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Iroquois County, IL Biographies

William Hancock Family

William Hancock and Amanda Carr Hancock came to Milford Township from Monticello, Indiana in 1904 with five daughters, Rhoda, Laura, Violet, Lucy and Blanche. They settled northwest of town until early 1905 when they moved to Milford. Their first son Wilford was born July 11, 1905. William Hancock was born in 1860 died Dec. 1, 1919. Mr. Hancock was a carpenter and helped build several houses in Milford which are still standing. One of these is the family home on West Frederick St. in which Roy Redburn lives and owns.

Amanda Carr Hancock married George Cox April 1, 1926. Mrs. Cox died in 1957.

Wilford Hancock and Peral Euans were married April 10, 1926.


Wilford William Hancock b. April 30, 1927.

Walter Jackson Hancock b. Mar. 29, 1930.

Helen Mae Hancock b. January 22, 1929, D. May 27, 1979.

Hazel Irene Hancock stillborn June 6, 1932.

Wilford William Hancock

married Jeanette Gier Jan 4, 1967

Helen Mae Hancock - died May 27, 1979

married Roy Redburn October 29, 1945.


Shirley Jean Redburn B. June 25, 1947. 1st married Wally Baker Sept. 17, 1965.


Vince Baker b. May 1, 1966

Victor Baker b. June 6, 1969

1nd married to Robert Campbell Dec 7, 1971.


Heather Marie Campbell b. June 12, 1973

Carol Ann Redburn b. June 28, 1951. married Larry Taylor April 12, 1969. Children: Christopher Taylor b. May 13, 1972.

William Roy Redburn b. June 28, 1957 married Jody Poll December 2, 1978. Children: Travis William Redburn b. May 20, 1979.

Stephen Roy Redburn b. Dec 11, 1962

Hazel Irene Hancock stillborn June 6, 1932

Walter Jackson Hancock

married Edna Louise Cade October 15, 1949


Jacqueline Lousie Hancock, b. December 17, 1950 married John Daniel Worthey March 23, 1968. Children: Dawn Michelle Worthey b. September 7, 1968, John Michael Worthey b. July 10, 1972.

Warren James Hancock b. October 28, 1952 married Linda Kay Bertram March 25, 1972 Children: Eric James Hancock b. April 22, 1973 Mark Daniel Hancock b. November 28, 1976.

Robert Michael Hancock b June 20, 1954. Died April 12, 1962.

Richard Wayne Hancock b. October 6, 1958

Debra Louise Hancock b. October 6, 1958, married Patrick Hagood September 15, 1979.

Darla Kay Hancock b. July 22, 1969.

(page 123 from History of Iroquois County-Milford township transcribed by Carrol Mick)



There are very few people in the eastern half of Iroquois County or in the western part of Indiana who have not heard of the Royal Cleaners, for their vivid red truck is constantly seen day after day as it makes its rounds and the firm's advertising appears at all hands. But many people would like to know more about the men behind this establishment which, although little more than a year and a half old is already ranked as one of Watseka's liveliest industries. The partners are William Bonnell and Otto F. Vliet, and the latter is the subject of this week's biographical sketch.
Born November 19, 1901, in Woodland , Ill. Otto Vliet is the son of Monroe and Minnie M. ( Body) Vliet, both of whom live in Woodland, where the elder Vliet is engaged in farming. Oto is the youngest of three children. Mrs. Ethel Coon, oldest lives on a farm west of Woodland, while Leonard Vliet runs a garage in Woodland.
After securing his preliminary education at the Prairie Center, Woodland and Watseka Schools, Otto Vliet attended the National Association Institute of Dyers and Cleaners at Silver Springs, Md. Near Washington, D. D. Where he graduated in 1930. Previous to this he had engaged in the dry cleaning business, devoting the past ten years to it and on March 26, 1931, he and William Bonnell formed a partnership under the name of Royal Cleaners. They opened their establishment on South Fourth Street, in the Hogle building, and maintain a dry cleaning plant on East Cherry street. The new business was a decided success from the outset.
Mr. Vliet is a member of the Watseka M. E. Church and a third degree Mason. He joined the local Masonic order 446, April 3, 1929, and now holds he office of Senior Deacon. His principal hobbies are hunting and golf.
On July 5, 1924, in Gilman, Mr. Vliet married Miss Elaine Orr, who lived at that time northwest of Gilman. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Orr who now live on East Cherry street, Watseka.
Mr. and Mrs. Vliet make their home at 551 East Locust Street, Watseka.


C. L.. Eastburn one of Watseka's three funeral directors.
Born Oct. 1, 1884, four miles east of Watseka, Clyde Legrande Eastburn is the son of James and Anna E. ( Smith) Eastburn, both of whom live in the Eastburn building on West Walnut Stsreet, where the elder Eastburn conducts a mercantile business. Both parents are American born but Mr. Eastburn's
paternal ancestors were Pennsylvania Quakers, while on his other's side he is of Irish Descent. He has neither brothers nor sisters.
After completing the preliminary part of his education at the Watseka school, he took the regular embalming course at the Worsham Training School in Chicago,, later taking a post graduate course at the same institution.
He was employed in the government mail service for 15 years, beginning in the undertaking business in 1908. He secured his license as an embalmer in 1911 and in 1920 he began his present business in the Eastburn building. He has never taken an active interest in politics.
Although he once belonged to the Woodmen and the Red men, the only lodge memberships which he now holds are in the A. F. & A. M. and the Eastern Star. He is affiliated with the First M. E. Church of Watseka. His hobbies are few, running chiefly to flowers and music. His reading is principally along scientific lines.
On May 31, 1924, at Tuscola, Ill. He married Marie, daughter of A. N. and Ruhanna (Wamsley) Moore, of that city and Mr. and Mrs. Eastburn now make their home at 118 East Elm Street, Watseka.
Mr. Eastburn has one son by a previous marriage, Russell E. Eastburn, 22 years olf and single employed as a pharmacist at the D. N. Fidler drug store. Graduating from Watseka Community High School in 1928, Russell entered the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy, from which he graduated in June 1932.


Most women in Watseka need no introduction to Mrs. George Gerdes, who with her husband conducts the Garden Dress Shop located in the new Watseka Theatre Building. Born and reared in Iroquois County, she received her education at the Watseka Schools and has been in business for more than six years, meeting the public every day of the week. She is also active in Church and social affairs and takes a lively interest in topics of the day.
Born June 18, 1906, in Iroquois Ill. Jeanette Hellice is the daughter of Arthur and Mabel (Trumble) Lambert. Her parents make their home in Hoopeston, where Mr. Lambert is employed as a gate man on the C&E I railroad. Mrs. Gerdes is of English decent on hr father's side and French on her mother's side.
Graduating from Watseka Community High School with the class of 1925, she took a position as saleslady at Kunkel's 5 to $1.00 Store, were she remained for five years, after which she married to George F. Gerdes, son of Herman F. Gerdes, on Jan. 1, 1930. Mr. and Mrs. Gerdes, together with Mrs. Gerdes' only sister, Miss Edna Lambert, make their home at 519 East Walnut Street, Watseka. Miss Lambert, a beauty operator, has her establishment in the rear of the dress shop.
Mrs. Gerdes is a member of the Christian Church, the Royal Neighbors and Les Amies as well as various bridge clubs. Her principal recreations are sewing, reading and bridge.


As Mayor of the City of Watseka, Archie H. Fanyo occupies a prominent position in the Iroquois county seat, not only as head of the city council and as the city's chief executive, but also as head of the Watseka Stock yards. A dealer in livestock of many years standing, Mayor Fanyo is in daily contact with the rural public and has an untold number of friends all over Iroquois County, in adjacent counties and in Chicago.
In this connection, it might be well o say aword or two about the stock yards itself. At the Watseka Stock Yards, farmers and feeders may sell their stock without paying any trucking charges. Neither is it necessary to pay any commission or yardage, a saving which amounts to something in times like these. Also, dealers get their money as soon as the stock is delivered at the yards.
Born September 6, 1885 near Watseka, Mayor Fanyo has lived in this vicinity practically all his life. He is the son of the late Frank Fanyo, who died May 28, 1916, and is of French descent.
Besides ably discharging his duties as mayor, now is his third term, Mr. Fanyo also served
Middleport township as supervisor for two years and as a member of the county board, has served on many important committees. Other member of his family residing in Watseka are also actively interested in the civic and business life of the community an the name, Fanyo is among the best known here. Mayor Fanyo has two brothers, Joe and Fred Fanyo and one sister, Mrs. Hatttie Braden, all of Watseka.
On February 1, 190, Mr. Fanyo married Miss Maud Gibbons, daughter of John Gibbons of Watseka, the ceremony being performed near Watseka. They have one daughter, Miss Jessie Fanyo, of Washington D. C.
Mayor Fanyo is a member of the Watseka Christian church.

Dr. G. K. Bear

Dr. G. K. Bear, a resident of Watseka for almost 34 years , was born near Chenoa, Ill. And his early boyhood days were spent on his father's farm in McLean County
His mother, whose maiden name was Bowley, was of English descent and was born near Augusta, Maine and passed away when he was only seven years old. His father, Joseph Bear, as born and grew to manhood in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, later coming to Illinois, and passed away when the subject of this sketch was 19 years old.
He later attended the Keokuk Dental College which was affiliated with the Keokuk Medical College, an old school, both of which were later absorbed by some of the larger institutions.
After passing the Illinois State Board examination, he formed a partnership with the late Dr. J. M. Gallehugh of Chenoa, who had been in practice there for quite a number of years, later disposing of his half interest to Dr. Gallehugh, and locating in Watseka, in the autumn of 1898. His fist office here was in the Vanderpoorten building, over what is now the second floor of the Smiley building, where he had been ever since.
Throughout his 34 years of experience, he has always kept in close touch with the very latest developments of his profession, not only by reading and study, but also by attending various lectures and dental meetings, being a member of the Kankakee District, Illinois State and American Dental Associations.
He is a member of the Iroquois Club and served as president of it at one time. In 1925 and 1926 he served as mayor of the City of Watseka.
In 1901, he married Miss Mayne Evans, daughter of Mr and Mrs. J. S. Evans of El Paso, Ill. And one daughter was born, Miss Florence Bear, who is an alumna of Watseka Community High School and now makes her home at the Allerton house in Chicago. Dr. And Mrs. Bear reside in their own home at 511 South Third Street, Watseka..


Despite its comparatively small size, Watseka is able to boast of having both sexes represented in all three of the professions. In the medical profession we have Dr. Myrtle Sweimler. In the legal profession we have attorney Jessie Sumner ( a resident of Milford). It is true, but a member of he Iroquois County Bar, nevertheless, and a very frequent visitor in Watseka., and we even have a woman minister†Miss Bertha Ellen Day, pastor of he Friends ( Quaker) Church.
Born in Spring Valley, Ohio, Miss Day is he daughter of the late B. F. Day and May E. (Kelly) Day. Her father, who was a farmer, died July 1924; her mother lives on Route 3 Charlotte, Michigan.
Miss Day has one sister and two brothers, all married. Mrs. M. M. Pruden is the wife of a farmer and lives at Charlotte, Mich. Two brothers L. V. And H. F. Day also live at Charlotte, the first being engaged in farming and the other in business.
Educated at Fairmount Academy and Normal School ( Class of 1911) and Wilmington College, Miss Day came to Watseka from Georgetown, Ill. September 1 1931, succeeding the Rev. Charles R. Axton, who resigned from the pastorate on account of his health. The Rev. Day preached her first sermon here Sunday morning, September 6, and she was most favorable received. Although she has been in charge of the Friends Church little more than a year, her congregation has been growing steadily and she is now regarded as one of the most popular ministers of Watseka.
The Rev. Miss Day is a member of the Federated Woman's Club and secretary of the Watseka ministers' Organization She takes an active interest in the social and civic life of the Iroquois county seat and already has a wide acquaintance here, outside of her congregation as well as within it..
The Friends church is located at the southwest corner of Second and Locust streets, and Miss day makes her home at the parsonage, just west of the church edifice, at 200 West Locust Street with Mrs. H. O. Parker.


Miss Cora Tuttle, proprietor of the Tuttle Beauty Shop, Watseka. She was born between Prairie Dell and Watseka. Mrs. Cora Alice Tuttle has live in or near Watseka all her life, with the exception of six years and a half spent in Paxton. After completing her preliminary education at the Center School, near Pittwood and the North Side School in Watseka. She worked at dress making with Mrs. M. Booi in Watseka for six years, afterwards sewing out by the day until she managed o open her own dressmaking shop on North Fourth Street, where she remained for four years. She then took a course in beauty culture at the Marinello School in Chicago, and began her first work in this line in Paxton. After six years and a half in the Ford County seat she returned to Watseka, in August 1930 , opening the beauty shop next door to the Republican office at 127 East Walnut Street where she conducts her business and makes her home. She now operates the business alone but when she began she had the assistance of her niece, Jeannett Kennemer, who has since married. She is now Mrs. Wigbels of Chicago.
Miss Tuttle's parents are both dead. Her father, Thomas Tuttle, was a farmer, later employed at the Watseka Farmers Grain Co. Here, with several generations of American stock before him. Her mother, Sara (Knickerbocker) Tuttle, was of German descent. Her father died 13 years ago and her mother, 20 years ago, both in the same house on North Second Street, Watseka.
Miss Tuttle is the second of four children, only two of them now living. An older sister, Mrs. Lizzie Foushee, died twelve years ago leaving four children†Mrs. Anna Spaulding of Martinton, Bob Foushee, a Chicago policeman, Bill Foushee, a barber in New York, and Cora, who is married and lives in Chicago. A younger sister Minnie Kennemer, died 19 years ago, leaving one 2 year old child, Jeanette, who was cared for ever since by Miss Tuttle as her own daughter. Next followed twins, Emory and Emma; Emroy died at birth and his sister, who, did not marry, died in 1918. Arthur, the youngest, makes his home in Lafayette, Ind. Where he is engaged in farming. He is married and has seven children.
A member of the Watseka Christian church, the Les Amies and he Royal Neighbors and Past Noble Grand ( 1917) of he Rebekahs, Miss Tuttle is active in the church and social life of the community. The family name is well known in Iroquois county, especially in Watseka, and through various marriage is related to many of the other pioneer families here.


