Married Amid Flowers

bride-and-groom

From the Ottawa Republican-Times, August 19, 1897, p3

MARRIED AMID FLOWERS

A Wedding in Dayton With Many From Ottawa Present

            The handsome residence of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barnes, just across the line into Dayton township, was brilliantly illuminated and beautifully decorated Wednesday eve’g, the event being the marriage ceremony of Miss Carrie L. Barnes and Winfield S. Green, receiving clerk at the Illinois state penitentiary at Joliet. The large parlor, in which the ceremony took place, was decorated with smilax, ferns and sweet peas and carnations, and was crowded with the guests who were present to witness the ceremony. It was performed at 8:30, Rev. T. C. Matlack, of Joliet, chaplain of the penitentiary, officiating at the event. The groom was supported by S. M. Ahern, of Joliet, as best man, and the bridesmaids were Misses Kittie Shaver, Etta Barnes, Maud Pickens and Emma Barnes, with little Lucille Ribbs as flower girl. The bridal couple entered to the music of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, rendered by Miss Addie Warner, and during the ceremony Thomas’ mandolin orchestra rendered a very pretty wedding serenade.

After the ceremony and congratulations the guests were seated at a wedding dinner, which was one of the finest ever served in this vicinity, and afterwards dancing was the order until time for Mr. and Mrs. Green to take the train for their wedding tour, and the entire party went to the train with them, loading them down with rice and best wishes.

The bride’s costume was ivory satin, brocaded, and diamond ornaments. She carried bridal roses. The bridesmaid, Miss Kittie Shaver, wore white silk organdies over blue silk, and the other maids were all attired in white silk and carried pink and La France roses.

The presents were numerous and very beautiful. The Joliet associates of the groom sent down a very handsome one, and the others were all in keeping with it.

Those present were:

Messrs. and Mesdames John Channel, M. Masters, Breese, Dayton; Frank Lansing, Wedron: V. Canfield, Dayton; Dr. and Mrs. Lovejoy, Marseilles; C. G. Werner, Ella Sage, C. J. Metzger and Merrifield, Ottawa; John Bogert, Dayton, and W. Van Etten, Batavia.

Misses Addie Werner, Breese, Grace and Barbara Green, Myrtle, Sadie and Hattie Olmstead, Nettie Furr, Lena Bruner, Florence Pickens, Jennie and Lizzie Bogert, Fannie Bryan, Mary Ward, Della Masters and Nora Barnes.

Mesdames Laura Parr, M. E. Furr, Wm. Ribbs, John Barnes, A. Ladd, O. W. Trumbo, E. Rose, and Pitts, of Marseilles.

Messrs. Basil, Fred, W. R., Lyle, Joseph and Ralph Green, Ed McCleary, Rob Rhoades, Gus Kneusel, Louis Oleson, C. A. Dawell, H. G. Warner, James Green and Ed Rose, of Ottawa, and Captains W. A. Luke and L. P. Hall, Lieut. S. M. Ahern and W. L. Phillips, G. A. Miller and T. F. O’Malley, of Joliet.

Jacoba Verloo Baker

Zeeland,_Oosterland

Jacoba Verloo was born July 7, 1829 in Oosterland, Zeeland, Netherlands, the daughter of Cornelis Verloo and Pieternella de Vos. At the age of 22 she married Jan Bakker on October 10, 1851 in Oosterland. He was the son of Roeland Bakker and Janna van Sluijs. They had one known child, Roeland Jan Bakker, born December 30, 1851 in Oosterland, who died February 1, 1862 in Ouwerkerk, Zeeland.

Jan and Jacoba emigrated to the United States sometime after their son’s death and ended up in Dayton by 1870. In 1880 they were living next door to Lena Bogerd, another emigrant from Zeeland. They had anglicized their names to John and Jacoba Baker. John was a farmer, though it does not appear that he ever owned any land.

