Stark County Illinois Obituaries and Death Notices

Gilbert H. Redfield

Sept. 14, 1904, Stark County (Illinois) News, pg. 1:

Angles (sic) had whispered that some one was blest,

Free from all trials and taking sweet rest,

Some one has gone to Heaven's bright shore.

Ring the bells softy -- there's crepe on the door.

One by one the old settlers are passing beyond; one by one those we knew and loved long ago are passing beyond our sight, and how many of Stark county's old settlers live only in memory today.

G.H. Redfield was born in Scotchtown, New York, January 7, 1819. He was married to Nancy Beach February 22, 1843. To this union two children were born, a son and a daughter, the latter dying in infancy. The son was a soldier during the war of the rebellion and died in service at Cassville, Missouri.

His wife died in 1846, and he was united in marriage to Miss Mary R. (Rosetta) Smith September 12, 1867. To this union two children were born, a son and a daughter -- J. Arthur Redfield, of Spencer, Iowa, and Mrs. Mary A. Jones, of Port Orchard, Washington. He also leaves four step-children, to whom he has always been kind and greatly attached. They are Frank Smith, of St. Joseph, Missouri, who with his son Steward, was present at the funeral; Amelia Smith, of LaFayette; Mrs. Carrie M. Bailey, Menlow, Washington, and Mrs. Jessie Titlow, LaFayette.

The deceased moved to Illinois in 1849, but went to Pennsylvania in about a year. He returned to Illinois in a short time, bringing with him his mother, two brothers and two sisters, and has been a resident of Stark county ever since, fifty-four years. For about forty years of this time he lived on a farm east of LaFayette. Since leaving the farm he has been a resident of LaFayette.

At the organization of the Universalist church he became a charter member, and he has been a constant and faithful member ever since, dying as he had lived for so many years, in the full faith of the final harmony of God. He was especially interested in the fraternal work and social ties that bind men together. He was a charter member of the LaFayette Lodge No. 657, I. O. O. F., and as long as he had the physical ability, he was a regular attendant at the meetings.

For many years, he held office in the township, serving as assessor, collector, school director and road commissioner for eighteen years.

His spirit took its flight from the mortal body September 5, 1904, at 6 p.m. For several years he has been afflicted, but was able to be around until the Tuesday preceding his death. The past few years he has lived in the retirement of home, and as year by year the shades of his life have deepened, he has seemed to mature like a shock fully ripe for the harvest, and departed this life at the ripe age of 85 years, 7 months and 28 years (sic).

Such, in brief, is the history of Mr. Redfield. He came from a family of eleven children, and now only one remains, a sister, Mrs. Martha Jones, who only two short weeks ago left her home in LaFayette, for her faraway home in California. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Rev. J. B. Fisher, assisted by Rev. John Hughes, conducted the funeral services from the Universalist church Wednesday, at 2 p.m. The very large gathering of neighbors and friends was a manifestation of the esteem in which he was held. The floral tributes were many and beautiful.

A model husband, father, citizen and husband, he kept the faith and has gone to that reward laid up from the foundations of the world for those who love their Creator. As we bid farewell to one whose memory we revere we add a word of sincere sympathy for the stricken family. May a kindly providence ever be about the aged companion. She has gently smoothed life's pathway for him during his latter years, and amid the kindlyadministrations of her hands he quietly fell asleep, and she is left towhile many lonely hours away.

Under the beautiful ritual form of the order of Odd Fellows all that was mortal was laid to rest in our cemetery, near where he first settled in this county and bared his arm, in the strength of his young manhood, to usher in the civilization it is our privilege to enjoy today.

Farewell companion, father, friend, neighbor, until the day break and the shadows flee away. The last sad rites are performed over another one of Stark county's most honored pioneers.

Rest to the sturdy pioneer,

Nobly hath he wrought;

The blessings now proclaim how well

Life's battles he has fought;

May we take up the work

And go bravely pressing on,

Emulating the good in them

And the valor they have won.

