An Ottawa Tombstone in Colorado

The following article appeared in the Ottawa Daily Times. 7 Jun 1978, p.28

Story of Basil Green and his family begins in LaSalle County
By Joan Hustis

Dorothy Masters of suburban Chicago is a distant relative of Basil Green, the man who buried three children in Central City, Colo., in 1869.

Green died in 1911 and is buried in the family cemetery in Dayton. Although he has no direct descendants in this area, there are still several distant cousins who live in and near Ottawa.

Elmer Williams of Ottawa came across the tombstone earlier this spring when visiting near Central City. Elmer could find nothing on the Green family, but he took several photographs of the tombstone and loaned them to this column for reprint. The tombstone was engraved “Johnnie, Kittie and Charlie. 1869. Basil Green, Ottawa, Ill.”

Miss Masters is the Green family historian. She was in Dayton over the Memorial Day weekend, visiting with her cousin, Grace Clifford, and read the article on the Central City tombstone. She has old family diaries and also a narrative written by Basil Green in 1910, a year before he died. She loaned the narrative for reprint.

Basil Green was born in 1830 in Licking County, Ohio, and was married in Crawford County, Ill., in 1859. He may have been a freight hauler or a wagon master for he made several trips to California and back during the days of the gold rush. He lost a leg, something Miss Masters called a traumatic experience, but no mention of the incident is made in his narrative.

On one of his trips west Basil Green lost two of his children, but the narrative says nothing of their ages or why they died. He came back to Dayton later and placed an order with a Central City firm to lay a tombstone on the grave.

Miss Masters said Charles and Catherine, the “Charlie” and “Kittie” on the tombstone were Basil Green’s children. The “Johnnie” was not his child. This child was apparently buried with the Green children, but no mention is made in the narrative as to the reason why nor is the other child identified by any other than the first name on the tombstone.

Basil Green had three children when he was in Colorado. The third one survived. When Green returned to Dayton, he became the father of six more children, according to Miss Masters.

Green’s narrative is eight typewritten pages, all single spaced. Portions of this narrative are as follows through the courtesy of Miss Masters.

[The compete narrative may be found here.]

RELICS OF 100 YEARS AGO AT DAYTON FETE

parade

from the Ottawa Free Trader, September 13, 1929

Historic relics, vestiges of the civilization now a century old, which wrested the present commonwealth from the naked prairie, are to be on exhibition, and will occupy a prominent place in the celebration at Dayton, commencing tomorrow noon, and lasting until midnight, which will mark the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Dayton and Rutland townships.

Music, choral, orchestral, and band, will all share in shattering the peace and quiet of this once-important village, which now drowses, sleeping on the left bank of the murmuring Fox. Oratory, with the pulpit, in the Rev. J. J. Dunlap, and education, in W. H. Foster, represented, will mark a memorable passage of time at the light of a civilization and pioneer descendants will commemorate, with praises graven in stone, the industry of their sturdy forefathers, when Kent Green dedicates the marker to be placed on the spot where the first flour mill in what was then the wilderness of Northern Illinois, was built by the hands of his ancestor, John Green.

Games, dancing, amateur entertainers and sports will wake this quiet village from its revery, and feasting and a giant tug of war are among amusements by which Dayton will celebrate, in the lighter mood, its birthday party.

Rush Green is the chairman of the celebration committee and Nicholas Parr is chairman of the program committee.

Reception and Matinee Musical

Mabel Greene musical reception

Mrs. T. Henry Greene of 55 North avenue will give a reception and matinee musical Monday afternoon, Oct. 26 at the Plaza hotel in honor of her daughter, Miss Mabel Velette Greene. The musical program will be presented by Miss Jessie Armager Power, canteuse, who will give a group of colonial cantiliations in costume, with Walter Brauer, ‘cellist, and Mrs. Perry J. Power at the piano. Miss Power will also present dramatic sketches, and Mr. Brauer will play a group of ‘cello solos representing Chopin, Popper, and Cui. Miss Mabel Velette Greene will offer two groups of songs, and Miss Grace Grove will play a piano solo, also supplying the accompaniments.1

Mabel Greene was the daughter of Harry Green, the granddaughter of Jesse Green, and the great-granddaughter of John Green, all of Dayton.


  1. Chicago Tribune, 22 Oct 1914, p 11, col 1

A Dayton School Reunion – 1937

picture of school

Dayton School Has Reunion at Community House

Graduates of the Dayton school from towns and cities in various parts of Illinois gathered Saturday night in the Dayton Community House for a reunion, planned by the Dayton School Alumni association.

There was a banquet and dancing. Mrs. George Pool, who later was elected president of the association, presided as toastmistress.

Mrs. Fred Sapp of Ottawa told of the coronation in England, which she viewed.

