Misc. News from the Past

El Paso, Woodford County, Illinois Genealogy Trails


  • El Paso has a school record of 211 with an average attendance of 170, with George H. Wells as principle. The number of scholars enrolled at Peru this year is 728, which is 70 additional over that of last year.


State Items

  • The citizens of El Paso held a railroad meeting last week to consider the proposed railroad from that city to Kankakee and passed the following: That the interest of the people along the proposed route of the El Paso, Pontiac and Kankakee railroad demand that said proposed railroad be prosecuted with vigor and that is the sense of this meeting that steps to build the said proposed railroad should at once be taken. The meeting then adjourned until the 4th of March at Pontiac.


State Items

  • A large flouring mill of Messers. H. and E. Ives, at El Paso, was destroyed by fire on Monday afternoon. There was a large amount of flouring grain in the mill which was also destroyed. The building was partly insured - total loss $35,000.

The Journal (Minonk) - February 11, 1882

  • Mr. Levi Zinser and family will spend a few weeks in Pana and Assumption visiting friends.
  • C. B. Adams, formerly agent at Panola, is now in the employ of the C. & I. at Lee, Ills. The many friends of C. S. will doubtless be glad to learn of his whereabouts.
  • The public sale of C. D. Uaget will take place on the farm of John M. Glassner, four miles northeast of El Paso, and three miles southeast of Panola, on Wednesday, February 15, 1882.
  • Supervisor W. B. Quinn has moved into the O'Brien house, on the east side.
  • Frank Cassell has moved on to the farm he lately purchased of W. B. Quinn.
  • Charles W. McCoy has commenced the erection of a residence on the lots opposite the Baptist church.

The Journal (Minonk) - September 2, 1882

  • Louis McCulloch, of Eureka, was in the city Wednesday.
  • John Tucker, D. D. S., of Mt. Pulsaki, spent a few days of this week in the city, visiting friends, relatives and -
  • James Williams, an experienced printer from the Pantagraph job rooms has been employed as foreman of our job department.
  • Ed Hodgson will attend the Fairbury fair with his fine horses next week.
  • Mr. Geo. W. Burger has advertised his personal property for sale at public auction on the 2d inst. He has sold his farm to Thomas Cribben. Consideration $6,000. He will shortly go to Nebraska to live.
  • Charley and Howard Johnson, sons of A. L. Johnson, returned home from Pontiac last Wednesday.
  • Mr. David Dunn's little daughter is visiting her father.
  • Eddie Hart, son of Mrs. Allan Hart, living a short distance southwest of town, ran a pitchfork through his left foot last Saturday.
  • Misses Sallie Cassell and Cozie Harper are visiting in Metamora.
  • The Misses Zinser, of Washington, are visiting at D. K. Tobias. Mrs. Tobias is no better.

The Journal (Minonk) - Saturday April 22, 1882

  • The sixteen month girl of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Greiner, living near El Paso, died last Saturday night and was buried Monday. She was sick only a few days with diptheria.

The Daily Inter Ocean - Sept. 18, 1890

  • Bloomington, Ill Sept 17 - Mr. and Mrs. Gee were found dead at their home in Normal this forenoon. They had prepared breakfast on a gasoline stove and the prevailing opinion is the gasoline in the reservoir suddenly changed to gas, filling the room and asphyxiating them. It is believed by a few that something poisonous was eaten for breakfast. They came from El Paso, Woodford county, a year ago for the purpose of educating their daughter at the State Normal University.

Metamora Herald - August 14, 1931

Dan C. Kearney Dies in El Paso of Long Illness

Daniel C. Kearney, 51, died at his home in El Paso Tuesday morning after a long illness.  He was at one time associated with many baseball clubs throughout Central Illinois and in 1909 was a member of the Three-Eye league.

He was born April 15, 1881, in El Paso, where he received his early education and later he attended Lewis institute in Chicago.  In 1908 he moved back to El Paso and had made his home there ever since.

He was united to Miss Mary O'Rourke, Bloomington, who survives with seven children:  Mary, Daniel, Joseph, Margaret, Dorothy, Patricia and Anne.  One sister, Mrs. Lemmon, Chicago, and the following brothers also survive:  John T. Kearney and Frank Kearney, Chicago, and William Kearney, El Paso.

