120 Years Ago in Dayton


             Jesse Hudson, of Chicago, is visiting Clyde Channel for a few days.

            Gilbert Masters, of Chicago, with the P., C C & St L. R R, is here visiting Mr. and Mrs. Masters, for a short time.

            Mrs. Miles Masters, who had been visiting her sister in Pennsylvania, and was expected to remain until October, was called suddenly home to the bedside of her husband, who has been confined at his home for the past three weeks. Mr. Masters is much better at this writing.

            Mrs. Robert Wilson, of Stewart, Ill., who has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Brees, returned to her home on Tuesday.

            I understand one of our boys “set ’em up” on Friday evening last, and all the other boys had a good time at his expense. Such is life.

            Martin Welke has a good crop of grapes, and expects to have some fine wine this coming winter.

            The river is fast falling, much to the disgust of our mill-owners.

            G. G. Galloway has started up the hydraulic cider press.

            Miss Etta Barnes, of Chicago, is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jos Barnes, and will remain until September.

            Channel and Co., are shipping a quantity of tile and brick.

            Mrs. W. Van Etten, of Batavia, and three children are visiting Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Trumbo.

            Threshing is going on lively in these parts, and help seems to be scarce.

            Wilmot Van Etten, formerly of this burg, but now of Batavia, leaves on August 22nd for Boston to take charge of an excursion train for California.

            Wm. Ribes, of Ottawa, is repairing the kilns for J. W. Channel & Co.

            From present indications Dayton will be well represented at the old settlers’ picnic and Pawnee Bill’s Historic Wild West show on Thursday.


  1. [Ottawa] Republican-Times, August 23, 1900, p. 4, col. 4

This is a Very Corny Story

corn, corn, corn

And It Demonstrated That Corn is Still King in This Section

Friday evening, Feb. 23, the Dayton Homemakers’ Circle, including all the gentlemen, was entertained at a “Corn Party” at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Beach.

Mr. Beach, being an enthusiast on the subject of corn, had the house decorated with his best selections of seed corn as well as corn on the stalk. And a large pan of pop corn, encircled by ears of corn, formed the center piece of the dining room table. The menu consisted of corned beef, corn bread and butter, coffee, cider, pickles, popcorn and apples.

Mrs. J. J. McGrath, vice-president, announced the following program, which was well rendered:
Piano solo – Irene Barrett
Reading – Mrs. Fannie Tucker
Vocal solo – Mr. Chally
Piano solo – Lucile Bultman
Piano solo – Gertrude Beach
Dialogue – The Misses Erickson
Mandolin and piano selection – Mr. and Mrs. Louis Belrose
Corn conundrums – Frank Beach1

The highlight of the evening appears to have been the “corn conundrums” offered by Mr. Beach. Unfortunately, the newspaper did not list any of them, but a diligent search turned up the following examples:

Why are potatoes and corn like certain sinners of old? Because, having eyes, they see not, and having ears they hear not.
Why should a man never tell his secrets in a corn field? Because so many ears are there, and they would be shocked.
Why is corn like a rose bush? Because both are prized for their flour / flower.
Why is corn like a dunce? Because it is always likely to have its ears pulled.

  1. Ottawa Free Trader, 1 Mar 1912, p12, col 5

Col. William L. Dunavan


Col. Wm. L. Dunavan, who was well known to all the old settlers of this county, died at Denton, Texas, on Friday last, of Bright’s disease. His last hours were painless and peaceful.

Col. Dunavan was born in Licking Co., Ohio, November 9, 1808, and in 1831 came to La Salle county, settling on Sec. 22, in what is now Rutland tp., where he lived until 1881, when he went to Texas. In 1832* he married Eliza Green, daughter of John Green, their marriage being the first held in that township. He was for over 20 years a justice of the peace for his town and served one term of four years as postmaster. He was also one of the heaviest contractors in the construction of the I. & M. canal; served in the Black Hawk war; made the overland trip to California in 1849, remaining two years, when he returned and lived in Rutland until his removal to Texas. His wife bore him six children, two sons living in Texas, two sons and a daughter in this county and a daughter in Iowa.

Wm. L. Dunavan was a type of the best class of Illinois pioneers: a man of sterling integrity, industrious, a good neighbor, a firm friend, genial, courteous, considerate. His departure for Texas in 1881 was a source of sincere regret to his old friends here, who will now so much more keenly regret his death even at the ripe age of 80 years, in that those last years were not spent here in the old home of his early manhood.

A friend in Rutland hands us the following:

In Memoriam
Col. W. L. Dunavan, Denton, Texas

Death came in with silent footsteps
At the early dawn of day,
And beckoned to our father gently,
And bore him from our midst away.

“The Savior’s arm sustains me,
I am not afraid to go;”
Oh! words of cheering comfort,
To those dear ones, on earth below.

A father dear, is taken from us;
A husband’s chair will vacant be;
Oh, faithful wife, bowed down with sorrow,
May God’s love, support and comfort thee.

For he promised us a home in heaven
Where tears and sorrow come no more,
But joy and peace will reign forever
And your loved ones meet on that golden shore.

Mrs. Eva Barkley, Rutland.1

  1. The Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader, May 11, 1889, p. 4, col. 5
  2. *Obituaries are to be taken with a grain of salt. They were actually married November 6, 1831.