Abner O. Warner, proprietor of the New Kewanee House, Kewanee , Ill. , was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., Feb. 8, 1845, and is the youngest of four sons born to Amos and Polly (Parmalee) Warner, natives of Connecticut , and descended from the English. The elder Mr. Warner, who was a farmer by occupation in his life-time, died in Oneida County when Abner was about six years of age.
   When about ten years old, the subject of our sketch began clerking in a general store at Higginsville , N.Y. , and from that time on until about 18 years of age, he was a professional “counter jumper” interspersing the service, however, with attendance at the Oneida Seminary. Before he had arrived at the age of 19, he was engaged in a mercantile business in the city of Buffalo , where he remained for probably six years, closing up his establishment during the non-navigation period, and clerked for various other concerns. Among the many, he spent two winters as clerk at the Drovers’ Hotel, Hudson City , N.J. It was probably at the latter place he imbibed his first ideas of hotel-keeping, though, as will be seen, it was many years before he became “mine host of ye hotel.” From Hudson City , we next find him in the flour and feed business at Springfield , Mass. , and from there to Elyria , Ohio , as book-keeper, etc., in a mercantile house, where he remained about six years. He was evidently heading for the great West by slow and easy stages, for the next time we meet him he is clerking in a grocery store in Cleveland , Ohio . In 1879 he struck Kewanee, and engaged at once in the produce business, which he followed with considerable success for about three years.
   In 1882 his opportunity came, and we find him smilingly welcoming “ye guests” to the old Kewanee House as its landlord. He “New Kewanee” was completed in 1884, and Mr. Warner, who, by the way, is a bachelor, at once fitted it up, and at this writing we find him deservedly the popular man, and running the best kept and equipped hotel on the line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, between Chicago and Galesburg .

1885 Portrait & Biographical Album of Henry Co., Illinois   page 490

Transcribed by Jan Roggy

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Illinois Ancestors