Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
An excerpt from the History of Stephenson County - Addison L. Fulwider 1910:
"On Thursday, May 1, of that year, an election was held to decide whether or not the settlement should be incorporated under the provisions of the general law for incorporating villages, adopted April 10, 1872. S. J. Davis, Peter McHoes and John Gift acted as judges of the election, and the project was carried by a vote of thirty-three to thirty-one. Soon after an election was held, and the first town officers duly installed in their positions. The first village officials, elected in the year of 1873, were: E. A. Benton, president; E. Clark, M. Meinzer, Thomas Cronemiller and M. W. Kurtz, members of the board; M. W. Kurtz, village clerk; village treasurer, no record for 1873."
The Bentons removed to the Clarks/Central City Area of Merrick County Nebraska. Albert Tunks, his step-brother Albert Daniels, the McClintic/Steadman families, Fidelia Weathly Daniels and husband Jason Davis also moved to the area.
Above is a picture of Grace Benton, born 27 Sep 1881 in Davis, Stephenson Co IL. The picture was taken at Frank M. Steadman's studio in Central City Nebraska. Frank Steadman was the son of Elizabeth Bollinda (Sloan) McClintic Steadman. Caroline McClintic had married Albert Daniels. Her sister Sarah J. had been in the Illinois home for the insane several times while living in Stephenson County. Grace Benton was the daughter of Eugene Alson Benton born Jul 1839 in NY and wife Joanne Adelphia Thurston born 11 Jan 1896 in ohio. Grace married 22 May 1901 in Central City, Ira Wilbur Mallory. Ira was son of Charles Mallory and Hester Seeley, son of Rev Patrick Mallory born 1801 NY who ran a tavern and pony express stop in Elk Twp Delaware County Iowa. Ira Mallory had left home because he didn't like his step-mother and joined the railroad where he worked as a conductor. Grace and Ira had Donald Mallory 20 Dec 1901 and Hester Mallory 12 Jun 1903. The children were born in Kearney Buffalo Co NE. Grace died there1 Apr 19867.
By the way, I have a roster of the first class at the College School at Irish Grove. I know of about half the pupils. Besides my extended family and gggrandfather were Thomas Burrill and Charles Burrill. Thomas became a professor at the U of Illinois and taught there for 44 years. He was called "The Father of Plant Plathology." Charles Wesley Burrill became a medical doctor (m. Viance Emery whose family's property was on both sides of the Stephenson/Winnebago County line. Viance was half-sister of Candace Sarah Emery Daniels, mother of Albert Daniels and Fidelia Wealthy and step-mother of Albert Tunks. In the 1920's Charles Burrill was appointed Surgeon General of the Grand Army of the Republic. Clarrisa Partlow, another of the students in that 1854 class, married Milo Emery, brother of Candace and Viance. [Contributed by Mallory Smith]
Abraham Brandt Family
Abraham Brandt in front of his home
Ida Brandt, daugher of Abraham Brandt, featured in this photo with her daughter Rachel (Grandmother of Jean Lavin). On the right is Ida's husband, Frank Eilert
Contributed by Jean Lavin and Larry Leist
Charles Brandt Family
Charles F. and Louise (Kaiser) Brandt Family, c1916. Courtesy Lucille Miller Dean
L to R, Standing, center: Louise (Kaiser) Brandt, Charles F. Brandt.
Seated, left side: Roy Brandt and wife, Hilda (Breyer) Brandt, holding daughter Bernice.
Seated, center: Lester F. Brandt.
Seated, right side: Henry J. Miller and wife, Minnie (Brandt) Miller
Erwin A. (Pat) Clock
Thirty-eight years ago Erwin A. (Pat) Clock became a mail carrier. Back in the 20's he delivered mail on the East Side on this motorcycle ("Was it cold in winter!") and made the pickups from the six substations then operating in various parts of the city. The last eight or 10 years Pat Clock has carried the downtown route. Now he's out of uniform, on vacation due to retire June 1, when he will join the real estate department of the C. F. Hildreth Co. Clock, who lives at 705 S. Burchard Ave., is married, with two sons, Jerry, who is with Dow Chemical at Midland, Mich., and Jack, who farms at Larned, Kan. The Clocks have five grandsons.
