A Meteor in the January Skies

meteor

from the Ottawa Free Trader, January 8, 1881

Dayton, Jan. 5. – The river is now being crossed at this place on the ice.

Prof. H. L. Boltwood, of Ottawa, delivered an excellent New Year’s discourse at the school house last Sunday. Preaching every two weeks at 4 P. M.

School commenced last Monday after a holiday vacation of one week.

Mr. Frank Dunavan made his New Year’s calls in Dayton.

A watch meeting was held by the young folks at the residence of C. B. Hess, Esq., last Friday evening. A goodly number were present, and report a very enjoyable time.

Last Saturday evening about 8 o’clock a large and brilliant meteor was seen by a few fortunate ones who chanced to be “‘neath the starry heavens.” It started nearly overhead and “struck a bee line” for the northeast, leaving a tail of fire after it resembling a comet. Just before it reached the horizon it exploded, throwing out particles in all directions. The sight was magnificent. By the Chicago Times of Monday, we notice it was seen in Chicago and in Battle Creek, Michigan. At the latter place the light from the meteor was so brilliant as to dim the gaslight.1

A grand concert will be given by the Musical Union at the school house Friday evening, Jan. 14. They will be assisted by the Harmony Quartette of Ottawa, and the chorus of 25 voices will be accompanied by 1st and 2d violins, bass and organ. Everybody invited to attend.

Mr. Newton Hess and lady last week celebrated in a becoming manner their tin wedding.

The woolen mill has been running all winter on a large order for cavalry blankets for the government.

Last Saturday evening a large reception was given by Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Gibson, of Rutland, in honor of the return of their son Lewis with his bride from Nebraska. The party was the finest of the season and a most enjoyable affair. The large residence was completely filled with guests, who were pleasantly received by the host and hostess. Dancing continued through the evening; and refreshments were served during an intermission. The hour was “wee sma'” before the guests departed. The reception was a joyous one and quite complimentary to the host and hostess.

The Literary meets at the residence of Mr. David Grove next Saturday evening.

Occasional


  1. In the Chicago Tribune of January 3, the meteor was described as “about the size of a full moon, and was enveloped in a beautiful flame of lightish blue tint, while following in its wake were several bright red fragments. Time of transit, fifteen minutes.”

Dayton Centennial – Part 3

crowd

Were some of your family members in the crowd?

from the Ottawa Republican-Times, September 16, 1929

SOME OF THE VISITORS

            Among the visitors who came from a distance for the celebration were:

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Green and daughter Alice of Grand Junction, Colo.; Mr. and Mrs. James Nagle of Webster Park, Mo.; Mrs. Hattie Lewis, Stuartsville, Mo.; Robert Fleming, Palkerton, Wyo.; Miss Isabella Grove, Washington, D. C.; Edward E. Rooney, St. Albans, Vt.; Mrs. Kate Fleming McAllister, Laramie, Wyo.; Mrs. Ben E. Lawrence, River Forest, Ill.; Carl Rossitor, South Bend, Ind.; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Green, Aurora; Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Knight, Aurora – Mrs. Knight was formerly Miss Ethel Green; Harry Green, Chicago; Mrs. Alice Green Allen, Des Moines, Ia.; Emma A. Wallwork, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mrs. Lena Masters, East Chicago, Ind.; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Richmond, Taylorville, Ill.; Mrs. Richmond was Miss Maude Shaver, daughter of Frank Shaver prior to her marriage; Mr. and Mrs. LeVoy Richmond and family; Miller Wier, Jacksonville, Ill.; Al Fisher, Gatzki, Minn.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Green and Winfield Green, Peoria; Roy McBrearty, Aurora; Mrs. Myra E Lawry, St. Louis, Mo.; Mrs. Barbara DeBolt Webster, Pontiac; Harriet Bruner, Los Angeles, Calif.; William Holmes, Mrs. Nettie Holmes and William B. Holmes, Chicago; Lewis E. Myers, Valparaiso, Ind.; Mrs. John Champlain, South Bend, Ind.; William Breese, Chicago; Ruth Brown, Oak Park; Walter D. Brown, Oak Park; Mr. and Mrs. Allen Fleming, Aurora; Mrs. Walter Brown, Helen Brown and Ethel Brown, Oak Park; Mrs. John Westermeier, Warren Westermeier and Donald Westermeier, Chicago; Mrs. J. Neises and Gladys Neises, Chicago; Charles Nash, Hennepin; Mrs. Russell P. Childs, Ohio; Mrs. Nellie DeBolt Snow, Chicago; J. N. Ferguson, Woodlawn; William Mettebarger, Woodlawn; Mrs. Charles N. Nash, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Hamm, Hennepin; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Green, Aurora.

