Jacob Trumbo’s Will

last will and testament

from La Salle County, Illinois, will book A., pp. 147-148

I Jacob Trumbo of Dayton in the county of LaSalle and State of Illinois being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding, do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills and writings in the nature of last wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

My will is, first – that my funeral charges and debts shall be paid by my executor hereinafter named.

The residue of my estate and property which shall not be required for the payment of my just debts, funeral charges and that expense attending the execution of this my will and the administration of my estate I give devise and dispose of as follows

I give and bequeath to my grand-son Charles Riddle of Rockingham County Virginia twelve dollars per year from my decease, until he shall become twenty one years of age, or if he shall not live to the age of twenty one years, during his life; and if he lives to the age of twenty one years, I then will him two hundred to be paid to his guardian during his minority, or to him when he shall arrive at the age of twenty one years, by my executor hereinafter mentioned.

All the rest of my property both personal and real, I give to my beloved wife Elisabeth Trumbo by her to be disposed of according to her wishes.  And I do nominate and appoint my son Oliver Trumbo to be the sole executor of this my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof, I the said Jacob Trumbo have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal this seventh day of November AD Eighteen hundres and fifty three.

Jacob Trumbo        (seal)

Signed Sealed and declared by the said Jacob Trumbo to be his last will and testament in presence of us, who, at his request and in his presence have subscribed our manes as witnesses hereto in the presence of each other.
Abram P. Hosford
Edward Bagley
Samuel Connick


I do solemnly swear that this writing contains the true last will and testament of the above named Jacob Trumbo deceased so far as I know or believe, and that I will well and truly execute the same by paying first the debts and then the legacies therein mentioned,  and that I will make a true and perfect inventory of all such goods and chattels, rights and credit as may come to my hands or knowledge belonging to the Estate of the said deceased and render a fair and just account of my executorship when thereunto required by Law
So help me God!                                                            Oliver Trumbo

Subscribed & sworn to in open Court
this 31st [sic] day of November 1853

W. Raymond Clerk

County Court, La Salle County November Term 1853
State of Illinois
La Salle County

Be it remembered that on this 30th day of November 1853 At the November Term of the County Court of said County the annexed Last will and Testament of Jacob Trumbo late of said County deceased was presented for probate and to be recorded by Oliver Trumbo who is therein named as sole executor thereof.

Whereupon the testimony of Abram P. Hosford, Edward Bagley, Samuel Connick taken before said Court on this 30th day of November 1853 the three subscribing witnesses to said will was produced and the said Witnesses separately testified that they were acquainted with Jacob Trumbo late of the said County the Testator in the attached his last will & Testament when in Court produced, and who is now deceased, that they were present and saw the said Jacob Trumbo the said Testator sign his name to the said will in their presence and in the presence of the said Testator and in the presence of each other, and that they believe the said testator at the time he signed tho said will was of sound mind and memory and not under any restraint to their knowledge or belief and the said Executor on this 30th day of November 1853 appeared and took and subscribed the oath required by the statute which is ? said will annexed

Whereupon the said last will and testament having been proved to the satisfaction of the Court, It is ordered and decreed that the same be admitted to probate and be recorded.

In testimony whereof the subscriber Clerk of the County Court of said County has hereunto set his hand and affixed the seal of said Court at Ottawa this 30th day of November 1853.

W. Raymond Clerk

 

The First Old Settlers’ Picnic – La Salle County 1869

THE OLD SETTLERS’ PICNIC.

This picnic, which had been looked forward to with such “great expectations,” was held on Wednesday. In every particular it was a success. The glorious weather was not brighter
than the sunshine of happy faces, and the beautiful scenery of the grove was made still more beautiful by the presence of so much solid worth mingled with so great a degree of enjoyment.
Judge Caton showed himself the fine and hospitable gentleman that we knew him to be in offering the use of his noble park for the purpose; and if he be frequently the entertainer
of the “great and mighty,” he proved yesterday that he was equally at home in entertaining the grand old pioneer, with his rugged nature, his hard hands, his tough muscles and determined will – the elements that have made these western wilds “blossom as the rose,'” and constituted the great west the granary of the world.

