The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.1918
Stronghurst Graphic, May 2, 1918
MYSTERY SURROUNDS DEATH: The dead body of Tulin Nelson was found in a well located a few yards from the door of the shack he inhabited on his farm two miles east and a mile north of Stronghurst. There is little doubt that the body had been there for 24 hours or more and that death had occurred from other causes than drowning. Considerable mystery surrounds the event and on account of the absence of witnesses whose testimony might throw light on the case, there seems but little likelihood that it will ever be cleared up. The victim of the tragedy lived the life of a recluse, which accounts for the fact of the body not being found until many hours after death.
The circumstances leading up to the discovery of the body are as follows: On Saturday, April 27th about noon Aaron Johnson, who lives a quarter of a mile north of the Nelson place, went there on an errand. He did not find Nelson at the house and went to the stable which stands some distance north of the house. There he found a team of horses standing harnessed in the stalls, but no one about the stable. Thinking that Mr. Nelson had been called away, he returned to his own home. The next day shortly afternoon he again went to the Nelson place and not finding the latter at the house, went to the stable and found the team still harnessed in the stalls and giving evidence of having had no attention since his previous visit. Johnson's suspicions were at once aroused that some sort of a tragedy had taken place, and he went at once to the Chas. Pogue place about three fourths of a mile distant and told him of his suspicions.
Pogue returned with Johnson to the Nelson place and two began a search for some clue leading to the man's disappearance. The partially uncovered well situated a few yards south of the house furnished such a clue. This well had no pump in it and had been covered over with some loose plank. On peering down into its depths, the two men discovered Nelson' hat lying on shelf at the point where the size of the well had been reduced to the diameter of the tile which had been used for casing the last 10 feet. Fashioning a grappling hook for the rods of an old pump which was at hand they soon discovered by its use that there was a body beneath the surface of the water. They then went to Media and telephoned Coroner Kaufmann and were instructed by him to get assistance and have the body removed. The aid of C.G.Richey, Wm. Kane, Glenn McElihinney and Dave Gilliland was enlisted and the six men using grappling hooks made from iron rods succeeded in lifting the body from the well. The body had evidently been standing in an upright position beneath the water with the hands upraised.
Coroner Kaufmann came down from Oquawka during the night and after viewing the remains ordered the body removed to the Hunter & Regan undertaking rooms in Stronghurst.
An autopsy was conducted the next morning by Drs. Kaufman and Wells. No outward signs of injury to the body excepting a slight abrasion of skin on the forehead, a slight bruise on each knees and a flesh bruise at the juncture of the bones of the throat were found. The chest cavity was opened and the lungs examined. They were found to be free from water and gave evidence that respiration had ceased before the body entered the water. A coroner's jury was empaneled consisting of C.G.Richey, Roy Park, John Voorhees, Wm. Kane, R.W.Upton and Tony Stenzel withthe inquest held that same morning. The only witnesses examined were Aaron Johnson, Chas. Pogue and Dr. Wells.
The first two mentioned testified to the facts of finding the body and the latter to the results of the autopsy. Dr. Wells stated that in his opinion death occurred before the body entered the water, but he could give no theory regarding the cause of death. He had found no injuries of any kind sufficient in his estimation to produce fatal results.
Mr. Johnson testified that he had given the deceased a check for $10.00 about a week previous for some posts he had purchased from him but was unable to state whether Nelson carried a purse or not. He was also unable to say as to whether Nelson ever carried a watch.
Mr. Pogue testified that he had talked with the deceased about two weeks previous and that he appeared to be greatly wrought up over the war and expressed the fear that the currency of the country would become greatly depreciated as a result of the same. He also said that he was thinking of changing his money into gold and intimated that he might leave the country if conditions continued to grow worse. Mr. Pogue stated also that he had mentioned the matter of the purchase of Liberty bonds to Mr. Nelson and that the latter had intimated that he would not purchase any. It has been learned, however, that he later subscribed for $500 worth of bonds and that he was expecting to pay for them in cash.
No one has been found who is able to state whether or not Mr. Nelson ever kept much money about his home or on his person. No purse, money nor watch was found on the body.
The finding of the coroner's jury was as follows: "We the undersigned jury, sworn to inquire of the death of Tulin Nelson, on oath, do find that he came to death by causes unknown to this jury."
