Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Evangelical Church & an 1876 Map

The Evangelical Church which was located two miles south and two miles east of Roberts was founded by the people living in that area who felt the need for a place of worship.  The exact date of its beginning is unknown because the early records cannot be found.  In the family records of the wedding of Fred Rueck, Sr. and Rosa Drechsel, it is noted that they were married on May 27, 1886, by Rev. Weir, pastor of the Evangelical Church, at the home of Mrs. Ebert near Roberts.  Due to this information, it can be assumed that this church was in existence before that time.
The congregation was made up of many farm families that lived in the area; however, some members lived in the village of Roberts and came out to the country to attend services.
Although not large in numbers, this group was very active, having an active Young People's League, Sunday school classes for all ages, and the Women's Missionary Society.
Many dedicated and talented ministers served this parish.  Large crowds gathered to worship and to attend the many special programs that were held throughout the years.  Some of the Pastors were:  Rev. E. Nichols, Rev. Ralph Weyrick, Rev. J. Wesley Siebert, Rev. William Graham and Rev. C. L.Shriver.
Names still familiar today were those of the members who attended this church.  Such family names as Zahn, Ebert, Houtzel, Drechsel, Dietterle, Rueck, Steinman, Eppelheimer, Roeder, Stutzman, Wagner, Conner, McCorkle, Walters, Taylor, Brown, Dodd, Lackey, Berlet, and Thomas were on the church roll of membership.
When the depression came in the thirties, it became necessary for this congregation to share a pastor with the Evangelical congregation in Danforth, Illinois.
Many of the farmers who were members began moving to other areas too far from the church to make it possible to continue worshiping there so it became necessary for the congregation to disband and to join other church groups.
One of the last events held in the church was the wedding of Geneva Walters to Clarence Brinkman of Melvin on December 19, 1936.
The building was purchased by the late Henry Tjarks of Gibson City and was torn down.

--Roberts Area Centennial,  100 Years of Plowing, Planting, Progressing.  1872-1972.  1972



--Posted to the Roberts Illinois History Group Page by Daniel Flora.  19 September 2016.
--From my GG Grandfather Johann Roeder's ledger. Subscriptions to the German Zion Ev Church in Roberts. Johann gave 30$.  Daniel Flora.

Friday, January 27, 2017

J. P. Smith

Then and Now.

Buried Lyman Township Cemetery

John P. Smith, son of James F. and Elizabeth (McKelvey) Smith was born near Kempville, Ontario, Canada, July 17th, 1855, and departed this life at his home in Roberts, Illinois, Wednesday, afternoon, March 2, 1938, at 5:30 o'clock, aged 82 years, 7 months, and 15 days. When barely four years of age he came to Illinois with his parents and settled on the wild prairie land of Ford County. The father arrived here on the second day of May 1859, just two months and fifteen days after the county was organized. The mother and children did not come until a few months later after the father had built a home.
They did not come to Roberts because the village of Roberts was not started until twelve years after their arrival and they lived in this prairie home ten years before the organization of Lyman Township. However their home was three miles north of the present location of Roberts on the farm where the Smith School stands.



The boy John P. Smith remained on this farm until he was nineteen years of age. He attended the country school and later the Northern Indiana Normal School, now the Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso, Indiana. He specialized in telegraphy and bookkeeping and then accepted a position with the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railway as agent at Cornland where he served seven years. This Railway is now a part of the Illinois Central Systems.
Later he came back to Roberts and entered the General Merchandise business with this father and brothers. In 1889 he started the grain business but after a few years sold that business and established a bank which he conducted for twenty-five years. He was always, very popular in his business relations.

In 1920 the forming of the Roberts State Bank united the Roberts Exchange and the John P. Smith Bank and Mr. Smith retired from active business relations but during the eighteen years since that time he has been in frequent consultation with those who sought his advice and help in their own business ventures.
On the sixth day of October, 1880, Mr. Smith then at Cornland married Miss Sarah N. Day of Logan County, who preceded him in death April 25, 1937.  To them were born three children, one son Clyde who met a tragic death at the age of nine years, and two daughters, Della and Edna, twins, who survive him. Della is the wife of Dr. E. M. Glenn of Wichita, Kansas, and Edna is the wife of Dr. J. A. Colteaux of Roberts. He also leaves four grandchildren, Miss Jeanette and Wilfred Colteaux of Roberts, and Mrs. Sterling Kreuger and Jack Glenn of Wichita, Kansas. He leaves one sister, Mrs. Margaret Currie of Lincoln, Nebraska, and three brothers, Rev. William A. Smith of Ashland, Oregon, and David B. Smith and James R. Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, also a large number of other relatives and friends who mourn his passing. Two sisters Mrs. Jane Light and Mrs. Mary Montague preceded him in death.
Mr. Smith was a devout member of the Methodist Church at Roberts and always supported it with his presence, his advice, his official action and his finances. He served on the official Board for so many years that only the records can establish the number. He leaves a vacancy in the church circles that will be hard to fill. He was a member of the Masonic order joining at Mount Pulaski when he was at Cornland and transferring to Melvin Lodge 811. His membership extended over a period of about sixty years.
He served as a public official of the Village of Roberts from the time of its incorporation until recent years. He also served many years on the school board and was supervisor of the town of Lyman for several terms.
The funeral services were held at the home in Roberts Friday afternoon March 2, at 2:00, Rev. John T. Killip and Rev. E. B. Morton officiating. Burial was in Lyman cemetery. Those from outside the state who attended the funeral were his brothers, David and James, Roy McGovern and son, Robert of Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter, Mrs. E. M. Glenn of Harper, Kansas, who had been with him for thirteen weeks preceding his death, and others. Telegrams were received from the brother in Oregon and the sister in Nebraska, sending regrets at being unable to attend. Several other telegrams were received. The banks of flowers and tokens of remembrance showed the esteem in which he was held.
Others from a distance were Mrs. Irene Mathes, Mrs. John Siregg and Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Day of Springfield; Mrs. and Mrs. George Read of Lincoln, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Read and Mrs. Read of Broadwell, Dr. and Walter Gonwas of Chisman, Mrs. R. E. Squires of Piper City and Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Stephesn of Paxton.
It was one of the requests of Mr. Smith that Tennyson's poem, "Crossing the Bar" should be read at his funeral service which was done. This poem is published in another column of this paper.
The following tribute from a daughter was also read:
I am grateful to Heaven
For blessings it sent.
For Peace and Good Friends
For success and content,
I am grateful for health
And for skies bright and blue,
But most grateful of all
For a father like you.

--Roberts Herald.  9 March 1938.

The Death of the their little son, Clyde. Buried Lyman Township Cemetery.

