The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic, March 22, 1923
A SMOOTH SWINDLER: A number of Stronghurst citizens would doubtless be willing to pay a small reward for reliable information concerning the present whereabouts of one "Harry Meyers," ostensibly hailing from the state of California and a recent visitor to these parts. Harry, whose real name may easily been "Tom or Dick" blew into town last Saturday a week ago. Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that he blew part of the way and rode the rest of the way with Mr. Abe Magee, who overtook the gentleman on the road from Burlington near Hopper and gave him a "lift" into town in his auto. The stranger proved to be real chummy and he and Abe were soon exchanging confidences with each other. He knew many of Abe' people and could even name the present place of residence of a brother of Mr. Magee in Oregon. He also seemed to have an extensive acquaintance amongst bankers and financiers in this section of the country.
He informed Abe that the had recently closed a deal where by he had come in possession of the Ed Stine farm south of Stronghurst and that he was looking for a good man to farm the land for him on a fifty-fifty basis. Abe soon convinced him that chance had brought him in contact with the very man he was looking for and a verbal bargain was struck between them.
The stranger was in the village all last week, taking a room at the Smith Hotel and getting most of his meals at Mrs. Mahnesmith's cafe. He spent a large share of the time in making out lists of implements, livestock, etc. which he would need in his farming operations and gave Mr. Magee carte blanche in the matter of purchasing these things in his name. His money, he explained, was still in California, but he was arranging to handle the most of his transactions through Monmouth, Ill. bankers.
The stranger spent last Friday night in the Magee home going over some of the details of the partnership deal with Abe and arranging for the latter to take him to Carman Saturday morning in time for the noon train to Burlington. When he asked for his bill at the Smith hotel, he learned that Marion was in a position where he could use a little extra money and so he made out a check for $150 on the State Bank of Stronghurst and gave it to Smith telling him that he might consider the difference between the board bill and the amount of the check as a temporary loan. He requested, however, that the check be held until Monday before presentation at the bank as the necessary funds would probably not arrive before that time.
In his hurry to be off for Burlington Saturday morning, the stranger forgot to call at the Mahnesmith Cafe to settle for the meals he had eaten. There may have been a few other unpaid accounts left in the village, but, if so, they have not come to light.
Mr. Magee and his son Erwin started to Carman in their auto with "Meyers" Saturday morning, but the car became stuck in the mud out in the Marshall neighborhood and their passenger "hoofed it" the rest of the way.
On their return home, the Magees made the startling discovery that a twenty dollar bill belonging to the son had disappeared from a pocket book which was in a room where the stranger had been left alone for a few moments Saturday morning. Investigation at Carman revealed the fact that his same twenty dollar bill had been tendered the agent there in payment for a ticket to Burlington by a stranger at about noon on Saturday and as the man apologized for having no smaller change, it is probable that the twenty dollars represented his cash capital when he shook the mud of Henderson County and the State of Illinois off his boots.
In the mean time, all deals for farm machinery, livestock, etc. have been declared off and Mr. Magee has decided that he didn't care to go into the farming business on so extensive a scale anyway.
"Meyers" is described as being an ordinary appearing man of medium height, wearing a full beard, a bald head and a rather inexpensive suit of clothes.
SCHOOL BUILDING PLANS: More than a month has elapsed since our fine high school building was destroyed by fire; and many people are beginning to inquire what plans, if any, are being made looking toward the erection of a new school building or buildings...
With the problem of temporary quarters successfully met, the two boards have turned their attention to that of providing permanent quarters for the schools in the future. We re in a position to state that satisfactory progress has been made in this direction and that a plan which is being worked out will soon be presented to the citizens living within the boundaries of the two districts...
THE PREACHER IS A POET: Rev. Van B. Sullins, pastor of the Methodist Church, is the author of a beautiful book of poems recently published by the Methodist Book Concern of Chicago. The title of the book, Echoes from Egypt and Other Poems, derives its name from Southern Illinois popularly known as Egypt where Rev. Sullins formerly lived and was a pastor for many years.
The book, which is good size and sells for one dollar, is a collection of miscellaneous poems covering a period of about 20 years and consists of religious, lyric and humorous subjects, also several sonnets and descriptive sketches of Southern Illinois.
Many of these poems have appeared in the religious periodicals of Chicago and Kansas City, also in the big dailies of St. Louis and local papers in the South. Rev. Sullins has already placed more than one hundred books and expects large sales among the ministers at the annual conferences this fall, especially throughout Southern Illinois territory.
BAD ROADS INTERFERE WITH PROFIT SHARING DAY: Weather and road conditions interfered somewhat with the success of Profit Sharing Day, which was observed by Stronghurst merchants, but they all expressed as being satisfied with the results of their efforts in calling attention to the fact that Stronghurst is a good place to come for both trading and entertainment. The volume of business transacted during the afternoon was much above the normal and the free entertainment at the Lyric in the evening drew a packed house. A program of music and reading given by local talent was well rendered and evidently highly enjoyed by the audience. Plans for another special day of the same character for April 25th are being made.
