Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.
Stronghurst Graphic, Nov 28, 1912
KILLED IN THE FIELD: Russell Boyer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Al Boyer, formerly of Oquawka but now of Burlington, was instantly killed on the Clyde Campbell farm northeast of Rozetta. Mr. Boyer had been husking corn for Mr. Campbell and was the last one of the huskers to leave the field. While others were unloading their corn, Boyer's team arrived at the crib without a driver. Mr. Campbell went back to the cornfield to investigate and found the body of the young man lying near the gate to the field with his head crushed and a number of bad bruises on the body where the heavy load of corn had evidently passed over him. Coroner Kaufman was notified and an inquest held with the jury deciding that Boyer had met his death by a wagon passing over his head. It is supposed that the young man dropped one of the lines and while reaching for it, lost his balance and fell in front of the wheels so close that he had no time to speak to the team and stop them. There was no indication that the team had become frightened or had run away, as they came in from the field slowly. The funeral of Mr. Boyer was held at the Campbell home and the remains were buried in Oquawka.
INJURED AGAIN: J.R. Marshall has been having more than his share of misfortune lately. Last week, he was bruised up in an accident which happened while he was driving along the highway, and this week, he suffered a mishap of a more serious nature. Mr. Marshall had been working at his brother Harry's place, northwest of town, and in the evening brought J.W. Hick's crew of carpenters back to town in his spring wagon. He left the last member of that party, Mr. Jas. Wray, at the Hicks residence and started for home alone. He remembers crossing the railroad track near the Steffey place (now owned by Doris Ferguson) but has no recollections of the events that followed. The team and wagon were found by the children standing near the barn, and they at once started out in search for their father. In the meantime, Frank Lauber had found Mr. Marshall wandering about in a dazed condition near the Beardsley residence and evidently suffering from some injury. He assisted him home, which was only a block away, and summoned Mr. Chas. Davis, a neighbor. They decided that medical aid was necessary and telephoned for Dr. Harter. Dr. Harter found that Mr. Marshall was suffering from a fractured rib and a badly bruised right shoulder besides being mentally dazed. Mr. Marshall has been subject to attacks of partial heart failure and it is supposed that one of these attacks occurred just after he crossed the tracks and he fell from the wagon, injuring himself. He is reported to be doing nicely and will no doubt be able to resume his ordinary work.
SURPRISE ON HIS DOORSTEP: A new born infant was found on the threshold of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Vice, living on the L.A. Meacham farm west of Roseville. The child had thought to be scarcely an hour old when discovered. It was taken in and cared for and today is reported doing well in the hands of its foster parents who have decided to keep the infant.
Mr. Vice arose about 5 o'clock and started to the barn lot to attend his chores. While passing out of door, he heard a noise that resembled the subdued wailing of an infant babe. With his lantern in hand, he started around the house to make an investigation. His surprise can be imagined when on the front porch he saw a bundle which proved to be a bed blanket wrapped around a baby boy. Mrs. Vice was called and they contacted a physician who pronounced the infant healthy.
Mr. Vice recalls that just before arising, he heard sounds as though an automobile had stopped in front of the place and a moment afterward was again on its way. Whether this was the mode of bringing the child to the place is only conjecture. Where the child was born will likely always remain a mystery as its parentage cannot be located in this section. The theory is strong that the birth may have taken place while the mother was traveling across the country.
While Mr. and Mrs. Vice are pleased with the "find," they are grieved that there should be a mother so heartless as to abandon a new born infant. (Wouldn't the tale be told differently today! The child would be put in the hands of the government and eventually end up in foster care.)
THE SOCIAL SCENE IN 1912--CORN HUSKING: There was fun at the old fashioned husking bee held by the M.E. people at Harter's hall last Friday evening. The ears of corn, which had been snapped from the stalks, were placed in a number of piles on the floor and two couples assigned to each pile. At a given signal, all started husking and at the end of 4 minutes, time was called, the ears counted. The judges found that Edgar Hartquist and Miss Ruth Heisler had removed the covering from 93 ears, establishing the record. Miss Heisler was awarded a $3 jewel case. Herman Dodds and Mrs. Dr. Bond were second and the latter received a tray. The booby prize, a husking peg with directions for its use, went to Chas. Heisler and his partner who had 31 ears to their credit.
