Newspaper Unknown, 1931
Henry Balster, Veteren, is Ninety - Birthday Observed At Home Here Monday; One of Oldest Men In County. - Henry Balster, Sr., one of the few remaining Civil War veterans in Menard County and one of the country's oldest men, celebrated his ninetieth birthday Monday January 19 at his home here, surrounded by his children and grandchildren who treated him to a delightful surprise party. Those in attendance were John Balster, Mr. & Mrs. Ben Balster and daughter Ermal and son, Emmerson, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Balster, Jr. and daughter Velda Mary , Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Balster and daughter Dorothy Jean, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hopwood, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Bennett and daughter Eileen. One son, Harmon, was unable to be present. Four generations were represented at the happy gathering, by Mr. Balster, his son Thomas, Thomas Balster's daughter, Irene Balster Bennett, and her daughter, Eileen, aged 8 months. The four posed for a group picture. Ice cream and cake were served, a huge angel food cake, decorated with the correct number of candles, holding the place of honor at the table. Mr. Balster was born January 19, 1841, in Germany, and came to this country at the age of twenty. He was a member of Co. K, 114th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War, and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. He took up farming and lived and reared his family on a farm near Tice, retiring and coming to this city twenty years ago. Mrs. Balster and one daughter, Marie, the wife of Walter Kasten, died several years ago. For many years Mr. Balster has been a communicant of St. Paul's Church, and he is a man who was won an enviable reputation for himself in this community in which he has lived for so many years. He has the best wishes of the entire community for continual health and happiness.