HISTORY OF GENESEE TOWNSHIP
Including the Town of Coleta
[Source: Whiteside County, Illinois, From Its First Settlement To The Present Time; by Charles Bent; Page 217 - 231; pub. 1877]
The Township of Genesee comprises Congressional township No. 22 north, range 6 east of the 4th principal meridian. Previous to Whiteside county completing its full organization, Genesee formed first a part of Crow Creek Precinct, then of Elkhorn Precinct, and afterwards was laid off as a Precinct by itself, and called Genesee Grove Precinct and in 1852 was made a township by the Commissioners appointed by the County Commissioners' Court to divide the county into townships and give each its name and boundaries, under the township organization law. The township is divided into timber and prairie land. A grove in the northwest part, called Genesee Grove, is about 6 miles long and 3 miles broad. The balance is a beautiful, rich, rolling prairie. It is watered by Spring creek, which has its rise on the lands of W. Wetzell, on section 10 and also by branches of Rock creek on the west, and a branch of Otter creek on the north. The government survey of the township was made in 1842, by Mr. Sanderson, and now in 1877, it is all in cultivated fields and pasture land. The lands were brought into market and sold at public auction by the Government, at Dixon in 1843.
Among the early settlers of Genesee, Jesse Hill Sr, Adam James and John James, came in 1835; John Wick, William Wick, Eli Redman, Mark Harrison, Joseph Mush and Samuel Landis, in 1836; Ivory Colcord, Pleasant Stanley, Isaac Brookfield, James McMullen and Jacob Huffman in 1837; Levi Marble, Edward Richardson, Mr. Carr, Harvey Summers came from IN in 1838. He married Charlotte J Wick, a daughter of Wm Wick. He is now living in Jasper Co MO, John Thompson Crum, Martin D. McCrea, William Crum and Henry H. Holbrook, in 1838. James Scoville, Richard Tilton Hughes, Ezra R. Huett, Rensselaer Baker, Israel Reed, Marvin Chappell and Watson Parish in 1839.
The first school taught in what is now the township of Genesee, was in the house of William Wick and the sessions held during the evening, Ivory Colcord being the teacher. This was in the winter of 1837-38. Some of the young men of that time commenced there to learn their alphabet, and afterwards obtained sufficient education to enable them to conduct business. Following this was a school taught by Dinsmoor Barnett, near the residence of Mr. Wick. It is related that at this school, just before one Christmas, the scholars, following the usage of primeval days, barricaded the door and kept the teacher outside until he agreed to treat them with apples and pies. After the compact had been entered into, the door was opened and the teacher came in and resumed his authority, when the school work went on as though there had been no interruption. At the appointed time the apples and pies were forthcoming as per stipulation. Another instance of the same kind occurred at a school near the Grove. Here the doors and windows were barred, and the teacher denied admittance unless he would promise to furnish cake and pies for a Christmas Treat. Unlike the other teacher, he protested against the extravagance of the demand, contending that he was unable to purchase the pastry for the reason that his pay was only ten dollars per month. He finally effected a compromise, however, by agreeing to supply whiskey and sugar. The result was that some of the pupils became intoxicated, and had to be taken home to their mothers in a lumber wagon drawn by oxen. A school was also taught about this time by Nelson Fletcher, near Prospect Grove. Mr Fletcher afterwards resided in Carroll county, and for a portion of the time was County Superintendent of Schools of that county. Log school houses were built in the township as soon as four or five families settled near each other. in those early days the school house was used for holding religious services, and was free to all denominations alike. The first school house was erected in 1837, near the creek north of William Wicks's residence, and within a few rods of Walter Doud's. Soon after another was built on the north side of the grove, near the Hill residence. Genesee now boasts of her fine, commodious structures for school purposes.
The first church society organized in the town was that of the Methodists. This was about 1838. The next was by the Christians in 1839 and consisted of twelve members. The first Church edifice was erected by the United Brethren.
During the winter of 1835-36, grists had to be taken to Morgan county 150 miles south, to be ground, and all the other necessaries of life had to be brought from that place. There were no bridges, and but few ferries across the streams, so that the crossings had to be mainly made by swimming or wading. Early settlers were therefore, obliged to live frugally. Pork was worth only from 75 cents to $1.50 per hundred; corn 8 to 15 cents per bushel, and wheat 30 cents per bushel. Boots, shoes and clothing had to be bought on long time, and paid for out of the products of the farm, and when the prices were low, or the crops failed, the constable's fees would often be added to the debt. Sometimes the store bills had to be closed up by giving promissary notes at a high rate of interest.
All the north half of the timber and the adjoining prairie of Genesee Grove, were in early times claimed by the Hill family, and the south half by the James brothers and their assignee, William Wick, hence every settler who came to the grove was compelled to purchase timber and prairie claims from one or the other of these land jobbers. Some plucky settlers, however, refused to buy claims. This being a violation of the claim laws, messengers, young men mostly, were dispatched on swift horses to convene the members of the Claim Association, and in great emergencies the members of other Associations. Upon coming together the members would proceed to hear the proofs and allegations on both sides, and then decide the matter by a vote. If the decision was in favor of the "jumper" he was secure in his title, but if adverse a semi=military organization, properly officered, would be effected, whose duty it was to proceed at once to the cabin of the trespasser and remove his goods and family therefrom, and then either tear the building down or burn it. In all these contests about claims the alleged trespasser always had friends, and sometimes they would constitute the majority of the meeting. In such an event victory would perch upon his banner. As an instance of how the matter worked at times, we give the following which occurred in Genesee: Three brothers went to the land office at Dixon, and entered claims upon which four of the actual settlers had built cabins and made improvements. As soon as this was ascertained a meeting of the members of all the adjoining Claim Associations was called, the number present being variously estimated at from two to three hundred. The first thing decided upon at the meeting was, to turn out with axes and wagons and cut and haul the timber from the lands of these brothers to the land belonging to other parties. This was done, but the "jumpers" did not budge. A subsequent meeting was then held and the brothers arrested. This time a demand was made of them to convey the lands to the first claimants, but plucky still, they refused to comply. The question then arose as to the kind of punishment which should be inflicted upon them, three modes being discussed, to wit: drowning, shooting or whipping. After mature deliberation the whipping method was adopted, and two members of the Association were selected to carry the verdict into execution. The decree was that two of the brothers should be punished, the third one being let off as an innocent party. The number of blows was not to exceed thirty-nine and an umpire selected to decide as to the number each of the parties could endure. Two stakes were driven into the ground, and the brothers tied to them. The first one whipped exhibited pluck, and did not flinch, although he received nearly all the blows before the umpire interfered, and prevented further punishment. The second one received only a few blows when he was taken with palpitation of the heart, and they were stopped. All the parties have long since left this county. To prevent these claim disputes and their attendant consequences, the Legislature of the State, at the session of 1837-38, passed an act limiting claims to 160 Acres of timber, and 320 acres of prairie, but order was not finally restored until the lands had been purchased at the Government land sales.
