Thanksgiving In and Around Dayton – 1901

 

turkey

CORRESPONDENCE
DAYTON

The Fox river at this point is frozen over.

Len Hubbell is spending this week in Chicago.

A. W. Ladd made a business trip to Aurora last week.

Charles Sheppler has been laid up for a few days with a lame back.

John Marshall of Serena made a business call here on Saturday.

George Galloway enjoyed his duck at his own fireside on Thanksgiving day.

Mr. and Mrs. Moore spent a couple of days last week with friends at Earlville.

The Mutual Protective League meets on Wednesday night at Woodman hall.

Miss Mary Coleman and Miss Mary Cloat spent Wednesday and Thursday at Streator.

John Hippard has joined the T., P., & C. W. brigade and is now one of their teamsters.

Miss Mary Dunn of Ottawa spent Sunday with the Misses Mary and Maggie Coleman.

Mrs. Edwards and daughter, Mamie, of Ottawa spent Monday at Mr. and Mrs. James Timmons.

Mr. Isaac Green and family were guests of Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Trumbo on Thanksgiving day.

Mrs. John Lannel [Channel] and A. W. Ladd were visiting Mr. and Mrs. Beik’s at Ottawa on the 28th.

Corn husking is nearly over in the corn fields, but has just commenced at the fireside in the store.

Miss Jennie Barnes starts for Joliet in a few days to spend the winter with her sister, Mrs. Winn Green.

Mrs. Marguerite Mills and Mrs. Brown of South Ottawa spent Friday with Mrs. George Galloway.

One hundred and fifty bushels of corn were sold here on Monday for sixty cents per bushel, cash.

John Green and son, Percival, former residents here for many years, spent Sunday with friends here.

Mrs. John Gibson and son, Fred, left for Chicago on Tuesday, where they will make their home for the present.

Roy McBrearty, operator for the Q. at Denrock, spent Thanksgiving with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. McBrearty.

Mr. and Mrs. George La Pere dined with Mrs. La Pere’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Lohr, on Thanksgiving day.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed McClary spent Thanksgiving with Mr. E. H. Pederson and wife, deputy U. S. marshal at Yorkville.

Miss Blanche McGrath and Miss Kate Hogan of Streator were guests of the Misses Colman on Thanksgiving day.

The ticket winning the watch at the raffle on Saturday night was No. 31, and was held by Joseph Futterer of Ottawa.

William and Walter Breese and Lowell Hoxie and wife of Aurora spent Thanksgiving with Mr. and Mrs. John Breese.

John Campbell, feeder watchman at Dayton, has tendered his resignation, the same going into effect December 1st, 1901.

The Woodman Lodge will elect their officers on Tuesday night, December 10th, at 7:30, at their hall. A large attendance is expected.

On account of the scarcity of water in the feeder the electric plant was compelled to shut down on several occasions the last few days.

Bert Edwards, who has been employed as teamster for George Green, has gone to Streator, which city he expects to make his future home.

William Collamore, Jr., of Ottawa and Miss Olson of near Morris, gave Thanksgiving at the home of William Collamore, Sr., and wife, on the 28th.

Mrs. Ed Vernon and two children left for Somonauk on Saturday morning, where she will be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Colb for a few days.

John Cisco of Ottawa is now acting as feeder watchman until the successor of John Campbell, resigned, is appointed.

W. Wheeler and R. Doran left here for Chicago on Wednesday morning where they will visit the fat stock show and will remain until Saturday.

Wilmot Van Etten, agent for the Q. at Batavia, with his wife and three sons, Clare, Walcott and Frank, dined with Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Trumbo on Thanksgiving day, returning on the afternoon train for Batavia.

The commissioners of the Illinois and Michigan canal met at Lockport on Tuesday to appoint a feeder watchman to take the place of John Campbell, resigned. Mr. George Galloway of our little burg was also present in the interest of one of our citizens, who has resided in our midst for the past nine years. Mr. G. with his credentials made an interesting effort in behalf of Mr. William Collamore and returned home on Tuesday night with the pleasing news that Mr. Collamore had been appointed. Mr. Collamore, the new appointee, is well deserving the place he is about to fill. He has always been a staunch Republican, served three and one-half years in the war of the rebellion in the Fifty-eighth regiment, Company G., Illinois Volunteers. Mr. Collamore and his family will shortly move into his new quarters on the banks of the feeder. Well, William, that your journey along the tow path, from Dayton to Ottawa, for the next four years may be one of pleasure and no thorns to mar your path is the wish of your many friends of Dayton.


  1. Free Trader, December 6, 1901, p. 12, cols. 1-2

News From Dayton – November 1879

 

C. B. Hess

Barbara Grove Green

Grandma Green

Rural Happenings

Dayton, Nov. 20 – Winter, cold winter has come. No more we’ll hear the robin sing.

