LIVINGSTON COUNTY. The editor of the Ottawa Free Trader, who recently visited this county, thus speaks of it and its improvements: Livingston county, like every portion of Northern Illinois, is now enjoying her full portion of prosperity. Her population has probably doubled within the last four years; and, in every direction, where, a few years ago, were wild and trackless prairie, new and fine farms are being opened, and the country wears the cheerful face of prosperity and improvement. A richer soil,
or a more eligible region for farming purposes, is not found in Illinois, and the only reason why Livingston is not as densely populated as any county in Northern Illinois, is the fear which is entertained of the milk sickness which prevails in several portions of the county. But, really, there is no need of fear on this account. A very little trouble will afford perfect security against this. The sickness occurs only in the fall when the cattle quit the prairie and go to the timbered bottoms to graze.
Now all that farmers have to do is to drive their cattle into enclosures about the first of September, and keep them there until cold weather, and they are perfectly secure. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, 22 May 1850; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
STATE'S ATTORNEY--C. J. Beattie, Esq., of Pontiac, has been appointed by Gov. Bissell as State's Attorney for the Livingston County (20th) circuit, vice Simeon DeWitt of the same county, deceased. Mr. Beattie is a young lawyer of talent and energy and will be likely to make a good officer. [The Pantagraph, Apr. 14, 1859, Page 2; sub. by PHG]
The Pontiac News
This is one of the best Democratic papers in the State. Its editor, James G. Albee, Esq., is an able, vigorous writer. And the way he flays the Abolitionists thereabouts is decidedly amusing. He is no coward, either. [Joliet Signal, 16 June 1863; Sub. by Pam Geyer;]
Another Railroad Let.
We mentioned two weeks ago that the preliminary arrangements had been about perfected for letting the contract for building the proposed railroad from Fairbury via Pontiac and Streator to Ottawa. We have now the happiness to announce that the contract for building the road has been let. A meeting of the directors--Ottawa being represented in the board by Hon. Wm. Reddick-- was held at Pontiac on Tuesday of the present week, and on examining the books it was found that there were stock subscriptions sufficient to grade and tie the road, and build all the bridges. This fact being settled, there was no difficulty in finding contractors willing to build the road and iron it. Accordingly the contract was let to Cushman, Plumb, and Strawn, these parties binding themselves to commence the work before September, and have the road in running order within two years from this date. The name of the road is the "Fairbury, Pontiac and Northwestern Railroad," and the length to be built-- from Streator to Fairbury-- is about 31 miles. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Volume 30, Number 50, 23 July 1870; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
Livingston county, the home of the Farmers Anti-Monopoly Movement, had a grand old-fashioned picnic at the thriving little city of Pontiac, on the Fourth. The occasion was one that will long be remembered by the participants, as it was essentially a farmers picnic, given under the auspices of the Patrons of Husbandry and Livingston County Farmers Clubs. At a meeting of the County Farmers County Convention, held last April, it was determined to hold a grand farmers reunion and celebration, where the abuses which farmers suffer would be intelligently discussed by representative men, and sports, feasting and a general celebration would terminate the holiday. Accordingly, large preparations were made by the residents of Pontiac for the entertainment of their rural guests, whom they expected in large numbers; but, owing to the excessive storms of the three preceding days, which rendered the condition of the roads almost impassible, and the lowering clouds of the Fourth, which threatened a storm at any moment, and which continued until nearly 10 o'clock, had a tendency to keep hundreds of farmers, who lived at any considerable distance from the seat of festivities from attending. However, at 10 o'clock the threatening clouds scattered, and the long-looked-for sun appeared. The sudden change had a radical effect upon the multitude of hitherto disgusted pic-nickers, who had come straggling into the city, and congregated around the court house to a considerable number — disgusted and disheartened, with suicidal looks and dripping clothes. The masterly inactivity which reigned supreme up to 10 o'clock, was now supplanted by the buoyant, bustling, enthusiastic farmers, who made every preparation to carry out the original programme. The next half hour of pleasant weather brought more farmers wagons into Pontiac than its residents had ever before seen congregated in the same length of time, and a huge procession was immediately formed, which paraded the principal streets, headed by the marshal, Benj. Robinson, and his aids, Albert Fellows, W. A. McKeighan, Joseph Kay and Isaac Miller. After parading the streets until nearly half past eleven, the procession wended its