GEORGE W. FUNK, a retired farmer and one of the early promoters of the Wabash levee, as well as the present gravel road system, whose excellent farm lies in the famous Wabash valley, but who now resides in Carlisle, Sullivan county, is a native of Russellville, Lawrence county, Illinois, born March 24, 1851, a son of Henry H. and Martha (Petitt) Funk. The father was born in Virginia and the mother in North Carolina. They both had accompanied their parents to Lawrence county, Illinois, at an early day, being among the pioneer settlers in that region. The grandparents, Peter and Nancy Funk, both live in Lawrence county until their death, and both reached the advanced age of ninety years. Peter Funk was a miller and mill-wright, and operated the first mill ever run at Russellville. Illinois. He sold out, and later followed farming pursuits. While in the milling business he and his son, Henry M., attached a carding mill and a distillery to the mill proper. The son Henry W. also farmed in the latter years of his life and died when aged about sixty years, his wife dying when George W. was but three weeks old.

George W. Funk grew to man's estate surrounded by the scenes of country life, receiving his education at the common district school, beginning to work for himself at the age of nineteen years, by farming on a modest scale, with one horse in Gill township. He came to Sullivan county when he was about sixteen years old. He continued to farm in Gill township until the autumn of 1904, and had come to be an extensive farmer at this time (1908), owning eight hundred acres, all in Gill township. This man's career only shows what may be accomplished by persistent labor and good management, in a free country where every man may become the architect of his own fortune. Besides his extensive farm, he owns considerable property in Carlisle and in Riverside, California; also has about $25,000 in money loaned out in California. He is also a stockholder in the People's State Bank, at Carlisle. He began the foundation of this handsome financial success, by working on a farm by the month. He has ever been progressive and alive to all public enterprises, and was the first petitioner to secure gravel roads, as highways, in Sullivan county, starting on Gill Prairie. About 1871, he in company with Samuel Hammell, made an effort to put in a levee in Gill township, along the Wabash river, but were defeated by three votes. He also took active part in the promotion of the levee which was constructed some years since. Politically, Mr. Funk is a firm believer in, and supporter of the cardinal principles of the Democratic party. He is an honored member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Carlisle, belonging to the subordinate lodge.

February 11, 1869, marked an important epoch in his life. On that day he married Mary C. Blackburn, a native of Lawrence county, Illinois, who died at the age of thirty-five years, the mother of seven children, born in the following order: Estella, deceased; Lavada, died in infancy; the third and fourth children also died in infancy; Arabelle, married G. W. Allen, and died at the age of twenty-four years, leaving daughters- Hattie and Erma, who are being cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Funk; Nellie, deceased; and George, deceased.

For his second wife, Mr. Funk married March 23, 1883, Harriet Cochran, born in Lawrence county, October 18, 1854. She was educated in the county in which she was born. The children of this union all died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Funk are members of the Christian church of which he served as an elder at Carlisle about twelve years. The last few winters, Mr. Funk has spent six months with his family, at Riverside, that, most beautiful winter resort in California. In August, 1890, he removed to Carlisle, where he now has a fine home residence.