George W. Green, Aurora; Miss Miriam Green, Aurora; F. S. Wallwork, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Dunavan, Chicago; Dorothy Elains Richmond and Floy Arlene Richmond, Taylorville; Herberta Dunavan Schabes, Chicago; Harold Dunavan, Chicago; Frank Schabes, Chicago; Eva Channel Ladd, Shabbona; Lottie Makinson Pederson, Chicago; Mrs. C. A. Palmer, Chicago; Mrs. Frances Hendrix, Chicago; Martha Howard White, Joliet; Walter Howard White, Joliet; Maud Ferguson White, Joliet; J. Kent Greene, Chicago; Mabel Greene Myers, Valparaiso, Ind.; R. E. Breaty, Aurora; Robert Lee DeBolt, Evanston; Mrs. W. Miller, Aurora; Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Miller, Millington; Ludwig Lazar, Joliet; Elmer Freine, Somonauk; Mrs. Mannie Freine, Somonauk; John Champaign, South Bend, Ind.; Walter Rositer, South Bend, Ind.; Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Fleming, Aurora.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reid, Springfield, Mo.; Mamie DeBolt Terry, Highland Park, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Ray Doran, Aurora; Mrs. Carrie Green, Joliet; Mr. and Mrs. Jule Pitts, Joliet; Mrs. S. A. Armagast, Joliet; Mrs. J. E. Cutting, Joliet; Mrs. Evelyn Lawrence, River Forest; Mrs. Lana Masters, Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Green, Joliet; Mrs. Hattie Lewis, Stuartsville, Mo.; Mrs. Josephine Gibson, Chicago; Mrs. Pauline Blunt, Mo.; E. W. Jackson, Toledo, O.; Charles W. Eisenhuth, Mrs. Lena Eisenhuth, Marian Eisenhuth, Aurora; Mrs. Mable Hayward Rothgeb, East Orange, New Jersey; Harriet Pellouchoud, Odell, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Swindler, Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Leafe, Villa Park, Ill.; Mrs. M. Raymond, Blue Island; Ira Hanson, Iowa; Pearl Masters, Chicago; Philip Deegan, Chicago; John W. Whalen, Graymont, Ill.

Dr. H. G. Logan, Mrs. Rae Parr Logan, Mobile, Ala.; Mrs. John Watnew, Santa Monica, Calif.; E. M. DeBolt, Mildred DeBolt, Barbara DeBolt, Catherine DeBolt, Roy DeBolt, Gilbert, DeBolt, Robert DeBolt of Pontiac; Mrs. Harry Hinkson, Waterman; Mr. and Mrs. Chris Junken, Chicago; Loretto E. Dockendorf, Joliet; Mrs. Nauman, Joliet; Mrs. underline, Joliet; Dwight, Lillian and Jack Ladd, Chicago; Mrs. E. Weber, Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Lange, Chicago.

Cora Tanner, Aurora, Ernest Weber, Chicago; Sam Hall, New York; Arthur G. Wunderlick, Joliet; William Carter, Joliet; Reuben Burch, Arlington; E. Rachael Davenport, Chicago; Dorothy Masters, Chicago; John E. Davenport, River Forest; Cora Childs Greene, Chicago; Mrs. Anna Manges, Chicago; Mrs. Ruth Atkinson, Champaign; Ed W. Jackson, South Bend, Ind.; Mrs. Sara Ferguson, Grand Haven, Mich.; Alvin Green, Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Ladd, Joe Ozark, George Ozark and Nicholas Dummitt, Chicago.

[to be continued]


Image: Ghozt Tramp [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D

Christmas in Dayton – 1881

Christmas greetings

Rural Happenings
From Dayton

Dayton, Dec. 28, 1881. – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all your readers!

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Brown, of Chicago, spent Christmas in Ottawa, and on Monday visited relatives in Dayton.

Mr. McGrew closed his school last week. Mr. N. Clawson took charge yesterday.

Mr. James Green is “teaching young ideas how to shoot” at the McMichael school, east of Wedron, this winter.

Every one is going around these days with a sore arm, the result of vaccination. “Ouch, don’t you touch my arm.”

Mr. and Mrs. John Gibson, of Rutland, attended the Christmas exercises and spent Christmas in Dayton.

