Biography - A. Ney Sessions

A. NEY SESSIONS. As a man who has interested himself in all that advances the business and public welfare and development of the city of Anna, A. Ney Sessions has proven himself one of the representative citizens of Southern Illinois, and has taken his place among the prominent business and professional men of his community. He is a man of versatile talents, and not satisfied with rising to the front ranks of the legal profession he entered the business field and associated himself with some of the leading enterprises of the city. Mr. Sessions was born in Union county, Illinois, in 1859, and is a son of Richard W. and Mary A. (House) Sessions, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. Mr. Sessions' father was a grain merchant and farmer, and a prominent citizen of his day who took a great interest in political matters but never sought public preferment on his own account. Both he and his wife died in Union county.

A. Ney Sessions attended the common schools in the vicinity of his father's farm, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, following the vocation of farmer until 1883. He then began selling farming machinery in Anna, and was in business for about seven years, in the meantime prosecuting his legal studies. During this time he learned every detail of the implement business, and this experience has since proved very profitable to him as a member of the W. W. Stokes Company, with Mr. L. J. Hess and J. K. Walton, this firm being probably the largest implement concern in Southern Illinois, and owning the best equipped blacksmith shop in this section of the state. In 1889 Mr. Sessions was elected to the office of justice of the peace, which office he resigned November 21, 1890, on being admitted to the bar. He was elected to the office of city attorney of Anna in April, 1891. In 1892 he resigned that office and was elected state's attorney, in which capacity he served four years, and in 1896 and 1900 was the Democratic nominee for the state senatorship, but owing to the large Republican majority was defeated. He had been in constant practice in Anna ever since being admitted to the bar, and has a lucrative clientele.

Mr. Sessions is the owner of one thousand acres of excellent farming land in Union county, which is operated by tenants, and there he superintends the raising of alfalfa and the breeding of Duroc Jersey hogs. He is vice president of the Anna National Bank, of Anna, a member of the board of directors of the Jonesboro Lumber Company, of Jonesboro, Illinois, a director of the Anna Loan and Improvement Company, of which he is the attorney, and has interests in Mexican rubber plantations and in cocoanut cultivation. He is also president of The Anna Democrat, a corporation that publishes the Democrat, one of the leading newspapers of Union county, is president of the school board and a member of the Commercial Club of Anna.

In 1898 Mr. Sessions was married to Miss Elizabeth E. Woodworth, who was born in Minnesota, daughter of Dryden Woodworth, of Ohio They have no children. His many and varied business connections have given him a wide acquaintance throughout Illinois, and he is universally respected as one of the men who are making for progress and whose extensive interests are bringing new capital into Union county to develop its resources. Personally Mr. Sessions is very popular, and he has many warm personal friends both in business and social circles.

Extracted 16 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 1048-1049.

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