Many visitors to the Iroquois county court house during the past week have doubtless noticed the quiet, unassuming young man sitting at the desk in the circuit clerk's office. Many of these visitors are already well acquainted with the new circuit clerk, Joseph Sever, by reputation if not by personal contact; others, notable those from outside the county might wish to know more about him.
Joseph Sever was born April 1, 1903, in Milford, Ill. Where he has lived ever since. He is the son of J. H. and Beatrice ( Williams) Sever, both of whom live in Milford, where his father is engaged in farming. Of early American stock, they are among the most prominent and best liked residents of their community.
Obtaining his elementary education at the Stockland grade school , graduating in 1916, Joseph Sever then entered Stockland Township High School, from which he graduated in 1920
After finishing high school, he engaged in farming for several years, then in 1926, taking a position as bookkeeper in the Sumner State Bank at Stockland, where he remained for two years and a half. His baning experience was followed by a year and a half of bookkeeping with the E. A. Wood Motor Co. Of Milford and the last year and a half was spent with the Stockland Farmers Grain & Lumber Co. , of which he was manager and which position he lft in order to accept his present office.
Mr. Sever became canidte for circuit clerk of Iroquois county on the Democratic Ticket in the sping primary of 1932. In the general election, Nov. 8 , 1932 he was the winner.
He is a member of the A. F.& A.., the I.O.O..F. the K. Of P. And the M. W. A., Mr. Sever has held various offices in these organizations, and has always had he reputation of being active in fraternal and social activities as well as interested in civic and community developments of all kinds.
At the time of this Bio , Mr. Sever is unmarried. He has one brother, Curtis L. Sever sho is married and engages in farming in Stockland.


Delmar Nelson Fidler was born March 28, 1886, in Watseka. Mr. Fidler is the son of the late D. A. Fidler, a well known farmer of German decent, who died her March 28, 1916, and Nancy (Davis) Fidler, of English extraction, who makes her home in Watseka..
Following his graduation from Watseka High School with the class of 1904, Mr. Fidler entered the University of Illinois and Graduated from theh pharmacy department in 1908 with the degree of Ph. G. He is also a registered Pharmacist. At the University of Illinois hihs name appears on the honor roll in pharmacy.
Mr. Fidler continued to make Chicago his home from 1906 to 1929. A personal friend of Charles R. Walgreen, he was employed from 1908 to 1911 with the Walgreen Drug Co., and from 1911 to 1916 he was head of the prescription department of Buck and Raynor's Drug Store at the southwest corner of State and Madison Streets, Chicago- "busiest corner in the world." Following this extensive experience he owned and conducted a drug store at 5800 South Halsted Street from 1916 to 1926, when he sold the business, taking an extended vacation throughout, the west with his family and living several months in Portland, oregon. Later, returning to Chicago, Mr. Fidler became Assistant Drug buyer for the Becker & Ryan Department Store,63rd and Halsted, affiliated with Sears Roebuck & Co.
Mr. Fidler always considered Watseka his home so, in 1929 he came to the Iroquois county seat and purchased what was then known as Blake's Drug Store on West Walnut street, which he now operates.
He is a member of the Watseka chamber of Commerce and has served on a number of important committees of that organization; he was formerly a member of the Englewood Business Men's Association and still holds a membership in the Southtown Improvement Association, Chicago, where he owns some property. He also belongs to the National Union Assurance Society of Chicago. H is a Catholic convert and a Democrat. His principal recreation is reading and his tastes run toward scientific and historical works.
Mr. Fidler is one of a family of eight, as follows: Dr. F A. Fidler, Watseka; L. W. Fidler, Watseka: Mrs. Hal parker, Watseka; William Fidler, Lafayette, Ind.; Mrs. A. C. Harwood, Watseka; Mrs. Henry Ortman, Martinton, and Mrs. Lee Fanyo, Watseka
On aug. 29, 1911, in Chicago, he married Miss Anna Wilbur of Chicago, daughter of Mrs.C. J. Wilbur. Mr. and Mrs. Fidler make their home at 501 South Second Street, Watseka. With their two children, Miss Dorothy Fidler , a senior at Watseka Community High School and Raymond, who is in the eighth grade.
The Fidler family is well known in Watseka. Besides the number of persons living here bearing that name, members of the family are also related through marriage to the Fanyo's.,Millers, Benjamins, Watters, Parkers and Harwoods


Exactly four months ago last Thursday, on September 9, 1935, Virgil Sorensen took over the room in the Watseka Theatre building formerly occupied by his brother-in-law. F. L. Thyfault, where he has been engaged, since that time, in retail and contracting paints, varnish, glass and wall paper. The Sorensen Paint Shop, as it is commonly known, is not one of the largest business houses in Watseka, but it is filling a real need and Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen and their family are rapidly becoming an integral par of the community life of the Iroquois county seat.
Mr. Sorensen was born July 24, 1896 at St. Anne, the son of K. N. and Marie (Nelson) Sorensen, both of whom are now deceased . His parents were both Danish having come to this country from Tilstrup, Denmark. At the age of five years, he moved to Momence with his parents and soon afterwards entered school there. After completing school he engaged in farming until he was 18, then worked as a switchman on the C. & E. I. Railroad. He began painting in 1920, doing contracting work for three years with Mr. Thyfault in Kankakee and then starting a retail store in Momence. The partnership was later dissolved and Mr. Sorensen came to Watseka. Mr. Thyfault had already conduced the same shop here for several ears prior to that time.
In his business, Mr. Sorensen is assisted by his wife, the former Beatrice Peterson, of Momence, daughter of August and Ellen ( Hurley) Peterson, both of whom are still living in Momence. Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen were married, October 3, 1922, at Crown Point Ind. and have three children, Bernard, 11, in the sixth grade at the South Side School, Norman, 4, and Joyce 16 months. Another child between Norman and Joyce, died in infancy.
Mr. Sorensen has three sisters, Nellie, wife of F. L. Thyfault of Momence; Anna, wife of M. Christensen of Momence, and Marie, wife of W. H. Jackson of Watseka. Mrs. Sorensen has six sisters and three brothers†Daisy, wife of Peter Bantz of Chicago Heights; Alma , wife of Albert Tinney of Kankakee; Grace, wife of George Bourgette of Chicago Heights; Mrs. Florence Woodard of Momene, a widow; Dolly, wife of H. L. Verril of Momence; Virginia, wife of L. E. Miller of Momence and Bert, Clyde and Carl Peteson, all of Momence. Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen are members of the Watseka Lutheran church.


Dan S. Disosway , Iroquois county Treasurer, born and reared in this county and a resident of this county all his life. He was born February 15, 1887, in Sheldon. Mr. Disosway is the son of the late Charles D. Disosway and Hulda B. (Slife) Disosway. His father was a farmer, of Virginia stock, and died in Sheldon. His mother, a native of Indiana, also died in Sheldon.
After completing his preliminary education at Sheldon High School, Mr. Disosway attended the Gem City Business College at Quincy, Ill. and finished at the University of Illinois. He then engaged in the grain business and alter took up insurance. Starting as office manager, he was promoted to field superintendent and finally to general superintendent, holding this position until he resigned to accept a position with the Milford Canning Co.
A Republican all his life, he served as Milford's mayor for one term and was president of the Milford Township High School board for eight years. In November, 1934, he was elected county treasurer, succeeding Mrs. Ruthanna M. Browne, his term expiring in 1938.
On Oct. 31, 1910, at Milford Mr. Disosway married Miss Fern Schaner, daughter of Samuel and Laura Schaneer of Milford. They have one daughter, Virginia E. Disosway, of Watseka.
Mr Disosway is a Mason, belonging to the A. F. & A. M. No. 168 at Milford, the Illinois Consistory at Danville, and the Past Master's Lodge, No. 168, Milford. Hie principal interests outside of his business are golf and farming.


Although still a young man, Durl Meents, secretary of the Watseka Chamber of Commerce, has made a great many friends in Watseka as well as all over Iroquois County, where he has many connections through his family.
Durl Marshall Meents, banker, receiver, accountant, was born August 12, 1897 in Ashkum, Ill. And has lived in Iroquois County all his life. He is the son of the Hon. Richard R. Meents of Ashkum, formerly state senator and banker, and Hulda Carpenter Meents who died January 31, 1924.
After completing his elementary education at the public school in Ashkum and the Ashkum High School, Durl entered Grand Prairie Seminary at Onarga, attended the Western Military Academy and the Lewis Institute in Chicago finishing at the Blackstone Institute of Law.
In Business he served 15 years as cashier of the Farmer's State Bank of Clifton and was president of the Iroquois Sand & Gravel Co., also of Clifton. Qualified by his education, buisness experience and knowledge of banking, he was later appointed receiver of the Bank of Chebanse and afterwards of the Citizen's State Bank of Watseka.
In Politics, Mr. Meents, like his father, is a staunch Republican, and served one term as Republican precinct committeeman of the first precinct in Chebanse. He holds a commission as second lieutenant in the Illinois National Guard.
Mr. Meents belongs to the M. E. Church a Clifton, being a member of he official l board and having severed as treasurer for a number of years. He is a Mason, memberof the A. F. & A. M. Consistory and Shrine, of Springfield also he Iroquois Club.
Durl is one of a family of eight children, most of whom are well known. An older brother, Harold is in the grain business at Clifton, then he has a sister, Mrs. Mardeell Leenager of Ashkum, another sister, Nadeen ( Mrs. S. L. Martin) of Watseka, a brother, Wendell, who is an accountant in Chicago, a younger brother, Wane and a younger sister, Marion, both attending school in Ashkum. One brother, Donald is deceased.
On August 20, 1918, at Springfield, he married Gladys Mae Henerhofff, of Quincy, Ill. daughter of Henry and Elemina Henerhoff. Mr. and Mrs. Meents now make their home at 216 East Locust Street, Watseka, with their three children, Melvin Hewitt, James Richard, and Patricia Joan.
Mr. Meents principal hobbies are music, in which he is quite adept playing several instruments in bands and orchestra; and wood working, in which he is also rather skilled.


Born on the last day of the last month of the year 1869, in Sterling, Ill. the Rev. O. E. Wieringa, pastor of the Church of God, is probably the oldest clergyman in this community in point of service and residence.
He is a farmer as well as an evangelist. He is the son of Ebertus John and Elizabeth (Dykema) Wieringa, both Hohllaners. His father, a miller and a farmer, died Aug. 1899, in Watseka, and his mother died in December 1927, also in Watseka. He is one of a family of eleven children, eight boys and three girls, seven of whom are deceased. Hattie Wiergina Dorembors, J. E. Wierina, Peter Wieringa, Seina Wieringa Boomgarden, Simon Wieringa, Ebertus Wieringa and Pieteriena Wieringa are dead. The others are John Wieringa, a Watseka Farmer, ,Andrew Wieringa who is married and farms at Centerville, Ia. William Wieringa, married, who also farms near Watseka, and the Rev. O.. E. Wieringa himself.
Shortly after the Chicago fire, the Wieringa's moved to Chicago and thence to Danforth, in 1873, coming soon afterwards to Watseka, where the family remained up to the present time.
He attended school in Danforth and Watseka. He farmed on rented farms until 190 with the exception of a short time, during 1893, when he was employed in Chicago by the F. H. Hebard Express Co. In 1900 he bought his present farm, located on route 4, north of town, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
His wife was formerly Myrtle M. .Jones , daughter of John and Rebecca Jones of Danville, ,and they were married in the latter city, October 29, 1906. The daughters living at home are Elizabeth Leona and Hattie Myrtle. Two other daughters, Rebecca Ruth and Effie Luella are deceased.
Enjoying the complete respect and confidence of his community the Rev. Wieringa has been offered public office but has always refused, his religious work and farming taking up all of his time. In politics he is usually, although not slavishly, Republican. He is especially interested in temperance. He is a great reader, although his tastes run principally to spiritual and Christian literature and current events. He has no interest in current events. He has no interest in current fiction.
Besides his pastorate, he also serves as Sunday School superintendent and church trustee.
Converted in 1887, he started to preach in 1889. He preached and held revivals in churches, tents, schoolhouses, Halls, parks, homes and on the street in Illinois and Indiana. Many people have been blessed through these efforts and he has made many friends at home and abroad.
The first several years as a minister he assisted Jacob Fisher as pastor of the Watseka Church of God About 30 years ago he became pastor.
His congregation met in worship in homes rented halls and the old Friends Church building in West Watseka, also the Lutheran church building. In 1917 they erected the present house of worship in West Watseka.
His family assists him in gospel work. His wife composes songs and poetry and is a musician. His girls are interested in Sunday school work and the oldest one peaches sometimes.