Birth-day parties are all the go. C. B. Hess, Esq. was surprised last week by a lot of young folks who came in honor of his 39th birth-day. A good time was had.

Another good time was the one in honor of Grandma Green’s 87th birthday. About 50 were present.

Miss Mamie Davis of Newark, Ohio, is visiting friends and relatives in town.

Messrs. Geo. W. Green and Joseph Green took in the Grant “boom” at Chicago last week.

Mr. A. Spencer departed for Texas last week. We understand he will take charge of a restaurant.

  1. L. Grove, Esq., started Wednesday morning on a trip to Nebraska, to be gone about ten days.

Mr. David Grove has fallen heir to a small fortune, and departed Monday for Pennsylvania where it is held for the heirs.

Miss Estella Bagley returned on Monday from Wenona where she has been engaged in the milliner business.

Messrs. Richard Walker of Earl and his brother John Walker of Ohio, spent a few days in Dayton last week. Mr. John Walker was a resident of this place thirty-two years ago, and this is his first visit since that time.

Mr. Geo. W. Gibson returned last week from his trip to Nebraska.

Rev. G. Barnes of Ottawa will give his views on the “Future Life” at the school house this evening.

Rev. Mrs. Gibb will preach at the school house next Sabbath evening.

The tile works have quit work for the winter. They have a fine lot of tile on hand for sale.

The late rains have raised the river somewhat, though it still continues fordable, notwithstanding the “raise.”

Our sidewalks have been repaired to some extent during the past few weeks. They had been in a somewhat dangerous condition.

Messrs. T. MacKinley and John Gibson, of Rutland, departed last Friday for Newark, Ohio, on a short visit.

Our schools are progressing finely under the management of Mr. Chas. K. Howard and Miss Ada Green.

Occasional1


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, November 22, 1879, p. 8, col. 2

A Goodbye Party

 

 

 

 

 

[The customs of the time tended toward formality on occasions such as this. We would find Barbara’s response for the family a little unusual. Luckily, the formalities were followed by bountiful refreshments.]

On Saturday evening last, the old friends and neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Dunavan, of Dayton, gathered in and treated them to a handsome good-bye surprise, it being on the eve of their departure to their new home in Colorado. Some valued presents were given them as memorials, on the offering of which, Mr. Frank Trumbo, as spokesman for the visitors said:

“Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Dunavan: – Your friends and neighbors, learning with sincere regret that you have determined to remove from our midst, and make your future home in another State, take this opportunity to bid you good-bye. For more than half a century you have been with us, even one of us, sharing without complaint the hardships of a pioneer life, and at last rejoicing with us in the reclamation and progress of this marvelous country; with your mental abilities yet undimmed, and possessing an amount of your former vigor and strength that is seldom retained by persons of your advanced age, you have decided to build for yourselves a home in another locality. In far off Sunny Colorado, protected by the giant Rockies, we trust you will be permitted to enjoy many years of a life that, from the activity of your minds, must be spent in deeds of usefulness.

“Language forms an inadequate channel in which to express our sorrow at your departure from among us, and only through the silent clasping of our hands can we show our regret. In remembrance of your many sterling qualities, of your unimpeachable hospitality, and your much prized friendship, we present you, Mr. Dunavan, with this cane, and you, Mrs. Dunavan, with this album; and also, with these, the knowledge that deep in the recesses of our hearts the names of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Dunavan will be revered as among the founders of our beautiful Prairie State.

“To you, Miss Alice Dunavan, to whom an indulgent nature has given the attributes of a true and perfect woman, your devotion to your parents in the declining years of their lives deserves a recognition at the hands of your friends. We, therefore, tender you this album, with the wish that it will soon be filled with the pictures of your Illinois friends.”

To which Miss Barbara Green responded:

“I will in behalf of the family, as this is all a surprise, and they are not prepared to respond (if their feelings would permit) to the presentation of these gifts, that, aside from their value, will be cherished as coming from life long friends, as purely disinterested tokens of respect – may I not say affection? – I will in a few words express their gratification in seeing you here to make them a farewell visit at the old homestead where in young wedded life they began the battles incident to a new country at a time when, with the exception of two, who crossed the river to commence the family circle in that happier home, all the others of the large family that grew to manhood and womanhood in this same home nest and have made homes for families, are now taking their place in the busy world, that has been transformed from a wilderness to the rank of the highest civilization, almost under the notice of a generation. I know that all will be glad to see this family that through misfortune and causes that are constantly taking place in this seeming hard world, starting anew with the ambition and vigor of youth to begin life again in a new country, but very different from pioneer life in Illinois when they began their home first they now leave with many heartaches, and the greatest is caused in leaving the old life, long associations and friends, never to be forgotten. And they hope to retain a place in the memory and hearts of all who have proved friends in adversity as well as in prosperity.

