Genealogy Trails
Marshall County Illinois
Wenona News


 The Wenona Fair

Taken From the Henry Republican
October 10, 1872

Last week, one of the pleasantest of the year, was assigned to the Wenona union fair, which improved it by one of the best of country fairs, such a one, as people generally like to visit and know how to appreciate. The grounds contain 40 acres, with all conveniences (except decent drinking water for mankind,) plenty of stalls, pens, two fine amphitheaters, a new floral hall, a tower for judges and brass band, and a first rate half mile track. The display in every department was first rate, and the visitors all that could be wished, the receipts reaching upwards of $4000. Mr. James Thornton of Magnolia should (showed) us several pens of fine swine of the Magee breed, two noble sows of which produced him pigs that brought over $200 last year. We were also shown some very fine stock by Thomas Judd, Esq., of his own raising, that were splendid indeed. On the grounds was a pet fawn, sent as a present only the day before to our contemporary, Cadet Taylor, Esq.  Prof. D’Orville, performed acceptably upon a rope in the way of walking, turning somersaults, wheeling a barrow thereon, etc. Trotting and racing were also important features among the attractions of the occasion.

It is unnecessary for us to go into details. The fair was well patronized both in entries and receipts, and a success beyond that of last year. The managers have steered clear of breakers; everything runs smooth, and contributes to make it all that heart could wish. Nothing is left undone in the details. If you want a place to lodge, a committee is there ready to care for you, you place your baggage in the check room, while on the ground; ample seats provided for all visitors; no gaming or gift schemes are allowed on the ground to catch pin money of the thoughtless; and in every particular imaginable the good of the people is consulted and zealously maintained. We are glad to see the advancement made and that everything was upon so sound a basis.

During our stay we were made welcome by Mr. John O. Dent and his family, who were entertaining nine beside their own folks. Mr. D. is one of the pioneers of that part of Illinois, and perhaps has done as much for railroads and the building up of his section as any other one man. He has a very large beautiful home, nicely furnished, with every convenience that taste and comforts dictates. He has much landed estate, and is one of the most successful business men of the town. Nathaniel Moore, our member of legislature has a beautiful place in the edge of town, made so by the tasty skillful hands of its  prosperous owner. J. A. McCall is another promoter of the interests of Wenona, helping to rebuild it, and giving the town a very fine hall for public purposes. Some beautiful farms, were seen on our way home, Thomas and Benjamin Judd, being among the finest in the township. Our trip was a short one but most agreeable.

Wenona Post Office Robbed

Taken From the Henry Republican
May 22, 1873

The post office at Wenona has been robbed again. A man giving his name as J. Storey broke into the office on Saturday, and took all the letters and a small sum of money. He then entered the Adelbert House and took his valise and $5 in money that he found, and then on foot started towards Magnolia. Detectives were put on his track, and he was captured at the Magnolia hotel eating his supper. He was taken to Wenona for examination, and will probably be held for trial.

1875 Election Results

Taken From the Henry Republican
April 29, 1875

Wenona held its municipal election last week Tuesday, and the license men carried the day by a vote of 108 for to 80 against it. The officers elect are as follows: mayor, Thomas Lloyd, re-elected; clerk, Myers; treasurer, Ralston; attorney, Bond; police magistrate, Foster; aldermen, Vaughn, Chapman and O’Brien.