Mr. Will Davis’s Santa Claus costume was the finest ever in Dayton. It was from Mrs. Hentrich, Ottawa’s popular costumer. It made Will appear like the old Nick in the story books.

Mr. O. W. Trumbo and Miss Jessie are visiting friends in Iowa.

A private Christmas tree was held at Mr. Chas. Burch’s Saturday evening.

Rev. E. C. Arnold, of Ottawa, delivered a sermon at the school house last Tuesday evening.

Mr. T. R. Brunk, of Ransom, will deliver a lecture in Dayton next Saturday evening. All are invited to attend.

Mr. David Dunavan, of Newark, and the Misses Dunavan, of Rutland, were visiting in town this week.

Miss Jennie Dunavan, of the Ottawa High School, is spending her vacation at home.

The Union Christmas tree and entertainment at the school house last Saturday evening were a complete success. The house was filled with children and people of all ages, every one of whom was kindly remembered by the good old Saint Nick. The exercises were opened by the beautiful anthem “The Prince of Peace” by the choir, after which Mr. Basil Green made a very appropriate prayer. “While shepherds watched their flocks by night,” a pretty carol was sung in good time and taste by the children; Mr. Clarence Griggs, of Ottawa, then followed with an appropriate address which was listened to attentively by the audience. Mr. Griggs is a bright and promising young attorney, and has formed many acquaintances here who think he is destined to make his mark in the world. “From our Merry Swiss home,” a duet, was sung in a delightful manner by Misses Myrtle Stadden and Mary Barnes, and was applauded by the audience; “The Legend of St. Fredo,” a recitation by Carrie Green, and “Gathering Sheaves,” by Lizzie Bogard, were spoken with good effect; “Christmas day,” a semi-duet and chorus, was sung with considerable taste by Misses Myrtle Stadden, Carrie Green, Gertie Grow, and Lona Root; “Old Christmas,” a recitation, by Miss Maude Green, and “The Fortune-teller,” by Miss Mary Barnes, assisted by little Grace and Kent Green, were rendered very tastefully; Santa Claus (Mr. Will S. Davis) was then introduced to the children in a neat little speech by Eddie Hess, and was enthusiastically received. Then the distribution of presents began. How the little hearts throbbed with delight as the good Santa called their names and delivered to each a pretty present. Nearly an hour passed before old Nick fulfilled his mission. Then every heart having been made joyous at this celebration of our Saviour’s birth, the exercises drew to a close. Before dispersing the audience gave a vote of thanks to Mr. Griggs for his kindness in delivering the address. The occasion will long be remembered as one of the most pleasant entertainments our little town has ever enjoyed.1

Occasional


  1. The Free Trader, December 31, 1881, p. 8, col. 1

Dayton Centennial – Part 1

from the Ottawa Republican-Times, September 16, 1929

Dayton and Rutland Townships Dedicate Marker and Celebrate Centennial of Settlers Arrival

            Old-time residents of Dayton and Rutland who have gone out to find a niche elsewhere, practically the entire present population and representatives of most La Salle county towns were at Dayton Saturday afternoon and night for a celebration commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of these communities.

A program of platform speaking, songs by the assembled school children of both communities, dedication of a marker on the spot where the mill-stones were found which were used in grinding the first wheat flour made in northern Illinois, and addresses by W. R. Foster, county superintendent of schools, and Kent Greene, former Daytonite and now a Chicago legal light, featured the day’s festivities.

Thomas O’Meara, Ottawa attorney, who was reared in Dayton, was master of ceremonies in the afternoon, when crowds gathered to hear addresses dealing with the significance of the origin of Dayton and Rutland. He was introduced by a member of the committee which evolved the celebration.

Relics which accumulated through the years provided a point of interest for visitors. All former and present residents were tagged with their names and addresses, facilitating renewal of old acquaintanceships.

Of particular interest in the celebration was the unveiling of a stone marker commemorating the vicinity where John Green, one of the village founders, and his party built their flour mill. A boulder set in a cement base, identified by a bronze plate inscribed with the story of the discovery, was veiled by a historical blanket woven in Dayton’s own woolen mill in 1860.

The blanket, now in the possession of Miss Catherine E. Rhoads of Ottawa, was bought by Thomas Rhoads, her father, at the mill and has been in the possession of the Rhoads family ever since. It is one of the few remaining tokens of the woolen mill which once apparently had Dayton headed on the road to industrial importance.

