Sunday, March 26, 2017

"The years of 1857-58-59 . . .

--Historical Atlas of Ford County, Illinois.  1884.


For a listing of burials in Lyman Township Cemetery and St. Mary's Cemetery visit:

Photos of stones and transcriptions or scans of obituaries from local papers.  An ongoing process. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1873 Elections

In 1873 the following officers were elected:  Supervisor, O. D. Sackett; Town Clerk A. M. Haling, Assessor W. R. Newman, Collector Joseph Hurst, Commissioner of Highways Patrick Russell, School Trustee H. B. Ferguson, Justices of the Peace G. H. Thompson and Peter Gose, Constables Josiah Paddick and John Orr.

--Roberts Herald. 15 May 1935. Bela Foster.

1874 Elections

In 1874 election was held in the school house and the following officers were elected. Supervisor H. B. Furgerson, Town Clerk G. P. Lyman, Assessor J. L. Smith, Collector W. H. Thompson, Commissioner of Highways James Bond, School Trustee A. B. Graham, Overseers of Highways B. G. Hersperger, E. T. Havens, H. N. Hawk, John Miller, J. N. McNeil, A. T. Light, W. R. Kennedy, W. Wilson, J. B. Meserve, A. Shaffer, J. Landel.

--Roberts Herald. 15 May 1935. Bela Foster.

William P. Landel

--Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois. Lake City Publishing Co, Chicago.  1892.  Pages 626-631.  

Running a hardware store plus an undertaking business.

Thomas McNeish Photos


McNeish Obit

Thomas McNeish died on Tuesday from injuries received on the evening of the Fourth, by the explosion of a sky rocket in his hands.  A year ago on the Fourth, one of rockets purchased for the occasion failed to explode. Mr. McNeish's son picked it up and preserved it for this year. Upon his return home from his shop on Saturday evening he took it up, and while examining it, devising some plan by which it might be set off, it exploded, tearing his left hand to pieces, destroying his left eye and fracturing his skull above his eye. Four physicians, Drs. Cassingham, Perry, Chapin and Dick, were soon on the spot, doing all within human skill to relieve his suffering and save his life. His hand was amputated and his wounds dressed, and until Monday he appeared to have a fair chance for life, but about 2 o'clock p.m. of that day he began sinking and 2:30 Tuesday morning passed away. He leaves a wife and five children to mourn his loss.

--Paxton Record.  9 July 1891.

Thomas McNeish



--Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois. 1892.  Pages 246-248.  

Thomas McNeish & Isabella (Burnett) McNeish.  Jean McNeish.  Buried Lyman Township Cemetery.  Roberts, Illinois.

Jacob Landel. Lyman Township Cemetery.

--The Inter Ocean. Chicago, Illinois. 7 July 1893. Page 5.

Several other articles about the accident spell Albert's last name as Sandstedt, not Landstedt.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


So I am trying to go through all of the Bela Foster articles and put in labels for each individual article.  Blogger will only let me put in 200 characters in the label field . . . so I have to pull some of the really interesting items out and make a new entry.  I have been trying to embed pictures and maps within his articles.  Helps me to relate better to the location he is writing about if I can see it on a map. 
Check back on The Early Days in Lyman posts as they have been updated somewhat.  I just finished #8. 


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More on the Coliseum

A note to Jean Fox from Mr. John Roberts on what the inside of the Coliseum looked like.
--Jean Fox.  Roberts Illinois History Group Page. 

Coliseum Photos

--From Jean Fox on Roberts Illinois History Group Page.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Congregational Church

--Ford County, Illinois Heritage Facebook Page.

Roberts Businesses 1874

Their Business and Business Men.
Progress and Prospects 

A Pleasant day Pleasantly Passed Peregrinating among the People.

