Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cooking with Friends

--My copy.

L. E. Bressie CW Vet

Civil War Veterans buried in Lyman Township Cemetery:

Lewis Edward Bressie, son of William F. and Ann (Finger) Bressie was born at Salem, Washington County, Indiana, April 17th, 1845, and died at his home in Roberts, Illinois, Saturday, September 6th, 1924, aged 79 years 4 months and 19 days.
When barely 18 years of age, viz. April 1863, he enlisted in Company C 117th Indiana Infantry and was first sent to Indianapolis for guard duty but was soon sent down through Kentucky into Tennessee where they were in a number of engagements the most severe being at Blain's Cross Roads. They were at Cumberland Gap on the cold new year's day noted in history, Jan.1, 1864. Here Mr. Bressie and most of his regiment were without shoes but had soles fastened to their feet with thongs. On that day they marched 23 miles in that condition. He continued his service with that regiment until discharged and then re-enlisted in Co. C 144th Indiana Infantry and served until the close of the war being discharged August 12, 1865.
January 4, 1866, he married Miss Sarah Ann Suplee at the home of her parents at Salem, Indiana. To them were born three children Albert J. of Bloomington, Charles E. who died at Roberts August 12, 1920, and Minnie Bertha who died at the age of 6 years. He leaves to mourn his death one son, seven grand-daughters, and eight great-grandchildren, also one sister at Olney, Illinois, and numerous other relatives and a host of friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Bressie came to Roberts in 1874 and he worked as plasterer for eleven years, then for three years dealt in harnesses, boots and shoes. In 1888 he purchased the general merchandise store of Flora & Newman which he conducted for many years since which he has lived a retired life. He was an active member of Melvin Post No. 500 G.A.R., Lyman K. of P. and of Gibson City Lodge A.F. and A.M., also a member of the Congregational Church in Roberts. He was a man of sterling character, strong personality, and determined energy. He served his community in various official capacities, and was ever known as a man whose personal opinion and integrity could not be swayed by hopes of popular applause.
The funeral services were held at the Congregational Church in Roberts Sunday afternoon, September 7th, at 2:30 o'clock, Rev. J. O. Ferris and Rev. J. T. Killip officiating. The remains were then laid to rest in Lyman Cemetery. Lyman Lodge K. of P. had charge of the ceremony at the grave.
Among those from a distance who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Samuels and family, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Overymeyer, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Overymeyer and B. Kenney of Clinton, Lem Smedley and Mrs. Hall of Rantoul, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hawthorne and family and Mrs. E. Roberts of Urbana, Mr. and Mrs. Fidell Hummel of Strawn and Mr. and Mrs. Kirker Hawthorne and H. M. Hawthorne of Piper City.

--Roberts Herald. 10 September 1924.

David Woolsoncroft CW Vet

Civil War Veterans buried in Lyman Township Cemetery:

Last week David Woolsoncroft of Roberts was on our streets shaking hands with old friends, and Tuesday of this week he died at his home in Roberts. He was a veteran of the civil war and a member of the Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Since the war he has farmed and worked at masonry in the vicinity of Melvin and Roberts, and was well-to-do. He was 68 years old.
The funeral was held in the M. E. church at Roberts, Thursday, at 2 o'clock. There were members of the G.A.R. present from that section, Onarga, Thawville and Piper City. Comrade James McBride represented our Piper City Post. The burial was at Roberts. -- Pan-Handle Advocate.

--Paxton Daily Record. 4 August 1908.

