La Salle County IL News


 A Terrible Murder

Taken From the Tonica News
October 29, 1874

Last week the news of a terrible murder was received, which was committed near Fairbury Neb.  The Victim was Albert O. Whittaker, a young man well known and highly respected in this vicinity and Lostant.  The facts, so far ascertained, are these:

A. Mr. Powell, on Sunday, Oct. 11, was setting beaver traps on the bank of the Blue River, when he was attracted by a canvas wagon sheet (which was rapped around the body) and was prevented from floating down the stream by the projecting branch of a tree.  The bank at this place was some three feet high.  He gave the alarm, and several residents in the vicinity assembled, when they sent to Fairbury for the sheriff. The sheriff, with quite a number of others, at once repaired to the spot and the body was taken from the water, and an inquest held.

The examination showed that he had been killed by a blow on the head, above the right ear, by a hammer, or some similar instrument; the skull being broken.  The body had evidently laid in the water for some days and the features were considerably distorted. He wore a plain gold ring and in his pocket was found a handkerchief, on which was his name, A. O. Whittaker, and a pocketbook, which contained no money.

Between where he lay and the road, was a log, on which traces of blood were found; and in the bushes, an army blanket was found, which was clotted with blood in several places. No evidence of a camp fire being found in the vicinity, the general opinion was that the murderer had killed his victim elsewhere, and brought him in a wagon to this secluded spot to conceal the evidence of his crime.

At the inquest, the sheriff found out that some parties from near Davenport, in Thaye county, had been making inquires for a missing man.  He at once started and found out these parties and obtained sufficient evidence to warrant the arrest of a young man named William Prenit for the murder.  At the preliminary trial these facts were brought out: Prenit and Whittaker left home on Monday, Sept. 28th, for Beatrice, and on the Friday following, Prenit returned alone, and when questioned as to Whittaker's whereabouts, he said that they met three men who claimed to be on their way to Red Cloud and that Whittaker had gone on with them while he had stopped at his step-father's.

Prenit, the morning they started, had borrowed $5, and after paying expenses at Beatrice had little or no money left. After he was arrested, $55 was found in his pocket.  He also had a watch which he admitted was Whittaker's.  The wagon Prenit had with him on his trip, was found with blood on the bottom of the box, and had run through on to the reach and hounds.  It was also evident that unsuccessful efforts had been made to remove all trace of blood, by scouring.  

Mr. Skeet, Albert's step-father, started on last Tuesday with the body of Albert, and will probably arrive at Lostant today - Oct. 22.

1876 News

Taken From the Tonica News, Tonica, IL
January 8, 1876
Lostant Items

The firm of Belford, Solon & Berry are busy raising up their warehouse, intending to put in dumps for the purpose of handling grain more speedily, also an addition of 20 feet on the north side.

The roads are very bad and no grain coming in. Hog trade moderately active.

Mr. A. P. Berry is fixing up his house intending to remove back to Lostant again.


Taken From the Tonica News, Tonica, IL
March 9, 1876

Watkins & Firchild have bought out the general store of Dr. Reynolds & Son and intend to be prepared for a big business. Mr. Fairchild is now in Chicago buying a spring stock of goods.

John Thornton and Thos. Drew, dealers in agricultural implements, are preparing for extensive sales this season. They know what the farmers want and keep it on hand in its season.

Mrs. Emeline Dixon, wife of Geo. Dixon, died on Tuesday, Feb. 26, aged about 51 years. Deceased was a consistent member of the Methodist church, highly respected by all who knew her. She leaves a loving husband and a large family of children to mourn her loss.

I learn that Mr. D. S. McGrew, of your place (Tonica) is about coming here to start a meat market. As we know him to be a first class butcher in every respect, many of our citizens wils be glad to welcome him to our midst. A well regulated meat market, kept in apple pie order, is something we could appreciate, and would doubtless by a paying enterprise. By all means let him come.

April 1878 Local News

Taken from the Tonica News, April 13, 1878

Henry Robinson is happy - a girl.

