Friday, June 30, 2017

Butchering Run

From Jim Hornickel:
I found this photo of an annual wintertime butchering run at the Conrad Hornickel place before 1918 (Fred Hornickel is pictured here and he had died from the flu in 1918). L to R, Fred Hornickel, Fred Hornstein, Joe Kemnetz, Conrad Hornickel, Jake Kemnetz, John Hummel, Chris Grosenbach and Frank Hummel.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Danforth Funeral Home

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

Roberts Surveyed in 1871

The exact location of our town was no doubt determined by the railroad, at that time known as the Gilman, Clinton, and Springfield Railroad.  In 1877 the Illinois Central purchased this branch.  One location seriously considered was Beset Grove.  According to an article written by Bela Foster in the April 17, 1935 issue of the Roberts Herald, A. M. Haling had an agreement with the G. C. & S. Railroad to give them the right of way on his land if they would put a town on his land, the Beset half section. 

--Lyman Township Plat.  Atlas of the State of Illinois.  1876.

The company did put in a side track, and Mr. Haling put up an office and a large corn crib.  George H. Thompson and Doolittle erected a store building just north of Otto Bleich's house and a temporary building on the Haling property for a flax seed storehouse.  Some time later, however, the G. C. & S. began the erection of a depot on the Roberts land, and hope of a town at Beset waned.
In the fall of 1871 land that became our village was surveyed by Francis Alonzo Roberts after whom the town was named. 
It is recorded in an old atlas that the first two families to live in the village were those of Dr. Marshall Cassingham and E. A. Bushor.  Dr. Cassingham, born in Ohio in 1841, had come to Roberts from Kendall and Grundy Counties in 1871.  He was graduated from Rush Medical College, Chicago in 1865.  In 1880 Dr. Cassingham's brother Ora came to Roberts to engage in the drug business with the doctor.  Ora had been a map publisher for some years.  During his years in Roberts Dr. Cassingham built the home later owned by the Ortlepp family. 

--History of Ford County, Illinois.  1985.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

A. M. Haling and others had made an agreement with the G. C. & S. Railway to give them the right of way if they would put a town on his land, the Beset half section. After some litigation the company put in a side track one half mile east of the present Fred Woodruff home. 
Mr. Haling put up an office and a large corn crib and bought corn and sold coal and flour. The company had also promised Alonzo Roberts, Van Stlenbert, Taylor John of Thawville and the people of Melvin, the same thing. When it looked as though the town would be at Beset, George H. Thompson and Doolittle erected a store building just north of Otto Bleich's house.
They also put up a temporary building on the east side of the road on the Haling property for a flax seed store house. They carried on the business for about one year, until the chances of a town at Beset was nil.  In 1871, Dr. Cassingham, then a young man saw the possibilities of a town in Lyman came here and had his office at Conger's who lived on the Tornowski farm on the hill a mile north of the Thompson store.
He boarded at Conger's until his family came when he moved into the only residence in the new town which we named Bungtown. When the G. S. & C. began the erection of a depot on the Roberts land the hopes of a town at Beset waned. Bungtown was moved to the site of Roberts. Thompson's store was moved to Roberts and anchored a little north of where the hotel is now. Dr. Cassingham occupied it for a year or two and later it was put on skids and moved to Thawville. It stands on the south side of Thawville's main street yet but has been remodeled and changed in appearance.

--Roberts Herald.  17 April 1935.  Bela Foster.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Charles C. Fellwock

--Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois.  1892.
--Lyman Township Plat.  1884.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Christopher Anderson Bio

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

He lived at the corner of Maple and Green.  This can't be true as Maple and Green run parallel.  Entered into partnership with Montelius and Campbell in 1872 when there were only 4 stores and 8 homes in Roberts.  He then purchased banking business of J. B. Meserve.  Tile Pit. 

Jean Fox commented on the Roberts Illinois History Group page that the Anderson family home is the large home across from the Fritchley home in Roberts.  The home no longer is standing. It also once was a hotel/motel with small cabins behind the home to rent.  I obtained this photo from the Fritchley family. This is the corner of South Street and Walnut Street.


Delores Swanick

--Photo from Jim Hornickel.

Delores Swanick. 1923-1943. 
From the conversation on RIHG FB page, she died of cancer of the back.  She was a hairdresser in Roberts.  Buried in Chatsworth at the Catholic cemetery next to her mother. Delores was a sister to Bud Swanick.

--Photo from Find A Grave.

In Lyman Township Cemetery.

Townsend Family

--Paxton Record.  26 February 1948.

--Ridgeland Township Cemetery.  Thawville, Illinois.  Photos from Find A Grave. 

This home was located directly to the west of the Dale Trees home, across from the baseball diamond at the school.

An Echo of Steve by Larry Knilands.

