Stories of interest from our hometown paper over the years.
CHATSWORTH GIRL IN GRAND OPERA
JANUARY 21, 1910
Last Sundays's Chicago Tribune produced a portrait of Alice Gentle, of the Manhattan Opera Company, which is of interest to Chatsworth people. Mrs. Gentle having been born in Chatsworth. Her maiden name was Alice True, and she is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John True, former residents of Chatsworth, now making heir home in Seattle, Wash. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Gentle visited Chatsworth, spending the summer with her mother at the Jas. A. Smith home in this city. In speaking of Mrs. Gentle the Tribune comments upon her contralto voice and says:
"She is distinctly a "find" of Oscar Hammerstein's. Her first opportunity to sing leading roles was during the series of educational operas which were presented during the last summer. Her success was most gratifying and led to her engagement for smaller roles during the grand opera season. She has sung Flora in "Traviata," with Tatrizzini, and Madeline in "Rigoletto" and the priestess in "Aida".
Read what Wikipedia says here.
Watch her sing here.
See a write up in the New York Times here.
FIRE SATURDAY MORNING
JANUARY 21, 1910
At about 6 o'clock on Saturday morning on going to the store, Mr. Reising, of the firm of Harbeke and Reising, discovered the establishment filled with smoke, and fire burning in the rear part of the room. The alarm was given and the fire company soon had a stream of water playing upon the blaze, which was hard to get at, owing to the fact that it had probably been smoldering most of the night. The building was saved, as was also part of the stock, but the damage from smoke, heat and water will be hard to ascertain. A hole was burned through the building on the east side and the inner walls were damaged considerable by the fire and smoke.
The origin of the fire is unknown, but it is supposed to have started either from a cigar or cigarette stump, or from mice getting at the matches. The building is of frame and very old, and it is hard to understand why the entire structure and contents were not consumed. The building is owned by Louis Sholz, and he carried $500.00 insurance upon it. Harbeke an Reising carried $1,000 insurance on their grocery stock.
NINETY-THREE YEARS OLD TODAY
FEBRUARY 4, 1910
Mrs. Agte Beckman is celebrating her 93rd birthday at the home of her son, F.R. Beckman, today, and she is probably the oldest, or at least one of the oldest women in Livingston county, if not in this section of the state.
Mrs. Beckman is a native of Germany, having been born on February 4, 1817, at Victorbue, Ost Friesland. On April 10, 1846, she was married to Rolf. K. Beckman. In 1857 they came to America, landing in New Orleans, coming up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Peoria. They were nine weeks on the ocean voyage and two weeks on the river trip. In crossing the Atlantic Mrs. Beckman's mother and infant child died of cholera, as did others on the vessel in which they took passage. In 1850 they moved east of Minonk and in 1860 to a farm near Fairbury. Ten years later they moved to Charlotte township, where they resided until Mr. Beckman's death in 1899, since which time Mrs. Beckman has made her home with the family of her son, F.R., in this city.
Mrs. Beckman is the mother of the following children, all of whom are living, and whose visits make her advanced years pleasurable; Mrs. Lena Johnson, of Fairbury; Mrs. John Ommen, of Charlotte; C.R. Beckman, F.R. Beckman, of this city; John C. Beckman, of Renesselaer, Ind.; George W. Beckman, of Cullom.
For a person of her age Mrs. Beckman enjoys very good health and retains possession of her faculties to a remarkable degree. She is loved by all who know her, and her many friends only hope that she may be spared to enjoy many more years with those by whom she is held in such high reverence.
See her picture here.
CELEBRATED 85TH BIRTHDAY
FEBRUARY 4, 1910
A very happy and unusual gathering took place on Saturday evening last at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Kratz, in the north part of town, the event being the celebration of the 85th birthday anniversary of Mrs. Kratz's father, Martin Kueffner, who has made his home with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Kratz, since the death of his wife in 1903. The evening was one long to be remembered by all present, and the aged host mingled with the guests in a manner which added much to the pleasures of the occasion.
Martin Kueffner was born in Kinderbeyern, Wurtzburg, January 29, 1825. He was drafted for the German army and served from 1847 to 1853, receiving an honorable discharge, and coming to America immediately following. He located in Chicago, where he remained for a time and then went to Franklin Grove, Ill., where he spent two years working at the blacksmith trade.. In 1855 he was married to Fronliche Shott, and shortly afterward they moved to Ashton, Lee county. In 1866 he bought 160 acres and engaged in farming in Ford county, southeast of Chatsworth, where he resided until the death of his wife. In 1903 he moved into Chatsworth with Mr. and Mrs. Kratz.
Mr. Kueffner's mental condition is good, and his physical condition fair, for one of his years, and he gives promise of celebrating many more happy birthdays with his children and friends, which the Plaindealer sincerely hopes he may do.
His surviving children are Mrs. Kratz, with whom he resides, William and Charles Kueffner, both of Chatsworth.
See his picture here.
THE LIBRARY SOCIAL
FEBRUARY 11, 1910
The basket social held at The Grand Tuesday evening for the benefit of the public library was a decided success. A short literary and musical program was given, Willie Beckman and Vernon Bushway having recitations; Misses Aurelia Haberkorn and Gertie Bork, vocal selections; Miss Irene Ryan, accompanist. After the program the baskets were sold, the prize for the prettiest basket, donated by Mr. L.J. Haberkorn, being awarded to Miss Brown, the judges, being Messrs. John Q. Puffer, James Duffy and Edward Herr. The sum of $61.40 was realized from the sale of the baskets, $4.00 incidental expenses, making a net profit of $57.40 for the library, which will be used in the purchasing of new books.
The library board wishes to extend thanks to all those who so kindly contributed in making this social a success, especially thanking the management of The Grand for the donation of the hall. The people of Chatsworth should be proud in the possession of a library of which few towns of the size of Chatsworth can boast, and they should be equally interested with the library board in furthering its progress, as it is for them and their families that the library was established.
