Woodford County, Illinois
News stories, transcribed and contributed by Melody Berry, unless otherwise state, for Woodford County Genealogy Trails


Years and years ago, when Metamora was the county seat of Woodford County, Illinois, one of the prominent lawyers of the Metamora bar was Judge Clark.  He was leaned in law, but his general knowledge was somewhat limited.  It came to pass that Judge Clark and the late Colonel Ingersoll one day found themselves on opposite sides of a cage wherein Judge Clark's client alleged fraud in a transaction between himself and the client of Colonel Ingersoll.

When the time came to argue the case Judge Clark arose and began an impassioned plea to the jury.  He reviewed the evidence brought out by his witnesses and scathingly denounced the other side.  Working himself up to a fine frenzy the judge arose to his tiptoes, raised his hands above his head and shouted:
"This is the evidence in the case, gentlemen of the jury, and if it is not fraud that has been practiced upon my client then f-r-o-d does not spell fraud"

As Judge Clark sat down Colonel Ingersoll arose and in a pleasant voice said:
"Gentlemen of the jury, I cheerfully admit that Judge Clark has the better of me in orthography, but I leave it to you to decide whether or not he has the better of me in this case."

That was all, and before the court and spectators had ceased smiling at Judge Clark's unique spelling the jury returned a verdict for Colonel Ingersoll's client.

[source: The Commoner, June 19, 1903, Page 10]

John I. Miller and wife of Woodford County Illinois, former citizens of this county, are visiting friends and relatives here and will spend a month in Virginia
[source: The Roanoke times, May 30, 1894]

Frank Frantz, Governor of Oklahoma Territory and who is expected to be a candidate for the Republican nomination for first governor of the new state, was born in Woodford County, Illinois, May 7, 1872.  He was educated at Eureka College and in 1890 removed to Kansas.  The next few years he spent in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oklahoma.  He entered the Spanish American war as a private and was promoted to the rank of Captain by Col. Roosevelt for gallantry in battle.  Returning to Oklahoma after the war Captain Frantz was appointed postmaster at Enid.  He resigned this place in 1904 to accept the appointment of United States agent for the Osage Indians.  At the age of 33 he was appointed by President Roosevelt as Governor of Oklahoma, and took office January 13, 1906.  At that time he was by far the youngest of the six governors who had served the people of Oklahoma.
[source: Bismarck Daily Tribune, May 7, 1907]

The Dalles Weekly Chronicle, July 1, 1892
A great many democrats, as well as men of other parties, are inquiring: "who is Adali E. Stevenson, of Illinois?"  He was first assistant postmaster general under Cleveland.  He was also a member of congress from Illinois, in the 44th and 46th sessions.  He was born in Christian County, Kentucky, October 23, 1835; removed to Bloomington, Ill., in 1852; was educated at the Illinois Wesleyan University, and at Curtin College, Kentucky; is a lawyer by profession; was master in chancery of Woodford County, Illinois, from 1861 to 1865; was state attorney for the 23d judicial district from 1864 to 1868; was appointed by the president a member of the board of visitors to West Point in 1877.  He was elected to the 46th congress by the national greenback and democratic parties.  He is now the nominee of the democracy, on the ticket of 1892, for vice president.

Another pioneer resident of Umatilla county passed away this morning when death summoned Mrs. Rhoda Ellen Bott, wife of J.K. Bott.  The end came at 1:30 this morning at the family home, 211 Lincoln street, the cause of being heart trouble.  She had been ill for some time.  The body is now at the Brown undertaking parlors and the funeral will be held Saturday morning at 10:30 at the Christian church.

East Oregonian, April 10, 1913, evening edition, page five
Mrs. Bott was born in Woodford county, Illinois, September 16, 1855 and came to Oregon in 1873, settling in the Willamette valley.  She was married on October 15, 1874, in Linn county and with her husband moved to Umatilla county twenty five years ago.  Since the age of 15 years she had been a faithful member of the Christian Church.  Besides her husband, she leaves six children, Clyde E. Bott of King Hill, Idaho, Mrs. Burr Johnson of Helix, Virgil, Winnie, Norvell and Alva Bott all of this city.  A host of friends also mourn her death.