Card of thanks

Mrs. Redfield hereby expresses her thanks and gratitude, so far as words are able to convey, to the many friends and neighbors, for the generous help extended and sympathy expressed, in this trying time of her life, also for the beautiful floral offerings contributed by kind hands. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Joseph Reed

Stark County News , Aug. 23, 1888

Joseph Reed

Joseph Reed, who has been so long afflicted, died last Saturday at 1 o'clock p.m. and was buried Sunday in the Starwano cemetery. He was in his eighty-third year. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Harry Reid

May, 1934

Harry Reid, Invalid For Years, Summoned Early Friday Morning

Harry Lewis Reid, son of Charles L. and Jennie Reid was born in Milo township, July 14, 1897 and died on Friday morning, April 27, 1934, aged 36 years, 9 months and 12 days. When a child of four years of age he received an injury to his hip which greatly handicapped him during the remainder of his life, leaving him a cripple. He received his schooling in the township in which he was born, and has since lived in this community.

Always of an industrious nature he was ever looking for something to keep himself busy. At one time he conducted a fruit store and restaurant in Bradford. Later he went back to his father's place in Milo, and a number of years ago moved into Bradford, where he and his sister, Mrs. Ethel Roese have since lived.

He was a member of the Odd Fellow lodge of Whitefield and the Emerald Rebekah lodge of the same place. These lodges had charge of the funeral Sunday.  He is survived by his father, Chas. L. Reid, his sister, Mrs. Ethel M. Roese and two brothers, Harold L. Reid and Howard L. Reid, all of this place.

Funeral services were conducted Sunday afternoon by Rev. Stanley Ward at the Boyd's Grove Methodist church at 2:30 o'clcok. Interment was in the Mound cemetery. TAKEN FROM THE BRADFORD REPUBLICAN

Mrs. Julia Rhodes
Stark County Union, Toulon, Ill., January 1, 1862
Died in Goshen of consumption, Dec. 3, Mrs. Julia Rhodes, wife of Hugh Rhodes, Esq. of Goshen in her 55th year.

Charles T. Riggen

Unknown Newspaper , March 1944

Funeral services for Charles Riggen, 82, lifelong resident of Peoria and Stark counties, were held at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon at the Elmore church, with Rev. Fred Reed, of Williamsfield, pastor of the church, in charge. Mr. Riggen passed away at 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the home of his son, Earl Riggen, of the Stringtown vicinity. He had always enjoyed good health until about four weeks before his death.

Pall bearers were E.C. Gingrich, Dewey Sloan, Murray Babcock, Leslie King, John Kelley and Bert Chaberlain. Singers were Mrs. Ruth Sargent and Mrs. Helen McClellan, accompanied by Mrs. James Nelson, all of Williamsfield. Interment was in Glendale cemetery at Elmore.

Charles Thomas Riggen, son of Thomas and Julia Ann Stargel Riggen was born October 11, 1861, in the vicinity of Elmore and passed away March 25, 1944, at the home of his son, Earl Riggen, of Stringtown, at the age of 82 years, five months, and 14 days.

He was married July 1, 1886, to Ida Luella Yelm at Kewanee and to this union were born nine children, all of whom survive but two. He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. George Libby, of West Jersey; Mrs. Grover Laswell, of Elmore, and Mrs. James Johnson, of Chicago; four sons, Thomas, of Laura; Benjamin, of Princeville; Samuel, of Rock Falls; and Earl, of Stringtown. Also surviving are 18 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Mrs. Riggen and two sons preceded him in death. Mr. Riggen was the last of his family of nine brothers and sisters. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Ida (Yelm) Riggen

Unknown Source, March 1938

Funeral services for Mrs. Ida L. Riggen, 71, who passed away March 13 at her home in Elmwood, were held last Wednesday afternoon at Elmore ME church with Rev. Kneebone, of Williamsfield, officiating. Music was furnished by Coe Brothers' quartet of Laura.

Body bearers were Ed Grohs, Ben Armstrong, Sam Blust, George Laronace, Clyde Collins and Fred Shaw, of Elmore. Interment was in Elmore cemetery.

Decedent was a daughter of Anderson and Priscilla Aby Yelm and was born in Stark county March 2, 1867, being aged 71 years and 11 days at the time of her death. She was united in marriage to Charles Riggen July 1, 1874, and to this union were born nine children, two of whom are deceased.

Surviving are the husband and seven children, as follows: Mrs. George Libby, of West Jersey; Mrs. Grover Laswell, of Elmwood; Mrs. James Johnson, of Chicago; Thomas, of Laura; Benjamin, of Elmwood; Samuel E. of Altona, and Earl, of Wyoming. She also leaves 17 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Elvie Rice, or Williamsfield, and Mrs. Mary Norman, of Scott City, Kansas, and two brothers, Benjamin and William, of Elmore. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Samuel E. Riggen

Samuel E. Riggen, 56, of near Albany and formerly of Fenton was killed Wednesday noon when his car struck a tree three quarters of a mile east of Cobb school north of Morrison.