Ruthanna Browne was born on a farm north of Crescent City, Mrs. Browne has spent her entire life in this county with the single exception of two years and a half in Miami Fla., where she was employed in a bank. She is the daughter of the late Joseph W. Miller and of Rebecca Fidler Miller.
Joseph W. Miller, who died in February, 1917, was born near Anderson, Indiana, and came to Iroquois County as a young man, engaging in farming here. His parents came from North Carolina, but he liked to consider his more remote ancestors as Pennsylvania Dutch.
Mrs. Browne's mother, Rebecca Fidler, was born near Lafayette, Indiana. The maternal side of her family came from Jersey, while on her father's side, she is of Prussian extraction, although she traces her family in this country back to early eighteenth century, in Virginia. She came to Iroquois county with her parents when she was an infant of only eight months, her father bringing with him all the necessary lumber, provisions and supplies with which he started a habitation on land which he had obtained from the government.
Mrs. Browne's father served a number of years as superintendent of the county farm and during that time his daughter attended he country school near Watseka. She later entered Watseka high school and after graduation, attended Brown's Business College in Bloomington for a year.
On June 17, 1908, she became the wife of Homer M. Browne of Watseka, the ceremony being performed at the home of the bride, west of Watseka. One child was born, Homer Miller, who died April 17, 1923, at the age of 10 years. Homer Browne was elected sheriff of Iroquois County, serving from 1914 to 1918. He then ran for county treasurer and was elected, serving from 1918-1922. During this time Mrs. Browne assisted her husband with his work, securing valuable training which is now of much service to her. Homer Browne died May 24, 1926, while in Miami, Fla.
Prior to her election to the office of county treasurer, Mrs. Browne had not taken a particularly active part in politics or public affairs, being content to devote her time to her home, her goal being to earn the reputation of being a good wife and housekeeper, a good mother. Of social and Congenial disposition, one of her greatest pleasures is in meeting the public and making friends. "If I have any hobby at all, I should call it "friend-making," she once remarked.
The learning has made her lodge work interesting to her, and she belongs to the Eastern Star, the Royal Neighbors, the Rebekahs, the County Treasurer's State Organization and the Presbyterian church. She is general chairman of the Ladies of the Church, marshal in the Eastern Star, a Past Noble Grand of the Rebekahs and has held various offices in the Royal Neighbors. She is also keenly interested in gardening and reading, her tastes in the latter being quite general, although of late she has been reading a number of autobiographies.
On April 8, 1930, she received the Republican nomination for county treasurer, receiving 3,422 votes. On November 4, 1930 she was elected to this office with 5, 622 votes. Prior to her election, she had been employed for two years and a half as cashier in the Chicago Store, Watseka.
Mrs. Browne lives at 520 East Locust street with her mother, an older sister, Emma ( Mrs. L. M. Cale), and a brother, Frank. A younger brother, Curtis, is married and lives with his wife and three children in Fulda, Minn.


In many respects, County Judge John H. Gillan of Watseka can be regarded as the nestor of the court house. While he has not been on the bench as long as circuit Judge F. L. Hooper, he was county surveyor before Judge Hooper was elected, and there is nobody in the court house today who was there in 1892, when Judge Gillan was elected county surveyor.
John Hamilton Gillan, to give his full name, is the oldest of a family of five, only two of whom are dead. He was born, November 14, 1870, on a farm three miles west of Wellington, and has lived in Iroquois county ever since.
He is he son of John Gillan and Jane (Coleman) Gillian. John Gillian came here when 15 years old from his birthplace in Scotland, near Ayshire, and settled in his county, shortly afterwards entering the Civil War. At the Battle of Chickamauga he was taken prisoner and confined for 15 months in the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Ga. After the war he lived on a farm near Pleasant Hill Church, about 10 miles southeast of Milford. He died in 1926, in Milford, where he had lived for about 15 years. Judge Gillan's mother was born in county Cavin, Ireland, and died in 1924, also in Milford.
John H. Gillan, remained with his family in the vicinity of Wellington for about twelve years, when his father bought the farm in Prairie Green township seven miles northeast of Wellington. During this time, he attended the country schools there and later spent the winter of 89 to 90 at Onarga Seminary, now Onarga Military Academy. In 1891 he entered Valparaiso University and in the fall of 1892 he graduated with a bachelor of science degree.
Returning to Watseka, he was elected county surveyor the same year, 1892 and served three terms. During this time he took up the study of law in the office of the late A. F. Goodyear and completed a course in law with a Detroit correspondence school. From early in 1902, to the fall and winter of 1903 he engaged an assistant to help him with the surveying while he attended the University of Chicago Law School. In 1903 he took the state bar examination, passed it and was admitted to the bar. He then began the practice of law in Watseka, before the expiration of his term as county surveyor. He will have practiced law for thirty years next year.
He continued in the practice of law until 1906, when he was nominated on the Republican ticket for county judge and was elected, defeating the late O. F. Morgan, who was the Democratic nominee. When he took office as county surveyor he was one of the few Republicans elected. I was a Democratic landslide, Grover Cleveland going over for President of the United States and Altgeldt winning over Fifer for Governor.
Shortly after his election as county judge, he was called to Chicago to sit n the municipal court bench because of a crowed docket in that city. He served off and on in that capacity for four years, from 1906-1910, mean while continuing his duties as county judge of Watseka. During his years ass county judge he has heard a great number of drainage cases, his previous training s surveyor now standing him in good stead. The great majority of his opinions have been sustained on appeal and he is now regarded as somewhat an authority on drainage matters. He sat at one time hearing a case concerning Martinton Drainage District No. 3, which involved $100,000 and another time was called to Eureka, Woodford County, to sit for three weeks on a drainage case involving $300,000.
Judge Gillan is a member of the Masons, Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America and the state and county bar associations. He served from 1930-1931 as Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment, I.O.O.F. he is a trustee of the Watseka Methodist church, served as director of the Iroquois Club and is on the executive committee of the County Judges Association.
He has always been keenly interested in farming and truck gardening, his only other interest which may be classed as hobbies being bowling and bee keeping. He has several colonies of bees out in the country and last week delivered a lecture on bees before the Watseka High School science class.
During the World War, he served as head of the advisory board, which had charge of questionnaires; he headed the Y. M. C. A. Drive here as county chairman and was also county chairman of the last Liberty Loan drive.
On November 18, 1896, he married Miss Luna M. Martin, daughter of J. L. and Sarah Martin and a sister of Frank, Porter and Elmer Martin. The ceremony took place at the home of the bride's mother in Watseka.
Judge and Mrs. Gillan have a daughter, Ruth Marian, born May 30, 1906, and now he wife of H. C. Gobble of Peoria, Ill. They have also reared two other children- Mabel Gillan, now located in Chicago, and Arthur Gillan, a student at Watseka Community High School. Judge and Mrs. Gillan and Arthur live in their own home at 45 South Fifth street, Watseka.
Judge Gillan's oldest sister, Elizabeth, is the wife of A. T. Sumner, who lives on a farm east of Milford; Anna, the next, is deceased but is survived by three children and her husband, J. Seed Smith, who practices law in Seattle, Wash., the children are-Jane, Margarette and Elizabeth Smith; Jennie Isabelle, the nest in point of years, is the wife of Malcom Cobb and lives in Milford, while the youngest of he family Fannie, died leaving a husband, Sam Brown, formerly of Milford but now of Wichita, Kansas; also a daughter Betty Jane Brown a student at the University of Illinois.


Victor H. Wilson , World War veteran, is a native of Iroquois County, and one of the county's most popular and trusted citizens. He is in his third consecutive term as circuit court clerk and recorder, with offices at Watseka.
Mr. Wilson was born in Ashkum township of Iroquois county, November 16, 1891, son of Robert Bruce and Henrietta (Falford) Wilson. His grandfather, John Wilson, came from England in 1830 and was one of the pioneers of Iroquois county. He and his wife are buried at the old family cemetery at Plato. Robert Bruce Wilson was born and reared in Iroquois county, as a farmer by occupation and for some years held the office of constable. He was a member of the Methodist church. He died December 31, 1910. His wife Henrietta Falford, was born in Quebec, Canada, and was a child when her parents came to Iroquois County. She is an active church worker and is now living at
Topeka, Kansas, at the age of seventy-six. Of her ten children, two, Dora and Ray , died in infancy, Leonard passed away at the age of thirteen, and Osborn at the age of thirty-seven. The living children are Charles, of Verona, North Dakota; Ethel R., wife of John Weir, of Ashkum township; Elmer of Waukegan, Illinois; Victor H. of Watseka; Irvin, of Forrest, Illinois; and Harvey of Lynden, Kansas.
Mr. Victor H. Wilson attended public schools and after leaving school was engaged in farm work for several years. In 1913 he combined farming with salesmanship. In June, 1916, as a member of the Third Illinois Infantry of he National Guard, he was ordered to the Mexican border and as stationed at Camp Wilson on the Rio Grande until February 22, 1917. During the concentration and organization of the National Army for the World War he returned to Illinois, but subsequently was returned to Texas, assigned to the Thirty Third or all Illinois Division, and in May, 1918, went over seas with the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Infantry of this division. He landed at Brest, and had his first active duty with the English and Australian troops on the Somme Front. Later he participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne campaigns. Mr. Wilson after armistice was returned home and received his honorable discharge at Camp Grant, June 19, 1919.
He then returned to Watseka, and in 1920 was given the nomination and elected clerk of the circuit court and county recorder. He has since been twice re-elected to that office. Mr. Wilson is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the WAtseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A.M., Watseka Chapter Royal Arch masons, The Council and the Knights Templar Commandery, and Mohammed Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Peoria. He also belongs o the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, The Improved Order of Red. Men, the Modern Woodmen, of America and dis a member of the Iroquois Club and Shewami Country club. His religious affiliation is with the First Christian Church. Mr. Wilson is unmarried. He has always been a loyal worker in any community undertakings. Golf is his favorite sport.


Born March 29, 1884, in Varns, Marshall county, Illinois, Hiram Edward Crossland is the son of H. V. and Cynthia L. (Broaddus) Crossland. Both are of American stock, but his mother was formerly Welsh. The elder Crossland, who had engaged in farming died October 21, 1917.
Coming to Iroquois County in December, 1888, Ed Crossland, as he is familiarly known, entered the Amos District School No. 149 in Sheldon township, later graduating from Watseka High school in1905. And completing a course in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois in 1910, when he received his B. S. Degree in engineering. This was followed by 22 years of experience, largely in municipal, highway and drainage engineering work and in land surveying. During which time he had been employed in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Florida. In April, 1932, he ran a race for the Republican nomination for county surveyor of Iroquois county. While he did not receive the nomination, the size of the vote given him indicated the confidence placed in him , indicated the confidence placed in him by his hundreds of Friends an Acquaintances throughout the county. A brother, George M. Crossland of Indianapolis, Ind. Is employed as a high school instructor in that city, where he lives with his wife; a sister Viola J. Carey, is married and makes her home in Washington D. C.;while another sister, Mrs. Julia W. Browne, is a widow and resides in Watseka. Another sister,
Cynthia L Crawford, died June 10, 1909
On December 21, 1929, in Sanford, Florida, he married Julia Marie Faingnaert, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Adolph Faingnaet, and they reside with Mr. Crossland's mother a414 East Oak Street, Watseka, where Mr. Crossland spends much of his spare time in his vegetable and flower garden, his chief hobby.
Alice Marie Crawford, a daughter by a previous marriage ( Marie Nagl Crossland) attends Daniel Boone Public school in Chicago, where she makes her home.
A member of the Presbyterian Church as Treasurer, Trustee and Elder of the church. He is a member of A. F. & A. M. No. 446, Watseka Treasurer of the Iroquois Taxpayers Association and President of the Iroquois County Tuberculosis Assoc.


If there is one clergyman in Watseka who, from birth, education, residence and family is thoroughly acquainted with the people and conditions of his part of the state, the Rev. Francis A. Cleary, pastor of St. Edmund's Catholic church of Watseka and Crescent City, ought to be eligible for that distinction, for his entire life was spent in this vicinity.
He was born in September 1888, in Momence, Ill., Fatherr cleary attended the Momence High School, graduating in the class of 1906. He then entered St. Viator's College, in the fall of that year, graduating with an A. B. Degree in 191. After further study in that institution, he received his M. A. Degree there in June 1913, and was afterwards ordained, June 6, 1914, at Peoria, Ill., by the Rt. Rev. E. M. Dunne, D. D. Bishop of Peoria.
He was appointed assistant pastor the same month to the Rev. W. J. Dummy, with parishes at Rantoul, Ludlow and Paxton, and a year later, was appointed assistant pastor to Dean J. J. Quinn at St. Joseph's church, Rock Island. He was later appointed pastor of the Sacred Heart Church of Warsaw, Ill. And of St. Mary's Church, Hamilton, Ill. In December 1917. In June 1928 he was appointed pastor of the St. Edmund's church, Watseka and of St. Joseph's church, Crescent City, which position he now holds. His residence is 403 North Second street, Watseka.
Father Cleary is of Irish descent. His father, Patrick J. Cleary, was in the grocery business but died March 1927. His mother, Elizabeth (Kirby) Cleary, was born in Chicago and now resides in Momence, where a brother, Edward P. Cleary , is engaged in the grocery business. Another brother is also a Catholic Priest and makes his home in East Moline.


A great many people in Watseka are acquainted with "Gus" Yoho, but many of them will be surprised to learn that his name isn't "Gus" at all. It is Darwin R. Yoho.
Born September 1, 1898 in Utica, Nebraska, he is the only son of W. P. Yoho and Mary Lavilda (Ragan) Yoho. His father, who was an auto dealer, was of American Scotch and Pennsylvania Dutch extraction, and died March 21, 1919. His mother, who makes her home in Lincoln, Nebraska, is of Irish-American and Pennsylvania Dutch descent.
It was from Lincoln, Nebraska, that Mr. Yoho came to Watseka, in march 1924, in order to enter the employ of John W. Upsall, remaining in his employment from the tenth of that month to August 1, 1931, since which time he has been engaged in his own jewelry and optical business in Dick's Store. Including the even and a half years with Mr. Upsall, Mr. Yoho has been in this line of business altogether for about eleven and a half years.
His professional education was secured largely in Nebraska and Illinois. Afer completing the public schools in the former state he attended ebraska University for two years, going thence o the Northern Illinois college of Ophthalmology, where he received his degree of doctor of Optometry in 1923.
During the World War he was a membe of he Signal Corps in the U. S. Army, in 1918 and is a member of he Watseka Post No 23, the American Legion. He is also a Mason, having joined may 12, 1920, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Watseka. He is also a member of the Illinois state Society of Optometrists. His chief Hobbies are hunting and fishing.
On December 23, 1922 at Chicago, he married Miss Alice Verle Anstine of Utica, Nebraska, daughter of George Anstine, and they have one daughter, Alice Jean Yoho, born Sept. 1, 1930. Mr. and Mrs. Yoho and family make their home at 117 West Adams street, Watseka.