The 1875 Wenona Fair Premium List

Taken From the Henry Republican
September 16, 1875

With the Wenona Fair premium list, just issued from the Index office, is a very creditable pamphlet, of which the Index, for its typographical appearance, need not be ashamed. The pamphlet is also what it is represented to be - a premium list of the Wenona union fair, and not an advertising document as many such lists seem to be. The fair commences Sept. 27, and lasts five days. Its president is L. M. Sawyer of Ancona; its secredtaries Dr. C. Perry and Cadet Taylor, its treasurer E. S. Fowler, and general superintendent Thomas Judd, all of Wenona. Its officers, directors, department and class superintendents are all selected from residents on the east side of the river; but among committees of awards in the various classes, the following are selected from the westsiders: On thoroughbred durhams, D. W. Danley of Henry: on thoroughbred devons, Royal Olmsted of Saratoga: thoroughbred horses, I. P. Bush of Henry, Carles Fosbender of Sparland; on saddle and carriage horses, G. F. Paskell of Henry; on fabrics, A. M. Pool of Henry; on printing and binding, E. H. Phelps of the Wyoming Post. Among superintendents we notice the selection of Miss Hattie Fyffe, our fair Magnolia correspondent, who takes the supervision and arrangement of the flowers and birds, and also H. K. Smith, another correspondent, that of domestic and manufactured goods, both competent for these positions. The prospects for the fair are flattering, and it is expected that the display of fancy herds will be greater than ever; also larger exhibits in every department.

1876 Wenona Fire

Taken From the Henry Republican

March 16, 1876

For the third time Wenona has suffered a severe loss by fire. Saturday night last a fire broke out in Badgeley’s building, on Main street, which was occupied by A. E. Badgeley, dentist; J. T. Forney, photographer, and Scott & Beecher, grocers. The building is a total loss. The fire burned the next building owned by Mr. Taylor and occupied by John Reuter as a barber shop. Both buildings were of wood. Hudson’s brick was partially burned.

The Index building was also partially burned. The losses area as follows: Badgely building $2000, insured for $600; Scott & Beecher $3000, insured for $1500; Reuter $40, no insurance; Taylor $500, insured for $300; Hudson $1000, insured; Thompson $500, insured. Chapman’s loss is $200 on household goods. The Index building was damaged $400, insured. Sawyer’s loss in $200 on household goods. Taylor & Taylor, books and stationary damaged by water, insured. A telegram was sent to La Salle for assistance, but the fire was under control when they were ready to start. The citizens of Wenona, made up a purse of $50 for the LaSalle fire company for their prompt response.

The Father Matthew Society

Taken From the Henry Republican

August 3, 1876

The Father Matthew society of Wenona is preparing for a celebration and parage August 15. The neighboring temperance organizations will be invited and a grand time is looked for.

Business Failures at Wenona

February 28, 1878

Wenona has had two business failures within the past ten day, which has caused considerable excitement in that city. The first failure, say the Index, was Mat. Petri, dealer in clothing. He made an assignment to L. H. Tower, who has charge of both the Wenona and Rutland stores. As near as can be ascertained the liabilities are $9000; assets about $6000.

The second failure occurred last Thursday by the banking house of John A. McCall and Co. closing its doors. The liabilites are estimated at $35,000, much of it belonging to depositors. H. J. DePue, county treasurer, had upwards of $7000 on deposit in the bank at the time of the failure, the money belonging to Evans township, and deposited there by request of its citizens, which was held in reserve as a sinking fund for town indebtedness. Hon. Nathaniel Moore has been appointed receiver, who will make a detailed statement of the affairs of the bank as soon as ascertained. It is reported that the bank will be able to pay in full if time is given to adjust real estate transactions and other matters connected with the business operations of the bank. Messrs. McCall and Adams are worthy men, and general regret is expressed at their misfortune.

New Bank Organized

March 21, 1878

A new bank has been organized at Wenona under the firm name of Howe, Hodge & Ralston. Of this new firm the Index speaks: "The first named, Peter Howe, is one of our largest land owners, and can command any amount of wealth. Lewis J. Hodge, one of the leading lumber merchants of this part of the state, is the second names, and J. T. Ralston, who has been the popular cashier of Mr. McCall for several years, is the last names. The public have the utmost confidence in these individuals, and we shall expect to see them do an immense business."

Henry Republican, Henry, IL
January 26, 1882 - Wenona

Invitations are out for the wedding of Miss Minnie Broaddus and Daniel Wright, Thursday evening, Jan. 27. Both parties are well known in our community and highly esteemed, and the occasion is looked forward with much interest.

The German doctor from Lostant spent two days here in vaccinating the German children in the vicinity.

Henry Republican , Thursday, October 19, 1882


The shaft is down 460 feet and another 100 feet will put them to a third vein.