CITIZENS BANK BURGLARIZED
FEBRUARY 18, 1910
The Citizen's Bank in this city was burglarized at an early hour on Tuesday morning, and the job was certainly well done. The cracksmen secured between $8,000 and $9,000 for their work, which was covered by burglar insurance to the amount of $8,000 in the United States Fidelity Guarantee Company. Rumors and exaggerated newspaper reports have given out the impression that the building and bank fixtures were badly damaged by the explosion, when the safe was blown, but the facts are that the job was "nicely" done, and nothing was damaged except the vault door and the safe.
The particulars as nearly as the can be learned, are about as follows: Officer William Cahill was accosted by four men in the pumping station, shortly after or about one o'clock, and they asked him if he could tell them where they could secure lodging. Before he had the opportunity to reply in full, he was overpowered, and at the points of revolvers marched a block and a half east on main street to the Chatsworth Garage. The door of the garage was opened with a skeleton key, and the officer was taken inside and bound hand and foot with electric wire. The bank is almost directly opposite the garage, and next west of the bank is the bakery and restaurant of P.C. Tayler. A. Kerber, Mr. Tayler's baker, had just mixed his yeast, and came up from the bake-shop to the street, to go to the electric light plant, as is his custom. He appeared upon the street just in time to meet the robbers. He was also overpowered and taken to the garage and bound so that he was helpless. The cracksmen entered the front of the bank with a skeleton key, and with tools secured from the garage, and B.P. Carney's blacksmith shop, a few doors east of the garage, they forced the bank vault door by knocking off the combination lock. They then proceeded to blow the safe, which was inside the vault. The safe outer door was literally blown to pieces, but the strong-box within the safe was unmolested, the money which was secured being in the safe but not in the strong-box. The money secured by the thieves, according to the cashier's statement, is as follows: bills and a few dollars in gold,$6,500 ;silver dollars, $650; half dollars, $560; quarters, $750; ten cent pieces, $125; nickels, $140. A small box containing several hundred dollars in gold was overlooked by the bandits.
Persons residing near the bank are reported to have heard the explosions, some stating that there were four distinct reports and others hearing only two. Nothing was thought of the noises, as they were of a muffled nature and did not sound loud, and it was supposed to be the officer shooting dogs.
The men were unmasked, and from whence they came or where they went will probably remain a mystery. The only clues, and they seem of little value are, that four men purchased tickets from Gilman to Champaign about four o'clock on Tuesday morning, but the trainmen state that they did not board the train. Four men are also reported to have stayed in the school house, two miles west of Chatsworth for several nights, and previous to that to have stayed near Forrest, but have not been seen since the robbery.
Citizen's Bank is a private bank, officered: Stephen Herr, President; F.H. Herr, cashier; Edward Herr, assistant cashier.
This Article was placed by the bank in regard to the robbery
TO OUR PATRONS AND THE PUBLIC
We deem it proper to make a statement of our losses and injury through the occurrence of Tuesday last, the burglary of our bank.
About 4 a.m., Tuesday, I was called by telephone by Chas. H. Tayler and informed that the Citizen's Bank had been looted. When I arrived on the scene I found the outer door of the time lock safe had been blown off and all the currency and about $2,000 in silver missing. The money chest, however, that contained the bulk of our cash and all our securities was undisturbed. After a careful examination and comparison of our books we find the total amount missing to be $8,725.17. We are represented by in the U.S. Fidelity Guarantee Co., of Baltimore, for $8,000, which, as may be seen, almost fully covers the immediate loss. We are also members of the American Bankers Association and the State Bankers Association, which practically assures the capture of the bandits.
We wish to state that all safety deposit boxes, private papers and documents of all kinds were not injured nor disturbed.
Two hours after the information became public we were offered all assistance necessary for our immediate needs by The Commercial National Bank of this city, the First National Bank of Forrest and the First National Bank of Piper City, as well as bankers in Fairbury, Pontiac and other towns. Our correspondents in Chicago and Peoria were heard from later in the day with like proffers, for all of which we are deeply grateful.
We wish to thank our citizens and all concerned for their consideration and confidential treatment following the occurrence. Not a single deposit was withdrawn.
Business was resumed Tuesday morning at the usual hour and, as before, we are prepared to meet all demands, and with the same hearty cooperation of our friends and patrons the consequent repair and replacement of our losses will soon be forgotten with the past. (Signed) F.H. Herr Cashier
Note:Sands of Time: Mrs. Stoutemyer reports that 2 of the robbers were caught by April 25.
Note: Johnny Gardner and August Meyer were convicted of this robbery and sentenced to Joliet State Prison according to the Chicago Eagle newspaper of June 11, 1910. Read that article here. Read about Johnny Gardner here on Wikipedia. I could find nothing on August Meyer except a man of the same name, aged 70 in 1958, was shot and killed in Nebraska by the notorious Charles Starkweather, serial killer and bank robber.
Note: Also read two articles on this robbery further down on this page.
Note: This was also found later-from Banking: Journal of The Banking Association, Vol.3: Page 673
"Pursuit Lasted Four Months
The haul is the result of patient and clever work on the part of the William J. Burns National Detective Agency operating for the American Bankers Association. The direct campaign against the Brock gang has been conducted personally by Mr. Burns and his Chicago office for the past four months. In February 1910 Burns got the Stray Waddell gang in Ford, Kan., where they tapped a bank for $3,500. Out of four arrests he got four convictions, the fifth member of the gang having been poisoned mysteriously before the trial and after it had been announced he had turned State's evidence. The man's alias was Teddy Bear In the middle of the summer Burns arrested and convicted John Gardner, August Meyer and another who had taken $10,000 from the Citizens Bank of Chatsworth, Ill. These two cleanups served to warn the various gangs that the Association banks were being pretty well taken care of and it was evident that the burglars were fighting shy of them. During a period of two and a half months, forty five burglaries occurred in the Middle West and not one of them was a bank of the Association. But last October the Farmers Bank at Riga, Mich. was entered and although the burglars were scared away they returned six weeks later and took $2,000. Immediately afterward a bank in Winfall, Ind. was relieved of $450 ,the robbers just falling to get $10,000 in an inner vault. "
Also from that book, page 19:
August Meyer, alias Alton Russ, who was arrested in connection with the burglary committed on a bank in Chatsworth, Ill. last February has been given five years in the Illinois State Penitentiary (Joliet).