Long before noon the wagons, the buggies and the teams from a distance began to arrive at the grove, and the preparations were soon made for enjoying all the good things, and listening to the speeches to be delivered on the occasion; but probably there was nothing finer than to see the meeting, hearty and cordial, that occurred between friends who had not seen each other for years. Some there were of the very first settlers – men and women too who had known what it was to live in daily fear, and nightly dread of the stealthy step and murderous assault of the treacherous Indian. To those it must indeed have been pleasant to meet the friends and acquaintances of the stormy and insecure past, and to reflect how beautiful is the present – how full of promise; and, as they introduce their children and grand children to each other, how full of thankfulness must their hearts be that their hard toil and unremitting labor has been crowned with such glorious results.

The crowd that assembled probably numbered eight hundred to a thousand. It would
have been much larger but for a misapprehension on the part of the public. The picnic
was got up by the Old Settlers’ Society, and the condition of membership in that Society
being 30 years’ residence in La Salle county, most people seemed to think that none but
members were admissible to the grounds. This was a mistake – it was intended to have a general picnic under the auspices of the Society

Arrangements were made for supplying an excellent dinner to Old Settlers from a distance and invited guests, and when we mention that this part of the programme was left entirely in the hands of the popular host of the Clifton, and fully bore out the unsurpassed reputation of that good hostelry, further praise would be ” painting the lily” or doing any other absurd work.

Bowman, the ubiquitous, was of course there,and got every one to sit for photographs. In one group the following were pictured, all of whom were settlers prior to 1829; David Pembrook, Jeremiah Pembrook and J. E. Shaw, who originally hailed from New York; then John Green, Jesse Green, David Green, Barbara Green, Eliza Dunavan, Catherine Dunavan, Nancy Dunavan, David Grove, Burton Ayers, Jeremiah Srawn, J. S. Armstrong, Margaret Armstrong, from Ohio: John S. Mitchell, from Indiana, and A. W. Cavarly, from New England.

The next group was of settlers who arrived between the years 1829 and 1832, and was composed of the following persons; Joseph A. Dunavan, Josiah Shaver, C. Shaver, J. R.
Shaver, W. L. Dunavan, M. Trumbo, Sarah Parr, Mrs. Millikin, Sarah Pitts, R. Debolt, of Rutland; G. W. Armstrong, of Brookfleld; G. M. Dunavan, of Dayton; A. M. Ebersol, C.W. Eels, A. S. Alderney, H. L. Brush, Mrs.Watts, Mrs. Gibson, David Strawn, Charles Brown, N. Beaubien, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Libby, of Ottawa; Mrs. Munson, of Freedom; J. W.Armstrong, of . Deer Park; Wm. Pitzer, of Rutland; M. Shepherd, L. E. Skeel, Mrs.Dake, Mrs. Smith, Henry K. Parr, of Serena; A. Hogaboom, of Farm Ridge; Mrs. Jackson, of Milford; and Mrs. Ann Fitch, of Clinton,Iowa.

Groups wore also taken of those who had arrived between 1832 and 1835, and between 1835 aud 1841.

After the dinner had been duly disposed of, a stand for speakers was constructed, and Mr. Shaw made chairman. Judge Champlin, in pursuance of previous appointment, made the first speech. It was in the Judge’s happiest vein, and was replete not only with many humorous thrusts, but with reminiscences of the olden times of the deepest interest Thes peech closed with some beautiful lines of theJudge’s own composition. Owing to the lateness of the hour at which we make up this report, we are obliged to omit both in this issue,but shall make room for them in our next. He was succeeded by Arthur Caton, in an original composition, ” The Self-made Man.” Though the subject was old, it was treated with considerable ability and much novelty. The delivery was superb, and we predict for the descendant of our respected ex-Chief Justice a career of great distinction as an orator.