John died August 2, 1887 and was buried in the Dayton Cemetery.  Jacoba apparently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where in December of 1888 she made a will, leaving everything to Jennie Lewis, described as her adopted daughter. She is listed in the Grand Rapids city directory in 1889 as living with Miss Jennie Baker. Jacoba came back to Ottawa, where she purchased the house at  537 E. Joliet St. in March of 1890. The Ottawa city directory lists Jacoba Baker and Jennie Baker as residing at 537 Joliet street. Jacoba died May 12, 1893 and is buried next to her husband in Dayton. Jennie Lewis filed for probate of Jacoba’s will in June 1893 and inherited the Joliet street house, which she rented to John Smith. No Jennie Baker or Jennie Lewis appears in the Ottawa city directories after that.

Are Jennie Lewis and Jennie Baker the same person? It would appear so, but further research is needed to identify Jennie Lewis of Grand Rapids.

100 Gather for Annual Picnic at Dayton School – 1944

 

the picnic table

Another school picnic – around 1950

100 Gather for Annual Picnic at Dayton School

One hundred attended the annual picnic of the Dayton school yesterday at the school grounds.

Dinner at noon was followed by races and other sports. Later ice cream and cake were served.

Winners in races were Carl Schmidt, preschool age; Shirley Patterson, 1st grade; Sylvia Ralrick, second grade; Rosemary Patterson, third; Bobbie Buckley, fourth; Ardelle Taylor, fifth and sixth; Elaine Thomas, seventh; Edward Patterson, eighth; Teddy Mathews, high school; Mrs. Homer Matthews and Mrs. Naomi Trent, married women’s.

Mr. and Mrs. Tony Summons, Mrs. Morris Ponton, Mrs. Mayme Ryan and Miss Elizabeth Ryan of Chicago, and Mrs. Fred Ritzius of Ottawa were out of town guests.1


  1. The [Ottawa, IL] Republican-Times, May 29, 1944, p. 8, col. 6

Did You Help Pick Milkweed Floss?

milkweed pods

From the Ottawa Republican-Times, July 20, 1944, p. 4

SCHOOL BOYS AND GIRLS SET TO PICK FLOSS

Don’t cut your milkweeds in fields and along roadsides. Let them grow to maturity so the pods can be picked for war purposes.

This is the message to Illinois and Indiana farmers from Dr. W. I. DeWees of Illinois State Normal university, Normal, Ill., and O. C. Lee, Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., newly appointed directors of the project in their respective states.

“We expect to work this program in Illinois through the schools of the state, especially the rural schools,” said Dr. DeWees.

“This will mean that the superintendent of schools of each county will head up the local program,” DeWees continued, “and he will be assisted by the county farm advisor, soil conservationist, Future Farmers of America, Junior Red Cross, Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs and various other organizations. All such administrators will be contacted in the near future as to the working of the state program.”

Considered a nuisance and a pest by many stockmen and farmers because it infests fields and pastures DeWees pointed out, the milkweed is now supplying a vital war need so important that the War Food Administration and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, with the cooperation of other government agencies, are organizing to collect the seed pod of this weed in 26 states during the coming late summer and fall.

Kapok Replaced

The silky seed fibers of the milkweed have been found to be highly waterproof and buoyant. Department of Agriculture officials point out that with supplies of kapok cut off by the war, milkweed floss is now the best material available for use in life jackets, and that floss collected this summer may save many lives in naval operations on seas through the world. Minimum needs for this year have been estimated at 1,500,000 pounds.

Collection campaign for milkweed floss will be directed from Petosky, Mich., where a plant had been built to process the floss. In the various states which are to collect floss, WFA will have cooperation of 4-H club leaders and members, state experiment station directors and staffs, state educational organizations and state and county war boards. Bags for shipping the pods will be furnished to 4-H club members, Boy Scouts and other children who will assist in making the collections. Twenty cents per bag will be paid for picking the pods.

Collection of the milkweed pods will not begin until late summer. Preliminary organization work has already been completed, however, since many of the children could best be reached through the schools before the start of summer vacation. The children are being asked to be on the alert during the summer to locate areas with heavy stands of milkweed, so that every pod possible may be harvested in the fall for its war important fiber.