Short talks were given by Ralph Green, who offered a toast to members of the 1937 graduating class of the school; Miss Blanche Reynolds and Miss Emma Fraine. Miss Maud Green told of the history of the Dayton school and how it was established over 100 years ago.

Miss Beulah Canfield, who arranged this year’s reunion, presided at a business session at which Mr. Pool was elected president; Rush Green, vice president; Miss Loretta Gleason, secretary and Herbert Mac Grogan, treasurer. Retiring officers are Miss Canfield, president; Ralph Green, vice president; Miss Helen Hallowell, secretary and Herbert Mac Grogan, treasurer. A social time and dancing followed.

Blush pink and gold were used in the appointments of the banquet. There were yellow tapers and pink peonies and roses in crystal services on the tables. At the place of each guest were miniature girl graduates in pink and tiny tulip nut cups.

The basement of the house, where there was dancing, was decorated with honeysuckle.

Miss Canfield was in general change of the reunion. Mrs. Gilbert Masters and Miss Hallowell arranged the program and Miss Jennie Fraine had charge of the table decorations.1


  1. Daily Republican-Times, June 14, 1937, p6

Blooded Cattle

 

Durham cattle

Durham cattle

BLOODED CATTLE

La Salle county may well be proud of her splendid stock of cattle. Her enterprising and wealthy farmers have spent thousands and thousands of dollars in improving the breed of stock of all kinds and especially short-horned Durhams.

Desirous of doing equal and exact justice to all we began at the north end of the cattle stalls, after looking at some fine lots of cattle exhibited by Isaiah Strawn. We found, first: Mr. Isaac Green”s blooded stock. First, his handsome Durham bull “Clifton,” 3 year old, weight 5,000 lbs; is brown and white spotted; “Jenny June,” six months old, weight 500; both having a No. 1 record in the herd books.1


Adjoining the town [of Dayton] is the splendid grain and stock farm of Isaac Green. Mr. Green makes a specialty of raising Norman and Clydesdale horses and thoroughbred cattle, and can show some of the finest in either class to be found in the state. Among the minor attractions are many fine driving teams, single and double.2


  1. Ottawa Free Trader, 10 Sep 1870, p.4, col 3
  2. Ottawa Free Trader, 12 July 1879, p. 8, col. 1

Trumbo – Hosford Agreement

Trumbo-Hosford Agreement

 

Jacob Trumbo arrived in La Salle County in 1853 with his wife Elizabeth and five sons, Oliver, Moab, John, Mathias, and Christopher. He purchased 160 acres of land, complete with house, from Abram Hosford. Because it was the middle of the growing season, arrangements had to be made to share the crops and produce equitably between the buyer and the seller.

Ottawa June 7th 1853
This article of agreement witnesseth that whereas Jacob Trumbo has this day purchased of Abram P Hosford the Northeast Quarter of Section No twelve in Town Thirty four North of Range No Three east of the Third Principal Meridian.  Now the said parties agree to the following conditions Viz  The said Trumbo is to have the entire crops now growing on the premises except a portion of the winter wheat to which Edward Bagley is entitled Viz  2/3 of twenty acres,  also except 1/2 of the garden sauce & roots and also 1/2 of a small piece of beans and sweet corn in orchard  also excepting the whole of a small piece of Osage orange now just planted in the orchard.

The said Trumbo is to furnish the same help at thrashing the wheat which E Bagley raises, as the said Hosford has agreed to  Viz  one hand  The said Trumbo is to have the North half of the division fence between the N East & N West quarter of section above named and the said Hosford the South half including rail fence and Osage Orange hedge

The said Trumbo is to have the possession of the cultivated land forthwith;  of the pasture land and three rooms in the house on the first day of July next and of the horse stable at the same time.  Also of three piles of wood now in wood shed and on or before the first day of August next the said Hosford agrees to give to the said Trumbo the entire possession of the premises except store room for some part of the corn now on the premises the whole of which the said Hosford agrees to have removed before the first of October next  Also the said Trumbo agrees to pay the taxes to become due next winter on the above premises.

Abram P Hosford                                                                                                                                            Jacob Trumbo

Unfortunately, Jacob was not to enjoy his property for long. He died on November 10th, just 5 months later. His widow and sons remained on the farm for many years.

A Difficult and Dangerous Journey

Covered Wagon

In Elmer Baldwin’s History of La Salle County, the sketch of Dayton’s settlers includes an account, on pages 268-270 , of the Green party’s journey from Licking County, Ohio, to La Salle County.

NARRATIVE BY JESSE AND DAVID GREEN.

