Obituary From a Peoria Newspaper - Courtesy Nancy Ohda

December 28, 1861 - James Parker, Sr., one of the oldest settlers of Illinois, died at Minonk, Woodford County, a few days since, having at his decease reached the patriarchal age of 91 years. He was a native of North Carolina, and came to Illinois about twenty-seven years ago. He was well-known and widely respected, the worst thing of which his enemies could accuse him, being a periodicity in voting for Democratic Presidents.

Taken From the Marshall County Republican, Henry, IL

September 26, 1867 - Died at Minonk, August 15th, Hue H. Schooler of Hennepin age 55 years. Mr. S. has lived in Putnam county since 1835.

January 23, 1868 - Daniel Hollenback of El Paso, who has been for many years well known in the state, after a short illness passed away January 12, 1868.

Taken From the Henry Republican, Henry, IL

April 15, 1869 - At Eureka, March 30, of typhoid fever, Hiram Thompson, late of Lacon, aged 57 years.

March 21, 1872 - Mrs. Henry D. Palmer died in Lacon on the 1st, aged 83. She was born in North Carolina. At the age of 15 she married Henry D. Palmer, to whom she bore 14 children, 12 of whom survive her. He was in youth a wild character and a great friend of Jackson's. He afterward reformed and for 50 years preached the gospel with success, dying at Eureka 10 years ago.

March 29, 1877 - At Minonk, March 11, Carrie, aged 44 years, wife of ex-state senator E. A. Wilcox of Minonk. -- The wife of Dr. E. A. Wilcox of Minonk, ex-state senator of the 20th district, passed away on the 11th inst. She was a lady held in high esteem, and had been a member of the M. E. church for many years. She was a most excellent wife, and was the mother of eight children. A new beautiful home is thus desolated by death, in removing one of its chief members. We condole with the doctor and his family in this hour of painful affliction.

April 26, 1877 - At Eureka, Woodford county, April 23, of lung fever, Charles, aged 1 year, only son of Henry and Maria Keeler, formerly of this city.

June 13, 1878 - At El Paso, Woodford County, on Sunday at 3 p.m., June 2, of consumption, Julia R., aged 40 years, wife of L. S. Calkins.

Mrs. Calkins was a daughter of William W. Holmes of Magnolia and sister of Mrs. George S. Park. She was born at New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, October 21, 1837, where she resided until 1853, when the family removed to Magnolia, Putnam county, Illinois. In 1855 she went to El Paso, with Mrs. Thomas Alexander, her sister. In August 1866, at Metamora, by Rev. G. Hall, she was married to Mr. L. S. Calkins. She leaves a child two months old. For the past three years her health has been declining. For months her suffering were intense, yet, with great fortitude, she bore up under the yoke of pain. She was a woman of great intellectual endownments and her memory was something remarkable. She was a member of the Episcopal church. She was a Christian, faithful to her God, and to humanity. When she heard the call of her Heavenly Father, she welcomed it; and, after words of remembrances, of wishes for the loved ones whom she was to leave, she became unconscious and died at 3 o'clock p.m., June 2d. She has left us, but her words of faith, her patient, loving and retiring nature are near us. Her husband and child have the deepest sympathy of all their friends. May the hand that took the dear one from us, heal our wound and prepare us for the eternal home. The funeral services were conducted at the residence, on Tuesday, at 9 o'clock a.m., by Rev. Mr. Howard of Bloomington.

Taken From the Henry Republican

April 10, 1879

In Minonk, Woodford county, April 3, the Hon. George Dent, aged 71 years. The body was taken to Hennepin for interment.

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June 26, 1879 - Varna

Taken From the Henry Republican

Eugene Jackson, the young man of 19 years old was killed as Smithfield by the cars running over him. He lived 12 hours but not long enough to be carried to his home at Washburn alive.

Jeremiah Laws - April 22, 1880

Taken From the Henry Republican

Died at Versailles, Woodford county, April 12, Jeremiah Laws, 79 years, 11 months, father of Judge N. M. Laws of Lacon.

Jeremiah Laws, an old citizen of Woodford county, died at his home near Eureka on Saturday last. He was the father of Judge N. Laws of this city, was a Kentuckian, and emigrated from that state in 1844, settling at Versailles, in the neighborhood of which place and at Eureka he has since resided. He was very intimately known by all the older citizens of Woodford county, and was highly esteemed. He had been a minister and a traveling physician besides a successful farmer. He was twice married, his first wife dying in the fall in 1862. By her he had nine children. His second marriage occurred in 1865, and by this wife he had five children. Mr. Laws was a very prominent and useful citizen, one of the earliest and most earnest patrons of Eureka college, and for many years and to the time of his death a consistent member of the Christian church. His last wife and most of the children survive him - Lacon Democrat.

Taken From the Henry Republican

November 11, 1880 - Died at Minonk, November 5, Carrie Clark, 31, wife of James M. Fort, editor of the Minonk Blade.

April 28, 1881 - At Minonk, April 16, of scarlet fever, Josie B., 9 months, daughter of Dr. E. A. and V. Wilcox.

August 25, 1881 - Varna, The little child of David Justice, of Minonk died on the 20th. The remains were brought here for burial. Funeral sermon preached at the M. E. church last Sabbath at 1 o'clock p. m., by Rev. Meyers.

September 22, 1881 - Local Items
Rev. William Bruce, father of the Editor of the Minonk News, died at Lowpoint, August 26, aged 69. The deceased was a pioneer of Illinois, a forcible preacher and very highly respected.

Minonk, IL, July 1, 1887

Mrs. Nancy Wright

Copied from The Minonk News, "Dana Items,"


Died on Tuesday, the 28th, Mrs. Nancy Wright, ages 82 years. The funeral at  the church Wednesday at 1 o'clock was largely attended, Rev. Boggers  officiating. Mrs. Wright was one of the early settlers, coming to Illinois  fully 50 years ago. Her husband died a number of years ago. She was the mother of eleven children, seven of whom are living (five sons and two  daughters), and all were present at the funeral. She was buried here in our cemetery. The casket was a beautiful and costly one, and was furnished by H.C. Forney, of Minonk, who came out and took charge of the arrangements in person. The old lady had been a great sufferer for years, but we have no doubt she rests well, now life's fitful fever is over. The pall bearers were; James McHenry, A.L. Kelly, W. H. Marshall, M. Flanagan, N.G. Marshall, and J.A. Bane. The family wish to express their thanks to the neighbors for  their kindly assistance in their hour of trouble.

Mary J. Wilson - Courtesy Don Doty  doty707@futuresouth.com

Died March 2nd. 1885

The widow, Mary J. Wilson aged ninety years and two days.   Her maiden name was Roberts. She was born Feb. 28th, 1795 in Stafford, N.H. and married Nathaniel Wilson, of Gilmantown, N.H. Nov. 15th 1816 and lived in N.H. and Vt. until 1836 when she joined her husband in Illinois [who with one son Johnathan came to the state the year before.] Her husband died June 26th 1845 leaving her a Widow with several small children to care for, which she did in an admirable manner, besides paying off indebtedness left by her husband and accumulating considerable property. On her ninetieth birthday many of her children, grand children and great grandchildren celebrated the day in her house, she was too feeble to leave her bed, but seemed to enjoy it more than could have been expected. Aunt Mary was a very remarkable woman, for her kindness in sickness and great skill in administering to the wants of the sick and afflicted, and will be very much missed by her children, grand-children and many others who have received benefits and kindness at her hands; and although she is greatly mourned, it is gratifying to know that she lived to a good old age and left testimonials of great goodness of heart.

