100± Years Young
Woodford County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

This page is dedicated to those who have reached 100 years of age (and more) and resided within Woodford Co., Illinois. Short bio's and/or obits have been included. If you have additional information, pictures, or know of someone that you'd like to dedicate, please
e-mail  me.


Mrs. Bertha Snyder

Mrs. Snyder, who was 102 years old when she died October 20, 1982, lived in Metamora 82 years. She was born February 8, 1880 in St. Imier, Switzerland, daughter of John A. and Lucia Broz Isch and came to America with her parents at the age of five. Her family settled in Metamora and she attended grade and high schools here, graduating from hight school in 1897. She married Simeon M. Snyder on June 27, 1900 at the home of her parents (now known as the Adali Stevenson Home) in Metamora. He died in 1953. Bertha and Simeon had one daughter, Helen Grant who preceded her in death in 1978. She left her estate, valued at $2 million to the village of Metamora with the stipulation that the funds go toward good local medical and health services. The Bertha Snyder Memorial Medical Center opened in July 1985. The facility cost an estimated $1 million to build including road improvements.

Mrs. Snyder was a naturalist who loved gardening and flowers and rock collecting. The trees on the east side of the high school were planted by the Snyders. She taught all elementary grades in a country schoolhouse two miles south of Metamora.

Mrs. Snyder was remembered as a petite lady, always dressed properly with hair and nails done and always wearing a hat. She would be seen walking to the post office in her hat and carrying a basket.

Mary Cordes

Mrs. Cordes was born August 28, 1906 in Hamilton Township, Lee County, IL to Charles Burnham and Emma Louise (Schluter) Keigwin. She married Clifford W. Cordes in Hamilton Township, Lee County, IL on June 7, 1927. He died in 1974. Mary and Charles had four children: Gene W., Thirza L. (Clements), Lorna R. (Cobb), Emily (Noonan). Her siblings are: Charles of Walnut, IL, and Eleanor (she preceded her in death). Mary taught elementary school and was the school librarian at Lowpoint-Washburn High School till she retired in 1974. Mary was very active in her community and in her church (Washburn United Presbyterian Church).

Lena Folkerts

Lena Folkerts has lived for 103 years and has seen many changes during her lifetime. Lena Gastmann was born on July 26, 1897, in rural Benson.

As a young girl, Lena helped her parents on the farm. "I did everything. I would always help him (my father)," Lena said. Lena helped her father hitch the six horses to the wagon. "Six horses take quite a time. I like to do it, that's the reason why I did it", said Lena. Hitching the horses was not the only chore that Lena did. "We husked corn, too. Me and my sisters, two loads a day," Lena said. Lena and her brothers and sisters used to ride horses to neighbors and sometimes they would take the buggy. "That was fun," said Lena.

Lena had two brothers and two sisters. In 1918, her brother, Ben, died of the flu after being married for two weeks. Her other brother, Herman, is also deceased. Of the two sisters, Ann is still alive at 99, but Sena died when she was 100. "We all got along just fine," Lena said.

Lena married John H. Folkerts in 1917, when she was 20 years old. The Folkerts lived on a farm, where they owned cattle, horses, mules and chickens.

John's parents gave them a team of mules for a wedding present, but they were getting older, so he decided to buy another team. "John bought another team of mules at a sale in Minonk, hitched to the back of the wagon. They started to run. He was as white as a sheet. He ran them into the corn crib." said Lena. "He took them right back out. He just thought the world of them mules."

The Folkerts were farmers and over the years they grew corn, beans and oats. They also owned dairy cows, but John "didn't like to milk. He always took care of the horses," Lena said. "I didn't take care of them (the cows), but I milked them, separated the calves." Lena enjoyed living on a farm. "I liked to work outside," said Lena.

The Folkerts owned chickens as well. "We used to buy baby chicks and raise them," Lena said. "We had a brooder house to put them in."

The Folkerts had two daughters and three sons: Marie Oltman, of Minonk, Lorene Johnson, Virgil Folkerts, Eldon Folkerts, both of Minonk and Ronald Folkerts, of Washington. One of their daughters, Lorene, had polio and is deceased.

"I had them all at home. my mother would help with the babies," said Lena. "My family was all close."

Lena remembers when they first owned a car and how to copper tube on the the fender was filled with propane, which made the lights work. "We had to crank them. We had to light the lights," Lena said. "We had side curtains on the...Ford." John drove a springboard cart to get groceries in Benson. "We used to buy sugar, a 100-pound sack," said Lena.

The Folkerts moved to a farm in Rutland in 1938. "We bought a farm there. We had to move on mud roads. We almost got stuck. We had a Model T truck," recalls Lena. We had a heat stove and cook stove. Then, we had electricity, had hot water in the house, had a furnace. We thought we was in Heaven," Lena said.

Lena reminisced about past Christmases. "Christmas Eve, we would go to church in the sled, if there was snow. We had a bobsled," said Lena.

The Folkerts moved to town in 1960's. "We moved to Minonk to Fourth Street," Lena said. John kept a daily diary, where he noted the price of grain and wrote a few lines of each day's happenings. "My husband always kept a diary. I've got three drawers full of them. He used to write on the back of the calendars," said Lena. Lena intended to maintain her husband's diaries, after he passed away in 1970. "Then I was going to do it, too, when he passed away, I thought, but I got tired," Lena said.

Besides doing farm work, Lena enjoyed crocheting and made afghan, bedspreads and doilies. (Minonk News-Dispatch)

Folkert Farm in Benson, Illinois


View her obit

Folkert Farm in Rutland, Illinois


John C. Ryan

October 29, 1886 - June 29, 1989

Long-time Minonk assistant postmaster John Ryan will mark an important milestone October 29. He will be one hundred years old. He is looking forward to the event as eagerly as a 15 year old waits for the magic 16th birthday that allows him to get a driver's license.

"I'm living on borrowed time," Ryan says, grinning. "I don't know whose it is, but if I can get anymore, I'll take it."
Looking back on a career that spanned nearly half a century, and a life that has spanned a century, Ryan has many memories. The years have been good to him; he still has a twinkle in his eye and a laugh for a good story.
One of his favorite stories involves his marriage to Sophie Hinrichs, his wife of 56 years.
"We eloped," Ryan said, "and we left town so fast the horse died."The year was 1906. Evidently the parents of the couple felt they were too young to marry and withheld their permission for the wedding. Young Ryan and his sweetheart went to St. Joseph, Michigan for their wedding. "We'd had seen an advertisement saying anyone of any age could be married there," Ryan says, "and we decided to go.""Harry Fallon drove us to El Paso," Ryan recalls, "and we took the TP&W from there to Michigan. Harry drove so fast his horse died after the trip."