Funeral services for Mr. Riggen will be held at the Reynolds funeral home Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and at the church at Elmore, Ill. at 4p.m. Burial will be in the Glendale cemetery there.

The deceased was born at Elmore March 12, 1898, the son of Charles and Ida Yelm Riggen. He was reared and educated in the Elmore vicinity and was married Dec. 6, 1926 to Veffie Bell. They moved to Fenton in 1951.

He was married the second time on Jan. 16, 1954 to Clara Quimby and they have resided at Route 1, Albany.

Mr. Riggen is survived by his wife; three sons Charles of Morrison, William and Richard at home; one daughter, Arlene at home; two brothers, Tom of Laura, and Earl Riggen of Toulon; a sister, Mrs. George Libby of Peoria. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, a daughter Luella and a son Howard, three brothers, Benjamin, Willis and Charles Riggen; two sisters Mrs. James Johnson and Mrs. Grover Laswell. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Veffie (Bell) Riggen

Veffie Bell was born at Brimfield, Illinois on Feb. 24, 1907. She was a graduate of Williamsfield high school and Macomb college, teaching school for five years after her graduation from teachers college.

She was married Dec. 4, 1926 at Galesburg to Samuel Ed Riggen. The couple lived in Rock Falls for a short time, moving to Ustick township where they farmed for 11 years. They had moved to the present farm, six miles southwest of Morrison on the Fenton slab, Jan. 3, 1951. She was a member of the Methodist church at French Grove, Ill.

Mrs. Riggen is survived by her husband; three sons, Charles, Moffet Field, Calif., William and Richard at home; one daughter, Arlene, at home; three sisters, Mrs. Blanche McCall of Peoria, Mrs. Allen Bown of Princeville, and Mrs. Ray McCuen of Toulon. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Louella May, and a son, Howard Eugene; and her parents. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Earnest Roberts

Earnest ROBERTS was born in Stark County near Bradford, Ill., May 21, 1875, near which place he has spent most of his life.

From his earliest training at home he acquired the habit of industry, and soon learned the value of time well employed. He spent his summers at farming and farm labor and was counted among the best men on the farms. During the winter months he worked in the coal mines in this vicinity. Here too he showed his ability to accomplish the things he undertook.

He will be remembered by those who knew him as a kind, generous, affable young man, who was always ready to bestow upon his fellow man the true merit he deserves. His genial manner and peculiar way of setting aside the ills of life that so often wreck mankind have cheered the weary hearted with whom he came into contact.

Earnest's health seemed good until about two years ago, and not until recently did his case seem critical. Upon close examination it was found that along with other ailments he had lung trouble and together with a weakened constitution it was hardly possible for him to live long here, so on March 15, 1907, accompanied by his father, he started for Cedron, Kan., at which place he died March 25, 1907, aged 31 years, 10 months and 4 days.

Besides his bereaved parents he leaves four brothers and two sisters, and a large number of companions and friends to mourn his loss. Funeral services were held at Snareville Friday, March 29th, at 10:00 a.m., conducted by Rev. J.G. REED, using as a text Ps. 90, 12. A select choir, consisting of Mrs. Anna MURRAY, Misses Joy HOGATE and Natalie SNARE, Messrs. B.W. CRUM and Karl SNARE, furnished appropriate music. Interment in Snareville cemetery.

The grief stricken family have the sympathy of the entire community.

He apparently never married. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Raymond Roberts

Stark County News

August 21, 1929

Funeral services for Raymond ROBERTS, who passed away at his home near Wyoming Saturday, were held at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon at Osceola Grove. Rev. E.L. BAYLISS, pastor of the Osceola Baptist church, was in charge of the services, and interment was in Osceola Grove cemetery.

Three years ago, Mr. ROBERTS was taken ill with tuberculosis and went with his family to Colorado where he hoped to regain his health. Failing in this, he returned to Illinois in May of this year. Since then, he gradually grew weaker, suffering greatly in the last few weeks.