Here is her 90th birthday celebration

Ninetieth Birthday

On the 28th day of February 1885 at her residence in Metamora, Aunt Mary Wilson celebrated her ninetieth birthday anniversary. This was very remarkable on account of her great age; the large number of her descendents and other relatives and friends who were present and because of its being the 28th birthday anniversary of one grandchild, Mary W. Hannah, the 5th birthday anniversary of another grandchild Daisy Wilson, and the 7th marriage anniversary of Samuel Wilson, another grandchild. There were present on this memorable occasion fifty-three persons in all to partake of the bountiful repast prepared according to Aunt Mary's explicit directions.

This dinner and the gathering of her children, grand-children and great grandchildren, she determined on having ten years ago (at her 80th anniversary) if she lived until this time;--and although at many times during this period, her life has been despaired of, yet with great will power she has rallied through these struggles between life and death and today, although near deaths door she has been deeply interested in the enjoyment of all present. Among those present were three children, J.R. Wilson, of Secor; Thomas Wilson, of Mackinaw, and Mrs. E.T. Sager of Metamora: Twenty-three grand-children and seven great-grandchildren.

Besides these 33 there were 28 others who could not well attend, making in all sixty-one living descendents.   This meeting will long be remembered and although we know we will never have such another reunion on earth, it is to be hoped that we may all be united in a land where parting is no more.


Front Page, Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, September 6, 1901

Mrs. Visa Evans

Mrs. Visa Evans was born in Bennington, Marshall county, April 22, 1854 and died at her home in Minonk August 14, 1901 being 47 years, 4 months and 2 days old at the time of her death. She was married to Dr. P.M. Evans, June 12, 1872. To them, one child was born, Elsie, who after a lingering illness died August 25, 1893, having preceded her mother by eight years and one day.  The funeral was held at the Presbyterian church Wednesday afternoon, August 27, 1901 at 2 o’clock, Rev. Marquis of Rock Island conducting the services. There was present an unusually large congregation sympathetic friends, whose presence testified to the esteem in which the deceased was held in the community. The floral offering were numerous and handsome.

Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, September 27, 1901

Death of an Old Settler - Henry Roth

Henry Roth, one of the old settlers of Bennington, but for some time a resident of Minonk, was buried from St. Patrick’s church in Minonk, Thursday. Many old friends and neighbors from Toluca and vicinity attended the funeral.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, November 1, 1901

John Manly Sr., one of the old settlers of Minonk, died Thursday morning. He had been in poor health for some time. funeral tomorrow, Saturday, from St. Patrick’s church, Minonk.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, March 14, 1902

Front Page - Around About Us

Hiram Barney, a pioneer settler, and one of the founders of the village of Roanoke was gathered to his fathers at the ripe old age of 93 years at his home in Minden, Nebraska on February 5, 1902.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, May 2, 1902

Minonk Matters

Dr. Louis Pray died at his home in this city Tuesday afternoon. The immediate cause of his death being quick consumption. About two weeks ago the deceased suffered an attack of the la grippe from which he never fully recovered. Nine weeks ago he was taken with pneumonia, in a few days an abscess formed on the left lung; this broke and formed on the remaing lung; effecting both in such a manner as to bring on consumption. The deceased was born at Taunton, Mass., October 10th, 1838, leaves him at the time, 63 years, 6 months, and 12 days of age.

Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, June 20, 1902

Minonk News

Mrs. Margaret Tervilliger died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Farnsworth at 3 o’clock a.m., June 12th. She was born in Plainfield New Jersey and came to Illinois at an early day. She has lived in Minonk many years and was a good Christian woman. She leaves two daughters and one son in Iowa, to mourn her death. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Wallace in the Baptist church in this city Friday, June 13, at 2:30 p.m. Mrs. Terwilliger was about 76 years of age.

Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, August 22, 1902

Washburn News - Obituary

Mrs. Reibschlager died at her home near the city Tuesday night. She will be buried in Washburn today (Friday). Deceased was the mother of Gus and Lawrence Reibschlager. Deceased was nearly 82 years old. We’ll give particulars next week.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, October 17, 1902

From the Minonk Register we copy the obituary of one of Minonk’s best citizens

Edwin Harris was born in Havana, Schuyler county, New York, August the 7th, 1829 and died at the home of his daughter, N.M. Wallace in Minonk, Ill., Sunday evening Oct. 5th, 1902, at 11:39 p.m. thus being at the time of his death 69 years, 1 month and 28 days of age. In 1867 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Walsh of Elmira, N.Y. and shortly afterward moving to Minonk, Ill., which place remained their home until his death. To them were born seven children, all of whom were with him in his last sickness, excepting two, Eben a son who died in infancy and Charles E. who was unable to be present.

In 1872 he became a member of that noble order, the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and continued honored member of the organization up to the time of his death, being a member of Rob Morris Lodge No. 247., Rutland Chapter Royal Arch Masons No. 112 and Coer De Leons Commandery of El Paso, being a well known and active worker among the fraternity he loved so long. He was Master Mason of Rob Morris Lodge for a number of years and he served as secretary for a long time.

He united with the Christian church in 1873 and has ever since been a consistent member. His only living sister, Mrs. D. W. Hollenbeck, of Roanoke, Ill., is the only relative besides his family living in this vicinity, she having came to this state a number of years ago.

The deceased was at one time a prominent business man and noted for his strict integrity, industry and good character, failing health during the past few years, however compelled him to seek rest, and feeling no doubt that his days were numbered, his thoughts reverted to the scenes of his youth, and his Ernest desires were that he might pass a few of his remaining days in his early New York home. As death hovered over him, however, he lost the desire to return to the east and contented himself with his surroundings. Saturday morning, October 4th, his condition became suddenly more serious, apoplexy having rendered him helpless. The following morning he became unconscious, remaining in this condition until death came. He leaves his earthly home with its dear friends and relatives mourned by all who knew him, and his faithful companion for so many years, she has been made a widow by the hand of death, has the sympathy of the entire community in this the darkest hour of her life.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, November 21, 1902

Page 5 - Washburn (Leader)

Jennie May Danhof, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.P. Danhof, was born in Lacon, Ill., Feb 10th, 1894. Soon afterwards the family moved to Washburn, where she resided until her death, on Sabbath morning, Nov. 9th, 1902. She had complained a few times during the summer of stomach trouble but her sickness at these times yielded very readily to treatment and caused her parents no alarm. Sabbath morning she arose and was preparing to go to her Sabbath school class when the pain became more severe. The doctor was called soon after and found her suffering was due to appendicitis. Her last sickness was of short duration but great intensity. The pain continued to increase in severity until death came to her relief. A sympathetic community unites with the family in their bereavement.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, December 12, 1902

Page 5 - Washburn

John Kellog was born in Stowe, Vt., Nov. 20, 1816 and departed this life Nov. 29, 1902 at the age of 86 years and 9 days. He leaves a widow, three children, three sisters, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren to mourn their irreparable loss.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, January 16, 1903

Death’s Doings (Minonk News)