Mr. Nelson was born in Sweden in 1845 and was in his 73rd year at the time of his death. He came to this country in 1869 and lived for a while at Burlington, Iowa, working at various occupations. About 45 years ago he came to Henderson County and after spending several years working on various farms, bought the 80 acres in the northeast corner of Section 20, Media Township. He never married and lived alone in the little cabin on this farm up to the time of his death. He was a man of many eccentricities who mingled but little with his fellow men and took but little active part in public affairs. He was, however, a man of good intelligence and possessed a shrewdness that enabled him to accumulate considerable property.
He is survived by one brother, Nels Nelson of Sherrard, Ill. and two nephews, August Nelson of Danville, Iowa and Elmer Nelson of Griffin, Ill. Those relatives attended the funeral which was held at the Stronghurst M.E.Church with interment in the village cemetery.
LATER-It was learned that Mr. Nelson's purse containing quite a sum of money and his watch, were found in the house. This would disprove the theory of a crime having been committed with robbery as its motive.
THESPIANS PAY FOR GATE: The closing event in a series of entertainments given for the purpose of raising money with which to pay for the splendid and massive gate and fence at the entrance to the Stronghurst Cemetery was given at the Lyric Theatre Friday and Saturday evenings.
The play entitled "In Plum Valley" was present to a full house each evening. The comedy drama had so many amusing incidents which the author never contemplated that he would certainly have been obliged to grin on more than one occasion.(Actors and actresses must have really hammed it up.) W.C.Ivins appeared as Jared Wilkins, the New Hampshire farmer, and was inclined more in spirit and manner to "bringin in the cider" rather than being austere and raspy and pious.
Mrs. Schierbaum was "Aunt Lucinda," his better half, and was one of those cheery women who give to the home a charm that makes it the center of the universe. Miss Ethel Hartquist was very clever as Miss Hazel, daughter of the farmer and his wife, who eventually got by all the pitfalls and was courted and won by Dr. Arthur Markham, a part well taken by Hollis Links. Lyman Ross was "Hugh Elkins," a man whose conscience had become petrified at an early day and whose desire was to win Hazel, and when the fates were against him, he turned a heavy barrage on all of his opponents. He eventually got tangled in barbed wire and fell victim to his own perfidy. O.J.Sanderson was "Bill Stanter," a man who was peculiarly affected by the high altitude causing him to be unsteady on his legs and painting a geranium on his nose. He reformed and soon got so the rarified atmosphere didn't affect him.
Clarence Hartquist was "Charlie Scott," a Plum Valley rustic and lived up to his reputation as a comedian. Ralph Butler played the wiry constable who put the bracelets on Hugh Elkins and made life safer in Plum Valley. Mrs. Gladys Brown was "Sallie Brown" who was courted and won by Charlie Scott. Deceit, intrigue and social camouflage aroused the curiosity of the crowd.
During the intermission Robert N. Clarke gave a four minute speech on the war and liberty bonds. On both evenings brief talks were made on behalf of the town expressing the appreciation for the entertainments which paid for the entrance.
JUDGED INSANE: Fred Wilson, who went to Canada this spring with Ben Matzka, to work for the latter on his ranch, returned to Stronghurst giving evidence of being mentally unbalanced. He was unable to give any account of his journey from Canada to Stronghurst or the circumstances under which he left the Dominion. He was without baggage of any kind and seemed dazed and confused.
As he continued to act queerly , it was thought best to present his case to the county authorities. This was done and he was taken to Oquawka where a commission consisting of Drs. Lauver and Eads, appointed by County Judge Robinson, pronounced him insane and he was ordered taken to the Watertown hospital. Dr. Lauver accompanied him to that institution.
***OBITUARY***A.E.PEASLEY: Word was received of the death by apoplexy on April 29th of A.E.Peasley at his home in Fort Collins, Colo. The remains were expected to arrived in Carman and arrangement made for a funeral service conducted at the home of Mr. Peasley's daughter, Mrs. Harry Ross, 3 1Ú2 miles west of Stronghurst. Interment will be in the Terre Haute Cemetery.