Horrible Death of Little Clyde Smith At about 2 o'clock P.M., Monday, Clyde Smith, aged 9 years, son of J. P. smith, was sent to the north end of his father's elevator under the dump to fill a bucket with kindling wood, but for some unknown reason, instead of going where the wood was, he crawled under the storage bins which are between the dump and the power house, and was the caught by the tumbling rod that connects the elevator with the power, which rod in his attempt to pass over caught his clothing and wound him around the shaft, breaking every bone in his body and hour after hour his body and limbs beat the ground at every revolution. Indications are that he was instantly killed. He was not missed by his parents until towards evening, his father supposing he had procured the wood and taken it home, and his mother thinking he had neglected the errand he was sent on. Vigorous search was made and about 7 o'clock, not finding him elsewhere, his father and grandfather concluded to re-search the elevator. So in company with Mr. Woolsoncroft they began and soon found Clyde, who had been dead for several hours, so wrapped about the rods that his clothes had to be cut off before he could be gotten off. We shall not attempt to describe the shock to the father thus to find his boy within 10 feet of where he had been working all afternoon. Nor shall we attempt to describe the mother's loss. Words cannot do it. The funeral rites were conducted by Revs. Davenport and Sillence, at 2 o'clock Tuesday, at Clyde's home. No bereavement has called out more heartfelt sympathy among us than this, not has any event taught us more plainly, "When we are in the midst of life we are in death."
In behalf of ourselves and family relations we desire to render grateful acknowledgments to all our neighbors -- and friends for loving service and sympathy in the darkest hour of our lives, and may an ever ??? and all wise providence shield you from the heart anguish and agony which called forth your loving sympathy and assistance in our behalf.
J.P. Smith and Family.

--Paxton Record.  5 June 1890.

Store Advertisements 1917

--Roberts Herald.  December 1917.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Green Street Looking East

--Added to the Roberts Illinois History Group page by Jean Fox.

Now it appears what used to be the Roberts Exchange Bank (the one story building on the right) is (in this photo) Roberts Plumbing and Heating.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Depot and Elevator

--Added to the Roberts Illinois History Group page by Jean Fox.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

1972 Roberts Centennial Celebration


It says WEST ON MAIN ST.  But really the main drag in Roberts was Green Street.  And what some of us called North Street was really Main Street.  This is looking west on Green Street. 

Congregational Church

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Early Days in Lyman #28

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
In 1875 the Illinois Conference of the Zion German Evangelical Churches created a new mission in the counties of Livingston, McLean and Ford. Rev. F. C. Stuewig was the first missionary assigned to this mission. He made his first visit here at the home of Peter Pfaat in 1865. (Peter Pfaat came here from Lyons, New York in 1858.) The church services were held for several years in the homes of Peter Pfaat and of Katherine Althen. After the Patrick Russell school house was built the meetings were held in that school house. It was built about eight rods east of the present Edward Russell home. Later it was moved to the present school site in the district. The members of this church when organized in 1866 were Peter Pfaat, Margaret Pfaat, Katherine Althen, Margaret Leber, George Barrick, Louisa Barrick, Lydia Barrick, Catherine Barrick, Christian Mosier, Anna Wilcoxson.
Peter Pfaat was the first class leader. Many Germans came to this locality to see how they would like it and being pleased they bought homes and settled here. This added many workers to the society. 1873 they built a new church building on the north east corner of section 34. It was dedicated by Bishop J. J. Escher. The preacher in charge at that time was Rev. J. Kurtz. The officers of the Zion Church Evangelical Association were: Henry Baker, Daniel Raabe, Abraham Shaffer, Christian Stutzman and Peter Pfaat.
This church was divided in the nineties. The rent became wider until one side was forced out. They built a new church one mile east of the old church. This new church stands in the south west corner of section 25. Services are held there regularly and the attendance is better than most of the village churches have at the present time.
The old church was sold and torn down and used in building the Gottlieb Hubner's dwelling in Roberts. The parsonage was brought by J. J. Russell and moved to Roberts. The present pastor of the Evangelical Church is Rev. William C. Graham.

The German Zion Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1873. The church was erected at once in the east part of the village. They raised $2400 with which to put up the building and with much donated work they soon had the only church building in the of town of Lyman. The Evangelical shared that honor with them that same year. The first board of trustees consisted of the following: John Grube, Frank Bastian, Henry Michaels, John Wieting and Fred Haug with their pastor Rev. Frank Meier as chairman. The most of their membership lived in the central part of the township.
Soon most of the members moved to the northwest. Losing so many members, the services ceased. The church building was sold to the Catholic denomination which was increasing in membership at that time. This church was organized in 1886 when the building was purchased. Father J. P. Quinn organized the church with 81 members. One third of these were adults. Services were held each third Sunday.
The church had a steady growth. At first the church was united with the Gilman Parish and later with Gibson City and Melvin. More recently the church has been united with Piper City.
The American Lutheran Church was organized in the an early day and for many years the church held services in the afternoons in the Congregational Church building. This church has been united with the Melvin parish during most of the time since its organization and pastor lives in Melvin.

--Roberts Herald. 25 September 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #27

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
W. T. Gourley came to Ford County from Indiana in 1866 when about seven years of age.
He was left an orphan when two years old. He lived with an aunt until he was seven years of age. He then came to Ford County and made his home with a cousin until he reached the age of 18 years of age. He used to heard cattle on the prairies. There was quite a lot of government land and individually owned land that could be rented at that time. He continued herding in the summer and attending school in winter until he was about eighteen years old. He was a very industrious lad. When eighteen years of age he bought a team and a few farming tools, rented some land and was master of the situation. So successful was he that he felt that he ought to put his cash into a small farm. Accordingly he purchased forty acres of land about one mile east of the Wagner schoolhouse. He felt he was a real farmer. He tilled his own soil.

In 1880 he (W. T. Gourley) married Miss Margaret Thomas, the daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth Thomas, of Onarga. Onarga was her natal home. She was one of a family of four children. Her father was a soldier in the Civil War. He was captured and confined in that awful Libby prison. He was never released. He, like so many others, died in prison.
Mr. and Mrs. Gourley had one daughter and four sons, Gertie, Wilbur, Roland, Walter and Arthur. All are living except Gertie. She married William Eshleman. They moved to Indiana several years ago. She died about one year ago. When she was about six years of age in 1888, she was my pupil in school in the Wagner school.
The boys are all married. Mr. and Mrs. Gourley are living on their farm in the northwest corner of Section 2, Town 25. I have known Mr. Gourley for many years. In all his success he has had many misfortunes in machinery. I have seen him when it was much of a task to walk and yet he had a smile. We hope that he will be blessed with health the balance of his life.
The farm that Mr. Gourley owns on Section 2 was occupied by Justin Wyman when we came here. He moved to Chatsworth and ran a general store. His son, Arthur Wyman lives in Chicago. Arthur Wyman's grandparents and uncle Charles and aunt Martha lived one-fourth mile east. The house has been torn down. Charles Edward Wyman practiced law in Roberts in the early days of the town. He attended school at the old schoolhouse in District No. 36 when I started to school. I think he lives in California.
Stephen Lesch lived on the Gourley farm just preceding Mr. Gourley. He sold the farm to Mr. Gourley. The Lesch family came from Chicago to the farm in about 1882. Mr. Lesch was a good farmer and hard worker. He had a nice family. They were my pupils. Mr. Lesch moved to Ridgeville, Indiana. Florence Lesch, the oldest girl, married Edward Jones of Thawville. They moved to Chicago. She died while on the operating table a short time ago.