Mrs. Christina Sake, died at her home, southwest of the city early Thursday morning, January 1st.  The deceased was born in April 1836 at Baden Germany, coming to this country at an early day, settling in Boston. Here she was married to Anton Sake. One year later they removed to Illinois where they have since resided. The union was blessed by five children, all of whom survive, Mrs. John Ables, of Flanagan, Mrs. Dave Kohl of Bartonville, Dona who lives near Benson, Lewis and Siekfa who reside at home. The funeral was held Saturday from the Catholic church. Requiem high mass was said by Father Kluck, after which the remains were laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, January 16, 1903

Mrs. Louise M. Davison Parks was born in Pensselear Co., N.Y., 1829, of Colonial and Revolutionary Ancestry. She was united in marriage with Mr. William A. Parks, Sept. 19, 1845.  In the year 1854 they moved from New York to Belle Plain, Ill., and shortly afterwards settled on the home farm four miles and half west of Minonk, where Rufus Parks now resides. In 1875, Mr. Parks died just twenty-one years after they came to Illinois. Mrs. Parks was the mother of nine children, five of whom survive her, Alvah H., Homer P., and Rufus H. of Minonk, also Mrs. Earnest Memmen of Bloomington and Mrs. Edward F. Coolidge, of Bloomington. All were present at her bed side as she passed from earth’s sorrow to the glory of the heavenly life. She leaves to mourn their loss three sons and two daughters, and twenty grandchildren. Also two brothers, D.H. Davison of Minonk, and A.A. Davison, of Minito Ill.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, January 16, 1903

Page 5 - Washburn (Leader)

Elizabeth Kenyon, nee Weber, was born near Lowpoint, Woodford Co., Ill, Jan 8th, 1858 and died Dec. 30th, 1902 being 44 years, 11 months and 22 days of age. Mrs. Kenyon had been seriously ill for some days, but her death came very unexpectedly. She had battled with disease for many years, so that when the final struggle came there was no reserve of strength to successfully resist the destroyer. Deceased became the wife of D.D. Kenyon on Oct. 20th, 1879.  To this union were born eight children, of whom two died in infancy, John W., Nora Ellen, Frank, Willie, Benjamin Harrison and Jennie L., beside the husband and father are left to mourn the departure of mother and wife. Besides these her mother, two sisters and four brothers survive, her father and one brother and sister having passed on before. Funeral services were held at Bricktown church on New Year’s day, conducted by J.W. Kilborn interment being in the cemetery near there. A very large assemblage attended the services.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, August 21, 1903

Simon Swan, one of the pioneers of Woodford county, died at his home a few miles west of Minonk last Thursday at 12:35 p.m. The deceased was born in Dublin, Ireland, Dec. 21, 1838.  His parents were Miles and Martha Swan. Simon came to America in 1856, stopping first at Rochester N.Y., where he worked as a teamster. In 1857 he came west, locating at Galesburg, Ill., where he worked as a machinist. He was also in Chicago a short time, but in the fall of 1857, he came to Woodford County, locating in El Paso. In 1858, he rented a farm in Clayton Township and has since lived in that township except six years spent in Marshall county.

In 1862, he enlisted in Company G., 90th Illinois Infantry and served about three years. He was in smome of the fiercest battles of the war such as Coldwater, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Collierville, Missionary Ridge, siege of Knoxville, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw, Mountain, Atlanta, July 19, 22 and 28, Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, Rome, Gadsden, Jennison’s Bridge, Ft. McAllister, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, Bentonville, and others. He was mustered out as corporal. He was wonded at Resaca, in the left arm.

He then returned to the farm in Clayton township, where he acquired a fine body of land. Mr. Swan was married to Miss Jennie Whitton, Oct. 19, 1871. Seven children were born to them, five of whom, with their mother survive him. Politically the deceased was a democrat and was one of the most jovial, whole-hearted men in the county. Simon Swan will be greatly missed, not only by his family, but by his neighbors and a host of friends all over the county. He was only sick since Saturday, when he was taken down with a severe case of dysentery. He became unconscious Monday, and never gained consciousness.

He was a member of L.G. Keeny Post, G.A.R., also a member of the I.O.O.F. of Minonk. Both orders attended the funeral Saturday at 1 p.m. from the house, where short services were held.  The interment was in the Minonk cemetery.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, September 25, 1903

Old Settlers Passing Away

Prosper H. Davison, one of the old settlers of Clayton township, near Minonk, died on September 13. He was born in Grafton, N.J. in 1833. He came to Illinois, and settled in Clayton township in 1857, where he lived till the time of his death. He leaves a wife and grown up family. He was a good christian and an excellent citizen.

Mrs. Marie Foate, died at her home in Minonk, September 11, 1903. She came from Connecticut with her husband and family to Minonk in 1858, and made Minonk her home ever since. Her husband died about twenty-five years ago. She leaves a family of grown up children.

Mrs. Jane Kerrick, a former old settler of Belle Plain, died in Fairfield, Iowa, September 10. Her remains were taken to Minonk, and laid to rest beside her husband in the Minonk cemetery on September 14. Deceased was a member of the M.E. church since childhood, and was an exemplory good christian woman. She leaves a grown up family and hundreds of friends to mourn her loss.

George W. Wright

Copied from The Minonk Register, “Obituary”, September 3, 1903 (courtesy of Peggy Brock Cacciamatta)

The passing away of our friend Geo. W. Wright was one of the unexpected  events of this community. One week ago he was seen to mingle among his  friends in apparent good health. He was stricken with his fatal illness on  Wednesday evening, Aug. 19, and on Monday Aug. 24, he obeyed the summons to  go hence and be no more on earth.  He was an Ohioan by birth and was born in Clinton County March 29, 1836, and died at his home 2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Dana, Aug. 24, 1903  making him 67 years, 4 months and 25 days old.

He was the sixth son [child] of the family of Bayard Wright of 7 sons and 4  daughters and was the sixth to pass away. Five are yet living. When he was but thirteen years of age his father came to Illinois and settled  on Sandy Creek a few miles northwest of Wenona. The rest of his boyhood was  spent here. He was married Sept. 26, 1861, to Miss Eary D. Kelsey, the  wedding being celebrated on the farm one mile south of the old home and for  42 years he has been the faithful companion of the one left behind in sorrow.

Two sons blessed their union, Elmer and Ernest, who with their mother are  left to mourn the loss of a dear husband and father. The funeral was held Friday morning at the home. Rev. Boswell officiated and  the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery south of town. The pall  bearers were I. T. Ramsey, R.M. Pritchett, John Smith, John C. Marshall, Geo.  Bane, A.M. Folks.

Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, November 13, 1903

Page 5 - Washburn (Leader)

Francis E. DeLong, nee Brown was born in Cumberland Co., Ind., July 22, 1840 and her spirit took tis flight on the evening of the Lord’s Day, Nov. 1st, 1903 shortly after ten o’clock. Funeral servies were held in the Christian church Wednesday at 10 o’clock, Eld. J.W. Kilborn officiating, assisted by Rev. Boswell. The remains were laid to rest by the grave of her husband in the Baptist cemetery.

Jacob Henry Hollenback

Taken From the Washburn Leader - Courtesy Barb Darling

7 Mar 1907 - Local News

The funeral of Jacob Henry Hollenback, of Cameron, MO., was held from the ME Church here, Tuesday afternoon, in charge of Pastor, Rev. Boswell. The obituary will be published this week.