[Contributed by Karen Fyock - May 3, 1958 clipping]
Dr Emery was born in Walpole NH in 1791 and studied medicine at NY University. He was licensed to practice in Ohio in 1816 and moved to Illinois in Aug 1839, settling just a few miles from his sister in law, Irene Stevens Harris on the Winnebago/Stephenson Co line. The Howard Union Cem is on the corner of Irene Steven Harris' property. The county line road divided the Emery property. His house was on the Winnebago side and property he donated for a school on the Stephenson Co. side. Sunday school was first held on an old place on the Stephenson Co side, but later moved into the main house after it's completion. Dr. Emery established the first post office in the area having been the post master of Thompson Ohio and a mail carrier during the War of 1812. Dr. Emery was the first medical doctor betweeen Freeport and Rockford and visited his patients on horseback. His post office was later moved to Pecatonica. The Emerys lived near the Burrills (who came a bit later) Winchesters and Tunks. Later in life, 1870, Dr. Emery moved to Kansas to be near his son Josiah Bartlett Emery whose first wife, Prudence McIntire, was the sister of William Tunks' second wife, Armadilla. Prudence had died in California.
Son Milo married Clarrisa Partlow, a girl from the first class at The College School at Irish Grove in 1854. Son Seth Stevens Emery married another niece of William Z Tunks, Mary Elizabeth Hisey. They married in Springfield Ohio while Seth was serving in the Civil War at a hospital. Mary became matron of the hospital. After the war, Seth opened a drugstore in Pecatonica. It was a successful business but Seth's eyesight later failed and he also moved to Kansas and farmed. His eyesight came back.
Daughter Candace, the eldest girl, married 3 Jul 1844 in Rockford, John Daniels Jr. They lived in Rock City and had six children.
Sons George Jr and Omri Willey Reid Emery lived in Iowa.
The youngest daughter, Viancie Emery, married Dr Charles Wesley Burrill an immediate neighbor of William Tunks. William Tunks married first, Paulina Winchester, daughter of neighbor Wm Hale "Uncle Hail" Winchester. Jonathan Burrill married Harriet Winchester, another daughter of Hale Winchester and Sybil Gates. (Sybil Gates' sister Rebecca, was mother of Prudence (married Josiah Emery) and Armadilla McIntire (Armadilla being William Tunks second wife.)
Dr. George Reid Emery's parents were Cpt John Emery b 1756 Newbury MA...a Minuteman at Concord and later member of the regular Continental Army..died 1831 buried Unionville Cem Geuaga Co Ohio. His mother was a cousin, Susannah Bartlett b 1856 Newbury MA died 1814 Lyndon Vt. . Cpt Emery and wife were second and first cousins respectively of Dr. Governor Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire, the second signer of the Declaration of Independence. Susannah's father was also named Josiah Bartlett
and her mother Lydia Hale was a daughter of Ruth Emery whose sister Hannah Emery, was Susannah's great grandmother and grandmother of the Declaration Signer. Hannah and Ruth Emery's brother John was grandfather of Cpt John Emery. [Written and Contributed by researcher Mallory Smith. Photo above taken in Kansas City 1853 when he was 62 years old. Candice Emery wrote "Pioneer Life in the Family of George Reid Emery."]
Thomas Wishart Family
Contributed by Mary Campbell Ballard, MBall10195 at aol.com
Thomas Wishart was born 1839 in Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada to a Scotsman, Thomas Wishart and a Metis woman, Barbara or Barbary Spence. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Clayton County, Iowa, where the father, Thomas died in 1840 at Turkey Junction. This is recorded with the probate records for his estate. After Thomas' death, the widow went to live and work in the household of Edmund B. Lyons, the probate judge, and the children went to live in the Pearson household, as recorded in the 1850 census.
Thomas Wishart was living in the household of Thomas Wilson in 1860. The 1860 Silver Creek, Stephenson County, Illinois, Roll: M 653_230, census enumerated on June 21, 1860 by J. A. Bigalow on lines 36-40 and on the next page on lines 1-11 in household # 446 lists:
Thomas Wilson, 54, male, Farmer, Value of Real Estate--$7,000, Value of Personal Estate--$1100, born in Pennsylvania;
Atty A., 45, female, born in Pennsylvania;
Mary, age 16, female, born in Illinois, attended school within the year;
Isadore, age 13, female, born in Illinois, attended school within the year;
Lucy, age 11, female, born in Illinois, attended school within the year;
Victora Wilson, age 8, female, born in Illinois, attended school within the year;
Lydia, age 3, female, born in Illinois;
William Rinn, age 3, male, born in Illinois, attended school within the year;
Thos. Washart, age 24, male, born in Iowa, attended school within the year;
Adam Wilson, age 86, male, Farmer, born in England;
Lucy, age 88, female, born in England;
Mary A., age 52, female, born in Pennsylvania;
Jane, age 44, female, born in Pennsylvania;
Maria May, age 23, female, com. s. teacher, born in Vermont;
Urias Eaton, age 28, male, born in New York;
John Storer, age 26, male, Value of Real Estate--$800, born in Wisconsin.