On Friday last we paid a flying visit to Roberts and Melvin, taking Loda in our route. We started at an early hour with our streets reeking in mud, but had scarcely passed out of the city limits before striking roads dry and dusty, showing that the heavy rain we had on Thursday extended its blessing but a short distance north. At Loda we learned that both east and west of that place, within a mile, heavy showers had fallen the day before, leaving that place in a sweeping bend, dry as a powder post. No further signs of recent rain were visible until within a few rods of Roberts where the dust had been laid by a slight "skit." On our route we took pains to ascertain the crop prospects, and learned that winter wheat was badly winter killed, many pieces having been plowed up and put in corn, most spring wheat and a good share of the oats had suffered badly from the chinch bug, which was badly injuring a good share of the corn. Flax will yield probably an average of 5 to 6 bushels of seed to the acre, while grass is light, turning off an average of little if any more than a ton to the acre. A mile south of Roberts we found a neat and substantial church edifice erected since our last visit by the German Evangelical Lutheran society, making a pleasant landmark in what a few years since was an unbroken prairie county.
Arriving at Roberts we were both pleased and surprised at the evident briskness of business as manifested by the number of teams in the streets and of buyers in the business establishments.
As our object was business, we visited the business men and found them cheerful in view of present and prospective trade.
W. C. Thompson & Co., who supply the sick with the means of restoring health, the school children with the sources of knowledge, and the people with the wherewith to decorate their homes, in other words dealers in drugs, medicines, paints and oils, school books and stationery, wall paper, &c., and who also supervise Uncle Sam's only office, was our first calling place, where we found Will with his accustomed smiling countenance and Dr. Cassingham with his rubicund visage.
O. M. Crow, whose acquaintance we made long before Roberts existed, we found dispensing cooling drinks and groceries next door north.

In the south Lyman & Thompson's well stocked hardware store exhibited the result of indomitable pluck under adverse circumstances. About eighteen months ago since this firm, as well as all the business men in that vicinity, lost everything by fire, but plucked up courage and pushed ahead and are now as good as ever, possessing the unlimited confidence of citizens at home and in the wholesale markets. They deserve whatever of prosperity may fall to their lot.
The firm of Pettit & Co., composed of F. E. Pettit, formerly of Melvin, and G. R. Ashman, dealer in furniture is a new house, opened since our last visit. They carry a large stock and are well spoke of by those who deal with them. Mr. Pettit, we learned, is contemplating a departure for Kansas soon when Mr. Ashman will probably "play a lone hand."
We found J. B. Meserve & Co. just getting settled in a neat office on Main street, where they engaged in the banking business under the style of the "Roberts Exchange Bank." In connection with the banking business they represent, the Home, Aetna and Underwriter's Insurance companies. Their room is a very pleasant one and reflects credit upon A. J. Oharra, carpenter, and S. F. Wilson, painter, to whose skill is due its elegant finish. This firm is also engaged largely in the grain trade and have bought and shipped in the past year 490 cars of corn and other cereals, and at Melvin 250 cars, being a total 286,000 bushels. The capacity of their elevator, which is one of the finest on the line of G., C. & S. road, is 83,000 bushels, and it is fitted with every modern convenience, making it an object of pride to every citizen.
Next door to them we find the firm of Flora, Newman & Co., who are carrying a fine stock of dry goods, boots and shoes and general merchandise, and, if we may judge from the stock they carry, are doing a good business. The members of the firm. Flora, Newman and Sackett are all old settlers of the town and county and stand high in the estimation of the public.