The Winnebago Indians remained to hunt and fish in and around Genesee until 1839, and were generally quiet and peaceful, although they would occasionally steal horses and provisions. During that year, a party of them borrowed some of the equines without consent, and were followed and overtaken by the settlers. They were so indignant at this procedure that they threatened to scalp every white person in the settlement before morning. The alarm was soon carried to every family on the north side of the grove and with the word to hasten to the house of William Hill, where a general headquarters would be made, and after all had assembled there, the men barricaded the doors and windows inside and outside. After finishing the work outside, they entered the house through the gable window by means of a ladder and upon being safely entrenched, drew the ladder up after them. Their weapons of warfare included everything from a rifle to a pitchfork. One man, a Methodist Minister was armed with a table fork, having heard that there was a tradition among the Indians that a stab from such an instrument always proved fatal to them. During the night one of the settlers in the neighborhood came home from the mill, and finding his cabin deserted went to the residence of Mr. Hill, but was unable to arouse the inmates. After laboring a long time he finally tore down the barricades, entered the dwelling and found the garrison asleep on their arms. In the morning it was found that the Indians had all decamped during the night, but their trail was followed by some of the more adventurous settlers, and they were overtaken on an island in the Mississippi River, near Fulton and the stolen horses secured. When this had been effected they were promptly punished by receiving a sound whipping.
In early times the prairie rattle snakes were plenty, and always expressed a willingness to bite by rattling. On one occasion, when some of the pioneers of the township were reaping wheat on the land of one of their number as was the custom then, one of these "sarpints" was discovered, and sounding the tocsin of war, threw itself into a coil ready for a strike. The reapers fell back in good order, and suggested various modes of attack, but before a determination was reached, Mr. Parish came to the rescue and cried out in a stentorian voice" Boys, stand back, and I will how you how we kill snakes in Tennessee." The order being promptly obeyed, he approached the enemy and when within three feet of the snake spring into the air with the intention of landing on it with his feet close together, thereby crushing it, but he made his calculations wrong, and came down on the opposite side. In his attempt to save himself he fell flat on his back across the snake, very much scared, as was also the snake. The unengaged parties came to his aid, and separated the belligerents without either having received any injury. The snake was finally killed with a club.
The first Postmaster in what is now Genesee township was Edward Richardson, who received his appointment in 1839. Shortly afterwards a postoffice was established at Prospect Grove and called Prospect Postoffice, James Hankie, an Englishman, receiving the first appointment as Postmaster, who was succeeded by Ira Scoville. This office has long since been abolished. The postoffice at New Genesee was established a number of years ago, William Taylor being the present Postmaster.
The first birth in the township was that of a daughter of William Wick, which occurred in 1836. She was named Louisa Wick.
The first prize obtained by the grim destroyer was the life of Mrs. James, mother of George O. James, now of Mt. Pleasant township. Mrs. James died in 1838. The rider of the white horse commenced holding his fairs early in Whiteside county, and tied the ribbon on the door of many a cabin. The doomed ones were rudely, but sacredly, buried in the grove or on the prairie, and the summer winds sang as soft a requiem over their lowly graves as it would have done had the elegant tomb-stones and imposing monuments of today marked their last resting place.
Unhappily we have been unable to ascertain the name of the lady who first shuffled off the coil of single blessedness and entered into the blissful state of matrimony. The first marriage in a new settlement is always blissful, and for miles around the happy couple are congratulated. In more senses than one it is an era for the neighborhood. The name of the fortunate groom, however is preserved, and it is written George Huffman. The hope at the wedding undoubtedly was that many little Huffmans would grace the theater of action, and that if of the male persuasion they would have more of the man than the huff. Among the first marriage licenses issued after the organization of the county in 1839 one was granted to Harvey Preston, of Grant county, Wisconsin Territory, and Jane Hall of Genesee Grove Precinct, who were married at that time.
The first town meeting under the township organization law, was held on the 6th of April, 1852, when the following officers were elected: Ivory Colcord, Supervisor; Abram H. Law, Town Clerk; John S. Crum, Collector; William Crum, Assessor; John W. Lowery and James D. Law, Justices of the Peace. The following have been the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors, Collectors and Justices of the Peace from 1852 to 1877 inclusive;
Supervisors: 1852-53 Ivory Colcord; 1854-55 Andrew S. Ferguson; 1856-57 Charles Lineroad; 1858 - 59 C. W. Sherwood; 1860-63 Andrew S. Ferguson; 1864-66 Ephraim Brookfield; 1867, David Anthony; 1868-70 Andrew S. Ferguson; 1871-72 Wm. H. Colcord; 1873-74, Cephas Hurless; 1875-77 Ira Scoville.
Town Clerks: 1852 Abram H. Law; 1853 John Yager; 1854 Abram H. Law; 1855-58 William Crum; 1859 R. B. Colcord; 1860-62 William Crum; 1863 David Anthony; 1864 R. B. Colcord; 1865-66 David Anthony; 1867-70. William H. Colcord; 1871-73 A. S. Ferguson; 1874 S. S. Cobb; 1875=77 A S Ferguson.
Assessors: 1852 William Crum; 1853 R B Colcord; 1854-56 J. M. Griswold; 1857 James Rodman; 1858 John Clark; 1859 Cephas Hurless; 1860 E. S. Colcord; 1861 John Yager; 1862 J. D. Lineroad; 1863 John Tumbleson; 1864 O. C. Sheldon; 1865 J. D. Lineroad; 1866 P. Hurless; 1867 Ira Scoville; 1868-70 John Tumbleson; 1871 Cephas Hurless; 1872-73 John Tumbleson; 1874 Wm. H. Colcord; 1875 John Tumbleson; 1876 Wm. H. Colcord; 1877 John Tumbleson.
