1895 Necrologist Report

(Transcribed and copyrighted March 13, 2001, by Lawrence B. Peet, Joliet, Illinois. Permission granted to copy for non-commercial use only. All in Italics and upper case surnames are added to or modified from the original by the transcriber.)

(1895 Old Settlers’ Association, Necrology Report, as printed in the Joliet Weekly Republican, Sept. 6, 1895. And transcribed by Lawrence B. Peet.)

Deccimated Ranks. — Seventy-one Pioneers of Will County Finish Their Work — Those Who Are Left Enjoying Themselves Today at the Masonic Temple, Talking Over the Days When Indians Were Their Nearest Neighbors. —

Although the weather today has been of that sort that bring rheumatics to the joints of the old settlers of Will county, it did not keep the old people from gathering in the Masonic Temple, in their annual reunion, They came from every town in the county, and by noon, when dinner was announced, nearly 100 were busy shaking hands – not the firm grasp of fifty years ago, of course, but nevertheless hearty.

Dinner was served at the Hotel Munroe, and partaken of by several of those more able to get to the Hotel. Those who could not endure the fatigue of getting there, opened their lunch baskets and had dinner in the hall.

Came In The ’30’s.

Only a very few of those who came to Joliet and Will county in the early ’30’s survive the wear and tear of age, and they are:

Mrs. Nancy STEVENS, Joliet 1831
Mr. Dan GOUGAR, Joliet 1831
Mr. S. S. CHAMBERLAIN, Joliet 1833
Mr. Thomas J. SPRAGUE, Joliet 1834
Mrs. Helen A. HENDERSON, Joliet 1834
Mr. N. H. CUTTER, Joliet 1834
Mr. L. M. CLAYES, Joliet 1834
Mr. Rodney HOUSE, Joliet 1834
H. N. MARSH, Joliet 1835
Mr. Frank NICHOLSON, Joliet 1836
Rev. S. R. BEGGS, Plainfield 1833
Mr. Frederic COLLINS, Hadley 1833
Mr. D. C. BALDWIN, Lockport 1834

Necrology of the “Old Settlers of Will County” for the year ending Sept. 4th, 1895.

During the year just closed, the Silent Reaper has been busy in our ranks. His “gathered sheaves” have been so many that but the briefest possible notice can be given of individuals. The list below, though probably not including all, is as nearly correct as could be made from the information we have been able to obtain.

The date of death immediately precedes the name of the deceased, and the age follows. (here, your transcriber will deviate from the newspaper’s physical format, which has the information gathered on the deceased indented 11 characters from the left of the column. -L. B. Peet)


Aug. 25, Mrs. David DANCER, at Laonia, Ia., aged 61. She was the daughter of the late Hiram HARVEY, of Wilton, and came to this county with her parents in 1838.

Sept. 17, Miss Abbie ASHLEY, of Joliet, aged 71. A resident of Will county since 1835.

Oct. 4, Wm. POHLMAN, of Joliet, aged 66. A Prussian by birth and a resident of the county since 1860.

Oct. 5, Alexander FERGUSON, of Channahon, aged 87. He was a native of Scotland, coming to America in 1848, and locating on the farm where he died in 1857.

Oct. 6, Thomas BARNES, of Wilmington, He was a native of County Kent, Eng., and came here in 1854.

Oct. 16, A. WILKINS, of Wilmington, aged 84, He has been a resident of the county more than fifty years.

Oct. 24, Wm. MOSS, of Plainfield, aged 79. Born in England; came to America in 1837, and to Plainfield in 1840.

Nov. 12, Wm. ADAM, of Joliet, aged 74. He came from Scotland to America in 1832, and to Joliet, where he has since resided, in 1850.

Nov. 17, Augustus A. OSGOOD, late of Chicago, aged 55. He was born in Joliet and the most of his life had been spent here.

Dec. 10, Charles HAZARD, of Florence, aged 81. Born in Rhode Island, and settled in Will county in 1853, where he has since resided.

Dec. 11, F. B. LUEHRS, of Monee, aged 78. He came from Germany and located in Monee, in 1848.

Dec. 20, Mrs. Elizabeth CONANT, of Plainfield, aged 67. She was born in Maine, and came to this county in 1854.