T. J. Butcher, water boss on the Illinois Central Railroad, has had his wages reduced $5 per month.

Public school commenced again last Monday after one week's vacation.

Massey street is undergoing improvement.  The village authorities are doing quite a lot of work on it.

W. W. Reynolds has a carpet exhibitor.  He reports a brisk trade for the past week.

Peter Morteson is having his cellar drained, Constable Beach doing the job.

Philo Barber was elected school director in district No. 8, last Saturday, Messrs. G. R. Belford, H. H. Hiltrabrand and Philo Barber now consitute the board.

The board of school trustees for the town of Hope consists of Messrs. W. H. Grave, Arthur Reynolds and Campbell Shepherd.  H. U. Robinson, treasurer.

Belford's elevator is receiving a fresh coat of paint - a suitable garment highly becoming the season of beauty and flowers.

The Lostant authorities have commenced working the streets.  Fed Wortman is bossing the job and seeing that it is well done.

Rates are reduced at the Fairchild House to correspond with the hard times.  People coming to town to trade need no longer go home hungry.

Lots of corn in the big crib waiting for the European war to raise the price so as to make it an object for the owners to ship.

Miss Julia Schoenneshoefer was the recipient of a splendid surprise party last Saturday evening.  Vocal and instrumental music, with plenty of refreshements, made the swift-footed hours pass very pleasantly for all.

Belford, Solon and Berry have finished invoicing.  They will soon stock up their large store room with something worth mentioning.  Our readers will have notice thereof.

Wm. Hawback had a straw stack burned at his residence a mile and a half east of Lostant.  It is supposed to have been set on fire.  We understand that he offers $100 for the arrest and convictioin of the incendiary.

Rev. Volentine Forkel, pastor of the German Methodist church east of town, is attending conference this week.

It is rumored that the grangers are about to start a store five miles west of Lostant.  We are not informed as to facts.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Raley, from Minonk, are visiting their Lostant friends this week.

John Storer, the tailor, is packing up his goods and furniture preparatory to removing to Wenona, his former place of residence.  He thinks he can do better there.

Wm. Giles has gone to work on a farm two miles south.  He comes in once in a while to give us a toot with the band.

S. L. Eberly, dealer in musical merchandise, sewing machines, & C., is fitting up his store in fine fashion.  Next week he will commence business with a partner, Mr. H. Harwood, from Mendota, when the new firm will put in stock of goods that will open the eyes of people in this section.

July 1878 Local News

Taken From the Tonica News, July 13, 1878 - Lostant Locals

The merchants report a continued brisk trade this week.  This is one evidence of the general revival of business which is putting new life into every department of industry throughout the country. Things are once more on the ascending scale, thanks to a kind Providence and the energy of a go-ahead people.

Watkins & Fairchild have sold five gross of fruit jars this season. Some body will have canned fruit.

Lee Reynolds was the recipient of an elegant bouquet form the hands of Mrs. Jeff Leininger last Sunday.

The raspberry festival at Mrs. Rickey's last Wednesday evening was a fine success.  Ice cream, lemonade, cake and other delicacies were furnished in abundance.  In the lovely moonlight the merry party enjoyed themselves immensely.  The crowd was not very large but generous. Proceeds $20. Avails to be applied in fitting up the M. E. church.

While trotting along the street last Tuesday, Otis Hannum had a horse drop down and die on short notice from becoming overheated.  Sam Leap and Wm. C. Stevens each lost a horse this week from the same cause.

Fred Wortman is erecting a building for a meat market on his residence lot.  He expects to open by the middle of August, with all the conveniences for keeping a first class market.  He is able to do it.

C. P. Adams has been suffering considerable pain for a few days past, but is believes to be doing as well as the serious nature of his injuries will permit.

The mustard along the roadside is in bloom, making large yellow patches on the village landscape.

Ed Dougan and Ed Fairchild went to Lowell on Wednesday and caught a good mess of fish. Piscatorial pastime forever.

