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

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celebration at Lyons, with the usual custom, thousands crossing the bridge
on foot and in carriages. The late Hon. Walter I. Hayes, of Clinton, who as
congressman was influential in procuring the charter, and the Hon. Robert G.
Cousins, of Iowa, were the orators of the day.


Fulton was organized as a village in 1855, and the first trustees were
Henry C. Fellows, W. C. Snyder, Dr. A. W. Benton. In 1859 it became a
city under special charter with James McCoy, mayor, and aldermen, Leander
Smith, David E. Dodge, Lyman Blake, Chas. A. Chace.

The first building in the city limits was in 1837, and although intended
for a store, was used the first summer as bachelors' hall by McCoy, Fellows,
and other unmarried men in the new settlement.

The first store was opened by John W. Baker and Moses Barlow in 1837,
and the first frame building was erected by John W. Baker in 1838.

Robert Booth built the first hotel of logs and clay in very rough style,
and was a popular landlord with boarders and travelers for his good table
and cordial reception.

Another store with a general assortment of goods was opened in 1839
by Chenery and Phelps. They dealt largely in grain, pork, and produce,
and their liberal prices attracted a wide trade.

The first brick building was erected in 1847, and stood for many years.
The third brick was erected by McCoy and Phelps for a printing office.

The first mail from Dixon to Fulton was carried by Ezekiel Kilgour


over the Sterling and Morrison road. From Dixon to Sterling by ox team,
Sterling to Fulton by horse.

The postoffice was established in 1838 under Van Buren, and pioneer
John Baker was appointed postmaster. In May, 1861, Dr. Snyder was
appointed by Lincoln, and held the place by successive reappointments, estab-
lishing the office in permanent quarters on Base street.

At the second town meeting held at the house of W. S. Wright, April
5, 1853, 26 votes were cast.

The year 1839 was long remembered as the sick year, as hardly a person
in the place escaped the prevailing malady. Dr. Daniel Reed and wife were
going day and night.

John Dyer, who came to Fulton in 1857, was one of her earliest patriots,
enlisting at Washington in the Lincoln regiment, 1861, and afterwards in
the 93d Illinois Volunteers.

The Fulton Journal has the honor of being the first paper published in
Whiteside county and has been issued regularly for over fifty-four years. It
was first published Feb. 25, 1854, as the Whiteside Investigator. Two public-
spirited citizens, namely, Judge James McCoy and John Phelps, in the fall
of 1853. purchased in St. Louis a press and type for the enterprise, but they
were shipped so late in the season that the steamboat was stopped at Rock
Island by the ice. The outfit was brought in a sleigh across the country and
installed in a brick two-story building still standing near the corner of River
and Union streets.

The first editor was A. McFadden, who got out a very creditable paper.
He bought the plant and soon after took G. A. Laighton as a partner and the
name was changed to the Fulton City Advertiser. Laighton later became sole
owner and was ably assisted in the editorial department by Dr. C. A. Gris-

In the campaign of 1856 the Advertiser advocated the election of James
Buchanan. Then Laighton sold out and G. I. Booth in 1859 was editor and
publisher and the name was changed to the Weekly Courier and the paper
became republican in politics, advocating the election of Abraham Lincoln.

In 1863 Mr. Booth again changed the name and this paper has since been
called The Fulton Journal. Three years later his son became a partner and
conducted The Journal under the firm name of G. J. Booth & Son until 1872,
when George Terwilliger, a ready writer, bought the Booths out, and in the
fall of the same year sold a half interest to Dr. W. C. Snyder, who became
business manager.

In March, 1876, Dr. Snyder bought Mr. Terwilliger's interest but
retained him as editor. The same fall T. J. Pickett, Jr., leased the office of
Dr. Snyder and soon after formed a partnership with I. C. Snyder and pur-
chased the paper.

In 1878, W. R, Cobb, a versatile scholar and gifted writer, bought Mr.
Pickett out, and two years later Cobb went to Sterling and became associated
with the Sterling Gazette Company and that firm purchased The Journal.