Collectors: 1852 William Crum; 1853-55 Darius Gould; 1856 Charles W. Smith; 1857 Darius Gould; 1858 J. T. Crum; 1859 Darius Gould; 1860 Pleasant Stanley; 1861 H C Parish; 1862 A. R. Hurless; 1863 J. N .Springer; 1864 Isaac Lineroad; 1865 C. Overholser; 1866 J. D. Lineroad; James W. Fraser; 1871 E J Ferguson; 1872 Ephraim Brookfield; 1873 D. C. Overholser; 1874 D. G. Proctor; 1875 Alfred Barnes; 1876-77 Abram Calkins.
Justices of the Peace: 1852 John W. Lowery, James D. Law; 1855 Thomas J. Stanley; 1856 Charles Sherwood, Abram H. Law; 1860 Abram H. Law, Ephraim Brookfield; 1864 William Taylor, Ephraim Brookfield; 1866 S. H. Kingery; 1868 C. Overholser, William Taylor; 1873 Cephas Hurless, W. M. Law; 1877 R. T. St. John, Cephas Hurless.
Genesee township contains 18,683 acres of improved land and 4267 of unimproved. The Assessor's book shows that the number of horses in the town in 1877 was 525; the number of cattle, 970; mules and asses, 10; sheep, 11; watches and clocks, 253; melodeons and organs, 37. Total assessed value of lands, lots and personal property, $396,330.
The population of the township in 1870 as appears by the US census reports was 1271 of which 1081 were of native birth and 190 of foreign birth. The population in 1860 was 1157. The estimated population in 1877 is 1500.
The town of Coleta is laid out on the corners of sections 9,10,15 and 16, in township 22, range 6 east of the 4th Principal Meridian. The first building erected was the store of John Thompson Crum, on the corner of section 10. After occupying it for a number of years, Mr. Crum purchased an acre of land on the opposite corner, on section 9 and moved the building to that corner, where he used it as a dwelling and store room. He afterwards sold out to Ephraim Brookfield, who in turn sold to Henry S. Wickey, the present owner. The forty acre lot on the southeast corner of section 9, and the southwest corner of section 10, were owned at first by David Wyman, who afterwards sold it to Azariah Wick. Mr. Wick sold it to Alestis S Smith who in turn sold to C. Overholser. Mr Overholser sold to Samuel H Kingery, who afterwards sold back again to Overholser. In the plat of the village this 40 acre lot was laid out into town lots. In 1856 Mr. Crum purchased four acres on the northeast corner of section 16, and laid them out in lots. A lot of fourteen acres was also sold by Wick to A. S. Smith who sold to Mr. Crum. This ground was also laid out into village lots. The next owner of them was Samuel Haldeman, who sold lots to David Horning, Dr. E M Winter, Barrett M Burns and the balance to Hiram Reynolds. The latter afterwards sold one lot to Andrew Griffith, one acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church and the balance to John Yager. Wick sold an acre on the northwest corner of section 15 to Wm. Pierce who soon after sold one lot to Hiram Reynolds, and the other to Henry Kennedy. On the road leading west, lots were sold by A T Crum and William Harrow - one, a two acre lot to Cephas Hurless. Mr. Hurless has since sold one village lot to Seth Knapp and one to Catharine Fenton.
The place was first called "Crum's Store," and then Clayton. The people seemingly not being satisfied with either, called a meeting, at which a majority voted to call it Coleta. This name was suggested by Miss Nora Porter, now Mrs. E R Ferguson. The first school house in the village was built in the summer of 1858, Ephraim Brookfield being the first teacher. The number of pupils on the roll then was sixty, now it is over one hundred. The first church erected was the Methodist Episcopal in 1868. The Society then numbered twenty members; now there are sixty-six. The building is a large frame structure, well finished and furnished, to which is also added a neat parsonage. Rev. H F Clendenin is the present pastor. The Sunday school has 50 scholars, with J W Tumbleson as Superintendent. The United Brethren built a church in 1869, the membership of the Society being then about one hundred, but has been reduced by emigration since to about seventy-five. Rev. Mr. Gardner is the pastor. The Sunday school has 50 scholars, and David Overholser as Superintendent. The Christian Church edifice was erected at an expense of $2,500. Nearly the whole amount was furnished by John Yager. The church has no settled minister at present, but services are held every Sabbath by either John Yager or Thomas Stanley. The Sunday School numbers one hundred and twenty-five scholars, with Thomas Stanley as Superintendent. Besides the three church buildings and school house, all finished in modern style, there is a hall over Wickey's store, called "Brookfield Hall" which is used for all public meetings. There is also a flourishing Masonic Lodge in the village. Coleta contains twenty-eight dwelling houses and eighteen business places, including stores, shops, etc., making in all fifty.
[Source: Whiteside County, Illinois, From Its First Settlement To The Present Time; by Charles Bent; Page 217 - 231; pub. 1877]
Articles are numbers - sources at the end of the article
1.) SETTLERS CAME TO COLETA IN THE YEAR 1835
Prior to the completion of the organization of Whiteside County, Genesee was a part of the Crow Creek precinct. It was then switched to what was known as Elkhorn precinct and later was made into a precinct by itself and called Genesee Grove. The commissioners, named by the count commissioners court, divided the county into townships and gave each its name and boundaries under the township organization law, made it a separate township of Whiteside county. The first government survey of the Township was made in 1842 by Surveyor Sanderson. The following year, 1843, the lands were brought into market and sold at public auction by the government at the Dixon land office.
Prior to this legal establishment of the township however, the land was becoming settled as pioneers going through glimpsed the fertile fields and heavy timber. Jesse Hill Sr., Adam Adams and John James settled in the area in 1835 and many other settlers soon followed with their families. As the Grove area became more populated, a village came into being, known first as Genesee Grove, then Crum’s Store, Crow’s Creek, and later the name was changed to Clayton. The people of Clayton did not like the new name because due to the existence of a Claytonville in the state there was confusion in the mails, and a new name was sought. A meeting was called and the subject of a new name was debated thoroughly. Miss Nora Porter, (she later became Mrs. E. R. Ferguson) suggested the name Coleta. A majority of those present agreed to call it by that name.
Coleta was laid out on a 40 acre tract of land and was first owned by Ephraim Brookfield. After many changes of ownership it became the property of David Overholser. The entire 40 acres was laid out in town lots. May pioneers purchased lots. One acre was bought by the Methodist Episcopal Church. William Pierce erected the first dwelling house.