--Roberts Herald. 18 September 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #26

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
The Skeels and Thrasher families came to Thawville about the same time in 1871. B. H. Skeels enlisted in the U. S. army as a private in 1863. In 1865 he was discharged from the service as First Lieutenant of twenty-fifth Illinois volunteers. He had married Miss Lovina Wiswell of Waverly, Illinois, in 1857, six years before he went to the war. After the war he returned to Onarga and lived there until 1871 when with his wife and two daughters, Louella and Dean, he moved to the present site of Thawville.
Mr. Skeels and Jesse S. Thrasher put up the first two houses in the new town. Mr. Skeels was station agent for the G. S. & S. R. R., for three years. The P. Risser & Sons of Onarga purchased the Thawville Grain Elevator and engaged Mr. Skeels to run their business. He continued in the grain, lumbar, and coal business for many years. During part of this time he did banking and undertaking also. Besides he held several public offices. He was a very busy man. Still he had time to give attention to church and school work. If there was to be any special extra work to be done Mr. Skeels was asked to take part and to manage the affair.
In 1889 when Mr. Maddin brought the grain business Mr. Skeels started his bank. This he continued until his death in 1902. "When a good man dies, the People mourn." How true this was in this case. When his remains were laid to rest in the local cemetery the people mourned. His life was testimony to the quotation, "By their fruits ye shall know them."
Mrs. Lovina Skeels and her grandson, Chauncey Thrasher carried on the banking business until 1920 when the Thawville State Bank was
Louella Skeels was married to W. J. Thrasher in 1874. They resided in Thawville and he worked for P. Risser & Sons at the elevator. In those days much corn was sold in the car and the company had many cribs. Some of the cribs were 10, 20, and 30 rods long. Nearly all were single cribs. They had a steam engine and a large sheller that would shell much faster than the cylinder shellers of that day. Mr. Thrasher used to run the engine. In 1880 the family moved to the Messerve farm where Fred Woodruff now lives. Two years later they moved to Roberts. Mr. Thrasher ran the elevator here owned by P. Risser & Sons, known as the Messerve elevator. He ran the business for seven years. He died in 1889. Mrs. Louella Thrasher died in 1902. After Mr. Thrasher died Mrs. Thrasher moved to Thawville and lived with her father. She had three sons.
Chauncey then about fourteen years of age went to work in his grandfather's bank. In 1896 he married Phoebe Townsend, the older daughter of Fred Townsend. The have three sons and two daughters. All are married. They have seven grandchildren.
Belias married Julia Lasson. He works in the bank with his father. Jesse W. married Mildred Lowry. The live in Champaign. Chauncey Jr. married Thelma Barnes. They live at Port Canton, Ohio. Margaret married Elon Greok. They live in Chicago. Ruth married Herman Baach. They live in Thawville.
Roy Thrasher, second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Thrasher lives in Gilman. He is married. The third son, Frank, is married and lives in Onarga.
Dena, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Skeels, married C. B. Thrasher. He died in 1886 and she in 1896. They had one daughter, Edna, she married Mr. Spencer, now deceased. They had three daughters, all are married and live at Eugene, Oregon.
J. S. Thrasher, who put up the first elevator in Thawville went into the live stock business after leaving the elevator. About 1885 they moved to Gilman where he continued in the live stock business. Mrs. Thrasher ran a boarding house. They have five daughters and three sons, Adah, Mary, Kate, Anna, Ella, William J., Charles B., and Albert. All of these were married except Kate. All are dead. Albert was the last to die. His death came as the result of coming in contact with a high power electric wire at Kankakee a few years ago.

--Roberts Herald. 11 September 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #25

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
In 1856 Mr. and Mrs. Saul Burt and family of five sons and two daughters came to Ford County with the Lymans and lived with them the first year. Mr. Burt and Mrs. Lyman were brother and sister. Mr. Burt had married a young widow, Mrs. Kingsley, with a son and a daughter, David and Mary Kingsley. To them were born four sons and a daughter, Morris, Oscar, Ollis, George, and Ida. The Burt family then moved to a farm one mile west and half a mile north of the Lyman home. They lived there about thirty years. The father, mother and children were active in church work. The children were singers and helped in the musical part of the services. Mr. Burt was teacher of the Bible class as I first saw him. He was active in the work when the services were held in the home and also after they had moved the services to Thawville.
He was also active in public affairs; and is frequently mentioned among the town officers. Although he lived across the line in Brenton township he had many friends on the Lyman side.
David Kingsley married Mary Hitchcock, daughter of a Congregational minister at Onarga. They had two sons, Frank and Charles and two daughters, Ada and Alice.
Frank married and lives in the southern part of Illinois near Newton. Charles married Josie Remsburg. They had one daughter. Charles and his sister, Alice, were pupils of mine in 1887. Both are now dead. She married John McCann of Gilman.
Ada is married and lives in Minnesota.
Katherine Kingsley married E. D. Smith of Onarga, a wagon maker. Mr. Smith and Mr. Atwood had come to Ford County in 1856. Mr. Atwood had settled near where Piper City is now and Mr. Smith west of there near the Livingston county line. In 1857 Mr. Smith moved to Onarga and worked at the wagon maker's trade. In 1858 he married Katherine Kingsley. Later he farmed west of Onarga several years and then moved to the Lyman farm in Ford County in 1880. His children attended the Marston school and played ball with the rest of us on the 160 acre ball park.
In 1881 Mrs. Smith died leaving a family of four sons and two daughters, Cora the oldest daughter and Friend, the oldest son, besides the father and step mother have gone to the home beyond.

George Smith, the second son, married Julia Havens, the daughter of Edmund T. Havens, and granddaughter of E. F. Havens. They now own the farm formerly occupied by Mr. Bentley, about two miles west of Onarga, an up-to-date residence.
Mr. and Mrs. George Smith have four daughters and one son Gladys, Mildred, Julia, Jennie and Benjamin. One son, Edmund, was killed overseas during the world war. One daughter, Cora, a teacher, died several years ago. Gladys, the oldest daughter, married a Mr. Lane. They live in Michigan. Mildred married a Mr. Wilson, now deceased. She and her daughter, Louise, live with her Father, Mother, and daughter Benjamin (???). Julia and Jennie are twins. Julia married Mr. Mason. they live in Mishawaka, Indiana. Jennie married Mr. Sullivan, now deceased. She lives in Chicago.
H. D. Smith married Carrie Crawford, daughter of John Crawford, one of Lyman Township's prosperous farmers of years gone by. She died in 1931. He lives in Thawville. The had three children, Katherine, Harriet and John. Katherine married Mr. Jacson and their home is near Thawville. Harriet married Mr. Grace and their home is in Chicago. John married Winnie Weber. They live in Thawville.
Alex (Al) Smith married Rena Iler, daughter of B. F. Iler, another of Lyman Township's early farmers. They have four daughters, Mildred, Susanne, Almeda, Aldeen. They live near Onarga.
Morris Burt, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Saul Burt, married the daughter of Captain Beach of Onarga.
Oscar Burt married Oral Norton, a sister of the late Mr. L. B. Wilcox. She was a school teacher. Her home was in New York. She taught school here for one or two years.
George Burt married Lou Ella Watson, the step daughter of Mr. King who built the first house at the section corner where George Fuoss lives. She was a step sister of E. I. King who was a former business man of Roberts. He was a carpenter and wagon maker with Henry Tinklepaugh.
Ida Burt married George Ashman who was a cabinet maker in Roberts. They lived here a few years and then moved to Gilman. He was in business there and proved very successful. Mrs. Ashman was one of our teachers. I have a little card she gave me. 

