Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

Index to
  John B. Amphlett, the efficient and genial proprietor of the Emporium Department Store at 29 South Main street, Adrian, was born at Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 16, 1858, a son of Thomas L. and Ann (Owen) Amphlett. The father was born in Clockville, Madison County, New York, and the mother was born in Wales, coming to the United States with her parents when but ten years of age. The parents were married in Akron and now are living retired at Napoleon, Mich., in the old homestead. During his active life the father was a well-known maker of pottery. For about a year and a half the parents made their home in Adrian, but some two years ago removed to Napoleon to occupy the house which the grandfather had built. Six sons were born to the parents, two of whom died in infancy and are buried at Jackson, Mich. The eldest son, William O., has been clerk of the circuit court of Marshall county, South Dakota, for twenty years. Thomas G. and Fred J. are both druggists, the former in Chicago and the latter at Apacha, Okla. John B. Amphlett, the subject of this review, received his educational advantages in the public schools of Jackson and Ionia, Mich. His start in business life was made with his father, from whom he learned the pottery trade in Ionia, and when the family removed to South Dakota he was for eight years engaged in the general mercantile business with his parent, dealing also in coal, farm implements and other commodities. In 1890 Mr. Amphlett removed to Chicago, where for fourteen years at different periods he conducted a drug and a grocery business, the former on the south side of the city and the latter at Rogers Park. He dates his residence in Adrian from October, 1904, when he opened up John's 5 and 10 cent store on West Maumee street, where the Crescent theatre now stands. This continued to be his place of business for twenty-six months, and by the end of that time his business had grown to such dimensions as to require more commodious quarters. In December, 1906, he removed to his present location at No. 29 South Main street, changing the name of his store at the same time to the Emporium Department Store. The establishment now occupies the first floor and basement of the building and altogether has a floor space of sixty by two hundred feet. In his political belief Mr. Amphlett is a Republican but has never sought political preferment for himself. He has been twice married. On Oct. 1, 1879, occurred his marriage to Miss Lillian Boyd of Erie, Pa. Three children were the issue of this union, one of whom died in infancy. Clair, the elder, now twenty-five years of age, is manager of his father's store; and Louis, now eighteen years old, is studying pharmacy under his uncle, Thomas, at Sixty-third street and Stony Island avenue, Chicago. Mrs. Amphlett died in 1900. On Oct. 23, 1904, Mr. Amphlett was united to Miss Agnes G. Strickland, of Chicago. Mr. Amphlett's present place of business is the old postoffice building, which was occupied by the government for twenty-five years. His home is at No. 26 Dennis street. 

Source: Anonymous. Memoirs of Lenawee County, Michigan: from the earliest historical times down to the present, including a genealogical and biographical record of representative families in Lenawee County Madison, Wis.: Western Historical Association, 1909,  p. 22.



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