On the 2d of November, 1829, the following named persons left Newark, Licking County, Ohio, for what is now La Salle County, Illinois: John Green, David Grove, Henry Brumback, and Reason Debolt, with their families, and the following named young men : Samuel Grove, Joseph Grove, Jacob Kite, Alexander McKee, and Harvey Shaver. Their outfit was one four-yoke ox team, three two-horse wagons, and one carriage. Found the roads passable till we got into Indiana, where we lay by three days for bad weather. The streams were high, but we were bound for the West, and pressed forward. Found about forty teams weather-bound at Boxby’s, on the Whitewater, where we were told it would be impossible to proceed unless we traveled on the top of wagons and teams already swamped. From there we cut our way through heavy timber for sixty miles, averaging about ten miles per day. One of the party, with a child in his arms, was thrown from the carriage, breaking three of his ribs, and the carriage wheel passed over the child without injuring it. The wounded man pursued the journey, never complaining ; so readily did those hardy pioneers adapt themselves to circumstances, and heroically face the inevitable. The streams were so high we had to head them, or, as the saying is, go around them.

We traveled five days by the compass, when we arrived at Parish’s Grove, Iroquois County, Illinois. From there we followed an Indian trail to Hubbard’s trading post, on the Iroquois river. Here we bought all the corn we could get—about eight bushels— and a perogue, or canoe. Loading it with about thirty hundred weight of our goods, we put Jacob Kite, Joseph Grove, and Samuel Grove, on for a crew, with directions to work down the Iroquois to the Kankakee, and through that to the Illinois, where they were to meet the teams. This was necessary, as our teams were worn, feed scarce, and roads very bad, or, rather, none at all. On the trip, Joseph Grove became so chilled that he contracted a disease from which he never fully recovered.

Our teams crossed a prairie which had no bottom—at least, we did not find any. The second day, found a stream too deep to cross; felled trees from either side till they formed a temporary bridge, over which we conveyed our goods and people, which was barely accomplished when the accumulated waters swept our bridge away. The teams were made to swim, one horse barely escaping drowning. One of the women became nervous, and could not be induced to walk the bridge. John Green took her on his back, and made his way over on his hands and knees. The exact position in which the lady rode is not recorded.

A heavy rain came on, and we encamped in a small grove, and were obliged to cut up some of our boxes to make a fire. That night we shall never forget; most of us sat up all night. Mother laid down in the wagon, and tried to sleep, and was frozen fast so she could not rise in the morning. It took us over three days to reach the mouth of the Kankakee, a distance of thirty miles, while the perogue had to go seventy miles by water. The crew had about given up in despair of meeting us, when they fortunately heard a well-known voice calling to a favorite horse, by which they were directed to our camp. We ferried most of our goods over the Illinois on the perogue, when a friendly Indian showed us a ford where we took our teams over without difficulty. Our corn being exhausted, our teams had nothing to eat but browse, or dry prairie grass, and very little of that, as the prairie had nearly all been burned over. In the afternoon of the 5th of December, we came in sight of a grove of timber, and John Green, believing it to be Hawley’s (now Holderman’s) Grove, started on horseback to ascertain. His expectations were realized, and he found Messrs. Hawley and Baresford butchering a beef. He harnessed Baresford’s horse, a large gray one, to a light wagon of Baresford’s, and taking a quarter of the beef, and filling the wagon with corn, started for Nettle creek timber, where he supposed the party would stop.

The company had ordered a halt and prepared to encamp, but with the expectation of going supperless to bed as their provisions were exhausted, when Mr. Green drove up, to the great joy of the whole party, both man and beast. From the time the corn gave out and the provisions were running short, one young man refused to eat, contending that as they were bound to starve, the provisions should be reserved for the women and children.

The next day, being the 6th of December, 1829, about four o’clock P. M. we reached our destination—except the three young men in charge of the perogue, whom we expected would reach here before us; and when night came on we were all cast down with fearful forebodings, as we thought they must have met with some serious accident. But our anxiety was soon relieved. On the same day they had made the perogue fast at the grand rapids of the Illinois, now Marseilles, and crossing the prairie without any knowledge of the country, became benighted, but seeing the light from our cabin, joined us about eight o’clock, and we had a great time of rejoicing, the lost having been found. The self-sacrificing brother joined us in a hearty meal, and his appetite never failed him afterward.

Our next object was to secure some provisions, as we had a large family and good appetites. We bought twenty-four hogs of Markly, on the Desplaines; then went south to Tazewell county, bought thirty bushels wheat at four shillings, eighty bushels corn at two shillings, and took it to a horse mill where Washington now is; spent several days in putting the mill in order, having to dress the boulder mill stones, and furnish the motive power. Provisions were scarce before we had produced a crop; we frequently lived on beef, potatoes and pound cake, so called, being made of corn pounded in a mortar.

We went to work improving in the spring, and by July 4th we had 240 acres fenced, and nearly all broken, and had built a saw mill, dam and race, and had a run of boulder mill stones in one corner of the saw mill grinding wheat, the first ground on Fox river. The stones were made from boulders or hard heads, found here, by Christopher Payne, brother of the Dunkard preacher who was killed by Indians on the prairie between Holderman’s Grove and Marseilles, in 1832.

