The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic, May 17, 1923
STORM DAMAGE: The storm which swept over this locality last Friday evening, while it brought an abundance of much needed rain, was accompanied by a wind which almost brought it within the tornado class. During the midst of the storm, the electric lights in the village were suddenly extinguished as the result of the wires being carried down somewhere by a falling tree. The intense darkness which followed together with the roar of the storm, the crash of falling trees and sound of awnings and street signs being torn from their fastenings was rather terrifying to those who chanced to be out of doors. The street entrance door to the NuVon Hotel dining room was torn from its hinges and hurled into the street by the force of the wind and the heavy glass shattered into a thousand pieces on the sidewalk. The awning over the Jones grocery store was completely demolished and a number of other awnings more or less damaged. A large cottonwood tree in the east part of town was blown down and carried the wires of the Western Ill. Utilities Co. down with it in the crash while wires of the Stronghurst Telephone Co. on Nichols St. were also carried down when a cottonwood tree on the B. L. Mudd lot toppled over on them. Tremendous effort on the part of linemen of both companies resulted in a resumption of fairly satisfactory service by noon on Saturday. Reports from various places indicate the violence of the storm was not confined to this locality.
ALL FIRED UP: As city pumper Jas. Rezner was coming down from his home in the east part of town to work, several men on the street noticed a trail of smoke following him-the volume of which indicated that it came from some other source that the pipe which he was smoking. The men shouted to Jim that a conflagration was in progress somewhere about his person and a hasty examination revealed the fact that one side of his coat was in flames. The alacrity with which Jim shed the garment would have done credit to the circus performer who divests himself of his old clothes while he rides at full speed around the ring. After the fire had been beaten out, the origin of the blaze was found to have been in one of the pockets of the coat. The fragrant incense from the "Old Style" with which Jim loads his pipe had rendered imperceptible the pungent odor of burning cloth and made him oblivious of the danger with which he was threatened.
PORTER DEAD: Wilson Graham Porter, formerly of Gladstone and a brother of Porter Bros. and Mrs. C. E. Lant of the Gladstone neighborhood, died at Selisman, Mo. on May 5th. Mr. Porter was for many years a prominent farmer and active citizen of the Tarkio, Mo. neighborhood. He recently bought a house at Selisman where he had lived but a short time preceding his death.
POLL TAX NOTICE: At the regular meeting at Stronghurst a poll tax of $2 was levied against every able bodied man in Stronghurst Township between the ages of 21 and 50. This tax must be paid to me or D. Prescott, town clerk, by first Monday in June. Costs will be added to all delinquents after the first Monday in June-C.H.Curry Supervisor
(This meant that amount of $27.44 in today's values must be paid if they wanted to vote. Nothing is said about women who gained the right to vote in 1920. At this time the farm economy was in a slump so coming up with that amount might have been a hardship.)
POSSIBLE SALE OF POWER COMPANY: The Monmouth Public Service Co. secured an option on a majority of the stock of the Western Illinois Utilities Co. with the idea of view of purchasing it. If the deal is closed, the towns and communities now served by the Western Illinois Co, including Stronghurst, will still be supplied with "juice" from the big Keokuk power plant while new territory will be sought as an outlet for the current which the Monmouth plant is able to supply. The consummation of the deal, which involves the expenditure of $150,000 on the part of the Monmouth Public Service Co. is said to depend upon the report of their engineers, who have for some time been engaged in making a survey of the assets of the Western Illinois Utilities Co.
MEDIA MEANDERINGS: The public is invited to attend a picnic given by pupils and teachers of the grade school. Bring your baskets and come. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Sullivan are the parents of a son born Sabbath night. Messrs Thomas Clover and LeRoy Pence of Lomax were buying seed corn of the E. G. Lewis Seed Co. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lant have moved their family back to their farm near Olena after spending the winter here in order that their children might attend school. Miss Mildred will remain with her sister, Mrs. Bob Sullivan, until the close of high school.