CELEBRATED EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY
FEBRUARY 25, 1910
The eightieth birthday of Mr. William Shols was celebrated on Monday, February 21, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Shols, in the south part of town, with whom he has made his home for the past seven years. About thirty-five relatives partook of an elaborate dinner, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren being present.
Mr. Shols was born at Olesburg, Germany, in 1830 and came to the United States at the age of thirty years, settling at Panola, Ill., where he worked for a year. In 1862 he married to Fredericka Twiehous. They resided at Panola for about five years, coming to Charlotte township in 1867 and bought forty acres of prairie, upon which he began his farming career. They continued to reside in Charlotte township for 27 years, when they moved into Chatsworth.
During his residence in Charlotte Mr. Shols added, from time to time, to his holdings, and he is now enjoying the fruits of his well-spent life and is blessed with most excellent health, considering his ripe old age. His hosts of friends in this corner of the county trust that he may celebrate many more birthdays in as happy a manner as he did his eightieth.
MARRIED FIFTY YEARS
FEBRUARY 25, 1910
Mr. and Mrs. William Hallam, of Charlotte township celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their farm home Tuesday, February 22, but owing to Mrs. Hallam's serious illness the event was observed in a very quiet manner.
Mr. and Mrs. Hallam have lived on the farm where they now reside since 1867, when they came here from LaSalle county. They were married at Tonica on February 22, 1860. Mr. Hallam was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, January 18, 1838 and Mrs. Hallam, whose maiden name was Amoretta Belding, was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, January 12, 1842. Mr. Hallam came west at the age of nineteen years and settled in LaSalle county.
Mr. and Mrs. Hallam were the parents of ten children, eight of whom survive, namely; Frank, of Saunemin; George, of Moscow, Idaho; Harry, of Humboldt, Kan.; William, of Chicago; Castello, of Aurora; Emma, wife of L.W. Weinland, of this city; Roy, of Chatsworth; Minnie, wife of Charles Law, died April 10, 1896; Alice, wife of Elmer Pearson, died May 9, 1906.
There are 25 grandchildren, the eldest, Miss Blanche Hallam, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hallam, was married to Raymond Frantz on Wednesday, February 28, at the home of her parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Hallam purchased residence property in Chatsworth a short time ago and will probably move into town to reside. Their many friends congratulate them and hope they may celebrate their diamond anniversary.
STRIKE AT BRICK AND TILE WORKS
APRIL 1, 1910
All of the men employed at the Chatsworth Brick and Tile works, with the exception of the hostler, walked out last evening and the works are idle today, owing to a disagreement between the proprietor of the works and the men regarding the wages which are to be paid. The scale has been $1.75 for ordinary hands and a demand was made for $2.00 per day and a general advance of twenty-five cents a day to all men. The demand not being met, the men walked out. How long the shutdown will continue is entirely problematical, but it is more than likely that an agreement will be reached within a short time.
There are sixteen men employed at the factory, which manufactures building brick and drain tile in large quantities, being equipped so that there is no cause for closing down during the winter months, as is the case in many similar establishments. the products of the plant are not only used in large quantities by the people of this immediate locality, but are shipped in quantities to all parts of the country. George J. Walter is the proprietor and manager of the Chatsworth Brick and Tile Works and it is to be hoped that an agreement will be reached so that the works may resume without loss to the management or the men.
BOY STRUCK BY AUTOMOBILE
APRIL 8, 1910
On Tuesday afternoon, while returning to his home in Germanville township in his automobile, Richard Netherton had the misfortune to run down a little boy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Koerner, as the boy was returning home from school. The accident took place on the public road, and just how it happened is hard to understand, but instead of dodging away from the machine the little fellow seemed to step directly in front of it. He was taken in the machine to his home, and in attempting to telephone to town for a physician it was discovered that line 98 was out of commission, which later developments proved to be due to a broken wire caused by blowing stumps on the Lewis farm, where D. Herberich lives. Mr. Netherton came to town for a physician and it was found that the boy, who is about seven years of age, had two ribs broken.
TWO BANK ROBBERS CAUGHT
APRIL 22, 1910
Two men charged with having been implicated in the robbery of the Citizen's Bank of this city on the night of Tuesday, February 25, are in the county jail at Pontiac, and have been positively identified as two of the robbers, by Officer Wm. Cahill, and others have identified them as having been seen in this vicinity and about Forrest previous to the robbery.
The two men who are known as John Garner, alias Zanesville Jimmie and August Meyer, alias Alton Rusk, were arrested in Chicago on Monday by Detective Smith, and were brought to Pontiac on Tuesday by Sheriff Morris.
The men were to have been given a preliminary hearing on Thursday, but it was postponed until Tuesday next, at three o'clock, and in the mean time they are being held in the county jail under bonds of $9,000 each.
Descriptions of the bandits were secured from Officer Cahill and A. Kerber, who were overpowered and left bound in the garage, while the bank was robbed. Men similarly described were know to have been about this city and Forrest previous to the robbery, and from these descriptions photographs were secured through the aid of the Bertillion measurement system in Chicago and elsewhere, and from the photographs suspicion was placed upon these two men who are said to have criminal records. The detectives have been looking for them since, and authorities feel confident that they have two of the guilty one.
CELEBRATED GOLDEN WEDDING
APRIL 28, 1910
Mr. and Mrs. George Mintz, who reside in the west part of town, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage on Saturday last, April 23. The day was one of much pleasure to the venerable couple and will long be remembered by those who were present.
On April 22, 1860, in Milwaukee, Wis, occurred the marriage of Miss Margaret Stumpf and George Mintz. They went to Kansas, where they resided for three years, and in 1863 came to Illinois, locating at Washington. The resided at Washington until 1889, when they came to Chatsworth where they have made their home since.
Mrs. Mintz was born in Kips, Bavaria, July 16, 1843, while her husband is about thirteen years her senior, having been born on February 2, 1830, at Grelsheim, Germany. They are the parents of six children, who with eight grandchildren and on great-grandchild ad to the pleasures of the venerable couple in their journey down the shady side of life's pathway.
Those from out of town who attended the celebration were; Henry Stumpf, Mr. and Mrs. George Stumpf, Mrs. Elizabeth Stumpf and son, Adam, Misses Katie and Margaret Stumpf, of Washington; Mrs. W. H. DeMoure, Mr. and Mrs. C.F. DeMoure and daughter, Dorothy, Mr. and Mrs. T.H. Kelling and children, of Bi-county; Mrs. George Scheutz, Mrs. John Scheutz, Mrs. L. Weltman and children, Waltimer and Annette, of Milwaukee.
OLIVERS AGAIN AT LAW
APRIL 29, 1910
Judge R.R. Wallace and Hon. C.C. Strawn of Pontiac, were in Chatsworth on Thursday as attorneys in another lawsuit among the members of the Oliver family.
Following the death of Mrs. Amoretta Oliver, which occurred in Texas, where her son, Revilo, who is again married, resides, there was dissatisfaction on his part regarding the distribution of the property which the mother is alleged to have held title to prior to her demise. In her will, and by deeds made previous to her death, she distributed the property mostly between her son, John L. Oliver, and her daughter, Mrs. Florence Ross, the latter receiving the greater portion. Revilo, as we understand the situation, received nothing in the will of his mother, except the use of certain lands for a term of years, and he is fighting the beneficiaries of the will. The case promises to develop into one of many complications. One of the conditions which has arisen is that the tenants on the lands in this locality have had trouble in ascertaining to whom they should pay their rents. If the will stands the test to which it will be put, the Oliver estate goes to John L. Oliver and Mrs. Florence Ross. If Revilo succeeds in breaking the will, John L. Oliver and Mrs. Ross will have to fight for what they get, as we understand that an attempt will also be made to have set aside the deeds made by Mrs. Oliver previous to her death, wherein she deeds lands in Indiana and this locality to John L. Oliver and Florence Ross.
J.C. CORBETT SELLS OUT
SELLS GRAIN, LUMBER AND COAL BUSINESS IN $28,000.00 DEAL TO CHICAGO MAN
MAY 13, 1910
A deal was consummated this week whereby J.C. Corbett has disposed of his elevator property, lumber yard and coal business, the sale of the properties and business aggregating $28,000.00. The elevator and coal bins were sold to Delaney and Fallon, of Chicago, who will take possession sometime before June 10, and will conduct the grain and coal business. The lumber yard and business was sold to the Neola Elevator Co. of Chicago, who take possession at once, and the work of invoicing the stock has been under way this week. The plans of the new owners of the lumber business are to move the sheds and lumber to the site across the railroad south of the elevator and vacate the ground occupied at present by the lumber on the south side of the main business street, east of The Grand.
Mr. Corbett has been in business in Chatsworth for ten years. He is the supervisor of Chatsworth township, has been president of the village board of trustees, and is recognized as one of Chatsworth's leading businessmen. He has conducted an extensive and lucrative business and has hosts of friends who will regret to learn that he has disposed of his business here. He states that he has not decided what business he will engage in, or where he will make his future home.
BANK ROBBERS IN PENITENTIARY
MAY 27, 1910
John Garner, alias Janesville Johnnie, one of the men accused of the crime of burglarizing the Citizen's Bank in this city in February last, plead guilty in the circuit court at Pontiac the first of the week and was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of from one to twenty years, subject to the action of the board of parole. He was taken to the penitentiary by Sheriff Morris on Wednesday.
August Myers, alias Alton Rusk, the other man who was arrested in Chicago at about the same time Garner was, stood trial, the case occupying the time of the circuit court most of the past week. The case went to the jury on Wednesday evening and it took until Thursday evening before a verdict was reached. Myer was found guilty and sentenced to the penitentiary for five years. A desperate effort was made by Terre Haute, Ind., parties to establish an alibi for Myer, and this fact is said to have caused the delay in the jury reaching a verdict.
CHATSWORTH'S OLDEST BUSINESS MAN
JUNE 24, 1910
The oldest business man in Chatsworth, in point of years actively engaged in business, is Henry Wrede, whose likeness we produce herewith, and who is engaged in the shoe business in the east end of town. Mr. Wrede embarked in the shoe business as a cobbler in Chatsworth in May, 1867, and has been in business here continually since that time. His place of business now embraces not only a shoe repairing department, but a large stock of men's women's and children's shoes, and their accessories.
Henry Wrede was born at Hanover Germany, March 18, 1838. He came to the United States in 1858 and landed in New York on July 4. smallpox having broken out upon the vessel, he was detained at Castle Garden and did not reach Chicago until July 13. From Chicago he went to the town which is now Homewood, where he remained until 1863, when he returned to Chicago. He remained there until 1865, and then went to Kankakee. While at Kankakee he was united in marriage with Magdalena Pfieffer in September, 1866. She is a native of Sundhessen, Alsace, which province was controlled by France at the time of her birth, making her in reality a French subject when she came to America. Mr. and Mrs. Wrede located in Chatsworth May 15, 1867. Mr. Wrede rented two rooms in the building then owned by Mr. Newton, and lately torn down by S. Herr & Sons to be replaced by their new bank building. Here he and his wife lived until the building still used as his shoe store was completed, when the couple moved upstairs. For many years past they have lived in their commodious on East Maple Street.
Mr. and Mrs. Wrede were the parents of eight children, five sons and two daughters, one son, Edward, having died at the age of 16 years. Those surviving are August, Louisa, wife of Edward Entwistle, both of Chatsworth; Matilda, wife of Bert Jackson, of Vandalia, Mo.; Carl, of Spring Valley; Alvin, who resides northeast of here in Ford county; Bertha, wife of Alvin Pfeiffer, and Henry, Jr., both of Woodstock.
In their journey down the shadowy side of life's pathway Mr. and Mrs. Wrede are enjoying the comforts of well spent years, and the joys of their children and grandchildren's visits to them.
See his picture here.
FIRE ON WEDNESDAY MORNING
FOUR BUSINESS HOUSES CONSUMED IN EARLY MORNING BLAZE-LITTLE SAVED
AUGUST 12, 1910
At about four o'clock on Wednesday morning the fire alarm aroused the people of Chatsworth, fire having been discovered in the east business block. The business places of Henry Wrede, shoe store and repair shop; The Chatsworth Bottling Works, Thos. Shaughnessy, proprietor; C.H. Rohde's racket store, and Fred Lemna's barber shop were destroyed, and it was only through the efficiency of the fire department and Chatsworth's water system that the adjoining buildings were saved. The old Megquier frame building on the west of the H. Wrede building has not been occupied except for storage purposes for several years, but was saved from the flames by the firemen and the favorable wind.
The origin of the fire is unknown. It is supposed to have started in the rear of the bottling works, as the back of the short building occupied by the works was a mass of fire and smoke when discovered and the rear of the Wrede shoe store was also on fire. All of the buildings which were burned were frame and the two buildings west of the burned district are also frame. Had they burned there would not have been a frame building left standing on the north side of the street in the east block, except the old Hansen bakery building on the east corner.
Mr. Wrede, who carried a stock of men's, women's an children's shoes and accessories saved in the neighborhood of $500 worth of his stock. He carried $1,100 insurance, $500 on the stock and $600 on the building, all in the Philadelphia Underwriters, Robert Rumbold, agent.
Thomas Shaughnessy, proprietor of the bottling works, lost everything in the establishment, but had not been operating the works to amount to anything for some time. He carried a policy of $1,200 in the Norwich Union, Chas. F. Shafer, agent.
C.H. Rohde's racket store was a total loss, nothing being removed and Mr. Rohde lost all of his personal effects, which were in the room where he slept, above the store. He escaped with scarcely enough clothing to cover him, everything else being consumed. He also owned the building occupied by the bottling works. He carried $450 insurance in the Aetna on the two-story building, $150 in the Royal of Liverpool on the one-story building and $250 in the Underwriters on his stock, all through the agency of Robert Rumbold.
Fred Lemna's barber shop in the old John Brown building suffered but small loss, as the chairs and most of the fixtures were removed before the flames reached the building. Mr. Brown carried $200 insurance on the building in the Continental, of New York, through the Rumbold agency. He also carried $1,000 on his brick saloon building next east, which was slightly damaged, probably less than $100 covering the loss upon it.
Ralph Borgman, who had been in the employ of H. Wrede as cobbler for many years, has taken space in the harness store of Peter E. Meister, and will do shoe and boot repair of all kinds. He is a deserving and competent workman and should receive the patronage of the public.
RETIRES AFTER 43 YEARS
SEPTEMBER 16, 1910
Henry Wrede closed a deal on Wednesday whereby he sold out the balance of his stock of shoes, etc., which were saved from the fire, to a Danville party, and Mr. Wrede is now entirely out of business in Chatsworth for the first time since 1867. His retirement removes from the business interest of Chatsworth the oldest business man on the street in point of years engaged in active business, and his hosts of friend trust that he may find peace and contentment in the life of retirement which he will live. The first of next month he and his estimable wife will move from their home in the east part of town, where they have resided for many years, into the property on the south side of Oak street, between Third and Fourth streets, which Mr. Wrede recently purchased, and which is modern in every particular.
NEW PLUMBING FIRM
SEPTEMBER 16, 1910
Robert and Henry Rosenboom, under the firm name of Rosenboom Bros., plumbers, have purchased the heating, plumbing and tinning business of A.J. Sneyd, and will be ready for business on Monday next. They will occupy the shop in the Sneyd hardware store, with storage space in the basement and show window space.
Both the young men are experienced in the line of work they will pursue. Robert Rosenboom has been employed at the Kankakee Insane hospital for several years in the heating and plumbing department, while Henry Rosenboom is an experienced tinner, and has also done considerable heating and plumbing work. Their many friends wish them success in their new venture, and they are certainly deserving.
LITTLE GIRL BURNED TO DEATH
DECEMBER 2, 1910
One of the most shocking accidents which has occurred in this community for many months, took place this week at the Samuel Fortna home, on the Opie farm, near Healey. Mr. and Mrs. Fortna's five year old daughter, Thelma, being so seriously burned that her death occurred on Wednesday evening. There were a number of neighbor women at the Fortna home, a new baby having been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fortna on Nov. 23, and the gasoline stove was burning. During the absence of the grown people from the kitchen, the child go too near the stove either to look out of a window into the yard, where her father was at work, or to reach something and her clothing caught fire. Before it could be extinguished the child's body was terribly burned, and a number of the women had their hands severely burned in endeavoring to put out the fire. The little girl's burns were serious and everything possible was done to save her. She remained in an unconscious condition nearly all of the time following the accident.
The terrible tragedy casts a gloom over the entire community, and the sympathy of all is with the bereaved parents.
Thelma Fortna was 5 years, 3 months and 13 days of age, and was a bright, attractive little girl.
The funeral services were held this Friday afternoon at one o'clock at the Healey church.
JANUARY 6, 1911
On Wednesday afternoon at four o'clock Rev. Koepp, pastor of the German Lutheran church of Charlotte, united in marriage Miss Lena Haase, of Charlotte, and Mr. Frank Johnson, of Rich Hill, Mo., the ceremony taking place at the church and the couple being unattended.
Both are well and favorably known to a large circle of friends in this locality. The bride is a daughter of F. Haase and is a young lady who is popular with her friends. The groom formerly lived in this community, but is now engaged in farming near Rich Hill, Mo., where he has a home prepared for his bride and for which place they departed on Thursday.
