Stark County Illinois  History and Genealogy
Obituaries and Death Notices



Archibald Vandike

Our dearly beloved brother in Christ, Archibald Vandike, died at his late home with his brother, Charles Vandike, in Stark Co., Ill., Nov. 7th, 1891.

His disease was dropsy, from which (his nephew C.H.Vandike, writes) he suffered much during the last eight days. He would sit in his chair and quote passage after passage of Scripture, giving all the glory to God for that blessed hope beyond this life, which helped him to bear his afflictions. Thus he passed quietly and peacefully away, without a struggle, verifying the declaration of David, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Brother Vandike was a sound, consistent and faithful Baptist. I have known him for thirty-five years, and have always regarded him as a model christian. He had no children of his own, but raised a number of orphans from early childhood to maturity. A message came for me to attend his funeral, according to his request, but I was at the Henderson Grove church-meeting and failed to get the dispatch in time, so the funeral services were conducted by a Presbyterian minister in the vicinity.

Some time previous to his death he had prepared an account of some of the most notable incidents of his life, and requested me to have them published with his obituary notice.

Smith Ketchum

Elmwood, Ill., Dec. 14, 1891

Archibald Vandike of Elmira Township, Stark Co., Ill., was born in the year 1806, in Bucks Co., Pa., went to Philadelphia in the year 1816, and thence twelve miles from Philadelphia, of the said county, in the year 1827. On October 6th, 1832, with nine others, he was baptized by David Jones, pastor of the Lower Dublin Church, of Pennepeck, Pa., and united with the said church in gospel order. In the year 1835 he was married to Martha Slifer, daughter of Abram Slifer, of Philadelphia, who was a member of the Second Baptist Church of that city, Elder Thomas I. Kitts being pastor. I and my wife left Philadelphia May 2d, 1836, and arrived in Peoria, Ill., June 6th of the same year. In the year 1853 a church was constituted, a branch from the Bureau Church, of Bureau Co., named Spoon River Predestinarian, Old School Baptist Church, of Stark Co., composed of thirteen members, Elder James B. Chenewith being our pastor for twenty years. My wife departed this life June 1st, 1877. I deeply felt the bereavement and loss, having been together upwards of forty years. Through many trials and afflictions we passed. The beloved Lord will keep us all our journey through. The Lord has sustained me under all my afflictions and trials since then, and be all the glory his. Dear brethren and sisters, our pilgrimage is but short here. May the blessed Lord, whom we worship, be with us all the journey through, to that blessed inheritance which is incorruptible.

Farewell, brethren and sisters. Be watchful, be prayerful, be humble, at the feet of Jesus, your Prophet, Priest and King. All honor and glory to his name evermore.

My request is to have brother Semith Ketchum preach from the Scripture, Philippians iii, 20, 21. Use hymn # 433 and 730, Thompson's Collection.

ARCHIBLD VANDIKE - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Charles Vandyke

Charles Vandyke was born April 12, 1814, in Bucks county, Pa., where he resided until October, 1841, when he came to Stark County, where he resided until the day of his death, which occurred at five o' clock on the morning of February 9, 1892, at the age of 77 years, 10 months and 27 days. He was married to Eleanor Slifer April 21, 1836, who survives him. Eight children were the fruits of this union. Four have preceded him to the world beyond and four are left to mourn his loss, three sons, Abraham S., Theodore and Charles H., and one daughter, Mrs. Alice Lesan. Bro. Vandike experienced a good hope in the mercy of God and united with the Old School Baptist church about 40 years ago and has remained a faithful and devoted member, having served as a deacon since January 1, 1871. The funeral was held at the Mound church Thursday, February 11, at 11 o'clock a.m., conducted by the Rev. Smith Ketchum, of Elmwood, after which his remains were laid to rest in the Osceola Grove cemetery. May his ashes rest in peace until God shall bid it arise. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Edward VanDike

Stark County News

"Edward VanDIKE was crushed and fatally injured Monday morning on the farm of Henry MARTIN in the north part of Stark County. He was running his engine and separator to another field, when while descending a hill the coupling pin came out of the separator. The separator was let down on him and he was crushed between it and the boiler. Besides being crushed he was scalded badly, and lived from 7:30, the time of the accident, until 9:05.