way to the shady grounds about a mile south of the town. Nearly every Grange and Club carried banners and flags embellished with appropriate mottoes. After hitching their horses, the farmers thronged around the stand to listen to the orator of the day, S. M. Smith, Esq., of Kewanee. The Declaration of Independence and Farmers Declaration having been read, the multitude were growing impatient for Mr . Smith to make his appearance, when Mr. Fife announced to the audience that the speaker was detained at Odell, and would be down on the noon train. Then a scatter for dinner took place, and the picnickers enjoyed themselves until nearly two o'clock, when Mr. Smith put in an appearance, escorted by a war party of Modocs, under the leadership of Captain Jack. This party of warriors has evidently heretofore missed their vocation, as they carried out all the peculiar traits characteristic of the noble red man, such as begging, swearing and a great deal of loud-mouthed buncombe. After a prayer by the Rev. M. Watson, Mr. Smith was introduced. About half-past two the meeting adjourned to the city, where in conjunction with the town folks, they helped to catch the "greased pig" and participate in the other sports which the residents of Pontiac provided.[Prairie Farmer 12 July 1873]
W. C. Burleigh, esq., President of the Livingston County Agricultural Board, said the association would hold a two days meeting on their new grounds at Pontiac, Ill., on July 3 and 4, at which time liberal premiums will be offered for both trotting and running horses. Boat and tub races will also occur on the river. There is excellent shade and good spring water on the grounds. We suppose it is intended to make these gala days upon the recurrence of our national independence. [Prairie Farmer 15 June 1878]
The town authorities of Chatsworth have just completed a large brick cistern near the Catholic church for the use of the fire department. There is no town in central Illinois of the size of Chatsworth having so perfect a system of protection against fire. - Exchange. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Nov. 5, 1886; sub. by PHG]
FATHER CANNON STILL ACTIVE.
Former Pastor of St. Patrick's Annexes Realty In New Field.
Pontiac, Ill., December 28: Rev. J. H. Cannon has closed a deal for the Dye residence property to add to the Catholic church property in block 32, original town of Pontiac. In reply to the question as to the uses to which it would be put, Father Cannon said: "We have plans for more buildings, but they are not sufficiently matured to give out any information now. Suffice it to say, there will be something doing in the spring." This addition gives 90 x 120 feet to the church property and the consideration is understood to be $3,000. [Urbana Daily Courier 29 December 1910; Sub. by Pam Geyer who adds this Note: Fr. Cannon is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Pontiac]
REV. JOSEPH KANGLEY IS CHOSEN ASSISTANT
Popular Priest, Well Known Here, Is Appointed Rev. Father Cannon's Aid at Pontiac.
Pontiac, Ill., Jan. 10: The Rev. Joseph Kangley, of the apostolate missionary band, of Peoria, has been appointed to succeed the late Rev. Father Dooley as assistant at St. Mary's Catholic church in Pontiac. The Rev. Father Cannon and the Catholics of Pontiac are to be congratulated on having assigned to them a man of such eminent eloquence and ability. [Urbana Daily Courier 10 January 1911]
A NEW court house is to be erected at Pontiac, in this state, at a cost of $62,000. [Prairie Farmer 10 October 1874]
The new court house at Pontiac is just completed and accepted by the board of inspectors, and is considered a very fine building for its cost; which is less than $80,000. [Western Rural 13 November 1875]
- Livingston county polled 3696 votes at the last election. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879]
- Wild game is reported plenty in the neighborhood of Strawn. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879]
- It cost $11,159.81 to maintain the State Reform School at Pontiac during the quarter ending October 31st. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879]
- Farming land in this county has gone up from $5 to $15 per acre within the past six months. Pontiac Sentinel. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879]
- Pontiac insurance agents have organized a local union similar to that of Ottawa. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879]
The Pontiac (Ill.) Sentinel, on Friday of last week, celebrated its 25th anniversary by issuing on tinted calendar paper, and occupying nearly a page with friendly letters from old friends and patrons. The Sentinel is quite up to the standard of the best country papers in the state, besides enjoying a popularity peculiarly its own on account of the exceptional personal popularity of its able and courteous editor, Mr. Fred Alles. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 24 June 1882; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
The citizens of Livingston county are agitating the question of the building of a soldiers' monument. At a meeting held at Pontiac on the 12th inst., a resolution was adopted advocating the voting at the April election a tax of ten cents on each $100 assessed valuation, which would raise a sufficient fund for such purpose. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Volume 47, Number 36, 20 March 1886]