The Plaindealer joins their many friends in extending congratulations and wishing them long and happy lives.
JANUARY 20, 1911
On Wednesday morning at eight o'clock at the Catholic church at Gibson City occurred the marriage of Miss Galena Josephine Karney and Mr. Peter Kurtenbach, Jr. The bride wore a veil and was dressed in a beautiful white silk messaline dress and carried bridal roses. Miss Katherine Kurtenbach, of this city, sister of the groom, acted as bridesmaid and was attired in a beautiful old rose silk messaline dress and carried pink and white carnations. Mr. Walter Karney, of Guthrie, brother of the bride, was best man.
The bride is the third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Karney, of Guthrie, and has been for several years one of Ford county's successful teachers. She formerly resided with her parents south of Chatsworth. The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kurtenbach, of this city, and is one of the highly respected young men of this community, who has many friends.
Following the wedding ceremony the wedding party returned to Guthrie on the 9:12 train, where a delicious wedding dinner was served. They departed on the six o'clock train in a heavy shower of rice for Chicago and other points on their honeymoon.
Mr. and Mrs. Kurtenbach will reside on the groom's father's farm south of Chatsworth and the Plaindealer expresses the wishes of their many friends in wishing them long and happy lives.
PLUNGE FROM WINDOW PROVES FATAL
FEBRUARY 3, 1911
Miss Minnie Meisenhelder, whose desperate plunge to the cement walk from one of the second story windows of the Chatsworth Sanitarium on Friday afternoon last, was chronicled in these columns last week, died on Friday (Jan. 27) evening at about six o'clock from the injuries she received, concussion of the brain being the direct cause of her death.
Dr. Carson states that from the time she was operated upon for appendicitis she was affected with suicidal mania, and upon being left alone for not to exceed three minutes, she threw herself from the window.
Coroner W. E. Slyder, of Pontiac, came over on Saturday and conducted an inquest over the remains and the jury returned a verdict to the effect that she came to her death from injuries received by jumping from a second story window while temporarily insane. No blame was attached to anyone.
Minnie Meisenhelder was born in Chatsworth, October 2, 1890, and had always made her home here. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Meisenhelder, the father having died by his own hand about five years ago, and the mother having passed away about a year ago. Minnie was an honest, industrious girl, of pleasing manners, but always more or less peculiar. She is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Louis Bork, Mrs. Henry Gerdes and Miss Kate, and five brothers, Charles, George, Henry, William and Fred, all residents of Chatsworth and immediate vicinity.
The funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon at the Chatsworth German Lutheran church, Rev. Koepp, of Charlotte, officiating, and the remains were laid to rest in the Chatsworth cemetery. The attendance at the funeral was greater than the capacity of the little church, and many were unable to gain admittance to the house of worship.
The sorrowing brothers and sisters have the deepest sympathy of their many friends.
BROWN SALOON CHANGES HANDS
FEBRUARY 3, 1911
The east end saloon, which for many years was conducted by John Brown, but for several years has been conducted by his son, Charles, has been purchased by Herman Walters, of Sibley, who took possession of the establishment on Wednesday, February 1.
Mr. Walters conducted a saloon in Sibley for a number of years, but has been out of the business since the town went dry. He is an experienced man and comes to Chatsworth well recommended.
The saloon which he has acquired was conducted for many years by the late Ernest Lunghus, and when he became too enfeebled to look after the business it was taken over by his son-in-law, John Brown. Mr. Brown conducted it many years and then his son, Charles, took over the business. In all the business has been in the family for upwards of forty years.
Charles Brown will move to Iowa within the next month and engage in farming, as he owns a good farm near Knierim. He and his wife have many friends in this community who regret their leaving and wish them success.
WILL MAKE TWO HOUSES OF ONE
APRIL 7, 1911
Maurice Kane, who owns the old J.E. Brown residence at the corner of Sixth and Maple streets, has purchased 62 and 1/2 feet west of the residence of Albert Hartquest, formerly the O'Connor property, and will move the front part of the Brown residence thereto. He states that he will then build a new front on the Brown residence.
CHILD DROWNED IN FIVE INCHES OF WATER
JULY 7, 1911
Jerome Edward Reising, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Reising, who reside five miles southeast of Chatsworth, was drowned on Saturday (June 30) afternoon just at about 4:30 o'clock by falling into a tub which contained about five inches of water. Mr. Reising was at work in the yard less than 75 feet from where the accident occurred, and five of the children besides the little boy were with him. Mrs. Reising's sister, Miss Frances Schladweller, went to the well to get a pail of water and discovered the little fellow lying face downward in the tub. All efforts to revive him proved futile, although he could not have been in the tub to exceed ten minutes when found.
The unfortunate little boy was born January 27, 1909, and was the sixth child of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Reising. He is survived by his parents, three sisters and three brothers. He was an unusually bright and healthful child, never having been sick except when he had whooping cough. His sudden taking away is a severe shock to the parents and other relatives and the sympathy of the entire community is with them in their grief.
The funeral services were held on Monday morning at the parents' home, Rev. W.J. Burke, of this city, officiating, and the interment was at St. Patrick's cemetery.
S.A. Hanson, of Elliott, coroner of Ford county, held an inquest over the remains on Sunday and the jury returned a verdict of accidental drowning.
CELEBRATED 80TH BIRTHDAY
JULY 28, 1911
Robert Rumbold was 80 years of age on Sunday last, July 23, and on Monday evening twenty five members of the Chatsworth Masonic lodge went to the Rumbold home, three miles south of town and celebrated the event. Mr. Rumbold was presented with a handsome leather locker by the members of the lodge, of which he has been a member since its organization.
Rumbold was born in Hampshire, England, July 23, 1831. He received his education in the boarding schools of that country, and at the age of twenty one years he came to America with his father. They resided in Kendall county, Illinois, until 1856 when they came to Livingston county. Here Robert invested in a quarter section of land near Fairbury and farmed until 1869, when he came to Chatsworth township and purchased the farm which has since been his home.
