Sunday, June 17, 2018

More 4 April 1878

--Paxton Record.  4 April 1878.

Thawville Cheese Factory.

4 April 1878

--Paxton Record.  4 April 1878.

More from 28 March 1878

--Paxton Record.  28 March 1878.

"W. E. Thompson, of photographic notoriety" possible photography studio in Roberts??
In the April 4,1878, his name is given as Will C. Thompson.  Not sure which is correct.  Research:  Can I find any pics from his studio.  Moved to Council Grove, Kansas. 

28 March 1878

--Paxton Record.  28 March 1878.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Eliab Foster & Family

--Contributed by Barbara Leroy

Eliab Foster was born in 1808 in Oneida County, New York, the second son of a large family.  His father, William Foster, was killed while felling a tree on their farm in Oswego County NY in 1831.  Some of Eliab's uncles helped form a company of people who purchased land in what is now Kenosha County WI in the early 1840s, and a whole group of people from upstate NY followed them to Kenosha, Eliab included.  He met and married Jane Rebecca Clark in 1845 in Kenosha County; she was born in Naples, NY in 1826, and both her parents died in 1835, leaving her and her siblings orphans.  She came west with an older brother and brought along her sister, Martha, who was living with her sister and brother-in-law in the 1850 census.  Jane died in Nov 1851; Martha married Eliab in August, 1852, and they remained in Kenosha County until after the Civil War.

I don't know why they moved to Illinois around 1865, renting land in Iroquois County for a year before buying their farm in Ford County the next year.  Frances, my great grandmother, was born in Ford County, IL in 1866.  The other four children born after her all died very young; an infant daughter not named, Albert Alonzo, Dora Bell, and Bell.  I think only Bell's tombstone was still around the last time I visited Lyman Township Cemetery. 

Of course, Eliab and Martha are there.  Eliab went out one day in 1872 to chop wood.  The axe slipped and cut him so badly that he bled to death before he could get home.  Martha, his widow, remained on the farm until about 1890, then moved to town, where Leda and Martha looked after her until she died of cancer on Christmas Day, 1908.

Of the grown Foster children (or their kids) who remained in Roberts, I know this:

Olive Foster married Samuel Kenward, a real estate agent, in 1886.  The family moved to Bradley, IL, and had seven children.  Olive died of fever in 1903.  Samuel couldn't cope, and farmed the children out to relatives.  One of her children was Nancy, who went to live with John and Patience Kenward, her paternal grandparents.  She married Otto Seng and lived on a farm near Roberts.  Her children were Lawrence and Della. 

Sela Foster worked for a hardware store before starting his own. My mother said that they had an "elevator", pulled by ropes, that took folks to the second story, where I think they stored items for the store.  Sela married Sarah Harriet Whorrall. They had five daughters.  One of them, Blanche, married Charles Wright and lived in Chicago for a time.  But the couple eventually moved to Roberts, where Charles helped run the hardware store. 

Bela led an interesting life; he was the thistle ranger--he inspected farmland and helped eradicate thistles.  He was a school teacher and principal (and wrote a poem "Will You Think Of Me", which he gave to his classes.  This person found the poem and gave copies of it to her classes at the end of term for several years.  He married Christina McKay, a Canadian, in 1903.  She was a very classy lady and my mother was scared she would make some faux pas when she visited!  But she loved her "Uncle Beel", as she called him--she'd run to him when she visited and he would scoop her up in his arms and give her a big kiss on the cheek, which tickled because of his mustache.   Bela later became a rural mail carrier and wrote those marvelous histories of the county.  They had no children. 

Leda was a school teacher, made rugs on a loom, and kept a boarding house.  Martha was a nurse, and spent long hours at the Roberts clinic.    One interesting side note: in 1912, a new doctor came to board with them--Fred Blome.  Leda fell and injured her arm, so she wrote her sister, Frances, in Michigan, to send her oldest daughter down to work for them.  Della Bell Ruedger came and she and the doctor fell in love!  Leda took the train with them up to Michigan, where they were married 13 Feb 1913.  They lived in central Illinois most of their lives, which was how their daughter, Frances Blome, was able to tell me so much about the Fosters in Roberts.