On April 19, 1861, at Freeport, Illinois, Thomas enlisted in the 11 Illinois Infantry Regiment, Company A when it was first formed and served until it was disbanded on July 30, 1861. Then on August 15, 1861, at Freeport, Illinois, Thomas enlisted in the 26 Infantry Regiment, Company B when it was first formed and served until his death on November 21, 1863. This is recorded in "The History of Stephenson County, Illinois", as well as in the complete military record of Thomas. The company muster roll shows he had been sent sick to Gayosa Hospital at Memphis, Tennessee on September 30, 1863. Interestingly, on the company muster roll dated February 29, 1864, it makes note of his death and 'accounts settled on final statement', but in another handwriting at the bottom, it states, "Name not borne on Co. muster out roll of Regt."
This is the transcription of his discharge:
I certify, on honor, that Thomas Wishhart a Private of Captain James P. Davis Company (B) of the 26th Regiment of Infantry VOLUNTEERS, of the State of Illinois, born in Clayton County, State of Iowa, aged 24 years; 5 feet 7 inches high; Dark complexion, Black eyes, Black hair, and by occupation a Farmer, having joined the company on its original organization at Freeport, Ill., and enrolled in it at the muster into the service of the United States at Camp Butler, Ill., on the 28th day of August, 1861 for the term of three years and having served HONESTLY and FAITHFULLY with his Company in 26th Ill. Infantry to the present date, is now deceased. Said Thomas Wishhart died of disease at the Gayosa Hospital, Memphis, Tenn., Nov. 21st, 1863.
The said Thomas Wishhart was last paid by Paymaster Major Greenawalt to include the 30th day of June, 1863, and has pay due him from that time to the present date; he is entitled to pay and subsistence for TRAVELING to place of enrollment and whatever other allowances are authorized to volunteer soldiers, or militia, so discharged. He has received 68 28/100 dollars, advanced by the United States on account of CLOTHING.
His clothing account was last settled Aug. 31st, 1862.
Given in Duplicate, at Freeport, Ill., this 25th day of Jan., 1864.
James P. Davis, Captain, Commanding Company.
[Contributed by Mary Campbell Ballard, MBall10195 at aol.com. I've been unable to locate the gravesite of Thomas, but I've been told he is probably one of the unknown soldiers buried in the National Cemetery at Memphis, Tennessee. ]
Left-Right Charles Miller Macomber, his son Arthur Josiah Macomber
Junie (Macomber) Reuhl and her son Arthur Reuhl in the middle
Charles and Terissa Macomber
Arthur and Elizabeth Macomber
Charles Miller Macomber was born 1 September 1826 in Susquehana County PA - his death occurred 2 December 1915 in Winslow, Stephenson County IL.
Charles moved at age 9 to Stephenson Co landing at Galena after coming up the Mississippi in a canal boat during a big flood.
It has been said that the name Miller came from William Miller, a popular preacher of that day and especially in the “1844 movement.”
Charles held several titles in public office: town trustee, commissioner of highways, school director and police magistrate, Town Marshall etc. (History of Stephenson County revised: 1910). Held an elective position until he was too old to serve.
A.J. Macomber went to Stephenson County with his parents in 1835. He became a teacher when he was 20 and taught school for 3 years before working on the stock market. He moved to Nebraska with his father and the family lived there 2 years, then returned to Stephenson County. After marrying, A. J. Macomber bought a farm in Palo Alto County, Iowa, then returned after a year to Stephenson County. After returning from Iowa, he "carried on merchandising in Waddams Grove for 5 years and subsequently engaged in buying and selling stock at Nora 12 years. He then took up farming in Waddams Township and afterward settled on the Miller farm in West Point Township, where he is now located. He is an industrious and successful agriculturist and stockraiser and has some thoroughbred shorthorn cattle. He also feeds and fattens a large number of hogs each year and their sale is a source of gratifying income. He has about 148 acres planted in corn and ninety acres in small grain, and he also does dairying, milking about twenty-two cows, which are high grade shorthorns."