“I will now thank you all in their name for the testimonials of affection that your kind hearts have prompted you to tender them tonight.”

The formal part of the occasion over, bountiful refreshments were served and the evening was spent in social amusements.1


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, March 3, 1888, p. 4, col. 5

The Rest of the Story

This is the follow-up to last week’s story, which may be seen here[Note that George Benoit’s name was spelled Bennett in the initial articles on this event.]

INDICTMENTS RETURNED
Against Mary McWilliams and George Bennett for Attempted Murder

From Wednesday’s Daily
The special grand jury summoned to investigate the McWilliams affair began their labors on the case at 9 o’clock this morning and by noon were done and returned indictments against Mary McWilliams and Geo. Bennett, charging them with an assault with intent to commit murder by poisoning. The charges were conclusive and the jury completed its work in short order. Neither of the defendants was able to give bail and they now occupy quarters in the county jail. It is thought that they will enter a plea to the charges and in less than a week they will be doing time in Joliet.1

GIVEN THEIR REWARD
Bennett and Mrs. McWilliams Sent to Joliet Prison Yesterday

George Bennett and Mrs. Mary McWilliams were given a long season by Judge Blanchard yesterday afternoon in which to meditate upon the consequences of a double crime, that of unfaithfulness and attempted murder. They were brought before the court by the sheriff’s officials to plead to the indictments found against them on the previous day, and, as both had made confessions, she that she had placed the poison in her husband’s tea at Bennett’s suggestion, and Bennett that he had purchased the poison and given it to her for the purpose of putting McWilliams out of the way, they expressed no desire to stand trial, but threw themselves upon the mercy of the court by pleading guilty.

Judge Blanchard said that he considered Bennett the plotter and real culprit, as he had alienated the affections of the wife, while having a family of his own, and then sought to wholly possess the woman by making her the executioner of her husband. On this account he gave Bennett the full limit of the law, fourteen years in Joliet, but gave Mrs. McWilliams seven years because of the fact that she had been more a dupe and a tool than a willing criminal. Both took their sentences hard, especially the woman. Their intended victim, the husband, John McWilliams, has fully recovered, and is now as well as ever.2

MRS McWILLIAMS CONFESSES
She Admits That She Placed the Poison in the Tea

From Sunday’s Daily
Mrs. John McWilliams, wife of the man who all but expired from Strychnine poisoning Friday noon, confessed at the county jail last evening that she placed the deadly drug in her husband’s tea for the purpose of putting him out of the way. Rumors to the effect that McWilliams had poisoned himself with “Rough on Rats” are without foundation, for, though he may have made such a statement in his delirium, the fact is that the poison was strychnine. Mrs. McWilliams is closely confined in jail, while her husband, who is still very weak, is in the county asylum, on account of the lack of a city hospital.3

TELLS THE STORY
George Benoit Admits That He Figured in the Poisoning

HE IS CAPTURED AT LA SALLE
He Says That the Whole Affair Was Arranged Weeks Ago by Mrs. McWilliams and Himself and She Administered the Dose

From Monday’s Daily
But little has been said of the McWilliams affair, which occurred on Friday last, up to the present time, owing to the fact that George Benoit, one of the accessories to the crime, was not captured until last night. As soon as he heard that he was wanted he made his escape from Dayton and went to La Salle, where he remained with his sister-in-law. As stated in yesterday’s paper, Mrs. McWilliams made a confession of the whole affair on Saturday, and Sheriff Taylor lost no time in hunting up the abode of Benoit. He was captured at La Salle and brought to Ottawa this morning and placed in the county jail. This afternoon he was brought before State’s Attorney Blake and told the whole story. He said that Mrs. McWilliams made the proposition to him to do away with her husband so that they might get married, and on Saturday, Oct. 22, he purchased the strychnine in this city. Benoit took the matter very cooly. He is a man of family, and according to his own statement intended to get a divorce from his present wife after McWilliams was out of the way and marry his wife.

McWilliams has fully recovered from the effects of the poison and on Saturday did not seem desirous of prosecuting the matter. But the authorities told him it was no longer in his hands and that there would be a rigid prosecution. The case will come up at the January term of the court.4


  1. The Ottawa Free trader, November 5, 1892, p. 1, col. 2
  2. The Ottawa Free trader, November 5, 1892, p. 1, col. 3
  3. The Ottawa Free trader, November 5, 1892, p. 3, col. 2
  4. The Ottawa Free trader, November 5, 1892, p. 7, col. 2