In April, 1881, Fred K. Bastian, who was local editor on the Gazette,
was placed in charge of The Journal, and in August of the same year with his


brother, A. W. Bastian, as partner bought the plant and business, and the
politics of the paper was changed to democratic. In the fall of 1882 The
Journal was made a semi-weekly and for over twenty-six years it has been
issued twice a week without missing an issue.

In April, 1887, The Journal office was burned out, but the proprietors
immediately purchased new presses and material and, not being able to
secure suitable rooms, built the building on Cherry street where the paper
has since been published.

In 1892 A. W. Bastian sold his interest to Fred K., who conducted the
paper until September, 1898, when A. W. Bastian became sole proprietor and
editor, Fred K. selling out and retiring.

The Journal is now in its fifty-fifth volume and with largely increased
circulation, a well equipped office, giving employment to eight persons, it
ranks as one of the leading papers of the county, reflecting credit on the busi-
ness ability and journalistic aptitude of the editor and proprietor.


From Greenland's icy mountains,

From India's coral strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains,

Roll down their golden sand,
From many an ancient river,

From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver

Their land from error's chain. Reginald Heber.



Perhaps our first missionary from this county was Edward Payson Scott,
of blessed memory. He was the son of John M. Scott, who came from Vermont
to Lyndon in the summer of 1838. Edward was graduated from Knox Col-
lege, Galesburg, taught for a while in this county, and after a course of study
at the Hamilton Theological Seminary, New York, was ordained as a min-
ister in the Baptist church, and sent to Assam, India. At the end of six years,
he returned on account of the failing health of his wife, but after a year's
sojourn went back, and died in 1869 of cholera. Edward was a good singer,
and while attending our institutes was a regular member of the choir to open
the morning exercises. '

Dr. Henry C. Mabie tells a beautiful story of an experience in the career
of Scott in Assam. Against the urgent advice of the British officers, Scott felt
impelled to visit the Nagas, a wild hill-tribe, three days' journey from his
station. He had just begun to study the language, and took with him a Naga
teacher. When they approached a native village, they were commanded to
halt by a band of fierce natives who threatened violence. The missionary
stopped, drew out his violin, and began to sing in their own tongue, "Alas,
and did my Savior bleed !" When he had finished the first verse, the war-
riors' spears had been thrust into the ground. As he sang on of the suffering,


the forgiveness, the salvation of the Son of God, the wild men drew nearer,
and when he finished, the chief cried out, "Sing us that again. We never
heard the like of that before!" Scott's sister, Mary, was a girl of lovely spirit,
and after years of devoted service as teacher, sleeps in the home cemetery at

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,

Does his successive journeys run.


Morrison people will remember this noble young minister, who was pastor
of the Presbyterian church there for a short time. It was about 1863. He had
dark hair and complexion, of ordinary height, active movement, serious expres-
sion. He sailed for Africa, but his usefulness was cut short by the fatal cli-
mate, and he died at Corisco on the west coast. His life was published by the
Presbyterian Board. A fragrant memory.

Asleep in Jesus! far from thee

Thy kindred and their graves may be.

His sister was the wife of Rev. N. H. G. Fife, pastor of the Sterling Presby-
terian church for sixteen years, from 1873, and the bereaved mother lived with
her, all much beloved by a wide circle of friends.


Nearly thirty years ago a young man was taking private lessons to prepare
for college from Rev. J. E. Goodhue, then rector of Grace Episcopal church in
Sterling. After a course of theology at Nashotah, Wis., he was ordained, sent
to a mission of the church in Japan, where he labored so efficiently that he was
promoted to the highest distinction, and for a good while has been known as
Bishop McKim. During his regular trips to this country to see his children at
school, and attend the church conventions, Bishop McKim always visits Sterl-
ing, endeared to him by early associations. At his last visit he preached in
Grace church from the text, "And I was not disobedient to the heavenly
vision." An agreeable man, a fine organizer, and he has accomplished an excel-
lent work in the cherry land. Japan is yearly opening her doors wider to the
iniluences of Christianity.

