1896 Necrologist Report

Transcribed and copyrighted March 14, 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.

(1896 Old Settlers’ Association Necrology Report, by H. N. Marsh, as printed in the Joliet Daily Republican, Sept. 2, 1896, and transcribed by Lawrence B. Peet.)

Saw The Cities Grow. — Many Men of Many Summers Relate the History of Pioneer Days. — Old Settlers’ Annual Convention in Gorman’s Hall To-Day — Will County Has Some Remarkable Characters – Officers – Necrological Report. —

It is Old Settlers’ Day to-day. Gathered about the streets from morning to ’till night could be seen small clumps of decaying oaks that have stood the storms of many summers and the frosts of many moons. Men of early days, whose three score years and ten have already passed whose locks are white with the dews of years – the bright morn of youth, the fearful beams of the noonday sun and the chilly blasts of evening. Women who were bent with the cares of long lives. They gathered in the hallway and rehearsed the stories of “When we were young folks.” Told how they had pounded the corn in the wooden mortice made in the top of some large white oak stump. Told how they have sat by the cabin door and watched the deer Brwose (sic.) Along the pathways leading through the forrests (sic.)and seen the treacherous “red man” trailing his game. It was a scene to make a more thoughtful person stop and think.

What experiences! What wonderful developments they had watched! From the rudest life in the cabin to the palaces of money giants – they have seen all, and are now groping blindly in the dark of twilight.

Among the interesting characters present was Mr. Andrew SMITH of New Lenox. Mr. Smith located in that village in 1859. When he was 9 years old he landed in Chicago, That was in 1833. A few months afterward the family moved to Blue Island. In December following, the mother walked from Blue Island to Chicago to purchase the household supplies. Returning, a snow storm overtook her, and on the prairie, where now sky-scraping blocks stand, she lost her way and fell exhausted. A searching party found her feet enclosed in Heavy shoes and clothing. The body had been devoured by wolves. Mr. Smith exhibited a gold medal given by the Cook County and Old Settlers’ reunion held in Chicago in 1895, as the oldest settler of Chicago.

Mr. Winthrop WRIGHT, another veteran of Plainfield, told how he landed in Chicago in ’35, and how the mail from Chicago reached Plainfield and Joliet via, horseback, en route to Ottawa. Mr. Wright is a staunch Republican, and in a corner conversation remarked that he was at the birth of the Republican party in Bloomington “And,” remarked the old gentleman, as his eyes snapped, “it has been a remarkably precocious child.”

Life certainly holds the key to all mysteries. They met in Gorman’s hall this morning and listened to the Treasurer’s report and committee appointments for election of officers. Mansfield YOUNG, of Joliet, called the meeting to order. Wm. XARLEY, also of Joliet, reported $53.96 in the treasury.

The election committee was: Joseph GOUGAR, Amos SAVAGE, George VAN DUSER and Messrs. LANFEAR and COOK.

On account of the poor acoustic properties of the hall the afternoon session adjourned in the B. M. A. rooms in the Barber building.

The officers elected for the ensuing year are:

President – Amos SAVAGE, Homer.

Secretary-Treasurer – William J. ZARLEY, Joliet.

Necrology of the old settlers of Will county for the year ending September 1, 1896. Another year had brought a few of the constantly decreasing band of “Old Settlers of Will County” to their annual gathering, and as we turn to the list of those who, during the past year, have left us, we need not be reminded that for those who remain the necrologist will soon have made his last record.

It has been a question whether in making up this report it was proper to go outside the list of our own members; yet as a matter of general interest, we have done as heretofore reported names of all old settlers so far as data could be obtained in the order in which they have occurred.

Following is the necrological report as compiled by H. N. MARSH:


Sept. 6 – Rev. Stephen R. Beggs, of Plainfield, aged 94½ years. He was born in Virginia and came to Chicago in 1831, preaching the first sermon in Fort Dearborn; then about all there was of Chicago. In 1832 he located at Plainfield where he has resided until his death; a noble example of Christian activity and usefulness. He was an interested participant in the camp meeting at New Lenox last year and was then stricken with the attack of illness which terminated his life. He was the honored chaplain of this society from its organization till his death.

