Saturday, December 31, 2016


I think the wording may have been changed.  That first large line in the bottom looks like Clothing to me.  I took the bottom picture the summer of 2016.  Just about eligible.

Livery Stable

I have not read much about the "Livery Stable" found on this 1884 map of Roberts.  I guess it would behind where Ronnie Shambrook lived facing the alley?? More research needed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

1914 Motorcycles

--Paxton Record. 30 July 1914.

Monday, December 26, 2016

1884 Roberts


Johnnie Hummel

Sunday morning, Johnnie, the fifteen year old son of John Hummel, a prominent farmer living north of town, while driving a young and only partly broken colt was thrown from a buggy and received a broken leg. Dr. Cassingham was at once summoned and found the injury quite serious. The leg was broken just above the ankle and the bone forced through the flesh. The limb was dressed and set, and hopes are entertained that the youth of the patient may cause the bone to unite and that the foot may be saved.
--Paxton Record. 15 September 1887.
Drs. Rankin, of Pullman and Cassingham of this village, on last Saturday, amputated the foot of Johnnie Hummel, whose injury we chronicled two weeks ago. Strenuous efforts had been made to save the foot, but the injury was of too serious a nature to admit of success. At present writing, the patient is in a much weakened condition and fears are entertained as to the result.
--Paxton Record. 6 October 1887.

Died, Oct. 9th, 1887, at 12:44 p.m. John Upson, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hummel, aged 16 years, 1 month, and 19 days.
Our readers will remember the notice of the accident by which the above lost his foot. From the time of the injury, his strength steadily failed, and, though everything was done that medical skill and loving friends could do, the end came as above. Johnnie was a strong, manly, pleasant tempered boy and was much attached to his home, where he was always to be found when duty did not call him elsewhere. He had just commenced his year's work at the public school . . .

 --Paxton Record. 13 October 1887.


Buried Lyman Township Cemetery

Kenney, Steinman, Shafer, Buchholz

--Melvin Area Centennial. Commemorative Booklet. A Century on the Prairie. September 3, 4, 5, 6 - 1971.

Amelia Moore

Buried Lyman Township Cemetery

 --Paxton Record. 29 April 1875.

Gullett & Kennedy Sell Store

--Roberts Herald. 3 December 1947.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Farmers' Picnic in Lyman Park

--Roberts Herald. 17 August 1921.

1850 Plat of Lyman Township


1822 Plat of Lyman Township






Sunday, December 18, 2016

Squires Family Reunion

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 26 August 1921. Page 12.

Beighle Baby

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 1 February 1908. Page 3.

The Fairleys are married for 40 years.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 5 September 1953. Page 6.

A unique fire alarm in Roberts.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 3 July 1922. Page 2.
--Roberts Area Centennial. 1872-1972. 100 Years of Plowing Planting Progressing. 
This is located under where the water tower stood.  Looks like lettering on the side of the building behind the alarm for the Roberts Exchange Bank. 

George Uebele

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 27 August 1921. Page 2.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Early Days in Lyman #3


Continuing . . .
I am sorry that I can not tell more of the early settlers of the south half of Lyman. I remember of only once that I crossed the section line north of Roberts before the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield Railway was built. I had head of the Tobys, the Pfaats, the Burshams, the Russells, and the Hursts, but to my knowledge had never seen them.
John T. Forbes came from England with a large family of boys and girls,
J. F. Smith and family came from Canada in 1859, John McDonald and family came from Canada in 1862. The Forbes farm joined the Marston farm on the west.

--1884 Lyman Township Plat
My Notes:  So the Marstons were in Section 2.  Possibly on the G. Schuler site.  The school is located in this section.  They were the first school teachers, in their home and at the first school.
The Smith farm was lots 1 and 2 NE Sec. 4. The McDonald farm north of the Smith farm.

--1884 Lyman Township Plat
J. F. Smith and J. T. Forbes made sorghum molasses. This was a good business. Everybody used molasses. It was the dressing regardless of what was eaten. Alexander Forbes, eldest son of J. T. Forbes, was handy with tools. He made a windmill for grinding grain. It did not ? the meal but was better than a coffee pot. He also made a self drop corn planter. It did not use wire but corn was dropped by wheel traction.
The reapers used were the combined reaper and mower. The Kirby was the prevailing one. It needed two men to operate one. One man drove and one sat on a low seat behind with a hand rake to take the grain off the platform. It took a good man to be a good deliverer.

The only hay rake I remember seeing was a wooden one of the revolving sort. A boy rode the horse and a man held the rake and dumped it at the window. Bumble bees were plentiful. When the rake turned them up the boy was lucky to get off with fewer than half a dozen punctures. The early settlers had plenty of prairie hay as every other section was unbroken prairie.
In 1865-6-7 the influx to Lyman township was great. The new settlers took mostly government land. This took the hay land and the pastures from the older settlers.
A. M. and A. A. Haling bought all of section three. This is one of the large sections, 1240 acres. They made a new survey of it and dividing it into farms sold it to later arrivals.