The El Paso Journal, El Paso, Illinois, Saturday, April 28,1900.
Deplorable Accident
L.R. Wood, of Olio Township, Instantly Killed by a T., P. &  W. Train.

One of the most appalling accidents in this vicinty in many months was the instant killing of Leroy Wood by the East-bound T., P. & W. passenger Thursday morning, two and a half miles west of Secor.

Mr. Wood left home at a little before 8 o'clock in a single buggy and was going to Roanoke on business.  The crossing is two miles north of his residence and he had reached the crossing, where he had crossed hundreds of times and the train struck him, killing him instantly and hurling his body almost 100 feet.  The buggy was torn to kindling, but the horse was not touched and was caught near Roanoke soon afterward.

The greatest mystery surrounds the cause of his being caught at a crossing where one in passing can see approaching trains a mile either way.  It is on a stretch of level country and the train was making fast time, as they always do at this point.  Trains are plainly visible from his home and he was familiar with their time of passing and the speed which they make there.  Besides, his own family knew him to be more than ordinarily careful about crossing the railroad.

Engineer Gates, who was in charge of the engine, says he saw Wood approaching the crossing, his horse being on a slow trot and from all appearances would drive close to the track and stop for them to pass, but was appalled at seeing him drive onto the track.  Gates says Wood was sitting in his buggy as if asleep, his body erect but his head down as if he was asleep or in a deep study.  He could not possibly be asleep, only having driven a short distance and that early in the morning.  He never slackened nor quickened his pace and was evidently struck and killed without knowing he was in danger.

The only way to account for it is that he was studying deeply about something and the ground being on a level at the crossing he did not know that he had yet come to the railroad.  The wind Thursday was from the east and he could not have heard the whistle of the engine.  No one on the train knew him and he was picked up and put into the baggage car and taken to Secor, where those about the depot immediately recoginized him, although the left side of his face and head were badly crushed.  A bolt had cut a clean hole through his hat band and hat and crushed his skull and his jaw was also broken.

Word was at once sent to his home and his stricken family was completely overwhelmed with the suddenness of their bereavement.  Corner Seidl, of Benson, was summoned and a jury impanelled to take testimony.

After the jury viewed the remains they were removed to the home four miles southwest of Secor.  When the undertaker began his work of preparing the body for burial, he found scarcely a whole bone in his body.  The fearful concussion had wrought havoc in his entire system and there were a dozen wounds, each of which would have caused death.

Mr. Wood came to this county from Greene county, Pa., in 1858 and has lived in Greene and Olio townships ever since.  He was a little above 60 years of age and leaves a wife and four grown children.  Mr. Wood's first wife was a daughter of Jonathan Wilson, of Green township, who died several years ago, and his second wife, who morns his sudden taking off, was formerly Mrs. Barnett.  The children are Thomas, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Billinger, who live in Palestine and Olio townships, and Mrs.Standiford, Marysville, Cal.  Word was once sent to the latter, but an answer came that on account of illness in her family she could not come and so the funeral services will be held at the home this forenoon at 10 o'clock.

Deceased was a kind and most indulgent father and husband, considerate and careful in all his transactions and his untimely death is mourned by his neighbors and friends who sympathize with the stricken family.
Contributor Note: (LeRoy O. Wood was born 4/09/1838 and died 4/26/1900, he was the son of William (Uncle Billy) Wilburn Wood and Sarah Wright Gregg

The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois March 3, 1955
Truck-Train Crash Kills One at El Paso
Alta Thompson Fatally Injured; Mate in Hospital
[contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]

El Paso - Mrs Alta Thompson, 46, was fatally injured about 1 p.m. Wednesday when the truck in which she was riding was struck by an Illinois Central freight train on the Third Street crossing in El Paso.  Mrs Thompson died while enroute to a Bloominton hospital by ambulance. Her husband, Glenn, was injured in the crash.  He was taken to Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington.  His condition was described as satisfactory Wednesday night.  Another passenger, Mrs Thompson's grandson, Ricky Roberts, was not seriously injured.  He was taken to the home of an uncle, Ed Stephens. He had been staying with Mrs. Thompson.

