CENTENARIANS
of

Carroll County Illinois
BENSON, Julia O. was born 12 October 1890, the daughter of August and Anna Marie (Johnston) Benson. She died at the age of 103, on the 30th of March 1994 in the same place she was born, Carroll Co. This is the home she lived her entire life in. It's on the Wacker Road, the NW part of Section 22 of Mt Carroll Township. Julia lived here along with some of her brothers and sisters who also never married.

OBITUARY: Julia Benson, 103, a resident of Good Samaritan Nursing Center, Mount Carroll the past year, died Wednesday, March 30, 1994 at Freeport Memorial Hospital. A schoolteacher, she taught at Country School in Mount Carroll and Center School in Freeport for many years. She was a member of the Stephenson County Retired Teachers Association. Daughter of August and Anna Marie (Johnston) Benson, she was born October 12, 1890 in Woodland Township, Carroll County. Surviving are cousins, great-nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were four sisters and two brothers. Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday at Frank-Law-Jones Funeral Home in Mount Carroll. The Rev. Scott Stapleton of First Baptist Church, Mount Carroll, where she was a member, will officiate. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Mount Carroll. Contributed by Alice Horner


DOWNING, Ellen E. (Preston) was born 07 June 1846 in Carroll Co, the daughter of Samuel Preston. She married Harvey L. Downing on the 8th of December 1869. Ellen died on the 19th of January 1948 at the age of 101. Ellen Preston Downing was the recipient of the Tom Brenneman "Breakfast in Hollywood" radio show orchid in honor of her 100th birthday. The orchid was delivered to her with greetings from Brenneman. Obituary


FULRATH, Laura Elizabeth (Oberheim) was born 08 February 1877 in Mount Carroll, the daughter of William Wesly and Susan Catherine (Smith) Oberheim who were married in Carroll Co. 15 September 1874. Laura was married to Peter Fulrath 08 Jun 1899 in Mt. Carroll. Laura died at the age of 103. Obituary

HESS, Leona M.
She prefers to be called Miss Hess and that's the way it's been for almost 100 years now. Come Tuesday, one of the area's oldest citizens, Miss Leona Hess, will crack the century mark. Her grandparents were among Lanark's "pioneer settlers" when the town was built back in the mid 1800's. A special reception and open house in her honor will be held Sunday following a 2 p.m. worship service at the North Rockford Convalescent Home where she lives. Sunday will also be the sixth anniversary of her residence at the home located at 1920 North Main Street, two blocks north of Auburn Street in Rockford. The Rev. Orville COle, pastor of the Lanark United Methodist Church will conduct the special service and friends of Miss Hess are invited to the celebration. Still fairly alert and quick witted for her advanced age, Miss Hess is considered by the convalescent home's activities director, Mrs. Howard Nadel, as her "Favorite lady here." In fact, said Mrs. Nadel, "Miss Hess cheers us up around here She always makes me happy." Mrs. Nadel added that Miss Hess is still quite "peppery and full of zest." and has many friends at the hoe. She still gets around with the aid of a cone-walker, but it doesn't seem to slow her down. The activities director said Miss Hess always seems to be ready with a sparky answer. She recalled just the other day she asked Miss Hess how she felt, well knowing that she was a little under the weather, "Well, I'm not going to win any fights," she said with a brisk smile that fails to allay her zip. Miss Hess was one of the most well educated women of her time, a period when few women advance much farther than grade school She is a well-spoken woman and articulate in her speech which is well indicative of her intelligence. She is an 1893 graduate of Lanark High School where she finished at the top of her class. Just last year the school honored her as its oldest living graduate. She also attended and graduated from Shimer College in Mount Carroll where she studied music and the arts.