David Woolsoncroft was born in Magnolia, Putnam county, Illinois, July 18, 1840, and departed this life at his home in Roberts, Ill., July 28, 1908, aged 68 years and 10 days.
Mr. Woolsoncroft, in the usual manner of farmer boys, spent his boyhood days on the farm, afterwards learning the trade of stone and brick mason and plasterer, at which occupation he spent a good bit of his time in later years.
He was an honored veteran of the civil war, his enlistment at Magnolia, Ill., on Aug. 20th, 1861, being the first important event of his life. He enrolled his name among the boys in blue of Company I, Eleventh Ill. infantry. From Magnolia he proceeded to Bird's Point, Mo., where he was mustered into service. He was placed on duty as a teamster, and went to Fort Donelson just after the battle, and thence to Fort Henry and up the Tennessee river to Pittsburg Landing, whence he advanced to within five miles of Corinth, Miss. He then turned and went to Jackson, Tenn,. and thence back to Cairo and Ft. Henry and across the river to Ft. Donelson. He was later at Paducah, Ky., where he shipped aboard a transport for Memphis, Tenn. From Memphis the troops went to Lake Providence. La., to Mississippi, and afterwards on transports to Grand Gulf and to the rear of Vicksburg. They took part in the battles of Jackson, Champion Hills, the Black River Bridge and the siege of Vicksburg until the surrender of that city, July 4, 1863. Next they went to Natchez and after retuning to Vicksburg, went to Yazoo City. Soon afterwards, Mr. Woolsoncroft's time having expired, he was sent to Springfield, where he was honorably discharged, September 16, 1864. He was ever a faithful soldier and fortunately, though participating in several hard fought battles, was never wounded. His constitution, however, was impaired, and he never fully regained his health.
On the 5th of March, 1868, Mr. Woolsoncroft was united in marriage to Mary Warner, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Warner, of Peru, La Salle county, Ill. To this union there was born three children, James Henry, John Edward and Gilva Victory, all of whom, with the bereaved widow and two brothers, Abraham, of Baileyville, Kansas, and Wilbur, of Montgomery City, Mo., and two sisters, Mrs. Hannah Owens, Rockwell City, Ia., and Mrs. Maria Buzick, of Champaign, Ill., survive to mourn his loss.
Mr. Woolsoncroft and his wife began their married life on a farm two and a half miles out from Roberts and until the time of Mr. Woolsoncroft's decease as above mentioned, they had resided either there or in Roberts.
Mr. Woolsoncroft's long residence in this vicinity, his unobtrusiveness, his good-natured and genial companionship had won for him a large circle of friends who sadly lament his loss. --Roberts Herald.

--Paxton Daily Record. 11 August 1908.

Roberts United Church of Christ

--My copy.


Getting ready for 450 Baby Pheasants

Roberts, May 23 --(PDR)-- On Saturday, members of the Ford County Sportsmen's club erected a brooder house on the Eli McNeil lots at the east end of Main street, in preparation for 450 baby pheasants, which will arrive from the state hatcheries the first of June. A wire fence has been erected and within the enclosure a space has been prepared in the blue grass sod where rape and sunflower seeds have been sown. The brooder house is eight feet in width and sixteen feet in length.

--Paxton Record. 26 May 1938.

Tragic Fire

High School Principal, Two Children Burned to Death Saturday
Fire of Unknown Origin; Frank Lyons Carries Townsends from Blazing House: Roberts Schools Closed
By Maryjo Lankston