14 Mar 1907

Jacob Henry Hollenback. How unwelcome is death. Strange that it is so when it is so universal. The mere announcement brings a shock that wrenches the heart stringers. The sudden death of this friend and brother in whose memory this service is held brings to all present much regret and sorrow. After twenty-five years absent from his native state he is brought here to join the innumerable throng in the silent city of the dead. Jacob Henry Hollenback was born near Belle Plain, Feb 27, 1851 and died suddenly of apoplexy at his home in Cameron, MO., Feb 27,1907, on the day after his sixty-sixth millestone in life. He is the son of Jacob and Margaret Hollenback. Until his manhood his life was spent on the farm 5 miles east of Washburn. His marriage to Miss India Pool took place Mar 13, 1877. Their Children are Mrs.Grace Burton, Belaire, Ks., Mrs. Florence Abels and Mrs. Ethel Neighbors of LA California. Aside from these are his father, Jacob Hollenback, a brother Charles Hollenback of Fairbury, IL, and two sisters, Mrs Margaret Kerrick of Minonk and Belle Combes of Fairbury, IL with numerous relatives and friends who sorrow his departure. At the time of his death he was in business in Cameron, Mo. and was favorably known and highly respected. The service was held in the church in Cameron on last Sunday, and at 1:00pm Tuesday a short service was held in Washburn at the ME Church in the charge of Rev. Boswell. The internment was in the Hollenbach Cemetary six miles east of town.

Mrs. Sophia T. Hollenback (nee Wineteer)

Taken From the Washburn Leader - Courtesy Barb Darling

14 March 1907

Obituary - Sophia T. Hollenback-Wineteer was a native of Perry Co., Ohio. She was 76 years, 4 months and 9 days old at the time of her passing Saturday evening at 8:30. She was the daughter of Daniel and Martha Hollenback who's family consisted of eight children. Those deceased are George Hollenback, Julia Ogle, Mary A. Perry, Susan Dobson and Martha Mann. Two brothers, Jacob and Daniel Hollenback survive. Her parents came to Illinois in 1837. They settled on what is now known as the Stonier place. Mother Wineteer was twice married. Her first husband was Thomas Mann, a grain merchant of Lacon, who died in about a year. Their only child died in infancy. On the 12th August 1852 she was again married to Lewis Wineteer. They Immediately moved to the home farm where they continuously lived until coming to Washburn seventeen years ago. Three of their children died in 1868 within a brief period of three months. Those living are Thomas L and James D. of Barton Co., Mo., Margaret E Kerrick, Clarissa A. Combes, Jessie E. and George H. all of Washburn. There also fourteen grand children...Funeral services were held from the M.E. Church at 10:30 Tuesday Morning, conducted by Rev Boswell. The internment was in the Baptist Cemetary.

William Harrison Wright

Copied from The Minonk Dispatch, “William H. Wright Dead—Prominent Minonk  Citizen,” no date [1910] (courtesy of Peggy Brock Cacciamatta).

William Harrison Wright, who was one of Minonk’s wealthiest citizens and a  man who worked himself up from poverty, died at his home in this city last  Saturday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m., after a lingering illness of eight weeks  with a complication of diseases.

“Squire” Wright, as he was generally called after his election a number of  years ago, to the office of police Magistrate, was born in Ohio, November 23,  1840, and died April 23, 1910, aged 69 years and 5 months. He was married to  Lois S. Clegg, December 4, 1874, and to this union two children were born,  viz: Belle and Isaac.

Funeral services were conducted at 2:30 o’clock Tuesday afternoon by Rev. C.  Wesley Ayling and interment was made in the Minonk cemetery. The pall  bearers were Josiah Kerrick, C.G. Sauer, Fred Danekas, H.A. Millard, C.R.  Danforth and John Fehring, Jr.  Mr. Wright had a remarkable career in his younger days and was never  thoroughly understood by his friends and neighbors. Among his papers was  found, a few weeks ago, an interesting biography which he had written in 1897  and 1899, and show up a part of Mr. Wright’s life, hitherto unknown by his  family and the public at large. Following is the text of the autobiography:

My father, Byard Wright, was married to Nancy Dalis February 10, 1825, and  eleven children were born to them—seven boys and four girls. I was the  eighth child. Father had his full strength of mind to the last. Mother was  paralyzed, bed-ridden and unable to walk for over five years, had good  hearing and mind until the last and died easy. “God have mercy upon them.”

"I was born in Clinton county, Ohio, November 23, 1840, and for many years  lived in a log cabin with holes, where the chinking had fallen out, large  enough to throw a cat through, and with winters so severe that the snow  covered the fence tops on the level. At three years of age I was blind but  regained my eye sight.

I came to Illinois with my parents in October 1847, stopped at Sandy, west of  Wenona, and moved to Dana in 1866 and to Minonk in 1891. We were over five  weeks coming from Clinton county, Ohio, and we had to hew our own wagons from  trees and they would not track when we got to Marshall county, Illinois.

Around my eyes are dark spots where the fur from old caps was stuck to stop  the fusion of blood when I would fall over old kettles and pots and receive  cuts to the bone. I was destitute of all clothing except pants, was without shoes, shirt, hat  and underclothing. The first garment I ever had was an old patched vest  given to me by a good woman, Susy Miller, well-known at Wenona, Ill., a small matter for her, but making me king in gratitude. That and an old thrown away  pair of number 10 boots was my winter outfit for a boy of eight years old,  with the snow two feet deep on the level. I had to gather wood from the  timber when all kinds of animals were roaming the forests along the streams.

I came very near being killed by a large wild cat, also being drowned, having  to walk under the water with ice on it, then had to go three miles facing a  west wind with my clothes  frozen on me and my mittens were found in the water  afterwards. Nothing saved me but my iron will and the intervention of God.  This was when I was eight years old.

I joined the Cumberlain Presbyterian church at the age of 20, but had not  learned my alphabet and could not tell the time of day on the dial of a clock  at 21 or 22. I learned the multiplication table one night after going to bed  after I was 22 years old in an old shanty, where a large family all slept in  one room with no ventilation. When a boy I always had to work hard and never  had a pair of stockings, underclothes or shoes until I was 22 years of age.

On account of delaying my schooling I had to work and study at night for  about 20 years to get an education. There were no free schools in those days  for a homeless boy.

I went to the war in 1864 as a corporal in Co. K, 138 Regular Illinois  Infantry, and was detailed to guard prisoners and criminals of the blackest  dye and deputized to arrest and transfer prisoners at Fort Leavenworth,  Kansas. I also had charge of the female Federal spies at this fort.    It was in the army where I lost my health, never to regain it, and all of these  years I have been a terrible sufferer.

In the year 1878 I ran down to 118  pounds. Several times I have been so near the Promised Land I thought I  could see beyond and I did not want to come back or get well, but the Lord  saw fit to partly restore me. Several times during those many years of  struggles, I studied medicine, for the ministry and law but was never able to  follow any of these professions or practice them to any great extent on  account of ill health and want of means in early times. My hair turned white  while young from excessive labor and sickness. My mother, at 85, had scarcely a gray hair in her head, while mine was quite white at 30. My text  is : “He has come up out of great tribulations.”

I would like to build a library building and donate a library to this city if  I could get a suitable location and donate it to the public use under proper  laws and restrictions, but my ailments keep me pulled down, so it seems I  have everything to contend with."