Raymond ROBERTS was born in Modena, Illinois, May 6, 1892, and passed away August 17, 1929, at his home near Wyoming. He was aged 37 years, 3 months and 11 days at the time of his passing. Besides his wife and son Lloyd, he leaves his mother, Mrs. Trinca ROBERTS, two sisters, Mrs. Clara SCOTT and Mrs. Anna FRANCIS, three brothers, Henry of Chillicothe, George of Bradford and Claude, of Oregon; also a sister-in-law, Sylvia VANDYKE, who has made her home with them since early childhood. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Trinca (Dunn) Roberts

Stark County News

Sept. 13, 1933

Funeral services for Mrs. William ROBERTS, 80, were held Tuesday afternoon at the Snareville Church, Rev. L.M. HOVDA of Castleton being in charge. Her entire life was spent in and near Modena with the exception of three years.

Body bearers were Herbert FORD, Harry BARTON, Hayes HARMON, Manley LIGGETT and James MALONE.

Interment was in Snareville Cemetery.

Mrs. ROBERTS was taken ill Friday and her death, which occurred Sunday afternoon, was caused by a heart attack.

Trinca DUNN was born December 18, 1853, near Modena, her parents being Mr. and Mrs. James DUNN. January 8, 1872, she was united in marriage at Bradford to William ROBERTS.

She is survived by three sons, Henry of Modena, Claude, who lives in Nebraska, and George of Bradford, also two daughters, Mrs. Oliver FRANCIS of Bradford and Mrs. James SCOTT of Modena. She also leaves one brother, James DUNN of Ladd.

(Note: The Bradford Republican's obituary on the same date identified Trinca DUNN's parents as James and Martha DUNN. It added that her year of marriage was 1873, which agrees with Stark County marriage records, and says her surviving son Claude lives in Portland, Oregon. ) - Contributed by Karen Seeman

William Roberts

(Note: William ROBERTS' obituary in the March 24, 1909, Bradford Republican, did not specify the day he died, leaving his birth and death dates still approximate for this record)

On the eve of his fifty-sixth birthday William ROBERTS, for many years a resident of Osceola, recently residing at Modena, expired. Death followed an accident which befell Mr. ROBERTS the first week in November which left him a helpless cripple. He passed away at eleven o'clock at night, just one hour from the time that he would have entered upon his fifty-sixth birthday.

The accident occurred in a coal mine at Modena where Mr. ROBERTS was working. The roof of the mine gave away, crushing him to the floor. His back was hurt and it was believed at first that his spine had been broken, but this was not the case, as it later developed that he had suffered internal injuries. Since the mishap he has been totally helpless.

Mr. ROBERTS was born three miles west of here. He was married in this vicinity and lived in and around here all his life. Thirty-seven years ago he was united in marriage with Miss Trinca DUNN, who survives with six children, as follows: Henry, Claude, George, Mrs. Clara SCOTT, all married and living in that vicinity, and Raymond and Anna, at home.

Funeral services were conducted Friday afternoon. Interment was at the Snareville church cemetery, a few miles south of the deceased's home. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mrs. Hannah E. Robinson

January 24, 1867

At Wyoming, Stark Co., January 13, at her daughter's residence, of asthmatic consumption, HANNAH E. ROBINSON, ages 73 years, and 9 months. She was the mother of W. D. ROBINSON, of this city. "MARSHALL COUNTY REPUBLICAN, HENRY, IL" submitted by Nancy Piper

Robert Robinson

March 1, 1877

Local Correspondence

Died at Bradford, Feb. 20th, of dropsy, Robert Robinson, aged 39 years, interment at Wyoming. (Henry Republican - Contributed by Nancy Piper)

Henry Rosenbaum

Henry Rosenbaum, 79, of rural Bradford, died at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, January 29, 1981 in Proctor hospital, Peoria.  Born January 16, 1902 in Deer Creek, a son of Leo and Anna Miller Rosenbaum, he was a farmer until retiring in 1980.  Surviving are one brother, Richard of Peoria, eight sisters, Hattie Fouts, Anna Dunn, Dora Rosenbaum, and Helen Bechtold, all of Bradford, Kathryn Rosenbaum, Grace Seward and Martha Peterson, all of Peoria and Mary DeGroot of Wyoming.  He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, John of Peoria and Leo of Bradford; and one sister, Tomma, of Madaryville, Ind.  ....... Burial was in Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Kewanee. [Bradford Republican, Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Arthur Rowe


Coroner A. F. Benson, who arrived from Galva yesterday afternoon, immediately after being notified of the accidental death of Arthur Rowe, who was killed while at work in the radiation department of the Kewanee Boiler Company, had the body removed to the undertaking parlors of Carpenter & Cavanaugh, where an inquest was held at 4:30 o'clock.