Comparing Photos

Two different perspectives of Green Street.  The three buildings on the furthest right side remain pretty much the same.  But the façade of the Chambers Store has changed.  So which photo is older?  The top photo (from the above two) was taken just after the fire in 1894.

Below Zoomed in on both.
The above photo is looking to the east, the north side of Green Street.
The above photo is looking to the west, the north side of Green Street.
Note an arch has been added to the Chambers store.  It appears the corbels maybe the same; a center one removed and an arch added.

Add below . . . a partial listing of businesses on the north side of Green Street dated 1908.

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.  September 2016.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Roberts Photo

While doing my Lyman Township in the Civil War research I logged into to look for additional information. I found an email address for Barbarba Leroy on the site (a contributer to the Ruedger family), and I contacted her. Right away she responded with pictures, stories, etc. She has done much research on the Ruedger, Gurrad, Foster, and Clark family in the Roberts area. She sent me this photo of downtown Roberts. I have not seen this perspective in such an old photo. You can see the church steeples in the background, and I believe also a sign for possibly the Colteaux Restaurtant and Lunch Room. I am not sure what the building is at the far side of the photo near the large windmill. With all the men standing around (and it looks like one may have a sheriff's badge on his jacket), I wonder if this photo also was taken at the time of the fire in 1894 that destroyed the south side of Main/Green Street.  The original is photo #1 and those following are just enlargements/zooms of the original.
Isn't it a great photo? Thank you for sharing with us Barb.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Civil War Veterans

I just set up a research page of sorts where I am saving bits and pieces about the 21 civil war veterans that are buried in Lyman Township and St. Mary's Cemetery.  Click on this link to view the blog:

Roberts Rakings

--Paxton Record.  7 March 1878.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Homes 1940

--The Roberts Herald.  14 February 1940.  Page 1.

Sturmcroft Acres


--The Pantagraph.  Bloomington, Illinois.  1 February 1956.  Page 8.

Shambrook 50 Years

--The Pantagraph.  Bloomington, Illinois.  3 April 1984.  Page 18.

Shambrook 50 Years

-- Pantagraph.  Bloomington, Illinois.  4 March 1967.  Page 10.

Grant Brown

Grant Brown died last Sunday evening. He suffered untold agonies for three or four days. He had his hand crushed in a sheller which was the beginning of the awful ending. Grant has been a model of industry. He has built a reputation equal to any in the vicinity. He was always busy, never idling away the golden moments. The funeral services were held in the M. E. church, of this place. Rev. Coolidge preaching the sermon. The M.W.A Camp took charge of the remains and laid them to rest in the Roberts cemetery. About eighty Woodmen marched in solemn procession from the church to the grave. He, the youngest in the order, was summoned first take up his abode with the innumerable hosts of heaven.

--Paxton Record.  22 June 1899.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Luhman B. Wilcox

--History of Ford County, Illinois: From its Earliest Settlement to 1908. By Gardner, Ernest Arthur. Published 1908. Pages 564-568.

Warren O. Sanders

--History of Ford County, Illinois: From its Earliest Settlement to 1908. By Gardner, Ernest Arthur. Published 1908. Pages 555-556.

Christopher Anderson


--History of Ford County, Illinois: From its Earliest Settlement to 1908. By Gardner, Ernest Arthur. Published 1908. Pages 521-524.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Roberts Brick and Tile Works

--Paxton Record.  28 August 1884.

Rice & Lyman

--Paxton Record.  20 October 1881.

L. E. Bressie

--Paxton Record.  29 January 1885.

20 December 1877

--Paxton Record.  20 December 1877.

Roberts Circulating Library