While Mr. Wright never got around to his idea of putting up a public library,  he no doubt considered the proposition seriously and the idea was quite  original at the time he wrote these lines (1897). This was several years  before Carnegie began to donate for public libraries.

back to obit index


From the El Paso Journal , El Paso, Illinois, Thursday June 24, 1915

Courtesy Deborah Huffman


Tuesday evening at 9 o'clock the light of life went out for another of El Paso's most prominent and highly respected citizens when Ed Hodgson passed away after a comparatively brief though severe illness. Some two months ago his health seemed not so good as usual, although he insisted that there was nothing seriously the matter with him. However, four weeks ago yesterday he was forced to take to his bed and his failure from that time was daily marked. He was found to be suffering from cancer of the liver, and last Saturday sank into a coma from which he never aroused.

Edwin Hodgson was born January 1, in the year 1842, to Mr. and Mrs. William Hodgson in Tazewell county, Ill. His mother's maiden name was Bennett. Both his parents were natives of Ohio and of English descent. At the age of 21 and while yet a resident of Tazewell county Edwin was married in November 1863 to Miss Sarah E. Worley, also of Tazewell county, she being 16 years of age at the time of their marriage. Soon after their marriage they moved to Panola township, Mr. Hodgson having purchased 80 acres of land to which his father added as a gift another 40. Here the young couple took up their home amid the prevailing pioneer surroundings. Eight children were born to them, four girls and four boys, the daughters all passing away in childhood. Mrs. Hodgson also died in 1876.

In 1875 Mr. Hodgson became interested in the breeding of draft horses, that year purchasing his first stallion. From this small beginning he gradually added to his stables until in later years he was one of the most widely known breeders and importers in the west. In 1882 he made his first trip to Europe, bringing back with him fourteen finely bred animals. The following year he imported twenty of his own selection in France, and in 1884 brought over thirty-one. In later years his importations were considerable, although these were through his European agents. In 1881 Mr. Hodgson was again married, to Miss Kate Gibson who with his four sons survive, the latter being William of Brazoria, Tex., Lester and Charles of Wallace, Ida., and Eugene of Minonk, Ill. He also leaves two sisters and one brother, Mrs. Mary Ann Hill and Miss Eliza Hodgson of Pekin, and Newton Hodgson of Des Moines, Ia. After his second marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson resided for a time in the west Third ward and in 1887 Mr. Hodgson purchased the old Gibson homestead first built by Mrs. Hodgson's father, the late G.L. Gibson. The house was remodeled and here they have resided ever since.

Mr. Hodgson was one of the organizers of the Woodford county fair association in 1880, serving as president for the first five years and later in the same capacity in the years 1886, 1887, 1890, 1891, 1894, and 1895. In the interims he was on the board of directors and for many years officiated as superintendent of grounds. From the roster of superintendents, as printed in their first fair book of 1880 it is learned that most of the founders of the association have preceded their first President to the great beyond, many of them long ago. Those deceased are J.L. Patton, F.T. Waite, C. Jones, E.S. Fursman, Daniel Hill, John Render, Porter Bassett, John Ellis, Robert Nethercott, Thomas Hurd, S.T. Rogers, P.H. Biggers, C.M. Stephenson, P.H. Tompkins, Charles Tucker, Jacob Engel, Fr. F. Cole, G.H. Campbell, W.S. Bullock, Ed Hodgson, and perhaps others of them whom we cannot now recall. During his more active years in the horse business he made many exhibits at the county fairs and larger expositions, taking numerous prizes at St. Louis, New Orleans, and the Columbian exposition at Chicago, and many of the state fairs of the country.

In politics Ed Hodgson was a Republican and took an active part in the conferences of his party. He was elected county Treasurer in 1894 and served as county central committeeman from this township for many years. At different times he was a member of the board of education, and elected alderman from the First ward for the term 1908-1909, resigning after serving one year. Last summer he received the nomination for county treasurer at the primaries and at the fall election on the face of the returns came within 26 votes of election. The election was contested in the county court and the decision on the recount left only one vote between the two candidates. Mr. Hodgson's attorneys carried the case to the April term of the the supreme court and it is expected that this tribunal's decision will be handed down before the court adjourns the last of this month.

Mr. Hodgson was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and a charter member of the El Paso Commercial club. He enjoyed the acquaintance of a very large circle of lifetime friends, not only in this community but in many other localities, who deeply regret his passing.

Funeral services will be held from the home Friday morning at 10 o'clock, Rev S.S. Cryor of the Presbyterian church officiating. While the services will not be private it is requested that friends send no flowers. The remains will be taken to Pekin on the 12:43 train for interment in the Hodgson family lot at Lakeside cemetery.


Robert writes: "Hurley Wilson asked me to forward copies of the obituaries of our grandparents.  I am the cousin Hurley mentioned in his email to you. My mother , Marguerite, was Hurlburt Wilson Sr.'s younger sister. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further information."

Robert Bye [decendent of the Wilson's & Pages's of Woodford County] From: "robert bye" <robertbye@home.com>

Obituary from Metamora, Illinois (Newspaper) Vol. 63--No 41
Date of Death June 16, 1916


Found Dead, With Empty Cyanide Bottle at His Feet


Ill Health and Brooding Over Trouble Thought to be Cause of Act - Funeral Held Wednesday Afternoon

"This is my own act; done by my own hand."  These words written upon a scrap of paper, and an empty bottle labeled "cyanide of potassium", told the story of the death of A.H. Wilson, pioneer Metamora druggist, when his body was found seated in a rocking chair in his home at 10:45 Monday morning, evidently just after the spirit of life had flown.

Mr. Wilson had gone to his store early Monday morning, as was his custom. He had been suffering ill health and appeared to be much worried of late. To fellow business men with whom he conversed after reaching his store he gave no impression that he was more depressed than he had been for some weeks, but about 10:30 he left his store and went home. Fifteen minutes later members of his household heard him utter a groan. On investigation he was found seated in the chair as stated. At the moment it was not ascertained that he was dead and neighbors were summoned to give assistance and call a physician.

G. H. Mason and Jos. Sachneider were the first to reach the residence. Mr. Wilson showed no signs of life at that time. On the floor at his feet lay the empty bottle that had contained the poison. The Cork had been replaced and there were still a few drops of the liquid cyanide in the bottle. On a shelf nearby the note, in Mr. Wilson's handwriting, was found. At the bottom of the note a line gave the information that the deceased's will was in the care of Attorney A. H. Burke of Peoria.

Hon. John L. McGuire, acting for the coroner, empaneled a jury and conducted an inquest into the cause of the death. Dr. J. I. Knoblauch, G. H. Mason, Jas. Hall, J. A. McGuire, F. R. Murray and W. C. Hockenbury acted as jurymen. The witnesses were Page Wilson, son of the deceased, his wife (Elsie), Miss Arvilla Marchand, employed in the house, and G. (several words illegible). The fact developed that Mr. Wilson was very despondent and brooded much over private troubles. Once or twice in times past he had dropped the remark the he would end his troubles, though on the morning of his death it was not shown that he had made such a remark. On returning home he had asked Miss Marchand where his daughter-in-law (Elsie) was. He sat down in a chair. That was the last seen of him alive.

The jury brought in a verdict based on the written statement of the deceased and concluded that death was due to poisoning by drinking liquid cyanide of potassium.