--Roberts Herald. 4 September 1935. Bela Foster

Early Days in Lyman #24

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Townsend and family came here from England about fifty years ago. He lived for a time on the John Allen farm. This farm is now owned by J. W. McNaught, of Onarga, and is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. George Eppelsheimer and family.
George Eppelsheimer is the son of George Eppelsheimer who formerly lived at Roberts, now deceased. His wife is Ruby (McNaught) daughter of J. W. McNaught.
Later Mr. Townsend bought a farm just at the east edge of Thawville. He set out a lot of fruit trees and shrubbery and had a nursery, small at first but gradually extending it. He made a success as the soil was ideal for fruit, especially strawberries. He made more off his fruit than off his grain farming. Being a lover of flowers he desired to be among them and almost any time his smiling face could be seen among the beautiful blossoms.
There was a tile factory pond at the north edge of Thawville where many of us older people had worked during our younger days. The factory had been abandoned and the pit was used only as a dumping place for the trash of the town. This became an "eye sore" and a dangerous place for boys and even men to use for sports.
Mr. Townsend thought something like this "If I had that place I could make it a beauty spot instead of a menace of the town." He did not over estimate his art. He purchased the lot and began his transformation. It soon became a spot much visited by local people. Its magnetic influence has reached out until it includes statewide attraction. The rays of attraction reach hundreds of miles. In a few cases even thousands of miles. Those readers of this paper who have visited Mr. Townsend's park will agree with us that God through Mr. Townsend has brought a little of Heaven to earth to turn people's thoughts to the beauty of an ideal character which like that little park in Thawville is made only with the help of God.

Mr. Townsend is past eight-two years old and by the fruits of his labor we know him to be a master workman. He has been a member of the Congregational Church for fifty years. During many of these years he has been in the choir. Were I to give a list of the regular attendants of the church his name would appear in the list near the first. When we have attended that church during the flowering season we could always look for the beautiful bouquets placed there by our friend of early times, Fred Townsend.
Mr. and Mrs. Townsend had three children, two daughters and one son. I well remember that little curly headed boy. How he has changed!
Phoebe Townsend married Chauncey Thrasher, son of W. J. And Luella (Skeels) Thrasher, a nephew of Miss Kate Thrasher, a teacher of mine in 1873. He also was a student at the Marston school house. He is now a banker in Thawville.
Nellie Townsend married L. Ikens of Onarga.
George Townsend married Alice Hathorn, the daughter of the former business man of Roberts. Later he was a business man in Thawville where he ran a general store of many years. In an early day he farmed the west eighty acres of what is now George Sturm's farm.
Mrs. Townsend died a few years ago. She was a very quiet and highly respected woman.
Returning to Mr. Townsend's garden. In this garden spot are many varieties of plants. Some are rare and very costly. I can not attempt to name them. Some day when you visit the park try counting the different varieties. Do not try to count the fish. Just feed them a few crackers and see how many appear. Then look over the records and see from whence the people came.
I wish that every town could have a beauty spot like Thawville has and could have a man like Mr. Townsend to attend to it. Many towns have the unsightly place but is minus the man to convert it into a beauty spot for the town. We hope Mr. Townsend many live many years yet to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Not every man, a person sees,
Can make spots beautiful with trees.
It takes much knack, or call it skill,
A place like Townsend's place to fill.

You must persist, day after day,
Pulling and tugging on the way.
When days are fair the flowers bloom,
Some in the morn, some afternoon.

Some face the sun for colors bright.
Some seek the stars at dead at night.
For joyful hues they looks above
Where e'er abideth Faith and Love.

Not in the silt where their roots grow
Do lily petals get their snow.
The clouds appear and dark days come,
Most every season will have some,

But Townsend's plan works every day,
In driving of the blues away.
It points to Him who stayed the storm
and changes darkness into morn.

His face beams joy to others please,
An outstretched hand, he'll gladly seize,
And by his grasp, we all can tell,
His wish for us, "I wish you well."

Let's thank him for the good he's done
Not just a few but everyone one.
We'll wave the flag and a good cheer,
We'll give Fred Townsend while he's here.

--Roberts Herald. 28 August 1935.  Bela Foster.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Early Days in Lyman #23

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
For this installment, we are printing a letter which we received from Mrs. Harriet Marston Doolittle of Long Beach, California, written August 10th, 1935. Mrs. Doolittle is the oldest person living who was born in what is now Lyman Township. We will answer some of her questions before printing her letter.
Miss Effie Maxson is living and is one of Roberts best loved citizens. She now lives in Roberts, next door to the editor of the Herald.
We are saddened to learn that so many of the former citizens of Roberts have answered to the call "Come up Higher".

Mr. Bela Foster:
Your letter of August 5th, was received and I am very happy to comply with your request to tell what I know of the early settlement of the New England colony in Illinois. Early in 1856, a group of people of New London, Connecticut, desirous of going into the west (Illinois was far west in those days) to make new homes, sent a delegation of three men to "Go and spy out the land." The three men selected were Dr. Babcock, Moses Morgan and S. K. Marston -- a doctor, a farmer and a mechanic.
At that time the I. C. R. R. was about completed. General George B. McClellan was vice president and chief engineer of the road, and Major Burnside was treasurer and land commissioner. After looking over considerable territory throughout the state they finally selected the location that we are now speaking of and which for many years was known as the Connecticut Settlement. My father and mother with my sister who was then about a year old came out in the fall of that year 1856. The Edmond Havens family did not come until the following spring, but their oldest son E. T. Havens came with my parents and lived with our family during the winter. Consequently my sister and I always loved him as an older brother and that love extended to this wife and family and has remained with us through the years.
My mother taught the children of the community in her home for two years. Then a school district was formed and she taught in the new school as its first preceptress and taught English, Mathematics and Art. It was at that time that we moved to Onarga and the Marston farm was sold.
The Burt and Lyman families were from Massachusetts and came into the settlement about the same time as the colonists from Connecticut. There is much that could be related of the life of the colony, much of hardships endured but more of the wonderfully happy relationship that grew into life time friendships. As you said in your letter there are few, if any, of the sons and daughters of those old friends left.

There was a Captain Maxson who settled in the south of our colony. I was born April 16, 1858, and I remember hearing my mother tell of trading babies with Mrs. Maxson during the school week. Effie Maxson was old enough to go to school and Mrs. Maxson would bring her to my mother on Monday morning and take me home with her and would reverse the proceedings on Friday afternoon. The last I know I think Effie was still living on the old farm but I am not quite sure.
My sister, Mrs. Robert Fowler Cummongs, is living in Los Angeles, making her home with her oldest daughter. Until quite recently she was active in church and club work, having served two years as president-general of the National Society of New England women. Her health does not permit her doing much in that line now.
The Doolittle family came to California in 1907 and found many of the old colony people here. George P. and Edward Lyman, Amos and Charles Peck, Oscar and George Burt as well as the two Lisk brothers Allen and Byron. It was indeed like coming home to see so many old friends, but most of them, indeed all of them excepting George Burt and family, have passed over the great divide.
I have written at considerable length but hope I have given you a little material for your newspaper articles. May I ask if Effie Maxson is still living?