He was born January 14, 1872, in Crescent city, Mr. Harwood has lived in this community all his life. He is the son of the late Andrew J. Harwood, lawyer and business man, who once conducted a grocery store on the site now occupied by the Citizens State Bank, and of Nancy J. Stewart. His father died in 1903 and his mother in 1927, a the age of 84, both deaths occurring in Crescent City.
There were five brothers an three sisters in his family, and A. C. Harwood is he second oldest of those now living. Two sisters are dead. Fred Harwood, oldest of the brothers, is a barber in Ambia, Ind.; Van is a farmer near Watseka, Arthur and Guy are masons, he former living in Crescent City and the latter living in Wellington ; Mrs. Nellie Stump, the youngest is a resident of Colfax, Ill. Where her husband is engaged in highway construction.
Afer completing his education in the public schools of Watseka and Crescent City, Mr. Harwood taught for fourteen years in various schools all over the county, quitting s principal of the Papineau school in order to enter the general merchandise business in Hillsdale Ind. After six years and a half there, he returned to Watseka and purchased the Mortensen & Kemnitz greenware and grocery business, which he conducted for one year and a half, finally selling out to the late Burnham Mari. The next dozen years or so as spent as a salesman for he Joe Fanyo Motor Sales and in 1928 he entered the insurance business, which he continues to operate on the second floor of the Kay building, Watseka.
In politics Mr. Harwood was reared a Democrat, but became a Republican during the campaign
of James G. Blaine and has remained loyal to the G.O.P. ever since. Elected seven times to the office of Alderman of the Third Ward- three times without opposition- he continues to hold that office and has always discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of his electorate, at the same time always standing for the best interests of the Iroquois County Seat. Besides his service on the City Council, he also served one term as township and he held his first political office when he was barely 21 years of age.
As an active member of the Christian church, he is also superintendent of the Sunday School and chairman of the official board. He has held the office of consul of the M. W. A. For seven years and is now one of the managers of that organization. In 1923 he was a delegate to the national convention, which met in Chicago.
Alderman Harwood is keenly interested in flowers and he backyard at his home at 118 East Mulberry Street contains a beautiful pool, rockery and fountain just completed.
On October 14, 1894, at the Presbyterian manse in Watseka, he married Miss Mildred M. Fidler, daughter of Alvin and Nancy (Davis) Fidler of Watseka and four children were born, Mrs. Hazel Siddens of Danville, who has three children ; Homer A. Harwood of Watseka, Melvin E. Harwood of Danville and Miss Gladys Harwood of Watseka. The three oldest are married, while the youngest lives with her parents.


Occupying a sort of half way position between the court house, on the one hand, and he business and professional world on the other, James O. Bailey as president of the Iroquois County Title & Trust Co. from his semi official capacity.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Bailey , who reside at 444 East Cherry street, are descended from pioneer families of Iroquois county, and their ancestors played conspicuous and honorable parts in the development of this section of the State of Illinois.
The great great grandfather of James O. Bailey on the paternal side was a native of England but emigrated o America in colonial days and aided the colonies in their struggle for independence. He lived in Virginia and crossed the mountains with pack animals into Kentucky. He served in the war of 1812, fought in the battle of Ft. Meigs and participated in the battle of Tippecanoe under Gen. William Henry Harrison. He afterward settled in Madison county, Ind. He was the father of John R. Bailey, who with his wife, Rebecca Bailey,, who was born in Virginia, removed with their six children to Illinois, in 1855, settled on eighty acres of land in section 12, Belmont township, Iroquois County. Their home was a log cabin 14x16 feet and for 12 miles east there was no settlement. All kinds of game was plentiful and so were the wolves.
One of the six children was Iven L. Bailey, who was a resident of Iroquois county practically all his life. He served throughout the Civil War until disabled at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn., by a gunshot wound which rendered him a cripple for life and caused him to use crutches thereafter. After many years a grateful government gave him $36.00 per month for it. He was First Lieutenant of the 51st Illinois Infantry. He was twice county treasurer of Iroquois County.
Lazarus Steely, a grandfather of James O. Bailey, born in Ohio, removed to Middleport, Iroquois County, about September 1, 1853. At one time he operated a sawmill on the Iroquois river in old Middleport and manufactured much of the lumber in the early homes there. Later he was in the grocery business in Middleport.
James O. Bailey was born in Indianapolis, Ind. , but returned with his parents to Middleport when about 4 years of age and entered school there. Later his parents moved to Watseka and he graduated from the high school in 1896. He soon obtained a job in the Watseka Knitting Mill where he remained for about two years when the mill was closed because of financial difficulties. He later spent two years in the drug stores of T. S. Arnold and E. B. Elder, and in 1900 began working for the Vanderpoorten Abstract Company. He was later employed in the abstract business by S. F. Swinford & co. and when the Iroquois County Title and Trust Company was formed he continued in the business and for many years has been president and active head of the company.
The records of the company are complete for all the land in the county, all matters relating to the title and to real estate , deeds, mortgages, judgments and other liens. Estate matters and suits of all kinds affecting titles must be constantly and accurately arranged and systematized for convenient reference. The abstracts of this company are accepted all over the country by banks, life insurance companies and other investors without question and many millions of dollars annually invested on the faith of these abstracts. The company is strong, its records reliable and its service prompt and efficient. No other company has better records and better reputation. Its business has been in continuous operation for three quarters of a century For more than 30 years James O. Bailey has been prominent in its service to the business interests of its patrons and he cordial relations with all having business with the company over this long period.
Mr. Bailey has served the city of Watseka as city clerk and as city treasurer and has been secretary and president of the Iroquois Club. He is also an active Mason and a past Master of Watseka Lodge No. 446 and Past Commander of Mary Commandery No. 67. He has for many years been interested in the maintenance of the G.A.R. cemetery Association. E is also a director of the Iroquois Building and Loan Association.
His chief recreation is golf and he has been a member of Shewami Country Club from the beginning.
In 1925 he married Etta B. Guild, and now lives in Watseka. They are much interested in flowers and have them in great variety throughout the season.

[all of the preceding information was contributed by Lucy Briscoe]


Lloyd Joseph Fay was born July 6, 1909 in Dwight, Ill., the son of Chris and Ellen Burke Fay. He came with his parents to Watseka in 1922, when Chris and Leslie Fay formed the Fay Drug Co. Lloyd attended schools in Dwight and Watseka. He was a graduate of Watseka Community High School, Illinois College of Pharmacy and the Northern University police school. A registered pharmacist, Lloyd was associated for a time with the Fay Drug Co. in Watseka, and at one time managed a drug store in Gilman that was owned by the firm. Intensely interested in politics, Mr. Fay was campaign manager in Iroquois County for Governor Dwight H. Green in 1940, and succeeded in getting a majority in the county for the governor, in spite of the fact that his opponent, Richard Lyons, was very popular here. He had previously seved as deputy sheriff under Sheriffs Phil Brown and Guy Redman, and from this association developed an interest in police work. He was appointed sergeant in the state police force and served until March 1942, when he entered the U.S. Navy. While in the navy he servied at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Great Lakes Naval Hospital, the Naval Medical Supply Depot in Brooklyn, Naval Supply Depot, Ogden, Utah, and then spent 17 months in the Pacific theater of operations. He was discharged Nov. 18, 1945 as a chief pharmacist's mate. On his return from service Lloyd became again interested in politics, and was nominated by the Republicans and elected Sheriff on the first Tuesday of November, 1946. He died before he was able to assume the office the following month. Lloyd was a fine candidate, being not only a good vote getter, but making many friends, who like his rugged individualism, and his championship of the common man and the underprivileged. His mother survived, and also his cousin, Leslie V. Fay, both of Watseka. His father died November 20, 1945. Funeral services were held at St. Edmund's Church of which he was a member. Rev. T.J. Clancy officiated at the Requiem High Mass. Burial was in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Dwight, Illinois.

(transcribed from The History of Iroquois County page 273 by Carrol Mick)


Henry Little Howe was born February 18, 1827 and died October 12, 1871. He married Julia ann Thomas September 2, 1848. Julia was born in Orange County, New York December 31, 1827. She died April 5, 1909 in Sterling, Nebraska at age 81. Henry and Julia had ten children: (a.) Catherine Elizabeth, born March 8, 1851; (b.) Mary Frances Menlinda, born November 28, 1852; (c.) George Munson, born July 30, 1855; (d.) Susan MAria, born July 25, 1857; (e.) Charity Ardella, born June 11, 1858; (f.) hannah Mellissa, born March 15, 1860; (g.) Benjamin Franklin Cary, born September 12, 1861; (h.) Edison Derett, born June 15, 1863; (i.) William Elihu Perry, born September 30, 1864; (j.) Seba Marcena, born January 3, 1867. Seba Marcena married Elizabeth Veiley on April 7, 1889. She was the daughter of James Henry and Ellen (Yates) Veiley. Julia Thomas Howe married W.H. Earnes on May 24, 1876 in Livingston County, Illinois. She had an adopted daughter and two brothers. George W. Thomas in Kansas and A.P. Thomas of Corning, New York.

(from page 351 The History of Iroquois County transcribed by Carrol Mick)

The August Anderson Family

--Contributed by the Anderson family

The August and Clara Anderson family of fourteen children, seven girls and seven boys, grew up and received their education in the Milford community. They are: Helen (1903), Gladys (1094), Lillian (1906), Edwin (1908), Gertrude (1910), Russell (1912), Lester (1914), Dorothy (1916), Evelyn (1917), August, Jr. (1919), John (1921), Carl (1923), Mary(1926), and Sydney (1929). Their father (also known as Sven August) of Halmstad, Sweden, came to the Hoopeston-Milford area in 1890 at the age of fifteen to be with his older brothers, John B. and John, and older sisters, Augusta and Emma. Like all the swedish people, he was anxious to vote in the U.S.A. and he studied and became a naturalized citizen in 1896. He worked and took part in all farm activities and continues to do so throughout his lifetime. In 1893, going by train to the Chicago Columbian Exposition was an impressive highlight. In 1903, he married Clara Embom who had come to Hoopeston from Halmstad, Sweden, in 1901. They were both members of the Swedish Lutheran Church. They settled on the Pruitt farm in Hickman, southwest of Milford. In 1906, they farmed in Momence for two years, returning to Stockland Township in 1908, settling on the Charles Dazey farm until 1920. The children attended the New Gothic School, and Helen, Gladys and Lillian attended Stockland Township High School. The family were active members of the Fairview Christian Church. For one year, 1920-1921, they farmed northeast of Milford - at the time called the Henke farm.

In March 1921, they moved southeast of Milford to the I. M. Goldstein farm and lived there for forty years. The children attended the Cherry Grove School. August served as a board director there for several years. All attended Milford Township High School. The oldest, Helen, graduated in 1921, the youngest, Sydney, in 1947, a span of twenty-six years. The family became active members of the United Methodist Church. Their parents always supported the school and community activities. The boys took advantage of the courses in Agriculture at MTHS and also became members of Future Farmers of America when it was active in the high school. The girls enrolled in Home Economic courses and Commercial subjects along with their studies. Throughout their school years the boys worked with their father on the farm. the girls were kept busy with their household and extra chores. Their mother devoted her life tot he raising of the family and handling all the many household duties. She passed away in 1947. August farmed for some sixty years, retiring in 1949. He continued to live on the farm with Mary and Sydney while August, Jr. took over the farming. He passed away in 1961 at the age of eighty-six.

Helen, the oldest daughter, graduated from MTHS in 1921, and taught school at Fairview, Gay Creek, and Milford Grade School. In 1929, she married Frank C. Treadway, East Chicago, Ind., and had one son, Robert, and four grandchildren. For many years, Helen devoted her time to school and community activities in East Chicago. She took an active part in the Senior Women's Club and served as its President. She continually assisted her husband's work with the Chicago Council of Boy Scouts of America. She passed away in 1966. She was a member of the Milford Methodist Church, Royal Neighbors #91 and the Eastern Star.

Gladys, after graduating from MTHS in 1922, continued living at home. She taught in the area schools, White, Fairview, White College, Evans, Stockland and Milford Grade Schools. In 1947, she married Arnold Scheiwe and lived on the Goldstein farm south of Milford. After twenty-seven years of teaching, she retired in 1949. She was an active member of Royal Neighbors No. 91, American Legion Auxiliary, Methodist Church, and Illinois Education Association. In 1935-1936, she was Worthy Matron of Golden Chapter #56, Order of the Eastern Star. She also served as Secretary of the Legion Auxiliary. After her mother's death in 1937, she helped maintain a home for her family, while carrying on her teaching duties. She passed away in 1949.

Lillian, after graduation from MTHS in 1923, attended Illinois State Normal University for two years. She then became a teacher at Milford Grade School for three years. She went on to teach in the Glen Ellyn Elementary Schools until her retirement in 1971. She continues to live in Glen Ellyn taking an active part in several community activities. She continues her membership in Milford Royal Neighbor Camp 91, Golden Chapter No. 56, Order of Eastern Star and United Methodist Church.

Edwin, a 1924 MTHS graduate, worked on the fame with his father until he was twenty-one. He then was employed at Swift and Co. in Chicago. He passed away in 1947. He was a member of the Milford Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge No. 168, and Modern Woodman Camp No. 91.