Submitted by Mallory Smith
Photo of Jeremiah Marsh and his wife, Jane Burden,
Viance Lettie Emery Burrill, youngest child of Dr George Reid Emery and Polley Stevens, and her mother-in-law Mary (Francis) Burrill
Birth: 9 Sep 1847 in Pecatonica, Winnebago County, IL
(born in the Emery's stone house just off the Stephenson/Winnebago County line road)
Viance married Dr. Charles Wesley Burrill who was in the first class at the College School at Irish Grove in Stephenson Co in 1854. Charles' brother, Thomas Jonathan Burrill was also in that class.
Shown from left to right are: Sherman Folgate, grandfather; Mrs. Jeffery (Cynthia) Guentherman, mother; Mrs. Grace Folgate, great-great-grandmother; baby Michael Thomas Guentherman; and Theron Folgate, great-grandfather. All are of Freeport. [Sept. 2, 1971 clipping]
Mr. Charles Billerbeck's grandparents and their son John, father of Charles, came to America in 1851 from Germany. The crossing took 15 weeks. They landed in New Orleans. The senior Billerbecks continued up the Mississippi Rover with a group of their friends to Galena, Illinois, then called, "The Star of the West." John stayed in New Orleans where he followed his profession, becoming foreman in a cracker bakery. His helpers were all slaves. Before the Civil War began he came north to escape becoming a Confederate.
He and his parents came to Freeport by stage, changing stage coaches at Warren. Here he married the daughter of a local farmer, Miss VanDeest. She died after bearing two children, Anton and Anna (later Mrs. Philip Snyder). The Billerbecks had a small dairy of eight cows on their Addison street place and sold milk. As soon as Anton was old enough he went from door to door carrying two milk pails hanging from his wooden shoulder yoke. These were the years of severe depression in the United States, but the thrifty little family had excellent credit and when they had saved $300.00 were able to borrow the few hundred more needed to buy a building on Galena Street now Main Street, across from where the Freeport Hardward store owned by their grandson Jay Billerbeck now is. This was in 1881.
In the basement, they installed bakery equipment, opened a shop on the main floor and lived upstairs. Here Charles was born, very soon after the family moved in. After operating here for three eyars, he bought land on Galena Avenue, the north west corner of Galena Avenue and Galena Street - now Main Street. He built a three story bakery, shop and home here, not on the corner, but on the north half of the lot, and moved in in 1885. There has been a bakery there ever since. The business grew steadily and in 1888 Mr. Billerbeck added a new building which filled the lot clear to the corner and also had a fourth floor which also extended over the original building. This floor was built to accommodate the Knights of the Globe, a mutual insurance fraternity founded by Dr. W. W. Krape. There were fine broad stairs to the meeting rooms and large hall, which had a ticket booth and a good floor for dancing. In 1902 the Knights of the Globe opened Globe Hospital in the building with is now the Colonial Apartments on Clark Street. When they disbanded they voted the funds left in the treasury to Dr. Krape to buy Globe Park which became Krape Park when the city took it over. This also explains why Park Boulevard was first named Globe Avenue.
In the extensive new bakery space was installed a patent oven of the latest model, larger and better than the old oven which had been moved from the first bakery. In 1893, the years of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago a secong patent oven was installed of the same make as one exhibited at the Fair. These three ovens were never cooled, but ran steadily day and night on coke, which was brought by Billerbeck wagons from the Liberty Street warehouse of the Freeport Gas, Light and Coke company, which manufactured the coke. The manager, Mr. Z. T. Runner, considered the Billerbeck Bakery the number one customer for coke and when the company was sold to outside capital, he had put in the contract the stipulation that the bakery must always be supplied. At the height of its business, the bakery used about half a railroad car a week of coke.
Mr. Billerbeck was the first baker to import the new Fleischman's yeast to Freeport and the first to use machinery in the production of baked goods. He installed a bronze water powered motor which ran dough mixers, rollers and a cookie machine which turned out thousands of cookies a day. This water motor is still in running order in the basement of the building now owned by Jay Billerbeck and there is also the cutting bench used to manufacture and repair wooden basket trays. These trays were used to carry the baking goods, which were shipped in railroad cars to communities within a radius of fifty miles. One of the bakery's most successful traveling salesmen was Mr. John Goodyear. He was also the head baker in the cake department, had six men working under him. He was exceptionally skilled.
The bakery produced breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, but never pretzels. There were more cracker orders, 100 pounds a week or more, than the equipment could produce and so Mr. Billerbeck bought land at the corner of Main and Spring streets intending to build a cracker factory. Several big cracker manufacturers got together, among them National Biscuit Company and Iten Company and threatened to run Mr. Billerbeck out of business with a price war if he expanded his cracker baking and so he abandoned the project and became distributor for Iten Crackers. He had revenge of a sort, however, for the crackers came to him in large wooden boxes, to be repackaged for sale. He used the Iten boxes to ship his famous cookies all over this area. He sold cookies to half a hundred stores and shops.