W.W. Nickerson, has opened BLACKSMITH SHOP. In Forrest, East of Overton's Livery Stable and is prepared to do good work at reasonable prices. [February 24, 1886 - Forrest Rambler; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
The village of Strawn has been prospecting for coal for some time and at last has succeeded in finding a vein of black diamonds of good quality. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 13 November 1886; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
A 7 ft. vein of coal has been found at Odell at 701 feet. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 3 July 1886; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
Pontiac: W. H. Stead spent a portion of the week at Pontiac in attendance upon the Livingston county circuit court. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 20 March 1886; Sub. by Pam Guyer]
Odell has an ordinance that forbids the sale of newspapers in that town on Sunday, and train boys are forbidden to offer them on pain of arrest and fine. Many are the devices resorted to by the inhabitants to find out what the other portion of the world was doing on Saturday and Saturday night. Some of them get on the train and ride to Cayuga, buy a paper and walk home. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Volume 51, Number 12, 27 October 1888; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
The old-established and favorably known J.T. Bullard lumber company have sold their yards at Saunemin, Cullom and Chatsworth to I.A. Shedd and Co., of Chicago. They will give possession the first of January. [November 28, 1888 - Forrest Rambler; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
The Bloomington Pantagraph sent a reporter to Pontiac recently to investigate the management of the reform school and the basis of certain anonymous letters received concerning it. He found things in good condition, the books well kept and nothing on which to base an unfavorable charge. [True Republican 20 February 1889; Sub by Pam Geyer]
The Baptist church in Fairbury celebrated the fortieth anniversary of its organization. [True Republican 16 November 1898; sub. by Pam Geyer]
Pontiac talks of building a little steamer to ply on the Vermillion river above the dam. It will cost (if built) $1,400, draw 22 inches of water and be 30 feet long. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Saturday, August 3, 1889; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
Pontiac having during the past year secured the location there of two factories, is beginning to thrive at a rate which most towns would call a boom. The Sentinel says: "Go into almost any part of the city, and you will see new dwellings or additions to dwellings in process of erection. As to real estate, lots which would not find sale eighteen months ago at $100 each are now double in value and bringing that in cash. It is evident to any observing mind that this city is on the high road to a prosperous
era, and every citizen can help this state of affairs on by speaking well of the city and aiding in all efforts to build up the city by his counsel and means." [The Ottawa Free Trader, 24 May 1890; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
Campus will soon have a grist mill with C.W. Sheldon as proprietor. [October 15, 1890 - Forrest Rambler; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
This is certainly one of the busiest times of the year, as everyone, whether in the city or on the farm, seems to be short of hands, and consequently day laborers can receive employment at about their own price. This demand is on account of the rapid approach of winter. In the city quite a number of new buildings have been started which the owners are anxious to have under cover; while on the farm fall plowing, husking corn, etc., form the order of the day.[Source: The
Daily Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL) Sunday, November 15, 1891; pg. 19; tr. by N. Kramer]
The firm of Odell and McKee have dissolved partnership. Mr. McKee retiring and hereafter the title will be F.E. Odell & Co. [Source: The Daily Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL) Sunday, November 15, 1891; pg. 19; tr. by N. Kramer]
The rains came just in time to prevent a water famine in the city. While it did not rain enough, yet it was sufficient to fill the cisterns and also affect the dry wells, and also set the streams a running the first time since July. [Source: The Daily Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL) Sunday, November 15, 1891; pg. 19; tr. by N. Kramer]
Forrest - As noticed last week Messrs. Pauley & Fay have sold their meat market. The purchaser is J. E. Moulds, of Saunemin. Sam Snyder will remain in the shop and do the cutting. Members of the old firm are going to retire from active business. November 28, 1894 - Forrest Rambler; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
Rev. E. A. Read, Ph. D., of Nova Scotia, has accepted a call to the Pontiac Baptist church. [True Republican 15 January 1896; sub. by Pam Geyer]
The old settlers in the vicinity of Saunemin will hold an old settlers meeting in the park at that place on Oct. 2nd. Let all who can, attend. [September 24, 1897 - Pontiac Sentinel; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