The first town meeting was held on April 6, 1852. The following officers were elected: Supervisor — Ivory Colcord; Town Clerk — Abraham Law; Collector — John S. Crum; Assessor — William Crum; John W. Lawery and James D. Law were elected Justice of the Peace.
FIRST SCHOOL STARTED
One of the first things all pioneers did when a small group located their homes was to start a school. The early settlers of Genesee were no exceptions to this rule. The residence of William Wick was converted into a temporary schoolhouse. The first class was held during the winter of 1837–38 and Ivory Colcord was appointed teacher. Many of the pupils were of voting age, but they were energetic in their pursuit of learning.
The first school building in Genesee was erected in 1837 near the creek north of William Wick residence. Shortly afterwards another was build near the Hill residence on the north side of the Grove. In the early days the schoolhouses were used on Sundays for religious services and all denominations were given the use of them.
The first Coleta schoolhouse was built in 1850 about one fourth mile south of the village. It was a frame building, one story in height, size 20' x 80'. It was occupied until 1875, when a one room school was erected at the (2) present location. (3) In 1883, at the cost of $4,000, a wing was added to the north side making it a two-room school. The original building was used for the 4 upper grades and the new wing for the 4 lower grades. Coleta now has an attractive modern school building with a nice spacious playground. The first school term in the new school was in 1956.
In the year 1920 the first high school class was held in the hall and cloak room of the Coleta school. Teacher was the late (4) Roy Hurless. Fifteen students enrolled. In 1921 through 1924 the High School classes were held in the tenant house of the late Cyrus Bushman on South West Main Street now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Van Dusen. Teachers were Roy Hurless, Eskel Anderson, Victor Jacobson, and (5) Myrtle (Jacobson) Bushman. The fourth year of the student-term was finished at the Milledgeville or Sterling High School.
The first store was built by John Thompson Crum. The exact date is not know. It was occupied as a general store for a number of years and later moved across the street and used as a store and dwelling place combined. The upper story of the store was also used as the first town hall. In the early 1900 the store was purchased by A. L. Snavely, who came to Sterling from Pennsylvania on the passenger train in 1855, with his family from Schaiferstown, on the newly constructed railroad, the Chicago North Western. For twenty-two years he ran a General Merchandise store in Coleta.
The Coleta Christian Church dates back to 1842, though there had been occasional meeting as early as 1839, held in a log cabin just west of the village, and sometimes in the school house. In 1868, the Church building was built. It was located on west Grove Street. I is claimed that John Yeager paid for most of the building at the cost of $2,500. The church was closed around 1970 and (6) sold.
The Methodist Episcopal church people were the first to purchase land and build a church on South West Main St. in 1867. It had its seasons of prosperity and experienced trials peculiar to all who try to walk the straight and narrow way. Around 1933 the church was closed and Sold. Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Dusing now reside at that location. The home dwelling of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gettle was the parsonage.
The United Brethren church was organized at Hazel Green school in 1854. In July 1858, George and Susanne Hurless deeded, for one dollar, a plot of ground upon which the church was built, of log construction, by the men of the church. It was located across the (7) road from the Hazel Green cemetery where many of the pioneers rest today. Ten years later a larger church was erected on the present location on North Main St. The land was given by Martin Overholser. The church then had a long porch across the west side and there was an entrance at each corner. A wooden partition down the center divided the church. The men sat on one side and the women on the other following a custom of the people of their background. (8) This building has been remodeled and is known as the United Methodist Church.
The Grove Street United Brethren Church was organized in the years 1891. The land was purchased form Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Bushman. It was designated Grove Street United Brethren to distinguish it from the earlier church. The (9) Rev. W. J. Byers was the minister. The original construction include a tall spire that was visible for a long distance and became a well known landmark. (10) The spire was removed in 1936 but the belfry was retained and contains the church bell.
In the late 1850’s and early 60’s an effort was made to have the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad brought through near Coleta. It is related that “Grandpa” Shannon, an early settler, was much interested in securing the railroad and he headed a committee which went to Polo and conferred with the engineers and officials of the road in the endeavor to accomplish the desire. However, it did not materialize. It was reported that during this time village lots sold for one hundred dollars each. A bank was also started on the West Main Street in Coleta. After the railroad failed to come through the bank was closed after a few years and was converted into a (11) house now occupied by Homer Stinemyer.
A few of the old residences still stand within the village but have been remodeled several times over the years. The old Colcord home on South Main St. is believed to be the oldest. In early days it was a two-story brick building and later known as the Joseph Harrison home. After a fire damaged the home the upper story was removed and a new addition has been added by the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. Vernal McGowan.
Another was the original Griffith Estate, later owned by Charles Pulver, and now owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Hubbard on South Main St. It too has been remodeled several times. An early home which was built by Azariah Wick in 1846, on west Grove St. was torn down this past summer by owners, Lowell Mills. The Mills present home adjacent to the Wick’s lot was another of the oldest residences, once owned by the late Mr. and Mrs. Mart Teachout. It burned to the ground in 1969. A new home was erected by the Mills family. The late Amelia Reecher home on North Main St. still stands but has been remodeled several times. It is now owned by Nathaniel Cox.
In early years Coleta was also noted for a famous musical organization called the “Spring Creek Band.” Coleta usually held a celebration on the 4th of July with well planned programs which included prominent speakers along with band concerts, out-door sports achievements and it all ended with a fire-works display in the evening. The flag pole raising was a great event as some of the ladies of the village once made an American flag 16' x 24' in size. This was stolen by someone from a medicine show and was never recovered.
A 4 x 4 x 2 foot concrete block was in the center of the village square for many years and was removed in the middle twenties.
The village and vicinity had several baseball teams. The first team was organized shortly after the Civil War. In 1883 a second team “The Plow Boys” was organized. A few years later “The Red Lights” appeared. A fourth team called the “Fire Flies” composed of boys under the age of 18 was organized. This team was followed by the “Coleta Cousins.”
The winters were hard and life was anything but easy in those days. It was necessary to haul grain a distance of 150 miles to Morgan County to have it ground. All other necessities had to be brought from the same place. There were no bridges and the ferries and fords few and far between. Barter was largely the means of exchange and farm produce was worth but little. Pork, according to Bent and Wilson, was worth only from 75 cents to $1.50 per hundred pounds. Corn sold for eight to fifteen cents a bushel and wheat around 30¢ a bushel. Clothing and foot-wear were bought on time and paid for when crops were harvested.