Judge Cavarly was the next speaker. His speech was also quite lengthy, and though we have a full report of it, we are also obliged to defer its publication to our next.
“Auld Lang Syne” was then sung, and it was expected that this would wind up the proceedings, but thw irrepressible and humorous Lucien Delano was called oat to show his paces, and, like the roaring farce’ after the classie drama at a theatre, did all he could,
and was a success, in sending the people home pleased with him, with themselves, with each other and with everybody.

We are hopeful that this, the first such picnic in our locality, will not be the last and are glad to understand that it is intended to make it an annual occurrence. There is a great deal to love, honor and respect, in such gatherings – they do good in many ways, the facts of the past are brought more forcibly to our minds when their living heroes are before us; the memory of those who perished, is more firmly venerated; the impulses which urge onto the future have more nerve power given them, and the contrast of the past with the present gives our hopes new wings on which to float to the grand possibility of the time to come.1


  1. The Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader, 21 Aug 1869, p. 4, cols. 2-3

Celebrating the 4th of July with the Dayton Home Makers

Fourth of July

SANE 4TH POPULAR WITH LOCAL PEOPLE
PEOPLE OF CITY GO ELSEWHERE TO CELEBRATE
BUT FEW CELEBRATED
Small Gatherings the Popular Idea with Mercury Climbing Skyward and Heat Suffocating

Ottawa’s first real break from the old custom of celebrating July 4th was successfully carried out Thurs. The sound of pistols and fire crackers was hushed and an occasional pop caused slight cases of nervous prostration wherever they were heard. The unusual quiet caused too many favorable comments to revert to the old system of blowing off fingers and following tetanus victims to the cemetery.

Ottawa observed the day, but did it differently than other cities hereabouts. People were priviledged to go and come as they pleased. While many left town for a specimen of the wild and wooly bllows [sic] outs the vast majority remained within a small circle of celebrants and today are thanking their stars for the exhibition of foresight that kept them quiet throughout the day.

La Salle and Streator drew heavily from the rank and file of local citizens. Glen Park and Starved Rock came in for their share. Sulphur Springs also drew well from here. The favored spots, however, were in the country innumerable little gatherings from ten to a hundred and fifty people in numbers were scattered about the country side. The river banks were treated partially and small picnic crowds were scattered up and down the Illinois spending the day in their own manner and following the dictates of their own desires.

That Ottawa will never resume the old fashioned form of celebrating is assured. Thursday night was conspicuous by its silence and at night there were no shattered nerves nor torn and bleeding kids to mark the nation’s birthday.

The Dayton Home Makers

Although the surrounding country a number of family picnics were held, and some of them were very largely attended. None of these was more successful than that given by the Dayton Home Makers’ Circle. It was held at the home of Henry Schmidt, north of the city. The attendance was large, a splendid dinner was served, and a program and sports rounded out a very enjoyable day.1


  1. The [Ottawa, IL] Free Trader, 12 Jul 1912, p5, col 3

A New Dayton Dam

building the dam

The dam under construction

WILL REBUILD DAYTON DAM TO FURNISH POWER FOR ELECTRIC ROAD
Simpson Brothers, of New York, are Behind This New Proposition

            Simpson Bros., who are promoting the new railroad from Yorkville to Mendota through Sandwich, Somonauk and Earlville, have closed a contract for the power rights in Dayton and expect to construct a dam there this summer and utilize the power for lighting the towns through the Fox Rive[r] valley and operating their proposed railroad. Simpson Bros. were in this city on Monday and closed a contract with the Chicago Retort & Fire Brick company for their property interest at Dayton. They also propose negotiating for the Duffy property on the North Bluff. They may decide to move to Ottawa and locate here. This firm has built a dam across the Fox river near Oswego and will supply power to the towns from Yorkville to Ottawa. The contemplated road from Yorkville to Mendota will parallel the La Salle County railway, which is building from Ottawa to Mendota, Earlville to Sandwich and DeKalb. Sandwich, by granting a franchise to the Simpsons may have the La Salle County Railway, which is in active competition.