His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

In a letter which John wrote in May, 1880, soon after his arrival at
Osaka, he says : "I study the language with a teacher every morning, and read
morning and evening prayer in Japanese at the girls' school. They tell me I
am doing very well with the language, but I don't think I shall be able to
preach my first sermon for a year more. There is plenty of work to do, how-
ever, without preaching. We can do much in the way of talking with people,
and in training native young men for the ministry, but I don't think we shall
ever be able to do much through our own preaching."



This lady was graduated at the Rock Falls high school in 1898,' and most
of the time since her marriage has been engaged in the South Chih-li Mission,
Tai Ming-Fu, Chih-li Province, North China. A budget of missionary docu-
ments, postmarked Shanghai, received by her friend, Mrs. A. S. Goodell, gives
a glimpse of the varied field before these earnest laborers. There are several
thin sheets of greetings, indicating different phases of the work. "Picture what
it is, if you can, to be in a heathen city, with heathenish sights and sounds
and smells, twenty miles from the nearest one who can speak your own
language. One day twenty church members came in, each needing personal
instruction, bringing with them one hundred inquirers. Figure out how
one of you in the homeland could do anything with such a crowd. On Sab-
bath the power of the Spirit is very manifest in the meetings, as from one to
six, crowds of women filled the chapel. The work in the missionary children's
school has been going steadily on, and God has blessed teacher and pupils.
We praise God, also, for the large measure of health and strength He has
given us. Mrs. Ebeling now weighs more than she has ever weighed before.
Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth his own chosen ones
into this vast harvest field. Faithfully yours in Jesus,


Accompanying the leaflets in English is a copy of "Gospel News," in
Chinese, for circulation among the native church members. The characters,
of course, are hieroglyphics to an American, and resemble healthy spider
tracks. We have all seen them on tea chests. In a corner the contents are
given in English, with such topics as On the way of salvation, On Jesus the
sin-bearer, the Story of the Creation, On receiving the Lord Jesus, On a clean
temple for the Holy Ghost.

The morning light is breaking,
The darkness disappears.


She is the daughter of Rev. William Pinkney, a Wesleyan minister of
English descent, and Annie Witmer, originally from Pennsylvania, who spent
her girlhood in Whiteside county. Evelyn's education was received at Prince-
ton high school, Bureau county, and at Wheaton, where she took a full course
in the collegiate, art, and musical departments. When sixteen, she volun-
teered for service in the foreign field, preferring Africa, but a call during her
senior year came from the Methodist Episcopal church for the establishment
of a graded school in Foochow, China. This was for the education of the
children of missionaries, and of children resident in the fort. In September,
1897, Miss Pinkney sailed for Foochow, and for three years labored faith-
fully, carrying all grades of work from kindergarten to college. In 1900 she
was married to Ben Herbert Marsh, B. S., a graduate of Northwestern Univer-
sity, who was sent to Foochow to teach sciences in the Anglo-Chinese college,
the largest Christian college in South China for the education of Chinese


young men. Prof. Marsh died in 1904, and Mrs. Marsh with her two children
returned to the homeland. But after a year's rest she crossed the Pacific to
renew her work. At the close of the first year, however, her health giving
away, doctors advised her return to America, With her two little daughters,
Mrs. Marsh is now quietly residing in Sterling, near her parents, but cherishes
the hope of entering in due time upon the work in which her heart is absorbed,
and to which she desires to give her best energies.

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee!


is the latest of our crusaders against the darkness of heathenism. He attended
Empire school west of Sterling from 1863 to 1870, was graduated from Car-
thage college, Illinois, studied theology at Wittenberg seminary, Springfield,
Ohio, and after various pastorates, the last at EvanstonJ where he left a new
church as a memorial of his devotion, he offered his services to the board
of the Lutheran church as a missionary to darkest Africa. At a farewell
meeting in St. John's church, Sterling, whose membership contains many of
his early friends, after several addresses and a closing one by Mr. Reed, an
offering was made for his benefit, and a Godspeed uttered for his journey.
After another farewell reception in Third church, Baltimore, Mr. Reed sailed
for Africa in February, spending two weeks on the way in England, and
arrived at Monrovia on the west coast, March 23, 1907. Muhlenberg mission,
the scene of his labors, is in Liberia, not far inland, pleasantly situated, and
well established. Here Rev. David Day gave his life to the work which Rev.
Will Beck is now vigorously carrying forward. Besides schools and preaching
at the station, trips are made to points in the interior. In several printed let-
ters, John writes encouragingly of his progress, and of much enjoyment in the
people and scenes of his tropical world. Early in 1908, however, he was
seized with severe sickness, and was obliged to return to America.