Calley Ramsey
vs                   }  Court of Common Pleas, Stark County Ohio
Alice Ramsey

  The said defendant, who resides in Woodford County, Illinois will take notice that said plaintiff has filed his petition in the Court of Common Pleas of Strk county, Ohio, praying for a divorce from said defendant.  Said plaintiff in said petition charges said defendant with adultery with one Thomas Masters, and with gross negelect of duty.  Said petition will be for hearing at the November term of said Court.
Calley Ramsey
By Folger and Willison, his attorneys
[source: The Stark County Democrat, September 9, 1875, page 7]

Judge Joseph McCulloch, formerly county judge and treasurer of Woodford County, Illinois, is dead at his home in Clearfield Iowa.  The remains will be interred at Washburn, Ill.
[source: The Professional World, October 3, 1902]

John H. Smith, Civil War veteran, died at his home in north Lynden early Monday morning.  His death was caused mainly by old age and by heart trouble, resulting in shortness of breath, with which he had been suffering for more than a month  Mr. Smith died at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years, six months and eighteen days.

Mr. Smith was born September 11, 1832 in Bartholomew County, Indiana.  After removing to Woodford County Illinois at the age of three and to the Miami Reservation at the age of twelve, he came to the State of Wisconsin, where he resided until the Civil War broke out.  He enlisted in Company B, 20th Wisconsin Volunteers.    During the War he received three gunshot wounds, and took part in four battles.  He came to Lynden from Wisconsin five years ago and was a member of the Lynden G.A.R.

His passing is mourned by a large circle of friends.  He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Sarah Ingalls, Mrs. Ella Foster and Mrs. Lena Wilson, all of Lynden, one brother Jas. M. Wilson and one sister, Annie Norris both of Le Farge, Wisconsin, five grandchildren, Henry Wilson, in the U.S. Marines, present at Cuba, Mary Benson of Alger, Washington, Mrs. Frank Booman, of Wisconsin and Joe and John Wilson, of Lynden and four great grandchildren.

The regular G.A.R. funeral services were held at Knapp's parlors Tuesday afternoon in the presence of a large number of sympathetic friends of the bereaved relatives.  Interment was in the Lynden cemetery.
[source: The Lynden Tribune, April 1, 1920 edition]

Lincoln Relic Discovered
Fremont Neb., June 24

Frank Knapp of this city has recently come into the possession of a Lincoln relic of much interest in the shape of a draft of requested instructions to the jury in the case of the State of Illinois against Joseph K. Johnson, in which Lincoln was the attorney for the defendant, who was acquitted.  The draft was found among the files in the case and came into Mr. Knapp's possession through an attorney in Woodford County, Illinois who was looking up the title of some property for him.  It is in Lincoln's handwriting, clear and legible, though the paper shows the effects of age.  Some of the words are heavily underscroed.  The case was tried April 15, 1852 before David Davis, later a justice of the Supreme Court.
[source: Omaha Daily Bee, June 25, 1911 edition]

Deacon Norman Dutton, who departed this life on the 18th day of March, 1899, was born in LaMoille County, Vermont, Feb. 14th, 1810.  In early life he removed to the state of Ohio, where he resided some two years, when he went to Illinois, and after visiting a short time in Morgan county, he settled permanently in Metmora, Woodford County, Illinois, where he lived until 1888.  In February of this last named year he removed to Great Bend Kansas, near which city he purchased a farm, on which he lived until he was called to close his earthly career.

Deacon Dutton while yet quite young became a christian, and united with the Congregational church, in which church he labored and served as deacon for over 40 years.  He was a man of deep convictions, firm fidelity to his principles.  He understood that to be a christian meant full devotion of life, its energy, its time and its highest thoughts and efforts; to advance the cause of rightousness and truth on earth and to make men better and holier.  Moved by such principles he in early life espoused the anti-slavery cause and labored for the destruction of American slavery till its overthrow.  Being an early abolitionist he knew for long years what it was to be despised and persecuted for righteousness sake.  This treatment he meekly bore in the spirit of his Master knowing the cause was the cause of truth.

