Henry B. Dines, financially interested in various business concerns of Quincy and actively engaged in the real estate and insurance business as the senior member of the firm of Dines & Orr, and also as the secretary of the Gem City Building and Loan Association (301 N. 5th st.) , was born in Knox county, Missouri, September 24, 1844, his parents being John W. and Nancy O. (Murphy) Dines, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Kentucky. ( Quincy, Ill. Directory indicates that H.B. Dines and Marion E. McMaster had an insurance business, located at 927 N. 5th and 301 N. 5th in 1889-90. They were also in business as Dines & McMaster, Quincy Floor Plate and Staple mfg. co. at 616 N. 6th. st.)
The Dines family is supposed to be of English lineage. William Dines, the grandfather, was born in England (sic) and with his father, came to America about the beginning of the nineteenth century, (clearly an error of fact) locating near Fredericksburg, Maryland. (Not accurate.) There he resided for a number of years, and about 1837 became a resident of Missouri. In his family were five sons: Rev. Tyson Dines, a prominent clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, who was pastor of a church of that denomination in Quincy in the ’40’s; Thomas, who was engaged in merchandising in Shelbyville, Missouri, and later in Illinois, and whose son, Tyson, is a prominent lawyer of Denver and attorney for the Colorado Southern Railway Company; John W.; Joseph, who was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and Henry W., who died in Texas.
John Wesley Dines, father of our subject, was a farmer by occupation and was accidentally killed by a runaway horse at the age of sixty eight years. His wife reached the age of sixty seven year. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom Henry is the eldest living, the others being Mary E., the wife of D.B. Pritchard of Shelby county, Missouri; Amanda E., the wife of Colonel John W. Hersey of Chicago; Ellen, the wife of Clay Balthrope of Kansas; Nance, the wife of John W. Freeman of Oklahoma; James Tyson, who is living in Shelby county, Missouri; John W. of Oklahoma; Ollie, the wife of Edgar Taylor of Shelbyville, Missouri; Ida M., who resides in Danville, Illinois; William, who died at the age of eight years, and Joseph C., who died at the age of twenty-two years.
Henry B. Dines began his education in the public schools of Shelbyville, Missouri, and also attended a high school of that town, conducted under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal church. He engaged in teaching school in early manhood and afterward turned his attention to merchandising in Shelbyville, Missouri, continuing his operations there from 1866 until 1878. In the latter year he embarked in journalism as a publisher of the Shelby County Herald, which he conducted for ten years, when he sold his property and came to Quincy, entering the real estate and insurance business, in which he has since continued. He is now the senior member of the firm of Dines & Orr, his partner being Matthew S. Orr. He is likewise secretary of the Gem City Building and Loan Association, which was organized in 1889 at which time he was chose for the official position which he yet occupies. He is president and treasurer of the Quincy Egg Carrier Company, the secretary and treasurer of the Quincy Elevator Gate Company.
Thus connected with various business interests which have important bearing upon the commercity (sic) activity of the city, he is now classed with the representative men of Quincy and, moreover, his reputation is one which will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny, for he has always been a strict adherent of high commercial ethics, never taking advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen in any trade transaction.
Mr. Dines proved his loyalty to the government at the time of the Civil war by enlisting as a member of Company B. Second Provisional Regiment of Missouri, as a bugler. He served from January until November in that company and was afterward with Company G of the Seventieth Regiment of the Missouri State Militia as first sergeant, and, after serving for four months, he was honorably discharged at the close of the war. In community interests he was also prominent and influential in Shelbyville, and his fitness for leadership and devotion to the public good were recognized in his selection to several positions. He was justice of the peace for eight years and was afterward chosen mayor, giving to the city a business-like, practical and progressive administration.
After the close of the Civil war he became an advocate of republican principles, but in 1878 severed his allegiance with the party, and has since been practically independent in politics, although he is a stanch advocate of prohibition principles. His vote, however, is cast independent of party ties. He is a member of the Vermont Street Methodist Episcopal church, is most active and energetic in its work, is now serving as president of the Board of Trustees and for eighteen years he was superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday school at Shelbyville. His social relations connect him with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Henry B. Dines was married on the 13th of June, 1867 to Miss Mattie L. Duncan, a daughter of John S. and Matilda (Lyne) Duncan. Their children are: Etta C., who is a teacher of voice culture in Sullin’s College at Bristol, Virginia; Nellie; Flora M.; Homer D., who wedded May Dickson and is private secretary to Judge Scott of the supreme court; Lloyd L. and C. Ross who are students in the Northwestern University. Mr. Dines commands the uniform confidence and respect of all with whom he has been associated.
His life has been one of continuous activity, in which has been accorded due recognition of labor; and today he is numbered among the substantial citizens of his county. His interests are thoroughly identical with those of the northwest, and at all times he is ready to lend his aid and cooperation to any movement calculated to benefit this section of the country or advance its wonderful development.”
Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County Illinois, by Hon. William H. Collins and Mr. Cicero F. Perry., S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1905.