Trucked Flipped Over

The empty gravel truck in which the three were riding spun around after the impact and turned over.  The truck is owned by Louie Meyer, for whom Mr Thompson worked.  A large crowd was quick to gather at the scene, coming from the El Paso Community Sale, in progress just three blocks away.  The sale was called off for one hour after the wreck until the crowd returned.  Mr and Mrs Thompson had just been married 14 days.  An inquest has been set by Coroner Joe Hallett of McLean County for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at the courthouse in Bloomington.  She was brought to the Vincent Memorial Home.  Arrangements are incomplete.

Native of Indiana

Mrs Thompson was born March 4, 1908, at La Porte, Ind., daughter of Melvin and Lillie Burdon Robbins.  She was married to Lester Lee Stephens May 16, 1925 at La Porte.  He died Aug. 27, 1947, near El Paso.  On Feb 29, 1955, she was married to Glenn Thompson of Secor at Muskogee, Okla.
Survivors include her father of El Paso; her husband; three sons. Francis Edward and Warren Stephens, both of El Paso and James Le Roy Stephens at home; two daughters, Mrs Betty Jean Roberts at home and Mrs Donna Mae Floyd of Bloomington; six sisters, Mrs Raymond Blair and Miss Ruth Robbins, both of El Paso, Mrs Henry Kaiser, Three Oaks, Mich.; Mrs Donald Whitmer, Louiston, Mo., and Mrs ALbert Huhnke and Mrs Marvin Baker, both of Walkerton, Ind.; two brothers, Melvin and Robert D. Robbins, both of El Paso and four grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her mother and one brother, Charles Leonard, killed in World War II.  She was a member of the El Paso Methodist Church.

Metamora Herald, 3 Nov. 1944
El Paso Mayor's son is Missing in Action
Mayor and Mrs. J. W. Sverett and Mrs. Leota Boyd Everett of El Paso have received word from the government that their son and husband, Pvt. Myron Everett, has been missing in action since Oct. 4.  He was located in France.  The Everetts have two other sons overseas.

The Day Book, [Chicago, Ill.] April 21, 1914, Last Edition
Pontiac, Ill - George Clark, wealthy landowner of Woodford County, killed by Santa Fe freight train.

Metamora Herald, 9 Mar. 1945
Pfc. Albert Aldrich is Killed in Action
Mr. and Mrs. George Aldrich of El Paso received a message Saturday from the War Department that their nephew, Pfc. Albert Aldrich, previously reported missing, was killed in action in Germany, Dec. 18.  He entered service Jan. 18, 1944, and had been overseas since July.  He made his home with the Aldriches for several years.

Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) - Tuesday, January 19, 1993
EL PASO - Richard E. Evans, 75, of El Paso was dead at 5:10 p.m. yesterday (Jan. 18, 1993) at the scene of a two-car accident at Illinois 116 and Illinois 117, east of Benson. A story is on page A2. Froelich Memorial Home, El Paso, is in charge of arrangements.

Henry News Republican, July 16, 1969
Lynn Davison of ElPaso spent Sat. evening at the home of his mother, Mrs. Charles Davison.

The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) Sep. 19, 1913
The funeral of William Corbley was held from St. Mary's Catholic church Sat. afternoon, interment being in the Catholic cemetery.
Miss Katharine Dorsey, of Paxten, is here, assisting in caring for her aunt, Mrs. G. R. Curtiss, who has been quite ill for a couple of weeks.
Mrs. F. H. Henderson attended an announcement party at the home of Mrs. Reuben Stoddard at Minonk, Sat. afternoon. Announcement was made of the engagement of E. J. Henderson and Helen Forney, both young people of Minonk, at that time.

The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) Aug 15, 1913
Mrs. George Zerwask entertained at cards Mon. afternoon.
F. B. Stitt has been reappointed to the managing board of the State Normal University by Gov. Dunne.
J. M. Reeves moved to his new store building Tues. The building vacated by Mr. Reeves will be occupied by Dorsey's restaurant.