Metamora was shaken as never before by the news of Mr. Wilson's tragic death. He was one of the oldest business men in the town and was one of its most esteemed citizens. Sorrow is expressed on every hand over his sad ending. Once an alert, active and cheerful citizen, he died in despair. Within several years he had grown morose and for some months before his death it was noted that he had become a very aged man. His reticence did not invite questioning, or many warm friends would have gladly endeavored to assuage his anguish of mind and cheer him on to a fully rounded out life.

A. H. Wilson was a son of Samuel T. and Laurania (Robinson) Wilson, pioneers in Metamora township. He was born on the Wilson homestead November 28, 1849, and grew to manhood on the farm. In the winter of 1873 he was united in marriage with Laura Page, daughter of Thaddeus and Cordelia (Shope) Page. He continued living on the farm five or six years after his marriage and then moved into Metamora, engaging in business there, in which he continued up to the day of his death. In 1888 he engaged in the drug business and had continued at the same stand since.

One son, Page, was born to Mr. And Mrs. Wilson, who with four grandchildren (Hurlburt, Page, Robert & Marguerite), two brothers and one sister survives. Mrs. Wilson (Laura) died sixteen years ago. Some years later Mr. Wilson was united in marriage with Mrs. Lizzie Irving, whose death occurred about seven years ago.

The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon and was attended by a large gathering of friends of the deceased. Services were held at the residence at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Silas Jones, who offered and delivered a short discourse. A quartet, composed of Prof. H. W. Seitz, Bernard Volz, Ben Hall and Wm. Ryan, sang the musical service. The floral offerings from relatives and friends were many and beautiful. At the close of the service the body was taken to Oakwood cemetery and buried in the family plot. The pall bearers were all old friends of the deceased: Dr. Mansfield, of Washington, Atty. A. H. Burke of Peoria, Hon. John L. McGuire, J. C. Irving, Chas. Conrard and Jas. Hall.

Laura Page Wilson


November 28, 1900

Laura Page Wilson was born in Metamora, Ill., on June 22, 1853, at the old Page homestead and died Nov 20th, 1900. She was the daughter of Thaddeus and Cordella (Shope) Page and lived the greater part of her life in Metamora. On Feb 25, 1872, she became the wife of Albion H. Wilson, the son of Samuel T. Wilson (& wife Laurania W. Robinson) an old pioneer settler of this state.

Both the Pages and Wilson's are of old New England ancestry.

Mrs. Wilson leaves surviving her, her husband and son 12 years of age, who was named in honor of both families, "Page Wilson".

Mrs. Wilson was a most devoted wife and mother and although during her married life she carefully and conscientiously discharged her household duties she found time to take a large part in social and literary affairs, also in church and missionary work. Besides all these she devoted herself to self culture. She, practically without teaching or training, and by her own efforts attained remarkable proficiency as an artist. As attesting her ability in this direction she has left some beautiful landscapes and various loving memories in pictures of her husband and child.

She has been a patent factor in civic affairs and a strong influence for good to this community where her memory will be cherished not only by a large number of relatives but by the community at large.

John Yotty

Obituary on August 29, 1916 in the Peoria Journal

Courtesy Carol Yotty Heilman (email:  heilsoft@netexpress.net)

The death of John Yotty, one of Eureka's respected German residents, occurred at his home in this city Saturday evening, after a short illness with something like blood poison. He was born in Bavaria, Germany. May 2, 1834, but since he was 4 years of age Woodford county has been his home. Mrs. Yotty died many years ago, but he is survived by four sons and two daughters: Mrs. Kate Phelps of Dixon; Joseph of East Peoria; Frank of Peoria; Mrs. Ed Everetts, Albert and Mrs. John Kyle of Eureka and Chris Yotty. One sister and two brothers also are left--- Mrs. Mary Klopfenstein and Joseph Yotty of Eureka and Jacob Yotty of Iowa.

Funeral services will be held from the residence at 9 o'clock Tuesday morning and from the Mennonite church, near Roanoke, at 10 o'clock.


At the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Kyle, last Saturday, August 26, 1916, occurred the death of John B. Yotty, one of Eureka's highly respected German citizens. Mr. Yotty had been in fairly good health for one of his years and only two weeks ago took down with what proved to be his last and fatal illness. The funeral was held at the German Mennonite church about four miles northeast of Eureka, of which he was a member, on Tuesday morning, Aug. 29, and the burial was at the church cemetery nearby. The funeral was conducted by the pastor, Rev. Andrew Schrock, and was largely attended, attesting to the high esteem in which the deceased was held.

John B. Yotty was born in the Province of Bavaria, Germany, May 2, 1834, and came with his parents to the United States when he was six years of age. The family settled in Woodford county near Metamora, which county has been his home ever since. He lived on the farm near there and also in the Roanoke neighborhood until 1895, when he came to Eureka to make his home. On Nov. 21, 1871, he was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Phillips, and to this union were born eight children, seven of whom are still living. Their home was saddened by the death of the mother in 1894 and Mr. Yotty kept up the home for the children for some years, but as his children grew older and age began to tell on him, he made his home with them for the past few years. At the age of 17 years he united with the German Mennonite Church of which he remained a faithful member until death claimed him.

The children living to mourn their father's death are Mrs. Katie Phelps, of Dixon, Joseph Yotty of East Peoria, Mrs. Annie Everett and A. J. Yotty of Eureka, Frank Yotty of Peoria, Mrs. Phoebe Kyle of Eureka and Chris Yotty of Iowa. One daughter, Mrs. Edith Strickland, also of Dixon, preceded her father to the other land. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, two brothers, and one sister.

Woodford Pioneer Dead

Mrs. Mary Leinweber, Early Settler, Passes Away at the Age of 77 Years at Benson

(unknown newspaper 1919)

Another of the old settlers of Tazewell and Woodford counties has passed away. The Metamora Herald gives the following particulars:

"Mrs. Mary Leinweber, member of the Gangloff family, among the earliest settlers in Tazewell and Woodford counties, passed away at her home in Benson last Friday, at the age of 77 years.

Deceased was the oldest of the daughters and one of eleven children of John B. Gangloff (ed: also spelled Gongloff), a pioneer settler in Tazewell and Woodford counties. She was born in Tazewell county August 4, 1842. Later her parents settled in Worth township, Woodford county on the Gries farm. In 1865 she was united in marriage with Joseph Leinweber. The family settled at Benson in 1874, which had since then been her home. Her husband died in 1885. Five children survive, Mrs. Willam Ryan of Henry, Joseph, Andrew and Lewis Leinweber of Benson. Of her brothers and sisters, four survive, Mrs. Seraphine Gries of Metamora, Andrew Gangloff of Rensselaer, Ind., Mrs. Elizabeth Ruffing and Mrs. Angeline Gries of Benson. A sister and brother were the late Mrs. Geo. Meister and John J. Gangloff of Metamora.

Funeral services were held in the Catholic church in Benson at 9:30 Monday morning. A large number of Metamorans attended the services including: George, Joseph, Henry and Lawrence Gangloff and members of their families, Mrs. J. J. Gangloff, Miss Katie Elbert, J. P. Elbert, Geo. Meister, L. B. Meister, Raymond and Louis Gries. Six of the deceased's nephews acted a pall bearers. At the close of the services the body was laid to rest in the Benson Catholic cemetery.