Dec. 21, Lyman ADAMS, of Crete, aged 72. He was a native of Vermont, and a resident of Crete sine (sic.)1846.


Jan. 7, David MORRISON, of West Peotone, aged 64. He came from Ulster county, Ireland, to America, in 1851, and to Illinois in 1857.

Jan. 7, Mrs. Rosa McDONALD, of Lockport, aged 104. Born in Dublin, Ireland. She came to Lockport in 1848. She was perhaps the oldest person in the state at the time of her death.

Jan. 23, Guy C. GRISWOLD, of Ottawa, aged 53, He was born in Lockport, and his short, but active life, has been spent in northern Illinois.

Jan. 23, Hiram HARVEY, of Wilton, aged 87, Fifty-seven years of his honored and useful life have been spent in this county, of which he became a resident in 1838.

Jan. 25, Mrs. Theresa HOUSER, of Joliet, aged 75. She has been a resident since 1842.

Jan. 25, Mrs. Lucretia Ingersoll COLGROVE, aged 68. She was a native of Vermont, and came to Plainfield, where she has since resided, in 1836.

Jan. 29, Mr. James McMICKEN, of Wheatland, aged 70. He came from his native Scotland, and located on the farm where he died in 1848.

Feb. 6, J. D. BROWN, of Joliet, aged 72. He came to Joliet from Rensalar (sic.)county, N. Y., and has been one most active and enterprising business man.

Feb. 6, Wm. WATKINS, of Wilmington, aged 74. He came from England and located here in 1849.

Feb. 9, Mrs. Helen Risley THOMPSON, of Wilmington, aged 70. She was the widow of the late D. C. THOMPSON, and daughter of H. D. RISLEY, long an honored resident of Joliet, She came with her parents to Channahon in 1835.

Feb. 14, Mrs. Emily Cushing PORTER, of Crete, aged 86. She was the widow of the late Rev. Samuel C. PORTER, a native of Vermont, and long a resident of this county.

Feb. 14, John CLARKSON, of Joliet, aged 85. He was born in England, and came to Joliet, where he has since resided in 1840.

Feb. 21, Frederic ROBBINS, of Wilton, aged 83; a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Wilton since 1851.

Feb. 21, David FOUSER, of Plainfield, aged 60. He has been an honored resident of Plainfield for forty years.

Feb. 25, John D. HENDERSON, of Wilmington, aged 80. He came to Joliet in 1845 and went to Wilmington where he has since resided, in 1848 – one of its most active and useful citizens.

Feb. 25, Mrs Jane (PADDOCK), widow of the late D. W. PADDOCK, of Homer, aged 70. She came to Homer in 1838.

Feb. 26, Rev. Henry BUCKS, of Plainfield, aged 81. He has been an honored resident of Plainfield since 1855.

Feb. 27, Joseph WARD, of Lockport, aged 80. He was born in Ireland and came to Lockport in 1848.


Mar. 1, Joseph DAVIDSON, of Joliet, aged 65. He was born in England; came to America in 1850, and to Joliet in 1854.

Mar. 5, Mrs. Emily E. DANCER, of Marley, aged 71. She came to Homer with her parents in 1832, and early became the wife of Benj. DANCER, of Hadley.

Mar. 6, Miss Libbie PERLINS, at her home in Kendall county, aged 82. She was early, and for many years a resident of this city, and will be kindly remembered by many of our older inhabitants.

Mar. 9, Mrs. Martha Appleton WILSON, at Pasadena, Cal., aged 83. She was the widow of the late John M. WILSON, who brought her to Joliet a bride in 1836. They resided here some years, and later removed to Chicago.

Mar. 10, Daniel C. MASON, of Joliet, aged 84. He could hardly be called an Old Settler, but had resided here, a useful and honored citizen since 1868.

Mar. 11, Abel BLISS, at Cedar Falls, Ia., aged 84. He was a resident of Plainfield from 1844 to 1883.

Mar. 11, Mrs. M. H. DEMMOND, of Joliet, aged 90. She came with her husband from the State of New York to Joliet in 1834, and here her long, honored and useful life has been spent.