In 1893 he invented and sold a special "Columbia Bread" in honor of the World's Fair. Mr. Charles Billerbeck didn't care for it. As soon as he was old enough, Mr Charles worked in the bakery and became an expert baker. After his father's death he ran the bakery for his mother.
The bakery used a great deal of flour from Brown's Mill near Freeport. It was made from winter or hard wheat and was especially good for cookies. Other kinds of flour for bread and cakes were bought from Washburn or Crosby or Pillsbury, all old firms.
(Notes from an interview with Charles Billerbeck)
Anton Billerbeck did not like the bakery business and left Freeport for a time. On his return, he established a hardware store on the north side of Main Street. He had married Miss Caroline Bower, daughter of Civil War Veteran Anton Bower who lived where the Quality Oil Station now is. They had two children, Jay and Ernst Raymond Carolus.
One of the most important parts of the hardware business was the sale and maintenance of the base burner stoves. The base burner stoves were the handsomest, the most efficient and the most expensive on the market and the most noticable winter time fixtures in the fine parlors of Freeport. They were not just stoves, they were complicated furnace systems, with a complicated system of hot and cold air pipes inside their ornate jackets insuring a strong draft over the mighty blaing coal in their fire pots and a maximum heat radiation. Only the hardest Pennsylvania anthracite was used. The focal points of their beauty were the large ising glass windows through which the dancing flames could be seen, giving almost as much beauty to a room as the fireplaces had used to do.
Every spring the housewives all at once called the Billerbeck Hardware Store please to come and get the stove out so house cleaning could begin. And every fall all the housewives wanted their base burners back again right now. During the summer, store employees spent their spare time cleaning and polishing the stoves and the last touch was for a skilled man to peel off the dirtied inner layer of ising glass, so that the windows shone clear as new. But the frantic excitement of the spring and fall migrations of base burners in horse drawn wagons delighted young boy Jay, who went along to help. The men became exhausted and nervous under the prodding of the good customers who supervised the removal or placing of every part - the chimney caps, the metal and asbestos floor pads, the stovepipes, and the regal stoves. One day Jay saw a man race into a house with a ladder and start climbing it without first opening its legs - result a resounding crash and a fine handpainted table lamp and globe in pieces on the floor along with the unhappy workman. [Notes from an interview with Jay Billerbeck; Contributed by Karen Fyock]
(Excerpts of the Bower Journals -- As written by his son David Bower)
"Father was born in Kline Botwar Wirtemberg, Germany, January 1, 1799, of poor parents. Two older brothers, John being the oldest, emigrated (and lost track of, as mail facilities were poor and very slow by foot them days) Karl or Carl, also started got as far as France got sick and died and buried and the brothers furnished money, that was in 1838. The next older brother, George P. Bauers, first wife name was Dora F Attinger, born in Stutgart. Wealthy ($30,000) an only daughter but her estate was kept by brother in business in Paris. She was the mother of Charles F and Loesa.
"Charles F Bowers born April 16, 1829 came to America in 1849, stopped with uncle John Glock in Pennsylvania, then came on to Illinois, found work in Freeport, being a mechanic, in a machine shop and sawmill.
"His sister, aunt Loesa, born in Stutgart December 13, 1831 came to America June 1853, stayed with us in Freeport. In November of the same year went with her brother Charles F to Syracuse, New York and Charles F came back to Illinois in 1859 Married Dorothea Moring, died June 30, 1863 at Bailyville, Illinois and buried at North Grove. Aunt Loesa died April 28, 1917, at Syracuse, New York. She had two girls and one boy, John. One girl, Caroline, got married and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, had a few children and died there. The other girl an invalid died after grown. John also married and run his fathers hotel for while, and died since. Aunt Loesa married a John Thurwachter run a hotel and bar for a number of years at Syracuse, New York.
"George Fredrick Bauer, born June 16, 1796, died March 23, 1880 in Germany.
