William W Davis.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) online

. (page 20 of 72)
Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 20 of 72)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

this acid condition, permitting the clover bacteria to live and clover then grows
luxuriantly, where otherwise it would not thrive at all.

All soils become acid from long cultivation. From what has preceded,
it is apparent that the different soils of the state require different kinds of
treatment. In the field work of the Experiment Station some striking results
have been obtained, a few of which may prove interesting.

The Green Valley field in Tazewell county is on sandy soil, and is very
deficient in nitrogen ; where potassium was applied the yield of corn was 20
bushels per acre. Where phosphorus was applied it was 25 bushels, but
where nitrogen was applied by legumes it was increased to 65 bushels per

On the Bloomington field in McLane county, on the best type of corn
soil in the state, where no treatment was given the yield of corn was 60 bush-
els per acre. Nitrogen gave a yield of 60 bushels, potassium gave 56, while
phosphorous gave a yield of 73 bushels of corn per acre.

On the Odin wheat field, in Egypt, where the plot had no treatment, it
yielded at the rate of 7 bushels of wheat per acre, where nitrogen was ap-
plied the yield was 9 bushels, but where phosphorus and nitrogen was applied
the yield was 23 bushels.

At the Momence field in Kankakee county, situated on peaty swamp soil,
where no treatment was given the -land, the yield was 7 bushels of corn to
the acre, where nitrogen was applied the yield was 4 bushels, where phosphor-
ous was applied the yield was 5 bushels, but where potassium was applied
the yield was 73 bushels, indicating that potassium here is the limiting ele-

The general plan followed by the state in the experiment fields is as fol-
lows: The land is laid off in one-fifth acre plots, 2 rods wide and 16 rods long,
with a border strip 8 feet wide between the plots, so that the application of
fertilizers may not affect adjoining plots.

The rotation to be followed, on the recently established experiment field
in Union Grove township consists of two years of corn, one of o:its and one of


clover. In addition the different plots receive local applications as indicated
in the following plan:

L lime, Le legume, Mur manure, P phosphorous, K potassium,
N nitrogen. The plots marked are check plots and receive no other treat-
ment except that of the general rotation. The plots marked Le have cow peas
or clover sown in the corn at the time of the last cultivation.

No treatment
L. Le
L. Mur
L. Le. Mur

L. P
L. Le. P
L. Mur. P
L. Le. Mur. P.


L. P. K
L. Le. P. K
L. Mur. P. K
L. Le. Mur. P. K


Le. P
Le. P. K
Le. N. P. K

The ideal or standard fertile soil as adopted by the U. S. Bureau of
soils, would consist of a soil in which the first 7 inches of the surface, per
acre contains,

5600 pounds of nitrogen,

2000 pounds of phosphorus

6600 pounds of potassium

An analysis of the rolling land, common in the western part of the
county, and the type of soil upon which the Union Grove field is situated
shows that in the first 7 inches per acre there are,

2170 pounds of nitrogen,

960 pounds of phosphorus,
35640 pounds of potassium,

indicating a soil very deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus, but wonderfully
rich in potassium. The deficiency in nitrogen should be supplied from the
air, through the growing of legumes, and the phosphorus by direct applica-
tion in the form of ground rock phosphate or bone meal. All acid and com-
plete fertilizers should be avoided.

The importance of the study of soil fertility is hard to estimate. We
claim to be patriotic, and indeed during the dark days of the Rebellion, the
loyal people of WhiteMde county rallied to the standard of patriotism and
freely gave of their life's blood, that the nation of the people, by the people
and for the people might not perish from the face of the earth. All of this
sacrifice that future generations might inherit an unimpaired government.

An impaired government is a condition to be truly deplored, but an im-
poverished soil is a greater calamity, for it means life and living itself. An
impaired government can be righted, far easier than an impoverished soil
can be restored. We but hold the land for a short time in trust, and have
no more right to bequeath to coming generations an impoverished soil than
we have an impaired government.

Battlefields and great crises are not necessary to develop patriotism. Love


of country can certainly be instilled by proper study of our flocks and fields,
our rocks and rills, our woods and templed hills.

For years the soil has responded so generously to the tillage of the
farmer, that he has given but little heed to the future supply of plant food.
He has ever removed more from the soil than he has returned. He has
drawn large drafts from the bank of soil fertility and failed to keep his
credit good.

The great problem of the age is to work out a system of agriculture
which shall be both profitable and permanent. If this be done it will be the
first time in all history. If it be not done history will surely repeat itself in


In the shade of thy palms,

By the shores of .thy sea,
On the hills of thy beauty,

My heart is with thee. Whittier.