Blanket from Dayton Woolen Factory

Another example of the Dayton Woolen Mill blankets – this one from the Green family.

The dedication address was by J. Kent Greene of Chicago, a descendant of the John Green whose industry resulted in the flour mill.

He traced the events leading up to the founding of the mill, beginning with the first trip to the then new state of Illinois in 1829, when four pioneers, led by John Green, came to Dayton from Licking county, Ohio, on September 14, 1829.

They returned with their families on the 6th of December, 1829, and, despite the impending rigors of winter, established their colony by erecting shelters and clearing 240 acres of land before spring. Their saw and grist mill was put in operation on July 4, 1830, and the village of Dayton had been officially founded.

A vigorous folk, they with stood the menace of the Blackhawk Indian war, and not only stood their ground themselves but attracted other Ohio pioneers who populated Dayton and Rutland.

[to be continued]

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

Dayton Woman’s Club Observes Anniversary of Its Founding

Dayton Women's Club meeting

 

Dayton Woman’s Club Observes Anniversary of Its Founding

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

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

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

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

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

Painting Given

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

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

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

Charter Members

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.

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.

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

Move Bodies Long Interred

 

Elizabeth Trumbo tombstone

tombstones in Ottawa Avenue cemetery

Jacob Trumbo tombstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Trumbo tombstone

MOVE BODIES LONG INTERRED

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


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

An Unusual Memento

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

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

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

Thanksgiving day in Dayton – 1901

cornucopia

CORRESPONDENCE
Dayton

The Fox river at this point is frozen over.
Len Hubbell is spending this week in Chicago.
A. W. Ladd made a business trip to Aurora last week.
Charles Sheppler has been laid up for a few days with a lame back.
John Marshall of Serena made a business call here on Saturday.
George Galloway enjoyed his duck at his own fireside on Thanksgiving day.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore spent a couple of days last week with friends at Earlville.
The Mutual Protective League meets on Wednesday night at Woodman hall.
Miss Mary Coleman and Miss Mary Cloat spent Wednesday and Thursday at Streator.
John Hippard has joined the T., P., & C. W. brigade and is now one of their teamsters.
Miss Mary Dunn of Ottawa spent Sunday with the Misses Mary and Maggie Coleman.
Mrs. Edwards and daughter, Mamie, of Ottawa spent Monday at Mr. and Mrs. James Timmons.
Mr. Isaac Green and family were guests of Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Trumbo on Thanksgiving day.
Mrs. John Channel and A. W. Ladd were visiting Mr. and Mrs. Beik’s at Ottawa on the 28th.
Corn husking is nearly over in the corn fields, but has just commenced at the fireside in the store.
Miss Jennie Barnes starts for Joliet in a few days to spend the winter with her sister, Mrs. Winn Green.
Mrs. Marguerite Mills and Mrs. Brown of South Ottawa spent Friday with Mrs. George Galloway.
One hundred and fifty bushels of corn were sold here on Monday for sixty cents per bushel, cash.
John Green and son, Percival, former residents here for many years, spent Sunday with friends here.
Mrs. John Gibson and son, Fred, left for Chicago on Tuesday, where they will make their home for the present.
Roy McBrearty, operator for the Q. at Denrock, spent Thanksgiving with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. McBrearty.
Mr. and Mrs. George La Pere dined with Mrs. La Pere’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Lohr, on Thanksgiving day.
Mr. and Mrs. Ed McClary spent Thanksgiving with Mr. E. H. Pederson and wife, deputy U. S. marshal at Yorkville.
Miss Blanche McGrath and Miss Kate Hogan of Streator were guests of the Misses Colman on Thanksgiving day.
The ticket winning the watch at the raffle on Saturday night was No. 31, and was held by Joseph Futterer of Ottawa.
William and Walter Breese and Lowell Hoxie and wife of Aurora spent Thanksgiving with Mr. and Mrs. John Breese.
John Campbell, feeder watchman at Dayton, has tendered his resignation, the same going into effect December 1st, 1901.
The Woodman Lodge will elect their officers on Tuesday night, December 10th, at 7:30, at their hall. A large attendance is expected.
On account of the scarcity of water in the feeder the electric plant was compelled to shut down on several occasions the last few days.
Bert Edwards, who has been employed as teamster for George Green, has gone to Streator, which city he expects to make his future home.
William Collamore, Jr., of Ottawa and Miss Olson of near Morris, gave Thanksgiving at the home of William Collamore, Sr., and wife, on the 28th.
Mrs. Ed Vernon and two children left for Somonauk on Saturday morning, where she will be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Colb for a few days.
John Cisco of Ottawa is now acting as feeder watchman until the successor of John Campbell, resigned, is appointed.
W. Wheeler and R. Doran left here for Chicago on Wednesday morning where they will visit the fat stock show and will remain until Saturday.
Wilmot Van Etten, agent for the Q. at Batavia, with his wife and three sons, Clare, Walcott and Frank, dined with Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Trumbo on Thanksgiving day, returning on the afternoon train for Batavia.1