Obituary for Jacob C Yotty

Courtesy Carol Yotty Heilman (email:  heilsoft@netexpress.net)

Body Reached Cazenovia Thursday and Funeral Was Held Friday

The body of the late Jacob Yotty, former resident of Cazenovia, who died at Kalona, Iowa, Monday of last week, reached Cazenovia Thursday morning and was taken to the home of the deceased's brother-in-law Peter Bachman.

Funeral services were held at the residence at one o'clock Friday afternoon and the body was then taken to the Roanoke A.M. church where final services were held. Bishop Sam Garber was in charge of the services. There was a large attendance of former neighbors and friends at the services. The body was laid to rest in the cemetery near the church.

Jacob Yotty was born in Woodford County, Ill., April 27, 1853, and died at his home west of Kalona, Iowa, Aug. 23, 1920 aged 67 years, 3 months, and 26 days. During the fore part of the summer he was taken to the hospital at Iowa City, for an operation, in the process of which it was discovered that he was afflicted with cancer of the liver, which had made such progress that surgical help was of no avail. He recovered after the operation and returned home, but the disease developed rapidly and in spite of all that friends and loving hands could do, he suffered intensely and finally passed away.

Early in life he united with the Mennonite church, of which he was a member until death. On Jan. 26, 1882, he was united in marriage with Annie Bachman. To them were born four children; two sons, Chris H. and Bartholomew J., and two daughters, Elizabeth A. wife of John Speas and Jacobina C, wife of Jake Speas. All are living and with their mother, were present at the bedside at the time of death. Beside these he is survived by one brother and one sister, both of Illinois, and five grandchildren, who with a host of friends mourn his departure. Father, and mother, two brothers and two sisters preceded him to the great beyond.

Funeral services were held at the East Union Mennonite church north of Kalona, Iowa, conducted by Bishop S.C.Yoder, after which remains were taken to Iowa City, and shipped to the old home of deceased at Cazenovia, which he left six years ago last March to make a new home for himself and family in Iowa. His body was laid to rest beside the graves of his father and mother in the cemetery near Roanoke.

A precious one from us is gone,
A voice we loved is stilled,
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled.

God in his wisdom, recalled;
The boon of love has given;
And tho the body slumbers here,
The soul is safe in Heaven.

Funeral of Mrs. Zeiger

Unknown newspaper

Secor, Jan 14, 1921 -- (Special) -- The funeral of Mrs. William Zieger, who died suddenly on Wednesday morning, was held this afternoon at the Disciples church. The services were conducted by the Rev. O. E. Clapp of the Methodist church of Neponset, and Rev. Osceola McNemar, pastor at Secor. Rev. Clapp delivered a fitting address. There were numerous floral tributes.

The sudden death of Mrs. Zeiger was a great shock to the community. Mary, the oldest of seven sons and daughters of Joseph and Mary Leinweber, was born at Metamora, Ill., March 3, 1973. In early childhood her parents moved to Benson, Ill., where she received her education in the public schools.

She was married to William Zeiger of Secor, Ill., at Benson, February 16, 1892. To this union three sons and one daughter were born. Jesse Andrew near Secor, Mae Elizabeth, Raymond John and Elmer Henry at home. (ed: should be Henry Elmer)

She and her husband have lived in the vicinity of and in Secor from the time of their marriage until her death. She was christened and confirmed in the Catholic church and died in the faith. Her father, mother and two brothers, John and Joseph, preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband, her sons and daughter, grandson, William Otis Zeiger; her brothers, Joseph Andrew and Lewis of Benson, and the sister, Mrs. William Ryan of Henry, Ill.

Unknown newspaper

--- Mrs. William Zeiger died very suddenly at her home in Secor Wednesday morning, January 12, 1921. Deceased, formerly Mary Leinweber was the eldest of seven children of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Leinweber of Benson. She was born in Metamora, Ill., March 3, 1873. In her early childhood the family moved to Benson and she grew up to womanhood in that vicinity. On February 16, 1892, she was married to William Zeiger of Secor. Four children were born to this union. Mae Elizabeth, Jesse Andrew, Raymond John and Elmer Henry (Henry Elmer), all of whom are home except Jesse who is married and resides on a farm near Secor. Mrs. Zeiger was christened and reared in the Catholic church. Her unselfishness in service and constant thought of her immediate family was her life work. She was a devoted daughter to her invalid mother, the late Mrs. Leinweber, who passed away some years ago in Benson. Mrs. Zeiger is survived by her husband, the four children mentioned above, a grandson, William Otis Zeiger, one sister, Mrs. William Ryan of Henry, and three brothers, Joseph, Andrew and Lewis Leinweber of Benson. Funeral services were held from the Chrstian church Friday afternoon in charge of Rev. Osceola McNemar and Rev. O. E. Clapp the later the pastor of the M. E. church at Neponset. The floral tributes were beautiful and the church was inadequate to seat the large concourse of friends and relatives assembled to pay their last respects to the departed one. Interment was in the Zeiger lot in Secor cemetery. Relatives here from out of town were: Mrs. and Mrs. Wm Ryan of Henry; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Leinweber, Mrs. Adam Gries and sons, Jesse and Roy Gries, Miss Elsie Reiter, Mrs. Bert Slane, Mr. and Mrs. Leinweber and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. George Flessner and daughters Dorothy and Melberta and Mrs. Kate Lasher, all of Benson. Mr. and Mrs. Mollie Mahl of Low Point; Peter Kessewetter of Pontiac, Wm. and George Kessewetter, Mrs. Ed Knoblauch, Mrs. Lizzie Gangloff, Geo. Gangloff, Geo. Meister, Louis Meister, Raymond Gries, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Alberts and Mrs. Ida Waldschmidt of Metamora; Peter Zeiger of Sheffield, Iowa; Mrs. Lizzie Maas, Mrs. Wm. Gaul, Mrs. Lena Holzenger and daughter, Miss Millis of Peoria.



Courtesy Carol Yotty Heilman (email:  heilsoft@netexpress.net)


Another one of the earliest pioneer women, and, though born in a foreign land, was probably the oldest person in point of time spent in Woodford county at the time of her death, was called to her reward last Sunday morning about two o'clock-- Mrs. Mary Yotty Klopfenstein, being at the time of her death almost ninety years of age.

Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Yotty, was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 3, 1836. When she was two years of age with her parent, one sister and four brothers, she came to the United States and they settled on a farm in Germantown, west of Metamora in 1838, known then as Black Partridge. There the subject of this sketch grew to young womanhood, and was married to Joseph Klopfenstein in 1856, in a little brick church west of Metamora, long since torn down. Soon after their marriage Mr. Klopfenstein opened a butcher shop in "Farneysville", known to later generations as "Slabtown", on the Mackinaw river near the present home of Senator Lantz.

There was an early French settlement at this point on the north side of the Mackinaw and "Farneysville" was a thriving commercial and industrial center for that day. The principal industries in the town was a "grist mill", a brewery and a distillery. Settlers drove for many miles to this mill, bringing the wheat and corn to have ground into flour or meal. Fish were plentiful in the Mackinaw at that time and usually while waiting for the "grist" the farmer would "slip up the creek" and with a pole, line and hook catch a string of the finny tribe to carry home. The mill was finally superseded by the larger and better equipt flouring mills that were built in the larger towns. The brewery and distillery were eventually destroyed by fire and "Farneysville" gradually went into decay.