Gertrude is married, has two children and six grandchildren.

Russell attended New Gothic and Cherry Grove Schools and then MTHS. Working on the farm he moved on and continued with farming in the Aurora area. He married in 1942, has five children: Kathy, Mary Louise, Margaret, William, Carol Jane, and five grandchildren. Retiring in 1974, his wife, Bertha, and he live in Piper City.

Lester, after graduation from MTHS in 1932, spent a few years working on the farm, then went to East Chicago, Indiana, and Chicago to work. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps in 1940, and was stationed at Scott Field, Illinois, until 1944. He was transferred overseas with the 1408th AAF and served in England and France. HE married Esther Luettinger in 1942 and they have two daughters, Celeste and Carolyn, and five grandchildren. After Lestere's discharge in 1945, he continued working for the Air Corps at Scott Field. Retiring in 1976, his wife Esther and he live in O'Fallon, Illinois.

Dorothy, a 1933 MTHS graduate, worked at the Chicago World's Fair in 1934, then went on to do secretarial work. She married Stanley O. Olson, of Chicago, in 1938. They have two sons, Barry and Brian, and four grandchildren. They still reside in Chicago.

Evelyn, a 1935 MTHS graduate, worked as a secretary and married George F. Hallaron of Chicago in 1947. THey have one son Tom. Evelyn was a member of the U.S. Navy during World War II. they are now residents of Sun City, Arizona.

August Jr., (Pete), a 1937 MTHS graduate, worked on the farm until he was inducted in the U.S. Army in 1941. He was discharged in 1945. He spent one and one-half years overseas with General Patton's Third Army. He married Vivian Totheroh in 1954. They are active members of the Prairie Green Church of Christ, and also work with the Prairie States Christian Camp at Watseka. After returning from the ARmy, August, Jr. farmed his father's place. Later he moved on to Fowler, Indiana, where he still farms. He also farms in Stockland Township. They spend a few months during the winter in Florida.

John graduated from MTHS in 1938. He worked on the farm with his father until 1944, when he started farming for himself. In 1946, he married Lillian L. Carlson. They have one son, Daniel J. (married to Diane Mitchell) and two grandsons, Jon and Andrew. John continues farming and has been active in Farm Bureau, Farmer's Home Administration, Eastern Illinois Power Coop., and other committees. He served twelve years on the Milford Grade School Board, seven years at President. The family are all active members of the United Methodist Church. he is a member of the Milford Masonic Lodge 168, and the Danville Consistory.

Carl graduated from MTHS in 1940. He spent five and one-half years in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean conflict. He attended Officer's Training at Montana School of Mines in Butte, Montana. He served in the Asiatic Pacific War Theatre at Okinawa and with the Occupation Forces in Japan. Having joined the Naval Reserve for twelve years, he was recalled for the Korean campaign and served in the Mediterranean fleet and visited ports throughout France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Returning to the Milford area, he began farming on the Endsley Farm where he has resided for the last twenty-eight years. He has three children, Alan Jeffrey, Peggy Jean Shoufler, Lori Lee Curtis, and four grandchildren, Clay Alan and Adam Shoufler, and Cameron and Carlee Jean Curtis. He and his wife, Lucy Faye, spend a few weeks traveling during the winter months.

Mary graduated from MTHS in 1944. After attending the University of Illinois, she came home to help her father and take care of the home. She has worked for carious businesses in the he area. She presently lives in her Milford home. She has been active in the American Legion Auxiliary, and has supported many community activities. she is a member of Modern Woodman Camp 91, Eastern STar Golden Chapter no. 56, and the United Methodist Church of Milford. She is a sports fan and an enthusiastic bowler.

Sydney graduated from MTHS in 1947. He worked on the farm until 1951 when he was called for Army service in the Korean War. He was a member of the 17the infantry Regiment and was a guard for the UN Truce Camp at Hunsan, Korea. He served until May , 1952. Returning home, he started farming for himself southeast of Milford. After fourteen years on the farm, he is now employed by the State of Illinois Highway Department. He married Hazel Smithhurst in 1961. They have a daughter, Judy, a MTHS senior, and a son, Richard, a freshman, They are members of the Milford United Methodist Church.

(from page 138-139 Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980 by Carrol Mick)

 William George Lovelass

William G. and Adaline (Nichols) Lovelass
First Marriage

William George Lovelass, born 29 March 1864 in Ashkum, Illinois, as the eldest son of George and Louisa Biles Lovelass. As a young man he ran a livery stable in Boswell, Indiana. It was there he married Adaline E. Nichols, daughter of a restaurant owner, in 1890. They continued to live in Boswell until 1894. Two daughters were born in Boswell:
Minnie, born 10 Oct. 1891, died 17 April 1982. She married Pete
Peterson. Born to them were Delbert, Lavern, Rose (Whitehead), Mildred (Kemp), Kenneth, Alice (Fish), Louis, and Florence (smith).
Mattie, born 14 March 1893, died 8 Dec. 1983. She married Albert
Ljungren. Born to them were Leo, May (Blanton), Eleanor (Williscfoft), Lois (Burnett), Beulah (Gheens), and Ruth (Sciumbato).
Will and Adda moved near Watseka and ran the Bill
Coney farm from 1894 to 1900. Three children were born to them while there.
Bertha, born 3 Sept. 1894, married Jess
Freeman. Their children were LaVonna (Hatcher), Doris (Rhoda), Earl and Maxine (Streit). Bertha is still living.
Sylvia, born 9 May 1897, died 1924, married Charlie
Skillin. Their children were Wayne, Gertrude (Shelton), Challis (Klopich), and Lyle. Lyle was adopted when his mother died in 1924 and is Lyle Green.
Louis, born 9 Dec. 1899, died 14 May 1982, married Bertha Walston. Their children were Wanda (
Lockwood), Mary Lou (Ellsworth), Larry, and Bob.
From 1900 to 1908, they ran another Coney farm in Palmer, Iowa. Three children were born while there.
George, born 8 July 1901, died 30 May 1964, married Mildred
Page. Born to them were Betty Lou (Jarman), Phyllis Jean (Laviola).
Willie, born 9 May 1903, died at the age of 13 on 21 March 1916.
Lawrence, born 24 Aug. 1905, died 9 Nov. 1955, married Leona
Rightmire. Their children were John, Gerald, and Lavern.
In 1908 they homesteaded 320 acres near Burns, Wyoming. Their last child was born there.
Donald, born 16 July 1910, married Viola
Skelton. Their children were Rosalie (Young), Donald E. Jr., and Loretta (Jaques). Donald is still living.
The next year , William and Adda divorced. William and their son, Louis stayed on the homestead. Adda moved back to Palmer, Iowa, with five of the children.
Bertha, Sylvia, and their mother ran a restaraunt for a time, until the girls married. Next, Adda moved to Pocahontas, Iowa where she worked in a doctor's office.
Adda then returned to Watseka to work at the County Poor farm, now Green Acres. Lawrence and Donald went to live with their paternal grandfather, George
Lovelass, Uncle Newton and Aunt Minnie. They lived on the old Lovelass home place and attended the Schoon school. Ruby Gordon Pope was their first teacher.
In 1919, Adda, with sons Lawrence and Donald, moved to Yakima, Washington. She used her nursing abilities in running a maternity home. In 1947, she passed away, never remarried.

William G. and Olive (Humphrey) Lovelass

William G. Lovelass married Olive Sarah Humphrey 9 Dec. 1913 in Burns, Wyoming. Olive, the daughter of Oliver and Martha Heffern Humphrey was born 15 Feb. 1891 near Ashkum, Illinois. The Humphrey family moved to Iowa for the father's job. At the age of 17 Olive's parents divorced. Oliver came back to Illinois, and Martha and the children went to homestead near Burns, Wyoming.
Wyoming had drought several years in a row. In 1930 Will and Olive had an opportunity to return to Iroquois County and farm his father's, George, homeplace. The family came by car and their possessions came by train. The children went to the Schoon School.
Will's brother and sister, Newt and Minnie moved to Watseka and lived together. When Minnie died in 1941 Will and Olive moved to Watseka, renting out the farm and lived with Newt at 545 E. Locust St. In 1947 Newt built a smaller one story house at 549 E. Locust St. The three lived together at that home until their deaths. William died 24 March 1957, Newton died in 1959 and Olive 23 Jan 1972.
William and Olive's children:
Ollie was born 28 Sept. 1916. He married Vivian
Fortin 14 June 1941 and born to them were; Mary Ann, Diane Marie, Susan Kay, Linda Lou, Patricia Lynn and Lori Ellen.
Helen was born 27 Dec. 1920. She married Joy Yates 14 June 1937 and born to them were; Bonita Joy and Richard Fay. She died 8 Feb 1972.
Betty was born 27 Jan 1924. She married Gaylord
Bruniga 28 Jan., 1944 and born to them were; Richard William, Constance Joy and Beth Gayle.
Will and Olive traveled extensively each year, after the children were grown, to see Will's first family.

(Page 407 Iroquois County History 1985 by Carrol Mick)

Lovelass (Lovelace) Family

George Lovelass/Lovelace (1829-1921) was born in Alton, England to John and Mary Holland Lovelace. He became a tailor. He and Louisa Elisa Biles (1829-1902) were married Sept 1, 1853 at Holy Trinity Parish, Dorchester, Dorset Co, England. Shortly after, they migrated to the United States where he was a tailor after settling in Chicago. They lived on Randolph Street and owned a lot on Michigan Avenue. Three children were born there but none survived. The change in the spelling of the name occurred here, probably due to misspelling on tax records. By the 1860's they had moved to a farm near Ashkum. By 1870 they had purchased land in Section 3, Iroquois Township, where they permanently resided. This land was part of the early Federal Land Grants to the Illinois Central Railroad and Tallman swamp lands. George, remembering the early days of the Civil War, spoke of hating to go to town because they were often pushed off the sidewalk by citizens who disliked England and its sympathy for the South. Seven children were born: George, Jr. (died in infancy), Minnie, Josephine (married Ed Kice), Bessie (married Herrick Gordon), William, John Ernest, and Newton.

Minnie (1859-1941) and Newton (1876-1959) never married but shared a home with their father and later, together. Minnie taught school in Iroquois Co. and for a short while (1888-1890) in the present state of Oregon where she accompanied her brother, John who worked as a lumberjack. At the time of her death Minnie owned the original family farm and additional land in SEction 3, Iroquois Twp. "Aunt Minnie" took great interest in her large family of nieces and nephews, giving encouragement and financial assistance to many.

Newton was a successful framer, a stockman raising cattle and mules, and a businessman. He owned six thousand acres and twenty-one properties in Watseka. "Uncle Newt" shared Aunt Minnie's interest in the nieces and nephews so at his death this property was divided among them. Newt and Minnie are buried side by side in Lyman Cemetery.

John Ernest Lovelass (1870-1925) married Cora Eugenia Goodman, daughter of Robert James and Corrina Dutcher Goodman, in 1885. She died at the birth of their daughter, Ruth Lovelass (see Allhands). He married Anna Mae Eckersley (1870-1951) of Martinton Township in 1900. They had three children: John Russel (see John R. Lovelass),* Dorothy Helen (Mrs. Ben Robinson of Kansas, IL), and Harry Donald. Anna and John E. also purchased land in section 3 and built a home. He raised registered Hereford cattle and Percheron horses. They were members of the Methodist Church and are buried in Lyman Cemetery. *see Robinson

Harry D. Lovelass married Mescal Jenkins in 1938. Their present home is Normal, IL, where both have been teachers. Harry retired in 1973 as professor of education at Illinois State University. Mescal, an English teacher, retired from Normal Community High School. They have two sons: Steven K. and Thomas J. Steve lives in Davie, FL and is principal of Palm Lakes Elementary School in Hialeah, FL. His family includes his wife, the former Charlene Heaps of New Rochelle, NY, and daughters Samantha and Teresa. Tom, an attorney for Armstron World Industries, lives in Lancaster, PA with his wife, the former Meri Kendall of Bloomington, IL.: son, John; daughter, Stephanie; and step-daughters, Audra and Katie Anderson.

Ollie W. and Vivian (Fortin) Lovelass

Ollie W. Lovelass, son of William G. and Olive Sarah Humphrey Lovelass born 28 Sept 1916 on the Lovelass homestead near Burns, Wyoming. His schooling began in a one room school a mile and three fourths from his home, riding a horse most of the time. When he was in the fourth grade the country schools around Burns consolidated and he was bused to town. In 1930 times were difficult and his parents had an opportunity to come back to Illinois to farm the home place owned by Minnie and Newton Lovelass, located northwest of Watseka. Ollie was in the eighth grade and attended the Schoon School near this home. In 1937 he rented a farm of his own from Aunt Minnie Lovelass and lived as a bachelor clost to the Fidler bridge. Three years later he leased his place and went to Kankakee to work in a paint factory. In 1939 he became reacquainted with Vivan Fortin, whom he had known at the Schoon School. They were married 14 June 1941 in Kanakee. Living in Kankakee, she worked at the Bear Brand factory and during the war Ollie worked in the Joliet Ammunition plant. His heart still in farming, they bought a farm of their own in 1943 near the Plato bridge in Iroquois county. In 1945 they had an opportunity to rent several more acres from Fred Yates and moved to that farm. Two years later they moved to one of his Uncle Newt Lovelass' farms on Route 116 near Martinton. In 1947 they rented a large farm near Watseka, again from Uncle Newt. It meant having a hired man year around, as Ollie did custom bailing, corn shelling and trucking. There were two houses on this farm, the hired man lived in one and they in the other. In 1957 Ollie and Vivian moved the family to the other house that was closer to the road. Until this time, the three girls went to the Victory one-room school. From then on theywent to the Watseka schools and all the girls graduated from Watseka High School.