Pods Picked in September

The boys and girls who will help are being instructed to begin picking any time after the milkweed seeds begin to turn brown. This will be sometime in early September in most states. The pods will be picked into 50-pound open-mesh onion bags holding about 800 pods or roughly one bushel when properly filled. Officials in charge of the campaign advise that filled bags be hung to dry over a well-exposed fence where there is plenty of sun and wind. Milkweed pods thus handled will be ready for shipping in from two to five weeks. Dew, rain, or snow will not harm the pods of floss if the bags are hung on the fence at least a foot off the ground. They will mold and spoil within a few hours if in contact with the ground or a damp floor, or if they are contained in a tight box or sack.

PHOTO CAPTION: [Pictures did not reproduce well.] Boy Scouts, above, show method of picking milkweed pods. The pod is picked entire, it is pointed out, and no effort should be made to remove floss from the pod at this time. Standard open mesh onion bags will be provided free to those who wish to pick milkweed when the project gets under way in Illinois about Sept. 1. Lower photo, milkweed floss is baled in the factory established at Petosky, Mich., last year. For many years the United States has used kapok fiber in life jackets but capture of the East Indies by the Japanese suddenly cut off this supply. Milkweed floss has been shown to be a satisfactory substitute for the imported kapok.

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

Move Bodies Long Interred

 

Elizabeth Trumbo tombstone

tombstones in Ottawa Avenue cemetery

Jacob Trumbo tombstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Trumbo tombstone

MOVE BODIES LONG INTERRED

The remains of Jacob Trumbo, who came to La Salle county from Virginia in 1853 and died the same year, his mother [sic: should be his wife], who died forty-two years ago, and one brother, [sic: son] were transferred last Monday from Buck Creek cemetery, north of Ottawa, to Ottawa Avenue cemetery. The bones of each body were in a remarkable state of preservation, even to being intact to the tips of the fingers and every bone preserved. There were even parts of the casket intact. The plates on the tops of the caskets were found with the letters plainly legible and also the screw nails of the coffins. In the mother’s grave were found pieces of green silk in which she had been clothed before burial. Some of those strips were a yard in length and when torn gave the same rustle as new silk. The coil of her hair was also found in the grave. Another brother was buried in Buck Creek cemetery, but there being no tomb stone to mark the spot of his burial, the parties were unable to find the remains, although they dug down six feet, and thereby failing to find the body.1


  1. The Utica [Illinois] Gazette, 27 October 1911

An Unusual Memento

In the Green family archives, which I was lucky enough to inherit, this is one of the more unusual items. The locks of hair here came from Elizabeth Snyder Trumbo (top left); her husband, Jacob Trumbo (top right); Barbara Jessica Green, center left; Grace E. Green, center right; Mary Jane Trumbo Green, lower left; and Amanda Trumbo Riddle, lower right.

Elizabeth and Jacob Trumbo were the parents of Mary Jane Green and grandparents of Barbara and Grace Green, Mary Jane’s children. Amanda Riddle was Mary Jane’s older sister.

The keeping of locks of hair was a common practice in the 19th century. Read more about it at this fascinating web site.

A Weighty Matter

Thanksgiving dinner

Henry Schmidt of Dayton township has the credit of raising the largest turkey reported in this section. The gobbler weighed, dressed, 28 pounds. Mr. Schmidt sent it to an aunt in Chicago, who in turn sent it to the German consul of that city. This is a heavier gobbler than that sent to the President by an easterner Thanksgiving.1


  1. Ottawa [llinois] Free Trader, December 25, 1908

Repairs to the cemetery – 140 years ago

The Dayton Cemetery

In 2014 and 2015 a major restoration project worked on cleaning and resetting about 70 stones in the Dayton cemetery, with the result shown above. It seems that 140 years ago the cemetery also received a face-lift, as described below —

Dayton, Ills., June 20. –
Passing through the cemetery north of town a few days ago, we were struck by the clean and white appearance of the tombstones. Many stones that had been lying on the ground were reset and were in their proper positions, many that had become dirty were now as white and clean as when first erected. Upon due inquiry we found that the work had been done by Mr. L. A. Smith of Marseilles, a gentleman who makes tomb-stone cleaning and resetting a business, who has many years experience, and judging by his work, gives good satisfaction. We are glad to see our citizens have made a move in this direction, and with the community would move a vote of thanks to Mr. Smith for his excellent work.