Roberts, Feb. 21 --(RNS)-- One of the grimmest tragedies ever to strike in Ford County occurred here Saturday noon as Roberts high school principal, Loren F. Townsend, 31, and his two small sons, Stephen and Roger, died from burns suffered in a fire which destroyed their home.
All were rushed to the Paxton Community hospital but the severe burns took their toll; Stephen,6, dying at 7:30 p.m., Mr. Townsend, popular school administrator, at 11 p.m.; and little Roger, 3, at 12:15 p.m. The heartbroken wife and mother was downtown shopping at the time the disaster occurred.
Frank Lyons, 63, neighbor to the Townsends, first saw the fire and made two trips into the burning house on his hands and knees to save the three victims.
Mr. Lyons told the story in his own words; "I saw the flames coming out of an upstairs window about 12:45. I shouted "Fire" and ran over. Mr. Townsend had crawled to the door with Roger in his arms. I pulled them out and said, "Where's the other one?" He said, "In there," and tried to go back in.
I pulled him back and crawled in and grabbed little Stephen, who was burned badly on his face and arms. Just before Mr. Townsend passed out, I asked him how it started, and he said, "Frank, I don't know."
Laud Lyons' Deed
As friends lauded Mr. Lyons for his heroic deed the janitor at the high school insisted that anyone would've done what he did, "as their duty."
The three were taken into the homes of the neighbors until the ambulance arrived. Mr. Lyons received burns on his neck and face, for which he received medical treatments.
The fire was so intense that firemen were hardly able to get close enough to the adjoining houses to save them. Wet blankets were held up to separate them from the intense heat. They saved the two adjoining houses by spraying them with water repeatedly.
Fire departments from Melvin, Thawville, Paxton, Gibson City, Onarga and Piper City arrived to help Roberts firemen but the fire was well under control by the time the last three arrived. The town's water tank was twice drained of its supply, and firemen had to wait until more water was pumped in.
No accurate estimate of the loss was available. The Townsend house was valued at $5,000.
Mrs. Arthur Seng, neighbor to the east of the Townsend home, first called in an alarm at 12:55. Mrs. Townsend was uptown shopping when she first heard of the disaster.
No Explosion
The nine-room frame house was completely destroyed by flames that could be seen six miles away. The interior walls were of wallboarding, which made it so readily inflammable. It was believed that the fire must have started in the walls, because it was so long before it was discovered.
A rumor was circulated that an explosion must have caused it, but there was no evidence to support this theory. The house was heated by a coal-burning furnace, and an electric stove was used for cooking.
When the east wall of the home crashed, it buckled in the middle fortunately, otherwise the sheet of flames would have struck the Seng property which already was smoking and scorched from the intense heat.
Only a vacant lot between the burning home, which blazed like a tinder box, and the Lyons property saved the house for the wind was from the east.
A huge crowd quickly gathered as firemen concentrated on keeping the fire from spreading. An added difficulty was the absence of near fireplugs. Nearest plug was two blocks distant.
Formerly of Thawville
Stephen Townsend was born April 19, 1941, in Morris. His mother was the former Ava Hollingsworth of Thawville. The boys' paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. George Townsend, Thawville.
Townsend, youngest man ever to head the local high school, succeeded E. C. Nichols as principal last summer. A native of Thawville, he held a master's degree from the University of Illinois and was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan university, Bloomington.
Before coming to Roberts, Townsend was a civilian instructor and supervisor at Chanute Air Force Base for five and one-half years and previously taught mathematics at Morris high school.
Henry Hanson, Ford county coroner, said that inquests on the deaths are scheduled for 7:30 this evening, at Roberts: Jurymen are Thomas Trigger, foreman; A. D. Seng, John Minch, Muryl Sturm, Chet Wright, and Francis Russell.

--Paxton Record. 26 February 1948.

Art Seng lived in the large white two story home where the Trees family lived in the 60-70's. So this home would have been just to the east. 


Samuel Ebert of Roberts is probably one of the biggest honey producers in this part of the state. Mr. Ebert is in the mercantile business at Roberts, but still finds time to give to his bees, and he is an expert apiarist. His bees are the three-banded leather colored Italian variety and Mr. Ebert believes there are no better kind of bees as honey producers. This year his bees produced nearly eight tons of honey of the finest quality. Besides producing honey for the market, Mr. Ebert raises queens for sale, and has already disposed of about 150 this year. He is as careful to keep his bees up to the highest standard of breed as would the breeder of pure bred livestock. --Paxton Record.

--Roberts Herald. 16 August 1922.

Killed by Indians

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Ercheringer, of Tacoma, Washington, have been visiting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rueck and Mr. and Mrs. S. Ebert and other relatives here for the past week. Mrs. Ercheringer is a cousin of Mr. Reuck and Mr. Ebert, whom they had not seen for 33 years. When she was a child of about 5 years of age her parents and baby sister were killed by the Indians at New Ulm, Minnesota. Her brother, John, aged 11, seeing the Indians shoot their parents, led his three smaller sisters safely to a fort 11 miles away. Mrs. Ercheringer never knew whether the baby sister had been killed by the Indians or carried away, until some 28 years ago. Then a tenant, who was setting posts on the farm where they had lived notified her that three skulls, two large ones and a baby one, had been found there. Upon learning this the remains were taken to St. Paul and buried. Mr. John Kockendorfer, the brother mentioned, is now living at St. Paul and here two years ago.

--Roberts Herald. Old clipping. No date.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flora and Newman

Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois.  1892.  Page 717-718. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lyman Township First School

Among those who attended school in the early days of the first school in Lyman Township were the following. (this list is not complete) George P. Lyman, Edmond Havens, John Havens, Albert Havens, Dwight Havens, Robert Forbes, Lyman Peck, Amos Peck, Charles Peck, Gilbert Wyman, Martharetta Wyman, Edward Lyman, Charles Forbes, Helena Forbes, Emily Forbes, Arthur Forbes, Alexander Smith, Bessie Henry, Georgianna Henry, John Lyman.