WHERE OUR TAXES GO: A good illustration of the way the taxpayers' money is dissipated was afforded last week in the circuit court proceedings at Oquawka. With but one jury trial case on the calendar, 24 jurymen were held from Monday until Wednesday and then when the case was called, objections to some of the regular jurymen made it necessary to send out for more jurymen. (Years ago, they pulled them off the street.) The case was a criminal one and the evidence presented by the prosecution proved to be so weak that the judge directed the jury to bring in a verdict of not guilty.
In this connection the fact is worth pondering that over 90% of the money paid in direct taxes by the people in Stronghurst this spring was for expenses incurred within the county; or for what might be termed local purposes.
The extravagance of our state government is often made the subject of criticism while we pay but little attention to the cost of local government and of local institutions supported by the public funds. Out of every dollar paid in direct taxes by persons living within the corporate limits of Stronghurst this year, 91 cents were for county, township and village purposes and 9 cents for state purposes. Of the 91 cents mentioned about 7 ½ cents went for purely county purposes, about 8 cents for purely township purposes, nearly 39 cents for purely village purposes, about 21 ½ cents for district school purposes, 15 cents for Community High School purposes. If these figures prove anything, they prove that the direct taxation problem is to a very large extent a local one.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Willis Lamphere, a prominent farmer of Kirkwood, had his hand so badly crushed in a corn shredder one day last week that it was found necessary to amputate the arm at the wrist. Charles Wright, one of the pioneer citizens of Hancock County, died at his son Frank Wright's home near Carthage on March 8th, aged 82 years, 8 months and 18 days. Rex McClure, one of the best known young farmers of the Cameron community, ended his own life by shooting himself in the head with a shot gun while in a fit of despondency. The ladies of the south country club enjoyed a pot luck dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Milt Lovitt. The feast was beautiful and delicious and the affair a very pleasant one. Mr. and Mrs. D. Headen arrived home safely from California where they visited relatives. They report a very pleasant sojourn in the land of fruit, flowers and sunshine. Miss Edith Finch, who spent five weeks in the Monmouth hospital where she underwent a serious operation, was able to return to Stronghurst. She is resting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Doak before going to her home southwest of town.
Mrs. Walter Pullen of Oquawka, a bride of less than five moths, passed away at her home in that village. It is reported that the Lomax Searchlight is to resume shining in the near future with former editor Frye in charge as lighthouse keeper. (He's publishing the paper). Mrs. David Rawhouser and Mr. James Gibb of Biggsville were here to see their mother, Mrs. Eleanor Gibb, who is seriously ill. Miss Phyllis Steffey, who has been employed in Monmouth, is now a stenographer for the Dallas City Lumber Co. Raymond Mathers of Media has been awarded the contract for furnishing the power to pull the road grading machinery for Warren County this year; the contract price is $3.00 per hour for time actually consumed. The ladies of the Stronghurst U. P. Church held a very successful Apron and Food sale and supper at the Farmers' Co-operative Store last Saturday afternoon and evening, the gross receipts amounted to $180 ($2, 469 in today's values-Wow! Must have been some sale and dinner!)
The whole gamut of the weather scale has certainly been run during the past week in this section of the country varying from a blizzard and sub-zero temperature on Sunday and Monday to thunder storm breeding weather on Wednesday. Spring is being ushered in today with a heavy rainfall and the promise is for colder weather to follow. March is surely running true to form.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Mrs. George Chant has been on the sick list but is now reported on the road to recovery. Mrs. Smilie Barnes arrived from Kansas City to assist in caring for her sister, Mrs. Myra Fort. Mrs. Fort is one of the latest victims of the epidemic of measles which has swept the village. While the number of cases in town is now fast diminishing, the epidemic is reported to be spreading rapidly through the country districts. Mrs. L. O. Dawson left for her old home at Pontiac, Ill. where she will attend a wedding anniversary celebration in honor of her parents. Mr. Brition Gray and family of Keytesville, Mo. have moved to the Fran Nelson farm six miles south and two miles west of Stronghurst where he will be employed during the coming year. G. Q. Fort arrived home from Nebraska where he and Robert Adair went sometime ago with a shipment of Hereford bulls. Mr. Adair remained to complete the sale of his share of the cattle.
NEWS OF THE NEIGHBORS: Sod Weiner of Bushnell tried kite flying with a copper wire recently. Every thing went lovely until the kite wire fell on an electric wire carrying 33,000 volts and them something happened. After several days Mr. Weiner is out again.