Miss Mary Work and A. L. Turner are to have the matrimonial knot tied the 26th inst. - our congrats.

1883 Community News and Local Gossip

The Henry Republican, April 12, 1883

After four or five weeks of tramping we have wound up at Wenona again and are ready to chronicle the ups and downs of the interior life of the good people of the best town in Illinois.
Cadet Taylor is at home getting ready to move to Washington, as soon as his baby is able to be moved.
Mrs. Robt. Burgess is very sick, and has been for nearly two weeks. We hope to soon hear of her speedy recovery.
Little Myrtle Shannon is having a siege with the measles, but at present is doing as well as could be expected. In speaking of measles it reminds us that Wenona has had her share this winter.
During our absence there was a strike at the coal shaft, which was amicably settled and they are busy hoisting coal.
Wm. Marland's family arrived in Wenona last week. Mr. Marland is the superintendent of the shaft and has been here all the time, and now that our shaft is a success he has become a permanent citizen.
Dr. W. A. Smith returned from Chicago last Friday where he has been attending clinical lectures at Cook County Hospital. He looks hale and hearty.
E. L. Monser still goes around with his hand tied up. He has had a serious time of it.
H. C. Spaulding, the gentlemanly agent of the C. & A. at this place, has been having a serious time with erysipelas of the face and scalp.
Everyone is getting ready for the election and the battle will be fought again over the same field that it has been in years past, i.e. License or no license. If the citizens of Wenona will only drop this question and take some man who has the interest of Wenona, instead of a fanatic on either side, they will see more improvement in our city.

The Henry Republican, April 26, 1883

B. Fowler of Chicago was in town the latter part of last week. Looking after the business of Fowler & Co's warehouses.
Mrs. Major and Mrs. Clark of Eureka, and Mrs. Coleson of Evans, dined with Mrs. Robt. Henry on last Friday. Mrs. Clark is the mother of the wife of the late Hon. R. M. A. Hawk.
Miss Mamie Kyser is intending to get up a class in instrumental music the coming summer. She is an expert on the piano and will make a successful teacher.
Mrs. Rob. Burgess, who has been near the border land for two or three weeks is able to be around again. Her many friends are glad to hear of her improvement.
George W. Horner, the sheriff of Woodford County, shook the lily white hand of your noble scribe last Monday. G. W. is one of the republicans in old democratic Woodford that can carry out banner through every time. He is a standard bearer. Come again.
Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Fowler of Hasting, Nebraska are visiting friends in Wenona this week. They have a host of friends here and all of them are glad to see them.
W. L. Downey has been sick with erysipelas, but he is reported better at this writing.
Mr. Asa Dunham of Rutland, spend a couple of days in Wenona last week at his brothers's J. D. Dunham. He has lately moved to that place from Lostant.
A.L. Turner has been sick the past week. His brother from Iowa has been with him and assisted in putting in his crops. We hope to soon hear of Lee's perfect recovery.

Henry Republican, Henry IL, May 31, 1883

Little Ida Bishop who was very low for some time, is now able to be around.
Mrs. Pratt, wife of one of the employees at the plow factory, died last week of septicemia or pus poisoning. Drs. Potts and Rich were called in consultation, but she could not be cured.
A free fight occurred Sunday in the rear of Tom Cain's wet grocery. One of the gentlemen got two of his eyes blacked and came out of the fracas a sorer and sadder man.
Mrs. Katie Perry of Bell Plain was visiting a day last week among friends in Wenona.
Miss Susie Stitt of Metamora stopped between trains last Thursday to smile upon relatives in the city.
Mrs. H. T. Kyser, we are happy to say, is able to be around again.
Nettie Dunham is taking music lessons of Miss Mamie Kyser.
Mrs. Rosanna Wilson is building her house south of Clark Downey's residence and will be ready for occupancy in a few weeks.
Mr. and Mrs. John O. Dent are expected home today (Tuesday) from their Florida residence. They will be welcomed by their many friends.
Will Bayne spent Monday in Gardner on business. Will is the junior of the firm of Bayne & Son and is also in the bridge business. We are afraid when Will has the contract completed it will be a "Bridge of Sighs," either for him or his girl. Eh, Will?