Pay Your Debts With Wheat

wheat field

In August, 1845, Jesse and David Green, proprietors of the Dayton Woolen Mill made a concerted effort to collect the money due to them. The following appeared in the Ottawa Free trader on
August 15.

Wheat Wanted

The subscribers would say to those indebted to them, either by note or book account, that they will receive wheat in payment for their dues, if delivered soon at John Green’s Mills, Dayton, for which the highest market prices will be given.

They have an assortment of good grey, brown and black fulled cloths; satinette; jeans; tweeds; red, white and pressed flannels, of a superior quality, which they are offering at prices that will make it an object for persons desirous of encouraging domestic manufactures to give us a call, and examine the goods we are now making.

The highest price will be allowed for wheat, in exchange for our cloths.

J. & D. GREEN
Dayton Factory, Aug. 15

The Sidewalks of Dayton

Concrete sidewalk in front of elevator

Concrete sidewalk in front of elevator

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

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

May 8, 1886, p. 8, col. 3

A new sidewalk has been constructed down the hill under the railroad bridge. It is quite an improvement over the old rickety walk that has been ornamenting the hill for so long.

April 23, 1887, p. 6, col. 1

The young folks will hold an entertainment Friday evening, for the benefit of the sidewalks.

April 7, 1888, p. 8, col. 2

The young folks will give an entertainment at the schoolhouse Friday evening for the benefit of the sidewalks in this village. The temperance play, “On the Brink,” is on the programme.

July 18, 1913, p. 8, col. 3

One hundred and fifty people attended a lawn social given at the home of Mrs. E. A. Dallam in Dayton Friday evening. A program of unusual merit was rendered, and Ottawa people were among the principal participants in the entertainment. The hours were from 8 until 11 o’clock, and ice cream and cake were served. The Ladies’ Aid society of Dayton assisted Mrs. Dallam as hostess, and $25.00 were cleared, which amount will go towards the sidewalk fund.

September 5, 1913, p. 8, col. 2-3

Many Ottawa people attended the dancing party given at the residence of Rush Green in Dayton, Friday evening. The affair was for the benefit of the construction of a cement sidewalk from the elevator to the school in Dayton and is the third of the parties to be given. Like the others, it was a huge success and a neat little sum was netted towards the sidewalk fund. The evening was spent at dancing, Dwyer’s orchestra, of this city, furnishing the music. Refreshments consisting of ice cream and cake were served during the evening. The arrangement committee consists of William Meagher, Frank W. Lansing, William Buckley, Jr., R. A. Carter, James W. Collison and Harry W. Tanner.

November 7, 1913, p. 1, col. 3

Contractor Green, who is building concrete sidewalks in Dayton, has the job nearly completed. This will be a fine improvement for the village to the north.

July 24, 1914, p. 8, col. 4

The Woman’s club of Dayton will hold another lawn social Wednesday evening, July 22, at the home of E. A. Dallam. Ice cream and cake will be served, and there will be a Victrola concert. The proceeds to be devoted to cement sidewalks for Dayton.

The marriage of Alfred Earnest Green and Sarah Eleanor Olmstead

 

 

Fred Green

A very pretty wedding took place Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 o’clock when Miss Sarah Eleanor Olmstead, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Olmstead, of Dayton township, was united in marriage to Alfred Ernest Green, formerly of Dayton, but residing at the present time in Peoria. The ceremony took place at the bride’s home and was performed by Rev. G. T. Nesmith, pastor of the local M. E. church. About thirty guests were present. The bride was attired in a gown of embroidered organdie, trimmed in princess lace, and carried a bouquet of sweet peas and white roses. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Edith Olmstead, who wore a gown of pink meteor, trimmed with chiffon and lace, and also carried a bouquet. The home was beautifully decorated with carnations, pink and white roses, lillies, smilax and ferns, making the place a bower of flowers. A niece of the groom, Miss Alyson Green, of Joliet, acted as flower girl. After the wedding ceremony a five-course dinner was served. The newlyweds departed for Chicago, where they will stay a few days previous to a lake trip, for their honeymoon. The couple will take up their residence at 1008 Gechman street, Peoria, after July 15. The bride is a very popular young woman of this city and is a member of both the Ottawa Woman’s club and the Dayton Home Makers’ club. Mr. Green is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Basil Green, of Dayton, and is in the employ of the Diamond Supply Company of Peoria. Both the bride and groom are well known in this vicinity and have a host of friends, who wish them a very happy marital life. Among those present from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Green, of Joliet, Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Poole, of Maywood, E. G. Miller, of Millington, and Miss Gertrude Gardner, of Marseilles.