Sept. 4 – George F ood, (At several places in this report, the “l” type seems to have failed to print. As so, my speculation is that the man’s name was: “George FLOOD.”-L. B. Peet) of Peotone, aged 65 years. He was born in Ireland, came to America in 1846 and to Peotone in 1858.

Sept. 6 – Mrs. B. C. WELDER, of Joliet, aged 77. She was buried in Wilmington, but we have not been able to obtain any details of he life.

Sept. 6 – Mrs. Lucinda J. MASON, widow of George A. MASON, of Joliet, aged 77; born in Herkimer county, New York, and came to Joliet in the 30s.

Sept. 24 – Mr. Ephraim HAWKINS, of Joliet, aged 77; born in Ontario, Canada, and came to Will county in 1857.

Sept. 15 — Mrs. Catherine BENTLEY, of Homer, aged 74; born in England and came to America in 1837. She was a resident of Homer fofty-six years.

Sept. 18 – James GRANT, of Jackson, aged 74, born in Scotland, and came to America in 1852 and to this county in 1855.


Oct. 7 – Mrs. Josephine CASH, of Lockport, aged 84. She was among the very early sett(l)ers, but no date could be obtained.

Oct. 11 – Mrs. Char(l)es BELL, nee Nancy TAYLOR, at Peoton, aged 77. She was born at Palestine, Ill., and a resident of this county since 1857.

October 14 – Mrs. Elizabeth LASSER, wife of Michael LASSER, of Joliet, aged 62. She has been a resident of Joliet for half a century.

October 14 – Mrs. Ann E. THOMPSON, of Joliet, aged 84. She was the mother of Bishop Hugh Miller THOMPSON, and has been an active and honored resident of Joliet for 30 years.

October 22 – Jared WILLS, at Canton, Ohio, aged 70. He was born in Vermont and located in Plainfield in 1845, where he resided for many years, and where his remains were brought for interment.

October 30 – Mrs. Abbie A. (ABBOTT), wife of George ABBOTT, of Joliet, aged 58. Born in New York state and came with her parents in 1850 (possibly 1859). Her father, J. H. CUTTING, was prominently interested in the early industries of Joliet.

October 31 – Mrs. Sarah M. MUNROE, of Joliet, aged 73, She was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., and came to this county with her husband, the late Geo. MUNROE, in 1849, locating in the town of Florence. : They removed to Joliet in 1862, where she has since resided, loved an honored to a degree that fall to the lot of comparatively few in this world.


November 1 – August VOIGHT, of Lockport, aged 80. Born in Prussia, he came to America in 1853 and located in Chicago. He was a faithful soldier in the 44th Illinois Regiment during the war and at its c(l)ose located where he has since resided.

Nov. 5th – Mrs. Harriet GILSON, at Seattle, Washington, aged 89, she was born in Virginia and came to Will County with her husband, Jas. GILSON, in 1831, preempting the o d Alva COLON and PEARSON farms on the Lilla Cache near Plainfield. They are among those who took refuge in Fort Dearborn during the Black Hawk War. Mr. Gilson sold this property in 1831 (possibly 1834), and went west, and the family, or at least a portion of it, finally reached Seattle, where Mrs. Gilson died. Her maiden name was (Harriet) WALKER but not one of the Plainfield family of that name.

Nov. 7 – Edward ROLAND, of Joliet, aged 68, a native of England and a resident of Joliet since 1846.

Nov. 8 – James CRAWFORD, of Wilton, aged 79. Born in the north of Ireland and came to Chicago with an ox team. Returning in 1854 he located in Wilton where he resided until his death.

Nov. 9 – Robt. BEATTIE, of Joliet, aged 80, he too was a North of Ireland man, coming to this county in 1850, removing from his former location at Bird’s Bridge to Joliet in 1882.

Nov. 11 – Wm. PADDOCK, of Homer, aged 70 years. He was born in the State of New York and came to this county in 1836, locating on the farm where he died, honored and respected by all who knew him.

Nov. 12 – James WRIGHT, of Lockport, aged 67, He was a son of the late Col. James WRIGHT, of Lockport, well-known as one of the most prominent of the early settlers of that place.

