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The Cyclopædia of American Biography/Weber, Jessie Palmer

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WEBER, Jessie (Palmer), librarian and editor, b. in Carlinville, Ill., 1 Aug., 1863, daughter of John McAuley and Malinda Ann (Neely) Palmer. Her earliest American ancestor came to this country from England in 1624 and settled in Virginia. Her grandfather, Louis D. Palmer, a Kentucky planter, being one of those Southerners who detested the institution of slavery, came to Illinois that his children might be brought up on free soil. Her father, John McAuley Palmer, was a lawyer, who rose to the rank of major-general during the Civil War in the federal service, and was later governor of the State of Illinois and U S. Senator. Mrs. Weber was educated in the public schools of Springfield and by private tutors, after which she studied at the Stuart Institute, in Springfield. She then became assistant to Judge H. W. Beckwith, the noted historian, thus beginning her studies of Illinois State history. From 1891 to 1897 she was secretary to her father, during his term of service in the U. S. Senate, assisting him especially in the matter of procuring pensions for Civil War veterans. In 1898 Mrs. Weber became librarian of the Illinois State Historical Library and since 1904 has also been secretary of the Illinois State Historical Society, as well as one of its directors. In that same year she also became a trustee and secretary of the Fort Massac State Park. Since 1908 she has been editor-in-chief of the “Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society” and since 1913 she has been a commissioner and secretary of the Illinois State Centennial Commission. To her charge was given the task of preparing and installing the historical exhibits in the Illinois buildings at the expositions at St. Louis; Portland, Ore.; and Jamestown, Va.; and a notable Lincoln exhibit at the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco. Mrs. Weber is a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the United States Daughters of 1812; the American Historical Association; the American Library Association; the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the Illinois State Library Association. On 8 June, 1881, she married Norval Wilson Weber, a journalist, son of George R. Weber, a pioneer newspaper editor of Illinois. They have had one daughter, Malinda Ellen, wife of Dr. J. W. Irion, a prominent physician, of Fort Worth, Tex.