Miss Hess is fond of telling of a chance meeting with a woman not too long ago. The woman told her she had attended an exhibition and had seen a picture of her giving her Shimer College graduation recital on the piano, close to 70 years or more ago. Near the turn of the century Miss Hell traveled to Europe for further study, "To complete my education" as she puts it, and settled in Germany for a short period before returning to Lanark when a brother became sick. Miss Hess said she can still speak a little "feeble German" yet. For years she helped do "research" for the old Lanark Gazette and the Freeport paper, she said. She taught piano for many years in Kansas and California as well as in the Mount Carroll-Lanark area. Miss Hess also played for the Christian Church, now Faith Reformed, and the United Methodist Church in Lanark. Mrs. Nadel said she still enjoys listening to music. Originally Miss Hess's grandfather worked in a hardware store in Mount Carroll when he was asked to become a setter at the "new" town of Lanark which was being built. He accepted, a hardware store of his own was built and the business eventually was turned over to Miss Hess's father. For those who inquire about her secret of long life, Miss Hess is quick to reply that when she was a little girl she suffered from the rigors of asthma which failed to dampen her spirits about surviving into adulthood. "It was a good excuse to get out of school once in a while," she said.
Contributed by Karen Fyock - September 30, 1977 clipping

OBITUARY: Leona M. Hess - 101 years of age, of Lanark, died Wednesday evening at North Rockford Convalescent Home following a long illness. A graduate of Frances Shimer College in Mount Carroll, majoring in music, she also studied music in Germany for three years. She was a member of United Methodist Church of Lanark. Born Oct. 4, 1877, in Lanark, she was the daughter of William and Abbie (Marriam) Hess. There are no immediate survivors. Funeral service will be at 1: 30 p. m. Saturday at Frank Funeral Home in Lanark with the Rev. O.E. Cole, pastor of United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will be in Lanark Cemetery. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.


KNEALE, Armella I. -- 101 years of age at the time of her death Obituary


LAMBERT, Julie - Julia Lambert of 3331 Krem Court, Saint Ann, Missouri, formerly of Clinton, will celebrate her 100th birthday with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 24, in her home. A family gathering is being planned for May 26. Julia Scanlon was born May 24, 1890 in Lyons. She married Clarence Colyer in 1911 in Clinton. He died in 1918. She married John Lambert of Savanna on May 30, 1933. He died October 18, 1954. She is the mother of a daughter, Margaret, who is deceased, and two stepchildren: Mildred Williston of Savanna and Robert Lambert. She has eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Lambert lived in Clinton until about 1933, when she married and moved to Savanna. She lived in Savanna until 1954, when she moved to the St. Louis area. Bruce Jessen of Saint Louis, grandson of Mrs. Lambert, spent a recent afternoon reminiscing with his grandmother about her early years in Clinton. She remembers, as a young child, helping her mother and grandmother bring meals to people working on the riverboats at the sawmills in Clinton. She also recalls getting electricity about 1911, shortly after her first marriage. In the early 1900s, prior to 1910, she was employed with Bathers Florist in Clinton, Bell Telephone Company, and Tri City Telephone Company. She was an elevator operator between 1910 and 1920 with the Howes Brothers Office Building, and was matron at the new train depot around 1920. She was member of the Trainmen. “She remembers coming in from north Clinton on mule-powered stret cars,” Jessen said. “During the winter, they would fill the cars with straw so people could keep their feet warm underneath the straw.” “One of the highlights of her life was when the men landed on the moon. She was 79 at the time. I was there with her and stayed up late at night and watched the men walk on the moon. She was fascinated by it and reminisced about horse-drawn buggies and gas lights and how far we have come since then,” said Jessen, who was 13 at the time. “I grew up knowing that (the moon landing) was going to happen,” Jessen said, “wo when we got there, it wasn’t all that monumental. But when I sat and watched it and listened to her, I gained a whole new perspective of the event. It was really educational to me, I really remember the moment.” Jessen said he grandmother still reads the Clinton Herald cover to cover every day and keeps up on current events. “But it’s always three days late, because the paper she gets is three days old. For me it happened a long time ago, but for her it just happened because she gets all her news from the Clinton Herald – although she says the print is getting smaller,” he said with a laugh. “She says either under the name Lambert or Colyer she has had a subscription with the Herald since 1910. She thinks she is the newspaper’s oldest subscriber,” Jessen said. Mrs. Lambert keeps in contact with several local relatives and friends either by letter or by phone. “She’s such a character that people remember her,” Jessen said. “She’s really a matriarch.” Mrs. Lambert still lives in her own home in suburban Saint Louis. She has a woman come in to help her with baths, light housekeeping and as a companion. She still makes her own breakfast each morning. “She has been a fixture here since 1954,” Jessen said. “Although, after all these years, she still views Clinton as home. She’s sort of biding her time here.” He added that one of her favorite quotes about getting old is “Only the good die young.” (Note: The John Lambert she married was the son of John and Susan (Patton) Lambert)
Contributed by Alice Horner - Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa May 24, 1990 story by Penny Smith, Herald Family Editor
Julia Lambert died June 8, 1991 in St. Ann, St. Louis County, Missouri. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri (From Alice Horner)

