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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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 24 of 72)
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nance, and plain in his manners. He formed partnership with his son in
the lumber and coal trade. His daughter was married to Moses Dillon, long
in the elevator business, now in New York. The Judge was a member of the
Congregational church, and an estimable citizen in all the relations of life.

Another was Nathan Williams, who, when the writer first knew him, was
engaged in a dry goods store, but after three years left Sterling, and devoted
his energies to a large farm of 640 acres in Montmorency. In 1871 he was
elected to the legislature as representative, serving two years. Faithful to his
constituents. To him the writer is indebted for a complete set of the Geo-
logical Survey of Illinois, under direction of A. H. Worthen. A third was
C. C. Buell, the best educated of all the circle, valedictorian at Madison Uni-
versity, New York. An illustrious record as professor, quartermaster in the
Civil war, principal of Second Ward school in Sterling, influential as farmer
and dairyman. Mr. Buell was a good writer, ready speaker, and well equipped
for the intellectual or commercial affairs of the community.

Asa Scott, who made that peculiar boat trip from Ohio to Como in 1839,
where he remained until 1847, when he purchased a farm in this township,
had sixteen children, putting him in the class with Susanna Wesley, mother
of the famous Methodist founder. Asa's early experience was full of all sorts
of hardship. Tyler McWhorter's name was familiar to the citizens of the
county, as he was supervisor and member of the legislature. He came in 1854
from Indiana. His widow resides in Sterling. A. A. Church is best known as
a raiser of improved stock. Herman Sterling removed to Sterling, and then
to California. Henry M. Barnum is now in Sterling. In fact, nearly all of
Montmorency's older people are gone. Another generation have taken up their


People and realms of every tongue,
Dwell on his love with sweetest song,
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on his name. -Watts.

No cause has more loyal, efficient, untiring workers than the men and
women in the Sunday school movement. A pure and disinterested service, so
refreshing in this age of graft and selfishness. The children are the hope of
the country, and they should be brought up in the ways of righteousness.
When time-servers are forgotten, they that turn many to holiness, shall shine
t>* the stars forever and ever.

The first County S. S. convention was held in Morrison, Dec. 11-12, 1876.


Rev. D. E. Wells was chosen moderator, and Pay.son Trask, secretary. State
Secretary, E. Payson Porter gave an address, Saving of the World. Fourteen
townships of twenty-two were represented. D. J. Jenne, Sterling, president;
Payson Trask, Fulton, secretary, H. C. Donaldson, Morrison, statistical
secretary, were chosen for the ensuing year. The next convention
: met in Farwell Hall, Sterling, May 7, 1877. The report showed
52 schools, and 5,430 scholars. The next year the meeting was in the
Presbyterian church, Fulton, May, 1878. April 29, 1879, saw the convention
in the Presbyterian church at Morrison. Rev. E. Brown was one of the speak-
ers. The next time in the Congregational church, Sterling, May 4, 1880. The
report gave 75 schools and 6,404 scholars. Fulton M. E. church had the
following session, Dec. 13, 1881. At the next convention in Morrison Baptist
church, Dec. 7, 1882, there were 64 schools reported with a membership of
5,160. Jenne, Trask, and Donaldson, after a faithful service of seven years
retired, and C. W. Sholes, Morrison, president; Joseph B. Kearns, Garden
Plain, sec. ; and G. P. Perry, Sterling, treasurer, succeeded. At the convention
in M. E. church, Sterling, Oct. 31, 1883, W. B. Jacobs gave an address on The
True Object of Our Work, and How to Accomplish It. Forty dollars was
appropriated for the state fund. Next in Morrison, Presbyterian church, Nov.
11, 1884. Erie had the next meeting, in M. E. church, Nov. 2, 1885, and the
officers elected were: Pres., Dr. Donaldson; I. M. Phillips, v. pres. ; G. P.
Perry, treas; rec. sec., B. T. St. John. Oct. 21, 1886, saw the convention in
Fulton, Oct. 25, 1887, in Cong, church, Rock Falls, Dec. 22, 1888, in Morrison,
Nov. 21, 1889, in Fulton, Nov. 20, 1890, in Sterling, Nov. 19, 1891, in Mor-
rison, Nov. 1, 1892, in Fulton, Sept. 20, 1893 in Prophetstown, Nov. 13, 1894,
in Rock Falls, Oct. 1, 1895, Erie, Nov. 21, 1896, Morrison, Nov. 9, 1897,
Sterling, Nov. 9, 1898, Prophetstown, Nov. 7, 1899, Rock Falls, Nov. 20, 1900,
Morrison. Rev. Henry Moser, Mary Foster Bryner, and W. B. Jacobs were
present. The silver anniversary was observed, 1876-1900, to commemorate the
first convention, which was held also in Morrison. Among those present then
were W. F. Eastman, Overholser, Tuttle, Payne, Mrs. Hamilton, R. Aldritt,
L. E. Mathews, Mrs. Woodruff. At the meeting in Fulton, 1901, Nov. 12,
I. M. Phillips was pres. and S. A. Maxwell, secretary. The convention met in
Sterling, Nov. 11, 1902, in Oct. 29, 1903, at Erie, Nov. 3, 1904, Presbyterian
church, Albany, Nov. 2, 1905, in M. E. church, Tampico, Sept. 20, 1906,
in M. E. church, Rock Falls, Sept.. 26, 1907, at Morrison.