Nov. 12 – Col. Michael SHOEMAKER, of Michigan, aged 67. He came to Joliet, with his parents in 1836, and was long a partner in business with the late Gov. MATTESON. About 1850 he removed to Michigan, where he has been prominent in politics and business.

Nov. 13 – Daniel BEEBE, of Kankakee City, aged 84. He was one of the early settlers in this county, locating at Beebe’s Grove near Crete, in 1834. He was a native of Vermont.

Nov. 14 – Alva CULVER, of Mo., aged 88. He was born in Vermont, and came to Plainfield in 1834, buying a part of the “Gibson” property. In 1861 he moved to Mo., where he resided until his death.

Nov. 16 – Daniel McINTYRE, of Wilmington, aged 55. He was born in F(l)orence, in this county, and has always resided in that vicinity.

Nov. 20 – Ed. F. REED, at Custer, aged 70. He was a son of Charles REED, one of the first proprietors, and settlers of Joliet. He came from Ohio with his father in 1831, and in 1833 the family located in Joliet, where they resided for several years. Mr. Ed. F. Reed resided in this county until 1878, since which he has lived in Kansas, Oklahoma and California, returning to Custer last year.

Nov. 26 – Hon. Henry SNAPP, of this city, aged 73. He was born in Livingston County, N. Y., and came with his parents to “Yankee Settlement,” in this county, in 1834. After his majority, he left the farm and studied law in Joliet, and became one of its most honored citizens, having represented the district in Congress, and filled other offices of trust.

Nov. 27 – Solan KNIGHT, of Kankakee City, aged 64. He came with his parents to this county in 1843, and to Joliet in 1845. The family removed to Kankakee City in 1853. Solan became one of the leading business men of that city, and was President of the First National Bank from its organization to his death. He died in New Orleans, where he had long been in the habit of spending his winters.


Dec. 4 – W. B. CASWELL, of Joliet, aged 66. He was born in Albion, N. Y., and came with his parents to Plainfield in 1846. The most of his life has been spent in Joliet, though he has been well known as a popular hotel keeper throughout the county. Few had more friends than W. B. Caswell.

Dec. 4 – Lewis ETTER, of Plainfield, aged 89. Born in Pennsylvania, he removed to Ohio in 1845, and to P(l)ainfield in 1860. He was the father of ex-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Etter.

Dec. 8 – Mrs. Elizabeth SHREFFLER, of Joliet, aged 81, she was a native of Reading, Pa., coming to Plainfield in 1849, and to Joliet in 1876.

Dec. 8 – Major S. G. NELSON, of Wallingford, aged 69. He was born in Indiana and with his parents came to Illinois in 1846 where he has since resided. He served faithfully in the late war and was Major of our 100th Regiment, being promoted to that office after the battle of Missionary Ridge. He has also served his fellow citizens faithfully in positions of public trust.

Dec. 13 – Mrs. James McPHERSON, of Joliet, aged 61. She was born at Rome, N. Y., and came to Joliet, where she has since resided, in 1857.

Dec. 16 – John LALLY, of Lockport, aged 81. He has been a resident of the township for half a century.

Dec. 29 – Hon. G. D. A. PARKS, of Joliet, aged 78. Born in Ontario County, N. Y., he has been a resident of Will County since 1842, he was engaged in the engineering department of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and since held many positions of honor and trust at the hands of his fellow citizens. Since the death of his wife in 1892 he has largely retired from public affairs, but has still retained his old time interest.

It would be a labor of love on the part of the writer to give a more extended notice of the life and services of Judge Parks, but he has been known too long and well by the people of Will County to need a more extended notice at our hands.


January 12, 1896 – Conrad HERATH, of Joliet, late of Troy, aged 76. He was born in Beleria, Germany, and came to this county in 1854, settling on the farm where he has resided until 1881, when he came to Joliet.

January 13 – Frank E. WETHERBEE, a native of a Joliet, at Beatrice, Nebraska, aged 39. He leaves a widow, formerly Miss Alice BLISS, of New Lenox, and three children.

January 17 – Mrs. Ellen CUNNINGHAM, of Manhattan, aged 80, She came with her husband from New York state in 1850, and located in Manhattan, where she has resided until her death.

January 17 – August BOEHLE, of Monee, aged 65. He was one of the early settlers in that vicinity, and always prominent and useful in church and society.

