Stark County Illinois
Community News Gleanings

Bradford - Castleton - Speer 

Stark County


 17 August 1876
Bradford Items from the Correspondent of the Post:

    * The city hotel has been leased to Captain Armstrong of Wyoming. Mr. Schofield retires.
    * A. J. Storm and J. E. Noyes are shipping cattle and hogs to Chicago. They are good judges of livestock and seem to be doing a good business.

[Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

(Bradford Republican, Bradford, IL)
Neighbors Pick Corn For Mrs. Harry Pettegrew;Serve Dinner

Neighbors to the number of fifty went to the home of Mrs. Harry Pettegrew, east of Bradford, Saturday and picked sixty acres of corn.  Owing to the death of Mrs. Pettegrew's husband a few weeks ago, the corn has since been in the field.  However, the field is now cleaned up, owing to the kindness of the neighbors and this is a sample of real charity, as only neighbors know how to take care of.  The women, not to be outdone, cooked up a fine chicken dinner, and this was served in the Boyd's grove church. Mrs. Pettegrew feels very grateful to her kind neighbors.


25 February 1915 Henry Republican, Henry IL

    * The roads are about the worst they have been this winter. O. W. Hurd made a trip to Stark and back in his car Tuesday.
    * The men at Speer have been busy spreading cinders around the depot and other places about town where needed.

[Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


February 19, 1880,
Henry Republican

    * Robert Bunnell shipped 180 hogs to McCurdy & Beveridge. These were of his won raising and realized him a handsome sum. [Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

July 22, 1880
Henry Republican

    * Castleton can boast of a lady clerk, Miss Clara Lewis is clerking for Dr. Holgate in the city drug store.
    * Castleton is on the boom. We have a new harness shop. The proprietor, J. J. Gibbons, come to us recommended by Adams, Johnson & Co. of Galesburg.
    * Ed. Champ talks of starting a new hardware store in the building formerly occupied by J. A. White
    * H. D. Martin has his shop full of buggies; repainting them, and more coming, which speaks well for his work. He does his work well and prompt.

Stark County

The Iola register. (Iola, Kan.), February 27, 1880

Mr. Harlow Brown and Mr. William Cross of Stark County, Illinois were visiting Mr. Stofer last week.  Cross bought 40 acres of land of Wesley Hylton and will move to Kansas this spring.  Both gentlemen were well pleased with the country.

August 31, 1882
The Henry Republican, Henry Illinois
The Stark county agricultural fair meets at Toulon, Sept. 19 for 4 days. Its premium list is handsomely printed, emanating from the Toulon Sentinel press. This fair has been established 28 years and is successfully managed.
Wyoming succeeded so admirably in her fair last fall and gratified and surprised everybody so greatly in he exhibition and receipts; that she starts out again this year under the same able management. The time of fair is Sept. 11, to hold five days, with every promise of a fine exhibition in every department and one to please all who may attend. Over $4000 is offered in premiums. [Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

August 12, 1886
(Reprinted August 16, 1939 Bradford Republican)
The oats crop is an exceptionally good one in this vicinity this year, averaging about fifty bushels per acre.

The McCook tribune (McCook, Neb.), October 21, 1892

J. W. Palmer will leave in a few days to join his family back in Stark county, Illinois having disposed of his interests in Red Willow County.


The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.), April 06, 1900

Mr. and Mrs. Brewer moved to Stark County, Illinois where they lived for ten years.

January 25, 1911
 (Reprinted January 24, 1951, Bradford Republican)
St. John's bazaar, which has been in program all the past week, came to a close Monday evening.  The affair was a complete success, both socially and financially.
[Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

October 10, 1926

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana)
Corn Field Athletes Prepare for Tourney - Elmer Williams Last Year's Champion

Des Moines, Ia., Oct. 9. (AP) – “Athletes of the corn fields” as they have been termed, are limbering up throughout the Midwest for the annual contest that is to decide the corn picking championship.

Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and probably Indiana will have representatives in this year’s meet, which is to be held in Nebraska sometime in November. County contests in each state determine entrants for the final competition.

Elmer Williams of Stark county, Illinois, last year won the championship. The 35 year old husker, using an old fashioned peg, turned in a net score of 35.8 bushels in an hour or 214.4 bushels in an eight hour day.

[Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

(Bradford Republican, Bradford, IL)
Boyd's Grove Church Class Hold Reunion and Program Sunday
The Wide Awake Class Enjoy The Day With Fine Dinner

The Wide Awake Sunday School Class of the Boyd's Grove church held their annual Reunion Sunday at Boyd's Grove. The class took charge of the Sunday school hour, Willard Piper, being President of the class, acted as Superintendent, opening the hour with a song, "Power in the Blood" by the Young People's choir.  Prayer was led by Oscar Wright.  Song by the Choir, "Let the Lower Light be Burning," Followed by the Responsive Reading, after which each member went to their respective class.Immediately after the lesson study, Ernest Barker took a picture of the class on the lawn.

Following the Sunday School hour the former members joined the class in the basement and enjoyed a very interesting program.  Fern Dunbar, chairman of the entertaining committee took charge. Prayer led by Paul Kepner.  Minutes of the last reunion read by Melvena Crooks.  Class Prophecy read by Bernadine Hufnagel.  Class History read by Mabel Moffitt.  As this was decided to be made an annual event, nominations for the coming year were opened, electing Willard Piper as chairman of the committee.

After the program a delicious covered dish dinner was enjoyed by all having an attendance of about 55.  Mrs. Frank Lidgard returned "thanks". After dinner a "dish washing" committee was appointed - Gilbert Hall, Cecil Piper, Francis Stone, Elsie Moffitt, Ethel Miller, Mildred Barker.  Last but not least Miss Eleanor Bacon of Tiskilwa played a beautiful Piano solo. Each member present wrote a note to Miss Martha Phelps who was unable to be with us.

The class was organized in June 1926 with an enrollment of 32 members.  We chose "We Come to Serve Him" as our class motto. Margaret Kidd was our teacher, Martha Phelps our class President and Rev. T. W. Thompson our Pastor.

The class at present has an enrollment of 30 active members with 15 honorary members. The officers of the class at present are: Willard Piper, President: Blanche Moffitt, Vice President: Velma McLane, Secretary and  Treasurer.  The teacher is Mrs. William Phelps.

March 28, 1939

Clearfield Progress (Clearfield, Pennsylvania)

W. S. Newton Cashes 32 Year Old Check

Good as Gold

Toulon, Ill. – The check was for 70 cents and was dated Jan. 2, 1907, but W. S. Newton didn’t have any trouble cashing it at the State Bank of Toulon. Uncle Sam signed the check.

Newton, given the check more than 32 years ago upon his honorable discharge from the Marines, found it while looking over some old papers.


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