Wenona Community News
The Henry Republican, Henry, IL, July 12, 1883

Mrs. Mary A. Henry and her son David have gone west on a pleasure trip, in the hopes of benefitting his health.
A party of young folks took hospitable Mr. and Mrs. White by surprise last Thursday evening, and spent a pleasant evening in listening to instrumental music by Miss Mamie Kyser.
Mrs. C. T. Austin went to Chenoa last week to spend a few days.
Will. Bayne has given himself clear away, and unless he can make it plain to his Wenona girl why he went half way home with a certain young lady last Friday evening on the train, it is feared that there will be trouble in the camp.
Dr. Dunham says there a few brave men as he, but when it comes to facing a bull dog in order to be at a committee meeting, it is too much like facing a lion in his den, and he don't intend to be at anymore such meetings.
Miss Mamie Dale of Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been visiting friends and relatives in Wenona last week. Miss Mamie is one of these bright, happy girls, who always bring sunshine with them wherever they are. Come again.
Mrs. Elchelberger has been very low for nealy a week with the chances against her recovery. We hope soon to be able to record her return to health.
Rev. J.J. Manley's wife is here to take care of him during his sickness. He has been having a long hard siege with neuralgia.
Mrs. Dr. Bolt of Lostant, was in the city one day last week, calling on her many friends.
The coal company will be ready to commence hoisting coal in about three weeks or longer. The shaft here is one of the best arranged in the state.

Farms Quarantined for Foot and Mouth Disease

Taken From the Henry News Republican
March 4, 1915 - Wenona Index

On Monday, Dr. Smellie of Eureka, quarantined the farm of H. T. Ireland, managed by Robert McKee and run jointly by them. The foot and mouth disease was found among the cattle, of which there are 76 head, mostly yearling calves; also 144 head of hogs. Just two weeks ago eight car-loads of big cattle were shipped from this farm on account of the disease bieng in the neighborhood, and although the market price received by these was unsatisfactory, Messrs. Ireland and McKee are congratulating themselves on having gotten rid of them when they did.

The cattle and hogs on the Ben Boone place in Richland township, were all slaughtered recently and buried in trenches with quick lime. Forty-two head of hogs and 17 head of cattle were killed. These animales had all fed from a schock of (..? ..) where the dogs had been, (..?...) strenthens the belief that (...?....) carried the germs to the place.

Wenona Coal Mine News

Taken from the Henry Republican, December 18, 1879
From Neighboring Exchanges
Wenona held a coal meeting Tuesday at which a company was formed and $4500 subscribed. A shaft for coal is to be sunk at once.

Taken from the Henry Republican, February 19, 1880
A coal company has been formed at Wenona, the following to be the incorporators of the same under the general law: John O. Dent, Col. G. L. Fort, E. P. Barber, W. J. Merrill, S. B. Patch, M. Bayne, Cadet Taylor.

Taken from the Henry Republican, April 8, 1880

Wenona - The contract for sinking a coal shaft was let on Friday last to LaSalle miners, and the work will begin as soon as the machinery can be procured. Wenonians are therefore jubilant over the near realization of their long cherished hopes.

Taken from the Henry Republican, May 13, 1880

Wenona - On Monday, May 10th, the earth was broken for the coal shaft, and notwithstanding the mud, a large number of citizens and farmers were present to witness the long talked of event. At the instance of Mr. Dixon, the foreman of the work, the privilege of first breaking the ground was accorded to the ladies. Accordingly a trio consisting of Mrs. W. H. Merrill, Mrs. A. H. Stateler, and Miss Libbie Hood, each armed with a new shovel, took their position within the space staked out and after a short speech by Hon. J. O. Dent, began the work of excavation of the shaft, Mrs. Merrill casting the first shovel of dirt (or mud), which ceremony being concluded, Mayor Stateler and Thomas Judds, Esq., the former representing the city and the latter the farming country, came in for second honors. The work will not be continued we hope to completion and ultimate success.


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