Occasional1


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, June 28, 1879, p. 8, col. 2

Prosper Hisler

hisler, prosper

In January, 1921, Prosper Hisler, a resident of Dayton, applied for a passport, saying that he wanted to go back to France to see his brother and sisters in Wildersbach. Prosper was born there in 1864 and at the age of 25 he and a number of young men from his neighborhood came to the United States. They landed in New York in February 1889 and many of them came on to the area around Somonauk and Serena, Illinois, where there was a French settlement.

Prosper became a naturalized citizen in 1896 and lived in Dayton, where he found work in the brick yard. He was industrious and in 1902 was able to purchase a house and lot in the village. By 1910 he was a laborer on the C B & Q railroad.

Did he keep in touch with his family back in France? It was perhaps in order to see how they fared after the war that he went back to France in 1921. In order to afford the trip, he sold his house in Dayton and planned to sail from New York on January 15. Although he said on his passport application that he would return within the year, there is no indication that he ever came back to the United States.

This may be explained by an entry in the margin of his birth record in Wildersbach. He was born July 22, 1864, and alongside the birth record a marginal notation tells of his marriage in Wildersbach, November 5, 1921. At the age of 57, he was married to the widow Damoiseaux, nee Marie Elise Hisler.

A Joint Birthday Celebration

 

Taken September 6, 1910, at the residence of Basil Green, Dayton, Illinois, celebrating the eightieth birthday of Basil Green (born Sep 17) and Rebecca Green Trumbo (born Sep 8).

Front row: Alice Masters, Mildred Masters, John Gilman, Margaret Allison Barnes, Gladys Green

2nd row: Harry Hess, Nettie Masters & Pearl, Callie Hess, Kate Brown, ?, Basil Green, Rev. Jesse Green, C. B. Hess, Charles Olmstead, Rebecca Trumbo

3rd row: Jane (Jennie) Barnes, Edward Dallam, Harriet Olmstead Poole, Maud Green, Dora Trumbo, Del Terry Hess, Sadie Olmstead Green, Carrie Barnes Green, Rush Green, Ora Del Green, Aunt Barbara Jackson, Miss Etta Barnes, Mr. Ed McClary

4th row: Mrs. Emma Barnes McClary, Annie Robinson, Mrs. Winnie Dallam, Fred Green, Mrs. Josie Gibson, Mrs. Ralph Green, Win Green Sr, Mrs. Isaac Green, Mrs. Charles Olmstead

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dunavan

CELEBRATED THEIR GOLDEN WEDDING1
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dunavan Entertain One Hundred Friends at Dinner at Clifton.

            Fifty years ago today Miss A. Miranda Munson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Munson, of Freedom township, became the bride of Samuel Dunavan, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Albert Dunavan, living seven miles northeast of Ottawa, and today, after spending half a century together, they celebrated the event by entertaining one hundred of their friends and relatives at a dinner, served at the Clifton hotel.

The children of the couple were present and guests gathered from many cities and states. The gathering was a most pleasant one, and the sounds of laughter echoed through the rooms and corridors of the old Clifton as it never did before.

Judge Henry W. Johnson presided as toast-master, and Rev. Elfreda L. Newport offered up prayer. Dr. J. Webster Bailey responded to the toast “Our Host and Hostess.”

Mr. Dunavan spoke entertainingly of “The Pioneer,” and Mrs. Ida Cove responded to “The Golden Wedding.”

Mr. and Mrs. Dunavan were married at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Munson, parents of the bride, after a courtship of almost four years. J. Albert Dunavan, father of the groom of fifty years, resided on a farm seven miles northwest of Ottawa. He later purchased a tract of land on Indian creek, in Freedom township, and sent Samuel Dunavan, then 18 years old, to the new farm to herd cattle.

The country was not so thickly settled in those days as now and Samuel, the boy, became lonesome with nobody to talk to but the cows and his dog, and one day he wandered away to the Munson home, where he met Miranda Munson, then 17 years old.

Many a trip was made to the Munson home by Samuel Dunavan during the long months that followed, and he and Miss Miranda became pretty warm friends.