"Our parents learned where we were before we were gone a day," he continues, "but I guess they decided it was all right. We didn't get back to Minonk for a week."
Ryan's 42-year career with the Minonk Post Office began when his own father, William H. "Tonica" Ryan was postmaster. Young Ryan, who had attended Illinois Wesleyan University and later worked at Riley Law Office in Minonk, began as a clerk. He later became assistant postmaster, a position he held until his retirement in 1956.
"We were in the old post office then," he remembers. That building was in the block east of the current Minonk Post Office. "In those days," Ryan says, "a postal employee had to take an exam every year to keep his job. Now they only take it once."
Home mail delivery didn't come to Minonk until after World War II. Instead, people rented boxes at the post office, or depended on general delivery. "The mail used to arrive seven times a day back then," Ryan remembers. "A lot of time we went back to work after supper to stay caught up. The mail was all hand-stamped then so it took longer." Mail sorted in the evening was not usually available to the recipients until the next day, but during the war years Ryan performed a small service that is fondly remembered by families of servicemen. He'd always sort the G.I. mail and immediately let families and girlfriends know if they had a letter from overseas.
Ryan has seen many changes in the post office. When he began his career, postage for a first class letter cost two cents. There was no airmail. "We did a lot more money orders back then, too," he remembers, "because fewer people had checking accounts at banks. And postal savings accounts were very popular."
After his wife died in 1962, Ryan and his sister, Marie Ryan, shared a home until she died 13 years later. Ten years ago, long time friends and neighbors, Bob and Mildred Cremer left their own home to live with Ryan. He moved to Lida Home slightly over a year ago."But he still likes to go out to eat," said Mrs. Cremer. "His favorite trip is going to Rutland for chicken and seeing all the people. And he loves to go for car rides to see what is going on around town," she adds.
Baseball still occupies some of Ryan's attention, too. When he was younger, he pitched for the Minonk Community High School team. He still follows the White Sox.
Ryan didn't retire from the post office until he was 70. Normally, Mrs. Cremer explained, 65 was retirement age. "John was so sharp," she said, "they gave him a five year extension. All the postmasters he worked under had high praise for him," she said "and always said he was very meticulous in his work."
Ryan has pictures that recall other aspects of his early life. One shows him in a classroom at the old Minonk High School just before his graduation in 1906. Another shows him in uniform with the Illinois Promenade Band of Minonk, his cornet in hand, on a street in Pekin.
One hundred years is a birthday few get to celebrate. Fewer celebrate it in as good health as Ryan will ( Martha Cunningham - Minonk News-Dispatch 1986).

John C. Ryan was 102 years old on Saturday, October 29 and a party was held in his honor on Friday at Lida Home. It was hosted by friends, staff and residents of Lida Home and Simater Memorial Home. Cake, coffee and pop were served (November 9, 1988 Minonk News-Dispatch).Virgil Vivian and Cathy Hoeft played several piano selections for the occasion.

Esther Woltzen read a poem that she had written in his honor and he was presented a carnation corsage by staff and residents of Simater. They also voted him Mr. Minonk 1988.Mr. Ryan has resided at Lida for over three years and participates in as many activities as possible. He is a former employee of the Minonk Post Office having worked there until he was 70 years old.Before entering Lida Home his friends Bob and Mildred Cremer resided with him for a number of years. Following is the poem written by Esther Woltzen:

Our Dear John
You're not only a century old "Dear John"
You have that executive's appearance
Your winsome smile made may friends
It's magnificent to grow old if one keeps young
It's on your attitude that this depends
And as the years go by, our birthdays fly
But still you can have fun
But you'll make it a century plus two
Not that it's really my business,
But answer me this What's Your Clue?
Is it wholesome living and happiness
Or good food, exercise and such?
Well, whatever it is it seems to have worked
And left traces of the "Golden Touch"
Sing a merry tune as you watch the moon
And you'll have the blues on the run
Years can wrinkly the skin, you have very few
To lack enthusiasm wrinkles the soul,
You're as young as your faith as old as your doubts
As you play your lifetime role
You were seventeen the year I was born
In the past we've enjoyed conversations
Our positive attitudes made us good friends
And for years we've kept up these relations
Last year in my poem I blew a kiss, like this
Then you blew one back to me,
Suppose we can do the same next year
Folks, wait till '89 and you'll see.

Pearl Muzzy

Pearl Muzzy celebrated birthday number 100 last Friday. A resident of Minonk's Lida Home, she marked the day with a cake and visits from family and friends. Born Dec. 8, 1889, on a farm near Delphi, Ind., Ms. Muzzy was one of eight children born to William and Mathilda Overly. She was only a few years old when Overly, a breeder of Percheron horses, packed his growing family into a wagon and moved to Decatur. Music was an important part of life for the young prairie family. "Everyone played something" recalls Mrs. Muzzy's daughter, Hazel Judd of Wenona. "Mother played the piano, her dad and three of her brothers played the fiddle and the others played flute and organ. Music was important to them as a family activity and they often played a church gatherings and weddings and dances." Life was busy. Both before and after her 1909 marriage to James Muzzy, Mrs. Muzzy remembers using a wood stove to prepare large meals for threshing crews. Travel was always by horse and buggy. And a visit to the store meant taking in eggs, butter, and milk to trade for items such as dress materials. Early life included a few years in North Dakota before returning to Peoria in the early 1920's. The family expanded to include four sons and two daughters. Mrs. Muzzy kept busy with her music and her family. She sewed a lot and was especially found of quilting. She also gained a reputation as an excellent cook. Later she worked for a local department store. After her husband died in 1948, Mrs. Muzzy moved to Florida to be near several family members. She worked for the school system. Nine years ago, she moved to Simater Home in Minonk, and later the Lida Home, a nursing home. At 100, Mrs. Muzzy's sense of humor is intact and she keeps a positive attitude. She offers no secret for her longevity and her only comment on the festivities surrounding her birthday was, "It seems like an awful lot of fuss." But she smiled as she said it.