Witnesses examined included Eugene Rowe, 502 Dewey avenue, father of the young man, who testified in regard to the family history; Ben Nuding, 531 Elliott street, foreman of the moulding machine gang with which Mr. Rowe was connected; Wm. D. Rowe, a brother; W. E. Good, foreman of the jury, who testified in regard to the machinery and working conditions in the pit where Mr. Rowe met death; George Workheiser, Wm. Humphrey, A. Angielyck and Russell Lee, employes of the radiation department of the Kewanee Boiler Company, who told what they knew of the accident.

A recess was taken during the inquest, permitting the members of the jury to visit the scene of the accident. Several shop employees acted as guides, conducting the visitors to the belt pit where the accident occurred, where the belts and other contrivances were inspected.

From the testimony it was gathered that Arthur Mason Rowe was born in Wethersfield July 7, 1908, and he would have been nineteen years old in another month. When but a small child he suffered a severe attack of brain fever, as a result of which his speech was interfered with to some extent, and it was difficult for him to make satisfactory progress in his studies.

The young man started to work for the Kewanee Boiler Company last April, and for the last five or six weeks he had been working in the belt pit under one of the moulding machines in the radiation department. The work in the pit consists of keeping the pit clear of the moulding sand which falls from the machine, by shoveling it upon wide endless belts, which carry it to a conveyor, and finally back to the moulding machine.

Two men were assigned to work in the pit, but Mr. Rowe was alone at the time of the accident. There are two distinct sets of belts in the pit, and the accident occurred in connection with the belt which was several feet distant from the one upon which Mr. Rowe shoveled the sand. As there were no eye-witnesses of the accident, the reason for Mr. Rowe's contact with the belt which caused his death is a mystery.

(portion of the article missing)

...cinery stopped, suddenly, and Mr. Nuding and other workmen descended into the pit to ascertain the cause. One of the workmen pulled upon the belt in an attempt to start it, and presently the feet of Mr. Rowe were seen protrucing from the sand which parly covered the body, which was face upward, with the left arm caught between the belt and the pulley. Mr. Workheiser sawed the belt in two, thus releasing the young man's arm. The arm had been partly torn from the body, and the face had been forced into the sand, death having been pratically instantaneous.

In stating the nature of the young man's injuries, Dr. A. F. Benson stated to the jury that Mr. Rowe's left arm had been caught between the belt and the pulley, and had been partly torn apart at its juncture with the body. The main blood-vessels were severed, and air had been permitted to reach the heart, impeding heart action. There were bruises on the face and chest, and the chest was crushed in to some extent. There were no fractures. Death was due to asphyxiation as well as to hemorrhage, and doubtless had been instantaneous.

After hearing the testimony, the jury, composed of W. E. Good, foreman; W. E. Gues, H. E. Wagner, Edward Lincoln, F. A. (illegible), and J. H. Ratchford, rendered a verdict to the effect that death was due to hemorrhage and asphyxiation, caused by injuries received while in the discharge of duty in one of the belt pits in the foundry of the Radiation department of the Kewanee Boiler Company in the city of Kewanee, county of Henry and State of Illinois, death occurring about 1:30 o'clock p.m. June 5, 1922.

The jury further found that the pulley where Arthur Rowe was killed was fully protected by a steel guard, 12 x 20 inches in size. There was a working space of five feet or more between the two belts in the pit.

Mr. Rowe is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Rowe; three brothers, William D., Raymond and George Rowe, and a sister, Miss Mildred Rowe, all of Kewanee, and a sister, Mrs. A. E. Johnson, Neponset. Mrs. Abbie Sexsmith of this city is an aunt and there are a number of other relatives.

The young man was a member of the Sunday school of the Christian church, being a member of the Bible class of which the Rev. James Todd, Jr., is a teacher.

The funeral service will be held at the residence, 502 Dewey avenue, at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon. The Rev. James Todd, Jr., pastor of the Christian church will be in charge, and burial will be in the family lot in Wethersfield cemetery. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

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