The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic, Feb. 2, 1922
CELEBRATES IN BIG WAY: Jan.30th, no doubt, will be remembered by Mrs. R.C.Henry, who is spending the winter here with her daughter, Mrs. Grace Kaiser. On that date, some 35 friends gathered at the Kaiser home to celebrate her 64th birthday anniversary. Most were friends with whom Mrs. Henry and her husband, the late R.C.Henry, were associated during the early history of Stronghurst. Both Mr. and Mrs. Henry were charter members of the Stronghurst U.P.Church. Mr. Henry was elected as one of the ruling elders. Of the 17 charter members of the organization formed on Jan. 16, 1888, present were Mrs. J.M.Fort; Miss Caroline V.Fort; Mrs. C.E.Fort; Mrs. Mary Thompson; Mrs. Francis Bailey and Mrs. Grace Kaiser. The two not attending were Miss Florence Fort and Miss Rose Thompson.
As this was the first time in many years that these old friends had met in a social gathering, a few hours were spent in reminiscing. Dainty refreshments were served by Mrs. Kaiser assisted by Mrs. A.F.Kaiser and Miss Erma Kaiser. The guest of honor was presented a bouquet of carnations (these probably had to be shipped in by train) and a five dollar gold piece as tokens of remembrances of the occasion. (A poem written followed the article.)
SALE PAVILION BURNS: When the sun rose last Saturday morning, there lay upon a plat of ground in the north part of Stronghurst within a circle of less than a hundred feet, 153 charred and smoking animal carcasses and a pile of ashes to mark the spot where the evening before had stood a fine livestock pavilion, which was the pride of the town filled with sleek, purebred Hereford cattle of the choicest lineage and individual quality.
These cattle constituted an offering which H. N. Vaughan and Tom Dodds of this vicinity were preparing to dispose of at public auction today, Feb. 2nd. The preparations for the sale were practically completed and a number of men were being employed in looking after the valuable bunch of animals, pending their dispersion under the hammer of Col. Reppert, the well known Hereford auctioneer.
On Friday night, Jan. 27th, Robert Vaughan and Dale Dodds, sons of the owners of the cattle, were on duty at the pavilion. The office at the east end of the structure was fitted up with cots and the boys had retired for the night. They say that about 3 o'clock in the morning they were awakened by an uproar in the pavilion and on opening the connecting door, they were met by a suffocating volume of smoke which drove them back and compelled them to vacate the room as quickly as possible. They succeeded, however, in telephoning to Central(the telephone operator) and asking that help be sent and that the fire alarm be sounded. Naturally, some time was consumed in spreading the alarm and by the time help began to arrive the pavilion was a roaring furnace with the immense circular roof ablaze over its entire surface and the flames shooting upward in a solid stream through the ventilator opening at the top. The bellowing of the smoke and flame tortured animals imprisoned within the structure had also ceased and it was evident that nothing could be done to save any of the animals or the pavilion.
The fire had gained such headway that when the firemen arrived with the hose cart and hose that no attempt was made to get water on the blaze, and in an almost incredible short space of time the building was a smoking ruin.
The scene which daylight revealed was one of the most gruesome ever witnessed by many. The position of the carcasses indicated something of the frenzy which must have possessed the animals before death overtook them. Some were piled in helps, some were in a half erect position as though they had attempted to jump over the mangers in front of them, some were lying flat on their stomachs, others on their backs some were lying isolated from the others in the center of the ring showing that they had freed themselves and dashed out into the sale arena before dropping.
What the scene must have been within the pavilion before death mercifully put an end to the suffering of the last one of the 153 head of bulls, cows, heifers and young calves, can only be imagined. So far as has been learned, no human eye saw it. The scene of the fire was visited on Saturday by hundreds of visitors The origin of the fire is as yet a mystery and probably always will be incendiarism; a spark from a passing train; a stove containing some live coals and over turned by an animal which might have gotten loose, a cigarette stub carelessly thrown in hay or bedding-these and several other theories have been advance, but the only thing which is quite certain is that on account of the tinder like nature of the structure and the fact that several loads of hay and straw were scattered about the interior and also that the ventilator opening furnished the flames with an enormous draught, there could very little time have elapsed after the starting of the fire until it was entirely beyond control.