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

Old Settlers Reunion – Part 4

boneset

boneset

continuing the Hon. P. A. Armstrong’s remarks to the 1877 La Salle County Old Settlers Reunion:

Our worst enemy and severest affliction was ague and fever. None escaped it, or if so the exceptions were few indeed.

Nor is it to be wondered at, for no attention was given nor effort made to obtain pure water. Holes were sunk at the edges of the sloughs, which were filled with surface water, covered with a blue scum, and during hot weather teeming with animalculae. We called them wigglers, and since it has been asserted that blue glass is a great invigorator in the growth of vegetable matter we have been inclined to believe that blue scum is equally potent in developing wigglers into mosquitoes and tadpoles into frogs and that as an ague producer the blue scummed water was a perfect success.

We neither had any physicians or medicines except on the botanical principle. Our quinine was boneset or wauhoo, the very thoughts of which make us shudder even now. When the ague came it manifested great staying qualities. Six weeks of daily shakes were not uncommon. Whole families were afflicted with it at the same time, when the question as to which one was best able to carry water from the slough was difficult to solve.

We were frequently compelled to live in tents and sleep upon the ground for weeks and months before we could collect a sufficient force to raise our little cabins. Everybody was sick with the ague and unable to work. Our first buildings were log cabins, [This generality was not true of Dayton, which had a sawmill from the beginning.] generally with but one room, which must serve as kitchen, dining-room, sitting room, parlor and bed room.  In-door sparking was almost impossibility as Pa, Ma and all the mischievous brothers and sisters of your girl persisted in lying awake to listen to what you said and take notes of what you did.

———————— to be continued —————————

Halloween in Dayton

Clara Mathews

Halloween in Dayton in the 1940s meant trick-or-treating. of course. Coming home with a bag full of treats or seeing the soap on the store windows, it was a night of excitement. Number one on my personal list was the treat from Ma Mathews. I don’t suppose she made the same thing every year, but in my memory it was always a popcorn ball, the gooey, sticky caramel on the freshly popped popcorn. I always hoped I could get two – one to eat on the spot and one to take home, but she was too wily to fall for that. Since she was the school janitor, she knew exactly how many children there were in town. It was no good telling her that you needed another one to take home to your sister, as she had probably just given one to your sister ten minutes ago.

Old Settlers Reunion – Part 3

bible Pilgrim's Progress

continuing the Hon. P. A. Armstrong’s remarks to the 1877 La Salle County Old Settlers Reunion:

Our population was too much scattered for schools. Four Miles was not considered too far for the children to travel in attending school. Books, except the book of books, the Bible, were very scarce. There were no newspapers then published in the state and if there had been, we had no means of obtaining them, as we had no mails. There was one copy of that noble work of Bunyan, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” in our neighborhood. It was read by all who could read, and constituted a kind of circulating library. I doubt not but my pious friend Col. Hitt perused the history of poor Prospect, filled with hopes and doubts, especially the doubts. The condition of society at that date was such as to render this locality very unhealthy for the Mrs. Grundys and the Paul Prys.

Even visiting was not popular, not because our people were unsocial, but because our neighbors were too far distant.

Talking societies and curiosity shops did not flourish. Nor had we any tramps, gipsies, or strolling organ grinders; sewing machine agents would have been shot on the spot. We had no difficulties between neighbors on account of trespass committed by the chickens or pigs of one upon the premises of another. The only trespass with which we were then familiar was that known as jumping of claims upon Uncle Sam’s land. These sometimes occurred and when they did occur a field fight generally followed in which whole families took a hand; but we never went to law to establish our claims, although all sometimes did seek consolation at law for bruised heads and bloody noses received in the struggle to protect our claims. It was a poor country for office and office holders. All our disputes were settled by arbitration, hence lawsuits were but little heard of.

Tea and coffee were luxuries we could not obtain for love or money, for there was none in the country.

——————– to be continued ————————