In 1978 they bought and moved to a small farm north of Old Texas bridge. The eldest daughter, Mary and her husband moved to the family home of twenty-one years and they farm the land.

After Ollie's retirement they have kept busy traveling and enjoy the grandchildren. Ollie is on the board of directors from Watseka Mutual Insurance Co. They are members of St. Edmonds Catholic Church.

Born Ollie and Vivan were six daughters:

Mary born 14 Jun 1943, married Ira Claire 1 July 1967. Born to them were Jeffrey William and Julie Wynn.

Diane Marie born 22 Oct. 1945, married John W. Gagnon 30 Dec 1967. Born to them were Cary John and Kristin Marie.

Susan Kay born 24 Jan 1943, married James W. Butler 8 Aug 1970. Born to them were Christopher Allen and Kelly Sue.

Linda Lou born 23 Aug 1952, Married Ty Long 6 May 1972. Born to them was Shawn David. They were divorced and she married Paul Carlson 27 Oct 1978. Paul adopted Shawn. Born to them was Jona Lynn.

All of the above live at Watseka.

Patricia Lynn, born 5 Aug. 1958. She is living in Missouri working on a livestock farm.

Lori Ellen, born 11 April 1961. She is in Cheyenne, Wyoming teaching school.

(from Iroquois County History 1985 page 407 by Carrol Mick)

Lupien Family

The first known generation of this family in Canada originated with Nicholas Barron, called Lupien. He was born in 1649 in the diocese of Troyes, Champagne, France, the son of Loupien Barron and Jeanne Tiersan. He married Marie Marthe Chauvin Nov. 16, 1676, at Montreal P.Q.

Theodore Lupien of the fourth generation, one of 11 children, was born on Aug. 16, 1819, in Louiseville P.Q., son of Francois Regis Lupien and Marie Louise Duguay. His first marriage was to Adelaide Chabrier Vadeboncoeur Nov 27, 1843, in the same village. His brother Antoine was born May 13, 1815, also in Louiseville, and was married there Jan. 29, 1849, to M. Louoise Maillet. About 1856 Theodore and family (wife Adelaide 39, Louise 12, Felecite 10, Edouard 8 and Aime 6) along with brother Antione and family (wife Louise 23, Alfred 7, Fleury 5, Prime 3 and Rodrigue 1) immigrated to a French settlement near St. Anne, Ill. They were accompanied by Theodore's brother's-in-law, Pierre and Francois Vadeboncoeurs near Beaverville.

Theodore's last child, Francis Xavier, was born in Middleport on June 21, 1857. He was the son destined to carry on the family name.

Louise, Theodore's eldest child, at the age of 17 married Pierre Gamache at L'Erable in May 1862. Son Edouard died in 1870 and daughter Felecite in 1916.

On Sept 21, 1868, after the death of his wife, Theodore married Theclea Martin Cote, a widow, also a former Canadian.

In 1871 son Aime acquired a farm of 40 acres about three miles northeast of Martinton and increased it to 80 acresin 1878. He retired about 1900 to live in Beaverville and subsequently lived in Martinton with his nephew, Franck Gamache. He died in 1935, unmarried. His farm is presently owned by his great niece, Marie Gamache Rhoades, and her daughter, Jean Rhoades Barnlund.

Later Theodore and the remainder of this family moved to a farm one mile south of Beaverville, which son Francis inherited when Theodore died on Sept. 1, 1885. Later Francis, married to Julia Beaver on Dec. 24, 1882, sold the farm and with his family moved to Momence, and in 1899 moved to Chicago Heights. Francis died there in 1927 having fathered five sons and one daughter: Francis Jr., 1884-1969, died in California; Alfred, 1886-1966, died in Chicago Heights; Albert, 1889-1974, died in Homewood; George 1891-1956, died in California; Hazel, 1897-1947, died in Steger; Clarence, 1904-1958, died in Chicago Heights. Grandchildren of Francis now living in the south suburbs are Genevieve Svancarek, Joseph and James (children of Alfred), Pearl Potter and Charlotte Buchholz (daughters of Albert), Emmaline Newquist (daughter of Hazel), Thomas and Barbara (children of Clarence).

Antoine Lupien's family in 1880 consisted of wife Louise 47, sons Frederick 30, Henry 28, Roderick 24, George 13 and daughters Delawney 22, Annie 17, Agnes 15. George Lupien, Watseka barber, died in 1943. Watseka's current telephone directory lists no Lupiens.

(from page 412 Iroquois County History 1985 transcribed by Carrol Mick)

Thomas Family

John Charles Thomas - Charlotte Hortense Cramotte

Charles Gustav Cramotte - Mary Frances Thomas

John Charles and Mary Frances Thomas, the ninth and tenth children of William and Mary Jane Harness Thomas, were born in Milford, Illinois, December 2, 1855, and August 12, 1858, respectively. Their father William, the first of 11 children of Asa and Eleanor Frances Thomas , was born in Meigs Township, Adams County, Ohio, October 11, 1811. Asa and Eleanor were born in Charles County, Maryland, in 1785 and 1793, respectively, and were married in Adams County September 13, 1810. They brought their family to the present location of Milford in the spring of 1831. Eleanor died August 25, 1837, and Asa died April 30, 1870. William died March 24, 1858. Mary Jane Harness was born in Twin Township, Ross County, Ohio, May 3, 1819. Her parents were John and Prudence Clifford Harness. They left Ohio about 1820 and brought Mary Jane and an older brother Michael to the vicinity of Vincennes, Indiana, by flatboat on the Ohio and Wabash Rivers. They later came to the vicinity of Milford. Mary Jane and William Thomas were married March 9, 1835. Michael Harness and Sarah Thomas, sister of William, were married July 22, 1836.

Charles Gustav and Charlotte Hortense Cramotte, the first and second of five children of Charles Frederick and Sophia Frene Cramotte, were born in Reconvilier, Switzerland, January 12, 1854 and July 28, 1856, respectively. Charles Frederick Cramotte, was born in France in 1828. Sophia Frene was born in Switzerland in 1818. They were married in Switzerland in 1852. Charles Frederick, who was a watchmaker, brought his family to the United States in 1868; first settling in Fairbury, Illinois. He soon moved his family to Cissna Park in Iroquois County. All of the Cramotte children married into Iroquois County families. Charlotte Hortense married John Charles Thomas September 10, 1876. Charles Gustav married Mary Frances Thomas September 27, 1876. Milo married Bridgett ?. Lizzett married Gilbert Remillar. Edward married Hester Van Dorn January 1, 1888.

After their marriage John Charles and Charlotte Hortense lived 11 years on a farm owned by her father, in the SW 1/4 Sec. 6, Fountain Creek Township, Iroquois County. There they had six children. Charles William born September 28, 1877; Mary Lenora August 13, 1879; Henry Garfield March 18, 1881; Frank Lincoln March 27, 1883; John Fremont November 26, 1884; and Della Mae December 9, 1886. In 1887 John Charles, an older brother Van Rennselear or Vanranciler, commonly called Banner, and Charles Gustav Cramotte moved their families to farms in Douglas Township, Clay County, Iowa. Mary Jane, widowed mother of John Charles, Banner,and Mary Frances (wife of Charles Gustav) went with them. Gilbert and Lizzett Cramotte Remillard moved to Sioux Rapids, Iowa, a few miles from the others, about the same time. John Charles and Charlotte Hortense, who had become known as Uncle Charlie and Aunt Hort, had four more children in Douglas Township. Raymond Edwin was born November 2, 1888; Ernest Alvin December 31, 1890; Blanch Irene January 6, 1893; and George Allen August 18, 1895.

Charles Gustav (Uncle Gus) and Mary Frances (Aunt Frank) with their six children moved on to Moody County, South Dakota, in 1892. They lived on two different farms in Moody County, and after retiring lived in the village of Egan. Mother May Jane died in Douglas Township March 17, 1896. Brother Banner died their April 21, 1898. In 1902 John Charles and family moved to join Uncle Gus and Aunt Frank in Moody County, South Dakota. After operating a farm in Sec. 1, N 1/2 SW 1/4 Sec 30, Spring Creek Township. He farmed there until October 1916 when he and Charlotte Hortense moved into Flandreau, the county seat. She died there March 2, 1933. He died December 8, 1938. Uncle Gus died February 21, 1937, and Aunt Frank followed him August 27, 1955, at age 97.

Frank Lincoln Thomas, fourth child of John Charles and Charlotte Hortense, married Vida Grace Davis June 5, 1907, in Flandreau. They had one son, Elton Kenneth, born October 23, 1908, on their farm in the SE 1/4 Sec. 8, Spring Creek Township. Vida Grace died suddenly 10 days later. Elton Kenneth was raised by his father, grandparents John Charles and Charlotte Hortense, and Aunts Della and Blanch. He married Jean Frandsen in Chadron, Nebraska, June 15, 1934. Their four children now are living in or near Salt Lake City, Utah. Elton Kenneth, a retired civil engineer, lives in Bountiful, Utah, with his present wife Beatrice Newberry Midgley.

Frank Lincoln married Grace LaMay July 9, 1918, in Brookings, South Dakota. They had four children born in Flandreau. Merrill Ernest was born December 31, 1919; Robert LaMay October 18, 1921; Naomi Grace October 19, 1923; and Lincoln Ellis February 12, 1926. Merrill married Helen Wadell; they had four children. Robert married Billie Turner, Georgeann Dickson (one child) and Betty Keyser. Naomi married Allen McDougall; they had three children. Ellis married Lavonne Agnitsch; they had five children. Most of Frank Lincoln's second family live in Moody, Brookings, and Kingsbury Counties, South Dakota. Frank Lincoln managed the water and sewer systems in Flandreau for many years. He died october 23, 1967, in Flandreau, and Grace died May 31, 1974.

Elton and Ellis, with Lavonne, visited Milford and vicinity for the first time in June 1978. They had great pleasure in meeting some of the descendants of Asa and Eleanor, and seeing the country where their father and grandfather were born, and where their grandparents were married and had most of their children.

(graciously contributed by Linda LaConte in Washington State from her father's research)

Henry Garfield Thomas Family

Henry Garfield Thomas third child of John Charles and Charlotte Hortense Cramotte, married Lulu Louise Hotel, November 28, 1905 in Flandreau, South Dakota.  John Charles Thomas, ninth child William Thomas and Mary Jane Harness, married Charlotte Hortense Cramotte, in Cissna Park, Iroquois County, Illinois September 10, 1876.

Henry Garfield Thomas and Lulu Louise Hotel had eleven children:  Fern Evelyn, Ethel Lulu, LeRoy Hotel, twins; Vera Violet and Bernard Vincent, George Ernest, Gladys Hortense, Alvin Allen, Lawrence Henry Warren, Kenneth Lavern and Constance Joy.  Fern Evelyn married Elmer Easton in Mitchell, South Dakota, June 5, 1929, now live in Wessington Springs, South Dakota;  they has three children.  Ethel Lulu married John Greenhow in Detroit, Michigan, November 20, 1946;  Deceased.  LeRoy Hotel married Elnora Petrosky in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, June 5, 1935, still living there; they had four children.  Vera Violet married Bernard Will in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, July 11, 1935, still living there; they had two children.  Bernard Vincent married Dorothy Miller in Redwood City, California in 1959, he lives in Clearlake Park, California; they had one child.  George Ernest married Lucy Ann Allen in Carson City, Nevada, February 11, 1945, they live in Mountain View, California; they had one child.  Gladys Hortense married Harry Anenson in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 5, 1942.  She lives in Mountain View, California.  Alvin Allen married Ann Clark in Maceo, Kentucky, July 8, 1944; they had two children.  They live in Sunnyvale, California.  Lawrence Henry Warren died at age 13 in Britton, South Dakota, buried in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, May 8, 1936.  Kenneth LaVerne married Loraine G. Francell in Palo Alto, California, July 22, 1947; they had one son, Kenneth LaVerne married Pearl Pappas in Palo Alto, California, August 15, 1954, still living in Palo Alto, California; they had four children.  Constance Joy died at age four months, July 16, 1928, buried at Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

Henry Garfield Thomas farmed from 1905 to 1933, in Flandreau and then in Wessington Springs, South Dakota.  From 1933 to the Fall of 1943, he was in several lines of business, on the trucking business, hauling gravel, until he and his wife moved to California.  From 1945 to 1956 he was in business for himself in moving and storage.  Henry Garfield Thomas returned to Wessington Springs, South Dakota in 1966.  Died August 18, 1968.  Lulu Louise Hotel Thomas died April 20, 1976 in Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

The Raymond Edwin Thomas Family

Raymond Edwin Thomas, seventh child of John Charles and Charlotte Hortense Cramotte, married Mabel Irene Beldon in Flandreau, South Dakota, May 4, 1910.  John Charles Thomas, ninth child of William Thomas and Mary Jane Harness, married Charlotte Hortense Cramotte, in Cissna Park, Iroquois County, Illinois, September 10, 1876.