Hon. William Jackson, a member of the board of managers of the institution, today closed a contract with the Lancashire-Marshall Organ company for a $2,000 organ for the Pontiac reformatory, the instrument to be delivered in April. [The Rock Island Argus 27 December 1898; sub. by Pam Geyer]
Cullom lots are selling rapidly. Following are recent purchasers, part of whom will build: James Hargreaves, George Hargreaves, E. Flessner, F. W. Kingdon, Herman Ramien, Edward Nothnagle, Miss Ella Carey, Mrs. Katie Flood, and George W. Boeman. [The Weekly Pantagraph, May 20, 1898; sub. by PHG]
During Thanksgiving Day the members of The Glee and Mandolin Club were handsomely entertained in Pontiac by Superintendent Torrance, of the Illinois State Reform School, Mrs. Torrance and their daughter, Miss Grace Torrance. At 9 o'clock in the morning a concert was given to the Reform School boys in the chapel, after which the members were shown about the institution. A splendid Thanksgiving dinner was served in the spacious banquet hall and in the afternoon an invitation was accepted to witness the football
game between Lake Forest and Pontiac. After the concert, a reception and dance followed, making an enjoyable ending to an exceedingly pleasant day. [Daily Illini, 4 December 1899; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
The Pontiac city council passed a curfew law which goes into effect at once. A fine of five dollars is imposed upon those under 16 years of age who are caught after eight o'clock without a guardian. [True Republican 29 November 1899; Sub by Pam Geyer]
James A. Hunter has given his $5,000 bond as postmaster for Odell, with John McWilliams and G. A. Vincent as securities, and L. G. Vincent and William Watson, his deputies, took possession Saturday, he being sick. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Apr. 7, 1899; sub. by PHG]
W. J. Oden, who has run a livery barn at Flanagan for seven years, has sold out to Stephen Strahley for $3,500. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Apr. 27, 1900; sub. by PHG]
MILITARY AT PONTIAC
Major B. G. Fechet and Lieut. Col. Housel spent Wednesday at the State Reformatory at Pontiac. The military department was inspected and a company competitive, between four of the companies was held. After the competitive drill the regiment, consisting of 15 companies, was reviewed. The work in this department is excellent, considering the fact that it has only been established for 2 months. [Daily Illini, 22 October 1900; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Industrial Pontiac Exploited.
The Pontiac Sentinel has issued an industrial edition, sketching Pontiac business men, institutions and various public enterprises. The paper is gotten up in a neat and attractive form, with pictures of the Livingston county court house, Pontiac township high school, central district school building, public library, First M.E., First Presbyterian and St. Mary's churches. The Pontiac Shoe Manufacturing company gives employment to 300 persons, and the residence part of the city is very attractive and beautiful. The edition shows the enterprise and ability of Charles R. Truitt, publisher of the Sentinel. [Daily Pantagraph, 4 June 1901; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
The Home Times, a Flanagan paper, was established in 1885, it being fifteen years old a few days ago. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Jan. 4, 1901; sub. by PHG]
The Wabash Railroad company at Forrest, Ill. have under completion, a spacious, substantial building, to be used for a depot and the office of the Wabash officials. [The Pantagraph, Jun. 4, 1883, Page 3; sub. by PHG]
A Kankakee firm has been given the contract to build several blocks of cement sidewalks on the principal streets of Cullom. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Aug. 30, 1901; sub. by PHG]
Isaac Aerl, of Pontiac, has severed his connection with the board of education after serving eighteen years. [The Weekly Pantagraph, May 10, 1901; sub. by PHG]
A. E. Dunlap has bought the interest of his partner, George Brunskill, in their general store at Blackstone; the latter thinks of moving to Pontiac. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Aug. 30, 1901; sub. by PHG]
C. F. Ellis has been appointed postmaster at Scovel, Livingston county, the former postmaster, Reuben Scovel, having resigned. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Aug. 30, 1901; sub. by PHG]
John J. Ruff, of Sibley, has purchased the Cording hotel property in Strawn, paying for it $700. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Feb. 1, 1901; sub. by PHG]
William Schlipf, the Forrest blacksmith, will put up a two-story building, 30x50 feet, to take the place of the old shop and creamery building. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Aug. 30, 1901; sub. by PHG]
Chatsworth is probably the only town of its size in the state having no prisons. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Mar. 29, 1901; sub. by PHG]
It is probable that the C. & A. Railway company will erect a new passenger depot at Pontiac at a cost of $6,500. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Mar. 29, 1901; sub. by PHG]