President, George W. Welch, Sterling.
Vice-President, C. E. Ackerman, Morrison.
Recording Secretary, George A. Potter, Erie.
Statistical Secretary, Theodore Trouth, Sterling.
Treasurer, I. D. Woodford, Morrison.
Normal Superintendent, George P. Perry, Sterling.
Primary Superintendent, Mis- Fanny Riggs. Morrison.
Temperance Secretary, Rev. J. Burch, Fulton.


Home Dept. Secretary (Northern District), Mrs. Lizzie Detweiler, Ster-

Home Dept. Secretary (Southern District), Mrs. Eliza Frank, Rock Falls.


District No. 1 Hugh Miller, Sterling; Jordan, Sterling, Coloma, Genesee
and Hopkins.

District No. 2 Frank Milligan, Tampico; Montmorency, Hahnaman,
Hume and Tampico.

District No. 3 M. I. Fadden, Lyndon ; Clyde., Mt. Pleasant and Lyndon.

District No. 4 W. W. Watson, Morrison, Ustick, Union Grove and

District No. 5 Dr. L. Barber, Fulton; Fulton, Garden Plain, Newton
and Albany.

District No. 6 Frank Cleaveland, Prophetstown ; Erie, Prophetstown and

As will be noticed, the conventions have been changed in place every year
so that an interest may be aroused in every section of the county. The plan
has proved successful, and in every town the convention is the enthusiastic
event of the week. Good singing, addresses by prominent educators, discus-
sions that appeal to teachers and people. Today Whiteside has every town-
ship organized, and is the banner and star county in the state for S. S. work.


Fourth St. M. E., Sterling 482

St. John's Lutheran, Sterling 412

Dutch Reformed, Fulton 323

Congregational, Sterling 308

In the county the total:

Sunday School Enrollment 8171

Home Department 570

Cradle Roll . . 507

Grand Total .9248

There are 936 officers and teachers, and the amount contributed for state
work is $165.

Theodore Trouth, Sterling, statistical secretary, who has furnished much
of the material for this sketch, and is himself a pioneer in the movement, has
given the writer a long list of the worthy men and women who freely gave
their time and talents to the cause. Among the wheelhorses are James P.
Overholser, I. M. Phillips, George P. Perry, G. W. Olmstead, H. K. Hostetter,
J. K. Chester, N. G. Van Sant, Hugh Miller. For twenty years Perry has con-
ducted every winter a training class in Sterling, in which are presented the
best methods of teacher training.



I hear thee speak of the better land,

Thou callest its children a happy band;

Mother, oh, where is that radiant shore?

Shall we not seek it, and weep no more?

Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,

And the date grows ripe under sunny skies? Mrs. Plenums.

Tampico sounds like Mexico, and calls up suggestions of dates and palms,
but it is not so far south, although on the southernmost tier of our townships.
If you leave Sterling in the morning at seven on the Burlington, change at
Denrock, and take the train on the Mendota branch, you will reach Tampico
at nine. As you alight at the station, the first object that catches the eye is
the soldiers' monument on a small triangular plaza in Spanish. It is made
of granite, seventeen feet to the head of the infantry soldier on the summit.
On each of the four sides, these stirring names, Pea Ridge, Resaca, Atlanta,
Gettysburg. Below, El Caney, Guayama, of the Spanish-American War. Also,
the inscription, This stone is a reminder of the cost and value of the Union
of the States, 1861-1865. Erected by the G. A. R., W. R. C., and loyal citi-
zens. It cost about $700. A handsome ornament, and in a place where it
appeals to the traveler to pause and think.