Raymond Edwin Thomas and Mabel Irene Belden had three children:  Algie Raymond, Blanche Irene And Russell Elvert. Aldie Raymond married Alma Agnes Brandenberg in Alpena, South Dakota, March 31, 1934.  They had two sons:  Donald Algie and Alan Edward.  Algie Raymond Thomas lives in Oakhurst, California.  Blanche Irene Thomas married Clarence Joseph Pierson in Canton, South Dakota, November 20, 1937, now living in Hayward, California.  Russell Elvert Thomas married Florence Marie Devick in Colton, South Dakota, March 23, 1941.  They had six children:  Julie Ann, Lesa Kay, Steven John, Jeffrey Ray, Michael Stuart and Jane Lynn.  Now living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Raymond Edwin Thomas farmed from 1912 to 1917.  In Flandreau, South Dakota, he worked at Keck's Window, Sash and Door Factory, until he moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1923.  He was employed there in the same line of work until he retired in 1948, due to poor health.  Semi-retired in Gravette, Arkansas from 1948 to 1966.  Mabel Irene Belden Thomas died October 13, 1966, in Gravette, Arkansas. Raymond Edwin Thomas died April 18, 1967 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

(both from the Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980 page 76)

Thomas Ancestry

 George Salisbury Thomas' will proved 1791, was the father of Clement, his will filed 1803, both were with the "List of Signers in Charles County of oath of Allegiance to Maryland in 1778".
 Clement was the father of Asa born 1785.  After Clement's death, Asa, his mother and brother, William traveled to Kentucky where Asa learned the trade of brick and stone mason.  Coming to Adams County, Ohio, Asa married Eleanor Freeman in 1810, who cam from Maryland.  Eight children were born to them in Ohio.
 Asa and his brother, William, served during the War of 1812 and were at Hull's Surrender, at Detroit, Michigan.
 Asa and Eleanor sold their 150 acre farm in Adams County to Abner Smalley in 1829 for $325.00; leaving Ohio they raveled in the spring of 1830 to Indiana, arriving in time to plant corn.  After harvesting the crop, Asa and William, with brothers Lemuel and Willam Johns can to Milford and built two log cabins on Section 14 returning to their families for the rest of the winter.  They all made preparations to move to Iroquois County, which was accomplished with ox-teams in the spring of 1831.  Asa remained on this claim for nearly two years when the land came into market, he was "entered out" by an "enterprising settler", he then removed south of Sugar Creek and located on Mud Creek, where Asa built the first home in the south part of the township.
 John Pitzer owns the land now, and people before him remodeled the house enclosing one room of the 1833 cabin.  Asa also had the first bond ever given for a deed in the county, it was made by James Osborn for land in Section 22T25R.  12 dated March 12, 1834 and written by Hugh Newel, the first County Clerk.
 By this time Asa had twelve children.  Eleanor died in 1837 and is buried at Nilson's Cemetery, lot 5 NE 1/4 Sec. 3.  Her gravestone is in good shape after 143 years.
 There is an old disused burial ground situated near the forks of "Little Mud Creek".  This is the Thomas Cemetery.  The Rothgeb Graveyard is in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Sce. 34, about three miles south of the Thomas Cemetery.
 Asa's son, Clement born 1820 married Mary Lewis in 1842 (daughter of Benjamin and Mary Lewis).  They had three children Samuel, Lavina and Mary.  Samuel 1843-1914 married Nancy Caroline Spain in 1868.  Their children were:  William 1871-1949, Amanda, Arthur and Henry all born in Ash Grove Township.  Samuel served in the Civil War later with son Henry did a lot of hunting and trapping.  William became a brick an stone mason also did lathe and plastering work.  During 1920s William and William (Bill) Clark became partners (in above mentioned work) their helpers mostly were Henry Thomas, Ross Young, Jack Shoufler, Calvin andJeff Clark, brothers.  The present Saukford bridge foundation is one of many jobs William and Bill did.
 The trains held a great fascination for may people and as an amusing illustration, William, Frank and Joe were in a store on South East Avenue passing the time of day and as a passenger train pulled in to the station and stopped, the gentlemen stepped out onto the sidewalk and inspected the passengers as they stepped from the train.  Passengers that day happened to be Mr. and Mrs Peter Calvin (Lavina Pierce) Rader and three daughters.  With an eye for a pretty girl, the gentlemen wagered among themselves.  Mr. William Thomas said, "I'm going to marry the skinny one."  Mr. Frank Dickey said " I want the black haired one," and Mr. Joe Williamson said " I'll take the short one."  And after a time, they did!
 Frank married Ada, Joe married Josie and William  married Lillie May in 1890.
 To William and Lillie Thomas were born Cora, Eva and Lena all in Milford.  Lena was born in a house across the street north, and Cora in the house just north of that.  The latter two houses are still standing.
 Lena Marie born 1896 married Roy Russell Finley of Oklahoma, they had tow  daughters Pearl and Minnie.  Roy deserted his family and Lena then married Anton James (Fat) Bolek of ARgo, Illinois.  Fat served in the U.S. Navy and died in 1940.  Lena died in 1970.
 Minnie married Malcolm Maben Lowe and to this union were born Sandra Susan and Tracy James.
 Later Minnie married Joseph Wolff in Anderson, Indiana.  Joe was born in Warrier Run, Pennsylvania.  They had one son Thomas Joseph who is a specialist in respiratory care at the clinic in Hoopeston, Illinois.
 Joe was Chief of Police in Milford for fourteen years, and also a deputy of Iroquois County for fourteen years.  Joe served in the Army and on April 28, 1977 passed at the Hoopeston Hospital.
 Sandra married Jimmy Brummett in 1951 and they had five children.  Cathy Jo at Camp Cooke, California, who is married to Stephen Patrick Schroeder (Pat) and they have two precious sons, Stephen Michael born June 20, 1974 and Scott Joseph born March 25, 1978.  Pat served in the Navy.
 Kimmie J. (stillborn), Jamie Sue, Jimmy Wayne who has a precious daughter Nelena (Honey) born January 5, 1979, Joseph Patrick is a junior in Milford High School.
 Tracy James and an older brother, Jerry Mack were killed in car accidents.  Jerry was in the Korean War, being injured overseas, the was given two Purple Hearts and five other medals returning to the States to a camp in Louisiana, he was on a week end pass in Tyler, Texas when killed in 1953.
 Tracy was killed in 1955 near Milford.

By Minnie Wolff, January 1980 with help from "Beckwith History of Iroquois County"  and the The Thomas Family Bible of Rhuie Rader Sturm (1977 in Knox Co., Indiana possession of Pearl Allen Clark).

Thomas Ancesty

1. George Salsbury Thomas -- ??

Clement    Williamson    Mary    Sesarilla    Susanna

2. Clement Thomas and Rebecca --

William    Benjamin    Asa    Margery    Rebecca    Nathan    Macage? (Burson)

3. Asa Thomas- Pioneer to Milford & Eleanot Freeman (1793-1837) Asa born 30 FEb 1785 in Charles Co. Maryland Married 13 Sep 1810 Adams Co. Ohio Died 30 April 1870, Milford, Iroquois Co., Illinois

4-1. William Thomas Born 10 Oct 1811 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 9 March 1835 Milford, Iroquois Co., Illinois Died March 1858 Milford, Iroquois Co., Illinois

4-2. Allie Thomas Born 23 Feb 1813 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 19 June 1831 to Elijah Sapp Died 1 Mar 1862 Belmont Twp., Iroquois Co., Illinois

4-3. Nancy Thomas Born 9 Jan 1815 Meigs Twnp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 3 June 1834 To Foster Moore Died 11 Feb 1859 Iroquois Co., Illinois ( bur. Belmont Cemetery)

4-4. Sarah Thomas Born 23 Jan 1817 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 22 July 1836 to Michael Harness Died 4 Dev 1854 (Bur. Nilson Cem. near Milford)

4-5. Clement Thomas Born 22 June 1820 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 1- 22 April 1842 to Mary Lewis 2- Martha Lewis Died 23 Marh 1894 (Bur. Sugarcreek Chapel Cem. nr Milford)

4-6. Aaron Thomas Born 21 May 1822 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Died 23 Mar 1900 (Bur. Maple Grove Cem. Milford)

4-7. Asa Thomas Born 14 Aug 1824 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 14 July 1867 To Mary Jane Bragg Died 21 Feb 1902 (Bur. Maple Grove Cem. Milford)

4-8. Samuel Thomas Born 30 Oct 1826 Meigs Twp., Adams Co., Ohio Married 1- 23 Dec 1850 Catherine Pancake 2- Mariah L. Lewis 3- 18 Mar 1886 Priscilla Haskins Died 14 Nov 1901 ( Bur. Milford)

4-9. Benjamin F. Thomas Born 20 May 1830 Wehan Plains (Lafayette Plains Tippecanoe Co., Indiana) Married 11 March 1858 to Amanda A. Hoover Died 22 Dec 1921 (Bur. Maple Grove Cem. Milford)

4-10. Mary Jane Thomas Born 3/20 Dec 1832 Milford, Illinois Died 1844 - age 12 years

4-11 Alonzo Thomas Born 25 Aug 1834 Died 25 Aug 1835.

(page 74 Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980 in possession of Carrol Mick)

Samuel J. Shannon

The following is from Portrait and Biographical Record of Iroquois County, Illinois, 1893. Samuel J. Shannon is my GG grandfather.

Shannon, who is a representative farmer of Milford Township, was born in Ross County, Ohio, on the 12th of June, 1818, and is one of thirteen children. His parents, Thomas and Catherine (Witter) Shannon, were both natives of Pennsylvania, and in the Keystone State were reared and married. Shortly after their marriage, they left the East and emigrated to Ohio, where Mr. Shannon embarked in agricultural pursuits. Their children were all born in the Buckeye State, and in order of birth were as follows: John, Joseph, Catherine, Sarah, Susan, Mary, Hester Ann, Sophira, Elizabeth, Nancy, Reuben, Wesley and Samuel. (Note: This birth order is incorrect). On the 4th of November, 1841, the parents removed to Indiana, where they resided for a number of years. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Both died in May 1848.

We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was reared in the State of his nativity, and on the 16th of November, 1837, in Ohio, was married to Miss Mary N.
Gallop, of Clermont County. After a short wedded life of a year, the lady was called to her final home on the 20th of November 1838, at the age of twenty years, six months and twenty days. On the 4th of November, 1841, Mr. Shannon was joined in wedlock with Miss Sarah Ann Washburn, daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth (Martin) Washburn, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Kentucky.

Unto our subject and his wife have been born thirteen children, ten of whom are yet living: Reuben P. was born August 22, 1842; Mary Ann, born March 20, 1844, became the wife of Absolem Scott, July 28, 1865, and unto them were born two children, William and Samuel, but the latter died when about two years of age. Mr. Scott died in 1886 and his widow is now the wife of Elder L.M.
Shinkle, a Christian preacher. William J., born March 19, 1846, enlisted in Company G, Forty-eighth Ohio Infantry, during the late war, and served for four years and nine months. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Pittsburgh Landing, the Red River expedition, and many other engagements, but escaped without a wound. He was married February 12, 1873 to Ruth Joseph, by whom he has the following children, all living: Sarah, Mary, Inez, Winfield Scott, Edward, Samuel Bruff and Benjamin. Margaret E., born August 4, 1849, became the wife of Joseph Phillips, February 22, 1870, and they have two children, Hattie and George. Nancy J., born January 9, 1852, is the wife of Abraham L. Crampton, and by their union, which was celebrated January 11, 1871, they have four children: Nettie, Charles, Anna and Frank. Silas P. was born November 29, 1854; Thomas S., January 7, 1857; John W., January 15, 1859; Abraham Lincoln, July 24, 1861; Leah L., who was born December 16, 1863, is the wife of Elmer E. Shaw, and by their marriage, which occurred September 1, 1883, they have one daughter, Bertha. Lydia C., July 18, 1871; and Edward Washburn, December 9, 1873.

In May, 1887, Mr.
Shannon, whose name heads this sketch, left his native State for the first time for a change of residence, and came to Iroquois County, Illinois. He located on a farm in Stockland Township, but soon afterward removed to Prairie Green Township. He is now a resident of Milford Township, living on what is known as the C.C. Vennum Farm, pleasantly located about two and one-half miles north of Milford. He and his wife are both members of the Christian Church, and in politics, he is a Republican.

(graciously submitted by Beverly A. Peterson apeterson5461@charter.net)

James Mayfield

James Mayfield, farmer, Milford, was Born October 10, 1828, near Nashville, Tennessee.  His parents, James and Maria, lived and died in Tennessee.  Mr. Mayfield's first experience in life was as a cabinboy, and afterward first cook on steamboats running on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.  Her continued his river life for three years, when he came to Cincinnati, where he remained about six months.  He then went to Union county, Indiana, to work on a farm.  He remained in this county many years, working by the month as a farm hand.  He was married, September 1, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Connell, who was born March 29, 1838.  In October, 1863, he came to Milford and bought the east half of lot 5, in the northeast quarter of section 2.  He soon after sold out, and bought a frame in Belmont.  He again sold out and purchased lot 7, northeast quarter section 4, in Milford township.  Again he sold, and removed to Milford village, where he resided several years, and served five years as police and township constable.  March 20, 1879, he exchanged his village property for the farm on which he now resides.  His children are William T., Sidney A., John A., George T. Daniel J., Sarah E. and James L.  Mr Mayfield is a very energetic man, a Master Mason, and in politics a republican.
(from History of Iroquois County-Milford Township pages166 - 167, I don't know the date as I was 12 years old when I copied the page and just found it in my memories box - Carrol Mick)

Jasper Prutsman

Jasper Prutsman, brickmaker, Milford, son of David and Maxy M. Prutsman, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, February 12, 1836. His father was from Virginia, his mother from Kentucky. His father served through the war of 1812, and was engaged in building blockhouses at Detroit. He died in 1837; was by trade a wagon-maker. In 1852 Jasper, with his mother and sister, came to Prairie Green township, where he entered 80 acres of land. Here he engaged in farming; besides, in company with his brother, he purchased a breaking team, and for three years broke land for others. September 7, 1856, Mr. Prutsman was married to Lucinda Crow, daughter of David and Mary Crow, who was born August 1, 1833. In 1864 he removed to Milford township and became a timber-dealer. For the past five years he has been engaged in making brick, three quarters of a mile west of Milford. They have eight children: Alfred, born February 12, 1858;' Mary M., born April 29, 1860; Smilinda E., born February 9, 1862; Orea, born MArch 8, 1864; Martha E., born April 26, 1865; Frank, born July 6, 1867; Arata, born April 11, 1870, and an infant. Smilinda died October 3, 1875. In politics Mr. Prutsmand is a greenbacker. Her is one of the substantial men of this township. The business is prosperous.

