Cyrus M. IMBODEN
Cyrus M. Imboden, who has longer been connected with the butchering business
than any other representative of the trade in Decatur, was born in Pennsylvania in 1845. His
father, John Imboden, was a native of Lebanon county, that state, and on the 22d of November,
1855, arrived in Decatur, where on the 23d of December of the same year he opened a meat
market. He did his own slaughtering and purchased his own stock. The new enterprise proved
profitable and he continued to engage in that business until the 1st of April 1880, when he
retired to private life. He was then succeeded by his sons, Cyrus M. and John G., and the new
firm continued in the trade until the 1st of October, 1898, when Cyrus M. Imboden became sole
proprietor. The market has been continued at one location since its establishment in 1855.
The father's first shop was in a small frame building twenty by thirty feet and one story in
height. That was afterward replaced by a brick structure of the same size and early in the
'60s he built the present block known as Imboden Block at the corner of South Main and Wood
streets. It was built in modern style and thoroughly eqipped for the purpose intended and
in the new building Mr. Imboden gained even greater success than he had previously
While in Pennsylvania John Imboden was united im marriage to Sarah Mark, a native
of Lebanon county, and when he came to Decatur was accompanied by his wife and four children.
They made the journey westward by way of Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago and eventually
reached Macon county. Mr. Imboden never sought or desired office, preferring to devote his
time and attention to his business affairs until his retirement from active busines life. He
died December 31, 1899, and his wife passed away March 1, 1894, at the age of severy-five
years. In their family were nine children of whom seven are living, all sons. These are
Cyrus M., of this review; Adam H., who is married and is a traveling salesman of Wichita,
Kansas; Hiram, who is married and is living in Wichita; Miller, who is married and conducts
a flouring mill in Wichita; David C., who is engaged in the brokerage business in Chicago;
and John G, who is a farmer and stock-dealer of Macon county, carrying on business on an
extensive scale and acts as a judge of cattle in Chicago; and Frank W., a Methodist
minister, located in Kingman, Kansas. The other members of the family died in infancy.
The father was president of the board of trustees of the First Methodist Episcopal church
for many years and took a very active part in church work.
Cyrus M. Imboden axquired his education in the schools of Decatur and after
putting aside his text-books began clerking in this city, being thus engaged with several
large firms. At the age of seventeen years he enlisted in Company F. One Hundred and
Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, as a private under Captain F.L. Hayes and Colonel Jesse H.
Moore. He served until February 29, 1864, and was then discharged on account of severe
wounds sustained in the battle of Chickamauga on September 19 and 20, 1863. After his
return from the war he engaged in the grocery business and in other pursuits in connection
with his brother Adam until July 6, 1870, when he became a member of the firm owning a
meat market established by his father. The firm name was then changed to Imboden &
Son and our subject has since continued in this business, conducting th market along
progressive lines and keeping thoroughly in touch with modern ideas. He deals in excellent
quality of his goods and his honorable business methods he receives a large and
On the 9th of August, 1870, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Imboden and
Miss Clara Allison, a daughter of Dr. B.A. and Amanda (Patrick) Allison, the former a native
of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana. Seven children were born of this union, of whom
five are now living; Daisy J., the wife of Ira Fleming of Storm Lake, Iowa; Sarah, who
is a teacher in the public schools of Decatur; Charles A., who is a bookkeeper in the
Millikin Bank; Benjamin A., who holds a similar position; Susanna, a student in the high
school of Decatur; and two that died in infancy. The family residence is at No. 236
West North Main.
Fraternally Mr. Imboden is a Mason, belonging to the blue lodge and chapter
and also to Beaumanoir Commandery, K.T. In public affairs he has been prominent and
influential and in the '80s he served for two terms as assistant supervisor. He has
always taken an active part in politics yet has never sought office for himself, preferring
that his friends should have the honor and responsibilities of public office. He is a
prominent member of the First Methodist Episcopal church, with which he has been identified
for forty years, having joined at the age of fourteen. He has long served as one of its
officers and is now a member of its board of stewards.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 626, 629
Top of Page
John G. IMBODEN
Success in any undertaking comes through a thorough mastery of the business and
by following the most approved business methods. It is in this way that John G. Imboden has
attained a prominent place among the substantial citizens of South Wheatland towhship, where
he now makes his home. He is entitled to distinction as one of the most progressive and
enterprising men of the county.
he was born in Decatur on the 25th of March, 1856, and is the seventh in
order of birth in a family of nine children, all boys, whose parents were John and Sarah (Mark)
Imboden. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1818, and spent his early life in the
east. In 1855 he came to Decatur, Illinois, and embarked in the meat business, opening a market
at the corner of Main and Wood streets, which is now conducted by his son, C.M. Imboden. He was
also quite extensively engaged in the packing and slaughtering business until 1880, when he sold
out to his two sons, C.M. and J.G. Imboden. After a useful and well spent life the father died
on the 31st of December, 1899.
John G. Imboden was also identified with the packing business in connection with
his father during his minority and after he reached man's estate, but in 1900 he disposed of his
interests in Decatur and removed to his farm south of the city in South Wheatland township. Here
he has established a model home, known as Wayside Place, where he can enjoy not only all the
beauties of country life but also has all the modern conveniences of a city residence. Mr. Imboden
now devotes the greater part of his time and attention to the raising of stock. He deals in
all of the choice grades each year. Being an expert in his line, he has for several years been
called upon to act as judge of live stock at various fairs and expositions throughout the
United States, serving in that capacity in the northwest, the states of Iowa, Illinois and
New York, in fact all the leading shows within the last quarter of a century, including the
World's Fair at Chicago in 1893. He has often been a judge at the Fat Stock Shows in that
city and there he exhibited in 1888 the Angus steer Dot, the first Angus steer that ever won
grand championship at the American Fat Stock Show. At present he is engaged specially in
buying, feeding and shipping choice stock to various markets. Mr. Imboden is operating an
extensive feed plant built on an economical plan and was the first in Macon county to
construct a concrete tank for the use of his stock, now having one in his barn and two in
his feed lot. In addition to his other stock he now has twenty-five head of Texas calves,
which he is fattening for market.
Mr. Imboden ws married in 1882 to Miss Zelma U. Shaw, a daughter of Dr. Shaw.
of Macon, Illinois, and to them have been born three children, namely: Nina B., now Mrs.
J.A. Anderson, of Ravenswood, Chicago; Edward P. and Zada Z. The parents and children are
members of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Decatur and are held in the highest
regard by all who know them. In his poliical views Mr. Imboden is a Republican, but at
local elections he usually votes for whom he considers the best man regardless of party
ties. He has contributed many articles to agricultural and stock papers, especially the
Breeders' Gazette, and has done much to promote the interests of the farmer in this section
of the state. He is justly regarded as one of the leading and representative citizens of his
community and has the confidence and respect of all with whom he comes in contact either in
business or social life.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 739 - 740
Top of Page