Among the valuable animals which perished in the fire were Wizard Atlas, a five year old bull claimed to be one of the best in the state; Gay Lad Gem, a two year old bull pronounced by competent judges to be one of the best Polled Hereford bulls in the United States and a this year's International show prospect, and Anxiety Gem, a half brother of the above. Amongst the cows and heifers were Britoness; Musoda Gem 2nd; Countess Fancy; Lady Park Gem; Polled Somnia 3rd; Queen Elzabeth; Verbena's Lass and many others of the best Polled Hereford blood lines.
Insurance to the amount of $52,000 ($704,080 in today's values) taken through the Kaskaskia Insurance Co. and transferred by that company to Lloyd' was carried by Messrs Vaughan and Dodds on the cattle destroyed. We are also informed that some special insurance was carried by Mr. Vaughan on one of two of the especially valuable animals. The men, however, estimate the amount of their loss as much beyond the amount of insurance carried.
The Sale Pavilion was built by the Henderson County Hereford Association in the winter of 1917-1918. At this sale 49 head of Herefords were disposed of at an average price of $560 per head. The third annual sale of the association was held Feb. 24, 1919 when 108 head were sold at an average of $513. In December of the same year, Messrs. Painters and Vaughan conducted a dispersion sale of noted Chandler herd of Herefords realizing the sum of $83,085 for 57 head, making the remarkable average of $1,457. At this sale the noted bull, Marvel's Pride was sold to Ed Stine & Sons at the record breaking price of $14,500. On Jan. 15, 1920 the 4th annual sale of the county association was held and 55 head were sold at an average price of $595. The last Hereford sale held in the pavilion was that of Ed Stine & Sons held Oct. 20, 1920 when 43 head were disposed of at an average price of $436.
During the four years since the pavilion was built, $232,470 worth of Hereford cattle have changed ownership in its auction ring and in addition, there have been many sales of pure bred swine and other livestock held in the structure.
The building was erected in the winter of 1917-1918 at a cost of about $7,000 at a time when material and labor were both cheaper than at present. The pavilion proper was a circular structure, 95 feet in diameter and in addition to the stalls for the accommodation of livestock, had a good sized sale ring in the center surrounded by tiers of seats capable of accommodating more than a thousand spectators.
Insurance to the amount of $6,000 ($81,240 in today's values) was carried on the building in the Hartford and Home Fire Insurance companies.
Representatives of the Kaskaskia, Lloyds, Hartford and Home Companies have been here this week looking after the adjustment of loses. We do not know whether any immediate steps looking toward the erection of another pavilion are contemplated or not.
(Blanche Beardsley Galbraith who lived not far away said that for months she could not sleep as she kept hearing the frantic bellowing of the cattle and could smell the smoke. Truly, this was a catastrophic occurrence for the town which depended on agriculture for its livelihood. Another dream of growth and wealth vanished.)
HE FOILED THEM: What appears to have been an attempt to rob the State Bank of this place was frustrated last Sunday morning according to the statement of S.J. Brewer, who is employed as a private watchman in that institution. Brewer says that about 3 o clock on the morning mentioned an auto stopped in the street near the bank and four men got out. After reconnoitering awhile they came to the front door of the building and attempted to force an entrance.
Brewer was armed with a shot gun and was undecided for a time whether to warn the intruders off or to shoot through the glass door at them. He finally decided upon the former course and called out to the men that he would shoot unless they got away from the door at once. The warning Brewer says was promptly heeded and the men made a quick break for their car and beat it out of town.
Although the bank carries ample insurance to protect its funds and as also installed the latest and most effective burglar alarm system, the management has of late adopted the extra precaution of employing a private night watchman and one who stays awake on the job.