The ribbon picnic at Sandy on the Fourth was a fine affair, with one serious drawback, however. By the failure of certain parties to fulfill their agreement to furnish refreshment stands, the crowd was left without lemonade or even good well water to drink.  The Lostant band was there all the same, and did much to infuse life into the celebraters of Independence Day.

September 1878 Local News

Taken From the Tonica News
September 21, 1878

Jim Conlin has opened an oyser house.

Preaching at the Baptist church tomorrow evening.

Uncle Jimmy Holmes arrived home on Wednesday from a two weeks pergrinating in Iowa.

Mrs. Avery is said to be getting along nicely after her several weeks of severe illness.

The Lostant Sunday Schools are in a very flourishing condition - doing remarkably good work for the season of the year.

For the cleanest shave and the neatest hair-cut in the business, call on Joe Powell, in Henry Fahrenheim's building.

James Clifford, who has been quite low for some time with Malarial fever is convalescent. Dr. Brown attended him.

Ed Fairohild says they had a barbecue at his house the other evening, at which the company made way with a watermelon that weighed 43 1/2 pounds.

T. J. Butcher has left us a sample of sorghum molasses made at his manufactory near Lostant. The syrup is excellent in quality, and will undoubtedly find a ready market.

The Tonica News
January 4, 1879

Lostant Locals

The holidays brought rather more than the usual amount of "doings" in this patch of peopled prairie. No wonder, for the sleighing was the finest ever vouchsafed to settlers in the central section of this Sucker State, and the boys and girls, and old folks too, improved it to the best advantage possible.

Joseph Ball is lying very low with consumption.

The Lostant public school opened last Monday after one weeks vacation. Prof. Pickling looked invigorated by his rest. Miss Cousol, one of his assistant teachers, embraced the opportunity ot get another principal - took him for better or worse and for the balance of life, sure.

Ed Dougan is still a great sufferer from asthma.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) , March 6, 1889

The best portion of the town of Lostant, LaSalle County was destroyed by fire a few days ago, involving a total loss to buildings and stocks of $50,000. The fire was caused by a defective flue.

Henry Republican, Henry, IL
February 18 1915

Lostant Locals

Miss Margaret Shea is spending her vacation in Chicago.

John Ellis and daughter came down from Chicago Friday and were guests, in the home of Ms. Lou Quaintance and Mrs. Golden until Monday.

Miss Marle Parrell of La alle is visiting relatives here.

Oscar Frazier and family moved into Mrs. Atwood's house Wednesday.

The friends of Henry Kelley are glad to see him on the streets once more.

Mrs. S. Robinson is spending a couple of weeks with her children in Chicago. Her daughters, Misses Jessie and Nora came from Wisconsin to see her and other relatives there and to purchase millinery for their store.

H. C. Vollmer and wife returned Friday from Chicago, where they were called by the death and burial of Mrs. Vollmer's aunt. Mrs. Frank Shaffer assisted in the care of their home during their absence.

Mrs. Harth and her cousin, Miss Theis, spent Friday with the Noel family in Oglesby. Friends of Wendell Noel will be glad to learn that he is doing a good business there, carrying on a flour and feed store, and Conrad is in the new cement works.

Upon the eve of Dr. and Mrs. F. E. Hagy's 15th wedding anniversary, Feb. 14, 20 of their friends called upon them in the way of a surprise, the company being secreted in the front parlor, on their return home from church, and burst into song, "Here Comes the Bride,: as the Dr. and Mrs. Hagy entered the house. The true spirit of Saint valentine was carried out during the evening. Miss Minnie Neifing carried off first prize in the game of hearts and she was given a Valentine booklet, and Wm. McKenzie the booby prize, a stick of candy. A delicious lunch of sandwiches, frappe jell, M.S. salad, ice cream, watermelon cake, and coffee, was served. The table was decorated with red hearts,. Mrs. Ada Wilson, on behalf of the company, presented the doctor and his wife with a beautiful cut glass fern dish. Dr. and Ms. Hagy replied in their happiest vein. The company departed at a late hour, wishing the doctor and his wife, health, wealth and happiness and just enough clouds during their lifetime to make one grand glorious sunset.