Deacon Duton was also a life long laborer in the cause of temperance.   In an early day he became a believer in prohibition and labored for its advancement till he died.  So earnest was his life, that all his long life he bore a prominment part in the struggle for the advancement of these great movements, and in all  christian work.  He was truly a Soldier of the Cross.

A pioneer spirit pervaded his life so that he, when 78 years old, came to this new country and began to improve a farm with the ardor of a youth.  Although he resided here only a little more than one year, he had gained the respect and the friendshop of all his neighbors as a very large attendance at his funeral services, testifies.  His action, earnestness and his mild christian spirit will ever remain a benediction on the lives of his new friends in this community where he spent the last year of his life.

Deacon Dutton lived to enter his 80th year.  Death came to him suddenly and called him to his mansion where Christ is.  He leaves behind him a companion, two children and several grandchildren, and a host of relations and friends who mourn their loss, but not without being fully persuaded that he has departed to be with Jesus.  "For so he gieth his beloved sleep"   J.J.A.T. Dixon
[source: Barton County Democrat, March 28, 1889]

Bank Robbers Frustrated
Attempt to Loot an Illinois Institution Proves Disasterous

The little town of Washburn, Woodford County Illinois, was the scene of a raid of bank robbers the other night, and as a result one of the desperados is lying in the county jail at Metamora severely wounded in the neck and back.

The craksmen entered the town and stole a team and carriage.  The moment they entered the private banking house of Ireland & Son the burglar alarm started a gong ringing in the house of the junior member of the firm, who immediately raised a posse of a dozen men and surrounded the building.  The first explosion blew out the tumbler of the lock only, and while the men were making ready for another blast the posse made a noise, and the three men dashed out the back door to be met by a volley of shots and bullets.  They stood the first crowd off with a volley from their revolvers, but as they turned the corner of the bank another squad fired into them and one robber fell with nineteen large shots in his back and neck.  The other two men got away, although the trail of blood showed that one of them was wounded.
[source: The Valentine Democrat, May 14, 1896]

The Cairo Evening Bulletin, August 4, 1869, Daily edition
Last Sunday, in Woodford County, Illinois, a young man, named, Tramer was thrown from a horse in such a manner that the horse fell squarely on Tramer's heart, and smashed it against his back.

Albion, Neb-
Elder W. C. Poynter, father of Governor Poynter, died at his residence in Albion, after a lingering illness, during which he suffered greatly.  His early years were spent in Kentucky and later he made Illinois his home.  During the last fifteen years he has lived at Albion, latterly making his home with his second son, D.J. Poynter.

For many years he was a Christian Minister, until incapacitated by age.  He was a man of great force of character and intelligence.  He leaves his aged wife and two sons, Governor W.A. and D.J. Poynter.   Elder Poynter was a man of strong personality, of clear logical mind and settled ideas and always had the courage of his convictions.  Becoming a Christian in early life he devotis best years to proclaiming from the pulpit the teachings of Christianity.  His private life was always in full accord with his public teaching.  He devoted much time and energy to the cause of education, assisting both by work and liveral donation to the building up of Eureka college.   A pioneer settler of Woodford County, Illinois, he occupied with honor different postions of public trust.  He was an associate in a public way with such men as Lincoln, David Davis, Adlai Stevenson and others in public affairs of Illinois.  Meeting with an accident in early life, resulting in the loss of his arm, he was placed at great disadvantage, but by energy and good judgment he accomumulated a competency.  He departs, having expressed himself as ready to go, saying with Paul: "I have fought a good fight.  I have finished my course.  I have kept the faith".  He was born in Barren county, Kentucky, in 1821, and came to Illinois in 1835.  He was married to huldah J. Watkins in 1840.  Three sons were born of this marriage.  The eldest died at the age of 12, in 1855, the second is present governor of Nebraska, the third is the editor of the Albion Argus, with whom the elder has made his home for the last six years.  His wife survives him, besides the two sons.
[source: Custer County, Republican, January 4, 1900 edition]

Mary Scheetz, residing in Metamora, Woodford County, Illinois, and Lydia Moorehead and William Bowers, whose place of residence is unknown, will take notice that on the 15th day of April, 1897, Frances M. Eckroate filed her petition in the Common Pleas Court of Stark county, Ohio, case No. 12113, against the above named parties and other praying for partition of certain premises therein described and for the cancelling of certain mortgages given by John Rose and Thomas Rose to Joseph Rector, recorded in Vol. 39, Page 412 and also mortgage from Francis Miller to John T. Bower, recorded in Vol. 80, Page 469, Stark County Mortgage Deed Records, which mortgages are on the premises described in said petition.