WEDDING BELLS-OSBORNE AND FOOTE: Miss Edith Foote and Mr. John Osborne, both of this vicinity, were united in marriage at the home of the bride s parents Jan. 25th at 5:30 p.m.. Rev. E. C. Lyman officiated. Only a few relatives and friends were present. After the ceremony and congratulations a splendid wedding supper was enjoyed. The bride is the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Foote. She is a graduate of our high school and was teaching school, resigning during the holidays. Mr. Osborne is a progressive young farmer.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION:Jan. 30th will, no doubt, be a day long remembered with pleasure by Mrs. R. C. Henry, who is spending the winter here with her daughter, Mrs. Grace Kaiser. Some 35 friends gathered at the Kaiser home to celebrate Mrs. Henry s 66th birthday. Most of the company were friends with whom Mrs. Henry and her husband, the late R. C. Henry, were associated during the early history of Stronghurst U. P. Church-Mr. Henry being elected as one of the ruling elders of the organization formed with 17 charter members on Jan. 16, 1888. Those present of this group were Mrs. J. M. Fort; Miss Caroline V. Fort; Mrs. C. E. Fort; Mrs. Mary Thompson; Mrs. Francis Bailey and Mrs. Grace Kaiser. Two of the 17 unable to attend are Miss Florence Fort and Miss Rose Thompson.
As this was the first time in many years that these old friends had met in a social gathering, the few hours spent in the exchange of reminiscences passed all too swiftly. Before the guests departed, the hostess served dainty refreshments assisted by Mrs. A. F. Kaiser and Miss Erma Kaiser. The guest of honor was presented with a beautiful bouquet of carnations and a five dollar gold piece as token of remembrance of the occasion. (A long poem written in Mrs. Henry s honor by Mrs. W. C. Ivins follows.)
SUCCESSFUL REVIVAL:The revival services which have been running for two weeks closed last Sunday night at the M.E. Church. At the morning service the pastor baptized 17 and received 27 into the church. Thirteen of this number were high school students.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS:Mrs. Myra Ricketts and her mother, Mrs. Emily Tubbs of Kirkwood called on Mrs. Ophelia Barnett and the C. R. Kaiser family. The next regular meeting of the Women s Christian Temperance Union will be at the home of Mrs. H. D. Lovitt on Feb. 7th at 2:30 p.m.. Dallas City voted for a community school last Saturday, 469 of the citizens voted in favor with 329 against it. As is usual in such cases, considerable bad blood was stirred up by the contest. Mrs. George Dixson witnessed the Mardi Gras dance of the Y.W.C.A. and Y.M.C.A. of Knox College of Galesburg.
Reports from California fruit growers state that the present crop of oranges and lemons has been cut short by extremely cold weather and frosts. Miss Adeline Berskshire of Terre Haute accompanied by her nephew, Thomas Cooper, has returned from a visit with relatives in California. No word as to whether Tommy stayed or returned to his home at Cranston, Wis. For the first time in a number of years all four of the churches in the village are supplied with regular pastors; and judging from the attendance at each church on the Sabbath, it would seem that a large percentage of the families of the community were represented at the services and this is as it should be.
P.W. Wallin attended the Chicago Auto Show. Mrs. Hannah Kamber of Stronghurst sold her Media residence to Mr. E. S. Mathers. Joe Ross and Glenn McElhinney are taking a short course at the Iowa State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa. Friends of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hicks will rejoice with them over the arrival of a young daughter at their home in London Mills. John Simonson returned from a week s stay in Clark County, Mo. bringing in a shipment of mules for the spring trade amongst farmers. Arthur Gustafson, who has just been released from army service, visited relatives and friends in this vicinity. He was the guest of honor at a light luncheon served to a gathering of friends at the home of Charles Lind. Miss Genevieve Adair resumed her duties as teacher in the Terre Haute school after an enforced vacation of several weeks caused by the quarantining of the Adair home. The baby in the home had a mild attack of scarlet fever, but no other cases developed. The M.E. congregation of Terre Haute, not being supplied with a pastor by the last conference, has employed Rev. Shaftner of Abingdon, Ill. to preach for them for the remainder of the year. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Rockel, who have been visiting for several months at the home of Mrs. Rockel s father, James Dobbs, Sr., left by auto for their home at Miles City, Mont. They will go by way of Brown Valley, Minn. where they will visit at the home of her bother, C. P. Dobbs and family.)
(The following is an editorial by the paper editor and gives insight into the age old argument of Henderson County resources being spent in Burlington with little return.)
"Come Over the River, Charlie" by A. H. Kershaw
Our neighboring city of Burlington is feeling the need of a new city hall; or, at least, the Greater Burlington Association thinks that such an improvement is needed. But, a new city hall will cost money and money means bonds and bonds mean taxes and taxes are unpopular and "What to do?" "What to do?"
