Obituaries from
Coles County

Contribute your family member's obituary by emailing Kim I prefer to post old obituaries rather than new ones to protect the names of the living. If it's a newer obituary, I will try and remove the names of the living.

If you do not see a contributor's name, assume it was an obituary I found during my research (however, don't assume I'm related to that person named in the obit - very few of my folks who died in Coles actually had obituaries :-(

I've posted email addresses as a courtesy - unfortunately, people are changing email addys left and right these days and there is no way I can keep up with them. So if an email addy doesn't work, you'll have to look elsewhere to try and find a current one. Sorry.....


Rev. Alvin Wiley Dies in Kokomo
May 30, 1922 - Charleston Daily Courier
Contributed by source #25

Rev. Alvin Wiley, age 77, Civil War veteran and former well known Charleston citizen, died at his home in Kokomo, Ind., Tuesday afternoon at 1:20 o'clock, following an extended illness of diseases incident to old age.  The remains which will reach Charleston over the clover Leaf at 7:30 this (Thursday) evening, will be taken to the Miller Undertaking Parlors, where friends may view the body from 8 to 9 o'clock Friday morning.  the funeral services will be held at the Wiley Brick Church in Hutton township at 10 o'clock Friday morning.  The deceased is survived by his wife and eight children,  Mrs. C.E. Kendrick of Frankfort, Ind,; Dr. C.Z. Wiley of Oklahoma; E.E. Wiley of Chicago; M.D. Wiley of California; R.E. Wiley of Idaho; Z.S. Wiley of Kansas City; Mrs. John Searing and Mrs. W.H. Lillard of Champaign, Ill.

2nd Obituary from the Charleston Daily Courier, Saturday June 3, 1922:

Alvin Wiley, son of Reason and Mary Wiley, born in Hutton township November 18, 1844, died at Kokomo, Indiana, May 30, 1922, aged 77 years, 5 months and 12 days.  He was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Harlan, October 25, 1866 in Charleston.  To this union were born eight children who, with the wife and mother, survive him.  The children are Dr. Charles Zenas Wiley, a practicing physician of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Zebedee Wiley of Kansas City, Mo; Mrs. Zelda Kendrick of Frankfort, Ind.; R. Elsie Wiley of Boise, Idaho; Melvin Wiley of San Diego, CA; Mrs. John Searing of Carbondale, Ill; Mrs. W. H. Lilliard of Champaign and Ernest E. Wiley of Chicago.  Twelve grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren are survivors.  He was a veteran of the Civil War, enlisting in the service and served for 20 months with Company K, 161 Illinois Volunteers.

Early in life he embraced the gospel of the Son of God and was for a number of years identified with the Church of Christ, worshiping at the Wiley Brick.  His father and several of his immediate family were charter members of the church.  He was very zealous for the gospel in its purity, and spent a part of his life as a minister of the gospel.  His brother, Owen, transferred the land to be used for the church and from him and his father the chapel took its name.  Mr. Wiley moved to Charleston in 1894, and worshipped with the Church of Christ, Polk and E streets and held his membership there for the rest of his life.  He and his wife were engaged in caring for Normal school students for several years, but he moved to Frankfort in 1916, to be near some of his children and was with a grandson, R.E. Wiley, at the time of his death.

A large number of friends and relatives were in attendance at the funeral services which were held at the Wiley Brick chapel Friday, June 2, conducted by Elder W.E. Dudley of Charleston, IL who has known him for a number of years.  Only four of his children and two grandchildren were in attendance, owing to the distance of the residence of the majority of the children who live in distant states.  Mrs. Wiley, who is confined to her home by illness, was unable to attend the funeral rites.

Jobe Warner (Cap) Wiley
Obituary from the Charleston Daily Courier - May 1922

Contributed by source #25

J.W. (Cap) Wiley, a former well known Charleston citizen, died at his home, nine miles south of Charleston, at 11:50 o'clock Saturday night, May 27, following an illness of more than two years.  Last February he became confined to his room and for some days before his death his condition was known to his relatives as critical.  The funeral services were held at the First Methodist Church of Charleston, at 2:20 this (Monday) afternoon, with the Rev. Presley P. Carson pastor, officiating.  The interment was made in Mound cemetery.

Jobe Warner Wiley, son of Aden Wiley and Anna (Brown) Wiley, born in Kansas state, September 8, 1872, died in Hutton township Saturday, May 27, aged 49 years, 8 months and 19 days.  Twenty-six years ago he was united in marriage to Miss Clara Myrtle Brown, and four children were born to this union.  The deceased is survived by his wife and four children, namely:  Mrs. J.B. Chisholm of Lanark, Illinois, Leo Wiley, Miss Florence Wiley and Charles Wiley at home.  Mrs. George Walker of Charleston, Mrs. Will White of Westfield and George Wiley, north of Charleston, are surviving sisters and brother, and R.O. Wiley of Charleston  and Ben Wiley of Decatur are surviving half brothers and Mrs. Frances Claridage of Charleston is a half sister.