Indians were abundant in the early days and until 1830 fished and hunted in and around the vicinity. Quiet and peaceful they were still a nuisance because they were inveterate thieves and stole whatever they could lay their hands on.
In 1839 a large party of Indians stole a number of horses. The settlers formed a posse and followed them. This stirred the Winnebagos who decided to go on the war path, informing the settlers that they intended killing and scalping all of them before morning. Men were sent out to call in the settlers, who hastened to the home of William Hill where an improvised fort was made, barricades erected and everything made as secure as possible.
The garrison went to sleep during the night and had the Indians attacked, a general massacre might have followed. However, the Indians slid away and next morning there was not a sign of them anywhere. The settlers decided to track them and overtook them on an island in the Mississippi River near Fulton. The settlers “outbluffed” the Indians and recovered the stolen horses. Snakes were plentiful, especially rattlers. However, as the county became more thickly settled the snakes disappeared.
Coleta celebrated her 100th anniversary in 1940 with a 2-day celebration. It was estimated that at least 4000 persons attended the event.
by Grace Heide -- Ruth Frankfother
(12) Typed by — Diann Reed
(13) From Genesee
December 5, 1878 - The literary society of Coleta passed off rather pleasantly last Monday evening, Its harmony was marred only by the occurrence of several vacancies in the programme. Another programme was reported to be executed next Monday evening. Coleta has been the center of much sensation for the last week, five fights having taken place Friday evening, usually the most quiet evening of the week. I should say here it was at a dance. The names of a few as respectable persons as we have in the community were connected with this dance, which only proves that public dances and fighting are wedded, and no amount of respectability can divorce them. On another day there were two fights, making only seven for the week. These items would be more fit for the Chicago Times than the Sterling Gazette. The people generally feel very much humiliated at this condition of things. A petition was signed by nearly all of the citizens of Coleta asking the proprietor of the town hall not to let it again for a public dance to any one.
We are having every night this week lectures on phrenology by Dr. Roe. The people seem to be interested in them judging from the attendance and attention they give him.
On Saturday evening of last week the people met in mass meeting at the M. E. Church to hear a temperance lecture, it having been announced that Bro. Nate, of Chicago, would be with us on that day. We were disappointed, but perhaps just as well, as several gentlemen from among us were called upon and addressed the meeting to the general satisfaction of all. We intend to have other such meetings.
The citizens of Coleta and vicinity assembled in the new town hall Monday evening of this week and organized a literary society by securing twenty names as members, and electing Mr. Hursh, President; W. W. Knowles, V. President; Elhanan Winters, Treasurer; Miss Stalia Colcord, Secretary.
Some poor, silly fellow tried to get some fun out of such a low-priced act as taking a gentleman’s horse and buggy from the M. E. Church, last Sunday evening, and tying it some distance down the road.
No service at either of the churches on Thanksgiving day, in consequence of our ministers all having engagements at their other appointments. Business was so nearly suspended, however, that one could easily see that the people of Coleta and neighborhood were not of that class who either forget the day or neglect the turkey.
School opened in the Salem district last Monday, with W. W. Knowles as teacher. We shall be glad to examine the reports of our school this winter in regard to tardiness, etc.
It is reported that Prof. Griffith is expected to deliver his new and excellent lecture, “Making Faces,” in Coleta soon. We are anxious to have the date set as early as possible. We understand he is to be at Milledgeville also.
(14) (By Heck)
Those famous Coleta Cousins made history and put Coleta and Whiteside county on the map in perhaps larger letters than any other organization in the history of the Genesee village. There were various other baseball teams representing Coleta during the past 75 years or more, but none can match with the Cousins. It was a most unusual group and one that could play ball with the best teams in these parts. Organized about the [year] 1901, they were not the oldest, but claim to be “just the best.” However, the claim of the Cousins to greatness might be contested quite strenuously by the Coleta Plow Boys, a team organized around 1883 or 1884, and possibly others.
As the name implies the Coleta Cousins were mostly relatives but not all first cousins. The first organization consisted of Lester Beers, Ralph Overholser, Frank Lawrence, William Hurless, James Overholser, Frank Bushman, Arthur Becker, Leroy Hurless and George Begerman. This organization played for three years defeating teams from Sterling, Morrison, Prophetstown, Oregon, Milledgeville, Chadwick, Tampico and Fulton, in fact., they defeated most of the teams representing surrounding towns. Finally in 1903 they were recognized as the championship team of Whiteside, Carroll and Ogle counties.
Later Got Outside Players
After 1903 other players were asked to play with the club and help maintain the championship. Among these were Joe Killian, Charles Baylor, Joe Netolicky, Clarence “Iky” Booth, Harry Carbaugh, Ward Deets, Harvey Becker, Harry and George Milne, Henry Olds and Carl Roderick. Umpires included Delbert Hoffman, Frank Morgaridge, Bill Killian, Roy Allison and Ab [Abner R.] Howe. In the latter years of the organization, the businessmen of Coleta lent their aid to the home team. Charles Ackerman, Dr. George Proctor and Henry Meakins sponsored the team for the businessmen.
Plowboys Date Back to 1883
Going further back into the history of baseball in Coleta there are those who remember the Coleta Plow Boys. This team was composed of Frank Wetzel, Frank Buntley, Jacob Wetzel, George Hurless, J. B. Fenton, Judson Wells, Will Deets, Martin Overholser and James Hurless. It was around 1883 or 1884 that this team was organized. Others of the personnel included William Beers, Charles H. Deets, Frank Lee, Ted Arford, Henry Overholser and Clark Vinson.
The team played under that name some five or six years, possibly longer, and each year won a majority of their games. They were recognized as Whiteside and adjoining counties champions.
Had Second and Third Teams
Coleta was always enthusiastic over baseball and usually had tow teams and sometimes three. During the Plow Boys regime there was a second team called the Red Lights. This team could give the Plow Boys a pretty good tussle any time and occasionally won. W. H. Colcord umpired most of the games at that time and was well posted in the rules. He was fair in his decisions and very few complaints were registered against him.
About 1885 a third team was organized and was known as the Fire Flies. It was composed of boys under 18. The personnel changed frequently, but included such players as Ed Overholser, Luther Sayers, [unreadable] George Frankfother, [unreadable] Ed Putnam, [unreadable] and Frank Deets. The [unreadable] and was [unreadable] of the club.