January 17 – Mrs. Margaret CLARE, of Joliet, aged 60. She has been a resident of Joliet since 1856.

January 21 – Mrs. L. H. BARNEY, late of Joliet; at the home of her son in Englewood, aged 71. She was a native of Vermont and came to Joliet with her family in 1856, where she has since resided. We think she was at one time matron of the Illinois State Penitentiary.

January 29 – Mrs. Mary A. GOUGAR, wife of John GOUGAR, of New Lenox, aged 82. She was before marriage, Miss Ann (illegible, __ER), and came from Ohio to New Lenox, where she was married to Mr. Gougar in 1849. They have lived 47 years of ideal married life on the same farm where their happy honeymoon was spent.


Feb. 1 – Mrs. Nancy STEVENS, Joliet, aged 81. Mrs. Stevens was the daughter of Lewis KERCHEVAL, of Huegotot (sic.) parentage, born in Ohio, and came with her parents to New Lenox, in 1835. She was married to Robert STEVENS, and located on the farm where she died, on Jackson street, in Joliet. One of the noble pioneers who have made this county what it is. We need only to say that she was a noble representative of a noble race, and acted well her part in the drama of pioneer life.

Feb. 1 – Thomas A MAPPS, of Elwood, aged 65. He came to Joliet in 1848, but has long been a resident of Elwood.

Feb. 9 – Mrs. Fanny (HAZARD), wife of Charles HAZARD, of Florence, aged 96. She was born in Conway, Mass., coming to Ill., 1852, and to Florence, where she died, in 1855.

Feb. 16 – Mrs. Caro(l)ine CONLISK, of Joliet, aged 75. Born in Oneida County N. Y., and located in this county, in 1855. Her former husband and two sons were soldiers in the late war, and one of them, W. DePUY, died while in the service.

Feb. 16 – Mrs. Henry AKIN, nee Eunice HARRIS at Fort Collins, Col., aged 72. Born at Pine Plains, N. Y., 1841. They came to Lockport, in 1843, and removed to Fort Collins in 1881, She was a worthy descendant of an early pioneer in eastern New York State.

Feb. 18 – Samuel LOVE, of Joliet, aged 73. He was born in Ireland, and located in Joliet in 1853. He has spent the most of a quiet and honored life on his farm near this city.

Feb. 18 – Alvin W. McGOVNEY, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, at Battle Creek, Michigan, aged 52. He was a native of Will County, and went to Colorado in 1872, where he has been a prominent and honored citizen.

Feb. 19 – Mrs. Margaret SMITH, widow of the late Samuel SMITH, of Joliet, aged 64. She was a native of Pennsylvania, married and came to Joliet in 1848, where she has resided until her death.

Feb. 21 – Miss Sarah WILSON, of Joliet, aged 82. She was one of the girls of Joliet with whom the writer first became acquainted when he first came here in 1835.

Feb. 21 – George LYNN, of Lincoln, Nebraska, aged 75. He was born in England and settled in Lockport in 1852. He was for a while, we think, a resident of Joliet, and went to Nebraska in about 1887.

Feb. 26 – Francis NICHOLSON, of Joliet, aged 92. Born in New Hartford, N. Y., and came to Joliet, February 15, 1836, where he has since resided, one of the best known and honored citizens.


March 1 – William EVANS, of Lockport, aged 71, He was born in Wales, coming to America in 1840, and to Lockport in 1841, where his honorable and useful life has since been spent.

March 6 – A. Z. DOW, of Lockport, aged 68; born in Vermont and married at Brasher Falls, N. Y., in 1850. They came to Lockport the same year and have lived in the home where he died, for forty-five years.

March 15 – Daniel DALEY, of Lockport, aged 92. He has been a resident of this county for more than fifty years.

March 18 – Mrs. Jane FORSYTH, of Wilmington, aged 86, She was the widow of Andrew FORSYTH; born in Cuonty Autrin, Ireland, and came to Florence in 1861.

March 20 – Captain Geo. M. LYND, of LaGrange, Ill., aged 60. He was an old resident of Lockport and a captain in the 100th regiment, Illinois infantry, in the late war.

March 21 – David L. CHRISTIAN, of Peotone, aged 72; born in the state of New York anmd came to Illinois in 1839 and to Peotone in 1857. Will county could have lost no more worthy citizen.

March 23 – Hugh WARD, of Joliet, aged 80; born in Ireland and came to Wilmington in 1846 and to Joliet in 1888.

March 27 – Horace CARPENTER, at Wichita, Kan., aged 75. He was born in Pennsylvania and came to Mokena in 1850. He was prominent and influential citizen of this county until he went to Kansas in 1870.

March 27 – Boyd H. CAVENDER, of Kankakee Co., aged 70. He was an early settler and long a resident of Troy Township in this County.


April 2 – Peter ADLER, of Joliet, aged 54. He was born in New Lenox, and has spent nearly all his active life in this city.

April 4 – Mrs. Catherine HOLDERMAN, of Joliet, aged 73. She came to Joliet in 1852 where she has since resided.

April 8 – John G. STORCH, of Mokena, aged 85. Born in Germany and an honored resident of Mokena since 1852.

April 17 – Gabriel NOEL, of Jackson, aged 76. He was born in Ohio and has been an active and honored resident of this vicinity since 1847.

April 30 – One among the most highly respected of our “Old Settlers” Mrs. Olitta Wheeler GREEN, wife of D. D. GREEN, of Plainfield, aged 84. Born in Westfield, N. Y., and came with her husband to Joliet in 1836. They have resided at Plainfield since 1845.

April 30 – Mrs. Mary J. McCOMBER, of Joliet, aged 64. Born in Vermont; married in 1853 and came to Joliet in 1856. She has always been a prominent character in business, society and church, and will be greatly missed from the circle in which she has moved.

April 30 – Mrs. Chas. JACKSON, Wilmington , aged 70. She has been a resident of Wilmington since 1846.


May 1 – N. A. CARPENTER, of Frankfort, aged 78. Born in the state of New York, and came to this county in 1855, where he has since resided.

May 2 – Thomas TAIT, of Jackson township, near Joliet, aged 66. He was born in the Shetland Islands and came to Will county in 1841. Always a useful and honored citizen. His widow and eight children survive him. No one could be more respected by those who knew him or more true to his convictions of right than Thomas Tait.

May 4 – Charles RAHM, of Frankfort township, aged 61. He located here in 1847, where he resided until his death.

May 6 – Ferdinand KOPP, of Plainfield, aged 65. A native of Germany and a resident of Plainfield since 1856.

May 10 – John SCHEIDT, of Joliet, aged 67. Born in Alsace, Germany, he came to this country in 1844 and to Joliet in 1856, where his honored life has since been spent.

May 13 – Mrs. Mary CATCHPOLE, of Plainfield, aged 72. She was born in Vermont and with her parents came to Plainfield in 1834. She has been a faithful member of the Baptist church at Plainfield for 57 years.

May 14 – John C. ZARLEY, of Joliet, aged 64. He was born at Danville, Ill., where his parents had fled for safety during the Sac War. His death was caused by an accident in his quarry. His honored life has all been spent in Joliet.

May 17 – Nathan COOK, of Joliet, aged 56. Born in Pa., and resident of Will County since 1858. He was a faithful soldier in the late war.

May 19 – Mrs. S. E. HOLMES, widow of the late Jay J. HOLMES, aged 74. Born in New York State, and resident of Joliet since 1864.

May 29 – James CURTIS, at Houghton, Wash., aged 85. He came from Pa., to Joliet, in 1835. He left here for the west in 1867, and finally settled in Houghton, near Seattle, where he died.

May 20 – Mrs. Hannah Geddes SIMMONS, widow of Philander SIMMONS, long a resident of New Lenox, died at Auburn Park, aged 77, She was born at Albany, N. Y., and came to New Lenox in 1846.

May 25 – Thomas GASKIN, of Homer, aged 73. He was an old resident, but we have not been able to obtain particulars.

May 28 – Mrs. Peter MAST, of Mokena, aged 86. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, and a resident of Mokena since 1847.

May 30 – George TYRON, of Channahon, aged 93. He came from the State of New York to Channahon in 1832, where he has since resided. One of the most respected and honored among the old citizens of Will County.

May 31 – Mrs. Daniel SMALL, of Wilmington, aged 75. Born in Fabius, New York, was married to Mr. SMALL, in 1850 and came with him to Wilmington, where she has since resided.


June 3 – Mrs. Julia A. JACKSON, Joliet, aged 73. She came to Joliet from Pennsylvania with her husband, Thos. JACKSON, in 1854. She was a woman of sterling character, faithful in all life’s duties.


July 4 – Dennison D. GREEN, Plainfield, aged 89. He was born in Westfield, N. Y., and came to Joliet in or about 1836. In 1845 he removed to Plainfield, and has been one of its most active and useful citizens until laid aside by the infirmities of old age.

July 11 – Mrs. Robert THORNBERG, at Joliet, aged 77. A native of N. Y. State and a resident of the town of Jackson for a long period.

July 15 – John McCONOCHY, at Chicago, aged 57. He was a resident of Joliet from his boyhood, and a faithful soldier in the 20th Illinois Regiment in the rebellion. He was at Andersonville Prison nearly a year.

July 20 – Chas. LARRAWAY (probably: LARAWAY), at Locita, Mich., aged 70. Born at Utica, N. Y., and a resident of Joliet from 1851 to 1891 (possibly, 1894).

July 27 – I. M. CLAYES, of Joliet, aged 88, a native of New Hampshire and a resident of this County since 1832. He first (l)ocated near Lockport, but went to Frankfort in 1836, where he remained until 1873, when he came to Joliet.

July 31 – David RICHARDS, of Joliet, aged 83. Born in Herkimer county, N. Y., and came to Joliet where he has since resided, in 1837. The farm on which he located now forms the greater part of the 7th ward of the city. He married Miss LARRAWAY (LARAWAY) in 1840, who still survives him.


Aug. 5 – Mrs. Jas. DONAHOE, of Joliet, aged 66. She has been a resident of Joliet since 1854.

Aug. 6 – Wm. GREGG, of Joliet, aged 85. He came to Joliet from Canada, in the 50’s, where he has since resided.

Aug. 10 – Mrs. S. B. REED, of Joliet aged 69. She was born in Pennsylvania, and early came to Geneseo, Illinois, as the principal of its academy. In about 1854 she formed the acquaintance of Mr. REED, then an engineer engaged in the construction of the C., R. I. & P. R. R. They were married April 11, 1855, and came to Joliet in 1856. It may well be said of her:

“None knew her but to love her, Or named her but to praise.”

Aug. 11 – Laban ESTABROOKS, of Monee, aged 82. He was a native of Rhode Island, and came to Monee, where he has since resided, in 1858. His memory was a storehouse of past events, which he took great delight in exhibiting to his friends.

Aug. 11 – Mrs. P. ERB, of Joliet, aged 83. She has been an honored resident of Joliet since 1856.

Aug. 11 – Patrick MARTIN, of Rockville, aged 80. A native of Ireland and a resident of this county since 1843.

Aug. 12 – Edmund CARY, of Wilton, aged 74. Born in Ireland and came to this country in 1847. From small beginnings he had become one of the largest land owners in the county.

Aug. 14 – Mrs. Chas. LEONARD, of Joliet, aged 78. Born in Pennsylvania, and came to Joliet forty years ago, where she has since resided.

Aug. 18 – John H. ARNOLD, of Lockport, aged 90. He was a native of Vermont, and came to Lockport in 1855, where he has since resided – an active, useful and honored citizen.

Aug. 21 – Mrs. Almira HAZELTON, wife of Norman HAZELTON, of Wesley, aged 75. She was a native of the state of New York, coming to Illinois in 1852, and to Wesley township, in 1854. She has been a faithful member of the M. E. church for sixty years.

Aug. 26 – Justin TAYLOR, of Lockport, aged 54. He was born on the farm where he has resided all his life, his parents having been among the earliest settlers in the county. He served through the war in the gallant 100th regiment.

A very few more “Annual Reports” must close the record of those who were really the “early settlers of Will County.” We trust that those who follow may keep their “memories green” and prove worthy successors of the noble men and women whose virtues and worth we annually meet to commemorate.

H. N. MARSH, Necrologist.Joliet, Sept. 1st, 1896.