Several of the towns in Whiteside have pretty situations, but only two
have the majestic Mississippi, with its broad and sparkling flood pouring to
the gulf.

For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

Like Albany, Fulton has the hills back from the river, on which are numer-
ous residences. A glorious outlook up and down the stream, with Lyons and
Clinton on the distant shore. Time works wonderful changes. Trade seeks
new channels. Certain lines of business disappear. Fulton, like Albany,
had her time of excitement and traffic. Once a great center of lumber manu-
facture, now not a mill or a board. Rafts were floated down the river, and
the hum of the saws made music night and day. It is one of Wendell Phillips'
Lost Arts. Various manufactures were in successful operation. Grain and
produce were shipped. Fulton was a terminus, a center of activity, and one
industry attracted another until the young city was a hive of commercial
operation. As one rambles along the river bank today, it is difficult to believe
that this quiet spot was once a scene of so much early rush.


As you walk along the main street, the first object to catch the eye is
the tall, square block, known as the Dement building. It is built of stone,
another Coliseum. That in Rome represents imperial power, this in Fulton
is a sad relic of disappointed hopes. For fifty years the familiar landmark
of the town. Charles Dement, brother of John in Dixon, owning considerable
property and conceiving the idea that Fulton was to be one of the prosperous
cities of the west, decided to erect a hotel that would not only afford generous
accommodation for the throng of travelers, but be an exhibition of public
spirit, and an ornament to the town. It was erected in 1855. The building
is nearly 100 'feet square, with five stories including basement. No cost was


spared in its construction and equipment. The finest of furniture. It was
kept in style, but only a short time sufficed to show that the enterprise was
in advance of the place and the times, and it was closed. One social event
occurred in the hostelry in 1858 which has not been recorded. The White-
side County Teachers' Institute had a week's session that autumn, and the
citizens invited them to a banquet which was served in the dining room. Per-
haps the last time, the voice of revelry echoed in those now desolate walls.
There were toasts and speeches. Among the actors was Jas. H. Blodgett,
afterwards captain in the Civil War.


As it seemed too good a building to stand idle, various schools have been
organized, flourished awhile, and then declined. Col. D. S. Covert opened
a military academy in 1861, and conducted it for five years with success. The
art of war was in demand, and young men sought proper drill. The govern-
ment furnished muskets and accoutrements, and a band discoursed music at
dress parade. In 1866 the Illinois Soldiers' College was organized to enable
disabled soldiers of Illinois regiments to continue their education. Col. Le-
ander H. Potter was president, and remained in charge until 1873, when he
resigned, and at a meeting of the stockholders, the name was changed to
Northern Illinois College. Under this name, Rev. W. D. F. Lummis became
president with a faculty for different branches. In the fall of 1875, Mr.
Lummis resigned, and Rev. J. W. Hubbard was placed at the head, remaining
until 1875 when he, too, following the example of his illustrious predecessors,
gave up command. Next came Prof. .Allen A. Griffith, formerly of Batavia
Institution, author of an Elocution, and for many years well known as a reader
or reciter throughout the northern part of the state. While in charge, Mr.
Griffith occasionally appeared at institutes to give readings and advertise his
school. On one occasion at a teachers' gathering at Emerson. After Griffith
gave up control, other changes succeeded, until in 1879 A. M. Hansen, A. M.,
LL.D., the present head assumed management of the concern. According to
the catalog before us, 1906-1907, he is assisted by a strong faculty for the
various departments. L. B. Beers, science and mathematics; C. R. Hansen,
literature and commercial law; D. L. Hamilton, commercial course; J. D.
Rishell, ancient languages; F. H. Long, mechanical drawing and common
branches; Mrs. Hansen, oil painting; Adolph Wiese, music. A gymnasium,
regular drill, literary societies. Expenses moderate, board and tuition for the
school year being $300. Among the students enrolled at the college in the
various years of its existence are some who rose to position. Major General
McArthur, John Stowell, professor in Leland Stanford University, J. L. Sulli-
van, assistant superintendent C. & N. W. Railway, Oscar L. Triggs, late pro-
fessor in University of Chicago. The buildings are surrounded by a spacious
campus, giving the boys plenty of playgound.


The grave is heaven's golden gate,

And rich and poor around it wait. Blake.