Louise O'Gorek

This picture was taken while Louise was living at the Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Minonk, Ill. No caption was with this picture except her name and birthdate. Not sure who the gentleman is (possibly a family member?). Louise was born June 30, 1899, died October 15, 2001 at the age of 102y 3m 15d. (view her obit). Louise married John O'Gorek who was born June 18, 1901, and died May 19, 1987. They are both buried at Minonk Township Cemetery, Minonk, Illinois.

Elof Hylin

Elof was a resident at the Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Minonk, Illinois. No caption listed with this picture.

Elof was born August 23, 1901 and died May 23, 2002 while a resident at Heritage Manor, in Minonk, Illinois..

View his obit

Marie McKeon

Marie McKeon was born September 30, 1903 in rural Minonk, Illinois, to Fred and Edina Peters Broers. She married Gilbert E. McKeon on May 13, 1924, in Minonk. He preceded her in death. Marie and Gilbert had three children: Jean (Flohr) of Benson, JoAnn (Jim Broecker) of Alta Loma, California, and one son, Dale, of Upland, California. Marie and Gilbert operated the Minonk Produce Co., in Minonk, Illinois. Marie was a grandmother of 19 , had many great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She loved to sew and was very talented at it and played the piano. Marie, at age 102, died on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at St. Mary's Hospital, in Streator, Illinois, after a short stay at Minonk Heritage Manor Nursing Home. Her ashes were taken to California for burial. View her obit

Tena Tarman
View her obit

Sherry Lindeman wrote this article as a tribute to her Aunt Tena Tarman who celebrated her 100th birthday on December 9, 2006 at Synder Village in Metamora.

Tena Tarman was born December 9, 1906 on a farm south of Minonk, Illinois. She was named for her maternal grandmother, Trienje Luppen Gelster. Tena’s mother, Fredericka Gelster Janssen Tarman came to the United States from Ostfriesland, Germany in 1892 at the age of eighteen. In June 1893 she married Paul Janssen and they lived on the Janssen farm south of Minonk. They were parents of John, Henry (Hank) and Anna Janssen. Paul Janssen died in 1898.

Tena’s mother married John Tarman who was the son of German emigrants in 1903 and they continued to live on the Janssen farm. They were the parents of Irene Tarman Goliwas Tena, and Charles (Bob)Tarman. Tena’s father died in 1910 and her mother was left to raise six children and run the farm.

Tena attended the Woodford School until her mother and the younger children moved to Minonk in 1918. She graduated from Minonk High School in 1925 and from Brokaw School of Nursing in Normal, Illinois in 1930. After graduating from Brokaw School of Nursing, Tena worked as an office nurse for Doctor Norman Elliot, a prominent doctor in Bloomington, Illinois. When Tena was a student at the Brokaw, Maude Essig, the Superintendent of Nursing at Brokaw School of Nursing had been a Red Cross nurse during World War I; and she had encouraged her students to join the Red Cross. In 1940 the army and the Red Cross issued a call for nurses to join the Army Nurse Corps for one year of service. Tena registered for the Army Nurse Corps at the McLean County Court House in Bloomington, Illinois, and was sworn into the Army Nurse Corps on January 15, 1941; and reported for duty at Fort McClellan at Aniston, Alabama.

When war was declared in December 1941 all the nurses at Fort McClellan, which was a station hospital, decided to remain in the Army Nurse Corps; and were to serve for the duration of the war. All nurses entered the Army Nurse Corps as Second Lieutenants . Tena spent two years and three months at Fort McClellan and then was stationed at several other station hospitals in the U. S.

In 1943 Tena volunteered to go over seas and so she was sent to join the 97th Evacuation Hospital at the desert center in California for training. In early December 1943 she was on a troop train going across the country to the east coast. There were about 40 nurses in her unit; and the hospital personnel were always divided into two groups to travel. They arrived at Fort Dix, New Jersey on December 16, 1943.

On December 27, 1943 half of her hospital unit boarded a troop ship on Staten Island for the trip to England. The other half of the unit was on another ship. They had to wear their dress uniforms, a skirt, shirt, jacket and long over coat with a hood to board the ship, and always had to carry their canteen, first aid kit , gas mask. They were the first women aboard the ship since it was outfitted to carry troops. Tena said there were thirty-two nurses, two Red Cross workers, several doctors, and five thousand men on the ship. The medical corp men also traveled with the unit.

They sailed on December 28th in a convoy, zigzagging across the Atlantic. The ship was so crowded that they only had time to serve two meals a day, and there were not enough life boats for everyone. The nurses worked “sick bay” on the ship, and quite a few of the men had the measles, so they were busy.

They landed at Liver Pool, England, and took a train to Castle Carry in southern England where they were stationed until June 1944. From January 1944 until June much time was spent in training, and training the medical corps men who would be working with the nurses and the doctors in the field hospital.

The nurses had time off, so Tena was able to do a lot of traveling in England. The high light for her was a week’s leave, spent in London and northern England with her brother who was stationed in Ireland. Tena said that they knew D Day was coming, but did not know the date. She said that they were packed and ready to move about a week ahead of time. In packing they could each take their bed roll, which contained their sleeping bag and a small pillow. They each had a suitcase. They took five outfits of clothes (shirts and trousers), an extra pair of boots, a field jacket and their helmet. Their dress uniforms, overcoat and other belongings were left in a footlocker in England. They always had to have their helmets, gas masks, canteen, and first aid kit with them. The tents, cots, and bed rolls were transported for them.
Tena said that on the night of June 5th they heard planes taking off all night so they knew the invasion was beginning. They finished packing and on June 16 traveled to the English Channel by train. They spent the rest of the day loading LCI carriers to cross the Channel that night. The personnel of half the hospital were on each carrier. The LCI carrier could not go all the way in to shore; so they were met by a “duck vehicle”; and had to jump over the side of the LCI carrier to the “duck” below.

The 97th hospital unit landed at Sugar Beach, which was between the Omaha and Utah beach heads near St Mary DeGleif, France. Upon landing they spent some nights in “fox holes “ on the beach and ate K rations. They backed the battle of Cherbourg, and were in the city a few days after it fell. Their hospital was attached to the First Army under General Omar Bradley and General Courtney Hodges. The evacuation hospital was a semi-mobile unit made up of khaki tents and were just a few miles from the battle front. They usually heard the gunfire.