Burton St. John was born in Genesee township, Nov. 24, 1873. He was
converted in childhood, and united with the Methodist church, at Hickory
Grove appointment, Coleta charge. With his parents he moved to Sterling in
1888. He attended Central school and graduated in 1893. Took the degree
of A. B. at Northwestern University in 1898. In the school year of 1898-9 he
was Traveling Secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement, and visited
the colleges in the central western states, and Manitoba. In the fall of 1899 he
began his divinity course at Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N. J. In
the fall of 1901 and winter of 1901-2 served as private secretary to John R.
Mott, and with him visited Japan, China, Straits Settlement, Ceylon, and
India, in the interests of International Y. M. C. A. Took his degree of B. D.
at Drew in the spring of 1902. He was married July 9, 1902, to Miss Jo
Barnes, of Duluth, Minn. Appointed missionary to North China, and sailed
from San Francisco, in August, 1902, for Peking and later was appointed


to Tientsin. In the spring of 1906 he was sent to Japan to establish Y. M.
C. A. work among the Chinese students at Tokyo. In the fall of 1906 was
appointed principal of the Chinese Boys' Intermediate School, in Tientsin, and
still (1907) is in that work.


Miss Mary Kingsbury, who has been engaged in active missionary work
in India for twenty-six years, was born in Hudsonville, 111., Feb. 7, 1857.
Her childhood days were spent in Decatur,' 111., where her parents went to
reside in 1860 and where she entered the public school at the age of six.

As a child she was obedient to her parents f kind and loving to her
younger brothers and sisters, and showed, at a very tender age, an ability, to
decide quickly in favor of what was right and just in all matters that came
up in her daily life.

When a girl of 15 she, with her parents, removed to Sterling, Whiteside
county, 111., and in September, 1872, she became a pupil of the Second Ward
school; graduating from the High School with honors in 1877.

Miss Kingsbury was a very systematic, painstaking student, laboring
diligently to excel in her wo>k and early laid the foundation for that mar-
velous executive ability which has since characterized her labors in foreign

At the age of 16 she became a member of the Christian church and has
always been an ardent and energetic supporter of its teachings. Being of a
deeply religious nature from her earliest childhood, it was no surprise to her
friends, when the call having been sent out by the Christian Women's Board
of Missions of Indianapolis, Ind., for four young ladies to volunteer to go out
to India to organize and establish a mission field in that far off country, that
she was one of the first to respond.

Accordingly on the sixteenth day of September, 1881, she, in company
with four young ladies sent out by the National Women's Board, and two
gentlemen accompanied by their wives sent by the Foreign Board of the
Christian church, sailed for India to begin their great work of spreading the
gospel of Jesus Christ.

These pioneers first located in Jubbalpur, where they at once began the
study of the language, and later they removed to Hurda, which was regarded
as a more healthful city, and after two years of faithful study they perfected
plans for opening up a permanent mission station at Bilaspur in the Central

With bullock carts, provisions and small tents in which to sleep at night,
they started through the thick jungle to undertake their new work. Bilaspur
was two hundred and twenty miles away, a journey of three weeks, traveling
as they then must go. The first part of the trip was pleasant and over ia
smooth government road, but after three or four days this was left behind and
they entered the dense jungle, which was filled with tigers and other wild
animals. At night they would stop for rest and around their tents and trains
they would keep large camp fires to protect themselves from wild beasts.

When they reached Bilaspur, jaded and weary, they were accorded a


cordial welcome by the chief men of the village. Miss Kingsbury at once
began doing zenana work (teaching women in their homes), in which she
continued until a year or so later, when she met with a very severe accident,
which resulted in a broken ankle and from which she suffered from lameness
for many years. This necessitated a change of work, which led to the found-
ing of a girls' orphanage which became Miss Kingbury's individual work.