First Team Before Civil War
Going further back into history, W. H. Colcord is authority for the statement that the first team was organized shortly after the Civil war and was composed of such men as Abner R. Hurless, M. H. Hurless, J. P. Overholser, Henry and Samuel Wetzel, E. I. and Henry Ferguson, R. H. Lawrence, O. M. Van Swearingen, Johnathan Patch, Nathaniel Buntley and other sports of that day.
In the late nineties a married men’s team was organized an claimed the world’s championship as they were never defeated by any team composed strictly of married men. Occasionally they took down a drubbing by teams composed of younger players. Baseball, the national pastime, made history for Coleta and Coleta aided in making history by virtue of baseball.
(15) The first store erected in the village of Coleta, then known as Crum’s Corners, was built by John Thompson Crum, the exact date not being known. It was occupied as a general store for a number of years and later moved from its first location to where it now stands adjacent to the Garwick store. The lower floor is unoccupied; the upper part is used as a residence by Joe Spealman.
(16) Surveyor’s Stake Reminds of Effort to Obtain Railway
Route Laid Out Polo To Clinton, Through Coleta, for C. B. and Q.
A reminder of the efforts that were made many years ago to have the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad for Coleta were brought forth quite recently while Charles Siddles was cutting hedge on his farm. It came back to him that his father and others had told of the prospects once entertained for the road.
Mr. Siddles had noted a hardwood surveyor’s stake under the hedge and he pulled it out. The stake was of oak and was perfectly sound. It was placed there by surveyors who made a survey from Polo to Clinton, Ia., before the present route was determined.
It is related that “Grandpa” Shannon, an early settler, was much interested in securing the railroad for Coleta and he headed a committee which went to Polo and conferred with the engineers and officials of the road in the endeavor to accomplish the desire. The survey was made and the line ran diagonally through the old Siddles farmstead, passing through about three and one-half miles southwest of Milledgeville.
“Grandfather” Shannon was a Scotchman who came first to Canada and later on to Illinois and settled near Round Grove but later in Genesee township, where he lived for many years. He died in 1927 in the month of February. Had he lived until May 22, 1927 he would have been 90 years of age. His wife was a Miss Durstine of the well known Durstine family, for one of whom an addition in Rock Falls is named.
(17) Completion of Concrete Highway to Route 88, Cause For Celebration
Spur Is Realization of a Dream of Coleta People, Extending over Long Period of Years; Marks End of 25-Year Fight for Road
Coleta’s brand new and modern concrete pavement which extends from the village to route 88, a distance of about two miles, is the realization of a dream by the township authorities and residents which had been entertained for years. With the dedication and co-incidental pleasures Friday and Saturday there is an outburst of enthusiastic appreciation which causes the hearts of all concerned to swell with pride. It is a glorious occasion for a community of people who have been practically shut off in inclement winter weather from the rest of the world.
The story of Coleta’s new paved highway which leads east and connects wit the Jordan township black top road is one which is intriguing and yet exemplifies the persistent, hopeful effort of a people who had been confronted by seemingly insuperable obstacles. It is to the credit of her village and township officials that the dream has now become a reality.
Years and years ago the outlet of Coleta towards Sterling lay over the road to Empire (now Emerson) and in from the west. Old timers brought their families by wagon and buggy over this road, stopping at springs along the way for drinks of water. To the east the road was extremely muddy and impassable in winter and it was small improvement to Sterling over what is now route 88.
Road Graveled in 1917
Along in 1916 the citizens of Coleta and Genesee township realized that while they were nestled in the mud other communities and townships were getting good roads. In 1917 Mathias Wolber, then supervisor from Genesee township interested the county highway department to such extent that the road from Coleta east to a gravel road in Jordan, three miles distant was graveled. This improvement gave a very good connection to Sterling. For several years this piece of road ranked as one of the best in the county, but as the motor vehicle came into being the road could not stand up to that traffic and it disintegrated and during the winter and spring months was almost if not quite impassable.
Wanted Genesee-Jordan Road
This period lead up to the time of the late C. LeRoy Hurless who was Genesee township supervisor. Mr. Hurless had a dream of a road which would cross Jordan and Genesee townships and even farther reaching through Clyde, Ustick and Fulton townships. At the June 1931 session of the county board of supervisors, Mr. Hurless, who had tirelessly talked for his pet road, introduced the following resolution:
“Resolved, that the following road be added to the state aid routes of Whiteside county, beginning at route 26, in Palmyra township, at a point north of Dixon, thence west to route 40 (now route 88) thence along route 40 to a point two miles east of Coleta, thence west to Coleta, thence north one mile, thence west through Genesee and Clyde township to route 78, thence west and southwest through Ustick and Fulton townships to connect with route 80, one mile north of Fulton.” [Remainder missing]
(18) Creamery Operated in Coleta Vicinity for Period in Early 80’s
Back in the ‘90s a creamery used to be operated south of Coleta by J. B. Gilbert. It was known as the Gilbert creamery over quite an area, and there were six milk routes serving it. G. M. LeFevre was the creamery man and butter maker. As is usual there was the larger production during the spring grassy season when lactation was heaviest with the cows. Buttermaking was determined as to frequency by the amount of cream on hand. The volume varied from 350 pounds of butter at a churn in the autumn to 600 pounds in early summer. At this time there is a greatly multiplied volume of milk from the territory, but it goes to the cheese factory at Milledgeville.
(19) Genesee Has Nine School Districts, Four Sunday Schools
Genesee township has nine school districts in it, the same number it has had for many years, although some of them have but few pupils, as is the case all over the country, due to decreasing tenancy on farms. The several school districts are No. 43, LaFayette school; No. 44, Washington school; No. 45, Hickory Grove school; No. 46, Liberty school; No. 47 Coleta school; No. 48, Salem school; No. 208, Elm school; No. 209, Hazel Green school; No. 210, Steuben school. At one time there were six Sunday schools in the township, but now there are four in and near Coleta. The schools are the Liberal United Brethren, the Radical United Brethren, Christian, and Genesee Lutheran. For many years there was a Methodist Sunday school.
(20) Every Fourth of July Was Celebrated for Many Years in Coleta
The people of Coleta have from early days been much given to celebrations. Every Fourth of July was a notable event and a fine program was given all day for the hosts of visitors who came there.
