Gossip From a Youthful Correspondent

 

The_Three_Gossips

[A few events of 129 years ago]

North Dayton
Quite a number attended church Sunday.

Frank Roberts spent Sunday at home.

D. Lawrence, now of Manlius, made his friends a call Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. P. Jacobs and family were visiting in Freedom the earlier part of the week.

Daniel Arentson has bought out the heirs and will own the Arentson homestead in the future.

A. G. Tucker is getting to be an expert with the engine. Last week he moved it to Mr. Hurlburt’s  when it was impossible to get along the roads with a loaded wagon. But he got there just the same; and none but an expert could manage the iron horse so skillfully. I tell you A. G. is a hustler.

F. Flory and P. Woodlock were the guests of Wm. Parr Sunday last.

C. H. Pool and J. Scott think that catching turkeys is good exercise.

Mr. G. Gookins, of Indiana, will work for A. H. Whitmore this season.

Gideon Ruger, of Ottawa, made H. E. Ruger a call the fore part of the week.

Wm. Greenlees sold a valuable horse last week.

Lyman H. is seen quite often of late in Freedom with his fiery, untamed mustang.

Look out, M., when you hitch that pony up and get near its head.

L. Hurlburt hulled his clover and got seventeen bushels of seed.

Cal. Christie sports a new top buggy. Look out, girls!

Charley Pool has his tool house very near completed.

Mansil H. visited his uncle in Wallace Sunday.

Ed. Whitmore thinks of getting a wide tired road cart, as the engine cut the road all up at the fish pond gate so the narrow-tired cart is of no use to him.

Jessie Miller returned home last Saturday.

James Hite is a candidate for road commissioner in the town of Dayton. The voters of Dayton will miss it if they do not vote for him, for he is a good man for the place; and the roads in the north part of town need looking after.

C. Simons is getting up his summer’s wood.

Mr. Shuler’s office is almost complete at Wedron and some lumber is on hand for the warehouse. He will also sell coal and lumber. This is good for the farmers as they will all patronize him. The Freedom, Serena, and Dayton farmers will haul their grain to Shuler.

Daisy

(The writer of the above newsy letter is but thirteen years old, and we must say the letter is not only excellent but there were not half a dozen errors of punctuation to correct and not a word mispelled. Let us have some more of the same kind, Daisy. – Eds.)1


  1. The Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader, March 29, 1890, p. 8, col. 1

Rebecca Green tells of the death of little Byron

picture of John B. Green tombstone

On July 9, 1849, David Green wrote a letter to his father, John, and his brothers Jesse and Joseph who were on their way to California in search of gold. David remained in Dayton to handle the businesses and the farm and his portion of the letter deals mostly with these matters. His sister Rebecca added to the letter and, among other family and local news, she told of the death of Jesse’s son, John Byron Green.

The death of Byron has been written to you before but for fear that you will not receive it I will speak of it here. He died the 6th of May.  He did not appear much worse till a few days before he died and was perfectly sensible till the last.  He looked at his father’s miniature a few minutes before he died.  His mother said to me it was the last he would see of his pa. He said no, pa will come back and handed the miniature to me and told me to put it away and in a little while sunk to rest as if going into a sweet slumber. We feel his loss [very] much as he was a great deal of company for us . . . but he has left us and we must submit to it as cheerfully as possible as this was a life of suffering for him.1


  1. David Green (Dayton, Illinois) to “Dear father and brothers” [John, Jesse, and Joseph Green], letter, 9 July 1849, privately held by Candace Wilmot, Urbana, Illinois.

Early medicine in Dayton

arm

Jesse Green’s memoir, written when he was an elderly man, give us glimpses of life in Dayton in the early days of its settlement. Accidents were always a danger, and not all had as good an outcome at this one:

“Our first physician in Dayton, was a German, whose name I have forgotten, next was Allen H. Howland, Harmon Hurlbut and Peter Schemerhorn, Dr. Howland was also an excellent surgeon whom father [John Green] employed, when he had his arm smashed from the hand to above his elbow, in cutting the ice from a water wheel, other Physicians wanted to amputate his arm, above the elbow but father would not consent to this, and sent for Dr. Howland, notwithstanding they had just passed through a very bitter campaign, in which Wm. Stadden was the regularly nominated candidate for the state Senate and Dr. Howland ran against him as an independent candidate and was defeated. When he called to see father and examined his wound, father made this proposition to him, “if he would save his life and his arm, he would give him five hundred dollars,” and the Dr. said he could do it, and took the case and did do it, and got his five hundred dollars.”1

The second physician in active practice in Ottawa is believed to have been Dr. Allen H. Howland, who came here in 1833 from Saratoga, New York. He had received a good medical education, and for nearly a third of a century enjoyed a large practice. He was something of a politician, and had many enemies as well as numerous friends. He was an able man, and enjoyed the confidence of his fellow citizens. He died in 1866.2


  1. Unpublished memoir of Jesse Green, a transcription of which is in the possession of Candace Wilmot, Urbana, IL
  2. Ottawa: Old and New (Ottawa, Illinois: The Republican-Times,1912-1914), 192