Very Sincerely,
Harriet Marston Doolittle.

--Roberts Herald. 21 August 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #22

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
John Shambrook came from England in 1857 and settled in Illinois in 1866, on section six of what is now the Town of Lyman. His wife was Mary Parkin, sister of William and James Parkin and an aunt of the James E. Parkin who is the present supervisor of Lyman. Their family consisted of one son and three daughters. Three sons and one daughter were born after they settled here. The mother died while the family were still young. In those early years there was much hardship, much illness and many deaths. Fathers and mothers were taken from their children and children from their parents. Three score years ago when the insect pests could enter houses without bars of any kind and scatter disease among its occupants.
In 1875, Mr. Shambrook married Mrs. Hammett, a widow with three children and brought them to his home. Mr. Shambrook died in 1900. His second wife died in 1910.
The oldest girl, Polly Hammett, married Fred Shambrook, the oldest son of John Shambrook. The second girl married Robert Shambrook who died recently. The boy, William Hammett, lives in Indiana. Ida Shambrook married Alfred Toon (Known to many Roberts people as "Mike" Toon.) They were here recently. The live at Pontiac. Selena Shambrook married Milton Moller. Vanda Shambrook married Luther Montz. Luther Montz was a farmer in this locality for several years. For many years he worked at the mason trade. They had four girls Maggie, Carrie, Lillie and Elsie. Maggie married Mr. Austin and they live near DelRey. Carrie married Reinhold Barz and they live two miles east of Roberts. They have one son and one daughter. Lillie married Thomas Parkin. They live two miles north of Roberts. They have one daughter. Elsie married Arthur Shambrook and they live at Forrest. Mr. Montz is dead. Mrs. Montz lives with her daughter Lillie.
Fred Shambrook purchased the Huxtable home and improved it with new buildings and a new orchard. He also bought his uncle Robert's farm on the east side of the road. He was supervisor in 1917 and 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Fred T. Shambrook had two sons and one daughter, Walter, Elmer and Etta.
Walter married Emma Rossbach. They have one son and one daughter. Walter lives on the home place. Elmer married Pearl Taylor, daughter of John Taylor who lived for many years with the James Jeffrey family. He was as a son to them. Elmer and his family, wife and two sons, live on what was his grandfather's farm in section six. Etta married James Ireland. They live in Flint, Michigan. Her mother lives with her. James Ireland is a grandson of T. A. Ireland who settled in Section 36 in the early day. They moved to Buckley many years ago.
James Shambrook, son of John and Mary Shambrook married a daughter of John Taylor, mentioned above. She was the oldest daughter, Nellie. They live in section six. They have two sons and three daughters. The sons are married and have homes of their own. The oldest daughter married Samuel Patton. She is deceased. The Shambrooks are good horsemen. You seldom see a Shambrook driving any team except a good team and well equipped.
Harrison Shambrook married Lizzie Rossbach. At present they are living in Wall Town. They had one daughter; she died when about five years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Shambrook are willing workers in the church as was his brother, Fred and others of the family.
Fred Shambrook retired from the farm about twenty years ago and moved to Roberts, where he died in 1920.

James Parkin came to Lyman with his step-father and his mother and his half brother, Thomas Parkin in 1872. James Parkin worked many years in the tile factory and many more years in the elevator. He also knows how tile should be laid in the ground. In 1893 he married Mrs. Adeline Nagle, a widow with two daughters and a son. Mrs. and Mrs. Parkin had one daughter, Jessie. She is a talented musician. She married Harold Frederick. They had one son who died in infancy. They have an adopted daughter. They live in Paxton. Mr. Parkin has held many public offices. He is supervisor at the present time. The father of James Parkin )Thomas Parkin) died in 1867 when James was two years old. Later his mother married William Parkin, brother of Thomas Parkin. Mrs. William Parkin died in 1909 and Mr. Parkin in 1923.
Lottie Nagle (the oldest step daughter of James Parkin) married Alvin Emmons. They live in Champaign. They have one daughter. Gertrude Nagle, younger sister of Lottie, married J. E. West. They live in Paxton. They have three daughters.

--Roberts Herald. 14 August 1935. Bela Foster.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Gullett's Meat Market

--Roberts Herald. 10 April 1940.

Early Days in Lyman #21

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
The McNeish family were in business several years. They started a boot and shoe store here after the town started. After a few years they put in harness and secured a harness maker. John Drummond was one of their harness makers. He married one of the Burnett sisters who lived in the house that once stood west of the Cecil Kennedy residence. They were seamstresses.
Mr. Drummond was tax collector in 1880 and Justice of the Peace in 1881. His wife was a cousin of Mrs. T. McNeish. Mr. and Mrs. Drummond moved to North Dakota.
Thomas McNeish was a very industrious young man. His wife was Miss Isabelle, a sister of Thomas Burnett who used to farm in this vicinity. Mr. McNeish was fatally injured by the explosion of a rocket he was examining at his home here July 4th, 1891. He lived only a few days after the injury. He left four daughters and two sons. Jean (McNeish) Maxson was a school teacher in this vicinity several years. Her husband was the youngest son of Captain Maxson who came here with the Connecticut Colony in 1856. After their marriage they lived on the Maxson home place several years. Their daughter, Isabelle was born in the same house that her father was born in. She married a young man in Iowa. Mrs. Maxson lives at Ames, Iowa. Mr. Maxson died several years ago near Rolph, Iowa.
Mary McNeish, the second daughter married Maurice Welsh, a young farmer who lived here. They farmed here several years and then moved to Iowa. Harry McNeish is a teacher in New York City. Agnes McNeish is a teacher in Chicago and Ellen McNeish lives in Michigan. After Mr. McNeish died his wife carried on the shoe store the fire of 1894. She died in 1895.

John McDonald and wife, Jane, and four children moved to this vicinity from Canada in 1860. They bought a farm in section four. The farm is now owned by his son, A. A. McDonald of Odell. The house burned many years ago. There are no buildings on the place now. In 1869 Mr. McDonald was hauling lumber from Piper city. His horses ran and threw him off the wagon killing him. The oldest son, John, took charge of the farm. He died in 1880. His mother died in 1874. Maggie McDonald married Lewis Mosher. The Mosher family moved here in 1877. They bought the A. A. Haling farm in section 8.
Eliza McDonald taught school several years. In 1887 she was on that fateful excursion train enroute to Niagara Falls that ran into a burned bridge between Chatsworth and Piper City. She lived only a few days. The next week was the Ford County teachers' institute. It was a sad situation.
A. A. McDonald also was a teacher. The fall that Eliza died he taught the Marston school. Later he married Miss Anna Blesch. I was at the wedding but forget the year. Perhaps it was 1888 or 1889. Maggie Mosher has been a widow for several years. She had two sons and three daughters. All are married. Nellie married Henry Yackee. The have one son, Glenn. The live here.
Amy married Robert Bradbury. They live on section 8 across from the Smith school house. They have three sons and two daughters. Both daughters are teachers. The sons with the father run the farm. Mr. Bradbury is a plumber by trade.
Ethel married Casper Willy, a grandson of George Farrer who came here in the early days. They lived in the west end of Beset grove. This farm has been occupied continuously by some member of the Farrer family since the early settlement. Mrs. Ida Willy is the only living member of Farrer family. Mr. and Mrs. Farrer and their son, John and daughter, Mary, died many years ago. John's family and Mr. and Mrs. Casper Willy live in Chicago. Mary Willy teaches in Chicago. Edith married H. Benson. They live south of Melvin.
Harry Mosher is married and from many years has lived in Chicago. Frank married Mildred Lansdale of Piper City. He is running a grocery store in Roberts, his native town. He has one son and one daughter.

