Jenny Lind Hutcherson

Petersburg Observer, April 20, 1928

Mrs. Hutcherson Dead
Mrs. Jenny Lind Hutcherson, Named by Famous Singer, is Dead.
Death Occurred Saturday; Funeral Services Held Sunday Afternoon.

Mrs. Jenny Lind Hutcherson, wife of Milton M. Hutcherson, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary DeFreese in this city Saturday, April 14, at the age of seventy-two years, after spending four years in a wheel chair, as an invalid.

Jenny Lind Wilcox was born June 7, 1856, near Louisville, Ky., the daughter of James and Margaret Harlow Wilcox. She was one of thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy, all the others growing to great ages. Seven girls, of whom she was one, and four boys of this large family attained maturity and reared large families. All of them, the sisters and brothers of the deceased have passed on except one, Mrs. Lucy Williams of Springfield, who is past eighty years of age.

Jenny Lind Wilcox came by her name in a novel and beautiful way. The famous singer Jenny Lind, called the Swedish nightingale, was making an American tour. She was entertained at a reception in Louisville. Among the women present to honor the great singer was a young mother with a babe three weeks old. Jenny Lind held the baby in her arms. She asked its name. When told that the baby had not yet been named, she said: "Let me name her. Call her Jenny Lind".

That was always a pleasant and beautiful memory with Mrs. Hutcherson.

She was left an orphan when she was a child. Her father died when she was five years old and her mother when she was seven, and she lived with the families of older sisters. While still a very young girl she was married to Richard Wallace, a Civil War veteran who had been wounded at the Battle of Shiloh. He was several years her senior. To this union two sons were born, one dying in infancy, and the other, Edward Wallace, growing to manhood.

After the death of her first husband she worked to care for her infant child until she was united in marriage with James Thomas Duff, a Menard county farmer.

Seven children, six daughters and one son, were born to this union, all of whom are living. They are Mrs. Mary DeFreese, Petersburg; Mrs. Robert Needham, Billingham, Wash.; Mrs. Joseph Hickey, Chicago; John Thomas Duff, Havana; Mrs. Frank B. Miller, Petersburg; and Mrs. Elva Ruth Servoss, Havana.

She is survived also by nineteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

James Thomas Duff preceded her in death, April 29, 1897. December 6, 1899, she was married to Milton McCord Hutcherson who survives her after a union of nearly thirty years.

Five years ago failing health brought on invalidism. Since that time she had made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Mary DeFreese, at whose home in this city she died.

For four years Mrs. Hutcherson lived in a wheel chair. But her cheerful disposition made itself felt. Little children loved her, calling her "Grandma" and brought her flowers and gifts. Everybody who passed waved at her. She treasured their friendship, their gifts.

Everyone who knew her said of her that she never said an unkind word about anybody or to anybody. She never gossiped. She was sincerely a Christian, faithful in her prayers and her belief.

Althought she loved life and loved her family and wanted to live with her children about her, she was willing to go when her last illness came. She was conscious to the end and named the friends whom she wanted to act as her pallbearers. In the still watches of one of the last nights she told one of her daughters, "It is beautiful to die". She knew the beauty of death and died in the belief that she was going to "Our Heavenly Father".

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, April 15 at 2 o'clock from the Christian church in this city, conducted by Rev. L. R. Cronkite, and burial was in Oakland cemetery.

Contributed by Matthew Ferricks