"Grandma" says the timber lands along the Mackinaw abounded with wolves at that time and one morning when went to the horse stable to get some cobs there was a large wolf lying in the horse manger.

Not many years later they moved to Eureka, which has since been her home, with exception of two years (1885-6-7) spent in Peoria.

Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Klopfenstein-Kathryn, deceased; Josephine (Mrs. J.L. Carney); Jos. who now conducts the meat market in Eureka conducted formerly by his father; and Anna and Chrsitian; both deceased. Mr. Klopfenstein passed away in 1909, but the mother continued her home on College Street, north of the meat market until death. Besides the daughter, Mrs. Carney, and the son, Joseph, there are surviving, one brother, Joseph Yotty, living north of Eureka; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

At the age of twelve Mrs. Klopfenstein joined the Mennonite church and has remained a faithful member. She was always a very active and happy woman, and one to who people gave their trust and confidence. She was always willing to help and could be relied upon-a real friend in time of need or distress. Her many kind and thoughtful acts will long be remembered. In the early days the calling of a physician was of the simple stepping to a telephone that it is today, and to many families Grandma Klopfenstein was assistant physician, nurse, helper and friend. Of late years she has not been able to go out so much, but her heart was always with the afflicted.

About two years ago she suffered an attack of heart trouble, from which she never fully recovered, although in her last illness she was bedfast only about two weeks. Realizing that her earthly career was fast drawing to a close, she made her own funeral arrangements, choosing the minister, the pallbearers and the songs to be used.

The funeral service was held at the M.E. church in Eureka on Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Ezra Yordy of the Mennonite church assisted by Rev. Andrew Schrock and Rev. W.L. Barnes. A quartet composed of Messr Lester Smith, Ed Smith, Walter Yordy and Walter Zook, rendered the hymns she had chosen. The pallbearers were Henry Sauder, David Ulrich, Jacob Garber, Chris Garber, Joseph Waggoner and John R. Resser. Burial was in Olio Cemetery, where her loved ones gone on before are awaiting the resurrection.

Miss Alice Parker - Courtesy Nancy Ohda

Abstracts for the Minonk News - Dispatch,   February 8, 1940

Miss Alice Parker, age 90 years, 9 months and 8 days, passed away at 4:30 o'clock Monday afternoon at St. Mary's Hospital in Streater.  She fell at her home and fractured her hip on December 30, 1939.  She was taken to the hospital the following day, where she remained until her death.

She was born April 27, 1849, on a farm near Pattensburg.  Her parents were Jackson and Harriet Parker. Her father built the first store in Minonk.  She had been a resident of the Minonk area since the age of six.  

Her father passed away in 1900 and mother four years later in 1904.  She was survived by two sisters, Mrs. Ida Campbell, Minonk, IL and Mrs. Harriet Richardson of Lake City, Iowa; and fifteen nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon from the late residence on West Fifth Street with Rev. C.W. Sedgwick, pastor of the Methodist Church officiating. Internment was in the Minonk Cemetery.

Among those from out-of-town in attendance at the funeral were: Mr.& Mrs. Menno Vissering; Mr.& Mrs.William Grau; Mr.& Mrs. Lee Mould of Flanagan; Mrs. P.R. Nenne; Mrs. Melvin Vissering & son Merle of Bloomington; Mr.& Mrs. Paul Snow of Magnolia; Mr.& Mrs. F.J. Campbell of Wenona; Howard Campbell of Streater; Clarence Tolan & Leonard Tolan of Washburn; Mr.& Mrs. Dale Tolan of Long Point and Mrs. Katheryn Baer of Rutland.

Note: (From Nancy Ohda)

"Her household goods were sold at auction February 24, 1940 at her home 3 blocks west of the bank. In her will she asked that her household goods and the money from the sale of property, both real and personal, be divided equally between her sisters, Ida Campbell, Nora Stonier, Harriet Richardson and her niece, Fannie Sloan."

La Verne Gerjets

12 September 1946
Abstract from the Washburn Leader - Courtesy Barb Darling

Front Page. Headline: Gerjets Child Dies. Funeral Rites Today.

La Verne Gerjets died at the Illinois Research Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 1946 from Leukemia.  He was the son of Edward and Marie (Krueger) Gerjets from Toluca, Illinois.  Surving besides his parents were two brothers, James at home, and Robert from Connecticut and a sister, Maxine (Mrs.Robert) Combes of Henry. He was the grandson of Fred Krueger of Rutland; nephew of Henry Krueger of Toluca, Mrs. Will Liable, of Lacon, and Mrs. Bernard Warnke of Washburn. Funeral services were conducted at St. John's Lutheran Church, Toluca, on the afternoon of September 12, 1946 with burial in the church-side ceremony.

Charles L. Younger

16 Feb 1947
Abstract from the Washburn Leader - Courtesy Barb Darling,

Charles L. Younger dies in Wenona

Charles L. Younger died on Friday, before February 16, 1947 as he neared his 99th birthday. He had lived in Washburn from 1887 until January 10, 1947, when he had been at Resthaven in Wenona, Illinois.   In 1941, Washburn honored him as it's oldest male citizen.

His maternal grandparents and their five children emigrated from Kentucky in the early 1800's and settled at Ft. Clark, which is now Peoria. "There they rented a teepee from Indians until weather moderated sufficiently to permit the building of a more substantial home." Benjamin Younger,  his father, was a blacksmith and Charles one time said "one of my most lasting impressions of my childhood was the manner in which my father with his mighty smithy arm applied the hickory stick with the same vigor he pounded the anvil or shod the horses."  

Charles L. Younger, the third son of Benj F. Younger and Lodema White Younger, was born on  Feb 8, 1848  in Woodford County, Illinois.   His birth place was a log cabin built on a hillside of "Lone Hill" in Partridge Township.  He received his education in a hewed log school house on the site of the present Richland School. Among his childhood recollections was the playing in and about abandoned Indian cabins on his way to and from school.  After moving to Washburn in 1887 Mr. Younger worked in the butcher shop of John McWhinney. In 1891, he started the carpenter trade. For the following 35 years, he worked for Peter A. Sommers and Henry Lesch as a carpenter.

On Jan. 1, 1873 he was united in marriage to Phoebe Jane Combes.  They had four children: Alfred; Cora, who died in infancy; Benjamin; and Herbert, Herbert having died at 16; Alfred of Lacon, and Benjamin of Toulon.  Three grandchildren and on great-grandson also survive him. Mrs. Younger passed away on Nov 29, 1910.   Mr Younger was laid to rest in the Baptist Cemetary in Washburn. Chris Pelz, John Pelz, Frank Gill, Omer Cockerell, Killian Glaub, and Charles Safford served as pallbearers.  


Unknown Newspaper - May 1949

William Zeiger

William Zeiger, 81, a resident of Secor all his life, died at 3 a.m. Thursday at this home. He was a retired steamfitter. (ed: this is not true. He was a farmer.)

Surviving are his wife; two sons, Ray of Washburn and Elmer of Chillicothe; a daughter Mrs. Mae E. Hoff, Seneca; one sister, Mrs. Lydia Flessner, Benson; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral Services are set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church of Secor, and interment will be in the cemetery there. Friends may call at the Otto-Vincent memorial home in El Paso until noon Saturday, and at the church for one hour prior to the services.

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