Burlington has a preacher, a good preacher, we are told, and a reliable guide in spiritual affairs; and just to show that such a guide need not of necessity be devoid of ideas pertaining to worldly affairs, he has come forward with a plan which he has presented to the G.B.A. and which they have in turn presented to the city council, which if carried out would give the citizens of Burlington its coveted new city hall free of cost to them.
In fact, a little study of the scheme reveals the possibility of municipal improvements of almost any character of extent being secured without cost to Burlington.
The preacher took the members of the G.B.A. to one of the high mountains of the city and pointing with his finger eastward showed them all the fair and fertile land which lies beyond the great river and said, "Is this not rich and well watered and are not the inhabitants thereof prosperous and, moreover, are they not known as "suckers?" Then pointing to the great structure which spans the mighty river and over which was moving an endless stream of motor cars carrying the opulent settlers of the land of promise to the city, he continued, "Listen, and tell me what you hear?" And they said, " We hear the chick of silver." And he replied, "Yes, verily; it is the chick of the quarters and half dollars as they drop into the outstretched palm of the man at the end of the bridge. Is it not music to your ears? Do you not know that the great structure upon which you now gaze and over which comes a large part of trade which fills the coffers of our merchants, our eating house proprietors, our picture show and theatre mangers and other business men, has already been almost paid for with the silver which has dropped into the palm of the man at the end of the bridge? Cheer up! Is the bridge not good yet for lo these many years to come? And will the charms of our Crapo Park, our special 50 cent dinners, our hooch joints, our green trading stamps, our movies, our limb show, our tri-state fair and our pulpit oratory, lose any of their potency during these years? Are you the Greater Burlington Association? And have you layed down with your face to the wall because you don't know how your beloved city can get -a city hall without paying for it"
"Illinois is building hard roads to beat the band. Route No. 8 over which will soon flow the traffic from one of the richest sections of that state leads to our bridge. True, there are just now a few little stretches of rather bad going on this route, but hav'nt we asked Henderson County to fix them? Our neighboring state is spending the "people's money" without stint in carrying out its hard road program, and while the cement trust and the big contractors are getting theirs, why not get ours?"
"The people from Illinois do not object to paying an average of 25 cents per vehicle for the privilege of getting into our fair city and after they have been relieved of all their cash, with the exception of a quarter, do they not cheerfully give that up for the privilege of getting out? Have we not said they are called "suckers?"
$36,000 per annum of real money collected by the man at the end of the bridge will soon be waiting to spend and shall the poor people of Burlington be denied their city hall while this is so? Behold, they shall yet have a city hall to possess it. Let the Bridge do it."
As we stated above, the plan proposed by the preacher looked so good that the G.B.A. put it before the city council and we presume they are now wrestling with the difficulties involved in the working out of details. One of these difficulties which has been pointed out by the city attorney is that investors might not be real crazy to load up on city all bonds, which would have to be retired from funds derived from such an uncertain source as bridge tolls, but the versatile preacher again comes forward with the suggestion that the bonds, if issued, be retired with money raised by taxation and that the bridge tolls be turned into the city treasury and applied for other municipal purposes.
In deciding to ask the city council to adopt the plan of making the bridge revenues pay for a new city hall, the members of the Greater Burlington Association evidently found it convenient to forget that they had sent a representative to Oquawka last summer to protest against the raising by the board of review of the valuation of that part of the bridge which is in Henderson County, and that their plea was based on the representation that after the bridge was paid for, it would be made a free bridge or at least, the toll charge reduced to a point sufficient to provide a proper maintenance fund. In view of this representation and the benefit which would accrue to the people of Henderson County if the promise of a free bridge was fulfilled, we are told that the board of review agreed to a full valuation of $30,000 or an assessed valuation of $15,000 on a structure, two-thirds or more of which is in Henderson County and which cost to build about $170,000.
Of course, the oral promise of a free or low toll bridge made by an individual citizen of Burlington could have no binding effect, but if that city puts over the scheme of making Henderson County citizens pay a large share of the amount necessary to furnish Burlington with a new city hall in exchange for the privilege of spending their money with Burlington business men and our county board permits the present valuation of the bridge property located in this county to stand, they should be recognized as simpletons.
(Once the bridge funds went away with the new bridge, the city has had to invent new ideas to replace these funds. i.e. proposed franchise tax.)