LINDSAY, Maynard     Obituary


MORRIS, Bernadine (Cunningham) was 105 years of age at the time of her death - Obituary   She is buried at Lanark Cemetery.


PETERS, Mary Elnora (Deibler)
Lanark is celebrating its centennial this year. On July 13, 1861 the American flag was raised at the center of a small settlement to signify the beginning of a new community. That same day in Brookville, ten miles away, Mary Elnora Deibler was born. The twins were destined to come together and Mary Deibler at the age of six moved with her family to this corn and cattle community settling on a farm south east of town, and this area has been her home ever since. Her parents had come from Pennsylvania in a covered wagon, her mother from Schlylkill county and her father from Dauphin county. Mary grew up on the Deibler farm and attended the Eastwood county school. After she married George Peters in 1878 he bought the farm and they continued to live there. Her children also went to Eastwood to learn the same “reading’, ritin’, and arithmetic” which had been their mother’s only formal education. Her children remember that Mary often worked in the fields beside her husband. After 19 years together on the farm they moved into town during the first world war, and here they lived in busy “retirement” until Mr. Peters’ death in 1936. For the next 21 years Mrs. Peters lived with a daughter and son-in-law, the Tom Diffenderfers. Her daughter says that she was always busy. She would write letters by the dozens to her friends and relatives, and would embroider pillow cases and “piece” quilts. Except for a bout with pneumonia some decades back, she has seldom been sick. Two of her children told me that “she never misses a meal.” Mrs. Peters has always liked to travel. She has gone back to Pennsylvania a number of times and not long ago traveled to Iowa to visit relatives.

I sat with her the other day in the nursing home in Shannon where she has been living since 1958. She was bright and cheerful, her sense of humor apparently undimmed by her almost 100 years. “I suppose you know about the celebration coming up on June?” I asked. She looked at me slyly. “I ought to be in the parade,” she said. Then she added, “Well, if I can’t ride a horse at the front of the parade, I won’t be in it!” She seems to enjoy life in the nursing home where her children and other relatives visit her frequently. She answered my questions sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously. A member of the Brethren church, she said “we must use the golden rule.” “When my children did what was wrong, I corrected them,” she said, “and I always tried to do what was right.” About the future she said, “I was always told that there was a hereafter, and I am not afraid of it.” Mrs. Peters had five children: Harry, William, Lloyd, Mrs. Tom Diffenderfer and Mrs. C. H. Roth, who passed away in 1951. She has six grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren. -- Rev. Ted Kimmel.
Contributed by Alice Horner. (Mary Elnora Deibler Peters died July 3, 1965)


PFEIFFER, Mamie
Mamie died at 103. Her own daughter, Ruth Lazio named in the obituary, is still alive (2010). She's 105 now, lives in the Mount Carroll nursing.
Contributed by Alice Horner


SNIVELY, Mary Elizabeth 1903 - 2005 - Obituary

STITZEL, Addie (Puterbaugh) 1873 - 1973 - Obituary


STONER, Ola -
Shannon's Oldest Resident and Bethel Church's Oldest Member - Ola is a happy little lady with a ready smile and a good mind. At the age of 100 she lives alone in a neat little well kept house near Shaw's Grocery Store. It is well maintained with a row of flowers planted along its foundation. Ola isn't able to cook much; consequently her meals on wheels are brought in from the Shannon Cafe, delivered by church members in the area. Her neighbor and tenant of twenty-five years, Donna Pritchard, mows her lawn, plants flowers, cleans her house and brings her groceries. Ola looks forward to getting the Rockford Morning Star Sunday paper. Her niece, Charlene Frey, also helps with her care. She spends much of her time watching television game shows. Her home was once a railroad boxcar. Ola's husband Mallie had the box car brought over from Savanna many years ago so they could make a home for Ola's mother when she grew older. They had it placed close to their home so they could watch over her.