--1884 Lyman Township Plat
A. M. Haling was a man with much "push." He put up good buildings. His stables were not roofed with slough grass hay. He burned a strip to protect his buildings and hay. One day when his men were busy on other parts of the farm a prairie fire came and with the aid of tickle grass jumped the barrage. It burned his barn and all within except one horse which his daughter, Kate succeeded in getting out. The other horses would not go out of the barn.
During the civil war prices rose. Corn sold for $1.00 per bushel, flour $16.00 per barrel, hogs $10.00 per cwt. The new settlers who came with no stock and little money were in a quandary. Corn meal proved to be the staff of life. Could you have looked into the larder of almost any family you would have found it stocked with corn meal. Several families came from southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois about the time we (the Foster family) did, 1865. Some of them settled in Iroquois County. One man made a trip back and when he returned brought some flour in his trunk. The agent mentioned the flour sifting out and the man replied, "Say nothing about it, that is some flour I am taking to a needy widow." In this community we were all in need. Had any one brought a barrel of flour to our home we would have celebrated the day as an epoch in the family history.
Could you see a picture of men planting corn in those early days you would wonder what they were doing. They would have an ax, a spade, a shovel, a sharpened stick, anything to make a cavity for the seed. Then came the hand corn planters, then the two row hand drop horse drawn planters.
Weeds soon became plentiful and it became necessary to check-row the corn. They used markers, 4-row size. The ground was marked off and the planters went at right angles across the marks. By check-rowing they could cross the corn with their single shovel, double shovel or five shovel one horse cultivators.
As a closing paragraph for this installment we shall return to that Fourth of July Celebration of 1859. This was a gathering of the people of a widely scattered community, not of Lyman township. The Town of Lyman was yet ten years in the future. Even Ford County was just being organized that year. The people came from north, south, east, and west. The meeting was held at Beset instead of the School Section Grove. That day, July 4th, 1859, is remembered in this local history for two important facts. First, this well remembered celebration and second, the frost. This was a cold morning. What corn had escaped the ground squirrels and other pests was killed by that Fourth of July frost. The settlers had no crops that year. That day they came to the picnic wearing overcoats.

--Roberts Herald. 27 March 1935. Bela Foster. 

Early Days in Lyman #2

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
The first installment of these "impressions" was published in the Herald last week. The following is a continuation. The installment ended with a picnic in 1859 the first Fourth of July celebration (and the first public gathering) ever assembled in these parts.

At that time grain was eight or nine cents per bushel. Crops were poor and after the deer, wild geese and ducks had taken a portion there was not much left. In the evening the deer would go into the fields and ere daylight returned, would be in there refuges in some low spot where grass grew tall. Could you have had some vantage point three miles north of here in the fall you might have seen the deer, one by one, going to the corn fields of the settlers.
The depredations of the deer were soon to cease. Deep snows and hunger made them scarce. The wolves hampered the farmers somewhat. Their scope was large. They would visit the farmer in the night and when daylight came they would be in their cover in the marshes to the north. By means of powder, and lead and poison, they also became scarce.
The early settlers felt the need of a school house. The first school had been held in a room in S. K. Marston's house. They petitioned the I. C. Railway Company to bring the lumber for a school house to Onarga gratis. When it came the settlers hauled the lumber and had a bee to put up the school house which was about 24 by 40 feet in size. The community had plenty of talent. Mr. and Mrs. Marston were musicians as well as teachers. The new building was erected one-half mile west of where the school building now stands. It being the first in twp. 25 was numbered one.

--1884 Plat Lyman Township

Roads in those days went as nearly as possible toward the town one wished to visit. The school house was erected on the Onarga road. The attendants of the school came from several miles around. Byron Lisk came from three and a half miles to the east. Maria Tinklepaugh from nearly six miles to the west. There are only two of those pupils of 1859 now living in Lyman Township. These are John P. Smith and Effie Maxson. There are only four living in the township who were here then. The other two are Mary Hurst and Maggie Mosher. Others came closely after the Connecticut colony and of the four mentioned only one, Effie Maxson belonged to the Connecticut settlers. Mary Hurst was from England. John Smith and Maggie Mosher Canada. 1859 was the year Ford County was organized. The community had been a part of Stockton Township, Vermilion County. It became a part of Benton Township, Ford County.
The early teachers of Lyman Township as far as the writer can learn were Mrs. Marston, Mr. Marston, Miss Mills, Quinn Thayer, Maria Tinklepaugh Havens, George Lyman, Marthaetta Wyman, Mary Ayer, Minnie Wilcox, David Bliss, Ida Burt, John Havens, and L. B. Wilcox. All were members of this early settlement.
The Lyman home for several years was a distributive point for the community mail. Each neighbor who went to Onarga would take the mail for the others to the Lyman home. They did not take daily papers in those days. The year 1858 was a wet one. The rain fall exceeded anything they had seen. It started in the spring and rained for three months. There was scarcely any drainage. The water could not get away fast enough to dry the land between showers.
Had you taken a balloon ride over this present Town of Lyman about 1860 you would have noticed that one section was occupied, the next prairie, the next occupied and then prairie. This formation was in regular checker board style. The government had given the Illinois Central Railway Company every other section of land for twenty miles on each side of the railroad, the line through Onarga. The Connecticut settlers bought their land from the Railway Company. The company was anxious to sell its land. I remember the maps and literature that representatives of the Company gave my father. On the map the sections altered, a red square then a white square; showing the railway land and the government land. These Connecticut settlers bought railway land. Most of the settlers who came between 1865 and 1870 took government land.

