles Alexander and Jennie (Davis) Jeffrey; the former was a native of New Jersey and the latter of Maine. Charles A. Jeffrey removed with his family to Porter County in 1873 and located on the site now occupied by the Premier Theatre, it then being known as the Gould House. He subsequently entered the live stock business, and was also extensively interested in farming. To his marriage were born five children: Estella, wife of William H. Gardner; Mary Eleanor, Seltina E., Charles L., and Oliver L.

Charles L. Jeffrey attended the public schools of Valparaiso, Indiana, and in 1888 completed the commercial course at Valparaiso University. He at once entered a field which was peculiar to that period - the capacity as purchasing agent for the merchants of this vicinity. This work necessitated constant travel to Chicago and other markets, the diversified experience giving him a broad knowledge of trade values. One of his early ventures and one with a certain measure of distinction is the fact that he and Fred J. Brown sold the first Sunday papers ever distributed in Valparaiso.

In April, 1890, Mr. Joseph Gardner and Mr. George C. Morgan organized the Chesterton Bank, and at that time Mr. Jeffrey became associated with that institution as cashier. On the death of Mr. Morgan in 1895, Mr. Jeffrey acquired the Morgan interests, and in 1898 he also acquired the Gardner interests by purchase, thus becoming the sole owner of the bank. Shortly thereafter Edward Morgan became cashier of that bank, and Mr. Jeffrey assumed the presidency. It has from the very first enjoyed a reputation as a substantial institution and now has a surplus of $25,000 with deposits exceeding $1,000,000. In 1920 Mr. Jeffrey became identified with the Farmers State Bank of Valparaiso, and was chosen president of that institution at that time. A more extended account of this financial institution will be found in the chapter on banks and banking in Volume I of this work.

Despite the fact that Mr. Jeffrey has since early manhood had extensive business interests with the consequent demands on his time, he has nevertheless given in the largest possible measure of his means and efforts in all matters of civic betterment. His other major business interests are as the treasurer of the Home Water Company of Chesterton; treasurer of the Chester Realty Company; treasurer of the Security Building at Gary, Indiana; president of the Westchester Finance Company; and treasurer of the Froberg Remedy Company.

Mr. Jeffrey was united in marriage with Bessie, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Marshall) Felton of Porter County on June 20, 1895. To this union was born a daughter, Eloise, now the wife of John Oliver Johnson, who is a director of the Chesterton Bank and is also assistant cashier of that institution. To them were born two sons: Charles Jeffrey, born January 3, 1924; and John Oliver, born November 15, 1925.

Mr. Jeffrey is a thirty-second degree Mason, Shrine, is a member of the K. of P., Valparaiso Country Club, Lincolndale Country Club, Valparaiso Lodge of Elks and the Gary Country Club. He served as chairman of the building committee and the finance committee that built the new Elks Temple. During the war movements he served as chairman of the Westchester War Fund Association, and was conspicuous in the Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives. A narrative of the constructive personal factors in this community must indelibly record Mr. Jeffrey as one of those who have made a lasting impression in the larger destiny of this community.

Source: Cannon, Thomas H., H. H. Loring, and Charles J. Robb. 1927. History of the Lake and Calumet Region of Indiana Embracing the Counties of Lake, Porter and Laporte. Volume II. Indianapolis, Indiana: Historians' Association. 827 p.
Page(s) in Source: 201-202

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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