  1. Ottawa Free Trader, June 26, 1914, p. 8, cols. 1-2

La Salle County Old Settlers

During one of the La Salle County Old Settlers picnics, pictures were taken in groups, depending on when they arrived in the county. This picture shows the settlers who arrived in 1832 and 1833. The gentleman on the left of the back row is Isaac Green. He did indeed arrive in 1833, being born in Dayton on August 8th. His parents, John and Barbara Green, and his older siblings had been in La Salle County since 1829.

Isaac was the youngest child in the family. While his older brothers and sisters married and were given land by their father, Isaac remained at home and took over the home farm, supporting his parents in their old age.

He had a well-known grain and stock farm, where he made a specialty of raising Norman and Clydesdale horses and thoroughbred cattle. He was well known at mid-west stock shows, where he showed some of the finest in either class to be found in the state.

He Wasn’t the One

Joseph Green

Joseph Green (pictured above) is the youth mentioned in the following article from the Ottawa Free Trader. However, he was NOT the young man who was the subject of the horrible revenge.

Important Correction1

The following horrible relation, which we believe first appeared in print in the Lacon Herald in a letter from the plains, is going the rounds of the papers:

Revenge — Horrible. —Among the overland emigration for California, last spring, was Mr. Green, of “Green’s Wollen [sic] Factory,” Fox river, and two of his sons, the youngest a youth. — It is reported that while passing through a tribe of Indians, this youth who was naturally full of mischief, killed a squaw.  The tribe having been well advised of the fact, hastened after and overtook the company, and demanded the murderer. — At first the demand was resisted; but after the Indians had informed them that they would destroy the company if their request was not granted, the youth was surrendered into their hands.  They then stripped him, and in the presence of his father and the whole company, they skinned him from head to foot!  He lived four hours after he was thus flayed.  This should be a warning to all interested not to trifle with the unfortunate sons of the forest.

We have made considerable inquiry since we first saw this account in print, and find that it is true in its essential particulars, with one very important exception, and that is the name.  Instead of a son of Mr. Green, it was a young man by the name of Wasson, of Perkins’ Grove, Bureau county, who went with a company from Knox’s Grove, Lee county.  He is said to have been very fool hardy and reckless in character.  He made a threat, on leaving Independence, that he would shoot the first Indian he saw, but had not carried his threat into effect, until he had nearly reached California.  Then one of the company reminding him of it, he said he had forgotten it, but would carry it out yet.  He shortly after saw a squaw sitting on a log, and raising his piece, he murdered her in cold blood.  The Indians almost instantly thereupon surrounded the company and visited upon the murderer the terrible retribution above indicated.

This account is confirmed by four or five letters from members of the company, all of which agree in the essential particulars.  How the correspondent of the Lacon paper got the name of Mr. Green mixed up in the affair is more than we can tell.  Certain it is, however, that no letter from any of Mr. Green’s party, and there have been dozens received, ever hinted at any such occurrence, and, indeed, the very son himself said to have been killed, has written since his arrival in the mines, and the letters in his own familiar hand writing are in the hand of his friends.


  1. Ottawa (Illinois] Free Trader, February 23, 1850, p. 2, col. 2

Charles and Emily Ballou

Charles Ballou tombstone

BALLOU, CHARLES WESLEY
Charles Wesley Ballou, formerly a resident of Dayton, who died at the Masonic Home, at Sullivan, Ill., of pneumonia, November 28th, was buried yesterday afternoon in the Dayton cemetery. Freedom Lodge, No. 194, A. F. & A. M., had charge of the services at the grave.
The deceased man was 84 years and 11 months of age at the time of his death, and prior to his entering the Masonic home had been a resident of Dayton, where he was well known.1

BALLOU, EMILY HENDERSON
Mrs. Emily Henderson Ballou was born at Richmond. Vermont, November 3, 1839. She was married twenty years later, 1869, to Charles W. Ballou and the same year she and her husband came to Walton township, La Salle County, Illinois, to set up a home in what was then the West; and ever since have been residents of this county; since 1866 this township has been their home. Nine years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Ballou took up their residence in Dayton village and here, as in the earlier years spent in this community, have endeared themselves to associates, have been and have enjoyed good neighbors and friends. Mrs. Ballou died Feb. 3, 1912, aged 73 years, 3 months, and she leaves to mourn her loss, her devoted husband and two nieces, Mrs. Georgiana Howe of Richmond, Vt., and Mrs. Jessie Hazelton of Waterbury, Vt., Mrs. Ballou being the last of her generation. She was a queen in her home, never wearied of the duties of hostess to friends or relatives, and many pleasurable days were spent by those who loved her at the home over which she reigned. Besides the sorrowing relatives hosts of friends will miss the life gone.2