"Stephen Gotleib Bower born January 1, 1799, died in Iowa September 18, 1886 and buried at Louisa Cemetery near Lena, Illinois. In his young days learned the weavers trade by serving an apprentice-ship of three years then traveled on foot (as that was the mode of traveling them days) from one town to another east through Europe, Austria into Turkey, Constantinople, Viana and across into Asia and Palestine. Working at his trade weaving awhile then traveling. While in that Eastern country the diet, port and wine, was to rich for him so he got sickly and seemed the Doctors could not help him. Finally heard of an old German Doctor and went to him and after examination and Questions, he said the diet is to rich, you better go back to Germany and live on your native diet, coarse black bred and sour milk and potatoes, drank slop (scalled bran instead of coffee) and get new blood in your veins and you will get well. He studying over it concluded to try it and did so and got well and after mother died and father boarded with us awhile, as we had a plenty of rooms he liked his coarse simple diet and seldom every sick or needed a Doctor. And I can say I feel better on coarse simple diet than the rich strong sweet and starchy diet and mother would gather sage tea, pepper-mint, charmornile, tansy and have us boys to get sasifras, dig burdoch, dandeline, boneset, horsement and make tea for us when ailing and give us a sweat bath so we could eat boiled beef or pork, sour-kraut and dumplings and pickle, beans and corn as we could not buy canned goods or fresh vegetables like we can now days."
[Stephen Gottlieb Bauer/Bower died September 18, 1886, at Reinbeck in Grundy County, IA at the age of 87. The town where he was born is Klein Bottwar in Wurttemberg. His wife was Maria Glock (1810-1878), who died at Lena, Stephenson County, IL. This family became Church of the Brethren ("Dunkards") after they arrived in America in 1838.
David Bower's mother, Maria Glock
"My mother, born also in Wirtemberg, small town Hoeneck (High Corner) as a corner of the town was up on a rise. Her father Jacob Glock, rather well to do, had a position as inspector or overseer of a Duke or Noblemans wine cellar and in his work of changing the old strong wines (some 20 yrs. old) the air would get so filled with gas or vapor that it would make the men dizzy to work in that cellar changing the wines from one vat or hogshead to another. Then they would scrape out the vats and collect the cream of tarter and get vats ready to fill other wine into them.
"Mother Mary Glock, born December 30, 1810, and died March 5, 1878 in Illinois. Her mothers name, Nana Schwaderer, I think. [David is wrong about this. 'Nana' (Granny) Schwaderer was an old family friend. Maria's mother was Catherine Aininger, and Maria's father was Jacob Philip Glock.] The Hoenick lay at the bank of Necker River came from (Schwartswald) Black Forest and entered in the Danube River and near Ludwicksburg being the county seat or (oberamt Stat). Mother had four brothers; Fredrick, Jacob, John and David and one sister, Dora, who died while a young woman. Jacob and David died in the town where born. Fredrick and John came to America in 1832 and located in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania...
"Mother would tell us how they had to work while going to school and in later years when wash-day would come, they would take the clothes down to River and do the washing there to save packing the water up to their homes and mother yet had the idea or habit of washing the clothes in lukewarm water was much better than to make it hot for the first washing. Kept the clothes whiter.
"And so many at the river at same time would have big jolly times and the men folks had so many shirts, from 20 up to 50 or 100 and underwear accordingly. Home spun and made after raising the flax, ratting, scutching and hackeling it. I heard a neighbor woman tell mother one day, while visiting, she worked at a place or home where they had as much linen, sheets, pillow-slips, towels, shirts, underwear, etc., as to fill an ordinary bedroom. That would make a wagon loan and the reason for having so many shirts or so much linen was so they would not need to go wash so often. Some 3 or 4 times a year. They would go help men folks on the farms or lots as the farms are mostly cut up into lots or truck patches and this much linen takes lots of care or work to keep from mould ot turning brown yellow.
"Mother had three nephews that came to this country. Lived in Pennsylvania or across the mountains from where we lived in Huntingdon County... [David tells a story about his father that he heard from a Glock cousin] "...When I told him my name he told me an incident about my father. Once on a time he was coming on horse back along the road to cross the Ridge from Germany Valley to Shyrleysburg and father thought the hill to steep for the horse so he got off and took saddle off, packed saddle and led the horse over the Ridge. This only shows how little he knew about the use or experience with horses, as he was timid to get on a horse. He may have been afraid to ride up hill.
"But he sure could wave as (his worked three years as an apprentice learning his trade) weaving them old style coverlids, red, white, green or yellow, bright colors, big checks. They are out of date now days. Some few old timers still have them as relics from former times and I had to help him many a day to thread up his gear and draw one thread in chain at a time and in his loom. He had eight or ten treadles and did not need to look if his feet hit the right treadle while weaving and I would fill the spools or quills as the case might be with the filling for his schuttle for the filling.