An interesting story is told of an appeal made to our missionaries in
Bilaspur before the founding of the orphanage. An old man and his wife
were living near them. They were so poor and miserable they could scarcely
live, and the father was so very ill that he did not live very long after this.
One day they came to the missionaries bringing their baby boy and telling
them they were too poor to feed and care for him and asked them to take him.
The missionaries refused several times for they had no orphanage, and they
could not understand why the parents would give up such a dear little boy.
Day after day the old people came pleading with them to take the child, saying
it would die of starvation) if they did not. When at last they were allowed
to leave him they went away quite happy, though afterward they found the
mother quietly weeping, when she thought she was not seen. The mission-
aries would have thought she cared nothing for the child had they not seen
her. Sirawan, the name of the child, was the first member of the orphanage.
Now he is a useful Christian man as a teacher and evangelist in Bilaspur.

This orphanage is now used exclusively for girls and has been a haven of
refuge for many a helpless little one. Here they are tenderly cared for and
taught to be self-reliant, capable women. All these years Miss Kingsbury has
faithfully cared for these orphan girls. Many have married Christian men
and now preside over Christian homes, showing their own people what such
homes are like. Many have become teachers and many others nurses and
helpers not only in Bilaspur station, but in other missions. There are now in
the orphanage about one hundred and thirty girls being trained to live useful

It may be interesting to mention that during the many years Miss Kings-
bury has been engaged in missionary work she has only made three visits to
her native land. The first visit was made in the spring of 1888, when she
remained at home with her loved ones for over a year.

Her second visit was made in the summer of 1896 and upon this occasion
she made a short visit with friends in Sterling, then going on to Brookings,
S. Dak., to spend a few months with her mother, and completing her visit
with her sisters and brothers in Butte, Mont.

Her third and last visit was made in the summer of 1905, when she
remained for over a year. Upon this occasion she divided her time between
Minneapolis, Minn., and Butte, Mont.

In September of 1906 she again sailed for India and to quote from a letter
just received from her, dated November 14, 1907, she writes: "A year ago
today the good ship Caledonia was gradually drawing near to Calcutta. How
quickly the time flies."

Miss Kingsbury's strong personality, genial disposition and kind but firm
leadership has greatly endeared her to the girls and her quiet dignity and


influence for good is leaving its impression upon all who are so fortunate as
to become inmates of the Bilaspur Orphanage for Girls.


She was born in Fenton township, April 11, 1872, and is a graduate of
Wheaton college, 1897. In her early girlhood she consecrated her life to her
Savior, joining the Student Volunteer Movement soon after entering college.
While pursuing a training course in Bible study at Moody Institute, Chicago,
the way opened that she could become a candidate of the Woman's Board of
the Northwest. She was accepted in April, 1901, and assigned to India as
her field of labor. Her work there has been greatly blessed. Miss Jenks is a
member, much beloved, of the Newton Presbyterian church. Not the "little
church around the corner" of New York, but the modest frame church of the
prairie and the woods.


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet.

David Hume was a philosopher and a historian. Hume's History of
England was all our grandfathers knew. David enjoyed life, and died in
Edinburgh in 1776, before he could tell how our glorious revolution was to
end. Was Hume township named after the Scotch historian? Did any of the
original settlers believe in his philosophy? Were they Highlanders, and
admirers of their distinguished countryman? We fear not. They were true
blue New Englanders.

No, the first settlers were not scholars, simply earnest, industrious men and
women. They preferred a good quarter section to all the Humes from the
beginning of time. For instance, there was Leonard Morse, who built a log
cabin in 1836. Uriah Wood, 1839, who in a sod house with wife and seven
children, still had room for boarders. These early cabins were like modern
omnibuses, always room for one more. Strangers could sleep on floor, and the
table could be set outdoors. Most of the emigrants came after 1840, the
Scotts, McKenzie, Paddock, Plumley, Baker, Crook, and others.

Like Newton, L T stick, and some of the other townships, Hume has no
central village, no seat of influence with lawyers, doctors, merchants, and

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 22 of 72)