Dr. Schoenneshoefer is preparing to put a new brick foundation under his dwelling house.

Walter Grant was called to Indiana last week because of the death of a brother-in-law.

Mr. And Mrs. Carr of Mendota spent Sunday and Monday with her parents, Mr. And mrs. Mack Evans.

U. H. Griffin went to Peoria on Thursday of last week as a delegate to the State Live Stock Insurance convention.

Mrs. Ella Wolf and Mrs. Tena McKenzie are assisting I the care of their mother, Mrs. B. McKenzie, who has been very ill the past week.

Mrs. F. E. Hagy entertained Mrs. O. S. Taylor of Granville, Wednesday and on Thursday Miss Reinhardt, the trained nurse, who waited on her brother through a serious spell of sickness.

Charles Rubie will move into the house recently vacated by Mrs. Carrie Lee and sons. Miles Rubie has purchased the Mrs. Ethel Adams house and expects to occupy it as soon as he can remodel it.

Mrs. Ada Wilson returned home last Saturday from her visit in the west. She had a very enjoyable time in Utah with Milton Wilson and family and an equally pleasant vist in the home of Mr. And Mrs. Gorrie Cannon at Helena, Mont., all of whom are well and prosperous.

Wm. Groat has disposed of his hotel to Matthew V. Vaughn of Waterloo, Ia. Mr. Groat and family expect to leave for Texas soon. We are sorry indeed to lose them as residents of our village. They have built up a fine reputation here as a splendid hotel keepers. The traveling public appreciate the accommodations and excellent service they have found there.

March 25, 1915 Lostant Local News

Henry Republican, Henry IL, March 25, 1915

Bertha Klag has been very ill, but is now improving.
Dr. Schoenneshoerfer has a gang of men at work improving his house.
John Kelly is in Peoria and Mrs. Kelly and daughter are visiting in Rutland.
Mrs. Emma Brenn has recently been on the sick list, and her daughter was here to see her.
Lawrence Merrifield of Marseilles, was an over Sunday guest of her sister, Miss Eva Merrifiel (sp?).
Rev. Romson went to Wenona Thursday evening to give an address before the men's class.
Rev. J. T. Bliss of West Jersey, was a guest of Dr. and Mrs. Hagy from Tuesday till Thursday, when he went to Peoria to officiate at a wedding. His son Frank and family are moving from Streator or Monica.
Miss A. Boyle spent a few days the past week with friends in Indiana.
Mrs. S. Kregor visited her daughter, Mrs. Garvin, in Wenona Wednesday.
Mrs. Emma Phillips and daughter Vera were Streator visitors Wednesday.
Carl Hoberg of Spencer, Ia., was the guest of H. c. Vollmer first of the week.
Max Whitney and family moved last week into the house recently vacated by Mat Neifing.
Nothwithstanding the recent snow, "The Roses" are expected to be in full bloom April 13.
Miss Hannah Robison went to Ottawa to return the tax books Thursday morning. She collected all but $123.44, which is the best any one has done that we know of. This shows a woman's ability in business. The total amount of Hope taxes was $30,191.85, and we do not know of any previous collector, who has come so near collecting the full amount.
Mrs. Clark of Ottawa, is the guest of her sister, Mrs. Joe Kelso and other friends.
Mrs. M. L. Hayslip of Chenoa, was a guest of Lostant friends Monday and Tuesday.
Mrs. Frank Schaffer and two children have gone to Terry Haute, Ind., to visit her relatives.
The Woman's Literary club held an enjoyable meeting in the pleasant home of Mrs. Lillian Morgan last Thursday evening with a good attendance.
The postoffice was moved by Postmaster James E. Conlin Saturday evening from Bell Bros. Building to the Conlin store and desirably placed in the west end of the building. The change will make it much more convenient for Mr. Conlin, and we believe the public will very much appreciate the opportunity they will now have of getting mail from the 7:25 evening train, which will be distributed before the office is closed at night.
A. C. Kelso went to Mendota Wednesday.
Hubert Helder was a passenger to Ottawa Tuesday.

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