McNeish, shoe dealer, and Bushor, harness maker, occupy a fine building near by, the property of the former. Mr. McNeish carries a good stock for a place of the size of Roberts, and manufactures to order being an accomplished knight of the last and awl. Mr. Bushor was one of the sufferers by the fire before alluded to, but Phoenix-like, has arisen from the ashes and is again firmly on his feet.
H. Tinklepaugh, and S. J. Tapp wagon makers and blacksmiths occupy shops adjoining the "cross lift" with each other in the manufacture of wagons and carriages, and faithfully serve the public in all demands upon their time and energies "at the lowest living figures."
Montelius & Co. are engaged in general merchandising and grain buying, and may be set down as among the leading houses in the village, carrying a heavy stock in all the lines of their trade, and handling large quantities of grain. We found our old friend Riggs at the desk, and that canny Scotchman, Anderson, who is always ready for a controversy, a bargain or an argument, behind the counter.
Gose and Pfaat is the style of the other general merchandising firm, composed of our old friends P. S. Gose and Peter Pfaat. The are among the "old originals" of Roberts, and not only from a priority of residence, but because they deal fairly and squarely and carry a well-selected stock, are doing their share of trade.
The hotel kept by Mr. Newman, formerly of Buckley, is prospering finely, a large addition having been necessitated by its increasing business. A good hotel is the best kind of an advertisement for a town, and we are assured that of such is the hotel du Roberts.
We left feeling that the three hours spent with the business men of Roberts had been profitable as well as pleasant, and betook ourselves to Melvin.

--Paxton Record. 16 July 1874.

W. C. Thompson & Co.
Dr. Cassingham
O. M. Crow
Lyman & Thompson
Pettit & Co.
J. B. Meserve & Co.
Roberts Exchange Bank
Flora, Newman & Co.
McNeish Shoe Dealer 
Bushor Harness Maker
S. J. Tapp
Montelius & Co.
Gose & Pfaat
Roberts Hotel

Early Roberts Businesses

In 1871, George H. Thompson and George Lyman put up a hardware store where George Ensign's garage now stands. William Thompson put up a drug store beside it. Flora & Newman put up a general store on the Anderson Bank corner, facing west. Anderson & Montelius put up the store that William Thompson's poultry business now occupies. Haling & Scott put up an implement building where Dietterle's store now stands. In 1873 fire destroyed the Thompson and Lyman hardware and the William Thompson drug store. I came to town and picked up nails at one cent a pound.Flora & Newman turned their store around so that it faced the north where Whorrall's restaurant now stands. Thompson & Lyman built a new store where Tarvin's store now stands. William Thompson built his drug store where Foster Brothers store now stands.

--Roberts Herald.  1 May 1935.  Bela Foster.  Early Days in the Town of Lyman.

Thompson and Lyman Hardware Store
William Thompson Drugstore
Flora & Newman General Store
Anderson & Montelius
Haling & Scott Implements

1873 Fire Rebuilds
Flora & Newman
Thompson & Lyman
Thompson Drug Store

--Paxton Record.  19 June 1873.

Roberts Depot Sketch

History of Ford County, Illinois : from its Earliest Settlement to 1908.  Gardner, Ernest Arthur, 1862-1939.  Published 1908.  Volume 1.  Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.  Page 171.

In Appreciation

--Roberts Herald.  23 May 1923.

Our Doctor is Ill

The most shocking blow that has struck our village in many a year was that last week when word was passed around that Dr. Colteaux was dangerously ill at his home here.  We are glad to report that the doctor is considerably improved this week and while we all have hopes that he is on the road to ultimate recovery and will be back in his old time from again, the fact that he must take an enforced vacation and must rest for a good long time was a blow and it was hard for us to realize the truth.
As a boy in the schools of Roberts, Dr. Colteaux was a model student.  His duties always came first and pleasures afterward.  In his sports he always took the lead.  He was the most energetic of the lot.  No matter what company he was in, he lead and others followed.  As a young man in the store he was always attentive to his duties.  In the medical collage, in a class of considerably more than a hundred, he led the class and delivered the valedictory address.  When he began the practice of his profession, here in his own town, among his own people, where his whole life history is known, he began his work and his success was the most wonderful that has ever come to the knowledge of the people here.  But with it all there was one thing that Dr. Colteaux never learned and that was to disappoint the people.
His skill was known and in demand.  Suffering humanity called him and he could not say "No."  Many a time for weeks and weeks he has gone from place to place, and almost the only sleep he could get was in his car between calls.  Going, going, going, and when he reached his office there would be anywhere from twenty-five to one hundred people waiting for consultation.  And he could not tell them "No."  Many is the time that he has told us that he was tired and wished he might go away to get some rest.  And he has said, "In a few more weeks I am going away," but there was always some one or many who wanted his services here at home and he could not refuse their request.
Did he do this for the sake of the money?  No, ask the thousand who have been benefitted by his skill and you will not find one who will say that his practice was for the sake of accumulating money.  When his patients paid him he took the money because his investments to equip himself to do his work required money but he would go just as far, use just as much skill and be just as patient, for suffering humanity, though he knew that he would never receive one cent for his services.
A man of skill, of wonderful ability, a man of high principle, and greatest of all a man whom everybody loves.  He has no enemies.  This man is very ill but he is getting better and will be back in his office.  Perhaps not for several months, but he is coming back. 