Said parties are required to answer on or before the 3rd day of July, 1897, or judgment may be taken against them.
Frances M. Eckroate
Welty & Albaugh, Plaintiff's Att'ys
[source: The Stark County Democrat, May 6, 1897, page 8]

Mrs. Wyman E. Dow
Logan, Ia Jan.3-
The funeral of Mrs. Wyman E. Dow took place here this week at the late farm home near Logan.  Interment was at the Bethel cemetery.  Sarah Isabelle Cloud was born in Woodford County, Illinois on January 8, 1857 and married Wyman E. Dow, February 2, 1881, coming to Harrison county the same month.  She was the mother of six children, three sons now surviving.  Rev. W.N. Graves preached the funeral address.
[source: Omaha Daily Bee, January 4, 1908 edition]

Oldest Postmaster Retires
Frank J. Schrieber, who is believed to be the oldest postmaster in the United States recently resigned.  He has decided that forty-three years of continuous service for Uncle Sam is enough.  He was appointed postmaster of Cruger, Woodford County, Illinois during President Buchanan's administration.
[source: Free Press, December 21, 1901 edition]

The Saline Journel, may 30, 1899 edition
Josiah Paul left here Tuesday morning via the Rock Island route for his father's home in Woodford County, Illinois.

Chicago, March 20- A number of coal miners at Minonk, Woodford county Illinois, recently formed a miner's union, and yesterday the proprietors of the mines discharged all the members of the union and filled their places with Norwegean miners.  The discharged miners gathered at the shaft and endeavored by threats and persuasion to prevent the new hands from going to work, but were unsuccessful, and were finally sent off the premises.

Last evening the wives of the discharged miners gathered in the vicinity of the shaft and assailed the new men with eggs, other misseles and the rabble finally reached the dimensions of a riot, which, the town authorities being unable to suppress, Gov. Beveridge was telegraphed to for military aid, who dispatched Adjutant General higgins, with a quantity of arms to the scene of the trouble, and telegraphed to the sheriff to aid in suppressing the disturbances.  Today a number of the rioters were arrested and at last advices were being tried before the justice of the peace.  There appears to be great excitement in Ninonk, but so far there is no account of serious damage to any one.
[source; The Cairo Bulletin, March 21, 1874 edition]

The Holt County Sentennial, (Oregon, MO), April 27, 1900 edition
John Noellsch received a telegram Sunday, announcing the death of a niece, Miss Clara Damon, at Secor, Woodford county, Illinois.  She was about thirty years of age.

A Horse Thief Shot in Illinois-
The Sheriff of Woodford County, Illinois and a Mr. Miller of Decatur were pursuing two horse thieves, whom they overtook a few miles north of Bloomington, in McLean County on Friday last.  They rode toward the men until quite near them, when suddenly the fellows drew each a revolver, and covering his man, separated to strike out across the prarie.  The Sheriff followed one, Miller took the other, and the fromer pressed his fugitive so close that the latter turned, and made some movement as if to fire, when the Sheriff suddenly fired his own pistol, and shot the men through the breast.  He fell instantly dead from the saddle without a word, the ball having passed through his heart.  The other man, seeing the fate of his comrade, gave himself up quietly.  Both the living and the dead horse-theif were taken Bloomington on Friday night.
[Source: The Penny Press, (Cincinnati Ohio) September 1, 1859)