Every place has its great name that shades all others. In Chicago it was
Marshall Field, in Philadelphia it is John Wanamaker. In Tampico it is
John W. Glassburn. Theodore Parker once asked a stranger visiting in Boston
if he had seen George Ticknor, the Spanish historian. "No," replied the man.
"Well," said Parker, "you might as well visit hell, and not see the devil, as
come to Boston, and miss Ticknor." Mr. Glassburn is called the father of
Tampico, and is today its prominent citizen. He came to Whiteside in 1856,
and laid out his farm in 1861 where the town now stands. He paid $7.50
per acre for -the land. He is a man of solid frame, and a hopeful expression
that promises many more years of activity.

On the Main street which runs north and south, and Market street, east
and west, there are forty business houses, stores, restaurants, shops. On a cor-
ner is the Tampico Bank, established in 1882. J. W. Glassburn is president,.
A. T. Glassburn vice-pres., and A. C. Glassburn and T. A. Curnow, assistant
cashiers. Chicago, New York an'd foreign exchange bought and sold. The
Pitney House is kept by 0. D. Pitney, an old timer, who came in 1863 when
there were more frogs and wild ducks than good citizens in Tampico. He came
originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, and has reminiscences of Joshua R. Gid-
dings, James A. Garfield, and the worthies of that heroic district. He is "mine
host" of the novels, who sits down in the common room, and chats with his

Where village statesmen talked with looks profound, '
And news much older than their ale went round.

Simpson's lumber yard is the largest of that business, one of twenty or
thirty branches in different cities, and near is Legg's poultry house, shipping


chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, chiefly to Boston market. A good point for
fowls, Tampico in this respect ranking second in the list, Polo standing first,
and Sterling third for the supply of barnyard roasts.

Tampico Tornado is the name of the forceful journal that faithfully car-
ries forward the various interests of the community. George Isherwood, a
practical printer, an aggressive and intelligent young man, is editor and pro-
prietor. For the benefit of foreign advertisers, he has a standing bulletin at
the head of a column that sets forth the claims of the town at a glance :


Tampico is located in southern Whiteside County, on the Burlington Ry.,
24 miles southeast of Morrison, the county seat, in one of the best farming sec-
tions of Illinois. It has a population of 1,500 and is a model little city of neat,
comfortable homes and is a very desirable residence place. The citizens are
progressive and alive to the signs of the times. Its religious interests are well
cared for by the Methodist, Catholic, Christian and Baptist churches, while the
public schools are excellent, well conducted and largely attended. It is lighted
by electricity and is one of the best grain and live stock markets in this lati-
tude. Tampico has a bank, two elevators, two lumber yards, cement works,
feed mill, two poultry and egg houses, newspaper, and two hotels. All other
lines of business are represented by wide-awake business men and it is a fine
trading point.

The Tornado was established in 1876 by C. F. Gifford, who published it
until seven years ago, when it was sold to A. D. Hill, who in turn transferred
to Mr. Isherwood. One of the oldest weeklies in the county.


The Baptist was organized about 30 years ago, and has a membership of
one hundred and a Sunday school of 120. Numerous societies, The Young
People, Ladies' Aid, Cradle Roll, and two stirring associations, the Baracas and
Philatheas, who planned a program to solemnize the leave-taking of Rev. Mr.
Wright and family, whose ministrations during eight years closing in 1908
were productive of so much pleasure and profit. The public reception at the
church called out a large audience of parishioners and friends. F. B. Thomas
presented the retiring pastor and wife a box of silverware, which was accepted
by Mr. Wright in a feeling speech, alluding to the cordial relations about to
be severed.

The Christian church has had a rapid growth as it was organized only
in October, 1900. There is a membership of 98, a Sunday school of one hun-
dred, a Young People's Union of 43, with Ladies' Aid and other societies.
Rev. Guy L. Zerby is pastor, and occasionally fills engagements in evangelistic

The Methodist is doubtless the largest church in the place, with 250
members, a Sunday school of 150. two Ladies' Aid, Epworth League, Junior
League, Men's Club. Rev. James Potter, pastor, has had charges at Walnut
and Albany. He pursued his studies at the Northwestern University. At


one time, Tampico was on the Spring Hill and Yorktown circuit, but in 1871,
the members decided to be independent, and in 1872 erected a building. This
was destroyed by the tornado of June, 1874, and in 1875 the present building
was completed, at a cost of $2.500.

