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

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.

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

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

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.

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Graduates from the Dayton School in 1900

graduation cap & books

The following notice appeared in The Ottawa Journal, July 8, 1900
Graduates of Dayton school: Clyde Channell, Emma Fraine, Edith Olmstead, Mary Ward

What happened to these four young people after they left the Dayton school?

Clyde Wamsley Channell was born in Dayton July 5, 1887, the son of John W. Channel and Josephine Makinson. After attending the University of Illinois for 2 years, he became a surveyor for the railroad. He then tried farming in Minnesota, where he married Carrie McGee on April 5, 1911, in Itasca County, Minnesota.  They moved to Florida by 1930, where he worked for the post office in Arcadia. He died there on February 10, 1957.

Emma Clementine Fraine was the daughter of Charles Fraine and Clemence Petitcolin. She was born in Dayton May 22, 1885 and after two years of additional schooling in Dayton she became a schoolteacher herself. She first taught in a rural school north of Earlville, later going to Waltham Township to teach. She then taught in the Kleiber School northeast of Ottawa and in Grand Ridge. During these years she was busy furthering her own education and taking summer courses at DeKalb. In the year 1907 she was assigned to teach the primary grades in the two-room Dayton school and continued in that capacity until her retirement in 1952. She died in 1959 in California, at the home of her sister-in-law.

Edith May Olmstead was the daughter of Charles H. Olmstead and Anna M. Burgess. She was born February 14, 1886 and following graduation from the Dayton school, she went to Ottawa Township High School, graduating in 1904. She then taught school in the rural schools of the county. She married Edwin Miller about 1918, but the marriage did not last, ending in divorce before 1940. She died in October 1968, and is buried in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery.

Mary Elizabeth Ward was the daughter of Edward Joseph Ward and Alice Virginia Furr. She was born April 28,1883, in Dayton. After graduating from the Dayton school she went on to 2 years of high school. On September 12th, 1905 she married Robert J. W. Briggs, a veterinarian from Ottawa. His job took them to various locations in South Dakota and Nebraska. They returned to Ottawa when he retired and Mary died there September 24, 1948