As you walk north from the college, the street begins to climb the hill,
and soon reaches the Catholic cemetery. Numerous handsome tombs, the
names telling the nationality. Eagan, O'Neill, Keegan, Doyle, Riordan, Flan-
igan, Collins, Foley, Ryan. On Mary Hurley's stone the lines:

We have lost our darling mother,
She has bid us all adieu.

Here and there a soldier's grave. McLaughlin, Co. C, 3rd N. Y., died 1880,
age, 33 ; Hugh Burt, 1906 at 63. Hansen in 1890 at 49. Andrew Eagan in
1891 at 49, Co. A, 4th U. S. Artillery. Around the graves are numerous ever-
greens, chiefly Norway spruce.

Several rods southeast in a grove of oak is the Protestant cemetery. Here
we read the names of the men and women who moved about Fulton and our
county a generation ago, and with whom we often held sweet converse. James
McCoy, 1811-1891. Elizabeth McCoy, 1819-1892, surviving her husband just
a year. Judge McCoy, Virginia, was a resident of Fulton from 1839, and
filled many offices of trust, Judge, presidential elector, delegate to the con-
stitutional convention of 1869. A genial man, always receiving his friends
with a smile. Jesse Johnson, 1876, aged 78, a native of Troy, N. Y., who
came in 1838, living on his farm five miles east, and in 1853 making his
home in Fulton. Several children. Two of his sons well known lawyers,
Charles J., deceased, and Caleb C., member of the Sterling bar. Some Hol-
land names, Dirk Buis, Deweerot, vroow van Jan Deweerot. Several old citi-
zens. Lyman Blake, 1809-1893. Orrin Cowles, 1808-1887. Elisha Roberts,
1813-1898. A. M. Dutcher, 1879, aged 71. John Phelps, 1853, aged 72.
Bradstreet Robinson, 1812-1889. On the tomb of John Kolk :

So fades the lovely blooming flower,
Frail, smiling solace of an hour.

Another familiar name. Henry C. Fellows, 1813-1899. He was from New
York, coming in 1837, was one of the original proprietors of Fulton, filled,
responsible positions, deputy sheriff, justice of the peace, supervisor, alderman.
A man of noble public spirit. A special plot is devoted to the heroes of the
wax, who lie in rows side by side. Wm. Cole, Co. H, 8th N. Y. H. A. George
Baxter, Co. A, 34th 111. Martin Ohler, 39th Ohio Inf. Franklin Marcellus,
1862, wounded at Perryville. Wm. Radigan, Co. B, 51st N. Y. Inf. W. W.
Erhardt, Co. E, 46th 111. Alva Henson, Co. I, 75th 111. R. B. Myers, Co.
F, 93rd 111. Inf. A retired spot, completely hidden in summer by the over
arching trees. The association was formed in 1874 by Charles N. Wheeler,
Wm. J. McCoy, Wm. C. Snyder, John M. Fay, and F. E. Marcellus. There
was an old graveyard, but the association added five acres, and improved the


The railroads have spoiled the romance of the river. They cross it, and
even run parallel tracks on each side, so that "Othello's occupation's gone."
The stately steamers moving in majesty with the current, the excitement at


the landing, the coming of passengers, the unloading of freight, the racing
of rival boats, the social diversions and acquaintances of a long trip, the lively
dining table, the music and hop at night, are gone forever.

During the season the Diamond Jo line run four boats, St. Paul, Dubuque,
Sidney, Quincy, between St. Paul and St. Louis. The round trip takes a
week, and one of the boats calls every other day. Bennett, American Express
agent at Lyons, formerly on the river, received as a present an album with
photographs of thirty river steamers that belong to the glorious past. Among
them are the Henderson, the Alex Mitchell, Belle of LaCross, Clinton, War
Eagle, Natchez, Robert E. Lee, Sucker State, Phil Sheridan, Minneapolis,
Gardie Eastman, Everett, Silver Wave, J. W. Van Sant, Pilot, Verne Swain,
Jo Long, Jennie Gilehrist, the ill-fated steamer which went down at Daven-
port in 1882, Keokuk, Gem City, Quincy, and many others.

One card in particular is of interest. It is that of the Henderson, which
is shown at the levee in Bellevue, with a company of soldiers drawn up on
deck ready to leave for the front in 1861.

And the raft boats will soon be a memory. Only three on the river in
1908. They are the North Star, the Lizzie Gardner and the Hershey. Last
year there were five boats going over the LeClaire rapids. Ten or twelve
years ago there were over sixty raft boats on the upper river and at one time
the number in commission was over ninety. The white pine industry for
this section has faded and the fleet of raft boats with the hundreds of pilots
have gone never to return to these waters.