CHARLES W. BALLOU – BIOGRAPHY

C. W. Ballou came to this county in 1856 from Addison County, Vt., where he rented a farm four miles north of Utica, remaining there one year. He then returned to Vermont and was married Aug. 25, 1857, to Emily Henderson, and remained there a year, visiting and farming, and in 1858 settled in Waltham Township La Salle Co., Ill., and farmed there until the spring of 1866. He has since resided in Dayton Township, first living on a farm on section 6 for one year. He then moved to Dayton Village, remaining there until December 1838 [sic], engaged in manufacturing horse collars. He then moved with his family to the place of A. S. Henderson, which he has since rented. He is a Master Mason. He has served as School Trustee for six years. His parents were P. C. and Hannah (Bird) Ballou, natives of New Haven, Conn., his father of French ancestry. His father died Oct. 1, 1884, aged seventy-eight years, and his mother died Feb. 22, 1882, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Ballou was born Nov. 3, 1838, and was the fifth child in a family of seven children of John and Martha (Noble) Henderson, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts and of Scotch descent. Her father died in Richmond, Vt., in 1853, aged seventy-one years, and her mother died at the age of fifty-two years in 1850. Politically Mr. Ballou affiliates with the Democratic party.3


  1. Ottawa, Illinois, Daily Republican-Times, December 1, 1919
  2. Ottawa, Illinois, Fair Dealer, February 16, 1912
  3. History of La Salle County, Illinois, 2 vols. (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co.,1886), 2: 85.

My Family, by Cora Watts

Joseph Albert & Nancy Green Dunavan

[The following was written by Cora Watts for presentation to the Dayton Cemetery Association]

On envelope:   This contains some information about my paternal grandparents, Albert Dunavan and his wife Nancy Green Dunavan. Also my great grand parents Colonel Samuel Dunavan and Elizabeth Lair Dunavan

March 1964                                                     Cora Belle Dunavan Watts

My father, son of a pioneer farmer of the “middle west” was born and grew up east of Wedron; his father was Albert Dunavan and his mother was Nancy Green Dunavan, a daughter of John Green and Barbara Grove who came from Licking County Ohio in 1829. They (Albert & Nancy) lived in Rutland before my father was born. It is surprising how little I know about my grandparents.

I was a little girl when they left this part of the country, and moved to a farm in Missouri near Hamilton, with their son, uncle Dave, and daughter, aunt Alice, who never married. Aunt Alice lived only a few years after they moved there.

They wrote that their neighbors were very friendly and always came to celebrate their birthdays. I remember a gold headed cane that my father had after his father Albert’s death, and he said it was presented to his father by his neighbors on a birthday and he was very proud of it. Other members of the Dunavan family moved to Hamilton Mo., too; Aunt Jane Dunavan married Aaron Howe and they moved to Hamilton, and uncle Lewis and aunt Jennie Dunavan moved to a farm near there, I don’t know who went first, or why, but suppose farm land was cheaper out there.

My grandparents’ home near Wedron was a large square white house, with green blinds or shutters, and it had a fireplace with andirons. Some stranger came one evening years ago, and claimed to be a relative, and the tenant farmer let him take the old andirons he asked for.

I remember hearing that my grandfather Albert Dunavan was a forty niner, but can not tell any thing about the trip to California at that time. Lately I have received from Hope Dunavan some information from a first cousin D_____ Dunavan in Clemson S. Carolina whom I have not seen since we both were little children, as his family, the Isaac Dunavans, left this part of the country then.  I don’t know where uncle Isaac went at that time, but his son writes that he died in 1914 in Crichton Saak, Canada.

The following is from his son’s research work –
“Joseph Albert Dunavan 1812 – 1892  Born Mar. 31 – 1812 about 8 miles from Newark, Licking County Ohio. His father Col. Samuel Dunavan and his wife (my great grandparents) Elizabeth Lair were natives of the famous and beautiful Shenandoah Valley Virginia. Joseph or Albert and his brothers William and George and their mother Elizabeth Lair were left when their father died in 1816 from effects of the war of 1812. The mother later married David Letts and in 1830 moved with him to Cedar Point Ill, a mile south of Peru, where Mr. Letts set up a saw mill. Joseph Albert is believed to have learned the cooper’s trade before he went to Illinois. He spent some time in volunteer militia, fighting indians at Fort Welburn. Went to Dayton Ill. where he met Nancy Green and married her January 26, 1834. His two brothers married sisters of Nancy Green. George married Katherine and William married Eliza.

In 1849 or about then, he went to California in the “gold rush”. While he was gone, it has come down to us that one of his children was born and another died. These I surmise were Cynthia Jane and John A. respectively.

He left Dayton Ill. in 1889 where he had owned a large farm and went to Sterling Colorado to farm, with his sons Dave and Lewis; returned from Colorado to Hamilton Missouri to live with son Dave, where both Joseph Albert and Nancy died and were buried.