--Roberts Herald. 7 August 1935. Bela Foster.

Early Days in Lyman #20

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
George P. Lyman was one of the first hardware merchants in Roberts. He and George Thompson were partners. Both had taught school in Lyman township. George Lyman had taught the Marston district (Now No. 36). The last time he visited Roberts I took him around the northeast part of the township. After he was married he lived on the southeast corner of the farm Elza Kelley now lives on. A few trees still stand there. It was a beautiful building spot sloping to the south, high and dry.
Mr. Lyman told me of his first experience in applying for a teacher's certificate. John R. Lewis of Piper City was assistant county superintendent. He went to see Mr. Lewis and found him absent from home. He left a note telling him the purpose of the visit. Mr. Lyman said, "In the course of about a week I received my certificate.." He taught two winter terms, 1865-66 and 1866-67.
George H. Thompson sold his interest in the store to Myron Rice, a farmer who lived on the south side of section 28. The house stood near the road northwest of where Otto Seng now lives. Byron Lisk bought out Mr. Rice and soon after Allen Lisk bought out Mr. Lyman. After having spent nearly thirty years in the confines of this township 25 N Range 9 E, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman went to spend the remainder of their lives in the sunshine and shadows of the Pacific Coast. They did not leave for lack of friends. So far as I could ever learn every body who knew them were their friends.

Shortly after Roberts was laid out two brothers and their families came from Kentucky to make their homes here. These were William and Thomas Newman. William Newman ran the hotel. He had three sons and three daughters. The sons were E. O. Newman, Richard and Frank. The oldest daughter became the wife of W. B. Flora. He later sold the hotel and moved to Piper City where he and his two younger sons ran a meat market. Mrs. Newman died in 1887 and Mr. Newman in 1889.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Newman had several children. Five sons and three daughters grew to manhood and womanhood. Ida and Mayme were school teachers. Ida taught the intermediate room in Roberts in 1890-1891. She died in 1892. Mayme married L. L. Boyle. She died about 1900 leaving one son, Royce, who grew up with his grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Boyle.
Samuel Newman, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Newman married Mahala Shaffer, daughter of Abraham Shaffer one of the early settlers here. Her mother died in 1868 when she was about three years old.
J. V. King was station agent here for many years. His first wife was Nannie Newman, oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Newman. She died in 1886 leaving one son, Clyde. Mr. King later married the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Newman. Mr. King owned the farm where Tobias Gimbel now lives. The lived there for a time. In the nineties they sold out and moved to Indiana. He died many years ago leaving a wife and two sons.
Daniel Boyle married Lizzie Burns who when a girl lived with her parents on the farm where Otto Bleich now lives. Mr. Boyle died several years ago. Mrs. Boyle lives with her daughter (Eva) Mrs. Andrew Koestner near Webster City, Iowa.

Samuel s. Newman was village marshal in Roberts for many years and is well remembered for the faithful work he did in that office. He was by trade a carpenter and took part in the erection of many houses in Roberts. Mr. and Mrs. Newman made a home for his younger brothers and sisters after the death of his parents. He died in 1919 leaving his wife and two daughters. Mrs. Newman died in 1927. One daughter Edith (Mrs. Roy Fitzpatrick) died in Chicago in 1930. The other daughter (Belle) married Dr. W. J. Gonwa, who is a practicing dentist at Chrisman. They have a son.
Harry Newman, a stock buyer here for many years, now lives at Rensselaer, Indiana. William Newman taught school here for several years. He want to Texas for his health many years ago. Carl Newman conducted a meat market her several years. He married Nora Yackee. They later moved to Champaign. He died a few years ago. He left his wife and one daughter and two sons.
Bert V. Newman, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Newman, married and lived in Chatsworth. He died a few years ago.

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

Magnolia House

Fred Pettit built the original hotel when Roberts was started in 1871. It was the only hotel or Magnolia House, as it was called, ever to be built in Roberts.
The land first belonged to Mr. Francis Alonzo Roberts. Then it was passed on to different families.
Some of the families that owned the hotel were P. J. Foster, Charles O. Hayes, Francis M. Hancock, O. M. Decourey, William H. Wilson and Oliver C. Dilks....

The hotel was once a very popular stopping place. Salesmen who came in on the railroad spent the night there and then used the Roberts livery stable services the following day to drive to Melvin and other nearby towns.
A dentist, Dr. E. D. Wilkenson, from Gibson City, had an office in one of the upstairs rooms. He would come to Roberts once a week. For several years, the Roberts telephone switchboard was operated in one of the rooms.
The hotel had 22 rooms, two dining rooms, and one bath. They used gas to light the rooms.
Sometimes when trains would go through, the sparks from the train would land on the roof of the hotel and start a fire.
Oliver C. Dilks was born in Thorton, Leicertershire, England. he came to the United States in January, 1893 and became a citizen in 1894. Mr. Dilks came, with his wife Catherine, to Roberts in 1912 from Ludingon, Michigan.
Mr. and Mrs. Dilks purchased the hotel building in 1918. They had five children: Katherine Dilks Johnson, Oliver C. Dilks, Arthur L. Dilks, (dec.) Sidney H. Dilks, Evelyn Dilks (dec.)
In 1918, Mr. Dilks was called to serve his country. On the morning of Nov. 11, 1918, he with other men, arrived at the Paxton depot to take the train to Chicago for their physical. Before they took the train, word was received that the Armistice had been signed. So, all were sent back to their homes.
In June, 1942, Mr. Dilks, Sr., was a member of the Selective Service of Ford County at Paxton.
Sidney H. Dilks, one of their children, was the youngest States Attorney to be elected in the state of Illinois. He also, as a young man, helped with the building of Route 115 in 1913 and 1917. One day he was run over by a load of bricks, but being a young man, he lived.
Jack and Katherine (Dilks) Johnson took over the hotel in 1941, but did not operate a hotel after the death of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. John (Jack) Johnson have one son, Arthur.

--Robert Area Centennial 1872-1972. 100 Years of Plowing, Planting, Progressing.  1972.

Our Town Bakery Opens

--Roberts Herald.  1 November 1933.

Would like to find where this was located. 1933. 