In 1859 he visited the land of his birth and while there was married to Miss Sarah Osmond, also a native of Hampshire, England, having been born in 1830, and they returned to Livingston county together.
Mr. and Mrs. Rumbold are spending their declining years in the home where they have lived the greater portion of their lives together. Their five surviving children are E.H. Rumbold and Mrs. Alice M. Wilson, of West Pullman; Anna E. and Cecil B., at the parental home, and Joseph B. of West Pullman. The children who have left the parents' home make frequent visits to them as do their many friends.
Mr. Rumbold has engaged in the insurance business from 1869 until his health and failing eyes caused him to retire from active work, since which time his son, Cecil R., has conducted the business.
Mr. and Mrs. Rumbold are both sadly afflicted with poor eye sight, which detracts much from their enjoyment. Each is now past eighty years of age, and the Plaindealer joins their host of friends in extending congratulations and wishing them many more years together.
Golden Wedding Celebration
July 18, 1911
The fiftieth wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. John Saathoff was celebrated at their home in Charlotte on Thursday, the members of the family and a few friends gathering at the home and making the day of of much pleasure. During the afternoon Rev. Koepp and a number of neighbors and friends gathered to extend congratulations. Refreshments were served and the minister delivered a short address.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Saathoff are natives of Wehman, Ost Friesland, Germany, and each is 73 years of age. They were married fifty years ago and came to the United States in 1885, and have always lived in Charlotte and Sullivan townships since coming to this country. All of their children, including their sons, John, Ben and Albert, of Bronaugh, Mo., were present at the celebration.
OLDEST BROOM MAKER
AUGUST 25, 1911
The Pontiac Leader of Saturday has the following to say about our popular townsman, Milo Miller.
"M.M. Miller, of Chatsworth, is claimed to be the oldest broom maker in this state, having made brooms sixty five years. He says he learned his trade in western Massachusetts in 1849, and sold his first aid to housekeeping forty years in this town. He quit the work last fall. He did not make the broom manufacture his principal vocation, but carried on the work intermittenly with farming. He raised his own broom corn and had twenty-one acres of it one year. Broom corn is now about $100 per ton and, while that is a high price, Mr. Miller has seen great extremes in either direction from this. He has known the bristly-tasseled stuff to bring as little as 2 cents and as much as 15 cents a pound, or $40 and $300 a ton respectively."
NEW MERCANTILE FIRM
SEPTEMBER 1, 1911
A new firm has embarked in the mercantile business in Chatsworth, Baylor Bros., composed of H.P. Baylor, of Onarga, and Wm. A. Baylor, of Chatsworth, having formed a partnership and purchased the "Daylight Corner" store of Hitchock Bros., of Gilman, who recently acquired it from Bushway & Puffer.
H.P. Baylor, who will have active management of the business, has had ten years experience in the dry goods business and for the past nine years has been in the employ of Risser Bros. at Onarga. Wm. A. Baylor will be a silent partner in the business and will devote his entire energies to his position as superintendent of the Chatsworth schools.
The deal was closed yesterday and the new firm has taken possession of the stock, which will be made complete in every department and will comprise dry goods, groceries and notions.
There is not doubt that Baylor Bros. will receive their share of the patronage of the people of this community as they intend to make their store a permanent fixture in Chatsworth.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1911
At the home of the bride's parents in Monon (Ind.), at 10:00 am, Wednesday, August 30, Dr. Leonard L. Lamb, of Chatsworth, Ill. and Miss Gertrude Shevely, in the presence of a few relatives, were united in marriage by the Rev. Dematrine Tillotson, of Lafayette, Ind., a friend and former pastor of the family.
After a light luncheon the happy couple started on an auto tour that will extend over several states, including Iowa, where the bride and groom have many friends and relatives, returning to Chatsworth about October first, where the doctor and his bride will make their home.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Shevely, who have recently moved here from Salt Lake City. She is a stockholder in the Ideal Duster Company and has been assisting in its operation. The groom is engaged in the practice of medicine at Chatsworth and is highly spoken of. The worthy couple begin married life under most auspicious surroundings and many friends extend warmest congratulations. Monon (Ind.) News.
OCTOBER 20, 1911
On Wednesday morning at ten o'clock at the Lutheran church in Germanville township, occurred the marriage of Miss Margaret Hornstein and Mr. Henry Kemnitz, both residents of Germanville township, the ceremony being performed by Rev. J. T. Hossfeld of Melvin. The ring ceremony was used and Miss Elizabeth Hornstein, sister of the groom was bridesmaid and Mr. Ernest Kemnitz, brother of the groom, acted as best man. The brides's dress was of light blue messaline silk and she carried a bouquet of carnations. After the ceremony at the church a wedding feast was served at the home of the bride's father, which was partaken of by a number of the relatives and friends of the contracting parties.
The bride is a daughter of Daniel Hornstein, an old resident of Germanville township, and is a young lady well prepared to perform the duties of her future life. The groom is a son of the late Anton Kemnitz and is a young man of sterling character.
The newly wedded couple departed on the 5:30 train for Chicago, on a short wedding trip, and on their return they will reside on the farm belonging to the groom in Germanville township, where they will be surrounded by the best wishes of their many friends.
OCTOBER 27, 1911
On Monday afternoon at three o'clock, at the Evangelical parsonage, Rev. S.W. Moehl performed the ceremony uniting in marriage Mrs. Matilda Gerbracht and Mr. John Ortlepp. the ceremony was witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. F.R. Beckman.
Both the contracting parties are well known German residents of Chatsworth, the bride giving her age as 50 and the groom as 62. For the present they will make their home in the residence of the bride, in the south part of town, and as soon as Mr. Ortlepp completes an addition to his home, east of the Evangelical church, they will take up their abode there.
Their many friends unite with the Plaindealer in wishing them joy and happiness.
BARBER SHOP CHANGES OWNERSHIP
NOVEMBER 17, 1911
William Hummel and Fred A. Lemna closed a deal the latter part of last week whereby Mr. Hummel purchased the Lemna barbershop in the building formerly occupied by the post office on fourth street, and the new proprietor took possession of the business on Monday.