Then came a separation. The parents of the young woman decided to send her to college, and she was hustled away to Rockford to attend the Rockford Female Seminary, and Samuel Dunavan was sent to Bryant & Stratton College, where he graduated in 1859.

The young people kept up a regular chain of correspondence, and a short itme after his graduation and return form college Mr. Dunavan and Miss Munson were married. It was to be a quiet affair, with only a few of the near relatives present, and Jesse Green, uncle of the groom, was on hand to perform the ceremony.

After the wedding Mr. and Mrs. Munson took up their residence on the farm they now occupy near Baker Station, and where they have made their home ever since. Mr. and Mrs. Dunavan were born in La Salle county and have always made this county their home.

They raised a family of five children. Douglas L. Dunavan is an attorney of this city. Clarence V. Dunavan is a druggist in Millington. Mrs. Nettie L. Rogers lives in Kansas City, Mo. Mrs. May Hum is a resident of Adams township and Mrs. Cora Belle Watts is a resident of Earl township.

Jesse Green, who married Mr. and Mrs. Dunavan, died in Ryburn hospital last summer. Had he lived it was planned to have him again perform the ceremony, but since his death the old folks have decided that the ceremony performed half a century ago will hold good until the end comes.

There are but few people living today who attended the Dunavan-Munson wedding fifty years ago, and none was able to attend the celebration. One of the interesting features of the celebration today was the presence of the slippers and gloves worn by the bride and the gloves worn by the groom at the time of the wedding.


  1. Probably from the Ottawa Daily Republican-Times of March 22, 1909.

Another Dayton inventor

Dunavan, A F - patent In 1870 Albert F. Dunavan purchased the Dayton horse-collar factory, a thriving business. The collars were sold throughout Illinois and adjoining states, and in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. In 1886 they even received an order from Sidney, Australia, enthusiastically described in the Free Trader as the most distant sales ever made from La Salle county. The Dunavans did a good business for many years, but in 1892 the business failed and was sold to pay the debts. Albert Dunavan then moved to Harvey, Illinois, where he worked in insurance and real estate, but he also applied for a patent on an apparatus for shaping horse collars, based on his many years of experience.

Holiday Happenings for students at the Dayton School

The following appeared in the January 24,1955 issue of the Dayton News Reel, a publication of the Dayton school. Editor, Richard Jackson; Assistant Editor, Richard Charlier; Circulation, Allan Holm. Reporters for Class and Social Activities for this six-week period were —
Grade 8 – Sheila Gash
Grade 7 – Larry Polen
Grade 6 – Bob Mossbarger
Visual Aids – Charles Ohme
Social – Patsy Hughes
Art and Music – Shirley Harmon
Sports and Safety – Terry Hiland
General News – Patsy Hughes

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Dick went skating during the holidays and spent Christmas at home where his parents entertained Mr. and Mrs. M. Hall of Ottawa.

Allan spent Christmas at home. All the Holm relatives were there. He received a microscope and chemistry set and enjoyed trying many experiments as well as skating. Staff Sgt. Morris Fosse was a visitor at the Holm home during the holidays and Allan anticipates a vacation at Fort Knox, Ky. this summer, where Sgt. Fosse is located.

Sheila spent Christmas Day at the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Caffee in Marseilles. Sledding was her chief fun during the vacation.

Richard spent his Christmas at home. During the vacation he went hunting – (no luck.)

Carol vacationed at home.

Connie spent her Christmas Day at the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Krug near Harding.

Larry stayed home for Christmas but spent a good part of his vacation enjoying ice skating and hockey.

Vernon Dale was home for Christmas. Guests at his and Deryle’s home were grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lum McKinney. Vernon Dale enjoyed sliding.

Shirley spent Christmas at home. During the holidays guests at the Harmon home included, Mrs. Lillie Burchal of Kentucky, Mr. and Mrs. Andy Dankowich of Streator, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Thomas of Peoria, Mrs. Naomi Swiggen and family of Morris. Shirley spent a great deal of time sliding.