Early Days in Lyman #19

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
At the spring election 1878, W. B. Flora was again elected supervisor; M. Cassingham, town clerk; G. P. Lyman, collector; John Hummel, commissioner of highways.
O. D. Sackett was an active worker in political affairs as well as the economics of the town, county and state. He held several offices while he lived here. In those days men who fought through the strenuous times, 1867 to 1880, and had made a showing as men who could carry their own burdens and find a little time to aid their fellow men were looked upon as men who were competent to manage the affairs of the local community. O. D. Sackett was not a college graduate but we venture to say that he had more horse sense than many who have occupied Seats in the legislative bodies of the state and nation.
Mr. and Mrs. Sackett lived in Lake Shore District. Their daughter, Mrs. Jennie Campbell taught school in their home district. She attended school in Roberts when F. G. Lohman was teacher here. They had one son, Jay Sackett who ran a meat market in Paxton for several years. Mrs. Sackett was in the Illinois theater when it burned. She succeeded in getting out. Mr. and Mrs. Sackett died many years ago. Mrs. Jennie Campbell lives in Arkansas and Jay Sackett in the northwest.

John Hummel was born in Germany in 1834. He came to America in 1854. He settled in Knox county where he lived until 1859 when he moved to the farm, one and one-half mile north of Roberts. He was a successful farmer. He owned one half of section 12. He married while he lived in Knox county. They had three sons and five daughters. One son died while he lived here, in 1887. Hattie, the youngest daughter died in 1903, while they lived in Normal. In about 1894 the family moved to Normal. Later they moved to Champaign and after the children were through school they moved to Washington where Mr. Hummel died in 1911. Mrs. Hummel is now living with her daughter, Mrs. Ida Ruddy at White, South Dakota. Their daughter, Anna married Mr. A. Cook, brother of C. W. Cook. They moved to Minnesota about forty years ago. Both died a few years ago.
Dr. Sarah M. Hummel is a practicing physician in Chicago. Adam Hummel is also a physician and is practicing in the west. William, the youngest is in school work in California. Mr. and Mrs. John Hummel helped to organize the Congregational Church of Roberts. Mrs. Hummel is the only survivor of the ten members who organized the church October 24th, 1875, three score years ago. Mr. Hummel was an officer of the church nearly all the time after its organization until he moved away. The family were faithful in the church work. Mr. Hummel was a soldier in the civil war. Mr. Hummel's father died here in 1879. His brother, Nicholas, died in 1915.

 F. G. Lohman, a young Badger, came to Ford County in 1869 and farmed for several years near Paxton. He was a university graduate and had taught school in his native state, Wisconsin. In 1876 he was engaged to teach the Roberts school. In 1878 he married Miss Florence McCann who lived with her mother and brother, Alonzo McCann, who worked for Chris'r Anderson in the store and elevator at Roberts. Mr. Lohman continued to teach the Roberts school until 1881. In 1882 he was elected county Superintendent of Schools of Ford County but he still continued to make his home in Roberts. He was elected a republican but during his second term he espoused the Democratic cause and in 1890 E. A. Gardner was elected to that office on the Republican ticket. In 1891 Mr. Lohman returned to the Roberts school and taught the school for the next two years. His health failed and in 1897 he passed away after many weeks of suffering.
Mr. and Mrs. Lohman, his son Sherill, his daughter Florence have gone to their future home. Those living are: Leona Meadows, Salt Lake City, Utah, Howard Lohman in Washington, Adda Shobe lives in Chicago. Florence married William Bayliss and lived in Louisiana when she died. She left two daughters. Mrs. Lohman's mother died in Roberts in 1878.

--Roberts Herald. 24 July 1935. Bela Foster.

Gullett & Kennedy Store

--Roberts Herald. 5 May 1937.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Magnolia House

--Paxton Record. 3 October 1912.
The Roberts Hotel has had at least two other names I have read about, the Magnolia House and the Glencoe Hotel.  More research.

Recent Moves 1950

The sale of a house and the leaving of the Reserves, caused a flurry of moves the past week.  Mr. and Mrs. William Mammen and family moved from the Howard Walters house to a trailer recently purchased and parked near the Floyd Kietzman residence. Mr. and Mrs. Francis Whitaker and family moved to Fisher where she and the children will stay during his time in service.  Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Kief moved to the Whitaker home which they purchased. They had been in the Bertram apartments.  Mr. and Mrs. Richard Krallman and family moved to the Bertram apartments from the Ebert residence.  Mr. and Mrs. ??? of Clinton moved to the Ebert residence.  Mr. ? is the new manager of the Alexander Lumber Co. 

--Roberts Herald.  25 October 1950.

The Kief home on North Main Street in Roberts.  I remember it being white though.
Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Kief purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Francis Whitaker.

Early Days in Lyman #18

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
W. B. Flora had three brothers who lived here in the early days. T. A. Flora was a wagon maker here for several years. He farmed part of the time. His wife was a sister of F. A. White. He moved to Paxton and was sheriff and county treasurer. I believe he held other offices there. He died several years ago. Some of his sons are in Paxton now. Samuel Flora lived here a few years and then returned to Kentucky. James Flora came here in his young manhood. He was in the well drilling business part of the time. He married a daughter of Dr. M. Cassingham. They lived in what was later the Sam Newman house. I remember his oldest daughter, Maude, used to wave at me as I passed on my way to school. Milton Rueck lives in the house now. They moved to Paxton in 1893. I have never seen Mrs. Flora or the daughters since. Maude to me is still that beautiful little girl in the window. It is strange how a little child can endear itself to the memory by those tokens of love.
T. W. Wakelin moved on to the north west quarter of section 33. T. W. Wakelin was an active church worker. He often preached in the school houses in the early days. Mrs. Wakelin was a sister of Joseph Whorrall Sr. They had two sons, W. H. who was in business here for many years and Walter, now deceased. Walter married a daughter of Joseph Hurst. They lived several years at the east end of Green Street. In 1909 they moved to California. They had one son and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Wakelin and the son Dr. Harvey Wakelin are now deceased. The daughters are Sadie, wife of Henry Waldschmidt, Genevieve Weaver, Mae Squires, and Della Lossing. All of them live near Los Angeles, California. Sadie lives in Garvanza, Genevieve in Compton, Mae in Ontario and Della in Compton.
William H. Wakelin purchased the store building erected by Peter Gose and William Graham, more than fifty years ago. He continued in the business until failing health caused him to give it up. While living here he and Mrs. Wakelin were regular attendants at church and faithful in the church work.
They had one daughter, Grace, who married Robert Reinhardt. After living here a few years they moved to California where Mr. Reinhardt died. Mrs. Reinhardt served for several years as police woman on the Los Angeles force. When her mother's health failed she came back to Roberts to care for her. After her mother's death she returned to California and her father accompanied her. She married Ralph Powell. They live at Fillmore, California, an orange ranch. Mr. Wakelin finds much to interest him in his new surroundings. He is an old man in years but not in looks. His daughter has had much training as a nurse and with her great love for her parents will see that he has good care In his declining years.