Dr. W. A. Pendergrast, has located in this city, having leased a residence and expects to open an office in the business part of town for the practice of his profession. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Nov. 14, 1902; sub. by PHG]
Coal Mine Closed
The coal mine in Pontiac, operated by the Pontiac Coal company, a Chicago corporation, has been closed and nearly 300 miners thrown out of employment. Manager Searls stated that under the new day wage scale it was impossible for the mines in northern Illinois to sell coal to large consumers in competition with the thick veins in the southern field. Many of the miners will leave at once for the different mining districts throughout the state. [True Republican, 11 April 1903; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
The Manhattan Coal company of Cornell purchased a number of small houses of the old Pontiac Coal company. The houses will be loaded on flat cars and moved to north of Cornell. [Urbana Daily Courier 21 August 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
The Charlotte Evangelical church at Chatsworth is to be remodeled. Besides a new addition a furnace will be put in and a tower erected. [Urbana Daily Courier 21 August 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Mr. Phillips, of McDowell removed 100 pounds of honey from the gable end of his home. [Urbana Daily Courier 21 August 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
T.L.H. Holman of Livingston county reports oats in his section, which is at Saunemin, near Pontiac, making from 40 to 45 bushels per acre. ([Urbana Daily Courier 21 August 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer, who adds this Note: He is my uncle, and is buried at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Pleasant Ridge Township]
The annual old settlers picnic is to be held at Chatsworth, Aug. 27. The attractions will be Mayor Carter Harrison of Chicago, as orator, the Pontiac military band and the Pontiac Zouaves. [Urbana Daily Courier 8 August 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
SHOE COMPANY BEGINS TO PREPARE FOR REMOVAL.
The Rock Island shoe company today began active preparations for the removal to Pontiac. The cutting and stitching departments were closed and the machinery was dismantled and crated. Tomorrow evening the bottoming department will be closed and by Thursday the last of the machinery is expected to be on the road. The company is planning to begin operations in its new quarters in Pontiac Feb. 1. [The Rock Island, Argus 19 January 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
The female employees of the John Peaslee Shoe company who were engaged to accompany the factory in its removal to Pontiac left the city this morning traveling via Peoria. [The Rock Island Argus, 28 January 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Louis A. Schillinger, bookkeeper of the John Peaslee Shoe company, left this morning for Pontiac, the new home of the concern. The removal of the effects of the factory is now practically completed. [The Rock Island Argus, 21 February 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
PONTIAC COMPANY BUYS LOCAL INTEREST
Rock Island Stockholders In John Peaslee Company Dispose of Their Holdings.
Another phase has developed in the affairs of the John Peaslee Shoe company, formerly of Rock Island, in the sale of the stock held in the concern by Rock Island people to the Pontiac Shoe company, likewise of Pontiac. The deal was consummated this week. This practically means the passing of the control of the John Peaslee company into the hands of the Pontiac Shoe company, which will eventually operate both plants in that city. [The Rock Island Argus, 13 April 1903; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
SUNDAY GETS RESULTS
Bloomington, Ill., Dec. 7.---Mrs. Harriet Humiston, a wealthy woman at Pontiac, has announced her willingness to donate $20,000 for a Young Men's Christian Association building for Pontiac. The suggestion came to her from Miss Annie Lord of Pontiac, who was one of the converts in the series of revival meetings held there by the evangelist and former baseball player, Rev. W. A. Sunday. [The Rock Island Argus 7 December 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Steps have been taken for the erection of a new public library for Fairbury, which is the gift of L. B. Dominy. [Urbana Daily Courier 20 April 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
The reform school at Pontiac is idle because of a new state law and an injunction. The law was passed in the interest of the labor unions, who have for years been fighting prison-made goods. Farmers' Review 7 July 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
SUES TO OPEN PRISON SHOP
Company With State Contract Asks Injunction at Pontiac.
Pontiac. Ill., July 8.-- The J. G. Mott Granite company has asked an injunction restraining the board of managers of the state reformatory, or its superintendent. C. M. Mallory, from holding back the machinery or refusing the help necessary to operate it under the Mott contract with the state for such help. Judge Patton set the hearing for next Monday. [The Rock Island Argus 8 July 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Court Sustains Convict Labor.