The flagpole raising was a great event, and the ladies of the village once made a United States flag, 16 by 24 feet in size. This was the pride of the village but was stolen by a medicine show which visited the placed [sic]. The flag was never recovered. Coleta’s band was an institution in which all took pride. C. H. [Charles Henry] Bushman, father of Cyrus Bushman, played a cornet in it. None of the members of that musical organization now are alive. Out-of-door sports were the rule. There were tugs of war, climbing the greased pole, catching the greased pig, races of all kinds and the inevitable baseball game. Coleta is said to have had a really going baseball team in those days. There was always on hand some prominent public speaker to deliver the Fourth of July oration, and at night there was the fireworks display. People came from long distances to attend the Coleta Fourth of July doings.
(21) Third Term Is Coleta Literary Group Debate 30 Years Ago
At this time when the matter of a third term for the presidency of the United States is a vital question it is interesting to recall that along in 1908 the Coleta Literary society used that subject in one of its periodical debates. The question was “Should Washington’s example in retiring after a second term be made a law?” The outcome of this debate will probably be mentioned in conversations at the centennial celebration as the old literary society is remembered. Another subject of debate was, “Is there more pleasure in pursuit than in possession?” The old literary society was a prime organization 30 years and more ago and held the interest and participation of many. Its meetings were held on Saturday nights.
(22) Recounts Early Days Of Indians in Talk At Coleta Centennial
Art Mix, a full blood Indian, and full brother of Tom Mix, gave a short address and a roping exhibition on the platform at the Saturday afternoon platform program of the Coleta celebration. He gave an Indian greeting, “Hop cola chinchilla,” meaning how do you do. He gave a short account of Red Cloud, aged 96, who surrendered to Gen. Nelson A. Miles of the United States army, and gave his 21 feathers to General Miles for an American flag as a token of perpetual peace and friendliness. He explained that Gen. Custer never committed suicide, and also said the reason the Indians won was because some renegade white general had provided the Indians with better guns than the soldiers had. He said General Miles originally was intended to be sent against the Ogallalla Sioux but he declined and Custer was sent in his stead.
(23) About 3,000 People Attend Friday Eve Program at Coleta
Amateur Contest and Concert by Morrison Band Hold Interest
Fully 3,000 people attended the opening of Coleta’s two-day centennial Friday night and found a gaily illuminated village awaiting them. Festivities began early and the village presented a gay and hospitable appearance. The Main street was occupied by carnival rides and refreshment booths. The town hall was the scene of the evening program, with Cyrus Bushman, general chairman in charge. A vast expanse of seats of lumber had been arranged for seating capacity in front of Genesee town hall. The concert by the Morrison high school band occupied the first hour of the program and a splendid musical offering was given. The Morrison boys and girls were attractive in their new band uniforms. H. W. Burch, conductor, directed a program of popular music, and generous applause was accorded. John Honens, instructor of music in rural schools, sang his recently composed Willkie song, the words of which he wrote, with the musical score by H. W. Burch. The song is entitled, “Willkie, the People’s choice.” The amateur contest was the popular platform event of the evening and held the attention of the audience through a long list of participants. The awards of the judges, who were W. N. Humphrey, J. W. Lasher and Rev. C. H. Becker, was made immediately after the address of Judge Thomas Gill of Rockford. The winners were: First, Marian Deets of Sterling who gave a piano rendition and imitation of “Donald Duck;” second, Donna and Doris Frankfother, who sang; and third, Lyle Dirk, in the Woodpecker song. The prizes were case, $5, $3 and $2.
Following were the numbers included in the amateur program:
Vocal duet, Donna Shank and Darlene Ohda of Coleta; solo, Lyle Dirks, six years old, Sterling; reading, Marian Harlacker of Coleta; solo, Sally Shaffer; piano solo, Lola Jean Dirks of Sterling; duet, Dorothy Lenhart and Amy Shipman of Sterling; solo, Carol Jean Sarber; electric guitar number by Ruth Habben of Steling; tonette band by the pupils of Hickory Grove school, John Honens, accompanist; (there were eight children in costume); solo, Vonda Shank of Coleta, who sang “My Rosary;” piano solo, Betty Gilbert of Coleta; solo, “God Bless America,” by Billy Calkins; duet, Donna and Doris Frankfother of Coleta; (they wore quaint old-fashioned women’s dresses and bonnets) accordion number by M. Pratt of Tampico; solo by Verna Heide of Coleta; duet by Wanda and Helen Smith of Milledgeville; song by pupils from Hazel Green school, John Honens accompanist; solo, Darlene Ohda of Coleta; duet by Ilabelle and Beverly Flynn of Coleta; acrobatic dance by Charlene and Frederick Volkers; solo by Marian Deets of Sterling, who gave the imitation of “Donald Duck.”
There is an all-day program for Saturday.
(24) Coleta Centennial Attracts Hundred; Parade Is Feature
Horse Show Contests, Exhibits Mark Big Two-Day Festival
That the United States would be better off if it had more Coletas and less big cities, an expression of one of the visiting speakers who spoke from the platform at the Saturday afternoon program of the Coleta centennial celebration, is a thought which many might express who enjoyed the delightfulness of the festive occasion. Never was there a community of people who showed such hospitality and friendliness as Coletans did on their two-day festival.
These Genesee village took on a most unusual brilliance and welcome Friday and Saturday. The main strees [sic] were gay with flags, bunting and illumination, while rides and various amusement enterprises regaled many. The museum of antiques in Miss Lettie Garwick’s store was generously visited and everyone enjoyed promenading and visiting the attractions offered.
Coleta’s parade is one that will be long remembered. It was a decided success, so much so that many a large community would have envied it. The parade formed in the street extending north of the village center and was marshaled by Hughey Brown. The Sterling high school band in their blue uniforms headed the parade. In due order following came the baby buggy parade with decorated strollers and mothers pushing their young. Then came decorated bicycles in goodly number, the Coleta school float, a covered wagon emulating 1840, the floats of Hickory Grove, Washington-Northwestern Minstrels float, the floats of Hickory Grove, Washington and LaFayette schools, Genesee Grange, the Christian church, Red Cross float, Sterling Implement Co., Coleta Cousins ball team, Otterbein Guild, Coleta Townsend club, Sterling-Rock Falls merchants, Rock River Production Credit association, an old gray mare hitched to an old surrey and bearing the legend, “born 30 years too soon,” a mule to an old single buggy with a couple “just married,” a farm family in a spring wagon, an early vintage automobile, an improvised campus car, Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Palmyra, William Hyer, floats of George Woessner, C. E. Wink, Irving Weckesser; Kraft Phenix Cheese Co., floats of G. Blackburn, A. J. Blumer, William A. Hinrichs, B. E. Maberry and R. T. Krauss; John Deere, Walter Hinrichs; Robert Acker of Milledgeville; Ray B. Polhill of Milledgeville’ Austin Bros., Case, Nicholson Produce Co., Whiteside Co-Operative Sevice Co., Whiteside Co-operative Locker Service, Art M___ and calliope, Robert Acker, Mr. J. Wooster of Sterling.