[Typed on a card in the same envelope:]

Cora Dunavan Watts (Mrs. Harry), b June 20, 1879, d May 22, 1964
Lived in Leland and Ottawa, Illinois
Buried Earlville Precinct Cemetery

May Dunavan Humm (Mrs. Herbert, b December 22, 1877,  d Nov. 21, 1964
Lived in Glendale, Calif.

Both daughters of Samuel and Amanda Munson Dunavan, born near Baker, La Salle County, Ill.

 

Edward C. McClary

The McClary house as it looks today

The McClary house in Dayton, as it looks today

[the following was written in 1906]

Edward C. McClary is proprietor of a grocery store in the village of Dayton, which he has conducted for ten years, and is also grain buyer for the Neola Elevator Company of Chicago, which has an elevator in this village situated on the Aurora and Streator branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad. He was born in the village of Norway, La Salle county, on the 18th of August, 1874, and is therefore yet a young man, but has achieved a success which many an elder business man might well envy.

His father, Thomas McClary, a native of Ohio, was married to Miss Susan Ingals, who was born in Indiana. A carpenter by trade, he also engaged in connection  with building operations in the repair of wagons and farm tools. He came to this county about fifty years ago and was married after his arrival here. He first lived in the village of Norway until about thirty-one years ago, when he removed to Sheridan, his remaining days being passed there. He never sought to figure prominently in politics and for a number of years gave his political allegiance to the prohibition party, but became an advocate of the republican party at the time that James G. Blaine was its presidential candidate. Although he belonged to no church he lived an upright, honorable life, doing by others as he would have them do to him, was a strict temperate man and displayed in his daily conduct those sterling traits of character which everywhere command respect and confidence. He passed away in June, 1904, at the age of seventy-three years and his widow is still living in Sheridan at the age of sixty-five years.

In their family were six children, five of whom yet survive: Lizzie, the wife of H. M. Powers, a resident of Sheridan; Ella, who is a nurse in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Frank W., who married Rose Marco and is a stock buyer living in Sheridan; Rose, the wife of E. H. Peterson, of Sheridan, who has twice represented the district in the state legislature and is one of the prominent and influential residents of La Salle county; Edward C., of this review; and James, who died at the age of five years.

In his parents’ home Edward C. McClary spent his boyhood days and acquired his education in the public schools.Ten years ago he purchased the grocery store of C. W. Fredenburg and has since conducted the business, meeting with well merited success. He carries a carefully selected line of staple and fancy groceries and his neat and attractive store secures a liberal patronage.

In July, 1899, Mr. McClary was married to Miss Emma F. Barnes, who was born in this county, December 11, 1872, and is a daughter of Joseph Barnes, who is living in Dayton township. Mr. McClary has been influential in community affairs and has co-operated actively as well as effectively in many measures that have had direct bearing upon the welfare of the town. Since 1897 he has been postmaster of Dayton and is now serving his third term as township treasurer. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp at Wedron. Investigation into his life record shows his fidelity to honorable, manly principles, and he is an intelligent, energetic young man, spoken of in favorable terms throughout the community.1


  1. U. J. Hoffman, Past and Present of La Salle County (Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, 1906), 485-486

To the East by Steamer

Cleveland Daily Herald (Cleveland, Ohio), Tuesday, October 12, 1841

Among the passengers on the Steamer De Witt Clinton in October 1941 was Jesse Green, of Dayton, Illinois. It is very likely that he was traveling east to acquire machinery or supplies for their new woolen mill. He was traveling in style, as you may see by the description below.

STEAMBOAT LAUNCH. – The fine new steamboat DE WITT CLINTON, was to be launched from the ship yard of Captain F. Church, at Huron, on Saturday last. She is a first class boat, 500 tons burthen, built for the Troy & Erie Line, and will be commanded by by Capt. Byram H. Squires. This is the second steamboat built in this yard this season.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
Monday, July 25, 1836 p.2, c.4

The DE WITT CLINTON, which left this port yesterday afternoon for Buffalo, is a new and handsome steam freight boat. She is 147 feet in length, 27 feet beam about 48 feet on the guards, and 11 feet depth of hold. Tonnage registered at 415, but by carpenter’s measure nearer 490. Although built for a freight boat, she is so constructed as to accommodate a goodly number of passengers; there being in the main and forward cabins 72 berths, in the ladies’ cabin 30, and on the promenade deck 8 state-rooms, with 3 berths in each, beside 6 others near the steering wheel, and perhaps 20 more on the main deck, for the hands, &c., being in all about 150. The arrangement of the ladies’ cabin is very convenient being across the deck, with a broad and spacious hall between the ranges of berths. The workmanship of the whole is plain but neat and substantial. The machinery (high pressure) is very powerful.
Cleveland Weekly Advertiser
Thursday, September 15, 1836 p.2 c.6

Steam paddle DeWITT CLINTON. Of 413 tons gross. Built Huron, Ohio, 1836. First home port, Buffalo, N.Y. DISPOSITION. — Lost by stranding 1851.
Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States
The Lytle – Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

 

Dayton Woman’s Club Observes Anniversary of Its Founding

Dayton Women's Club meeting

 

Dayton Woman’s Club Observes Anniversary of Its Founding

The Dayton Woman’s club today had started the 26th year of its organization, with memories of the fitting observance yesterday of the silver anniversary of its founding.