Simpson Bros. have been negotiating with the commissioners of the Illinois & Michigan canal for several months. The abstracts of the property which it will be necessary for the Simpsons to purchase has been turned over to the canal commissioners and they are now being examined by the attorneys for the canal board. It is expected that the dam will be built by the state, but that the Simpsons will furnish the money. The state will exercise jurisdiction over the dam. The Ottawa Hydraulic company, which had an interest in the Dayton water power, have surrendered their charter and whatever rights they had in the water power at Dayton have lapsed, so they will not have any opposition from this source.1


  1. The [Ottawa, Illinois] Free Trader, 13 Sep 1912, p7, col 2

Cora Dunavan Watts – Artist

Cora Dunavan Watts was born June 20, 1879, in Baker, La Salle County, Illinois. She died May 22, 1964, in Ottawa and is buried in the Precinct Cemetery in Earlville. She was a member of the large Green clan, a great-grandaughter of John Green, through his daughter Nancy, who married Joseph Albert Dunavan.

When she was a young girl she took an art course at the Art Institute in Chicago and later a correspondence course. Then she married and went to reside on a farm near Leland. Her duties as a wife and mother filled her time, but her love of art remained.

She renewed her hobby when, at the age of 78, she became a resident of the Cora J. Pope Home in Ottawa. She began her new career by taking a three-year correspondence course. She believed her early art training helped her to complete the course in only one and a half years.

She did some portrait work, as well as still life and scenes, and exhibited at the Allen Park Art Show and the Town and Country Art Show in Ottawa. She frequently worked from photographs as well as from life. Many of her relatives have pictures she painted from a favorite photograph.

Linderhof Castle

Linderhof Palace, painted by Cora Watts for Candace Wilmot

 

CONCUSSION OF THE BRAIN

Charles Benton Hess

Charles Benton Hess

Jesse Green’s son-in-law, C. B. Hess, was an owner of the Hess, Williams & Hess company, makers of firebrick and drain tile. The business was housed in the old stone mill in Dayton. Despite the injury described here, C. B. lived another twenty-seven years, not dying until the age of seventy-nine.

C. B. Hess Sustains Some Serious Injuries At Dayton

Mr. C. B. Hess met with a very serious accident at his works in Dayton Tuesday afternoon. The bricks that are made on the top floor of the building are lowered to the drying room through a chute. Mr. Hess was standing close to the chute, talking to one of the workmen, and a brick fell from the chute and struck him on top of the head. The brick weighed seven pounds and fell a distance of twelve feet and fell with such force that it produced concussion of the brain. Mr. Hess was brought to his home in this city [Ottawa] in an unconscious condition, and Dr. Dyer was summoned.

He examined Mr. Hess’s injuries and found that he was not only suffering from concussion of the brain in serious form, but also neuralgia, which was greatly aggravated by the concussion of the brain. He was very restless and suffered intense pain last night, but today he rested very comfortably and is considered out of danger by his physician.1


  1. The Ottawa [Illinois} Free Trader, 13 Jun 1891, p 5, col 1

The Guardianship of Edward and Henry Stickley

guardianship request of Esther Stickley Daniels

guardianship request of Esther Stickley Daniels

In June of 1854, Christian Stickley died in Dayton, leaving a widow, Esther, and two sons, Edward, age 7, and Henry, age 3. Esther married again on February 22, 1855, to Aaron Daniels.