--Roberts Herald.  23 May 1923.

Tonsils Out


Marguerite, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Kennedy of Loda was a patient at the Roberts Hospital last Thursday after submitting to an operation for the removal of her tonsils and adenoids.
Janet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Minch also had her tonsils removed last Thursday morning at the Roberts Hospital.
Miss Ruth Talbot of Onarga also submitted to a tonsil operation last Thursday morning at the Roberts Hospital.
Freddie Sans, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sans received treatment at the Roberts Hospital last week for a small gash in his leg, having fallen on some glass.
Frank Van Derryht, of Piper city submitted to a local tonsil operation at the Roberts Hospital Monday morning.
Mrs. Charles Schade of Chatsworth has been receiving treatment at the Hospital for an infection in her thumb.

--Roberts Herald. 17 October 1934.

More Patients at the Roberts Hospital

--Roberts Herald.  28 March 1934.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Roberts Hospital

--Roberts Herald.  12 May 1937.

Recent Operations

--Roberts Herald. 20 August 1930.

Appreciation for the New Roberts Hosptial


(The following article was handed us by a citizen of Roberts who greatly appreciates the benefits to be derived from the new Hospital in Roberts and would like to have us all show our appreciation in some emphatic way. -- The Editor)

After all it is only natural to be both proud and pleased as we think of the Colteaux hospital, and consider that it is the only well equipped hospital within a radius of thirty-five miles. Roberts, with its less than 500 inhabitants, has been lifted out of the rank and file of villages, and given a position of distinction.
Who wouldn't be proud?
This is the greatest boost that has ever been given to our little village. That is, of course, if the project gets the publicity it undoubtedly deserves.
Publicity and Dr. John A. Colteaux however, never, never, meet by design, only accidentally. If the doctor only thought as highly of himself as others think of him; if he only lacked modesty, we would be sure of publicity by the car load.
As it is, if there is to be publicity, it must come from some other source. Dr. John is not musician enough to toot his own trumpet; and anyway, he is always far too busy looking after the aches and pains of those who come from miles to crowd his hospital. If only Bosworth was here. Having finished his life of Samuel Johnson, that classic among biographies, how he would leap to the task of writing the life of Dr. John Alfred Colteaux, M. D.
Bosworth would do full justice to the humble beginnings of our homegrown product. There would be never-to-be-forgotten pictures of John's school days, when he was showing that "the child is father to the man;" the village bakery and restaurant with John in baker's cap helping his devoted parents, but dreaming of other work that called him persistently to the larger service of suffering humanity; the years of struggle to make both ends meet as John plowed his way through the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery to emerge with flying honors as the valedictorian of a graduating class of 150; then the practice in his own hometown and the rapid spread of his fame as a skilled practitioner; the constant urge to possess himself of the very latest appliances known to surgery, that he might give his patients the best treatment possible; the always growing practice overflowing the cramped, restricted space of his old quarters; the search for a building that would give him the scope he needed for his work; and the buying of the largest residence in town and turning it into a well equipped hospital.
What a wealth of material for a Bosworth, in detail, these bare outlines would make.
And the end is not yet. Dr. John is still a young man, and the world will ever beat a path to the door of the man who can and will serve it.
Do we really appreciate the services of such a man or have we taken everything for granted? Is the saying fulfilled among us that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country and among his own people? Perhaps the only way in which we can be brought to realize the worth of our possession is in deprivation, to hear from afar the shouts of exultation rising from the throat of some great city that has been lucky in our loss.
Let me close this panegyric with two Why-nots. Why not a Roberts Commercial Club or a Chamber of Commerce? Every day brings a number of strangers to the hospital from all over the country. Is anything being done to encourage these strangers to take interest in the town outside of the hospital? What a chance for business for those who invite it. Why not get together and invite that business? Let these strangers who daily come within our gates feel that the whole town is glad to see them.
The other "Why-not" I wish to ask, has the advantage of being free from that taint of selfishness. Why not send a representative committee of our town people to wait upon Dr. Colteaux with the request, that, since he has honored Roberts by establishing a hospital here, he should set a day for a formal opening?
Dr. Colteaux has set a high mark in service to humanity in the opening of his hospital; let us, his fellow townspeople, show our appreciation of the man himself and of his noble work. A public celebration would be a good beginning.