The corpsmen unloaded the trucks and set up the tents and cots. The nurses made up the beds with sheets. They were under constant blackout, so the hospital tents had double walls and the wards were dimly lit. The ward tents usually had forty cots. Tena said that many of the medications had to be mixed before they were used. Sulfa and penicillin were new drugs used during World War II, and had to be mixed just before they were used. The administration tent usually had a large red cross on it; and there was usually a large red cross on the ground near the hospital for all planes to see. Transportation officers, the supply officer, the chief nurse and her assistant staffed the administration tent. The admissions tent was staffed by a doctor and several nurses.

Tena said they had some very fine doctors including a very good neural surgeon. They only did the most urgent surgery in the evacuation hospitals Most patients needing surgery were sent back to a station hospital or a hospital in England. All patients were evacuated to another hospital as soon as they could travel.

All the nurses worked twelve hour shifts, and they usually changed shifts after each move. The hospital was usually set up near a stream of water that was used by the hospital. Chlorine was put in the water to purify it. Tena was usually in charge of the abdominal and chest ward; and her patients were usually on IV’S . She said sometimes the patient’s blood pressure had to be taken every 15 minutes. Her ward usually had about 40 patients with several other nurses and corpsmen. The nurses lived in tents, five nurses to a tent . Their hospital was never hit by bombs or unfire; but they heard German V bombs and German planes going over head as wells gun fire from the battle. The hospital moved about every ten days, depending how the battle was going. They always oved at night under blackout conditions, riding in the back of open trucks with sixteen nurses to each truck. Tena said there was always a short prayer service ach time they moved and again in their new location before they started taking patients. Tena said there was always a priest, protestant minister or rabbi with the hospital. In the summer of 1944 Tena wrote of moving often and of the French civilians as they moved cross France. Many of the towns had been heavily bombed and had much destruction. She said that they were very busy and they heard a lot of gunfire. At that time she was promoted to First Lieutenant. A few days after Paris was liberated Tena said that they traveled through the city by open truck, stopping to eat their K rations that night on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. She said as they drove through the city that night and many Parisians came out to watch them. At this time when she wrote to us she said , “We have it so much better than the troops in the front lines.
On August 24, 1944, Tena’s younger brother, Bob, was killed in battle southeast of Paris. She heard the news in a letter from Velma Arnold, a nurse friend from Bloomington with a clipping from “ The Pantagraph.” This was a hard blow for her, but she said , “I just had to go on.” She was able to travel to her brother’s unit and visit the cemetery where he was buried several times. She also wrote , “I so wanted Bob to get through safely, and to get home again. I’m so glad that I saw him in London. He was happy, and looked so good. He was one of the best!”.

By October her unit had moved into Belgium and were in buildings. She said, “I don’t like it as well for it means we can’t leave the building except with a escort or guard; and then only on special business. All doors are guarded at all times by Belgium guards. We have to be very careful from now on.” The German army had retreated from France back to the German border and inhabited well built concrete pill boxes and other fortified positions; and were also launching a new V two bomb, which was causing much damage and fear in London.

Tena wrote that mail was very slow, saying that air mail arrived in two to three weeks, and mail with a three cent stamp took six to eight weeks to arrive Tena said that each nurse had three sets of “fatigues” which they wore for work; and they were washed with the hospital laundry. She said they would brush the wrinkles out of them, and then put them under their sleeping bag on their cots. She said the captain got coveralls for them to wear on moves that were like those the tank troops wore, to keep warm in winter.

As they moved into Germany and winter arrived they would set up the hospital and live in abandoned schools and buildings. It was very cold as the windows were usually broken; so they covered the windows with blankets, and they usually had small pot bellied stoves. She went on to say that it was still very cold, but so much better than the conditions of the boys in the fox holes.

The Battle of the Bulge started in December and caused a large retreat of American and allied troops from Germany back into Belgium, the Netherlands and France. There were many casualties. Aunt Tena wrote about Christmas Eve Day of 1944. The 97th was located near Achen, Germany, and they knew the army was retreating. The ambulances were having difficulty getting through to evacuate the patients. (The roads were a quagmire of mud caused by all the rain, sleet, and snow.) Each of the nurses volunteered to stay with the patients so the unit could retreat. However, the ambulances got through late in the afternoon, and the patients were moved. Then they packed to move; and by 8:00 PM were in open trucks in a convoy heading back to Belgium in total blackout. They arrived at a school building after midnight and unpacked. Christmas afternoon they were ordered to pack to move again.

On January 6, 1945 Tena received the Bronze Star medal at a ceremony in Belgium. In her letter she wrote, “ We stood in formation, the band played, our names were called, and we stepped forward. Then our C.O. read our citation and a general pinned the Bronze Star on us. We had our pictures taken while he was doing it. We had champagne afterwards in our colonel’s room, and then went to dinner where a table was reserved for us and we had steak.

A picture and caption of Tena receiving the Bronze Star appeared in “The Pantagraph”. Her citation read, “ First Lieutenant Tena Tarman, Army Nurse Corps, United Stated Army. For meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy as Charge Nurse, Abdominal and Chest Ward, 97th Evacuation Hospital, Semi-mobile, from 17 June 1944 to 31 October 1944, in France and Belgium. When her ward was filled to capacity with seriously ill patients, First Lieutenant Tarman, with a minimum of nursing personnel, so directed and supervised their activities that patients received superior nursing care. Her personal interest and knowledge of the condition of each patient in her ward resulted in securing the best possible nursing care and nursing service. The marked ability and professional skill displayed by First Lieutenant Tarman reflected credit upon herself and the military service. Entered the military service from Illinois, Courtney Hodges, Lieutenant General, U. S. Army, Commanding, The 97th unit did not get back into Germany until late March. On April 7th she wrote that she had been across the Rhine River several times. In another letter, she wrote that they moved to Ahrweiler, Germany on March 16 which was six miles from the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine River. The bridge collapsed on March 17. The hospital was set up in a Catholic Convent; and the nurses lived in the nun’s quarters. After the bridge collapsed the army quickly built a pontoon bridge.