Christian Stickley was the heir at law of Samual Stickley of Ohio. In the spring  of 1855, the Samual Stickley estate was ready to distribute the assets. Since Christian was dead, his sons were the heirs. However, the heirs were minors and needed a guardian to act for them. In the May term of the La Salle county court, Esther Daniels appeared and requested that Aaron Daniels, her husband, be named the guardian of her Stickley sons. On May 25, 1853, Aaron Daniels was sworn as guardian to the boys. He (with the assistance of Washington Bushnell) had to swear a guardianship bond of $800; said bond being null and void if he faithfully discharged the office of guardian and submitted yearly reports to the court.

From 1855 to 1862, Aaron fulfilled his duties, including paying the taxes on the Dayton lots the boys had inherited from their father. In 1863, Aaron wanted to move West with his wife and their young children. Edward and Henry apparently wished to stay in Illinois where they owned property, but they were still minors. Since Edward was now 14 years old, he was old enough to choose his own guardian. His choice,  Elias Trumbo, was then sworn as guardian and took out the guardianship bond, with the same caveats as before. Aaron Daniels filed a final report of his stewardship and moved to Kansas.

In 1870, Edward reached the age of twenty-one and Elias Trumbo turned over the assets he had been administering for him. Elias was released by the court from acting as Edward’s guardian. In September 1873, Elias was back to be released as guardian for Henry, who had also reached his majority.

H. B. Furr – Dayton inventor

H B Furr invention

Henry Furr introduced his patent application with the following words:

To all whom it may concern;
Be it known that I, Henry Bruce Furr, a citizen of Dayton, in the county of Lasalle and State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Rolling-Disk Cultivators; and I do declare the following to be a full, clear and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

This Dayton farmer was born in 1860, the oldest son of Squire Newton Furr, a pioneer who came to La Salle county in 1838,  and his wife Mary E. Bruner. There were seven children in the family, Henry B., Alice V., George L., Charles N., Ellery, Minnie B., and Nettie M. Consequently, Henry Bruce had many connection to Dayton. His sister, Alice Virginia, married Edward Joseph Ward, Minnie Furr married Charles Brown, and Nettie Mae Furr married Gilbert Masters, all local people.

Henry’s father died in October, 1875, and his widow, Mary, continued to farm, aided by her sons and sons-in-law. After her death in 1908, Henry and Ellery worked the farm together. Henry died in 1930, never having married, and it does not appear that he became rich due to his improvements to the rolling-disk cultivator.

173 Years Ago Today

 

William Reddick

Democratic District Convention

The convention was organized by the appointment of Rees Morgan as chairman, and George Kiersted of Grundy and D. Green of La Salle, secretaries. The following delegates presented their credentials and took seats in the convention.

La Salle county – Dayton – William Stadden, David Green, John Russell1

[David Green was elected to the post of secretary. The convention proceeded to nominate William Reddick for senator and J. O. Glover, Ambrose O’Connor, and William Barber for representatives.]


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, May 22, 1846, p. 3, col. 1

The Charter Members of the Dayton Homemakers

 

The Dayton Homemakers in 1912

In the summer of 1910, a number of women of Dayton township met at the home of Mary Strait to discuss the possibility of an organization of some kind whereby they might become better acquainted with their neighbors and create an interest in homemaking. On September 15th the first meeting of the Dayton Homemakers was held at the home of Nellie Beach, with twenty-three charter members, eleven of whom were still members seventeen years later.

The charter members, arranged from oldest to youngest, according to their ages in 1910:

Frances Beach, 71 – Frances Brower married A. E. Beach September 23, 1862. She is the mother of Flora Eells

Matilda Strait, 62 – Matilda Ruger married Emra H. Strait March 17, 1867. She is the mother of Mary Strait.

Lena Krug, 57 – Magdalena Berthel was born in Germany December 24, 1852 and came to America in 1873. She married Joseph Krug December 15 of that year. She is the mother of Lena and Mena Krug and Anna Kain.

Eunice Hunt, 57 – wife of George W. Hunt (This is the only Mrs Hunt in Dayton township in 1910.)