St. Mary's Catholic church is the most costly and imposing in Tampico,
perhaps in the county. Only completed in October, 1907. It is constructed
of a beautiful brick, with a lofty spire containing two bells, the interior richly
finished in hard wood, stained glass windows and paintings in the highest
style of art, heated by hot water. The parish was organized in 1875, and at
first in connection with Sheffield had the ministrations of the same priest.
But for nearly thirty years Tampico has supported its own rector. McGuire
was first resident priest, followed by Weber, Sullivan, and others. The present
pastor, Rev. L. X. Du Four, in his fourth year, is popular with all classes,
Catholic and Protestant. A saintly name. X stands for Xavier, the devoted
apostle to the Indies. Du Four was ordained at Philadelphia in 1882, and
has been professor and preacher. The membership of St. Mary's consists of
one hundred families. The parsonage is a neat frame, south of the church.
A short distance to the north is the cemetery. In the center on a high wooden
cross hangs the body of the Savior.

Was it for crimes that I have done,

He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity ! grace unknown !

And love beyond degree.

As may be expected, the names on the tombstones speak of the Emerald
Isle: Sheehan, Murphy, Leahy, McGuire, Tierman, Conroy, Power, Curran.
Any relative of Tyrone Power, the Irish comedian, lost in the steamship Presi-
dent 1840? Any relative of John Philpot Curran, the noted Irish orator? Let
us keep track of our great kindred. Here is the monument of Mary A. Ford,
1816-1896. "May her soul rest in peace. Amen." On the same is the name
of Peter Ford, her husband, laid by her side in 1907, the oldest man who ever
lived in the county, an account of whose life will be found in Deer Grove.
The memorials are chiefly granite, and display good taste.


On Sunday morning in January, 1908, a class of over ninety children were
confirmed by Archbishop Quigley of Chicago, the confirmation occurring at
the 8 o'clock mass. The services were extremely solemn and impressive and
were witnessed by a very large congregation, there being many who were unable
to gain admission to the church. A throne was erected at the right of the
sanctuary for the bishop. The altar was prettily decorated with flowers and
plants and presented a very pretty appearance.

The class was the largest in the history of the Tampico parish. The girls

were adorned in pretty gowns of white and the boys wore bouquets of flowers

in their coat lapels. Father L. X. DuFour, who has charge of the parish, is

o be congratulated on securing the large class and the very successful service.



Like our other towns, Tampico takes pride in the education of her chil-
dren. In the two-story building there are eleven grades under the direction
of the following efficient corps of teachers : Miss Edna Allen, first primary ;
Miss Grace Booth, second primary; Mrs. Jennie Maxwell, intermediate; Mr.
L. W. Denison, grammar; Mr. T. J. Haney, high school. Mr. Denison, one of
the most successful and efficient teachers in Whiteside, is now filling his thir-
teenth year in the school. He is a capable supervisor of grade work, and a
useful citizen everywhere. The principal, T. J. Haney, is a Hoosier, and after
teaching country schools for seven years, studied two years at Eureka college,
and after graduating at State Normal at Carbondale, took post-graduate work
at Indiana State Normal and University of Illinois. After eight years as
principal in various towns, he assumed his present position in 1903. In 1900
he passed the state examination, and holds a life certificate. The members of
the school board are Frank Davis, president, 0. D. Olson, clerk, and Bert
Meredith. There is a three years' high school course adopted upon the recom-
mendation of the state university. In the first year, English, arithmetic and
algebra, physiology and Latin. In the second year, English, algebra, English
history and Latin. In the third, English, geometry, physics, civics, and
American history. English, as will be noted, runs through the whole course.'
This is sensible, as readiness to speak and write correctly is of the first import-

Before Tampico was started, the first school in the district was a half mile
south, 1869, but when the railroad was made in 1871, the schoolhouse was
moved to town. When this became too small, an upper room of Guff'ey's
building, now part of Burden's opera house, was rented, and another teacher
hired. The present structure was built in 1874. A long list of teachers have
wielded the birch since A. W. Bastian, who, after attaining fame and fortune,
is now educating his countrymen through the columns of the Fulton Journal.

Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.


Westward the course of empire takes its way.

Eli Cain was one of the earliest landlords of the old Tampico House, one
of the first buildings in town. James Cain was one of the earliest merchants,
and still owns two buildings on west side of Main street. Alfred -and Fred
Smith have been hardware dealers for nearly 35 years. The old store is beside
the new implement building. The first store and postoffice building occupied
by S. B. Winter, now 84, living in New Jersey, was replaced a year ago by a
brick. A part of the home of Delos Craddock belonged to a structure which
occupied the site of Union hall, and was used by Dr. Taggart, the earliest
physician, and later as a millinery shop. William Kilroy has the house which
was occupied for many years by C. F. Gifford, the first editor of the Tampico
Tornado. The tornado destroyed the back part, and left the front open to the