Pontiac. Ill., July 13. --The new convict labor law was sustained in a decision rendered yesterday by Judge Patton refusing to grant the J. G. Mott Granite company an injunction to prevent interference with its reformatory contract. [The Rock Island Argus 13 July 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
The box factory in Pontiac will be started again. It will supply the boxes for the shoe factories and candy factory of Pontiac. [Urbana Daily Courier 8 July 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
All over Livingston county the farmers are organizing stock companies and building and operating their own elevators, and so far it is paying them big interest on the investment. They now run one at Spires, east of Minonk. They have one at Pontiac that gets all the grain that comes to town, as they pay three or four cents per bushel more for corn than other grain dealers. It is the same in McDowell. The farmers of Graymont are also organizing a stock company with a $10,000 capital. About all of the shares are sold and they will build in the near future. —Streator Free Press. [True Republican 27 January 1904; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
J. E. Eddy purchased a store building in Fairbury of T. A. Beach and will remodel it. [Urbana Daily Courier, 10 January 1905; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
WILL OWN ITS BREEDING FARM
Government Will Establish One for Horses In Livingston County.
Bloomington, Ill., Aug. 7. ---- The United States government is about to establish a vast breeding farm for horses in southern Livingston county. The Indian Creek farm has been leased for the purpose, and the work of installing the necessary buildings will commence at once. It is proposed to make this farm the most extensive of the kind in the country and it is hoped to furnish a very considerable portion of the horses required by the government. [Urbana Daily Courier, 7 August 1905; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
The Pontiac Y. M. C. A. building is just about completed. [Urbana Daily Courier 25 October 1905; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Bishop Lays Hospital Corner Stone.
Pontiac: Rev. Bishop O'Reilly, of Peoria, laid the corner stone of the new St. James hospital in this city. The hospital will cost over $70,000. [True Republican 27 July 1907; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
James Shield and Jesse King have purchased the store of A. N. Smith in Pontiac. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Sept. 25, 1908; sub. by PHG]
Joseph Kuhn & Son have sold their meat market in Strawn to John Kaiser, who takes possession January 1. [The Pantagraph, Sept. 14, 1908, Page 4; sub. by PHG]
Illinois Cities Growth
The 1900 census shows Pontiac had 4266 inhabitants, and the 1910 census shows there are 6090. [The Rock Island Argus, 11 January 1911]
Will Move Whole Town
Pontiac, III., Aug. 20. Practically the entire village of Cardiff, scene of the mining explosion where many lost their lives a few years ago, has been sold to I. W. Powell and Fred G. Snow, and 79 dwellings, stores, ice houses and big mine tipples will be moved to Kankakee. [The Day Book, 20 August 1913; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
GIRL IS DEPUTY SHERIFF
Roxanna Hill of Pontiac, Ill., Youngest Official of Kind In United States.
Pontiac, Ill., Jan. 27: The youngest woman deputy sheriff in the United States is Roxanna Hill, aged eighteen, of this city. Although Miss Hill has held her commission for only two weeks, she has filled the position for some time before becoming of legal age. Her duties are those of an office deputy. She opens the sessions of the county court and subpoenas witnesses for trials. [Urbana Daily Courier 27 January 1913; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
In discussing the penal institutions, the Governor states that there are in the reformatory at Pontiac about 630 persons. That the plant was built to accommodate a population of 1,000. The Governor suggests that a better classification of prisoners would permit the utilization of the reformatory facilities afforded by this institution and recommends that the age limit for admission be made 16 to 25 years. [The Rock Island Argus 30 January 1913; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Pontiac, Ill., -- Judge R. A. Russell relinquished position as supt. of Illinois state reformatory. Charges of cruelty. [The Day Book, 10 September 1913; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
RUSSELL STANDING PAT ON HIS ACTS AT PONTIAC
Pontiac, Ill., Sept. 12. --- R. A. Russell, who has resigned as superintendent of the Illinois state reformatory, yesterday signed a statement which reads in part: "During my administration there has been no severe punishment of inmates. The records show that I have had more than 5,000 interviews with inmates in my office, and no complaint was ever made that was not immediately looked into. Nothing unreasonable was ever required of them by the rules, and we have as humane, reasonable and sensible men employed as guards, teachers and instructors as can be found anywhere. When I came to this institution on Jan. 1, 1910, the first thing that was told me was that there was an indebtedness, not a shortage, of more than $35,000 against the funds of the institution proper. That indebtedness has been disposed of." [The Rock Island Argus, 12 September 1913; Sub. by Pam Geyer]