SCHOOL DEMONSTRATION: After two postponements on account of unfavorable weather, the patriotic demonstration by the pupils of the Stronghurst Public Schools was held last Tuesday afternoon. Although the day was cold and windy and despite the fact that there had been little chance to advertise the date, a large crowd was assembled on the streets when the hour of the parade arrived. Various organization of a military and civic nature connected with the work of waging war with Germany were represented in the parade: the Boy Scouts represented the regulars, an ambulance corps, Red Cross nurses, farmers with the tools and implements of calling, a group of girl gardeners dressed in overalls, and many other features. Several handsome floats and nicely decorated autos, a tractor engine to illustrate the present day system of farming were a part of the procession. Banners in great abundance were carried by the marching throng and the duty of buying Liberty Bonds was impressed upon the spectators by the inscriptions on the banners.
A float which attracted much attention was a large automobile appropriately decorated with the national colors guided by "Uncle Sam" and carrying two young ladies representing "Liberty" and "Democracy" holding between them a large American flag.
The parade formed at the school at 2 pm and the line of march was north on Elizabeth St. to Main, east on Main to Broadway, south on Broadway to Court, east on Court to Mary, north on Mary to Nichols, east on Nichols to Commercial, south on Commercial to Court and west on Court to the place of beginning...Following the parade a program of patriotic drills, recitations and songs with a short address by Chairman Ivins of the Liberty Loan committee was given in the school building.
1893 GRAPHIC: Six men were burned to death in a tenement house fire in Burlington on April 29th. The issue suggested that a telephone connection between various towns of the county would prove practical. Bert Silsbee secured a position as guard at Jackson Park, Chicago at a salary of $60 per month. Dr. J.M.Duncan of Baxter Springs, Kan. took up residence. The Goff brothers sold their business to Joseph Atwater and prepared to move to Monmouth. Frank E. Painter and Miss Clarissa Apt of Decorra were married on April 26th. Ott Sanderson of Biggsville had the leaders at the back of one hand severed with a knife while engaged in a friendly bout with Frank Hinds. Lon Lant, James P. Milliken and C.E.Lant has captured eight young wolves on their respective farms. T.J.Parsons was the only representative from Stronghurst at the opening of the
World's Fair in Chicago on May 1st. (A current best seller, The Devil and the White City, tells the story of this fair. It is the selection for February the Turning Pages Book Club.)
HENDERSON COUNTY HAPPENINGS: OQUAWKA-Mr. Bliss went to a Peoria hospital for treatment. Thirteen young men from Henderson County left on a special train for Camp Dodge. A crowd was at the station to sent them off with cheers and smiles. Tom Putney was the only man from Oquawka. Word was received of the death of Mrs. John Lukens of Monmouth, a former resident. Master George Werts has the measles. Mrs. Bessie Boyd had her tonsils removed at Monmouth Hospital.
OLENA-Mrs. M.J.Green of Stronghurst and Mrs. James McDermit of Oakland, Iowa, were guests at the John Lant home. Some few weeks ago some of the ladies got wise to the fact that Mrs. P.J. Johnson was likely to have a birthday and so a number with well filled baskets swooped down on this esteemable lady and gave her the surprise of her life. Plates were laid for 20 and a bountiful repast served. Mr. Frank Rickels of the village arrived at his home in a dazed condition , his faithful old horse bringing him safely home in the dark. Help was called, also a physician, who thought it would be best to take him to Oquawka to try his mentality. Rumor says he was recently quite badly hurt in trying to defend the honor of his home. If this proves true, it will in all probability be rather tough on the other fellow. Arthur McKeown and Albert Hult were elected as school directors. The weather continues very cold and disagreeable and what vegetation seems at a standstill. Not uncommon to see farmers working in their overcoats.
Wm. Moyers, who recently went to a training camp near Mobile, Ala., returned to Olena with an honorable discharge when he could not pass the physical. Harry Brown reported to Oquawka but the quota for Camp Dodge was filled so he returned home. Harold Watson and wife are trying camp life in a tent somewhere south of Olena. Edward Booten is quite poorly at his home suffering with tubercular trouble.