--Roberts Herald. 31 January 1923.

Dr. Colteaux Retires




 --The Pantagraph.  Bloomington, Illinois.  14 September 1948.  Mary Pendergast.

Businesses 1917

ROBERTS - 1917

Alexander Lumber Co. - Lumber
Campbell, Edward W. - Implements
Chambers, Robert B. - General Store
Colteaux, A. - Restaurant & Confectionery
Coulteaux, Dr. J.A. - Physician
Dilks, O.C. - Hotel
Dueringer, Oscar J. - General Store
Elbert, Samuel - Hardware, Furniture & Undertaking
Ensign, George D. - Grocery & Clothing
Foster Bros - Hardware, Furniture & Harness
Hahn, William - Wagonmaker
Hawthern, Robert - Meats
Kenward, Miss P.L. - Millinery
Linn, Frank C. - Drugs, Jewelry, Etc
Pettit & Gullett - General Store
Roberts Exchange Bank
Roberts Farmers Grain Co - Grain & Coal
Roberts & Gullett - Grain & Coal
Roetzel, Wm. Sr. - Harness
Sanders, Warren O. - Printer
Seng & Son - Implements, Etc
Seng, Dr. A.L. - Veterinarian
Shear & Gonwa - Plumbing
Smith, J.P. - Banker
Tarvin, Justin - Hardware & Furniture
Wakelin, Wm. H. - General Store
Whorrel, Harry - Garage, Autos & Repairing
Wright, Dr. B.C. - Veterinarian
Yackee, A.A. & Sons - Blacksmith
Yackee Bros - Garage & Auto Repairing
Yackee, Dr. E.N. - Dentist