"Joseph ANDERSON and John KELCH were with him at the accident and rendered what assistance was in their power. He was at once taken to the home of Henry MARTIN and Dr. STEWART of Elmira was summoned.

"J.C. BLAISDELL, the coroner of Stark County, held the inquest the same day of the accident and found that his death was due to accident as above stated.

"Mr. VanDIKE has been living on a farm about one-half mile east of the Osceola Grove school house. He leaves a wife and seven children, the latter ranging in age from 1 to 17 years, two boys and five girls, all living at home.

"The farm on which the accident occurred is about three-quarters of a mile east of George MURRAY's.

"Mr. VanDIKE was born in Stark County over 45 years ago, and with the exception of one year in Iowa, has always lived in this county. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. A.S. VanDIKE. The father died several years ago and the mother now lives with her son, N.A. VanDIKE, a short distance north of Toulon. He also leaves four brothers and three sisters, as follows: W.E. and Fran of Rush City, Minn.; Mrs. John KELCH and Mrs. Albert FARRIS, Bradford; Mrs. Charles LESAN, N.A. and Charles, of Toulon.

"He was married to Miss Rose IMES at Toulon 18 years ago last spring.

"The funeral was held from the house this afternoon, the burial being in Osceola Grove Cemetery." - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Eleanor (Sliffer) Vandike

Eleanor Sliffer was born near the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 20, 1820. She was married to Charles Vandike April 21, 1836, at Kingston, Pa., with whom she lived until his death, February 9, 1892. Eight children were born to them five sons and three daughters. Three sons and one daughter are now living.

At the early age of fifteen years she experienced a hope in the mercy of God and united with the Old School Baptist church, being baptized by Elder Joseph Kinnard, of Philadelphia, and remained a loyal, consistent member of that church until her death.

In 1851, with her husband and one child, she came to Illinois and settled in Osceola Grove, in Elmira township, where she has lived continuously for almost sixty years. She was one of the oldest of the pioneer settlers of Stark county, and has lived to see the one time wilderness become a fruitful land and literally blossom like the rose.

She was possessed of a decidedly domestic turn of mind, and devoted her entire time and energies to the management of her family cares, feeling that she could render the best possible service to mankind by attending strictly to the needs of her family, setting a noble example that could be emulated with profit by others.

Thus she was born and spent her years, and as she lived so she died, early on the morning of June 8, 1901, leaning on the blessed promises of Him who gave her life and hath taken it away at a ripe old age, even as a shock of corn fully ripe for the harvest.

Funeral services were held from the house on Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Smith Ketchum, of Elmwood, assisted by Rev. Hicks, of Toulon and Rev. Drew, of Elmira. Her remains were laid to rest by the side of her husband in the Osceola Grove cemetery. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Martha (Slifer) Vandyke

Died, in Kewanee, Ill., June 1, 1877, of softening of the stomach, sister Martha Vandyke, wife of Dea. Archibald Vandyke, in the 68th year of her age. Deceased was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., March 8th, 1810, was married to brother Vandyke about 1830, and soon after united with the O. S. Baptists; removed to Stark Co., Ill in 1836, when that Region was the home of the red man and the wild beast, where they remained until 1874, when they removed to the town of Kewanee. If I am not mistaken, she was one of the number which was constituted into the Spoon River Church. She suffered greatly for about two months. The writer frequently called on her during her sickness, and always found her resigned and awaiting patiently the time of her departure. She leaves an affectionate husband and two sisters, with other relatives and friends, and the church, to mourn. The writer was present, and tried to comfort the living, using as a text Isa. Xl. 8. May the Lord reconcile the bereaved ones to this dispensation of his providence.

S. Ketchum

Kewanee, Ill. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mrs. Vinson
Henry Republican, Henry IL, May 10, 1883
Died in Bradford, May 2, Mrs. Vinson and was buried in Mound Cemetery at Milo, May 3d. Mrs. Vinson was born in Pennsylvania and for many years a resident of Indiana. Afterward for many years a resident of Milo. Her death was very sudden, being as well as usual and about her work the day before her death.


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