The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Around 150 neighbors, relatives, and friends gathered on the farmhome lawn of Gary and Cheryl Blythe's for a celebration of the family farm. The farm address is rural route 1, Dallas City but is actually situated just a little east of Disco.
Saturday, August 30th, marked the exact date 150 years ago that Gary's ancestors (Henry Blythe) bought the farm and they felt it would be nice to celebrate with an open house picnic dinner. It was fortunate for the Blythes that it was one of the more beautiful days in August, without any rain in site.
Several relatives of the Blythes came to enjoy the day. One in particular was Opal (Blythe) Peyron of Richardson, Texas, who is Gary's aunt and was raised there on the farm with Gary's dad Lowell, and Lloyd who was killed in France during World War II.
Walking around the farm brought back memories of events from as far back as the Civil War. Gary pointed out that his grandfather's harness for his team of horses was still hanging on the barn wall where he left it, given a proper dusting by Gary. The oat seeder wagon was clean as though it was ready for use and stood outside the barn with a patriotic flag draping over its side.
Gary recalled riding in the back of the wagon when his grandfather would pull the wagon with the horses and the oats were spun out across the field.
The barn was sparkling from its recent painting and wash job and the family had bits of the family history on the walls for easy reading. A registry was there for guests to sign and a basket of smooth rocks with Peace, Love, Dream, Hope, or some other positive saying was given out for attendees to keep and remember the day.
A book with the detailed history of the Blythes had been prepared by family and friends. Jayne Eckhardt was instrumental in finding history and putting it together in the book which included newspaper clippings.
A meal was catered by R&D Foods and fresh baked pies and ice cream was served.
Many lingered on past the 4:00 p.m. designated time of departure as they enjoyed the afternoon on the farm.
Blythe Family History
John Phillip Blythe met his future wife in the Royal household in London, England.
Elizabeth King Blythe worked in the household of London Royalty as an attendant to young and future Queen Victoria. The couple lived in London and had seven children.
June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria at the age of 18, came to the throne after the death of her uncle, William IV and reigned for over 60 years, longer than any other British monarch.
In 1838, John Phillip Blythe came to America, and one year later, sent for Elizabeth and their children. They boarded the ship with a wooden chest made by John Phillip. It took 29 days to make the harrowing and difficult journey.
The family met John Phillip Blythe in Ohio, settling in the log cabin he had built for them. They were there during the 1850 U.S. Census, then John Phillips returned to England.
John and Elizabeth's son, Henry Blythe, and remaining family traveled to La Harpe, Illinois after son George followed his employer to La Harpe.
On August 30, 1864, Henry Blythe bought the first 80 acres of the Blythe farm where the Blythe home is situated from William Byers and his heirs.
In later years 110 acres were added to the Henry Blythe farm.
Henry farmed until his retirement when the land came under the management and operation of Henry and Emaline's son Marion Blythe until 1927.
At this junction Clarence Blythe (Henry's grandson/Robert's son) rented the farm from his Grandmother Emaline' for 13 years.
Then in 1940, Clarence purchased it from family heirs.
Clarence Blythe retired in 1961 and rented the land to his son Lowell Blythe and wife Marcia.
Following Clarence's death, the land was transferred to Clarence's daughter Opal Blythe Peyron and Lowell Blythe heirs in 1974.
In 1977, Gary Blythe purchased the Opal Blythe Peyron's half of the current 190 acre farm.
Gary and Cheryl Blythe were married in 1979 and assumed ownership of the remaining acres in 2005.
Gary Blythe stands in front of the barn his ancestors built 150 years ago with his wife Cheryl, and 4 daughters and spouses From left is Mark and Tanya Mutton of Shorewood; Cheryl and Kelly and Greg Teats of Normal, and Gretchen Blythe of Willowbrook. Other items from the past are tastefully displayed around the farm for guests of their open house to see Saturday.