This collection contains copies of the memoirs of Thomas Fansler, a successful insurance salesman from Macoupin County, Illinois.
Thomas Fansler (1854-1940) grew up on a family farm in Barr Township, Macoupin County, Illinois. After attending Illinois and Blackburn colleges, he taught schools in the nearby communities of Woodburn, Waverly, and Whitehall. In 1883, he began a long career as an agent for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, first in Alton for four years, then in Chicago, and finally in Philadelphia.
The collections includes copies of Fansler's memoirs. Writing in 1938, Fansler recalled his younger years, including farm work, childhood highlights such as spelling bees, and his own school teaching. He also recalled his many acquaintances in the insurance business. A staunch Republican, Fansler punctuated his memoirs with references to presidential elections, to the Spanish-American War and World War I, and to other developments in national politics. Above all, he remembered places across the country that he had visited on family trips and wrote about the lives of his children as they grew up. His memoir concludes with an account of a trip around the world with his wife in 1922-1923, an experience that fills nearly one hundred pages of the 354-page typescript of his memoirs.
Cynthia Behrman, Fansler's granddaughter, arranged to have a typescript of his memoirs photocopied for the University of Illinois Library in 1979.