She was born November 15, 1895, on a farm north of Milledgeville not far from the farm owned by Dick Dambman. When she was three years old she was playing in a field of tall grass that her father, Charles Woodin, was mowing with a horse-drawn hay mower. She was told to stay in the house, but didn't listen. He didn't see his little daughter and her leg was cut off about half way between her knee and her ankle. After the accident they brought her home and put the stump in a pan of hot ashes to cauterize it. They were Christian Scientist and didn't believe in medicine, but a medical doctor was called. Her father was so ashamed he couldn't get up enough courage to go in to talk to her for two weeks. When he came in Ola told him not to be so sad for it would grow back. From that day on she wore an artificial limb. She could do anything her brother and sister could do including climbing the windmill. She does not feel that this adversely affected her life. She graduated from the Hitt one room rural school where all grades were taught in one room. Most of the time she walked the two miles to school, but when her grandmother reached the age when she could no longer drive her horse and buggy she gave it to her grandchildren to drive to school. Ola went to high school for two months, but there was an outbreak of measles in her family; they were quarantined for a period of time and she never went back to high school. Her father had an automobile dealership in Milledgeville and as a result they had one of the three cars in Carroll County, an International with high, hard rubber tires similar to those on a buggy. The horses pulling the buggies were afraid of the car so they had to pull off the road and let the buggy go by. As was typical of most farms at that time they raised chickens, pigs and milked cows. They kept the milk cool in the basement and churned their own butter. Ola married Mallie Stoner in 1915. They moved to the Chicago area in 1919 so Mallie could find work as an auto mechanic. They bought a lot out in a field near Harlem Ave. and along with Neil Stoner proceeded to make cement blocks from which they built a double garage. While they were building their houses each family lived in part of the double garage. The houses they built in Chicago are still standing. When they first moved there they had to carry their water for 2 1/2 blocks and there was no inside plumbing. In the early 30's the WPA, a public works program designed to help the unemployed, put in water, sewer and sidewalks. The streets were not paved and in the spring of the year they laid down railroad ties so they could get through the mud. During the time they were living in Chicago she spent much of her time taking care of other people's children while the mothers worked. She was a good seamstress and made money by sewing for other people. She also did home work for a clothing factory. One of the things she enjoyed while in Chicago was going to White Sox baseball games. On ladies day she could get a ticket for ten cents.

When they traveled on trips to the Black Hills and Ozarks with other couples Ola was the banker. She kept the money in the foot of her wooden leg. Who would think of stealing money from the foot of a wooden leg? In 1941 they moved back to Shannon because the union came into the shops in Chicago and their income was cut in half. When they returned to Shannon, Mallie wanted to have a garage of his own and with the help of C.T. Wilhelms they were able to purchase the old cheese factory that once stood where Joe Buss lived. Ola was employed as a telephone operator in Milledgeville and as a librarian in the Shannon library. When they moved back to Shannon she joined the Methodist Church. Ola enjoys her status as the most cherished member at the Spencer-Benham reunion and is given a bouquet of three pink roses, a paper crown and has the privilege of giving a silver spoon to the youngest member in attendance. This year's recipient was a four-day old baby. Ola never had any children of her own, but she mothered many - including Charlene Frey after her mother died at an early age, She likes people and over the years she has done a considerable amount of sewing for other people. When a member of her family criticized her for not charging enough for her work she said, "Maybe not, but I am always busy," She isn't very interested in politics. Perhaps it comes from her Christian Scientist Grandmother who didn't vote because she didn't think it was a woman's place. Ola is one who can cope with adversity and come up with a smile. Her philosophy is there is no use feeling bad if you can't change things anyway. This attitude toward life has helped her live with peace of mind for over 100 years.
From the website of Steve Schack


WILDEY, William H. Recalls Days of Civil War

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