Tena said that she walked across the pontoon bridge and also took a boat ride on the Rhine. When they moved from west of the Rhine in late April they moved in large transport planes to Kassel, Germany From there they traveled by open truck to their new location. They were living in tents again.When the war ended in Europe on May 7, 1945 the 97th evacuation hospital was at Weimer, Germany. Tena wrote on May 19, “V E Day finally got here, but there wasn’t much celebrating over here for until it’s over in the Pacific there isn’t any use to celebrate; besides there are too many memories here to take it lightly.” She also said that they went through Buchenwald, one of the German Concentration camps and expressed the horror they had seen..On July 3 Tena wrote that twenty-two nurses, some doctors and enlisted men were leaving the 97th evacuation unit to join the 91st evacuation hospital unit which was going to the Pacific. Soon they learned that they were going to tbe Pacific by way of the states. In August the war ended in the Pacific, so they were coming home. In early September Tena flew to Marseille, France to a staging area to wait to sail for home. They finally sailed for home in late September and arrived at New Port News, Virginia. The day after arriving sixteen nurses took a train to Chicago.Tena was discharged October 3, 1945 at Fort Sheridan, which was near Rockford, Illinois. She then took the Santa Fe from Chicago to Streator; and there was joined by her niece Phyllis Goliwas for the last leg of her long trip home to Minonk on the “Doodle Bug”. She said that it was great to be home and to see everyone.During the time that she was in Europe Tena said that she was in five campaigns, which were Normandy, Northern France, the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. She had received several ribbons and the Bronze Star.Following her discharge from the Army Nurse Corps Tena worked for a year as a public health nurse in Peoria, Illinois. Then she attended George Peabody Teacher’s College in Nashville, Tennessee where she received certification for public health nursing in 1948.In the summer of 1948 she moved to Decatur, Illinois and began a career as a school nurse in the Decatur Public Schools. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Milliken University in August 1951, and her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois in August 1965.Tena retired in 1972 after spending twenty-four years with the Decatur Public Schools. At the time of her retirement she was given a life membership in the Parent-Teacher’s Association for meritorious and dedicated service for the promotion of the welfare of children and youth. She continued to live in Decatur until moving to Snyder Village in Metamora several years ago.

A note from the author:
Much of the information about Tena was taken from letters that she wrote to our family during her time in the Army Nurse Corp. My mother saved her letters and I still have them. In preparing this article in 1999, I talked with Aunt Tena several times about her experiences. I also read a book, “Citizen Soldiers” by Stephen Ambrose which gave much background information about the war in Europe and contained an entire chapter about the medics.

Sherry Lindeman
10841 S W 90th Court
Ocala, Florida 34481

Below are individuals who resided at Minonk Manor Inc, (later Lida Home, then Heritage Manor) who had reached the wonderful young age of 100 years plus.


Age at Death


Marital Status

Date of Death

Augusta Keklehur




July 22, 1968

Anna Francisco




December 1, 1976

Lena Smith




February 8, 1981

John C. Ryan




June 29, 1989

Kathryn Jacek




October 22, 1990

Pearl Muzzy




March 3, 1991

Helen Crone




August 22, 1996

Pauline Wilson




October 14, 1999

Anna Konwinski




September 2, 2001

Gustave Hylin




May 23, 2002

Lena Folkerts




May 24, 2004

Ann Hangartner

Ann was born Ann Beer to John and Hulda Steffen Beer on September 8, 1902 in Roanoke, Illinois. She married William Hangartner on March 7, 1924 in Metamora. He died June 16, 1974.

Ann and William had two children: Doris (Irving),and Marvin Hangartner. Ann had two sisters and two brothers. One sister, Margaret Beer, still survives (as of Aug. 2012,  Margaret Beer still survives and is now 101. I also believe she is still licensed to drive an automobile and does so. Margaret and my mother, Alma Baum, were first cousins through their grandfather, John U. Beer of Roanoke. She was the youngest in her family..notes by John Baum).

Ann died February 18, 2007, at the age of 104, while residing at the Apostolic Christian Home in Roanoke, where she was a resident. She was buried at the Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery in Roanoke. View her obit

Helen Major

Helen B. Major was 101 years young when she passed on. Helen was from Eureka, moving to West Minister Village in West Lafayette, Ind. where she died (view her obit). Helen was born September 7, 1905, near Shadeland, Indiana, the daughter of John and Kathryn Baugh Bone. On June 15, 1943, she married Edward Major. He died in 1979. They had no children.

Helen taught schools in both Indiana and Illinois for 26 years. She and her husband lived in Eureka until 1971 when they moved to Green Valley, Arizona and then later to West Lafayette, Indiana.

Ralph A. Burster was b.  January 7, 1893 and d.  September 10, 1985.  Ralph is buried at Evergreen Cemetery, in El Paso, Ill. He m. Mildred Garber Burster on  27 June 1928. 
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden


Mary Pearl Bilbrey  1887 - February 7, 1990.  She is b. Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso.
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

Anna Konwinski
View her obit 

Paul Stiles
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

View his obit

Dolores Z. Corbitt Kominoski
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

View her obit

Roma Bateman Search Moreland was b. May 29, 1894 to Warren Manley & Mary Frances Bateman Search, d. Mar. 9, 1998. She married James A. Moreland Dec 6, 1911. He was born May 20, 1890, d. Nov. 27, 1973. They are both buried in the Secor Cemetery, Secor, Ill. Their children are: Francis C., Warren M., Melvin L., Loretta L., and Junior J. View her obit.

Martha E. Regan Howard  
July 7, 1851 - February 16, 1951 (just shy of 100 years old)
b. Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Illinois
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

Violet Mason
View her obit

Raymond Rocke
View his obit

submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

Lena de Freese
submitted by Mollie Mann
View her obit

 Charles Hunzinger

View his obit

View short story on Charles & his brother, Frank

Gladys Hazel Dabler Watson

View her obit

Caroline Moser was born  December 13, 1904, died  January 18, 2005.  She is buried in the New Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Roanoke.  Her husband was Aaron B. Moser, whom she married February 21, 1937
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

View Obit

Mamie E. Zook

Born August 15, 1891, died July 3, 1993 and is buried at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Washburn, Ill. View her obit

Ruth Robbins

Ruth Robbins
(just shy of 100 years old)

22 November 1912 in La Porte Co, Indiana, a daughter of Melvin and Lillian Burden Robbins.  She lived most of her life in El Paso, Woodford Co, Illinois but died in the nursing home in Minonk 29 August 2011
View her obit