Mr. Wiley, who followed farming east of Charleston for a number of years, later came to Charleston, where he made his home until about 10 years ago, when the family moved to the farm, nine miles south of here, where Mr. Wiley's death occurred Saturday night.  He was superintendent of streets during the first administration of Mayor T.T. Shoemaker.  He was a member of the Charleston lodge of Odd Fellows, and a member of the General Baptist church.  He was a genial and likable man, a good husband and father, and a citizen that held the respect and esteem of all who knew him.  He had made Charleston and Coles county his home for many years, coming here with his parents when he was a small child.  The esteem in which he was held was shewn in the large number of citizens of Charleston, Hutton and other townships who assembled in the Methodist church this afternoon to pay their last respects to his memory and the many wonderful floral offerings was another testimonial of the worth of the deceased as a citizen and friend.

Jobe Warner Wiley

Obituary #2 from the Charleston Daily Courier for J.W. Wiley - May 1922:

Jobe Warner Wiley was born in the state of Kansas, in the year 1872, and a few years later came to Coles County with his parents, who were Aden Wiley and Anna Brown Wiley.  The parents have long since passed to the Great Beyond and also a brother, Norman Wiley, and a sister, Mrs. Fount Turner.  Of his family, there still are living a brother, George, and two sisters, Mrs. George Walker of Charleston, IL and Mrs. Etta White of Westfield, IL.  He died May 27, 1922.
Some years ago, Mr. Wiley moved to Charleston and for two years was superintendent of streets and water works.  During this time he attended the special meetings directed by Billie Sunday and as a result, joined the General Baptist church of Charleston,  Shortly thereafter he moved to Hutton township and lived on the farm of D. N. Brown.  This is the farm where some 20 years earlier he had married Myrtle Brown, it being her home place.

This marriage occurred October 21, 1895.  The members of his immediate family are Mrs. Opal Chisholm, a daughter, and her son, James Chisholm. Also Leo Wiley, Florence Wiley and Charles Wiley, all members of his household at the time of his death.  There were two half brothers, Dick Wiley and Ben Wiley and a half sister, Mrs. Frances Claridge.

Mr. Wiley was interested in all new methods of farming and dairying and introduced the first herd of Holstein cows into this community.  He was for a time a member of the Board of Directors of the Coles County Agricultural Bureau and at the time of his death was vice president of the Shipping Association in Charleston.  In politics he was a Republican and was always interested in the welfare of his party, particularly in all local matters.

To all of his friends he was known as "Cap" Wiley, this being a nickname given him many years ago.  He was a man who had many friends and few, if any, enemies.  He lived an upright honorable life and was clean of speech and correct in his habits.  To have lived a number of years in a community and gained, and held the respect of all the people, is certainly a success to be envied by all.  "Cap" Wiley certainly did this - no greater evidence of this fact being needed than the many inquiries concerning his condition during the long weeks of his serious illness.

The funeral services were held at the M.E. church in Charleston, May 29 and were attended by a very large number of relatives, neighbors and friends.  The pall bearers were six nephews - Cliff, Victor and Stephen Turner, Aden White, Lawrence Walker and James Wiley.  During the many weeks of his illness, he was extremely patient and thoughtful concerning those who were waiting on him and never uttered a word of complaint.  He made all necessary preparations and awaited the end with a calmness of spirit truly remarkable and with a firm hope of a happy future life.  His life was a blessing to his family and the community in which he lived and his many good deeds will linger in the memory of his friends for many years.


Death summons Mrs. Mary Cottingham
(May 30, 1922)
Contributed by source #25 (No relation)

Mrs. Mary Cottingham, living four miles southwest of Diona, died Thursday morning at 4 o'clock.  The funeral services will be held at the Clear Creek church, Friday afternoon, June 2, at 3 o'clock.


Funeral of John F. Dora Tomorrow under Auspices of Masons.
Masonic Rites to be Observed

Contributed by source #25 (No relation)

The funeral of John F. Dora, Sr., will be held from his late residence on Monroe Street at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The services will be in charge of Charleston lodge No. 35 A.F. & A.M. and the sermon will be by Rev. Theo Kemp, pastor of the First M.E. Church. Godfrey de Boulion, Commander Knights Templar of Mattoon, of which the deceased was a member, will attend the funeral and act as an escort to the remains in the procession to Mound cemetery.

John F. Dora, Sr. was born at Mt. Zion, Bracken Co, KY, Dec 6, 1831. His parents were Doelsen (?) and Nellie Heveran Dora of Maryland, both of English parentage. His boyhood and early manhood were spent in his birthplace, when he moved to Lexington, Missouri where at the age of twenty-five he married Lucy Magdalen Smith of Greensburg, KY.

Later he moved to Coles County, Ill., where he has lived ever since. He was one of the big pioneer cattle men at Eastern Illinois, carrying on most successfully for a period of over forty years, a gigantic business. His interest in life never flagged with the advance of years, but from the summit of 3 and ten he viewed with increasing enthusiasm his life work, begun in early manhood alone. He was a Master Mason and a Knight Templar, true to his vows and faith. He had been baptized in infancy in the Methodist church, south and was true and unfaltering in his trust in God. He made his life one long sweet song of noble, generous deeds and helpful unselfish acts.