The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) Feb 21, 1913
Monte A. North and Ruth A. Taylor were united in marriage at 5 o'clock Wed. afternoon, the ceremony being performed at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. James S. tucker by Rev. R. F. Cressey, of the El Paso Presbyterian church. The wedding march was played by Miss Hope French and the bride and groom were unattended. A four course wedding supper followed the ceremony and Mr. and Mrs. North left on an evening train for Mississippi and Florida. Upon their return they will be at the home to their friends on a farm near El Paso.

The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) Jan 10, 1913
Richard Berry and family went to Streator Tues. Their household goods were shipped the day before.

The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) Jan 24, 1913
B. F. Slenker and Fred Larison were in Indian Tues. Mr. Slenker held a sale at his farm on that day. They returned Tues. evening.
Hon. Oliver W. Stewart, of Chicago, delivered an address at the Baptist church Tues. evening.
Mr. and Mrs. David Dunn held a reception at their home, Sat. evening, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bennett, of Phoenix, Ariz., who are visiting relatives and old friends.

The Pantagraph, May 28, 1945
EL PASO-Lt. and Mrs. Milan Folkers and baby daughter of Blackwell, Okla., arrived Wednesday for a leave wit! their parents, Mrs. C. C. Kingdon of El Paso and the Rev. and Mrs. R. D. Folkers of Bloomington.
Corp. Horald Schlink has been moved from Germany to Czechoslovakia, according to word received by his father, John E Schlink. He is particularly happy that the orders prohibiting fraternizing with the inhabitants does not apply in Czechoslovakia and it is a real joy to give gum and candy to the children.
Lt. and Mrs. Myrle Yount of San Antonio, Tex., are the parents of a daughter born May 20. She has been named Mary Monette. The mother is the former Miss Iola Coyle of El Paso.
Gwynn McHugh, technician fourth grade, arrived Wednesday torn Camp Blanding, Fla. for a furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McHugh.
Pvt. Robert Fever is spending a 13 day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Fever. He will report at Fort Meade, Md., having completed his training at Camp Hood, Tex.
Second Lt. Mary Coyle of the army nurses corps has written her parents, 'Mr. and Mrs. Owen Coyle from England that she was promoted to first lieutenant V-E day.
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Alt received a letter stating that their son Eugene ranked among the 18 highest seniors in the class of 1944 of the reserve officers training corps at the U of I. His name will be inscribed on a bronze plaque provided by the woman's relief corps for those senior cadets who have excelled in military scholarship. Eugene is now a first lieutenant with the signal corps on duty in the Philippines.

The Pantagraph [Bloomington, Illinois, Dec 11, 1944]
El Paso-Glenn C. Kingdon seaman first class at the naval air base at Norfolk, Va., has returned after spending a 10 day leave with his parents, Mr and Mrs Claude Kingdon. Mr and Mrs Kingdon entertained 30 guests Friday evening at a potluck dinner in honor of their son.

The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) 1 Nov. 1943
EL PASO-Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Kauth Thursday received word from their son, Pfc, James V. Kauth, that he had arrived in the United States with a contingent of wounded men of the army who had seen duty in the Mediterranean area. The injured leg he had written of earlier, has healed, but he has a chest wound which will require an operation and he will be at the hospital at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., for several months.
Lt. and Mrs. Thomas Eastman left for Chicago Wednesday after three days with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James A. Smith. They will visit his parents in Chicago before returning to the hospital at Battle Creek, Mich., for a checkup. He has been receiving treatment there for nerve shock he received in north Africa when two jeeps were shot from under him by German ground mines. He is recovering satisfactorily.
Pvt. Glenn Barker, who is stationed north of Seattle, Wash., on the Alcan highway, is spending a 15 day furlough with his brothers and sister's here.
Pvt. Simon Oltman is spending a 15 day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Oltman. He is stationed at Tampa, Fla.
Victor Roush reported at Camp Grant for army duty Monday. His wife will remain here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Punke, for the present.
Richard Tinier, who was stationed at Joliet, has been transferred to New Orleans, La.
Walter R. Shoemaker, apprentice seaman, returned to St. Louie. Mo., Thursday after a furlough here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shoemaker.
Lt. Arthur C. Classen has been transferred from Los Angeles, Calif., to Camp Pickett, Va.


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