Thomas L. Jones - View his obit
Lena E. Miller - The only info I have on Lena is that she was born in 1866, died in 1967 and is buried in the Minonk Twp. Cemetery.
Anna M. Hartter born 16 April 1891 died 14 October 1991.  Possibly the wife of Samuel Hartter.  Buried: New Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Roanoke (submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden). View her obit
Bertha G. Ricksher - born 1892, died 21 Sept 1993, buried St Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in El Paso Township (submitted by Amy RobbinsTjaden). View her obit
Ira C. Stone - was born August 15, 1810 and died January 28, 1911. Ira was Mayor of Kappa and is buried in the Kappa Cemtery, in Kappa, Ill. Ira is mentioned in Moore's book on Woodford Co. - "He has passed his ninety-ninth year, and buds fair to live beyond his one hundredth."- submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden View his obit

Kathryn E. Swing Schumacher - March 4, 1894 - October 14, 1995, buried at the  Old Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Roanoke. View her obit

Emma Pearl Sommer - Born June 22, 1907, in Metamora, daughter of George I. and Anna Schertz Sommer. Died Nov. 7, 2008. View her obit. submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden
Alex Probus
1876 - 1976
Burial at Minonk  Township Cemetery
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

 Ruth Park

b. 2/13/1913 d. 4/8/2014
her obit
Eileen Meils
b. 10/12/1914 d. 10/15/2015
her obit

 Ollie C. Swan

View her obit

buried in Minonk Twp Cemetery

Born May 5, 1883
Died June 28, 1984
Age 101y 1m

Peter Pfister, Sr
Born August 25, 1875,  and died December 9, 1976.
 He is buried in the New Apostolic Church Cemetery in Roanoke. He was married to Mary Aeschliman Pfister
submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

Gertjen Gerdes (Gertrude) Reents Stunkel
b. Jan 28, 1868
Secor, ILL
d. June 20, 1979
Rockford, ILL
Helen A. Heighway WirthBorn April 26, 1891, died December 20, 1991 and is buried along side her husband Henry J. at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Washburn, Ill.
View her obit

Angela R. "Angie" Ketchmark
b. 4/18/1913 d. 12/13/2012
her obit

 Ferne Peters
b. 8/7/1916 d. 4/23/2016
her obit

Gesche Kettwich

Gesche Kettwich was born in Ostfriesland, Germany, October 1850, and died 10 February 1952 in Minonk., Woodford Co, Illinois. Gesche married UFFE GERDES KETTWICH on January 28, 1871. He was born 12 October 1842 in Ostfriesland, Germany, and died 28 March 1923 in Flanagan., Livingston Co, Illinois.Gesche and Uffe immigrated to America shortly after marriage living in California for a while before moving to Minonk, Illinois, then when retiring, to Flanagan, Illinois

Gesche and Uffe raised eleven children, with the first born, Edward, dying in California, abt. 1872. Children: Lena Bauman (d. @ age 87) was born 21 September 1873, California; George (d. @ age 73) was born 07 January 1876, Minonk; Henry (d. @ age 77) was born 20 February 1878, Minonk; Lucy Ostermann (d. @ age 100) was born 21 July 1880, Minonk; John (d. @ age 92) was born 14 December 1884, Minonk; Carl (d. @ age 85) was born 25 July 1887; Eilert (d. @ age 93) was born 18 October 1889; Uffe Jr (d. @ age 94) was born 19 January 1891; Sena Reints (d. @ age 97) was born b. 12 April 1894; Anna Post (d. @ age 87) was born b. 31 October 1896; and Christina Wyman (d. @ age 36)was born 22 October 1882, Minonk.

See her obituary here...
For additional information on Gesche Kettwich and her family click here.

Rev. Della Stretch

Della, seated, celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday, shows her friend, Mrs. C. J. Pritchett of Dana, a certificate presented to her by the El Paso City Council. The certificate was given "in grateful appreciation of her years of service as a teacher and Christian minister." Photo & article from The Pantagraph August 10, 1960

El Paso - The Rev. Della B. Stretch, El Paso's oldest resident, will observe her 100th birthday anniversary Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Tobein Nursing Home where she has resided over four years. Mrs. Bernard M. Schopp, superintendent of the Nursing Home, states that Mrs. Stretch will be honored at open house Tuesday to which her friends are invited.
A special service will be held at the Church of the Nazarene in El Paso at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, honoring Mrs. Stretch. Dr. Lyle E. Eckley, district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, in which Mrs. Stretch has been a minister 38 years, will express the esteem of the church for her. The Rev. Henry L. Cox, president of the El Paso Ministerial Association, and the Rev. L. J. Sailor, of Wesley Methodist Church, Bloomington, and a long time friend of Mrs. Stretch, will speak.
Mrs. Stretch was born on a farm in Greene Township, northwest of El Paso, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Betz, and most of her life has been spent in this area. She was one of the early graduates of Illinois State Normal University and taught school for about 10 years prior to her marriage to the Rev. M. E. Stretch. She was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church and she and her husband formed an evangelistic team, preaching and singing in many communities in the east and midwest.
For a time she was affiliated with the Evanglical Church, but in 1922 she and her husband were licensed to preach in the Church of the Nazarene, and several years later was ordained an elder. She was a member of the Central Illinois Holiness camp at Normal from its beginning and served as its president for more than 10 years.
Mr. Stretch died in 1925, but Mrs. Stretch continued her work, preaching as requests came to her, and maintaining her home, until the fall of 1955 when she was hospitalized for a time, and has since been at the Tobein Nursing Home.

Della was born August 11, 1860 and died April 7, 1961. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery, in El Paso, Illinois, along side her husband who was b. 1859, and d. 1925.

William Jury - contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden

William Jury was born in December 26, 1828 in Devonshire, England and died in 1929 (Woodford Co., Ill). He is buried in Mt Vernon Cemetery in Woodford Co. Illinois.

1870 Linn Twp, Woodford Co, Illinois Census

Jury, William, 41, farmer, born in England
Maria, 37, born in England
Mary, 12 (all children born in Illinois)
Clara, 10
William, 8
Isabell, 7
Caroline, 3

1880 Linn Twp, Woodford Co, Illinois Census

Jury, William 52, farmer, born in England
Maria, 48, wife, born in England
May E., daughter, 21 (all children born in Illinois)
Clara M. daughter, 20
William, son, 18
Bell, daughter, 16
Cora, daughter, 11
Clarence, son, 9

From "The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois" (1900)

(William Jury) Prominent among the early settlers of Woodford county, Illinois, who have witnessed the marvelous development of this section of the state in the last half century, and who have, by honest toil and industry, succeeded in acquiring a handsome competence, and are now able to spend the sunset of life in quiet and retirement, is the gentleman whose name introduces this review. For many years he was successfully engaged in farming but is now living in retired life in Washburn.