weather until it was repaired. Thomas Dow occupied the first schoolhouse,
moved to town from the prairie where it was originally built. It was used for
town elections. The teacher was George Apley, now 79, and living in Ne-
braska. Charles Burden built an addition to an old brick, and with his brother,
William, conducts a store. Above the two is Burden's opera house. I think
it was in the spring of 1874 that A. W. Bastian took charge of the school.
That winter the upper part of Guffey's building was rented, and the younger
pupils placed in charge of Miss Rose Laughlin, a lovely girl, sister-in-law of
Fred Smith. Mr. Bastian was an exceptionally good teacher. At the dedica-
tion of the new building in 1874 a fine program was given. The music was
by Isaac West and his son, De Witt, and daughter Lovina. It was the earliest
orchestra I can remember. Afterwards a big supper was served in the unfin-
ished room. It was a very pleasant occasion.


We are not many, we who pressed
Beside the brave who fell that day;

But who of us has not confessed

He'd rather share their warrior rest

Than not have been at Monterey ? Hoffman.

The Grand Army here was organized in 1884, and is called the S. G.
Steadman Post, 491. There are 27 members. It was the privilege of the
writer to visit some of the veterans. Thomas 0. Steadman, born in Ohio, came
to Illinois in 1855, enlisted in Co. D, 75th Illinois, 1862, serving until 1865,
when he was discharged by general order. He was in Perryville, Stone River,
Nashville, and never a scratch. Health somewhat impaired of late.

Robert Collins was born in Ireland, Queens county, coming to Elgin in
1854. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. C, 7th Illinois Cavalry, re-enlisted in Co.
B, 36th 111. Cavalry, and again re-enlisted in Co. K, 10th 111. Cavalry. He
fought at Pea Ridge, Corinth, Chickamauga, Kenesaw, Atlanta, and Benton-
ville, North Carolina. Served to the close of the war, and never wounded.

Barney McGrady came from New York, enlisting at Leta, 1862, in Co. D,
75th 111., Infantry, then at Prophetstown, re-enlisting in Co. B, 34th Illinois
in 1864. He met the enemy at Perryville, Nashville, Atlanta, Murfreesboro,
Lookout Mountain, Dallas, Raleigh, North Carolina, He served to the end
of the conflict, and passed every battle unhurt.

John H. Milligan, born m Ohio, enlisted in Co. B, 85th Ohio Infantry,'
1862, re-enlisted 1863 in Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, and faced bullets at
Knoxville and Franklin, Tennessee. Came through safe and sound.

Jesse Van Bibber, another Ohio hero, enlisted in Co. H, 87th Ohio Infan-
try, then in Co. G, 116th Ohio Infantry. The regiment was so badly cut to
pieces towards the close of the war that it was consolidated with the 62nd Ohio
Infantry, and later with the 67th Ohio. When discharged from service he
was in this regiment. Comrade Van Bibber faced the foe in dozens of battles,
Harper's Ferry, Winchester, Piedmont, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Peters-
burg, Appomattox. He was wounded and captured at Harper's Ferry, wounded


at Newmarket, at Winchester, and at Fisher's Hill. Appomattox shows that
he was in at the death of the Confederacy. Most of the old boys are in good
health, and are met on the streets every day, and always ready to recall the
bloody fight and the tented field. They face the setting sun, but like they
faced the southern foe, with a heart that feels no fear. These five soldiers were
all past commanders of the post.

The veterans were very much surprised and gratified with the action of
a comrade, Henry Giles, an old soldier and a familiar character, who resided
in Tampico for the past thirty years or more, made a will, bequeathing to
Mrs. DeWitt West $200, also left $200 for a monument, $100 at interest to
care for his grave and the remainder, about $1,000, to the G. A. R. post in
Tampico. He had no relatives living so far as he knew. He did not know
the date of his birth, but thought it was about 1833. He came to Prophets-
town when about fourteen years old. He enlisted in Company B 'of the
Thirty-fourth Illinois and was wounded at Corinth by being shot in the arm
which left the arm stiff at the elbow.

Robert Collins, by the way, was a scout for Gen. 0. 0. Howard under
Captain Duncan from Atlanta to Goldboro and he was one of the party of
eight scouts under this same captain who captured Milledgeville, the town that
then was the capital of Georgia, thirty miles in advance of Sherman's army.
He was with Lieut. John A. McQueen's scouts from Buford to Goldboro and
was in the night engagement at Darlington, S. C., where Lieut. McQueen was


In the Greek fable the phenix was a bird that burned itself to death, 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 24 of 72)