"Yet when the Illinois Railroad came through our country and the little towns came and stores kept ready made clothing mother quit at spinning and father also stopped at his weaving, asa we could buy our clothing. Us boys were pretty well grown up and glad to get a change and do away with the home spun and butternut cloth. And the change came none to soon as we wanted to go into society with other young folks and wanted to dress like them.
"About this time, our neighbor, just above us, John Smith a Canadian and M.E. Preacher, organized a Union Sunday School and we attended it for a few years. Then he moved away and another neighbor, J. D. Fowler, a Yankee from Vermont, a free man (M. E.) and his second wife, organized the same Sunday School in our old Louisa School house for a few years this Union S.S. was large in attendance. Members of our church came from Pennsylvania, settled mostly in west part of Chelsea District and Germans came and settled north of us in the timbered country and Bro. Guenther and family came as also Bro. Paul Wetzell and family from Lee County, Illinois and the church organized in 1859 and the old Brick Church built in 1866, with Milton Phillips as Superintendddent then some few members were dissatisfied with Sunday School in our church so we were told to move it to the School house a block away and for a time (or a year or two) until the Annual Conference passed its decision to allow Sunday School to be held in our Churches so we moved it back to the church and had a good strong attendance. The Church was growing until the Adversary sowed seeds of discord among the members and principally among the officials or leaders as we had some German members with Bros. E. Eby and Benjamin Kepner and Issac Myers.
"For a while the services were held alternatly then the Sunday School being in English the same element got stronger and the German weaker until the divide or division when the old order brothers pulled off. On the other side the Progressives organized churches of their own which was hard on the Waddams Grove Church, weakened it so it never got back to what it was before the divide. This shows what taking sides will do and now the old brick church is standing idle save for a funeral occasionally, when no other convenient. Found out lately that the old church has been sold and torn down.
"The last time I was there to have a marker put up at parents graves the folks came in through the basement up inside stairway and out the same way. Did not use the front doors or stairways..."
[Frank Bowers - 1963 interview (Steph) - Contributed by Karen Fyock]
Samuel Bowers of the sixth generation of his family in America, and a veteran of the 169th Ohio Volunteers Infantry in the Civil War, came with his wife, Pauline Ley Bowers, in 1866 from Wooster, Ohio, to live on a farm near Cedarville, rented from a Mr. Deppen. (It was later owned by Mr. Edwin Ennenga). Here their eldest child, Charles, was born.
Soon after, in 1867, Samuel bought a farm near Dakota from "Pop" Seidel, whose blacksmith shop was near the entrance to the farm from the highway. Samuel and Paulina had three children born here in the log house, Clem, Ida (Mrs. John Greider), and Frank. In 1881 the present farm house was built. Frank, who was eight years old at the time, was greatly distressed that he was not old enough to help his older brothers haul building supplies from Galena.
The unpainted log house remained under the pine trees Mr. Seidel had planted until it was torn down in 1958 or 1959. A wealthy apple tree, one of the many fruit trees planted by Samuel, was still bearing fruit in 1963 at the time of this interview. In the early days, apples for winter use were buried in straw in a hole in the ground, where they kept well until spring. Cabbages, carrots, and potatoes were also buried. The family had one cow which was belled.
Frank remembered his older brother chasing the cow, but Frank did not have to. He still had the bell in 1963. His father and brother often went out early in the morning to hunt prairie chickens. At night the wolves could be heard. A neighbor, Aaron Baltzer, came annually to help butcher hogs. The family got up at 4:00 a. m. on butchering day. When he became old enough, Frank made spending money trapping muskrats and skunks. He mailed the hides to a Chicago firm.
One of his Lancaster school teachers was Howard Almon of Dakota, and one was Jake Lapp. Mrs. Sadie Lapp Wolfe and her brother, Walter Lapp, were the only schoolmates of Frank still living in 1963. "Black Diphtheria" was one of the most dreaded diseases in Frank's childhood days.
Samuel's oldest son, Charles, esablished a poultry farm near Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Hummel, who were Pennsylvanians had recently come to Fairfield, Wisconsin, bought chickens from Charles, and later their daughter, Mary came to work at the chicken farm. Frank met her there, and on December 6, 1897, Frank and Mary were married. Frank bought his wedding suit (black, with cutaway coat and derby hat) at William Walton's Store in Freeport, and was given a wedding present from the store of a gilded mantel clock ornamented with allegorical figures in high relief and bearing below the face a medallion which said, "William Walton, Clothier." Mary bought her trousseau from Miller's in Monroe, and her gift was a framed lithograph in color. Her dress was high necked. The sleeves were puffed from shoulder to elbow and tight from elbow to wrist. There was lace about the neck, and the full skirt had a wide band of stiffening at the hem. The material of the dress was blue-gray silk. They were married in the Methodist parsonage in Monroe, and went to live on a farm rented from the Milliken family.