Resident of Creston-
Creston, IA, June 18-
Thomas L. Pickerill died Saturday morning at 1:35 at his home on North Hill.  The funeral took place this afternoon from the Christian church, of which he was a member for fifty years.  he moved to Creston five years ago from Woodford County, Illinois.  He was born in Brown County Ohio in 1835 and was a highly respected citizen
[Source: Omaha Daily Bee, June 19, 1900, page 8]

Omaha Daily Bee, August 23, 1887, page 5
Wilmer Mayes has filed his petition for divorce against his wife, Etta Mayes.  They were married in 1880 in Woodford County, Illinois and in 1883 were living at Pleasant Dale, Seward county.  At that time the plaintiff alleges that his wife threatened his life at divers times; that she used foul and abusive language to him; that in those days and subsequent ones in this county that she threatened to carve him with a butcher knife, threw hot tea in his face, threw down and broke the stove, threatened to shoot his liver, threatened to brain the children, and committed adultery.  For this catalogue of crimes he believes himself entitled to a divorce.

Samuel C. Dunham
Word has been received of the death in Baltimore of Samuel C. Dunham, one of the old school of Congressional reporters.  He was born in Woodford County, Illinois in 1855, and moved to the Far West when a young man.  He was a Court stenographer in Montana and Nevada from 1878 to 1883, and later became private secretary to Senator Voorhees of Indiana.  he was sent to Alaska in 1899 to take the first census of that territory.  From 1902 to 1908 he was editor and part owner of " The Tonopah (Nev) Miner,"  and after that engaged in general newspaper work.  He was the author of several books on the gold fields of the West.
Mr. Durham recently had made his home in Washington
[Source: New York Tribune, May 17, 1920, page 6]

Omaha Daily Bee, February 18 1899, page 5
Virginia, the "mother of presidents" claims the birthplace of Hon. J. S. Swartsley, of Platte.  He was born in the far-famed Shenandoah valley in 1836 and when inineteen years of age removed to Woodford County Illinois.  He attended college one year at Metamora, Ill.  In 1868 he removed to McLean County and farmed and taught school. He came to Nebraska in 1882, and took up his residence on a farm near Columbus.  He has always taken an active part in township and county affairs, of which he is thoroughly conversant, and has held nearly every local office.  Mr. Swartsly  is an anti monopolist of the "strictest sect"  He enjouys the distinction of being one of the very few members who "paid their fare" from their homes to the Capital city when about to begin their legislative duties.  As a member of the house, Mr. Swarsley is fighting  the battle on this line will render a good account to his constituents.

Evening Star, ( Washington D.C. ) December 27, 1866
A family named Gassner, living in Woodford County, Illinois have suffered terribly during the past three months with what one physician pronounces spotted fever, another trichina.  But the strangest part of the matter  is that four of the family have died just one month apart.  The mother died September 4, a daughter died October 4, the father died November 4, and another daughter died December 4.  A son is now lying dangerously sick of the same disease.

Farmers Weekly Review, Jan. 10, 1940
Can Anyone Use This Man?

I am single, 47.,years of age with practically a life experience as farmer and stockman. For more than two years I worked for. C. M. Smith, Eureka, Illinois. Mr. Smith was president of the Woodford County Farm Bureau for several years, and is now a state I. A. A. director. During the post 2 1/2 years I worked for Walter Danekas, Minonk, Illinois. He farms, keeps a dairy herd and raises hogs. While I was there he was away from home most of the time on outside work, so It was up to me to go ahead and get things done. He left the farming and care of his stock mostly to me. I want to get with someone who needs a good reliable man and can pay good wages. If you can do anything to help me It will be appreciated. J. M. Hiatt, Eureka, Ill.

Urbana Daily Courier, Jan. 6, 1909
F. H. Doeden, who graduated in 1904, now superintendent of schools of Woodford county, was recently married to Miss Nellie Render of El Paso.