Mom just mentioned yesterday that she ran across a file folder full of articles that Larry Knilands wrote for the Paxton Record. She doesn't know why she saved them for sure. I was so excited. What???? I love his stories,and I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Many of them were written about his hometown, Roberts. I hope to post them here for all to enjoy or re enjoy if you have read them prior.
Here is the article (Mom didn't write the date for the clipping, but it says Record/Times) he wrote about the tragic fire in Roberts that occurred in 1948, and how it affected him for many years. Great writing, Mr. Knilands.



--Newspaper Clipping.  Paxton Record/Times.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Yackee Bros.

--Melvin Motor.  3 December 1920.

Sunday, June 04, 2017


--History of Ford County, Illinois.  1985.

Eliab & Martha Foster

Eliab & Martha Foster
--Roberts Area Centennial. 100 Years of Plowing Planting Progressing. 1872-1972.

--Roberts Plat.  1916.

So from this map it looks like the Foster Sisters (Martha and Leda) lived in the Schuler home and the Bela Foster and wife, Christina (McKay), lived in the Clarence Garmon home.

Frank G. Lohman

Frank G. Lohman
--Roberts Area Centennial. 100 Years of Plowing Planting Progressing. 1872-1972.


I added some info (maps and stuff) to the Early Days in Lyman #13.  

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Gerhard Rath Accidental Death

When Mr. Gerhard Rath returned from a sale last Wednesday afternoon, he was about his chores and as he went to unharness his team he stepped up from behind them and as he touched the horse without letting the animal know that he was there the horse was frightened and kicked him. He only lived until Saturday afternoon. We print a short obituary that appeared on the funeral notice. Mr. Gerhard Frederick Rath was born Nov. 8th, 1859 at Berdum Ostfriesland, Germany. Died at his home near Roberts, Ill. Saturday, Jan. 3rd, 1914, at 4 o'clock, aged 54 years, 1 month and 25 days. Funeral at the home Wednesday, Jan. 7th, 1914 at 12 o'clock and at the Congregational church at Roberts at 2 o'clock. Those who came from abroad to attend the funeral were, Mr. Geo. Lee from Altena, S.D., Mr. Henry Rath, Arvena, Minn., a brother, Mr. Geo. Rath from Hermon, Minn., a son, Mr. Will Bork from Annuel, Missouri, Mr. Charles Hopt, Ellsworth, S.D., Mr. Geo, DeFries Parker, S.D., Mr. H.M. Toben, Borup, Minn., Mr. Clarence J. Pierce Van Worth, Ohio

--The Thawville Weekly Record.  9 January 1914.


Gerhard Fredrick Rath was born on the 8th day of November, 1859, and came to this country in 1883. He settled near Sibley, Illinois, and in 1885 he was united in marriage to Johanna Toben. to this union six children were born: Sadie, wife of George Lee; Henry, George, Minnie, Altie and another daughter who died in infancy. He died January 3rd, 1914 at 4 o'clock p.m. aged 54 years, 1 month and 25 days, from uremia following an accident. He was kicked by a horse Wednesday evening, December 31, breaking his right leg above the ankle and badly mutilating the thigh and body. He lived four days after the accident. He leaves to mourn his death, his wife, five children, six grandchildren, two brothers, John and Henry of Avoca, Minnesota and many other relatives and friends.
The deceased was a man of generous disposition, always one of the first to assist in a needy cause, accommodating, and obliging. He was a kind father, a good neighbor and a true friend.
The funeral services were held at the home Wednesday, January 7, 1914 at 12 o'clock, and the Congregational church in Roberts at 2 p.m., Rev. J. T. Hossfeld and Rev. W.  B. Milne officiating, after which the remains were laid to rest in Lyman cemetery.
Those from a distance attending the funeral were, Mrs. Sadie A. Lee and son Delmer and daughter Viola of Alpene, S.D., George J. Rath and Miss Sena Bertram of Herman, Minnesota; John and Henry Rath of Avoca, Minnesota; Mr. and Mrs. George DeFries of Parker, S.D.; H.M. Toben of Borup, Minnesota; Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard DeFries of ?ley; Miss Sophia Hopt and C.L. Bod of Ellsworth; Christian Lee of Streator; Mr. and Mrs. William Lee and Mrs. A.J. Roth of Strawn.  --Roberts Herald.

--The Thawville Weekly Record.  16 January 1914.

--Melvin Motor.  9 January 1914.

Justin Tarvin

--Melvin Motor.  11 January 1924.

Swanick Reunion from Jim Hornickel

Swanick reunion held at the James Swanick farm. 1939.

More photos from Jim Hornickel

Swanick reunion held at Joe Kurtenbach farm. Rose Swanick Schneider with Joe and Maryann Kurtenbach family. 1951.