LOMAX LINGERINGS: C.E, Hainline who has been conducting a barber shop in town moved to Macomb. The Lomax fire department minstrel show was given last Thursday evening with proceeds $75. The wind storm of Friday night did considerable damage to buildings, electric wires and telephones. The Canning Co. loss was the greatest with $300 damage done.
REMINISCENCES OF FORMER DAYS from a letter written by H.G. King of Forest Grove, Ore.: "I well remember attending a Sunday school picnic at Old Bedford 65 years ago this summer. It was all timber around there then and the road wound around through the trees. During the winter of '68 and '69 I went to school to Uncle Jonnie Stine at South Prairie schoolhouse. My step-brother, Martin Perry, worked for a Mr. Thompson who lived east of Mr. Stine's and that fall he performed (at that time) the wonderful feat of husking 100 bushels of corn in a little less than 10 hours. As 50 to 60 bushels were considered a decent day's work, that was considered some husking. When he sat down to supper that night, he found a dollar bill under his plate as a premium.
After harvest that year I went to work for old Uncle John Beaver, who lived southeast of Raritan and Sciota was his nearest railroad station. It was called Clarksville then. We hauled several hundred bushels of grain to Clarksville that fall and one day we didn't get started until after dinner and when we got to town a lot of fencing lumber which we had ordered was there. We unloaded our grain and took the wagon boxes off and put 1,000 feet of lumber on each wagon, putting the wagon boxes on top and started for home. By that time it was dark and there was a large prairie which we had to cross. Out about the center of it, the roads forked, one to the northeast and the other to the northwest. Well, Mr. Beaver was in the lead and took the wrong road. After awhile I told him that I didn't believe we were on the right road, but he thought differently so we drove on until I knew that it was time we were home. We finally stopped to inquire at a house as to where we were and found that we were much farther from home than we were when we left town and were headed for Monmouth. Well, we got started on the right road and drove in home the next morning just as the sun was coming up.
Uncle John used to think that prairie out there was intended for his pasture and some one drove in a lot of cattle there and put a Texan or a Mexican to herd them. Uncle John didn't propose to allow that so he mounted his old gray mare, took his pitchfork that he used to herd cattle and put forth to drive the intruder off. Well, that fellow had a cattle whip which he knew how to use and he turned it loose on Mr. Beaver making ribbons of the back of his shirt. When Beaver came out the next morning, he had on a clean shirt.
One day when were in Clarksville I picked up a five dollar bill on the street. I went to a store where Beaver and a neighbor boy were and told them of my find. The boy went out and then the people in the store told me not to say anything more about the matter as anyone who was listening was liable to claim the money. That night Beaver gave me two twos and a one for the five dollar bill saying that the mother of the boy who was in the store would likely be over and claim that she had lost the money. Sure enough, they came and the woman said to me, "I hear that you found five dollars yesterday." I showed her the money that Beaver gave me and yes, that was what she had lost. Then I told her that it was a five dollar bill which I had found and she was speechless."
BIGGSVILLE BRIEFS: Mrs. Maggie McDougal suffered a stroke of paralysis Sabbath at the home of her niece, Miss Edith Wilson. Rev. Lee, whose home is in California but who does missionary work in Utah, visited his son Don and gave two interesting talks Sabbath morning at two of the local churches. Arthur Bergren is driving a Ford roadster he recently purchased. The tea held at the home of Mrs. J. M. Mitchner by the cemetery society was well attended in spite of the wintry day and $19 dollars were taken it. A crowd of young people went to the home of Miss Josephine Pence to surprise her on her birthday. Mrs. R. K. N. Glenn, who has been quite ill with appendicitis, is reported better. At the Junior-Senior banquet given in the U. P. Church dining room, all members were present.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Miss Thelma Steffey spent the weekend with her mother, Mrs. Mollie Steffey. Miss Jessie Frietag, a teacher in the Junior High School at Pekin, Ill., visited her cousin, Miss Grace Frietag. Mrs. Addie Cortleyou and son Dean and family drove to Burlington to see Miss Florence who is in the hospital there. They found the patient much improved and recovering nicely for the surgical operation which she recently underwent. J. A. