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Newspaper Clippings

Assorted items extracted from Henry County and vicinity Newspapers



These items appeared in the Geneseo Republic in 1916 as a look back on their news reports of 50 years previous. (items from other sources will be so noted)

Submitted by Deborah Lacy

Week of August 31, 1866

  • Married on Tuesday, August 21, 1866, by J.A. McCONNELL, J.P., Mr. Nathan PETERS to Miss Tryphena WILLIAMS.
  • Gen. John a. LOGAN to Be in Geneseo.--We are glad to learn that J.M.HOSFORD, Chairman of Henry County Republican Committee, is in correspondence with the State Central Committee, and that Gen. LOGAN will address the people of Henry county at Geneseo. the day is not yet decided upon, but it will probably be about the 1st of October.
  • T.W. RICE has bought the auction and commission business of Mr. GRAY, on State street, and will, hereafter, carrry on the business on his own responsibility.
  • J.B. MODERWELL & Co., on Main street, have received a brand new lot of kerosene lamps--new styles. Ladies go and see them.
  • Messrs. WAY & Co., the new proprietors of the Geneseo Marble Works, have removed their shop to the new brick building on the corner of State and First street.
  • Fall Stock of Ready-Made Clothing--E.H. SHAW, State street, first corner south of post office, is now receiving his fall stock of ready-made clothing, boots, gents' furnishing goods, etc."


Small pox rages severely in the family of Mr. Whipple in Osco. We learn that Mr. Whipple died of the loathsome disease a few days since, but cannot vouch for the truth of the report. The family is prostrated, but the disease is confined to that house.

Geneseo Republic Newspaper, Geneseo, Illinois, Feb 11, 1870

Submitted by Lynda Ozinga


News of the Day 1874: News items extracted from the Henry County News as printed in "History of Henry County: Also Biographical Sketches" copyright 1901. Book notes that several volumes of files were destroyed by fire, which could explain the time gaps throughout the year. (Items not from this source will be so noted)

  • January 16: Henry County News issued by Belvel and Fisher. Firm members: Henry M. Belvel, of Corydon, Iowa, and Hendrick V. Fisher, of Geneseo, Illinois.
  • February 13: Henry L. Kiner buys interest of Hendrick V. Fisher in Henry County News.
  • March 6: N. H. Anderson killed by train at Bureau Junction, Illinois.
  • April 21: Lewis Deem died at Cleveland, Illinois. Member 112th Regiment.
  • May 2: Stephen Pomeroy died, Geneseo, aged 89.
  • May 15: News takes a stand for Hennepin Canal.
  • May 22: Warner and Beers issue first county atlas.
  • May 22: Independent farmers' party started
  • May 29: Kendall warehouse burned in Geneseo.
  • May 29: Martin Rice dies of injuries received in fight with Bryant on Rock River ferryboat.
  • June 5: John Christian buys Bevel's interest in News.
  • June 6: Tampico wrecked by hurricane.
  • June 16: Oliver C. Waite died.
  • June 16: Charles Bowfinger died
  • July 10: Tom Collins, predecessor of McGinty, arrives. He is blamed for disasters.
  • July 31: "Maple City" first applied to Geneseo by News.
  • August 22: Mrs. Whitfield Sanford dead
  • November 13: Sidney Sowers sells farm in Munson at fifty dollars per acre.
  • November 27: P.H. Taylor sells one hundred and sixty acres four miles south of Geneseo for fifty dollars per acre.
  • December 18: Major Allan attends Transportation Convention, Richmond, Virginia, as delegate appointed by governor of Illinois. He reconciles south to Hennepin canal.
  • December 15: Hennepin canal meeting in Rock Island.
  • December 15: Henry county sends cars of clothing to Kansas and Nebraska destitute. Grasshoppers.
  • December 15: Golden eagle killed in Eight Mile Grove.


News of the Day 1875: News items extracted from the Henry County News as printed in "History of Henry County: Also Biographical Sketches" copyright 1901. Book notes that several volumes of files were destroyed by fire, which could explain the time gaps throughout the year. (Items not from this source will be so noted)

  • January 22, 1875: Wm. Merriman sees buck deer, two miles north of Geneseo. Probably from Kempster herd, Dutch Bottom.
  • January 29: Charles L. Ballou, young Prophetstown poet, suicides.
  • February 19: News suggests oldfashioned spelling school. One is held at Geneseo and thence spread all over country.
  • February 19: Man jumps fro Rock Island flyer at midnight near Rock River bridge. Bright moon and fresh snow. All get out and search; but no trace of man found.
  • March 5: Prayer meeting in Woodhull saloon
  • March 5: Township insurance companies organized.
  • March 5: Cambridge moves. Ten new business buildings in process of erection on Prospect street.
  • March 5: Mrs. Major Gould of cambridge makes her home a depot for supplies intended for grashoppered Kansas and Nebraska. Mrs. Gould's activity amazes the county, which generously responds.
  • March 5: Christian-Spiritualist debate at Cambridge
  • March 19: While crew of freight ate dinner at Geneseo, caboose burned. Only trucks left.
  • March 19: Big liquor suits at Atkinson.
  • March 26: Annie Lee, of Geneseo, aged thirteen years, burned to death.
  • March 26: Revival of Free Methodists in Atkinson continues three months.
  • April 2: Ella Porter of Atkinson, proclaimed champion speller of Henry county.
  • April 9: Daughter aged twelve of I. Callender of Cornwall, accidentally shot dead by little brother
  • April 23: Blackiston adds room to his Geneseo block.
  • April 23: W.R. Robertson, nomad dye worker, suicides.
  • May 7: Charles Youngs catches twenty-five-pound pickerel in Green River, with hook and line. This record still stands.
  • May 7: Amos Spaid crushed to death beneath load of lumber, north of Geneseo.
  • May 7: At spelling school Wm. T. Allan contests way word is spelled in standard speller. Dictionary proves Allan right.
  • May 21: Ancient sepulchre opened by Fred Luckett in Shabbona Grove.
  • May 21: Henry and Rock Island counties hold spelling contest. Won for Henry by Mrs. Fanny Perry Wolcott and Mrs. Patterson Holmes.
  • May 21: Drunken man at Howe's circus put hand in elephant's mouth. Lost part of hand.
  • June 4: David Hadley of Osco takes belladonna by mistake. Recovers. Minerva Scott of Edford took an ounce of laudanum. Saved by Dr. Clerk. Orion horse doctor drank mule medicine. Pumped out.
  • June 11: War breaks out between Geneseo homeopaths. Dr. Fulton accuses Dr. Hoppins and wife of fraud. Rev. Langridge of Baptist church defends the Hoppins.
  • June 11: Mowry and Hawkins advertise a grand reaper delivery day. Red Letter Day in Geneseo.
  • June 11: Squire Wm. Smith returns from tour of California. Shocked because California did not respect sanctity of Sabbath. Climate humbug.
  • June 16: Edward Morris, stockman, Greenfield, Iowa, killed at stockyards. Wife Miranda Nash, daughter former Geneseo Episcopal rector.
  • June 18: Paddelford barns in Hanna struck by lightning and burned with all contents.
  • October 16: Cutting every other tree in park arouses indignation.
  • October 23: Death of Louis Logeman, Geneseo resident.
  • October 23: Petrified log found forty feet down in Weimer coal mine, Phenix.
  • October 23: Death of Postmaster S. Lloyd Atkinson
  • October 30: Committee decides to make old Almshouse at county farm rendevous for insane.
  • October 30: Towsley erects grain elevator, Cambridge.
  • November 6: Mrs Francis, Andover, sells three hundred dollars worth of apples from her orchard to Crain, of Osco.
  • November 6: Colonel A. W. Perry bets boots, loses, delivers boots, and goes home in stocking feet. Incident is illustrative of the indomitable will and honesty of the pioneer.
  • November 6: Mirage of Mississippi River seen from Geneseo. Opposite shores seen down railroad track.
  • November 6: Seeley house closes at Prophetstown
  • November 18: Wedding of Adam Lieberknecht to Miss Priscilla Fehlman.
  • November 27: Recent failure of City Bank, Geneseo, followed crash of Cook County National Bank, in which Geneseo bank had surplus funds
  • December 4: Burning of Lawbaugh warehouse.
  • December 11: Lecturer's sensational address on "Old Maids" calls forth News comment "As long as they remain harmless, let them live."
  • December 11: Death of Charles H. Clerk
  • December 18: Application made for charter of Farmer's National Bank
  • December 22: Plowing on farms all over county.
  • December 22: Cracker factory started in Pope building, North Side, Geneseo, by Geo. Singlman and Company. Ran less than year.


These items appeared in the Geneseo Republic in 1916 as a look back on their news reports of 30 years previous. (items from other sources will be so noted)

Submitted by Deborah Lacy

Week of September 3, 1886

  • Albert OFFERLE is quite ill with typhoid fever.
  • Miss Belle OFFERLE is visiting relatives and friends in Kansas.
  • Mrs. L.C. CAMPBELL got home from Chicago last Saturday evening.
  • Alderman W.W. COLE says his oats went 72 bushels to the acre this year.
  • Miss Alice CHAPIN, after a delightful time in California, sailed for the Sandwich Islands Aug. 17th, to spend a few weeks.
  • Charlie WHEATON, who left Rock Island for Whichita, Kansas, some months ago, is back and has resumed his old position in Thomas drug store.
  • Mr. W.P.COOK, the express agent, was thrown from his buggy a few days since and has had his left arm badly sprained. He says the hurt has been very painful ever since.
  • Among those who had quarters at the Milan camp meeting were the following Geneseo people: Mrs. J.J. SCHUCK, Mrs. Jas. DUNCAN, J. BROWNING, N.C. HOWARD, J.W. FOY, J.H. RAPP, Miss BAUM, Miss STANLEY and Rev. G.J. LUCKEY.
  • Rev. Father FALLIHEE has returned from his visit in Ireland.
  • Miss Winnie SCHUREMAN has been engaged to teach in the Wyanet schools.
  • Mr. W.E. WAY began teaching school at Hamlet, Mercer county, last Wednesday.
  • M.K. PAUL and his folks got home from the Clinton, Iowa camp meeting last Saturday.
  • Arthur RUMMELL, who is a prime favorite as a teacher, will open school at Osco village next Monday.
  • Mable A. had third place in the race she trotted at Milwaukee last week. She trots at St. Paul this week.
  • Louis FREY, of Munson, has left us a sample of yellow dent 90-day corn which is ripe and dry enough to crib.
  • Mr. G. ADDICKS, living west of town, has purchased the Phil LAMBERT place on Wyanet street, also a lot joining that property to the south. We understand he intends building a barn and otherwise improving the place for a home.
  • Rev. Father JANSEN, who served this parish most satisfactorily during Father FALLIHEE'S trip abroad, left for Sheffield Thursday evening to take charge there and at Wyanet and Tiskilwa pending the return of Father KELLY.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth HELLYER died at her home northeast of this city Tuesday, Aug. 17, 1886. Deceased was aged 68 years, 10 months and five days. She had resided her for seventeen years and was highly respected among her acquaintances.
  • Mr. B.L. SHUEY, one of the most popular denizens of Cleveland village has been appointed successor to Dr. J.H. SALE in the post office there.
  • Mr. Harvey H. CRAIN died at his home in this city Friday evening, Aug. 27, 1886, of blood poisoning, the result of long affliction from diabetes. He was confined to his bed about one month during his last illness. Deceased was a native of Abingdon, Conn., born May 10, 1811. March 12, 1838, he was married to Miss Diana BUCK, his now sorrowing widow. In 1851 they came west and located in Geneseo township, on the farm west of the city now occupied by their son, George.
  • "Babe" LIEBERKNECHT is visiting with her friend, Louie CAMPBELL, at 779 North Clark Street, Chicago.
  • Last Friday's Inter-Ocean announced that Frank BECHT has been appointed postmaster at Colona. Here's to you Frank.
    A very pleasant social occurrence which our Colona correspondent overlooked last week was the marriage of Mr. John DELANY, of that village, and Miss E. CORNWALL, of Moline, the ceremony taking place at the home of the bride Tuesday, August 28, 1886, Rev. H. GREEVE officiating. The groom is the efficient gentleman in charge of the day work at the Colona railroad station, a position which he has held for the last four years to the entire satisfaction of all who have had business with the office. The bride is not unknown in Geneseo, she having formerly been a student of the Normal, where she made many friends. We extend the young couple our heartiest congratulations trusting that a happy future awaits them.


    Pioneer Times in Henry County Recalled by Mrs. John Taylor

    Ninety-four Year-Old Woman Remembers Chief Shabonna and Deer Herds.
    By Mrs. Nellie Casey.
    Dispatch Special Service

    Atkinson, Jan. 26. --Mrs. John Taylor, 94-year-old resident of Cornwall township, one of the oldest residents of Henry county, has seen so many improvements in general that she wouldn't be much surprised to be able to take a trip to the moon and back before she is called to rest.

    When she came to Henry county there were no railroads, no telephones, no motion pictures, no radio sets, no automobiles, no surveyed roads -- in fact there wasn't much of anything, not even cross word puzzles.

    She lives in a spacious, old-fashioned house on a farm about six miles south of Atkinson. Considering her age, one would expect to be met at the door by a little old woman on crutches, or probably leaning on a cane, but Mrs. Taylor is spry, of keen mentality and memory, and has a handclasp like that of a strong man.

    She does all her own housework, including the making of butter and cooking for her son Woodbury, who is her only relative still living. Last fall, Mrs. Taylor dug a patch of potatoes.

    She came to this country in 1840 with her parents and five brothers and sisters from Pennsylvania, where she was born in 1831. Upon reaching Henry county the family resided on what is now the Ogden farm two and a half miles north of Geneseo.

    In 1849 she was married to John Taylor and moved to her present home where has has resided since -- a span of three quarters of a century. Her first home on this farm was a log cabin erected by Mr. Taylor. No sawed lumber was used in the dwelling. even the shingles being split clapboards. No nails were used in the cabin.

    Some Ancient Days
    In the summer before her wedding Mrs. Taylor worked in a hotel in Davenport to provide funds for the wedding. At that time Davenport was a mere village without even a railroad. Atkinson was not yet founded. Moline and Rock Island were only little villages and Geneseo had one store.

    Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. All of them but her son Woodbury, have died, as well as Mr. Taylor. Two of the children were taken by typhoid fever, which was a scourge in early days because efficient methods had not been discovered for fighting it.

    Mr. and Mrs. Taylor had a few neighbors, but most of the surrounding country was undeveloped virgin prairie or woodland. Mrs. Taylor remembers the howls of huge packs of wolves, the sight of large droves of deer moving across her farm, and also remembers Chief Shabonna, whose camp was in the Green River bottoms. She saw many bands of Indians moving from one camp ground to another.

    Grain was hauled to a mill north of Geneseo or to one at Cleveland Ferry to be converted into corn meal or flour. Cattle were purchased by traveling herdsmen who drove them to eastern markets. Hogs had to be butchered and hauled by wagon to Peoria. Grain could be hauled to Chicago and exchanged for calico and other necessities of life. There were no washing machines, sewing machines, etc. and the farmer cradled his wheat and plowed with a walking plow, often with oxen.

    Prairie chickens were plentiful and formed a staple table article.

    First School
    First school in Cornwall township was held in the home of Mr. Bernard, who had a two-room log cabin and gave up one room for educational purposes. First school building was a small shack on a tract adjoining the Taylor land and was taught by a man who had failed to find work as a farm hand. When Cornwall township was first formed Mr. Taylor was appointed tax collector. Under regulations then existing taxes had to be paid in gold or silver. Mr. Taylor was forced to change paper money for the settlers and borrow money, for which he paid 5 percent interest, in order to be able to make change. Mrs. Taylor is alert in spite of her advanced age, and wear speckles only to read. To talk with her is to be carried by the force of her personality back to the days of 1850. Her favorite byword is "I wonder!"

    The house in which she receives visitors was built in 1862. The hardships and struggles of pioneer days are written on her gnarled hands but her personality and nature are sweet and she is pleasant to interview.

    Moline Daily Dispatch, 26 Jan 1925

    Transcribed by Mary Zirkelbach


    Lost Train Ticket In 1881

    Given Free Fare, 1936

    Geneseo, June 11.--Fifty-five years ago Mrs. Clara Patrick (she was Mrs. George Crane, then) lost a railroad ticket. A few days ago the Rock Island railway made good the loss by giving her transportation which the lost ticket would have provided.

    It was in 1881 that Mrs. Crane bought a round trip ticket from Geneseo to Chicago. When she was ready to go home she discovered the loss of the return ticket. She bought another fare.

    Arrived home, she wrote to the offices of the railway and explained her loss. Soon came an answer to this effect: "if you ever have occasion to ride from Chicago to Geneseo, this letter will serve as a ticket on the Rock Island lines."

    Years mounted into more than half a century. Mrs. Crane became Mrs. Patrick. She moved to other parts of the country. Many of the years she spent in Texas and Arkansas. But she kept the letter. And in the closing days of May, 1936, came the opportunity to turn the letter into transportation.

    Mrs. Patrick had been visiting a son in Argo, Ill., near Chicago. She wanted to return to Geneseo, her former home. The Rock Island railway was as good as its word--its word given fifty-five years ago. Mrs. Patrick rode from Chicago to Geneseo without purchasing another ticket.

    She is now visiting Mr. and Mrs. Grant Ollson who live on Grand View farm adjoining the city at its northwest corner."

    Source: Geneseo newspaper

    Submitted by: Deborah Lacy