The present well was begun in December, 1890, and completed in six
weeks. The contract called for $2.15 a foot, the well to be drilled to the depth
of 1,200 feet and $200 additional for a guaranteed flow of twenty-six pounds
pressure. The provisions at that time were that the well should be eight inches
in diameter and cased down to solid rock. The flow pipe, which is six inches
in diameter, was carried down 235 feet and securely calked. A flow was
obtained at a depth of 480 feet.

The well was drilled to a depth of 1,214 feet and when completed and
accepted it had a flow of 300 gallons a minute and had sufficient force to
raise water to the height of nearly sixty feet. As an increased supply is
needed, at a late meeting of the city council, it was voted to enter into a con-
tract with J. D. Shaw, of Clinton for a ten-inch well with an eight-inch flow
pipe to the depth of 1,200 feet for $2.25 a foot and if the flow pipe was car-
ried below a depth of 225 feet he was to receive $1.40 a foot for additional

This committee also reported the bid of the Smedley Steam Pump com-
pany of Dubuque for a steam pump, $075, be accepted. This report was
received and it was voted to purchase the pump.

A special election will be called to vote upon a proposition to bond the
city so as to raise money to pay for a well and pump and for extensive addi-
tions to the pumphouse.

According to Mr. Shaw's bid the well will cost the city at least $2,700.


Fulton has the facilities afforded by three great railroads: Chicago and
Northwestern, which crosses the Mississippi at Clinton, six miles below, the
Milwaukee and St. Paul, striking the river at Savanna above and running to
Rock Island, and the Burlington, which, with its numerous branches connect
in every direction. The Burlington station is on the river bank, the Mil-
waukee at its intersection with the Northwestern in the extreme east of the
city, and the Northwestern not far from the lower section of the city. All
through trains on the Northwestern do not stop, and it is necessary to board
them at Clinton.


Time has dealt severely with some of the societies that had once a fair
membership. The old families have died out, and no others were ready to
take their places. Christ Episcopal church, started in 1869 by Orrin Cowles,
Dr. and Mrs. C. A. Griswold, W. H. Pratt, A. J. Webster, F. L. Norton,
E. Wyatt, Mrs. Sayre, continued but a few years when it was given up.

The Baptist church was organized in 1855 with Rev. and Mrs. A. H.
Starkweather, A. McFadden, J. Peterson, Mrs. Meeker, James and Maria
Booth, Mrs. Webb. A brick church was started in 1856, and worship was
held in the basement. As the people were in debt, Rev. A. A. Sawin was
invited to fill the pulpit and also to solicit funds to complete the building.
His labors were successful, and in 1860 Dr. Evarts of Chicago assisted in the
dedication. Among the ministers were Storrs, Roney, Burnham, Evarte. But
the membership, always feeble, gradually declined, and ceased to have pastoral
supply. The edifice, the result of so much struggle and devotion, is now the
headquarters of the Mystic Workers.

The early history of the Presbyterian church is united with that of the
Congregational, as members of both societies were in the same organization.
The First Congregational church was organized in 1854 with Mr. and Mrs.
D. Reed, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Rice, Mr. and Mrs. Bradstreet Robinson, Mrs.
Sayre, Mrs. Woodward, and Mrs. Bassett. In 1856 Rev. Josiah Leonard
became pastor, continuing twelve years. The church was erected during his
ministry at a cost of $6,000. In June, 1862, the society adopted the title of
the Second Presbyterian church at Fulton. The First had been organized in
1856 by Rev. W. C. Mason, with a membership of thirteen. Mr. and Mrs.
D. Miller, Mrs. McCoy, Mrs. Sayre, Mrs. Curtiss, and others. Their church
was dedicated in 1864, and cost $16,000. In 1868, these two churches were
united. It was then that Rev. A. Keigwin of the First, and Rev. Josiah
Leonard of the Second, withdrew from their charges, and assisted in the
organization of the Presbyterian church of Fulton, and in 1868 voted to
occupy the edifice of the First Presbyterian, the building owned by the Sec-
ond, having been sold to the Methodist. Additions to the structure were made
in the form of a bell tower and spire. The last minister to occupy the pulpit
was Rev. Gary F. Moore, who after a ministry of several years, resigned to
accept a call in Kentucky. The oldest member associated with the society
is W. P. Culbertson, born in 1819, who came to Fulton in 1855. A venerable
gentleman with faculties in good preservation, and who enjoys his daily


promenade on the streets. The present membership of the church is 181, with
90 in the Sunday school. The ladies have a missionary society and a thimble


At a congregation meeting of the Presbyterian society of Fulton, held
in the church auditorium Thursday, April, 1908, Rev. W. C. Crofts of Mor-
rison presided as moderator. By a unanimous vote a call was extended to
A. R. Zeimer, of the McCormick theological seminary of Chicago, to accept
the pastorate of the Fulton Presbyterian church. The trustees selected were
Oscar Summers, J. M. Fay, Jr., Samuel J. McCullaugh, Mrs. Nathaniel Green
and Mrs. Almet Chapman.