Enlivening the parade was a cavalcade of about 60 horseback riders on beautiful horses, including the Art Mix rodeo outfit.
Deadening the parade was a hearse built and used in 1840, which was a real relic with its large hubbed wheels, long desolate body with oval glass panels and atop were six black plumes.
After the parade, which wound its way through the village, came the horse show which was in the Coleta school yard. Various riders put their horses through tricks.
Following the noon hour began at 1:30 p. m. with Mayor Cyrus Bushman as master of ceremonies.
Prizes awarded for floats in the parade were decided by the judges with the results as floows by divisions:
School floats: First, Liberty school, $7; second LaFayette school, $5; third Washington school, $3.
Clubs, churches and organizations: First, Genesee Grange, $7; second Sterling-Rock Falls merchants, $5; third, Rock River Production Credit association, $3.
The celebration was brought to a close Saturday night with a fine platform program. Beginning at 7 p. m. there was a concert by the Sterling high school band. Musical numbers were rendered by Mrs. Jack Flynn and Mrs. Donovan Deets. Charlene and Fredricks Volkers executed dance numbers. Mrs. Kathryn Rogers of Sterling sang, and music was rendered by the Acker sisters of Milledgeville. The closing address was by Rev. W. D. Pratt, pastor of the Sterling Congregational church.
It is estimated that there were fully 5,000 people who attended the celebration Saturday and brough to a close one of the best of community events in this section.
(25) Some of The Oldest Residences in Coleta
Probably the oldest residence in Coleta is that of Mrs. Margaret Harrison. It is a two story brick of the quaintest type, a sturdy well designed house of the early nineteenth century. The house stands on South Main street and is surrounded by a pretty lawn and is a grove of large shade trees. This was the old Colcord home.
Another old house is the Mort Teachout home of frame construction and said to be one of the first residences in the village. The William Hurless house is another. Charles Pulver’s house on South Main street, in which he has lived for 56 years is counted one of the oldest in town. It formerly belonged to the Griffith estate. Charles Siddles, former deputy sheriff, lives in the cottage his father and mother occupied, but his is not one of the very oldest houses, having been built on the site of a house that was destroyed by fired years ago. Mr. Siddles has lived in it 33 years.
Another old Coleta residence is that of Amelia Reecher on North Main Street. It was originally the Meckins [Meakins?] home and the house was built probably 65 to 70 years ago but is well kept, painted and improved and does not show its age.
The Rhine hardware store in Coleta is occupied by a building the front part of which was for many hears and a long time ago the Christian church. It was then located 200 yards or more to the south of where it now is. There are few who can tell much about the old building, but on of the older men of the village states that this church was built by John Yeager, the pastor, who never drew a salary, and furthermore baptized new members in his own yard.
It is though this church was moved to its present location about 75 years ago. In the early 80’s it was occupied by Meister and Ferguson as their store, and it has ever since been a hardware store.
There are two other old stores in the village, one of which is occupied by the Lettie Garwick business. The building next ot is to the south was an early mercantile establishment and the upstairs was used for a town hall. It is now occupied as an apartment.
This building is a weatherworn old two-story frame structure with an outside covered stairway leading up. It evidently is the first and oldest store in Coleta. The upstairs is occupied as the residence of Joe Spealman, who up to a years or more ago operated a country produce business and chick hatchery business there. Up to 15 years ago it was known as the Val Alstine store. One of the early occupants of the building was Ben Wickey, but that was many years ago, longer than the memory of the active men of the village of today can recall. It is said the building was built by J. C. Thompson, who had the first store in what is now Coleta.
1. Coleta Bi-Centennial Cook Book, Coleta, Illinois; General Publishing and Binding, Iowa Falls, Iowa, 1976, PP 160–165.
2. South edge of town on the west side of the street.
3. The original building had the long axis running east-west. The addition had the long axis running north-south, parallel to the street. The new floor plan formed an “el.”
4. Cephas LeRoy Hurless who was listed in the 1920 census for Genesee Township as being a public school teacher. He was commonly called Roy Hurless.
5. Myrtle L. (Jacobson) Bushman was my teacher for grades 1 through 4 in 1947–51. She was the wife of Rothmer L. Bushman. She was born about 1903 in Wisconsin of Danish parents.
6. Jerry Reecher, a grade school classmate of mine, and his family were living in the converted church from the 1990s on, but might not have been the original purchaser.
7. Now Genesee Road running east-west north of Coleta.
8. In the late 1940s and early 1950s it was the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The parsonage was a brick house across North Main Street. About 1891 the United Brethren Church organization split into two organizations: the United Brethren Church, the more conservative organization, and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the more liberal organization.
9. In 1940 the minister was Rev. Donald C. Eibling. Prior to him the minister was Rev. A.X. Harrison, who had retired.
10. The church originally did not have a basement, or at least not a full basement. One was added about 1950, by Fred Lubbs, who was a contractor and lived on the south end of town, and included classrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a furnace room. At the same time, the ceiling of the sanctuary was lowered and covered with acoustic tiles.
11. Located on the west side of the street just north of the main intersection.
12. Transcribed from the cookbook by Larry L. Reynolds, December 29, 2003.
13. Sterling Gazette, Saturday, December 7, 1878.
14. Undated newspaper article with two pictures. Probably the Sterling Gazette in the early 1940s.
15. Newspaper article circa 1949. Probably from the Sterling Gazette.
16. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably from the Sterling Gazette.
17. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably from the Sterling Gazette.
18. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
19. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
20. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
21. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
22. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
23. Newspaper article, Saturday, September 14, 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
24. Newspaper article, September 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
25. Newspaper article circa 1940. Probably the Sterling Gazette.
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