Six years later, in 1903, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bowers retired to the village of Dakota, and Frank returned to the home place with his family to take charge of the farm. Here they lived until his death in 1964. Their main crop was oats, which they sold to Walter ("Pete") Vehmeier at his elevator in Dakota. They raised hogs and sheep. Once they sent some of their wool to a firm in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin to be carded and spun. From the yarn a German woman in Freeport knit sweaters for them and a warm underslip for Mary. (The family still has these).
During World War I travelling wool buyers came through the country offering $1.00 a pound for freshly sheared wool. Grain buyers paid $1.00 a bushel for oats. W. T. Rawleigh used walk through that part of the country selling his red liniment and usually spent the night with the Bowers'. Later he came on a horse, or in a buggy. Frank and Mary had one daughter, who died at the age of eighteen, of measles, and one son, Roy.
When the children were small, they bought a pony for them. Soon they found themselves in the business of raising full blooded Shetland ponies, making the circuit of nearby county fairs with the ponies and hogs, and winning many prizes with both. The children rode ponies to school, and their playmates flocked to the farm to ride. Mr. Roy Bowers is sure he was considerably younger than eight years old when his father bought the pony treadmill, because he cannot remember a time when it was not there, being used to run the washing machine, but Mr. Frank thought Roy was about eight. It must, then, have been bought sometime between 1902 and 1910.
He saw an advertisement in a magazine. The price was $100.00. The tread mill was labeled "The Burro, made by V. F. W. Co., Bellows Falls, Vt., Pat. Mary 12, 1885."It was installed near the house and the windmill which pumped the well water. Being the only such tread mill in the area, it attracted a great deal of attention. After Roy was grown, and the ponies sold, the children discovered that it could be run on child-power, too, though no longer attached to the washing machine. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers kept it in good repair, and welcomed their young visitors. Eventually, their own grandchildren, and then their great grandchildren enjoyed playing on the tread mill. After Mr. Frank Bowers passed away, the Pony Treadmill was given to the Stephenson County Farm Museum by Mrs. Bowers.
There is a family history, "Trail of the Pioneers," published by Lister O. Weiss and Edna M. Weiss, descendants, in Akron, Ohio, in 1952.
Galen Brown Clair
Information from Olive Hoffman
Galen Brown CLAIR was born 25 Nov 1890 in Kent Twp., Stephenson, IL., to Preston Clair and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Johnson. He married Martha Luella RAYHORN 22 Nov. 1913 in Rockford, Winnebago, IL.
Marriage License granted 24 Nov 1913 [source: Rockford Republic Pg 4 - "Galen Clair, Kent IL age 22 to Martha R. Rayborn, Winslow IL age 18"]
Martha Rayhorn was b. 03 Mar. 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. George RAYHORN of Waddams Township.
Galen and Martha had 4 children: Evelyn Beatrice ; Harold Dean; Betty Elizabeth and Marian Luella.
Galen died 25 July 1979 in Lena, Stephenson, IL and Martha died 18 Nov. 1989.
Daniel Cotherman was born 6 January 1794 in Union County Pennsylvania. Daniel married Catherine Frederick. Both died and are buried in New Harleton Cemetery, Union Co PA.
His son, Reuben E. Cotherman, was born in PA 20 April 1835, migrated to Wisconsin, then to IL. Reuben married first to Isabel who died 7 March 1864 in Greene Co WI. He then married Mathilda J. Winkelbeck. Reuben died March 21, 1915 and Mathilda died 5 January 1916 - both are buried in the Dakota Cemetery, Stephenson Co.
He operated a flour mill in Monroe Wisconsin. The family moved to Rock Run Township, Stephenson County IL in 1871. Reuben's son Wilmot was born in 1859 in Monroe WI.
He taught in Ogle and Stephenson counties for over 20 years and also farmed. In 1903 he moved to Ridott, IL and ran the H.A. Hillmer Co. elevator until 1905. He then farmed for three years at Dakota where he ran the E.A. Brown elevator and also worked as a carpenter. His son Charles Oglesby Cotherman was born March 5, 1883.
At this point German was still the "mother speech" of the family. Charles' son was the Rev. Jesse Dixon Cotherman, the father of Richard, Mary Suzanne, and Linda LaVonne, the mother of Thomas Nathaniel.
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