Pontiac, Ill.: Inmates of Pontiac state reformatory testify they were treated cruelly by Dr. Marshall. [Chicago Livestock World 16 September 1913]
BOYS TELL OF CRUELTIES
Pontiac, Ill., Sept. 17. -- Nearly 40 boy inmates of the state reformatory have appeared before the board of managers to tell stories of alleged cruel treatment at the hands of attendants in the investigation now being carried out. Public opinion is divided concerning the merits of the investigation, many persons believing the boys' stories without question, while others pronounce the inquiry a political move to justify the removal of public officeholders. [The Day Book 17 September 1913]
OFFICIAL RESIGNS JOB AT STATE REFORMATORY
Pontiac, Ill., Sept 17. -- As a result of the investigation of charges of cruel treatment of the inmates of the Illinois state reformatory here, Captain William Robb, assistant disciplinarian, has resigned. Robb has been in charge of all punishment inflicted on the inmates. R. Hanley and H. Olvey, officers in the institution, have been discharged. The investigation, which is being conducted by Attorney General Lucey and the board of managers, was continued today. Some twenty-seven inmates have testified to the cruelty suffered at the hands of P. Kinsella, R. Hanley, H. Olvey, officers at the institution, and Dr. J. A. Marshall, the reformatory physician. An inmate by the name of Cutchswortz, who was sent to the institution from Chicago, stated Kinsella knocked him down because of a trivial matter in the print shop. The boy stated that James Madigan, superintendent of the printing department, was near by at the time and witnessed the affair. Mr. Madigan was called and substantiated the boy's statement. Madigan also told of "seeing Kinsella strike a boy by the name of Wright."
Ernest Culvertson, sentenced from Chicago, also substantiated Cutchswortz's statement of Kinsella's cruelty. "Once," said Culvertson, "Kinsella hit me a blow in the pit of the stomach and then gave me fourteen days in the screened cells, where I had the concrete floor for a bed and bread and water to eat." Culvertson stated that 99 per cent of the boys who entered the reformatory were beaten by the officers. [The Rock Island Argus 17 September 1913]
Pontiac, Ill., --Dr. John Ross named as temporary physician of state reformatory by Gov. Dunne. [The Day Book 29 September 1913]
Pontiac Reforms Instituted
Springfield, Ill., April 6. --The daily routine in the Pontiac reformatory has been radically changed during the last six months under the new superintendent, W. C. Graves. Baseball games in the open grounds and basketball, volley ball, and other indoor games in the gymnasium are now provided, much to the betterment of discipline. The quiet rule has been abolished and now boys may talk to each other as they work side by side in the shops and industries. The result is greater interest in the work before them. Superintendent Graves has adopted the big brother movement, and has announced to the boys that he is going to be the big brother to every one of them. [The Rock Island Argus, 6 April 1914]
REFORMATORY INMATES ALLOWED RECREATION AFTER ATTENDING CHURCH SERVICES.
CONCERT GIVEN BY BAND.
Supt. Graves Tells of Changes in Rules and Reason Why His Wards Are Not Kept in Cells All Day.
Superintendent Graves of the Illinois State Reformatory at Pontiac has inaugurated a new Sunday recreation plan for the inmates of his institution.
Never since the reformatory was established were the inmates permitted any recreation on Sundays until Judge Graves took charge. The inmates were locked in their cells during the entire afternoon, after attending religious services, to remain there until Monday morning.
Under the system now inaugurated, the boys attend chapel from 10:30 o'clock until 11:30. After dinner, and at one o'clock, inmates who are desirous of doing so, and whoso records are sufficiently clean to warrant them the privileges, are permitted to attend Y.M.C.A. exercise, conducted by the boys themselves, from one to two o'clock, without the presence of guards. These meetings are arranged by the boys in connection with the chaplain and the librarian, and very seldom have any rules of the institution been violated as a result of this confidence in them.
Band Concert Is Given.
After the Y.M.C.A. exercises, every inmate in the institution marches out to the ball ground, following the institution band, which provides a concert for their entertainment during the afternoon. While the band concert is going on, a game of baseball is played by teams of inmates. The boys have been cautioned that any disorderly conduct of any kind during the ball games on Sunday afternoon, or any overdue enthusiasm which would show disrespect for the day, would cause them to lose the privilege. As a result, not a single violation of the rules of the institution has occurred, and a more orderly bunch of boys could not be found outside the institution. [Urbana Daily Courier, 23 June 1914]
Report that gold has been found on farm of Joseph Algeo in Owego township caused excitement. Not verified. [The Day Book, 30 January 1915; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]
Books for the District School
The Story of Griswold School and Its Library
It is only a little room, seven feet or so square, built into one corner of a country schoolhouse in Livingston county, Illinois, but there are many whole schoolhouses that do not mean half so much in their districts as that little room does to the community round about.