The present members of the club, who include many of the 13 charter members, received 100 friends from 3 to 5 p. m. yesterday in the Dayton clubhouses, to mark the anniversary.

Silver and white appointments were used on the tea table from which the guests were served. Daises, calla lilies and white delphinimum [sic] formed a centerpiece. Mesdames Ralph Green and Gilbert Masters poured.

Baskets of flowers were used about the room to create a background for the lovely event.

Piano solos were played by Miss Betty Rensch, a piano duet was played by Mary Louise Varland and Betty Follett, a vocal solo, “June Morning,” was sung by Miss Ida Chamberlain and a violin solo was played by Marjorie Williamson, accompanied by her mother, Mrs. Ernest Williamson.

Painting Given

A painting of Wallace Nutting’s was presented to the club by Mrs. Bert Tuttle in memory of Mrs. Fanie [sic] Osbourne. A tribute was given Mrs. Osbourne by Mrs. E. C. Cleary. The presentation was made to Mrs. Arthur Retz, president of the club.

Of interest to the guests was a picture on exhibit of the home of Mrs. Rush Green, now destroyed by fire, in which the club was organized 25 years ago.

Honored yesterday were the following past presidents of the club: Mesdames Gilbert Masters, Dan Hallowell, Ben Chamberlain, Will Fleming and Miss Maud Green. They were given special badges and also were in the receiving line, as was Miss Jennie Fraine.

Charter Members

Among the 13 charter members of the club present were: Mesdames Masters, Hallowell and Misses Jennie and Emma Fraine.

The guests included Mrs. B. O. Benson of Tampa, Fla., a guest of Mrs. John Smith of Wedron; Mrs. Annie Barnes of Boston, a guest of Miss Jennie Barnes and Mrs. Carrie Green; Mrs. Barbara Masters of Chicago, a guest of Miss Maud Green; Mrs. Emily Brown and daughter Ethel of Oak Park; and others from Ottawa, Grand Ridge, Harding, Wedron and Marseilles.

The celebration was in general charge of Mesdames Charles Clifford, Arthur Retz, Ralph Green, Will Ryan and Misses Jennie and Emma Fraine and Maud Green.

The first meeting of the group in its 26th year will take place Wednesday, June 29, in the club house, which the organization constructed in 1923 and 1924.

The club was founded June 13, 1913, to promote sociability, discuss subjects relating to a betterment of the community and provide amusement and recreation.1


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, June 15, 1938, p6

Another Maypole – This One Really is in May

A Maypole at graduation

Graduation Day at the Dayton School, May 1955

The Maypole was a big deal in Dayton School celebrations (see here for a Christmas version). The girl in pink in the front is Sally Clifford. If anyone knows any of the others, please leave a comment identifying them. There were four graduates that year, and only two of them are identified, so please – let’s rescue them all from oblivion.

Graduating class 1954-55

Graduating class 1954-55

The two in the center are Richard Charlier and Sheila Gash. Who are the other two? Leave your answers in the comments.

If you don’t know any of them, ask your parents or grandparents!

An Exceptionally Large Gathering of Elderly People

Matthias Trumbo Trumbo, Rebecca Grove

 

 

 

From the Free Trader, 13 Dec 1901, p8, col 2

BIRTHDAY PARTY
Exceptionally Large Gathering of Elderly People

(From Friday’s Daily)
On the return of the sixty-eighth anniversary of Mrs. Elizabeth Trumbo Strawn yesterday, December 5th, there were present, besides her four sisters, Mr. O. W. Trumbo and wife, Mrs. C. B. Hess and Jesse Green, whose united ages including an absent brother of Mrs. Strawn, amounts to seven hundred and twenty years.

Mathias Trumbo, father of Mrs. Strawn, came to this country in the year 1830, and all shared the hardships of pioneer life, and of this entire family of eight children only two have died, one son in 1840 and one daughter, Isabella, in 1854.

Those surviving are Mrs. Lovina Matlock, aged 82 years; Eliza Gibson, 75; Elias Trumbo, 75; Barbara Jackson, 72; Elizabeth Trumbo Strawn, 68; Anna Robison, 63. All the sisters are widowed, except the latter Mrs. Robison; with very few exceptions it is rare to see so many aged persons in one family.