Prairie fires (so numerous and terrible in the early years) began to wane. It was really frightful when one would hear a fire in the night roaring like a hurricane as it passed through some slough of rushes and course grass. I remember one such fire. The men went to fight it. In fighting a fire they put out side fires to confine it as much as possible.  The keep the side fires under control and burn a strip so that the larger fire can not spread. After it has subsided or passed the danger point the men return home and leave all blackness. As they start for home they do not know which light is theirs. The prairie all black with nothing to guide them. I remember that night hearing C. Pierce who lived on what is now the Henry Onken farm calling for help. He was answered and a light guided him to our home. After getting his bearing he was able to find his home. The new sod was covered with "tickle grass' and tumble weeds which burned like powder. In a brisk wind one could hardly keep up with it.
--Roberts Herald. 20 March 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #1

Bela Foster of Roberts wrote about 50 different "Installments" for the Roberts Herald in 1935.



Bela Foster who is one of the early settlers in the community which is now Lyman Township has consented to write some of his impressions of those early days. As he came to the community in 1865 the earlier incidents were gotten by him from conversation with those who preceded him. Even the events of the later dates he secured in many cases from others... and many from his own personal observation.
In 1856-7-8 many people of the New England States came to Illinois some of them stopping in what is now Ford County, others going to other parts of this state. Some remained here and many returned to their eastern homes. It is very interesting to read of those early settlers who came to make a home for themselves and their posterity.
There were about fifteen or twenty families settled within the limits of the present town of Lyman during that period. One company of them came from New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. S. K. Marston was chosen captain of this group. They stopped at Chicago and ordered 100,000 feet of lumber to erect the necessary buildings. There were no houses here then except the Lyman House. Each family erected a temporary shanty to use until their houses could be erected. The land was bought from the Illinois Central Railway Company and the lumber was shipped on that road to Onarga. This road had recently been built and received a grant of land as mentioned later in this article.
The houses were framed in Chicago and were all alike except the slant of the roof and the ell and lean-to. These houses are all gone now except the one north of the L. G. Chambers farm and the one known as the Iler home.

--L. G. Chambers Farm, Section 4. 1916 Plat Lyman Township.

--B. F. Iler Farm.  Section 10.  1916 Plat Lyman Township.
 The last three years of the sixth decade of the nineteenth century were very severe on these early settlers. Crops were short and the people were poor. The interest on their land purchases was due and they had no funds. It was said that the only man who had a respectable suit of clothes was Mr. Marston. He was sent to Chicago to interview the railway officials and succeeded in getting an extension of payment. By the use of faith and a large portion of economy they pulled through. Peas and rye were used for coffee, red root for tea, sorghum for sweetening, corn meal for bread, and meat was secured from the wild animals.
In the summer of 1859 feeling that they had a part in this great country they concluded that they ought to celebrate Independence Day. Collecting their best clothing and with rushed needle and thread made them look as neat as possible for the Fourth of July. They were to meet their neighbors perhaps dressed in their best. To the surprise of all they were all dressed alike, none void of patches. They collected at School Section Grove where Lyman Park is now which was then in heavy timber. (This was an error.  Bela F. describes in next issue.) Being their first public meeting they were shy of each other but soon became sociable. Mr. Eno read the Declaration of Independence. Their dinner consisted of baked beans, wild turkey, and corn bread. After this they had frequent public meetings.

(To be continued)

--Roberts Herald. 13 March 1935. Bela Foster.

50 Years with the RR.


--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 23 May 1953. Page 5

Mr. & Mrs. R. E. Bradbury observe 50 years of marriage.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 5 May 1955. Page 13.

Mr. & Mrs. William Kemmer observe 40th.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 3 January 1955. Page 6.

Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Turley 35th Anniversary

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. 30 August 1952. Page 9.

Shambrooks observe 25 years of marriage.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, IL. 8 February 1950. Page 15.

Johnsons open a grocery store in Roberts.

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, IL. 30 July 1941. Page 7.

Barz 25th Anniversary

--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, IL. 13 March 1950. Page 6.

Harrison Shambrook 50th Anniversary


--The Pantagraph. Bloomington, IL. 23 February 1951. Page 7.