Elizabeth Clark, 48 – Elizabeth Rawlings, daughter of William and Ann (Rowe) Rawlings, married Willis Clark January 7, 1886

Jennie Barnes, 47 – unmarried, daughter of Joseph and Hanora (Hogan) Barends (name Americanized to Barnes)

Hattie Mathieson, 46 – Hattie Julia Thompson, daughter of Barto and Torbor (Bakke) Thompson, married Fred W. Mathieson March 5, 1890. She is the sister of Sarah Chally.

Sarah Chally, 43 – Sarah Thompson, daughter of Barto and Torbor (Bakke) Thompson, married Louis Chally October 11, 1899. She is the sister of Hattie Mathieson.

Nellie Beach, 41 – Nellie Jacobs, daughter of Peter W. and Nancy (Conard) Jacobs, married Frank S. Beach September 21, 1892. She is the daughter-in-law of Frances Beach and the sister-in-law of Flora Eells.

Flora Eells, 39 – Flora Beach, daughter of A. E. and Frances (Brower) Beach, married Charles S. Eells March 1, 1905

Emma McClary, 37 – Emma Barnes married Edward C. McClary July 5, 1899

Kate Barrett, 37 – Kate Woodlock married Edward Barrett June 17, 1897

Mary Strait, 37 – unmarried, daughter of Emra and Matilda Strait

Bertha Tufte, 34 – Bertha Andersen, daughter of Anders and Britta (Hansen) Andersen, was born in Norway about 1876. She came to America in 1893 and married Oliver Tufte May 30, 1895.

Anna Kain, 33 – Anna Krug, daughter of Joseph and Lena (Berthel) Krug, married Silas Kain April 8, 1908.

Mary Boe, 30 – unmarried, worked for Nellie Beach

Myrtle Bounds, 28 – married Arthur Bounds about 1904

Edna Belrose, 27 – Edna May Shute married Louis Belrose May 25, 1905

Mildred Funk, 27 – Mildred McEvoy, daughter of J. D. and Libbie (Watson) McEvoy, married Frank Funk September 29, 1909.

Lena Krug, 25 – unmarried, daughter of Joseph and Lena (Berthel) Krug

Maude Farrell, 25 wife of Roy W. Farrell (This is the only Mrs. Farrell in Dayton township in 1910.)

Florence Baker, 20 unmarried, daughter of Hiram E. Baker

Mena Krug, 14 unmarried, daughter of Joseph and Lena (Berthel) Krug

Mesmerism

mesmerist at work

In 1894 Jesse Green wrote this article for the Ottawa Free Trader on his interest in Mesmerism:

“An Amateur Mesmerist”
“How I became interested in the investigation of Mesmerisn”

In the fall of 1848 one Doctor Underhill visited Dayton where I then resided, with a Mesmeric subject and claimed that through him he could among other things find lost property.  He undertook to find a pair of buggy wheels lost in fording the River during a high stage of water a short time previous.  The buggy wheels were lost by Dr. Ward of Marseilles.

He started in at the ford, and when in the River opposite my house, the subject said “he saw no buggy wheels, but there lay an old saddle under a ledge of rocks in deep water”.  There had not been a word said about a saddle being lost.

But I had lost my saddle during the same rise in the River, and he described it as well as if lying before him, which was an easy matter as I had started hastily to cross the River, and found one of my stirrups gone, and took an odd one in its place.  We then went under his directions, in a boat with a lantern, and persons on the bluff overlooking the River, and in communication with the subject (Jockey Smith) who directed us to the spot.  We did not find the saddle but found the ledge of rocks in about ten feet of water.