Eddie stayed home for Christmas and helped entertain Mr. and Mrs. W. Tisler, and Mr. and Mrs. Ward Stebbins. He went hunting during the vacation and tried out his new 20 Gauge shotgun. Result – three rabbits.

Sandra went roller skating then sliding at night during her vacation. Guests at her home during teh holidays were Mr. and Mrs. George Stewart.

Patsy spent Christmas at home but went roller skating and night sliding during the vacation.

Charles spent Christmas at home. He enjoyed a visit with his father, Tech. Sgt. Heber Whyte and tried out his new rifle by going hunting. He bagged [unfortunately the last line is unreadable, but he was undoubtedly successful.]

John went sledding and made a model car which he had received as a gift.

Bob stayed home for Christmas. He has a new flash camera nd printing press. One day when he was sledding, Leslie jumped on the sled causing him to lose control of the sled. Result – Bobe went into the ditch at the side of the road which was filled with water, found it much too cool for swimming.

Sally stayed home for Christmas and enjoyed visiting with Mr. and Mrs. William Eichenberger of LaGrange and Mrs. Ruth Green. Sally received a wrist watch for Christmas. (No excuse now for being late.) She also tried out ice skates.

Terry received a parakeet and is trying to teach it to talk. He and Vernon Dale went sledding.

Deryl received a light and a basket for his bike. He spent four days in Naplate with his sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Olson.

Leslie went ice skating, fell in once. Participated in a snow-ball fight and in sledding. Mr. and Mrs. Les Carrier, LaVonne Carrier and Mr. and Mrs. Russell Carrier were guests at the Walleck’s.

Making Christmas

Santa

hat stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking of December in the Dayton school always brings to mind making things – Christmas decorations, gifts for our parents, painting pictures on the windows. One year we made plaster Santas and painted them with great care. Another year, it was angels with wings which were covered with gold glitter. All this work was done in Ma Mathews’ room in the basement and half the fun was in doing something in a different place, one we never saw at any other time. We also made gifts for our parents. I have no recollection of what I made for my mother, but the hat stand I made for my father served loyally for many years, holding up his best hat, even when he stopped wearing hats.

I wasn’t involved much with painting the windows, as there were many who were much more talented in that line than I was. However, I was sometimes entrusted with filling in a large area of solid color. The finished windows glowed like stained glass and were greatly admired. Even 70 years later, every Christmas season when I unpack the decorations I am reminded of my days in the Dayton school.

Louis P. Morel (1855-1897)

coal miner

Louis P. Morel married Marie Fritsch in Chicago on December 16, 1884. According to their marriage application both were born in Chicago, but Marie, at least, was born in France. She probably came from the Alsace region that was the home of many French people in the Somonauk-Serena area, close to Dayton. It’s also possible that Louis was related to some of the Morels living in the area.

In 1885 they moved to Dayton and bought a small three-room, one-story, frame house on lots 1 and 2 in block 7 of the original town of Dayton. [See the map on the home page of this site for location of house.] The lot also included a coal house and a well, and a board fence surrounding it all.

Louis and Marie had three children, all born in Dayton:
Louise, born March 15, 1886
George, born September 10, 1888
Emma Berthe, born December 12, 1889
Emma died October 20, 1896, and is buried in the Dayton cemetery.

On November 17, 1897, Louis was taking coal from a small surface mine near Dayton, when a mass of earth caved in on him, crushing him to death. He was buried in the Dayton cemetery, with his daughter Emma. [See his cemetery page on this site for more information.]

Marie, the widow, inherited the personal property – beds, bedding, kitchen equipment, furniture, and the only explicitly named item – the sewing machine. She sold the house for $300 and moved to Goble, Columbia County, Oregon with the children. She may have chosen this place because there were other Morel families there, perhaps related to her husband, although no such connection has yet been found.

In May of 1908, Louise, now aged 22, married Frederick “Fritz” Aniker. Marie died in Goble on October 19, 1914 and is buried in the Kobel Cemetery there. Son George died March 28, 1917 and Louise on June 27, 1930. They are also buried in the Kobel Cemetery.

Thanksgiving day in Dayton – 1901

cornucopia

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 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.1


  1. The Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader, December 6, 1901, p. 12, cols. 1-2