Sycamore True Republican, Jan. 20, 1897
Dr. S. L. Kerr, a pioneer physician of Woodford county, died of paralysis. He had practiced in El Paso 41 years

Unknown News Clipping, dated, Sept. 6, 1918
Depart for Camps
Many Woodford County Men Left Eureka Thursday Morning
Eureka, Sept. 5-The following young men left this morning for camp. Those who go to Camp Forrest, Lytle, Ga., are: Frank J. Wolf, Panola; Maurice Garber, Spring Bay; Henry A. May, Metamora; Claude L. Kingdon, El Paso; William C. Barth, Minonk.
To Camp Grant: William E. Morrow, Eureka; Edward Bechtel, Eureka; Raymond H. Henderson, Secor; Emil Bohlander, El Paso; Rudolph F. Bockler, Spring Bay; John E. Jenssen, Mononk; Garley Gresham, Eureka; Edward E. Kamp, Goodfield; Lester F. Kingdon, El Paso; Jake DeWilde, Roanoke; Theop. Zimmerman, Carlock; Eddie L. Hester, Roanoke; Elmer L. Sharpe, Congerville; Lester J. Boyd, Panola; Arthur W. Hildreth, El Paso; Tommie Young, Deer Creek; Ambrogis Chiotte, Roanoke; Joel C. Wilson, El Paso; Joe Crawford, Cazenovia; Cluade Sharpe, Eureka; Charlie Full, Roanoke; Arthur H. Menssen, Secor; William Speck, Cazenovia; Frederick L. Diener, Secor; Louis J. Kolb, Benson; George W. Moser, Roanoke; William K. Dubois, Metamora; Raymond J. Schertz, Metamora; Chester M. Ekiss, Secor; Clifford Vogelsang, El Paso; Paul D. Crowe, El Paso; Edward A. Janssen, Minonk; John G. Harms, Benson; William E. Holliger, Goodfield; Ralph Baker, Minonk; Harold A. Stine, Minonk; Elmer Marshall, Minonk; John T. Marshall, Minonk; Emil Hartman, Secor; Leslie W. Kinkade, Low Point.

Unknown News Clipping, dated May 30, 1918
Thirty Tomorrow

Woodford County to Send Another Contingent of Soldier Boys
Tomorrow at Eureka thirty more men will mobilze at 3:00 o'clock, when a program will be given under direction of a committee from El Paso. In all the other events of like character Eureka citizens have had charge of the program, but hereafter it is asked and expected tht the other towns for the county will see to it that the boys are given a good sendoff. The men in tomorrow's call number thirty-six, the last named in the list which follows being alternates who are to replace any of the first named thirty who may not go. The call embraces the following, the figures preceding the names being the county liability number. The townships named are those from which the boys register:

650 Lawrence Dammerell, Linn
655 Ernest Becker, Cazenovia
451 Lester Smith, Metamora
493 Christian Zoss, Linn
529 Peter Springer, Linn
1102 Walter Yordy, Palestine
361 Rudolph Schultz, Metamora
644 C. Porzelius, Palsestine
657 Edward Miller, Palestine
669 Theo. Rohman, Spring Valley
671 Chas. Sullivan, Clayton
699 Minet Saathoff, Minonk
708 Edward Dammerell, Linn
710 John Stortz, Roanoke
724 Joseph Wagner, Metamora
727 Herman Noll, Worth
740 Isom Henby, Minonk
742 John Behrens, Greene
748 George Wessell, Roanoke
752 Norman Winkler, Montgomery
772 Henry Harbers, Linn
783 Arnold Wyss, Metamora
797 Harbor Tevis, Montgomery
806 Raymond Knoll, Palestine
810 William G. Roberts, Panola
826 Anton Schmidt, Worth
857 August Cordes, Clayton
862 John Fisher, Cruger
872 Ralph Ioerger, Panola
873 Ralph Winn, Linn
875 Jasper Reynolds, Worth
880 Chester Hall, El Paso
891 Roscoe Newkirk, El Paso
903 George Kuntsman, Olio
904 Edward Steffin, Panola
249 Frank L. Hartly, Olio

In the list published last week of those who went to Jefferson barracks on May 24 were the names of Grant Hewitt [1360] of Cazenovia; John J. Harms [1624] of Clayton and Carl J. Flessner [1653] of Minonk. We since learn that these wer either disqualified or excused and that John Rocke [510] of Roanoke who was not included in the [unreadable]. 

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