Funeral services for Mrs. Elias Beal, formerly of the Reed neighborhood, who died last Friday at her home in Oak Park, Ill. were held at the home of her son, T. G. Beal, in Monmouth last Sunday afternoon. Carthage citizens have worked out an assessment plan whereby they will raise $3,000 to oil 36 miles of roads out of that city this season, the expense to be prorated amongst the business houses on the basis of their gross sales. Eighty head of cattle out of a herd of 120 owned by L. H. Robertson of Abingdon, Ill. died recently from the effect of eating basic lead carbonate which had become mixed with their corn. The poison is supposed to have been in the bottom of a car of shelled corn shipped from Swan Creek. Frank McClure of Abingdon is said to have chartered a special train to take his friends to St. Augustine last Saturday to vote for him in the township caucus for the nomination for supervisor. He carried the election by 70 votes over his opponent, George Shiplett.
MEDIA MEANDERINGS: March 17th Mrs. Almira J. Bacon passed her 92nd birthday. Mrs. Bacon lives with her daughter, Mrs. Florence Mathers and is tenderly cared for and watched over by her. The lady is in perfect health, seemingly, attend to her own personal care, does little daily tasks about the house and will occasionally elude the watchful eye of her daughter and slip out and bring in coal, etc. She sews and reads quite a bit and is very found of company and quite often is taken by car to church. The day was spent quietly at home with several neighbors and friends calling. Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Heap brought a birthday cake and ate supper with her. Mrs. Gladys Mathers, her only grandchild, presented her with an angel food cake being the dates 1831-1923.
The young people of the U.P. Church enjoyed a St. Patrick's social in the church basement. A lunch of sandwiches, pickles, cookies and tea was served to them by Mesdames Thomas Howell and C.R. Pendavis. The ladies of the Community Club were hostesses at a farewell party at the club rooms in honor of Miss Jean Mekemson who leaves for Galesburg where she has accepted a position. A lunch of sandwiches, potato salad, pie, coffee and cocoa was served. A prettily decorated China plate was presented to her as a small token of the love and esteem held for her by her club friends. Miss Mekemson has for several years been stenographer for the E.G. Lewis Seed Co. Miss Wanetta Howell has accepted the position made vacant by her going. Pastor Smith who lives east of town has two sows which gave birth to 26 pigs Sabbath night, but on account of the severe storm of the night several of them perished. Mrs. Wm. McIntire is mourning the loss of her mother, Mrs. Shook, who passed away at her Kirkwood home one day last week. Marshall Spears and sister, Miss Lois, have moved onto the farm west of Monmouth which their father, W. A. Spears, recently purchased. Mrs. Raymond Mathers had the misfortune to cut her foot quite badly by stepping on a broken jelly glass; the wound is healing quite nicely.
BIGGSVILLE BRIEFS: Ivan Gibb came home from Monmouth where he went to take treatment for a healing in his head. (?) Mrs. Nell Kniser returned home from the Monmouth Hospital where the baby daughter underwent an operation for abscess of the hip. Mr. and Mrs. Herman Dixon and family moved from the John Dixon home in the east part of town into the property of Mrs. August Wiegand. Wendell Whiteman who is employed in the Monmouth bank attended the Tom Thumb wedding given by the grade school children. Miriam, little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Trumbell, was laid to rest, having been a sufferer of Grippe and pneumonia for server weeks. Services were held at the grandmother's here in town. John Graham left for New Virginia, Iowa, where he will help this year with the farm work with his brother Joe.
The young ladies class, taught by Mrs. Branston Kelly, entertained in the church parlor the young men's class taught by Mrs. John Rezner, spending the evening with an indoor track meet. Luncheon of sandwiches, pickles, date bars and whipped cream was served. Moving is still in progress. John Gibb and family moved into the Francis Gibb tenant house vacated by the Kniser family and Chas. Oaks and family moved into the Billy Sloan house at the southeast part of town where Mr. Oaks will farm this year. (Long article about Tom Thumb wedding with all particulars in this issue of Biggsville News.)
OLENA OBSERVATIONS: The dance in the village Saturday night was not very well attended. Miss Golda Davis spent the weekend in Fort Madison with her brother, Lee, who has about finished his business course and is expecting to go to Chicago in the near future. Bert Burrell and family have moved into a tenant house on the C. G. Richey farm where he has employment. Mervin Hicks, who had moved into the Burrell house for a short time, is now moving to one of the Carothers farms and will work there. Rumor says the Avery family of Decorra will soon become residents of Olena occupying the Booten brothers' property. Mrs. Maude Lynch has moved her household goods to the John Sterling home west of Olena where she will act as housekeeper for Mr. Sterling. Mr. Keith Hicks has established a radio in his home. Mrs. Wm. Hicks and Mrs. Ed Carlson are taking treatment of the Stronghurst chiropractor. Mrs. Harry Fox who resides on the Frank Johnson farm and who has been quite sick of pneumonia is now convalescing. The children of the family have measles. Mr. Kemp of Gladstone has been delivering mail on Route 1 in place of Mr. Porter, who is in poor health.