GLADSTONE-Mrs. Nora Marshall returned from Nebraska stopping to see her mother, Mrs. Nan Graham, before going to her home in St.Louis. A district Sabbath School convention will be held in town next Sabbath afternoon and evening at the M.E.church. Lou Lox from Camp Dodge is on his way to France; all hope for his safe journey. Prof. Blackstone, principal of the high school went at the call of Uncle Sam. He and John Knudstrum and Charles Roades went to Camp Dodge for training. Going from Carman were Willie Dannenburg and Red Gildersleve.
CARMAN-Chief Gunner Waite of the British Navy gave a talk on the war to a full house. While here he was entertained by William Pendry. Mrs. Walter Howell and Miss Fern Dowell were initiated in the Rebekah Lodge; cake and ice cream were served. Mr. Abe Magee is going on crutches as he had the misfortune while breaking iron to have a piece fly back and hit him on the leg causing intense pain ever since. The Red Cross will meet every Thursday afternoon at the I.O.O.F. hall for cutting and sewing.
LOMAX-Guy Shanks and Ruth Worrell were married in Burlington; they will make their home in Canton. The Smith-Harrison Co. played four nights at the opera house; proceeds were divided evenly with the local Red Cross. Allen B. Crane, one of the ideal young men holding a commission was home from training camp. A goodly number of men from town attended the flag dedication of the Terre Haute community and also heard Gunner Waite's address to men only. L.Dunham of LaHarpe is painting and repairing the H.F.Pence home
***OBITUARY***MISS MARY GALBREATH: Miss Mary Elizabeth Galbreath passed away after three weeks of illness. She was born in Iowa Feb.13, 1841, being 77 years, 2 months and 16 days. For many years she lived with her sister, Mrs. J.N. Reynolds. She was a gentle old lady, highly esteemed and respected. Funeral services were in the M.E.Church. She was a member of the Disciples Church of Christ for many years.
ELECTRIC SERVICE: While the local plant has given good service during the few hours of each evening it furnished current, a growing demand for power which will be continuous and furnish power and heat as well as light is apparent. To obtain electrical energy from other sources a number of people will have to further the cause. At a citizens meeting held in February, a committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions for stock in a company for the purpose of obtaining electricity from Keokuk by way of Burlington, Iowa. This committee was successful in raising the amount estimated as being necessary, $23,000.
At a meeting last Thursday temporary officers of the organization were elected and various committees appointed. Arrangements were made to incorporate under the laws of the state. The current owner of the local plant indicated that he could arrange financing of a project and would give the service demanded. He has until May 6th to make such arrangements.
WRECK ON THE BOTTOMS: A number of young people had an unpleasant experience in an automobile wreck down on the river bottoms. Lloyd Chant, Miss Alice Wax, Phillip and Maxine Mains and Carl Schierbaum drove to Burlington in the afternoon where Carl took the train for North Dakota where he will spend the summer at his uncle's home. The other were returning about 5 o'clock and as they made a quick turn to avoid a gate that had been opened out into the road at the Park farm, the wheels on one side of the auto dropped into a rut and the auto turned completely over demolishing the windshield and otherwise damaging the car. Phillip Mains faired worse than the others as both bones in his right arm were broken about three inches above the wrist. Dr. Bond was summoned by telephone and went down and set the arm and brought Philip back to town. News of the accident had been carefully guarded by the youngsters and no one here knew about it until they returned. The car was tipped back on the wheels and the other members of the party came back to town in it. All were more or less bruised but none seriously hurt.
LOCAL AND AREA HAPPENINGS: The Christian Science Society of Biggsville shipped a box of 78 pieces to people in Belgium. P.H.Wiegand of Biggsville has purchased the elevator at Gladstone from Mr. Ogle, who is to enter the army. The Rev. J.U.Brush, pastor of the U.P. Church at Alexis has resigned and will go to Traer, Iowa. Mrs. Brush is a daughter of the late J.W.Brook and spent her childhood near Stronghurst.
Chicken pox is prevalent in the village. J.F. McMullen, the hustling special deputy for the M.W.A. order has so far succeeded in rounding up 80 applications for membership in this community. Ira Adams was on the Chicago market with three cars of 1248 pound cattle that sold for $1650. He also had two cars of hogs.April made its exit after making a record for cold, raw disagreeable weather.