Mr Jury was born in Devonshire, England, December 26, 1828, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Tanton) Jury, also natives of Devonshire, who in 1850 emigrated to the new world and took up their residence in Woodford county, Illinois. After spending two years in Cazenovia township, they removed to Linn township, where the father took up a tract of government land, to the improvement and cultivation of which he at once turned his attention, making it his home throughout the remainder of his life. He died on that place in 1872, and his wife passed away in Metamora township, in 1879, honored and respected by all who knew them. Their children were William, our subject; Elizabeth, who died in Cazenovia township, in 1850; Thomas, a resident of Washburn; and Mrs Mary Fulton, of Ford county, Illinois.

The first fourteen years of his life William Jury passed in his native land, but in 1842 he set sail from Bideford, England, and after a long and tedious voyage of eleven weeks and three days landed at New York. He immediately came west, by the Great Lakes, to Chicago, and by wagon to Woodford county, Illinois, where he lived with an uncle for six years. He then returned to England, and came again to this country with the family in 1850. Since that time he has made his home uninterruptedly in Woodford county. The year of his arrival he bought land in Linn township and also took up a tract of government land, becoming owner of three hundred and twenty acres in that township, which he converted into a fine farm. There he made his home until his removal to Washburn in 1896. Being a skillful agriculturist and a man of excellent business and executive ability, he met with marked success in his farming operations, and besides the valuable property in Linn township, he owns over four hundred acres of well improved land in Cazenovia township.

In 1857 Mr Jury was married in Peoria county, Illinois, to Miss Maria Radley, also a native of Devonshire, England, and to them were born six children, namely: Mary; Clara; William, deceased; Belle; Cora, deceased; and Clarence.

Politically Mr Jury is identified with the Republican party, and was the first assessor of what is now Linn and Clayton townships. He also served as commissioner and school trustee of Linn township, and in early life took quite a prominent and influential part in public affairs. He was prominently identified with the organization of the county and of the townships of Linn and Cazenovia, and has ever borne his part in the work of progress and advancement. His career has been such as to gain for him the confidence and respect of all whom he has come in contact, and he justly merits the high regard in which he is held.

Margaret Dempsey Corbley
June 6, 1839 [b in Ireland], d June 30, 1904
Buried St. Marys Cemetery, Panola
Married Thomas Corbley. [Oct 10, 1827-Sept 12, 1913]

CORBLEY, Thomas and Margaret Dempsey – Thomas was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1835, and came with his widowed mother Ellen (Hanley) to America about 1842 and settled in New Jersey. He came west into Illinois in 1856 and in 1861 settled in El Paso Twp. as a farmer. There were four children born to Thomas and Margaret: John, Peter, Mary (Cleary) and Ann. Mr. Corbley was a Roman Catholic and a Democrat. [The Centennial Book of El Paso, Illinois, 1954]

Mary Vittone

100, of Toluca, passed away at 4:18 a.m. Thursday (July 13, 2017) at Heritage Health, Minonk.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Toluca. The Franciscan friars will officiate. Burial will follow in St. Ann Catholic Cemetery, Toluca. Visitation will be 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Calvert–Johnson & Froelich Memorial Home, Toluca. Memorials may be made to the church or Eastern Marshall County Ambulance Service.  Mary was born June 26, 1917, in Toluca, the daughter of Dominick and Lucy Baravetto Vittone.  She is survived by nieces, Elizabeth “Bette” (Les) Boswell, Bloomington, and Linda Maloney, New Prague, Minn.; 10 great-nieces and -nephews; her godson, Jim “Cumi” (Marge) Crumrine, Toluca; and a special family member, Vincent Maloney.  She was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Ruth Vittone.  Mary worked for the Toluca Post Office for over 40 years and was a former postmaster. She was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, the Ladies of St. Ann, and had sung in the church choir. [Bloomington Pantagraph, Jul 16, 2017]
Bernice A Gaede
Bernice was married to Morris Gaede [d. Mar 27, 1988]. She was born on Sept 3, 1912, died jan 23, 2017, buried at Minonk Township Cemetery. She was 104 at time of passing.

Leona and Raymond Miller

October 3, 1933 - wedding photo


Leona Miller was born Leona Legner in Loretta, Sunbury Township, Livingston Co., Illinois (near Blackstone) to William and Helena Neuhoff Legner, on October 27, 1907. Leona and her brother, Justin, grew up in this area. Their parents are buired in the Odel Catholic Cemetery.

She married Raymond Jacob Miller (who was from Ancona) on October 3, 1933. He farmed their land in Ancona. He was born July 6, 1905 and died September 4, 1985. Their home burned to the ground in 1937 and they rebuilt in 1938.

Leona graduated from St. Xavier's School (now Marquette High School) in Ottawa, Illinois. Her hobbies included gardening and flowers. She had U of I design her flower garden.

Leona and Raymond had two children (adoped): Raymond Lester who was six weeks old when he was adopted and Mary Letha (Craft) who was six months old when adopted. Both live in Rock Island.

Leona remembers one of her chores as a child, was feeding the chickens. Her favorite color is pink, her favorite flower - the daffodil.

She met her late husband, Raymond, at a dance. He was a farmer, and Leona - a farmer's wife. They had 2 children: Lester Miller and Letha Craft. Leona states they were good children and never needed punished.

Leona reminisces about cooking fried chicken for her family. Their first car she said, was a 1909 Ford. She said they all went to church on Sunday. Leona said she also taught her children to eat well.

Leona talks about when she traveled to Chicago and the big beautiful churches there and said if she could travel anywhere again, it would be Chicago. Leona was asked if she could give some good adive to youg peopl,e what would it be? She state, "Go to church and eat food that's good for you".

Leona couldn't think of anything different she would do if she could live life over agian. She says if she cuold write a book about herself, it would be title "Life". She thinks the reason she's lived to be 100 years old is "God's decision".

Ella was a resident of Heritage Manor in Minonk, Illinois. At the age of 102, she was still walking up till a few months before her death. The picture to the right was taken in May of 2007 at which time I tried to get a little history about her. This is what she told me: She was born in Spencerville, Ohio, on September 26, 1904, to William and Mary Mabel (Howe) Sprague. She married A.D. "Pal" Miller on February 16, 1933. He was a bookkeeper for a milk farmer while she remained home to help him and take care of their daughter, Sara. She lived in the Crestline for 43 years then moved to Illinois to be with her daughter and son-in-law.