Mrs. Lydia Wiley

11 July 1925 obituary extract from the Charleston Daily Courier
Contributed by source #25


Mrs. Lydia Wiley, age 76 years, died in Champaign at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Harry Lillard, Friday, July 10, at 9:20 p.m. following an illness of ten days.  Death is attributed to old age.  She was the widow of the late Rev. Alvin Wiley. The remains will be brought to the Wiley Brick Church in Hutton township, where the funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 12, at 11:30 a.m.  The services will be conducted by Lloyd Riggins and burial will be made in the adjoining cemetery.  The casket will be opened at the church in order that her friends may view the remains.

Lydia Harlan Wiley was born in Hutton township in 1849, her parents being early settlers of that township.  On October 25, 1866, she was married to Alvin Wiley in Charleston.  Eight children were born:  Dr. C.Z. Wiley of Tulsa, OK; Z.S. Wiley of Tacoma, Wash.; M.D. Wiley of San Diego, Cal; E.E. Wiley of Los Angeles, Cal; Mrs. John Searing of Carbondale, Ill; Mrs. C.E.Kendrick of Frankfort, Ind. and Mrs. W. H. Lillard of Champaign, who all survive her.  Her husband, Alvin Wiley died on May 30, 1922 and was also buried in the Brick cemetery.  A brother, Hudson Harlan, of Wakeeney, Kansas, and a sister, Mrs. Floretta Henderickson, of Los Angeles, CAL., also survive.
Mr. and Mrs. Wiley farmed in Hutton township, where they made their home and reared their family, until 1893 when they moved to Charleston.  In 1916 they moved to Frankfort, Ind., where Mr. Wiley passed away three years ago, marking the first death in the family circle.  Following his death Mrs. Wiley made her home in Frankfort and Champaign.  Mrs. Wiley was a member of the Christian church.  She was a true and loving wife and mother, a fine neighbor, a Christian woman and a highly respected woman.  Her numerous friends will receive the news of her death with deep regret.



Mrs. Alice Cavanaugh

Mattoon Gazette December 16, 1918

Contributed by source #3

Mrs. Alice Cavanaugh of 2520 Marshall Avenue, widow of Michael Cavanaugh, passed away at nine o'clock on Saturday evening, her death being due to the infirmities of age. She had been ill for a long time.


Funeral services were conducted from the Catholic Church this morning at 9:30 o'clock and burial was made in Calvary cemetery.


Mrs. Cavanaugh was a native of County Tipperary, Ireland. She was born there on November 1, 1845. She was married in this city to Michael Cavanaugh on March 12, 1861. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cavanaugh. Those surviving are John Cavanaugh, James Cavanaugh, Mrs. Charles Newland and Mrs. W.H. Cordes, all of Mattoon and William Cavanaugh of Decatur.


Susan Price

Mattoon Gazette Apr 21, 1922

Contributed by source #3

The death of Mrs. Susie Price, 916 Broadway, among the oldest residents in Mattoon, occurred Thursday night at 8:45 o'clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J.E. Bolin, in Arcola, death being attributed to the infirmities of age. She had been failing for some time, and for the last few months had been at her daughter's home.


Funeral services will be held at Mrs. Price's home on Saturday morning at 10 o'clock. Rev. J.F. McMahan of the Christian Church officiating. Burial will be in Dodge Grove cemetery.
Besides the daughter in Arcola, a son and daughter reside in California. Mrs. Price was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1838, and lacked less than two months of reaching her 85th birthday. She had been a resident of Mattoon for many years, and had resided at 916 Broadway for the past fifty-three years. Since the death of her husband in 1907, she had spent much of her time with her daughter in Arcola. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Mattoon and took an active and prominent part in its affairs until advanced age made it impossible.


James Hunt

The Oakland Messenger: Thursday December 7, 1911

Contributed by source #2

James Hunt Dead

Much surprise was caused, Wednesday, when the word went forth that "Jim" Hunt had died at his home southeast of the city. Mr. Hunt had been ill, seriously, for but 21 days, tho' we are informed that he had suffered more or less from a stomach trouble for about 15 years. The funeral was held at Fairview church, Friday, at 11 o'clock, and the remains were laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery nearby.

James William Hunt was a son of Alexander and Mary Jane Hunt. He was born in East Oakland, Aug. 1, 1861 and he died at his home in the same township Nov. 29, 1911, aged 53 years, 3 months and 28 days.

On Dec. 2, 1886, Mr. Hunt was united in marriage to Miss Asenith L. Brown and to this union eleven children were born, and these with the exception of one which died in infancy were at his bedside when the Death Messenger came.

Mr. Hunt said a short time before his death, talking to his family, that he believed in God and his word and later that he knew Jesus would come to take him home. Besides his wife and children he leaves a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn.

Mr. Hunt was a good man, conscientious and honest, and dependable. The MESSENGER extends sincere sympathy to all.


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