Thomas Ensign was one of the first residents of Roberts. He was farming the land which is the village site when the railroad was built through here and the village laid out. His wife was Jennie Boyle, sister of Daniel and John Boyle, also early settlers here. I think they lived in the bungalow that used to stand at the north end of Main Street. He was overseer of highways for many years. He was a hard working man. His wife never slacked in her duties.
Mr. and Mrs. Ensign had several children of which there are surviving three sons and three daughters. These are Charles who lives in California, George of Roberts, William of Indiana. The daughters are Myra, Bertha and Mary. They are all married.
The second son, George D. Ensign is the only member of the family living here. He is president of the village board and president of the consolidated school board. He is in the wholesale flour and produce business, the only wholesaler we have in Roberts. He is not only a good salesman but a good purchaser. He spent several years as salesman in Chicago and received much training in that line. He purchases in large quantities and sells on a small margin and has built up a very large trade. He not only owns his home but several other buildings in Roberts. He has two residence buildings and business buildings. He owns the building that was once the home of the Burnett sisters when it stood just west of the present Cecil Kennedy home. Prior to that it had stood about forty rods east of the cemetery corner on the north side of the road.
Mr. Lieber built this house. Mrs. Lieber eloped with Spencer Compton who lived in this vicinity. Jacob Eppelsheimer purchased the farm. The house was then moved to Roberts. Jacob Eppelsheimer moved to Kankakee about 1890. He was an uncle of George and Philip Eppelscheimer who lived in this vicinity.

--Roberts Herald.  17 July 1935.

Early Days in Lyman #17

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
Andrew Paddock bought the A. M. Haling home about 1870 or 1871. He came from near Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a generous man and his wife was a noble woman. They had three girls and one boy. The girls came to our school when they first came to Lyman. The oldest girl married Edward Fairley. They moved to Nebraska many years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Paddock and Mrs. Fairley have gone to their home beyond. Mrs. Kittie Sutton and Mrs. Mattie Coultas moved back to Indiana. Bert Paddock and his wife live in Thawville. Mr. Paddock and Mrs. Conger were brother and sister.
In speaking of old remembrances, I have one toy that my father gave me. One toy and one toy only. This toy has inspired the following lines.
A family by the name of Potter lived here in the early days. I do not remember where they lived when we came here. I saw some of the younger men when they lived northwest of us near Mr. Peck who lived on the north place of Louis Chambers. I remember one by his peculiar gait. Two of the boys, their mother and sister, lived where August Tornowski now lives. Emily taught school for several years. Then she had a dress making shop in Roberts. I believe her shop was over James Lyons store. That stood where Alfred Dietterle's store now stands. The Potters and Mr. and Mrs. Peck moved back to Connecticut about fifty years ago.

--Roberts Herald.  10 July 1935.

Early Days in Lyman #16

by Bela Foster

Continuing . . .
In the fifteen installment of the review we made mention of the settlement here of the Russell family in what is now southeast Lyman. This narrative would not be complete without mention of one of the other early settlers here, viz. John Dwyre, familiarly known as "Uncle Johnnie." Mr. Dwyre was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1802. He came to Pokeepsie, New York. Here he worked for many years in the cotton mills. His work was with the machinery which printed the designs on calicoes and other cloth. Later he came farther west. He was a friend of the Guilfoyle family. Our readers will remember that Mrs. Patrick Russell was a Miss Guilfoyle. When Mr. and Mrs. Russell made their home here Mr. Dwyre also came to help them in their work in the home on the bleak prairie. Other members of the family settled near Chebanse. For many years Mr. Dwyre divided his time between his friends here and his friends at Chebanse.
Mr. and Mrs. Russell were young at that time. Mr. Russell had barely passed his twenty-fourth year. Mr. Dwyre was already an old man. He had reached his fifty-seventh year. He never married but his whole life was spent making the lives of the younger people happier and counseling the younger generation.
After having divided his life between his friends here and his friends at Chebanse for many years he settled down to a home with the Russell family here and remained through the next generation on the same farm. He died at the Joseph Russell home here April 8, 1906, aged 104 years. He was a reverend and honored citizen.
If one should visit Kankakee and then go up the river a short distance he would come to Aroma. This is a small place and to most of the people of Ford County is absolutely unknown. Yet this place should be of interest to the readers of these notes of early days. Here was located the nearest mill of those early days and it was here that the early settlers of this community went with their grain to have it ground into flour or meal.

In 1876 the town meeting was held in the hall. At this election we note a little change in the officers.
Supervisor, Joseph Hurst
Town Clerk, M. Cassingham
Assessor, C. Steward
Colletor, A. V. Burcham
Road Commissioner, Fred Zinser
Curtis Steward was Mrs. O. D. Sackett's brother. He lived on Section six north of the present Johnson Arnold farm. The house was removed years ago. He moved to Paxton in the 80's. I think he ran a restaurant or lunch counter there. He was a quiet personality.
Fred Zinser lived one mile east of Roberts. He must have been a good officer as there little said of him.
A. V. Burcham was elected to office nearly every year. He appeared to fit any place. I do not recall when he moved away. I knew his son, Dudley, and his daughter, Estella. If we could have had autos in those days we might have known each other better.

The town meeting, Tuesday, April 3rd, 1877, was held in the town hall. The officers were:
Supervisor, W. B. Flora
Town Clerk, M. Cassingham
Assessor, O. D. Sackett
Collector, T. M. Hubbard
Commissioner of Highways, L. Burns
Overseers of Highways were
Dist. No. 1, L. B. Wilcox
Dist. No. 2, William McCuskey
Dist. No. 3, John Moore
Dist. No. 4, Amos Arnold
Dist. No. 5, T. A. Flora
Dist. No. 6, A. B. Graham
Dist. No. 7, Thomas W. Wakelin
Dist. No. 8, Thomas Ensign
Dist. No. 9, Charles Fellwock
Dist. 10, Jacob Landel

L Burns was a hard working successful farmer. He lived in the house now occupied by Fred Barber. Some time before this election Mr. Burns had said that good roads were not so much the result of much grading as they were the result of good drainage. It looked plausible therefore the people elected him commissioner of Highways. He advocated an open ditch when practicable and when not he advocated tile. The work done on his theories was in a measure successful. Some tile were put in too shallow and soon disintegrated; others had dips in them and soon filled. Mr. Burns was right in his theory and today we find that tile properly laid and proper grading work well together. Mr. Burns moved from here to Champaign in the 90's. He left an influence that is still felt. Both Mr. and Mrs. Burns died many years ago. Two daughters and two sons are living.
T. M. Hubbard was cashier in Meserve's bank. He was a little man and was fond of baseball. He was such a baseball fan that he made a trip to Chicago to see the "socks" play. We thought this quite a trip in those days.
William McCuskey lived on section two in NW corner of south half of the section. He believed the world was flat. He was always unfriendly with the Barkers. His children went to school at the Woodruff school house. He lost three children in the seventies. He had one son and three daughter when he moved away. Mr. and Mrs. McCuskey and their son and youngest daughter died several years ago.

John Moore lived in section 15 on what is now the Killip farm. There were three brothers, Albert, John and William. John was noted for his strong voice. We could often hear him in the still mornings. The Moore's moved to Iowa. Mrs. John Moore was here about thirty years ago. Her husband was dead at that time. William married a Conger girl. He committed suicide and his wife later married Conrad Baker. Baker used to live in the house where Mrs. James Mickens lives. I saw Mrs. Baker in Webster City in 1921. Her father's family at that time were nearly all dead. All except Mrs. Baker lived in Missouri. Conrad Baker and his son, Charles were dead. Charles died shortly after the World's Fair in 1893. He was a grandson of I. B. Gifford who lived here in the early days of Roberts.
--Roberts Herald. 3 July 1935. Bela Foster.