The new proprietor has had several years experience in the business, and is a young man who has many friends and he will receive his share of the business in his line. Mr. Lemna has conducted a shop in Chatsworth for a number of years, and his many friends will be pleased to know that for the present at least he will remain here and will be employed by Mr. Hummel.
NOVEMBER 24, 1911
The marriage of Miss Frances Becker and Mr. Fred W. Klehm, both of this city, was celebrated on Wednesday evening at six o'clock at the Evangelical parsonage, Rev. S.W. Moehl pronouncing the words which made them man and wife. They were attended by Miss Matie Becker, twin sister of the bride, and Mr. J.C. Lett, of Fairbury.
The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Becker, of this city, and was born and lived all of her life in Chatsworth. The groom is a son of Mrs. John Klehm and has made his home in Chatsworth for several years. Bother have many friends who unite with the Plaindealer in extending congratulations and wishing Mr. and Mrs. Klehm much joy and happiness.
They departed on the evening west-bound train for Tonica, where they will visit at the home of the groom's brother, George Klehm. Miss Matie Becker and Mr. J. C. Lett accompanied they as far as Fairbury.
Upon their return Mr. and Mrs. Klehm will reside in the house recently vacated by Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Becker, and the groom will resume his duties on the city express.
DECEMBER 1, 1911
The marriage of Miss Winfred Agnes Gerdes and Mr. Herman C. Walters, both residents of Chatsworth was celebrated on Monday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock at the home of the father of the bride, Albert Harshbargen, only the immediate relatives and a few very intimate friends witnessing the ceremony. Miss Alma Walters, of Sibley, sister of the groom, was bridesmaid, and Mr. John Gerdes, brother of the bride, was best man. The wedding march was rendered by Miss La'Rose Harshbargen, sister of the bride, and the ceremony was performed by Rev. Koepp, of Charlotte, minister of the Lutheran denomination.
The parlor and dining room were beautifully decorated with flowers and a dainty luncheon was served following the ceremony. The bride was attired in a white messaline silk dress, and the bridesmaid also wore white. the bride's traveling suit was of light gray cloth, and she wore a large black hat.
The bride is the fifth daughter of the late Mrs. Albert Harshbargen and has lived most of her life in Chatsworth, where she has a large circle of friends. The groom came here from Sibley, and is the proprietor of the east end buffet. He has made many friends since coming to Chatsworth, who unite with those of the bride in extending congratulations and good wishes.
Mr. and Mrs. Walters drove to Forrest where they boarded the train for Chicago, and after visiting in that city and at other points they will return to Chatsworth and to housekeeping in the J.A. Kerrins house which the groom has prepared for their occupancy, and they will be at home to their friends after December 1st.
DECEMBER 1, 1911
On Wednesday morning at eight o'clock at the Cullom Catholic church, Rev. Fr. White united in marriage Miss Loretto Lyons, of Cullom, and Mr. William Hummel, of Chatsworth, Miss Katherine Swanton, of Cullom, being the bridesmaid and Mr. Edward Lyons, brother of the bride, being the best man. The bride was attired in a charming dove colored suit and wore a white picture hat, while the bridesmaid was dressed in the same manner. Mendelssohn's Wedding March was rendered by Miss Bessie Donahue as the bridal party entered the church. Following the ceremony a reception was tendered the bride and groom at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lyons, and a sumptuous feast was partaken of.
The bride is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyons and is a young lady of many charms. The groom is the proprietor of the barber shop located on Fourth street, where the Chatsworth post office was for many years, and is a young man of sterling qualities. He is the only son of Mrs. Nellie Hummel, of this city, and has many friends who unite with hose of the bride in extending congratulations and wishing Mr. and Mrs. Hummel joy and happiness.
EIGHTY-THREE LAST SATURDAY
DECEMBER 1, 1911
James S. Doolittle, of this city, was 83 years of age on Saturday last. He is not only of the oldest men residing in Chatsworth, but his one of the oldest residents of Chatsworth township, having located on a farm south of this village in 1865, being one of the pioneers of this community and one of the few of the early settlers who survive. Mr. Doolittle is a native of Georgia, having been born at St. Mary's in that state on December 9, 1828.
He went to Springfield, Mass., before he was twenty and worked as a machinist. A few years later he came to LaSalle county, Illinois, and engaged in farming. From LaSalle county he came to Chatsworth. He was married at Ottawa to Miss Jemima E. Armstong on June 3, 1856, who is nearly ten years his junior. Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary during the past summer. After coming to this township Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle lived on the farm now owned and occupied by Joseph Dietz, four miles south of Chatsworth. After leaving the farm he engaged in the merchantile business in this village, retiring from active business in 1904.
The venerable gentleman was receiving the congratulations of his many friends on Saturday. He is in very good health for a man of his years, and he gives promise and all hope that he may celebrate many more anniversaries of his birth.
Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle departed yesterday to spend the winter with their daughters at Decatur and Urbana.
CELEBRATED 88TH BIRTHDAY
DECEMBER 22, 1911
John Walter, one of Chatsworth's earliest citizens and merchants, now retire, celebrated his 88th birthday in a quiet manner on Sunday last, receiving the congratulations of his relatives and friends.
Mr. Walter, who was a native of Baden, Germany, was born December 17, 1823. He came to America and landed in New York in 1951 after a perilous voyage, the vessel leaking badly and nearly sinking. On March 14, 1851, he was married in New York to Elizabeth Ruhle, whose death occurred several years ago. He came to Illinois shortly following his marriage, and located in Chatsworth in 1866 and engaged in the merchandising business, in which he continued successfully for many years, being succeeded by his sons a number of years ago. Mr. Walter has filled many local offices of trust, has lived a life which reflects credit upon him and his family, and has hosts of friends in this community who extend congratulations upon his reaching the 88th milestone of his career, and trust that he may celebrate many more birthdays.