That room is the library of Griswold School--a real library with a table and a chair, and book cases reaching almost to the ceiling. I wanted to sit right there at the table and spend the rest of the day with those books. How I would have reveled in a school library like that when I was a boy, for I never could get half enough to read. It means a great deal for those boys and girls of Griswold School to grow up with a library like that. It means a great deal to the older people too, for every one in the district is welcome to use the books. They make good use of the privilege, too, as a glance at the box of library cards showed. I wish I could take space to name over a few of the 500 books in that little school library. The best of fiction and poetry and biography and travel are there. There are standard books on farming and homemaking, too; whole shelves of them. But I must go back to the beginning and tell you how the Griswold School happened to have such a library.
I wish I could tell you that the people of the district realized the value of a library like this, and cheerfully taxed themselves to provide it. But the truth is that most people don't like to tax themselves for anything. The first Griswold school was built in 1868, a common, box-like schoolhouse of the type that has educated so many good men and women in Illinois. When it burned down in 1912 the people of the district decided to build another just about like it. But one of the directors, Isaac Gallup, was not satisfied to duplicate the old building. He believed that the boys and girls should have the advantage of some of the modern ideas in schoolhouse building-- in heating and lighting and ventilation. He believed that it would pay, too, to spend a little money and give a little thought to make the schoolroom an attractive place to remove some of the somber, depressing atmosphere that seems to hang about so many schoolrooms. Realizing that there was no chance of getting money within the district for these things, Gallup wrote to M. F. Rittenhouse , a Chicago philanthropist who had a son living in the district, and suggested that here was an opportunity to use a little money to mighty good advantage. Most of the men of the district were at the schoolhouse site with loads of lumber when the reply came, which offered to donate $ 500 toward a new schoolhouse providing it should be built according to standard plans approved by the state department of education. The offer was accepted. Later Mr. Rittenhouse offered to donate a 28-inch bell if the directors would build a belfry, and this offer, too, was accepted. Still later he provided the school with five hundred or so books for the library, and with many of the pictures which make the walls so cheerful. The illustrations tell better than words how attractive and homelike this schoolroom is. Even the clock adds to the friendly appearance of the room. There is a coal room next to the stove, and 25 or 30 camp chairs are stored in the attic for use when some neighborhood meeting brings all the people to the schoolhouse. Mr. Rittenhouse is dead now, but in his will he left an endowment of a thousand dollars, the interest on which is to be used to keep the Griswold School library up to date. The money he has put into this school is bearing greater interest than any money he ever invested in stocks or bonds, for it is paying dividends of inspiration and awakened ambition in the lives of the boys and girls of the district. Here is a statement from the catalog of the school library that is particularly good.
"Millionaires have founded libraries, art galleries and educational institutions in large centers of population, but seldom have they spent money in the isolated rural school sections, giving them the advantage of city life."
I wish the parents of other school districts all over Illinois could see this Griswold School and its library, and talk with the people of the district. I am sure that they would go home convinced of the value of such a school to the community, and would determine to have one like it of their own, even though they might have to pay for it by taxes higher than they enjoy paying. A school like this is worth all that it costs and more, and tax money spent in building and supporting it is money well invested.--Editor, Prairie Farmer [Prairie Farmer, 18 November 1916]
Word has been received from Mort Winters, of between Saunemin and Wing that the Vermilion river at that point is from a half to three-quarters of a mile in width. May 19, 1916 - Bloomington Weekly Pantagraph; Sub by Pam Haag Geyer]
Arthur A. Lowry has the honor of being the only Afro-American lawyer in Pontiac, Ill, and he is kept busy all the time in looking after the interests of his many white and colored clients. [The Broad Ax 1 December 1917]
Cullom Farmer's Bank Closed for Inspection
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 8.-- Officials of the state auditor's office declined comment today on the auditor's recent order closing the Farmer's State Bank of Cullom, in Livingston county, beyond the statement that it was closed for examination and adjustment at the request of the bank's directors. F.A. Adams, chief bank examiner for the southern division said the bank, capitalized at $25,000, reported approximately $400,000 of deposits in a statement to the auditor's office last December. It was ordered closed April 5. [Daily Illini, 9 April 1943]
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