This so impressed me that I together with a number of others got the Doctor to deliver us a course of lectures on Mesmerism, and the night of the third lecture he had us all take a subject and see what success we might have.  I selected my sister and succeeded in getting her Mesmerised, before the Doctor got his, and gave her up to him, not yet knowing how to proceed farther, but soon became familiar with all the Doctor knew on the subject.  During that winter I Mesmerised eight or ten different persons.  My first experience worthy of note was with my first subject.  Father requested me to send her to Newark, Ohio, and from there up the Ohio Canal, and see if she could name the Towns she would pass through (he being familiar with the whole length of the canal, having built fifteen miles of it).  She would name places in their regular order (apparently by reading some sign giving the name) and when she reached Cleveland she exclaimed “Oh! what a great body of water”.  Father was fully satisfied that she either read the signs correctly or read his mind.  This much I know they can do.  My best subject being the best clairvoyant I had outstripped this all hollow.  He would personate anyone, in speech, actions, and in every way.  I had him sing by exciting the organ of tune, and have thrown it off, at the highest pitch in the tune, with the word half uttered, and in a half minute or so would excite the organ again when he would start in again where he left off with the same pitch of tune, and the other half of the word as perfect as if there had been no intermission.

During one evening some one suggested that I “have him look ten years into the future and see what he would say about Dayton”.  Of course I had no faith that he could tell anything reliable, but did so.  He looked around a little and said it had not improved much “but they have a new mill down there and Uncle Johnny is up in the third story”.  Uncle Johnny was my Father and lived a number of years after that mill was built, and I believe that this clairvoyant saw it seven years previous to its being built.  It may be said that he guessed it.

I will relate another experience that will show too much complication to admit of guess work.  This all occurred during the winter of 1848 and ’49, and we were calculating to go to California in the Spring (and in the clairvoyant state) I sent him there to see what he would say about it.  We did not get much information only that there seemed to be a great rush to that country, and they were getting plenty of gold”.  It seemed to him in returning that he met our train going in the spring and his first exclamation on meeting it was “See that wagon, how they have fixed it up”.  I inquired about the wagon and he said it was “George Dunavans wagon and that they had broken the coupling pole, and had it wound with ropes and chains, and Uncle Johnny is behind carrying some birds”.  When he told this Father had no idea of going to California with us.  The Company employed him to go to Missouri and buy oxen for the outfit and return home, but there being so much cholera on the River he preferred crossing the Plains, rather than risk getting the cholera on his return.  Our company consisting of forty nine men with twenty wagons, left Ottawa April 2, 1849.  Myself being elected captain of the Company, one day on the route a short distance East of Fort Kearney, my clairvoyant (Daniel Stadden) borrowed a horse from one of the company and rode ahead with me, when we were a mile ahead of the train we saw that they had stopped, and by the time we rode back to see what was the matter, here was George Dunavans wagon reach broken and wound with both ropes and chains and Father was behind carrying a sage hen he had shot.  Stadden said to me “that is just how I saw it when I was mesmerised”.

Had it been any other wagon we probably should not have thought anything further about his prophecy, but every circumstance connected with it, being literally fulfilled brought it vividly to the minds of both of us.

I have often regretted that on my return home I had not further investigated it, I did very little in California but on our return home via Mexico one of our Company had a horse stolen and having faith in Mesmerism he wanted me to Mesmerize Mr. A.B.Goodrich (one of my former subjects) and one of our Company to see if he could find his horse.  I was a little afraid to do so there knowing the superstition of that people, but we had an interpretor who went and saw the Alcalde of the place and found that he had seen it before, and was anxious that I should Mesmerize Goodrich, he being present with our interpretor.  He soon described the thief and pointed out the direction he had taken, describing minutely every crook and turn in the road, and where the thief had stopped for the night.  The Alcalde had such confidence in everything that he said he would send next morning to recover the horse and thief if possible.  We were driving five hundred horses, and did not wait to see the result.

I think the possibilities of Mesmerism are very imperfectly understood even at the present time.  I have frequently seen accounts published of what seemed a little strange, but nothing equal to my experience with it.

I should have taken up the further investigation of it, but my second wife thought she could see the cloven foot of his Satanic Majesty in it, and on her account I gave it up, but my experience was entirely the reverse, and with evil intentions I was taught and believed it would prove a deserved failure.