Only half a dozen days in that month the sun shown for more than a few hours. May was ushered in with a blighting frost which nipped the flower and fruit buds. Mrs. Ernest Staley is gradually recovering from a surgical operation which she underwent at her home last Thursday afternoon. W.C.Ivins was attacked with a fainting spell in A.E.Jones' store and has been considerable indisposed since. As county chairman of the 3rd Liberty Loan campaign, he has been under a more or less intense nervous strain. The Red Cross auction held in Raritan was very successful netting the cause something like $1100. Chester Brokaw loaned them his bantam rooster for the occasion and his repeated sales added $116 to the receipts for the day.
The King's daughters circle of the Maple Grove neighborhood were hostesses at a patriotic community party given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.E.Peasley. Mr. and Mrs. J. Howard Miner were the guests of honor and Rev. Jaggers, the speaker of the evening. Mr. Miner was presented with a box of foolish questions in regard to farming which he answered very cleverly. After a solo by Miss Sarah McElhinney a buffet luncheon was served. The house was decorated with the National colors and large bouquets of wild flowers. A shipment of 30 Horned Hereford yearling bulls and 10 heifers to Mr. Taylor of LaPlata, Mo. was made by the Painter brothers and Wm. Moore; they were to be sent to Mississippi. On the same day a shipment of 10 Hereford cows and 5 calves was made to Lockridge, Ia. by H.N. Vaughn, H.A.Adair, Tom Dodds and Tate Johnson. Nine divorce cases are on the docket for the May term of the Warren County Circuit Court.
***OBITUARY***MRS. C.M.HEWITT: Mrs. Hewitt died at her home in Pontoosuc Township, Hancock County at the age of 79 years, three months and eleven days. She was the former Miss Ettna Crenshaw and was born at the old Crenshaw homestead near Old Bedford, Henderson County, one of eleven children. Of these two sister and two brothers survive: Mrs. E.E.Wise of Coronado, Calif.; Mrs. Mary Duncan of Kansas City, Mo.; Isaac Crenshaw of Parsons, Kan.; and Frank Crenshaw of Stronghurst. She married John T. Duncan in 1861 and to this union seven children were born. Those who survive are Mrs. Dora Kirkpatrick of Choctaw, Okla.; Mrs. Addie Van Arsdale of Blandinsville, Ill.; Lawrence Duncan of Clearwater, Kan; Mrs. Vera E. Koll of Dallas City, Ill.; and Royse T. Duncan of Blandinsville, Ill. Two children died in infancy and Mr. Duncan passed away in 1882. The deceased married a second time to Cyrus M. Hewitt and to this union one daughter, Mrs. Lola R. Doty of Pontoosuc, Ill. survives. Funeral services were conducted at the residence.
Mrs. Homer Palmer is the possessor of a new piano. Zack Hathaway and family moved to a farm near Reed. A number of people have laid in a supply of coal for next winter's use. (Last winter there was a shortage.) A farewell reception was given at Meloan's hall in honor of the boys who are soon to be called to service. A short program was given consisting of speeches and music.
RELIEF FOR FRENCH ORPHANS: Recently a club was formed by twenty ladies of the Media community for the purpose of adopting a French orphan. Between three and four thousand needy orphans in France rely on the French Government's twenty-five cent a day to those under 16 years, but with war prices for food and clothing this sum is pitifully insufficient. Therefore, the American branch of the Fatherless Children in France has been formed through which anyone or group may adopt an orphan for one year by the payment of $36.50. In a club of twenty members this amount to only one half cent a day for each member.
A second club of twenty in being formed in Media and anyone wishing to become a member by handing in their name before that amount is reached. Contact Mrs. Yarnelle, The War Orphan secretary, who will give further information. Club One consists of Kathryn LaVelle; Mesdames J.E. Campbell; Anna Pendarvis, Etta Thompson; Chas. Gibson; Laura Beal; Dora Strong; Pearle Yarnelle; N.J.Gram; Prudence Winders; Dan Campbell; Dave Gilliland; Carrie Park; Mabel Kane; Florence Mathers; Clara Leinbach; W.P.Terry; A.L.Beall; Jessie Richey and E.E. South. So far Club No.2 consists of Mesdames Alma Pendarvis, James Callow Fred Ross, and Katherine Malmn.