(page 167 from History of Iroquois County-Milford township)

George Hix

George Hix, drain-tile manufacturer, Milford, was born in Kentucky, November 25, 1825. His parents were William and Martha Hix. His grandfather's family, with one exception, were killed by Indians in the early days of Kentucky's history. Mr. Hix went to Pike County, Indiana, in 1843, where he learned the potter's trade. Becoming of age he bought and run a saw-mill until his removal to Iroquois County in 1863. Here he built a saw-mill, which he run for eight years. He then engaged in farming. The first tile-works was erected on Mr. Hix's land. These works are now actively operated by Mr. Hix's sons. November 1, 1849, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Cix. Mr. Hix has led an active life, and has always taken a lively interest in local affairs, filling various township office usefully. For thirty-five years he has been identified with the temperance cause. In politics he was formerly a democrat, but during later years his convictions have caused him to act with the greenback party. Mr. Hix is still in vigorous health. His business enterprises have been generally successful.

(page 166-67 from History of Iroquois County-Milford township)


Strean, Axtell, Vennum, Kirkpatrick Ancestry


Alexander Kirkpatrick and Elizabeth

These emigrant parents came to America with their family in the spring of 1736. He was born at Watties Neach, County Dumfries, Scotland. They settled in Somerset County, New Jersey. He died there in 1758. Children: Andrew, David, Alexander, Jennet and Mary.


Andrew Kirkpatrick & Margaret Gaston

Andrew was born in Scotland 1721-22. He served as Minute Man during the Revolutionary War. Margaret was born in Somerset Co., N.J. about 1728, the daughter of Joseph Gaston who emigrated in 1720 with his wife Margaret. Children: Jennet, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary, Sarah, Anne, Hannah and Alexander.


Elizabeth Kirkpatrick & Col. Thomas Vennum

Elizabeth was born 04 Mar. 1772 in Somerset Co., N.J. and died in Milford, Ill., Oct. 16, 1865. Thomas was born 14 Sept 1775. He served in the war of 1812. They lived near Washington, in Washington Co., PA. Here their first son, Thomas died at age 22 while driving cattle in the mountains. In 1934 Col. Thomas Vennum led a party of 32 people to Milford. Among them were his wife, Elizabeth; sons; George and wife Elizabeth Beck; Urias and wife Anna Cook; Hiram unmarried; daughters: Mary (called Polly) and husband John Axtell; Elizabeth (called Betsey) and husband Charles Axtell; and Jane with husband John Strean and his brother David Strean. Another son, Christopher C. Vennum and family came later. Also with them were at least ten children of aforementioned families. What a caravan this must have been when we envision that they also drove some very fine Durham cattle. All were Farmers and entered land soon after their arrival for that purpose. Charles Axtell bought land that Milford was later built upon. The post office was in his home after he bought the Thompson and Stanley land in 1835. Charles was born July 10, 1796 and died 12 April 1871. His wife Betsey (Vennum) was born 01 Mar. 1800 and died 12 Dec. 1866, buried in Old Milford Cemetery. Col. Thomas Vennum, wife and most of heir family are buried in the Vennum Cemetery.


Mary (Polly) Vennum & John Axtell

Polly was born 24 Feb. 1799 in PA. and died 31 May 852 at Milford. John was born 15 Nov. 1795 in PA and died at Milford 29 Oct. 1860. Children: Elizabeth V.; James H.; Sarah Jane; Hiram (died in infancy); Miram Kirk; Caroline; Mary; and Thomas P. 2nd marriage of John; Louisa Rena, a widow with 3 children. They had a son William Axtell.


Elizabeth Axtell and David Strean

Elizabeth Axtell was born in Washington Co., PA 22 Jan. 1821 and died near Milford 23 July 1893. They were married 6 June 1840. David was born 6 July 1806 in PA. They farmed near Milford until the late 1840s, then moved to Rossville. In 1869 they moved to Missouri and returned in 1875 to live in Stockland twp. until death 25 Aug. 1880. Children: Thomas V., John Gilmore; Mary Margaret; James McCluskie; Nancy Jane; Caroline; David Kirkpatrick; Enoch Kingsbury; Casper Campbell; Gilbert Allison; Grace May; and unnamed infant.


Enoch Strean & Nelda Bunkard

Enoch was born 24 Fe. 1856 near Rossville, ILL and died near Daytonville, Ill., 21 Nov 1899. They married 22 Feb 1893. Nelda was born 11 June 1874 in Strasbourg, Germany and dies 29 June 1955 at St. Anne, ILL. Enoch farmed near Claytonville for Sam A. Wise. About 50 years later their granddaughter married his son. Children: Laura Belle, Annice Marguerite; Illie Venus; and Floyd. 2nd marriage of Nelda Strean: John McGowan-- sons: J. Newton; Charles.


Laura Strean & Charles Brenn

Laura was born near Claytonville, Ill., 9 June 1894. She married Charles 25 April 1912 and died 17 Oct 1938. He was born 29 Jan. 1881 at Magnolia, IL. the son of Jacob Brenn and Lavina (Griffith). He died July 1965. They lived near Woodland. Child; Nelda Louise.


Nelda Brenn & Sam S. Wise

Nelda was born 4 June 1921 near Woodland and married to Sam Wise 25 April 1943. He was born 3 Sep., 1916 at Watseka, the son of Sam A. Wise and Maud (Sperry). They resided near Claytonville until 1953, moving to Donovan at that time. Child: Sandra Louise.


Sandra Louise Wise

Sandra was born 18 Feb 1951. She attended schools at Donovan and in 1974 graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in fine arts. She married John DeSalvo in 1974. Divorced in 1977. She lives in Austin, Texas.

William and Lilly (Rader) Thomas

George Salibury Thomas (father of Clement) was the last of the signers of Charles County Oath of Allegiance to Maryland in 1778. From Maryland he moved to Kentucky, to Ohio, from Indiana to Illinois in 1829. In 1831 he moved south of Sugar Creek on Little Mud Creek. He married Eleanor Freeman. The first house he built in 1832 was in the south past of the township. He was buried in Nielson Cemetery 148 years ago.

Clement Thomas married Mary Lewis, and they had three children. Their son Samuel married Carolyn Spain, and their son, William Thomas (1871-1949) was a stone and brick mason. He also did plaster work, and the old Saukford bridge foundation is one of his many jobs.

Trains held a fascination for many, and one story is of three ladies arriving in Milford. Three gentlemen inspected them as they stepped from the train. They wagered that Mr. William Thomas would marry the skinny one, another the one with the black hair, and the third would take the short one. After some time they did!

William married Lilly May Rader in 1890, and they had three children: Eva, Lena and Cora. Cora married Ross Young. Lena married Roy Finley of Oklahoma, and they ahd two daughters, Pearl and Minnie. Roy deserted his family; Lena later married A. James Bolek (d. 1940). She died in 1970.

Minnie married Malcolm Lowe and had two children, Sandra and Tracey. Later Minnie married Joseph (Joe) Wolff in Anderson, Indiana. Joe was born in Warriors Run, Pennsylvania. They had a son Thomas. Thomas was a specialist in respiratory care at Hoopeston Clinic, but now is a carpet salesman. Joe was police chief for fourteen years in Milford, and a deputy for Iroquois County for fourteen years. He served in the army, and on April 29, 1977, he passed away.

Sandra, daughter of Mnnie, married James Brummett in 1951. They had five children: Cathy, Kimmie, Jamie, Jimmy Wayne and Joseph. Cathy married Patrick Schroeder and they have two children, Michael and Scott. Kimmie was stillborn. Jamie married Norman Smith and lives in Florida, Jimmy Wayne has one daughter, Nelena. Joseph is a student at Danville Jr. College.

Tracey, son of Minnie, was killed in a car accident near Milford in 1955. Jerry Mack, an older brother of Tracey was killed in a car accident in Tyler, Texas in 1953.

Minnie’s sister Pearl married John Shoufler. She died in 1978 and Jack died the same year.

At the present time Minnie Wolff is a stroke patient and lives in Milford. She helped with the Sesquicentennial Celebration Book of Milford in 1980. She and relatives complied the Thomas History. The Thomas family bible is in the possession of Pearl Allen Clark, Knox, Indiana. Minnie also helped in locating several old cemeteries in Iroquois County. Her heritage is of a pioneer family in Milford. She is a cousin of Lena Marquis of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The Eugene L'Hote Family

Eugene L'Hote was born May 7, 1862 in Marshall, Illinois, a son of Edward and Charlotte Whaley L'Hote. His father Edward L'Hote was born on the island of Guadalulupe, West Indies. A journalist, Edward L'Hote worked for the "New Orleans Picayune" when it was printed on a hand press and worked by hand balls. Moving to Marshall, Illinois he published a paper called the "Hornet" and was Postmanster in Marshall under President Lincoln.

In 1879 Edward L'Hote moved to Milford, Illinois with his son Eugene L'Hote, where Edward L'Hote purchased the Milford Herald. He published the Herald until 1888 when he was succeeded by his son Eugene L'Hote who had worked with him from age 16.

On September 24, 1884 Eugene L'Hote married Elda Fairman daughter of John E. and Mary (Park) Fariman of Milford, Illinois. Her father built the second elevator in Milford and was a leading grain merchant. He also purchased then acres of land wers of Milford for the cemetery, now known as Maple Grove Cemetery.

On January 25, 1905 the Milford Herald building was destroyed by fire. This occurred on a Wednesday and the Herald was printed on Friday of that week, as usual. A new building was erected on South West Ave. and called the Herald Building. This building housed both the newspaper and the post office. The newspaper continued to be published there until 1942 when it was moved tothe present location.

During his editorship the Milford, Herald, through its columns, fought for and achieved many of the major improvements of the village. It promoted the town park and under Mr. L'Hote's guidance the Milford Township High School District was formed and he secured through, "Uncle Joe Cannon" a Representative in Congress, The G.A.R. Cannon which stands as a Soldiers' monument in Maple Grove cemetery today.

Mr. L'Hote was appointed Postmaster in 1900 and held commissions under Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Taft. Under his terms the post office became an international post office. Prior to this, the people of Milford had to go to Watskea to send packages or letter to a foreign country. He established six rural routes, the most of any town in Iroquois County at the time.

Mr. L'Hote was President of the Illinois Press Association in 1911 and secretary of the organization for several years prior to 1911. Many years later he was made a honorary member of the association and was honored at the annual meeting each year.

Mr. L'Hote was the originator and became secretary of the Milford Improvement Association in the early 1900s. He was the promoter in securing the rubber factory in Milford many years ago. He secured a gift of seven thousand dollars from Andrew Carnegie for a library to be constructed in Milford. He kept the movement a secret until it was final and then printed the announcement in his paper. He was also the secretary, for many years of the Great Milford Horse Fair.

Mr. L'Hote's political views were strong in support of the Republican party and his views were published in all his columns in the Milford Herald and after he retired he continued a column each week called "Along the Curb", as always speaking out about politics, government and a variety of topics each week. Some were accepted by the public and some were not. But it really didn't matter as he spoke about what he believed, but also accepted the letters and comments of anyone of another opinion and printed them, as he believed in his country's foundation of equal rights for all men and freedom of the press.

Mr. and Mrs. L'Hote were the parents of three children, Lulu, Elda and Ray.

Ray L'Hote graduated from Northwestern University and married Vinnie Grosvenor of White Plaines, N.J. They had one daughter Betty (Mrs. George Franks). She has three sons George, Ray and Peter and now live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Elda L'Hote graduated from Northwestern University and married Mark Disosway of Sheldon, Illinois. They resided in Des Moines, Iowa and Goshen, Indiana and were the parents of three children. Mark who lives in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. Mark and his wife Lorayn are the parents of three children. The are Diane, now of San Francisco, Calif., Mark now of Anderson, Indiana and Glenn now of Indianapolis, Indiana. Polly (Mrs. H.S. Gruber) of Santa Monica, Calif., and has one sone Stanley also of Santa Monica, Calif., Mary Lou (Mrs. Barron Bloom) now of Los Angeles, Calif., who has two children, Christine and Brian also of Los Angeles, Calif.

Lulu L'Hote attended Northwestern University and came back to Woodland, Illinois to teach school for one year and then went to work for her father in the post office. She later married John Homer Lockhart of Wellington, Illinois. They remained in the Milford area and had one daughter Martha. She married George Davis of Milford, Illinois and they have two children. John Earl Davis who married Judith Wallace of Watseka, Illinois. They have a daughter Lisa Anne Davis and now reside in Libertyville, Illinois. Cathy Jo who married Wiliam James of Watseka, Illinois. They have a son Jeffrey Leonard James and they live in Milford, Illinois.

Mr. L'Hote died May 30, 1952 at the age of 90.

Eugene L'Hote, my grandfather was a very special man to me and had a great influence over my early life. My parents and I went to live with him when I was two years old, after the death of my grandmother. Fortunately, he lived long enough to be remembered and to also influence the lives of both our children.

Although not a member of any religious organization he attended and contributed to the support of all churches in Milford. Heis views on religion were very simple. He spoke many times of honesty and of what he called "brotherly kindness" seven days a week, not just on Sunday. he spoke of being happy with your possessions which did not mean the things bought with money. He often told me he was "the richest man in Iroquois County" because of his family who loved and respected him, his good health and the many people from all over that he could call "Friend". He had a quote which was his own and was printed, at one time in the "St. Louis Post Dispatch" and in another paper or magazine which I cannot recall. So I will close with that quote "HONESTY IS NOT A POLICY IT IS A STATE OF MIND" -- Eugene L'Hote.

(This is from the Milford and vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980; page 93)

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