Mar. 13, Mrs. Mary FITZPATRICK, of Lockport, aged 78. She was one of the very earliest among the early settlers of the county, having come to Lockport with her parents in 1833.

Mar. 14, Mrs. Elizabeth HARTUNG, of Joliet, aged 95. She has been a resident since 1850.

Mar. 20, Francis G. STANLEY, of Joliet, aged 75. He has been an honored resident of the city since 1858.

Mar. 31, Mrs. Lucy C. ADAMS, of Channahon, aged 77. She was the widow of Rev. Albert Adams, with whom she came to this county from Connecticut in 1843.


Apr. 4. Mrs. Almira McCLAY, of Joliet, aged 56. She was the daughter of the late Otis HARDY, born in Joliet, where the most of her useful life has been spent.

Apr. 6, Edward P. FARLEY, of Lockport, aged 79. He came from Courtland Co., N. Y.; to Lockport in 1837.

Apr. 9, Thos. ROGERS, of Joliet, aged 80. He became a resident of the county in 1854.

Apr. 12, Mrs. Mary J. LITTLE, of Chicago, aged 80. She was the widow of Hon. Wm. E. LITTLE, and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel CURTIS; coming with her parents to Joliet in about 1838. She has for some years resided in Chicago.

Apr. 20, Chas. Henry BUSH, of Joliet, aged 77. He was born in Whitehall, N. Y., and came to Joliet in 1855.

Apr. 24, Mrs. Mary A. KINNIE, of Joliet, aged 81. She came with her husband, the late Thomas J. KINNIE, to Joliet in 1838; and after his death continued his business very successfully and creditably.


May 4, Robert BENTLY, of Homer, aged 81, He came from England, and located in Homer in 1838.

May 5, K. J. HAMMOND, of Joliet, aged 77. A native of Chenango Co., N. Y., he came to Joliet in 1843, since which time, with the exception of the last twelve years spent in Iowa; he has been an active an honored citizen of Will county.

May 10, Mrs. Cynthia GIFFIN, of Lockport, aged 69. She came to Lockport with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. ROGERS, in 1833.

May 24, Merrill KLIE (or, possibly, KILE), late of Chicago, at Passadena, Col., aged 81. He located with his parents in the eastern part of this county in 1835, where his earlier years were spent. Later he became a resident of Cook county.

June 2, Capt. Geo. M. GRAY, of Chicago, aged 77. He was a step son of Jerah ROWLEY, deceased, and came with the Roweys to “Yankee Settlement,” in 1833. A few years later he went to Chicago, and became a leading railroad man of the period.

June 2, Mrs. Valentine RATHBURN, of Joliet, aged 63. She was an early settler in Wheatland.

June 10, Wm. Y. GRANT, of Joliet, aged 84. He has long been an honored resident of the city.

June 10, Mrs. Rose KELLY, of Joliet, aged 83. She was born in Tyrone Co., Ireland, and came here with her husband, the late Edward KELLY, to Joliet in 1848.

June 12, Mrs. Mary M. STODDARD, of Joliet, aged 76. She spent the last 50 years of a quiet and unostentatious life in Joliet.


July 10, Sam’l DICKERMANN, at Leavenworth, Kan., aged 70. Our older citizens will remember him as the engineer of the “Accommodation,” on the R. I. R. R. for a very long period in its history.

July 12, Wm. McINTOSH, of Wilmington, aged 72. He was born in Scotland, and came to Wilmington in 1845.

July 13, Geo. R. DYER, of Kansas City, aged 83. He was a native of Vermont, and came west in 1834; locating in this county, of which he was long an active and honored citizen, in 1841. Eight years ago he went to Kansas City, where he died.

July 13, John J. KLEMME, of Joliet, aged 68. He was one of our earliest and most respected citizens.

July 15, Elihu CORBIN, of Plainfield, aged 83. He was born in Rutland, Vermont, and located at Plainfield in 1852, where he has spent the remainder of an active and useful life.

July 17, Mrs. Lucy (GARRETT), widow of the late Milton GARRETT, aged 79. She has long been a resident of Joliet.

