Biography of Milem Josiah Alkire

It is difficult to bow to the decree of death when the one taken away is still in the very prime of young manhood, and both the fellow citizens and the family of Milem Josiah Alkire of Virginia, felt especially bereft when he was taken away, for he not only was a lawyer of prominence, but also a man of sterling qualities and of lovable characteristics. He was born at Sweetwater, Ill., March 4, 1879, a son of Frank and Mary (Hurie) Alkire, both born in the vicinity of Sweetwater. Frank Alkire was engaged in farming until about 1899, when he went to Colorado and there worked as a civil engineer.

Growing up in his native place, Milem Josiah Alkire received a common school education, and in the Illinois College at Jacksonville, Ill., further pursued his studies. After leaving college he was principal for two years of the schools of Petersburg and Virginia, then went into the law office of R. W. Mills as a student of law, and after he was admitted to the bar, was in partnership with his former preceptor until his death, on March 2, 1907. Mr. Alkire is buried in Walnut Ridge Cemetery, Virginia. While a Republican in political faith, he never took an active part in public affairs. Fraternally, he was a Mason and a Knight of Pythias. Until his marriage Mr. Alkire resided with his mother, but after that event, which occurred January 1, 1906, to Stella Skiles, he maintained a home of his own. After her husband’s death Mrs. Alkire resided with her mother until the latter’s death on December 26, 1911, after which she erected one of the most beautiful residences at Virginia, where she is now living with her little daughter, jewel, who was born January 2, 1907. She is a member of the Presbyterian church.

Mrs. Alkire was born at Virginia, Cass County, Ill., July 1, 1885, a daughter of Oswald and Eliza (Epler) Skiles, natives of Ohio and of Sangamon County, Ill. The paternal grandfather was Harman Skiles, while her maternal grandparents were George and Eliza (Huckleberry) Epler, natives of Pennsylvania and Indiana, respectively. Mrs. Alkire was educated at the Monticello Seminary, Godfrey, Ill. Her father was a prominent man of Virginia, Ill., being a banker and landowner; he died in that city February 18, 1908. Mrs. Alkire has one brother, Louis O., and a half-brother, Lee H. Skiles, who was born of her father’s first marriage, with Ann Conover, the latter dying in 1874.


Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and Charles Martin; Historical encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Cass County, vol 2; Chicago : Munsell Pub. Co., 1915.

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