--Roberts Herald. 24 October 1923

Yackee Blacksmiths in Roberts

At the close of business next Saturday evening the firm of A. A. Yackee & Sons general blacksmiths will quit business and with their close Roberts will lose (as a business man but not as a citizen) a mechanic who has held a leading part in the industrial life of Roberts for the past forty years. A. A. Yackee will retire from actual participation in the work and will let the other fellows do the work while he looks on. The many years of service he has given the community entitles him to a rest. The other partner in the firm, W. H. Yackee, will devote all his time to the work of the firm of the Yackee Brothers, which is increasing too rapidly to permit him longer to divide his energies between the two business places.

--Roberts Herald. 3 March 1920.

Mrs. S. K. Marston

Sixty-four years ago this winter the first school that was taught in what is now Lyman Township was taught in the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. K. Marston, in an up-stairs room. Mrs. Marston was the teacher. Later a school house was built and Mrs. Marston continued to teach in the new quarters. Many years after that, one of her pupils wrote of her, (his letter lies before us as we write) " A good teacher she was too. Patient with some of us who were either too stupid or too dull to make good scholars."
"One of the painful memories which lingers with me is the accident that made a cripple of her life. The snow lay deep on the ground. A horse was brought for her but she had scarcely mounted when she was thrown off and her hip dislocated." (We hope to publish more of this letter later.)

--Roberts Herald. 10 October 1923.

Mastadons in Roberts

Last Saturday Henry Kietzman was plowing for his brother John Kietzman on the Robert Hawthorne farm northwest of Roberts when his plow turned over a large tooth of some prehistoric animal, perhaps a mastodon. The tooth is a most perfect specimen. There are seven well developed roots, each about four inches long and from two to three inches across at the base. There are nine crushing surfaces with wide spaces between. Two of these prongs are broken off. One was worn down somewhat from use in eating.
The tooth has a depth from top of crown to end of roots of about seven or eight inches. From back to front it is about seven inches and in width about four inches. It weighs 4 lbs. 6 ounces. The enamel is in excellent state of preservation and the whole tooth has the appearance of not having been in the ground more than a few months whereas it probably has lain in the peat bog of that farm for thousands of years. The fact that it was in peat bog would indicate that it is of comparative recent origin as the peat is the latest land formation here.
Later: O.C. Dilks took the tooth to Chicago yesterday and had it looked over at the Field Museum. They said it is a mastodon tooth and has been in the ground only one or two thousand years.

--Roberts Herald. 5 May 1926

Queen Visits Beset Grove

Roberts have no claim to aristocrisy. (sic) We never expected to entertain nobility. But last Saturday our township received nobility quite unexpected.
Queen Marie of Romania, traveling in her special train, was billed to pass through Roberts which she did on schedule time but the unexpected happened when the train was stopped at Beset, three mile northeast of Roberts, and members of the party got off the train and a number of photos were taken. Our reception committee taken unawares, was a little late in greeting the queen, but as they never shirk a duty, their greetings followed.

--Roberts Herald. 18 November 1926

Friday, August 11, 2017

1894 Fire

(From Chicago Daily Record, Sept. 1, 1894)
Greater Part of the Business Section of the Village Destroyed.
Special to the Chicago Record.

Roberts, Ill. Aug. 1. -- A fire broke out at about 1 o'clock today which destroyed the greater part of the business portion of this village. Following are the business buildings destroyed: Roberts Exchange bank, A. Buzick grocery store, Archer's barber shop, E. G. Reinhardt's drug store, William P. Landel, hardware and furniture; Mrs. I. McNeish, boots, shoes and harness; T. H. Fencken & Co., building owned by J. P. Smith, groceries and dry goods; John Ortlepp, hardware and furniture; Mrs. F. L. Hanson, millinery; William Hahn, wagon shop; Kolp & Sandsted, blacksmiths; Foster Bros, hardware and furniture. The south side of the business block, including twelve buildings, was entirely wiped out. Loss amounts to about $35,000, partially insured. The fire originated in the rear of W. P. Landel's hardware store, but from what cause is unknown. the entire business portion of the village would have been destroyed but for the efforts of citizens in extinguishing the fire as fast as it caught on the opposite side of the side street.

--Roberts Herald. 22 August 1923.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

E. F. Gullett

--Gibson City Courier.  14 November 1918.  Page 8.

This obituary includes information on the Pettit & Gullett Store.