Afterward a short program of music and recitations was given and then the crowd turned its attention to the oysters, sandwiches and coffee. (If you were young and adventurous, this is what you did in 1912.)
Nov. 28, 1912 LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Cecil Brook returned from a visit to the Canadian country. C.F. Brewer purchased the O.P. Lovitt building on Broadway, now occupied by T.J. Parsons, and will occupy it as a dwelling. Dr. Lauver reports from Paton, Ia., that he is regaining his health and expects to be back in town to resume his practice. W.A. Spears took out a new Deering corn husking machine to use in gathering his big crop of corn. Ed Brewer is remodeling and enlarging the residence on Elizabeth St. which he bought a year ago and intends to make it his home when finished.
In Lomax, Miss Della Ward is wielding the broom at the Romick home. W.Q. Crane's new house is almost finished; the family wants to be settled there by Christmas. In Gladstone, a lecture at the U.P. Church featured moving pictures, taking the audience on a trip through the old country and also scenes of interest in this country. Lee Galbraith took a scalp of a timber wolf to Oquawka and the clerk gave him a $5 warrant for it. A man fell off a through freight train and was so badly hurt that he died in a few minutes after he was found. From papers on him when the coroner held the inquest, his name was Kennedy from Chicago and he was a boiler maker. He was taken to Oquawka and friends sent for.
Dec. 5, 1912 THANKSGIVING DAY IN TOWN: It was an ideal day as far as weather was concerned. Business of nearly all kinds was suspended from 10:30 a.m. until late afternoon. The Thanksgiving service at the U.P. Church was not attended as well as should have been the case, but those who attended listened to an excellent discourse by Rev. C.L. Stauffer, pastor of the Christian Church.
The day was marked by perhaps fewer private gatherings of a festive nature than usual as a large share of the population patronized the dinner and supper given by the Cemetery Aid Association in Harter's Hall. Receipts from both as well as refreshment booths was something over $180.
A PRIZE WINNING COLT: Luther Huston has a Percheron suckling colt that promises to be a record breaker if it keeps on. At four months old it weighed 700 lbs. and now at six months it tips the scales at 870. This makes a gain of 170 lbs. in two months and if it keeps this up till it is four years of age, it ought to weigh something over 4000. It is a magnificent colt and is only one of the many fine ones in Mr. Huston's herd. He is going to take fourteen to the International stock show at Chicago. He captured nearly all the Percheron premiums at Stronghurst and Bushnell and if he makes good at the International he will have something to be proud of. ÑBlandinsville Star Gazette
HENDERSON COUNTY FARMERS' INSTITUTE: Arrangements have been made by the officers of the Henderson County Farmers' Institute by which meetings are to be held at three different points in the county during the second week in DecemberÑRaritan , Biggsville, and Oquawka. No farmer will be obliged to travel a very great distance in order to benefit from them and every farmer who is interested in soil improvement, greater efficiency in farming methods, good roads, social improvement in rural communities, and other matters pertaining to life on the farm should make it a point to attend. (Experts from the University of Illinois interspersed by local entertainment and a few prayers filled the program. Everything from roads and bridges, forage crops in pork production, and country community life to household science would be discussed.)
TWO WELL-KNOWN CITIZENS CALLED TO THEIR REWARD: R.V. Cortelyou, one of the oldest citizens of Henderson County and who was a resident of Stronghurst for a number of years during its early history, died at the home of his son, Harvey, one and a half miles southwest of Raritan. Mr. Cortelyou was ninety-two years of age and was one of the last of the Henderson County pioneers who came from the state of New Jersey at an early date to make their home on the virgin prairies of Illinois.
