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Miscellaneous Newspaper Stories of Iroquois County, IL


An Indian Custom

A social custom of the Crow Indian which is often encountered among other Indian tribes and also among the natives of Australia and Africa, is the mother-in-law taboo. A man and his wife's mother never talk with each other, not from any motives of hostility, but rather as a token of mutual respect. --Southern Workman

(from Feb 13, 1916 Milford Herald News)


The Flying Swedes Basketball Team

The Flying Swedes was a family team composed of five brothers and two younger sisters: Alfred Jr., Howard, Harold, Frank, Fred, Helen and Margaret Dahlquist.

The team was the first organized in the fall of 1938 and started playing throughout Illinois and Indiana. The team brought some of the finest professional basketball teams into Milford including the House of David, the Globe Trotters, New York Generals, the Jesse Owens Team from Chicago, the Hawaiian All-Stars and the All-American Red Heads from Missouri.

For a short tiem, in 1939, the five brothers played for Mr. Olson, owner of the Red Heads, under his team name, The Olson Terrible Swedes. On one occasion the family team met the House of David in New Orleans, La., on their national tour and lost to this team. The Dahlquist team averaged 6'2", a fairly good height back in the time of their tour. Now that height is considered small for the high school player of today.

In 1940 the Swedes decided to go on a nation-wide tour. Over 1,000 letters and advertising flyers were sent out to towns all over the USA. In a few weeks the returns began coming in and a tour was set up to cover most of the states. They had games scheduled in 43 states and traveled 36,000 miles.

During the Swedes first nation-wide tour, they played 110 ball games, winning 74 and losing 36, making for one great experience. MAny different styles of basketball existed across the states at that time. The outstanding club the Swedes met was a team from Long Island New York.

The war ended the playing of the family team for sometime. Another tour was started after the boys got back from service, but it never equaled the first tour.

The final game, as a family unit, was held in Wilson, North Carolina. The team got an invitation to take part in the All-Family National Basketball Tourney in that city.

(from page 19 Iroquois County History 1985)


It Was Ever Thus

Milford won the Iroquois County Track Meet at Watseka, Saturday, with an easy lead over her neighboring schools.  Never was the question in doubt from the opening contest until the final race was run.  It was a big gathering of enthusiastic school-rooter from all parts of the county and the meet was a splendid one from every point of view.  Ten Schools were represented and seventy-eight athletes participated in the events.  Burdette Lyons was the individual star, having three firsts to his credit.  It was largely due to him and Joseph Callahan that the honors came to Milford.
The meet was the most successful in the history of the association.  The only feature to mar the pleasure of the occasion was the dirty tactics of the Watseka athletes and their friends.  It seems strange that the county seat outfit is never willing to fight battles on a square basis.  The schools of the county and their friends come to their town and spend their time and money to make the event a success, but they are given the shabbiest treatment by the county seatites who seem to think they have a mortgage on everything and everybody within the confines of the county.  It was ever thus and we presume it ever will be.  That is why we are all the more proud of Milford.  They fought a manly battle and have ever had this reputation ever will.  It was all the schools against Milford, but that is the case with a winner, and we like the rivalry but we don't like dirty tactics.  If Watseka persists in this method they should be ruled out of the association.
Re-printed from the Milford Herald May 30, 1912.


Benjamin Joseph Sapp

Benjamin "Ben" Sapp, born November 20, 1868, my father was the son of William and Elizabeth (Welch) Sapp and grandson of Elijah and Allie (Thomas) Sapp, who are my great-grandparents. They walked from Milford to Danville to get their marriage license and cooking utensils and walked back to Milford and were married in 1831. Allie Thomas was the first white girl to be married in Iroquois County proper.

An incident that happened many years ago, that may bring a smile to you who read this, happened between my great grandpa and an Indian who was supposed to be the fastest runner around. Some of the old timers here in Milford got up a race between Elijah and the Indian, who stripped down to his breech cloth while Clijah left all of his clothes on. It was told that a briar patch was in line of the race. The Indian had to go around, due to being almost naked and great grandad went through the patch, thus winning the race. Smart thinking on great granddad's part. He was then considered the fastest runner in these parts. Dad had long hair and whiskers.

Gertrude (Sapp) Harsin born June 10, 1913 "Dude"

(from Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980 page 79)



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