Souvenir Compliments of the Citizens of Pleasant Hill 1907
Transcribed & Contributed by Billie Browning - August 2008
Frederick Priestley was born in England where he lived until about twenty seven years old. He was converted at an early age and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was licensed to preach.
He with his wife, Ann Priestley, came to America in 1852, and settled in Arkansas where they lived for six years; at which time, with team and wagon, they removed to Illinois and established a home in Pleasant Hill.Being thrifty and energetic, he soon owned a small farm joining the town on the east, where he employed a portion of his time. He was a stone and brick mason by trade, and while he laid foundations on which to build earthly structures, he told of the Solid Rock of which it has been declared. "Other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus," and urged every one to build a spiritual structure on this foundation.There are houses all over this country whose chimneys, the work of his hands, like so many index fingers pointing to Heaven, perpetuate the memory of Uncle Fred.
The winter months were spent in preaching and doing evangelistic work, helping the pastor in revival meetings all over the circuit. He was a member of the Illinois Conference and some years took work as a pastor. His labor was not narrowly confined to his own church, but he was ever ready to lend a helping hand to all Christian workers. Was there anyone sick or in distress, Uncle Fred and aunt Ann were sure to find it out and set an example in doing deeds of mercy and love.
Time and space do not permit making mention of all the good these two have don, nor does the writer feel adequate to the task suffice to say. "The half has never yet been told", nor will we know, until we reach the place where "we shall as we are known". However this we do know, no man ever lived among us who got nearer the hearts of the people than did he, and when he passed on to receive his crown, which occurred December 22 1895, all felt that we had sustained one common loss. Aunt Ann is still with us, ever shedding about her a halo of holy light.
The Oldest House in Pleasant Hill (above)
Jacob Turnbaugh the man who built it in 1840 (below)
Mr. Blake was born March 17, 1846, near Barry, ILL, where he lived until he reached his majority. He obtained a common school education in the home school and choosing teaching for a life work, he went to Normal, ILL, and fitted himself for the profession in the State Normal University.
After teaching for several years in other parts of the county, he came to Pleasant Hill township where he taught twenty years in three schools, being at Stockland seven years, at Oakland seven years and was principal of the Pleasant Hill schools six years, ever inspiring his pupils with the desire for higher education, many of whom are now teaching, or filling responsible positions with honor to themselves and credit to him.
Thinking it best to leave the schools with younger teachers, he retired from the profession and has since turned his attention exclusively to farming. He was converted in 1873 and became a member of the Methodist church; was married April 16, 1879, to Emma F. daughter of W.F. Berry. They settled in a home on Washington St. where they have since resided.
(Milo and Emma are buried at Crescent Heights Cemetery