Ralph Van Arsdale Cortelyou, son of Abram and Elizabeth Van Arsdale Cortelyou, was born near Lamington, Somerset County, New Jersey, March 7, 1821, and died at the home of his son, Harvey W., near Raritan, on Friday morning, November 29, 1912, aged 91 years, 8 months, and 22 days. He was married February 4, 1847, to Miss Catherine Stevens. In 1858 Mr. and Mrs. Cortelyou went West, locating in the Raritan vicinity where they resided until November 1888. Then they removed to Stronghurst where they lived until the death of Mrs. Cortelyou on March 18, 1897. Since then Mr. Cortelyou had lived with his sons.
To them were born seven children: Abram, Margaret, Joseph, Harvey, Edwin, Eugene and Charles; of whom Harvey and Charles are the only survivors. At an early age, Mr. Cortelyou became a member of the Dutch Reformed Church at Peapack, N.J. Upon removing to Raritan, he transferred his membership to the church of that denomination there and upon removing to Stronghurst, he became a member of the United Presbyterian Church in which he retained his membership to the time of his death. At Raritan he held the office of deacon and later as an elder.
A few days ago Mr. Cortelyou sustained a fall which proved too great a shock of his enfeebled powers to overcome. He is survived by his sons, Harvey of Raritan vicinity and Charles of Fremont, Nebraska. The funeral service was held at the home of Harvey and interment was in the Raritan Cemetery...
W.R. Mesecher a well-known farmer who lived for a number of years on the Cortelyou farm 1 1/2 miles west of Raritan, died suddenly on the road between Media and Raritan last Friday morning. Mr. Mesecher had been to the former place for a load of coal and had covered about one half of the return journey when the fatal stroke came. He was last seen alive by some parties who passed him on the road near the Mathers corner, 2 miles north of Raritan. Some time later Maurice Keane, who lives on the J.D. Lynch farm, discovered the team standing by the roadside near that place and as the driver appeared to be helpless went out to investigate. On reaching the wagon, he found Mr. Mesecher stretched out upon the coal with his head hanging slightly over the side of the wagon box. The unfortunate man had evidently been dead for some time when discovered. The body was taken to Raritan and physicians summoned, who made some efforts to restore the heart action but without avail. Coroner Kauffman was notified and on his arrival conducted an inquest over the remains. The verdict of the jury was that the deceased had come to his death from heart failure while driving along the highway.
William Rufus Mesecher was the third of a family of four children and the second of three sons born to James and Panthy Mesecher and was born in Hancock County near La Harpe on July 15, 1848. He spent his earlier days in that vicinity and about 1877 removed to Kansas. He had previously been married to Miss Fanny Spiker and with her as his companion he took up the work of the farmer near Hiawatha. Five children were born to this union, of whom four are still living: Mrs. Ruby Biggs and Mrs. Pearl Hickman, both of Portland, Oregon, and Lee Mesecher of Smithshire and Arthur of Raritan. After the death of Mrs. Mesecher which occurred in 1893, Mr. Mesecher returned to Illinois. On March 1, 1894, he was again married to Miss Lettie Dorris of Raritan. To this union were born four children, three of whom survive. Mr. and Mrs. Mesecher settled on the Eli Dixson farm, southeast of Raritan and lived there five years until they removed to the Monroe farm near Raritan. This was their home for three years; thence they removed to the Cortelyou farm, one and a half miles west of Raritan and lived there for 7 years. About 3 years ago the family removed to Raritan. Some years ago Mr. Mesecher became a member of the Reformed Church.
After coming to Raritan he engaged in general teaming business and it was while he was engaged in that occupation that the messenger of death overtook him.
He is survived by his widow and three daughters, Misses Ola, Icel, and Rebecca, all of this place, and a brother, Elzy, of Webster City, Iowa. The funeral took place from the Reformed Church with the interment in charge of the Modern Woodmen of which he was a member.