John R. PASKELL, engaged in the livery business in Henry and one time mayor of the city, was born in West Virginia near Romney, on the 8th of January, 1867. His father, George Fountain PASKELL, was a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, and after the Civil war came to Illinois. He settled in Henry and for some time was proprietor of the PASKELL House, a leading hotel of the city, which he made a popular hostelry and one that was liberally patronized by the traveling public. In community affairs he took a deep and helpful interest and gave to the city a public spirited And progressive administration during the two terms that he served as mayor. He was also president of the bridge board and a member of the school board and of the cemetery association. His fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability and his loyalty to the best interests of the community, thus called him to various offices, the duties of which were discharged with promptness and fidelity. When he was called from this life on the 14th of April, 1898, his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for he was prominent in political circles and in business life as well, while those whom he met socially entertained for him warm regard. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Marian POWELL, died at the age of thirty-five years. In their family were two children.
John R. PASKELL, the only one now living, was a public-school student in Henry, being brought to this city by his parents in his early boyhood days. After putting aside his text-books he became associated with his father in the management and conduct of the hotel and later became a dealer in horses. He is now engaged in the livery business while his stables are stocked with a number of good horses and a fine line of vehicles which he rents out to patrons, the number of whom is constantly increasing.
Like his father, John R. PASKELL has also figured prominently in political circles and in affairs relating to the general upbuilding and improvement of the community. In 1894 he was elected sheriff on the democratic ticket and filled the office for four years, discharging his duties without fear or favor. During his incumbency in that position he also acted for two years as mayor of Henry. He belongs to Henry lodge, No. 189, K. P., and is a member of the bridge board. He supports the Episcopal church and he is recognized as a man who stands for improvement at all times. Henry has been his home from his earliest boyhood and he has deep affection for the town and its people, while his labors in its behalf have been far-reaching and beneficial.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.