The installation of Rev. A. H. Zeimer took place in May ; The church
was handsomely trimmed with flowers, and there was special music for the
occasion and a solo by Mr. Townley.

The Rev. Smiley of Geneseo, the moderator of the Presbytery, presided ;
the Rev. McAuley of Lyons, Iowa, offered the opening prayer; Rev. C. G.
Richards of Sterling read the Scriptural lesson ; Rev. J. W. Stuart of Garden
Plain delivered the sermon, followed by the ordination and installing service ;
charge to the pastor by Rev. Crofts and to the congregation by Rev. Richards.

The sermon founded on Ephesians 3:5 was an eloquent plea for Chris-
tianity and membership in the church and the need and effect of the church
in the world. The charges to pastor and people were exceedingly timely.

The new pastor, Rev. A. H. Zeimer, a recent graduate of the McCormick
Theological seminary, comes to the church, his first pastorate, under the most
favorable circumstances. Of fine pulpit presence and address, in his few Sun-
days here has pleased and attracted the church and congregation, and seems
well fitted for his profession and to carry forward the work of the late pastor.

Before 1840 services were held in Fulton by the early circuit riders.
School houses or log cabins furnished a meeting place. From 1842 to 1852,
Union Grove circuit included all the Methodist appointments in the county.
In 1856 the Fulton circuit was established with Rev. M. Hanna as resident
pastor. He was followed by a long line of ministers, who remained two years
or sometimes only one : Among them W. H. Smith, M. H. Plumb, Schoon-
maker, David Bales, Davis, Griffin, Larash, Snyder. The new church was
built under the pastorate of Rev. M. M. Bales, at a cost of nearly $6,000, and
dedicated in fall of 1888 during ministry of Cass Davis. The parsonage by
the church has been recently refitted by the ladies, and the whole property is
now in excellent condition. The Sunday school has an enrollment of 140
with nine teachers. There are fifty members in the Epworth League, and 50
in the Junior. Three societies managed by the women : Ladies' Aid, Dorcas
Sewing Circle, Young Ladies' Guild, with fifteen in each of the first two, and
thirty in the last. Also, a Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society.
An enthusiastic choir of twenty men and women, sopranos, altos, tenors,
bassos. The present pastor, Rev. Wilmer Jaggins, is in his first year, and
new in Illinois, having spent 17 years of his ministry in the Wilmington Con-
ference, embracing part of Maryland and Virginia.

A small frame church is occupied by the Christian society, one of the
later organizations, but the membership although earnest, about fifty with a


Sunday school of forty, is hardly able to support a regular pastor. The last
was Eev. G. W. Hughes.

Fronting to the south, standing on a hill, is the brick church of the
Immaculate Conception. The first building was erected in 1862, the present
has 1906 on the corner stone. There are seventy or more members. The
parsonage is near. Father J. L. Maloney has been in charge for fourteen
years. Originally from Ireland, but educated at the Jesuits College in Chicago.

The largest church building in Fulton and the largest congregation is
the Dutch Reformed. There are 300 members, six elders and six deacons.
Sometimes a thousand present at the morning services. Preaching in Dutch,
both morning and evening because the members prefer the tongue of the
fatherland. About 300 members in both Christian Endeavors. William Wol-
vius, the pastor, is much attached to his people, and as most live in the country,
he devotes a part of each week to pastoral visitation. He was born in Hol-
land, but educated in this country. The Dutch Reformed, it will be remem-
bered, is Roosevelt's denomination. It is not strong, although dating from
1628 in United States, having only 600 ministers. A large parsonage.

Further south on the extreme edge of Fulton is a branch of the same
denomination, calling themselves Christian Reformed. It is younger than
the other, and one essential point of difference is opposition to secret orders.
There are 83 families, with a Sunday school of 100. In the young people's
societies are fifty, a Ladies' Aid of sixteen, and a catachetical class of eighty.

Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 20 of 72)