She goes on to tell me that her Grandpa was Juluis Howe and that she had two sisters, Flora and Mary, and one brother, William. She walked a mile to school and lived in a two story farm house. Their warmth source came from a coal or wood burning stove. Her dog, Duke, also kept her warm.

Her Mother had two brothers: Smith and Holland and one sister, Ella. Her Father had two brothers, Eleery and Pete and two sisters, Nellie and Maude (unsure of the spelling of siblings names. Ella's story - as told to me, Dena).

View her obit

Ella Miller

Imogene Sherman

Imogene was born March 8, 1910, in Chandlerville, Ill., to Walter Lewis Herget and Bertha Bateman Herget (Ricksher). She married Milton L. Sherman on July 12, 1928, in Chicago and reared 10 children.

View her obit

Irene Lutjens
Roanoke woman was 100
ROANOKE - Irene Lutjens, 100, of Roanoke passed away at 9:47 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2015, at the Good Samaritan Home in Flanagan, Ill., where she was a resident. She was born on July 17, 1915, in Benson to Henry and Engeline Warnke Woltzen. She married Wilbur J. Lutjens on March 15, 1956, in Benson, Ill. He passed away Feb. 7, 1995. Her parents and one brother, Ernest, also preceded her in death. She is survived by several nieces and nephews. Irene was a homemaker, helping her husband and brother on the family farm for many years. She loved farm life and lived on the family farm for 99 years. She loved gardening and canning, and she enjoyed cooking and baking. Irene was a member of the St. Peter Lutheran Church in rural Benson, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 27. The Rev. Gabriel Baumgardner will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church or a charity of the donor's choice . [Published in Peoria Journal Star from July 25 to July 26, 2015] contributed by Amy R-T

Robert M. Barth
Robert Michael Barth, 102, of Minonk, died at 6:52 a.m. Thursday (March 3, 2016) at Heritage Health, Minonk. He was born on May 17, 1913, in Minonk, to Edward and Elizabeth Timmerman Barth. He married Roberta F. Meinhold on April 9, 1939, in Minonk. She died on June 15, 2010. Surviving are two daughters, Jeri Sue (Randy) Johnson, Minonk, and JoAnn (Robert) Fichter, Evanston; grandchildren, Brian (Veronika) Johnson, Frankfort; Kimberly Johnson, Blackhawk, Colo.; Noah Fichter, Portland, Ore.; and Luke (fiancee, Sarah Barnett) Fichter, Union Grove, Wis.; great-grandchildren, Anna and Drew Johnson and Cameron Fichter; and stepgreat-grandchildren, Anna, Patrick and Colin Jungels. He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Hannah, John, Edwin and Delbert Barth; Edith Meierhofer; Evelyn Milashoski; and Irma Baker; and infant sister, Marion.. Robert was a farmer; it was both his occupation as well as his hobby. He served his community as a member of the Benson School Board, Woodford County Board, St. Paul's Church Council and the Woodford Farm Bureau. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Minonk. The Rev. Ed Sinclair will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, Minonk. Burial will be in Minonk Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the St. Paul's United Church of Christ. [Minonk Talk]

Ann Kelly - Oldest Minonk Person

Ann Kelly was the oldest person to live in Minonk. She died at the age of 110 on January 15, 1943. Below is her obituary from the Minonk News-Dispatch issue of Janaury 21, 1943.

A gradual weakening brought on by the weight of more than a cen­tury of living culminated friday afternoon at 3:40 o'clock in the death of Mrs. Ann Mccaffery kel­ly, 110, the daughter of Irish emi­grants, who lived to be the oldest woman in illinois. Funeral services were held on Monday morning from St. Patrick's church with the Rev. Fr. Osmond Braun, o. f. m., officiating, and bur­ial was in the church cemetery. Commonly known to local residents as "Aunt Ann" , Mrs. Kelly was born in Ireland on june 24, 1832, and came to the United States with her parents at an early age. The family settled in Marshall county, near Lacon, and it was there that she married Bernard Kelly on May 9, 1864. True re­cords of her birth have never been uncovered other than the marriage license still on file at Lacon. This lists her date of birth as June 24, 1832, and gave her age as 32 years at the time of application.

Following her marriage the fam­ily went to housekeeping near this city, however, in 1887, Mr. Kelly was badly injured in an accident and after recovering they moved to the Trowbridge addition of Minonk where they purchased a home.

Mr. Kelly died in August of 1893, and Mrs. Kelly continued to live in the family home until 1937, when she was taken into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter McKeon. Resting on her mattress of corn husks, and covered with a feather blanket, it was there she died January 15, at the age of 110 years, six months and 22 days.

Death came after a gradual de­cline during the past five weeks during which she frequently told Mrs. McKeon, "I feel no pain, but I'm very tired." Until five weeks ago it was her habit to rise at about nine o'clock each morning and eat a good breakfast at the table placed in her room. Follow­ing the morning meal she walked about the McKeon home for a short while before again returning to her bed. The weight of her many years made her stooped, but she was nonetheless able to walk about without assistance. During the day she took a bare minimum of food, and it was customary to find her asleep by eight o'clock each evening. She insisted that her mattress be of corn husks and her only cover a feather blanket. Until the end her hearing remained good, but time had dimmed her sight and it was impossible for her to distinguish objects at a distance of more than six feet. Of late she had displayed no in­terest in outside affairs, and it be­came increasingly difficult for her mind to function with clarity.

Aside from members of the McKeon family, she welcomed no vis­itors other than the Rev. Fr. Os­mond Braun, O. F. M., the local parish priest, who administered to her religious needs. Her lifetime had been spent as a devout Catholic, although her age made it impossible for her to attend services in recent years.

Three nieces and one nephew survive. Two sons died in infan­cy.


Harry M. Johnson
Married to Luella Mott. His father was John A and mother Agatha Seggerman. Harry was born on Sept 4, 1894, in Livingston County, Illinois, died Jan 26, 1995, buried at Minonk Township Cemetery. Harry served in World War I. His wife, Elva gave him four sons: Myron, Richard, Robert and Harry Jr.

photo courtsey of 'cletasdaughter'

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