July 30, Hon. John Dean CATON, of Chicago, aged 83. Though not generally known, it is still a fact that Judge Caton was for several years a resident of this county. He came to Chicago in 1833 and in 1835 bought the property known as the “Caton Farm” in Plainfield. On this he resided from 1838 to 1843, himself following the “oxen” that turned its goodly furrows. In the latter year he went to Ottawa where he resided for many years, finally removing to Chicago, where he died.


Aug. 5, Mrs. Rebecca (AYERS), widow of the late Mahlen AYERS, of Lockport, aged 83. She was born in New Jersey, and settled in Lockport in 1836.

Aug. 6, Charles CORNELIUS, of Channahon, aged 81. He came from Ireland and settled in Channahon in 1834.

Aug. 21, Mrs. Ann LYONS, of Joliet, aged 98. She came from Ireland and located in Joliet in 1848,

Aug. 23, Mrs. Fanny C. JOHNSON, aged 74. She has been a well known and respected resident of Joliet since 1840.

Aug. 26, Mr. John M. REYNOLDS, of New Lenox, aged 83. He located on the beautiful farm where he died, in 1833, and has been one of the most respected citizens.

Aug. 26, Mrs. Selah MOREY, of Wilmington, aged 85. She came to this county from Pennsylvania in 1847.

Aug. 29, James S. WHITE, of Joliet, aged 67. He came from Pennsylvania to this county in 1836, and has since been a respected citizen of Joliet.

Looking back over the record of those who, during the year just past, “Have gone on before,” who of us can fail to appreciating the touching and beautiful sentiment of the poet’s lines:

“Over the river they beckon to me,
Loved ones who’ve crossed to the farther Side;
The gleam of their snowy robes I see,
But their voices are lost in the dashing Tide.”
“I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping Sail,
I shall bear the boat as it gains the strand;
I shall pass from sight with the boatman Pale,
To the better shore of the spirit land.”

H. N. MARSH. Joliet, September 4th, 1895.

Treasurer W. H. ZARLEY submitted his yearly report, showing $48.08 on hand. The report was accepted and adopted.

Chairman Royal E. BARBER appointed the following committee to select officers for the ensuing year: W. H. LANFEAR, Peter COLLINS, M. G. DEMMOND, George VAV DUSER, John VAN DUSER.

At 1:45 the committee reported the following, which report was adopted:

President – R. E. BARBER.

Vice Presidents – Willard WOOD, Crete; A. P. CORPENTER, Channahon; O. A. McGOVENY, Frankfort; David FORSYTHE, Florence; J. J. SMILLIE, Custer; H. H. STASSEN, Green Garden; S. CULVER, Plainfield; D. CHRISTENS, Peotone; Dwight HAVEN, New Lenox; S. E. BRONK, Monee; Jno. C. BAKER, Manhattan; Thomas TAIT, Jackson; D. C. BALDWIN, Lockport; Curtis MORSE, Homer; Marshal TRUBY, Troy; Lisle BRUNSON, Dupage; John LILLY, Wesley; Jabez, HARVEY, Wilton; Fred WILKIE, Washington; M. N. M. STEWART, Wilmington; P. MERRILL, Reed; James PATTERSON, Wheatland; A. P. LILLY, Will, D. C. HENDERSON, Joliet.

W. H. ZARLEY – Secretary and Treasurer.

H. N. MARSH – Necrologist.

Stephen R. BEGGS – Chaplain.

Executive Committee – Thos. TAIT, Edmund WILCOX, Moses DEMMOND, George DAVIS, W. H. LANFEAR, Horace WEEKS, George VAN DUSER.

Mr. Barber addressed the assemblage, asking all to draw near the platform, so that he could be distinctly heard. Mr. Barber advised extending the limit of residence in the county from “50 to 60, in order to draw in the children and grandchildren of the pioneers to the association; it was necessary, because the ranks were becoming too thin.

The principle speakers were Hon. Perry A. ARMSTRONG, of Morris. Mr. Armstrong spoke principally upon the really first settlers – the Indians. Mr. Armstrong is an authority upon the Shabonas, and gave an interesting talk.

Andrew SMITH, a resident of Chicago in 1830, whose mother was devoured by wolves while returning to her home from Chicago to Blue Island, was also an interesting speaker. Several others related their experiences, closing the day’s meeting.