--1917 Ford County, Illinois Business Directory

A Most Valuable Asset


It Is Recognized and Has Friends At Home and Abroad

Recently the Herald editor was visiting at a place about fifty miles from Roberts and was introduced to a gentleman who said, "You are from Roberts, that is where Dr. Colteaux lives." At other times people have said, "I have been at Roberts. I was at the hospital there." These and other similar remarks show that the Roberts Hospital is known over a wide area. After considering the subject for some time we have wondered whether the people at home know the hospital as well as they should.
Many of our home people, not having had occasion to know the inside workings of the place do not know it so well as some others who have come many miles to receive the care which it gives. With that thought in mind we went to Dr. Colteaux to see what we might learn about the place.
The outside is that of a home. A beautiful brick structure which, were it not for the sign, a stranger would take for one of the best residences in the village. After entering the building the home idea still remains within. Everything is arranged with the idea of having the patient feel that while he or she is there it is a home and they are receiving the care and attention that the home gives.
This hospital was equipped seven years ago last March and was then considered the most up-to-date hospital within a radius of fifty miles. No expense was spared to make it as perfect as could be done. Everything went well for a time and then Dr. Colteaux's health failed for a short time which temporarily put the hospital out of use but as the doctor regained his strength it became once more the busiest place in Roberts.
When the hospital here was first equipped everything in it was the very best that money could buy but as time passes new inventions are made, new ideas are put into practice and what was up-to-date might become obsolete. With this thought in mind the doctor disposed of every piece of apparatus which was contained therein and then once more refitted the place. Within the past month he has had the whole building gone over. Every bed, every piece of furniture, every piece of apparatus, and even all of the operating instruments are new. Everything is the very latest design, newly constructed and recently placed.
The walls have all been tinted a beautiful soft gray pleasing to the eye, and restful. The beautiful curtains also have that soft gray coloring. Attractive pictures adorn the walls, and if there is anything omitted that would tend to make the place more attractive it is an oversight on the part of those looking after the place.
The white color has disappeared from everything in connection with this hospital except from the covers of the bed and the nurse's uniforms. The dominant gray has taken its place.
The electrical room is equipped with different machines for electrical treatment. Then there is the X-Ray machine, the very latest design that could be gotten,also includes some parts
designed especially for this room. Also a dark room for developing X-Ray pictures.
There are bathrooms on every floor. The consulting rooms, the business office, the reception rooms and the waiting rooms take up most of the first floor. The heating apparatus and the Laundry is in the basement.
The operating room is nicely arranged with plenty of light and with frosted glass windows to avoid the glare and lighting inequality that would come from plain glass.
Cost is the one thing that comes last in the consideration of any improvement that Dr. Colteaux ever contemplates. The comfort of his patients is first, beauty in arrangement comes second and after all other elements are carefully determined that of cost has little effect.
At the time of our visit to the hospital there were five patients being cared for, and there were three nurses attending to their needs, but the number of nurses is not fixed. The doctor has a number of nurses on his list who attend to patients either in their homes or at the hospital as the doctor's needs demand.

The people of Roberts have a justifiable pride in the hospital and also in the doctor who heads this institution. Dr. Colteaux is a native of Roberts. Has lived here all his life expect the time spent in the University preparing for his profession, and a few short seasons when he has been away resting from his labors and recuperating his health. We formerly feared that he would leave us to locate in some large city where his talents would be more in demand but fear passed with us long ago. When we see the congestion of automobiles that gather in the parking space around the hospital every day during Dr. Colteaux's office hours we realize that those who need his services can come to the small town just as easily as they could go to the large city. We remember that as a boy in school Dr. Colteaux accomplished what he undertook to do. In his early business career he proved his success in that line. Even in sports he was a great success. Now in his chosen career he is recognized throughout a wide territory.
A write up of the hospital can not be complete without saying something of Dr. John W. Viers. He had been practicing in Chicago for the past twenty-five years but because he realized the benefits of living in a smaller community where he would have the advantages that come to rural lives he decided to cast his lot with us. His office is located in the Roberts hospital where he has charge during Dr. Colteaux's absence and where he attends to his general practice.

--Roberts Herald. 20 August 1930.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

The Hospital

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

School Bus

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Roberts School

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

F. C. Linn Drug Store 1938

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Linn Drug Store

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Roberts Hotel Lobby

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

The Roberts Hotel Built in 1871

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Hicks Service Station

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Fencken and Blesch Store

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Congregational Church 1880

--"Memories of Roberts" 1995 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Methodist Church

--"Memories of Roberts" 1994 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Tile Factory 1886-1913

--"Memories of Roberts" 1994 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seng and Son Implements

--"Memories of Roberts" 1994 Calendar. Roberts Woman's Club.