It may be asked by some, why did you not have your clairvoyant find gold for you in California.  I do not pretend to say whether he could have done so or not.  The poor fellow died of scurvy soon after reaching California.

Should this seem a little too fishy, I would say that there are still living witnesses to corroborate the facts stated.

Ottawa October 17th 1894,
Jesse Green.

The Dayton news from 1934

card party

From the Ottawa Republican-Times, September 21, 1934, p. 2, cols. 4-8

Dayton
by Mrs. Grace MacGrogan

Californians Guests of Dayton Family

            Miss Catharine Rhoades and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rhoades entertained guests from California last week at their home in Dayton. They were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Leighty of Burbank and Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Demary, of South Pasadena, the parents and grandparents of Mrs. Frank Rhoades. They arrived Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rhoades accompanied them to Chicago Saturday where they spent the day at A Century of Progress exposition, returning here Saturday evening. Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Leighty and Mr. and Mrs. Demary left for their homes in California. They visited relatives in South Dakota and Waterloo, Ia., en route here.

Have Pep Meeting

            A pep meeting was held at the Dayton school Tuesday afternoon for the seventh and eighth grade students and teachers. The following schools were represented: Vincent school, Miss. E. Tompkins, teacher; Maple Hill school, Mrs. Edith Miller, teacher; district 207. Miss Simmons, teacher; Kleiber school, Mrs. W. S. Green, teacher; and the Dayton school, Miss Mildred Masters, teacher. R. J. Spickerman, assistant county superintendent of schools, was present and instructed the students and teachers in the year’s work. Miss J. L. Fraine was a visitor at the meeting.

Card, Dancing Party Held by Woman’s Club

The members of the Dayton Woman’s club held a card and dancing party Friday evening at the Dayton community hall. Games of bridge, five hundred and euchre were played the early part of the evening. Favors were awarded to Miss Pearl Masters and Mr. Ahrens of Ottawa in bridge; Mrs. Florence Esmond and Alvin Hepner won the five hundred favors and Mrs. Addie Thompson and Edward Hill the euchre favors. Orchestra music was furnished for dancing at the conclusion of the card games.

To Sponsor Party

Members of the Dayton Woman’s club will sponsor a card and dancing party Friday evening, Sept. 21, at the Dayton clubhouse.

Dayton Briefs

Mr. and Mrs. William Krug of north of Ottawa motored to Webster City, Ia., Friday and spent the week end with friends. They also visited in Rock Island and Moline on their return home Monday.

Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Brusingham and Miss Margaret Brusingham of Peoria, Mr. and Mrs. William Halpin of Mazon, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Halpin and son James of Reddick and Mrs. Ellen Scott of Ottawa were guests Sunday of Mr. and Mrs. L. Corso.

Miss Margaret Pillion of Chicago, Miss Julia Pillion of Ottawa and Mrs. Thomas Pillion and son Raymond of Wallace township were dinner guests Monday of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert MacGrogan.

Miss Katherine Pitts and Mrs. L. Corso attended the wedding in Grand Rapids township of Miss Eileen Fenton and Clarence McCormick Tuesday morning.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathieison and Mr. and Mrs. J. Baker of north of Ottawa, went to Chicago Monday and attended A Century of Progress exposition.

Mrs. Michael Kelly, Sr., and Mrs. Marguerite McGill of Ottawa and Mrs. Thomas Corcoran of Rutland township were guests of Mesdames John Bowers, W. B. Chamberlain and M. Kelly, Jr., at the Dayton club party Wednesday.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Nash and son, Dick, of Hennepin, were visitors in Dayton, Tuesday.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Luck of Harding were visitors at the Pitts family Sunday.

Dayton School Reunion – 1937

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.

Miss Fraine

Emma Fraine

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.

Maud Green

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.

Ralph Green

Ralph Green

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

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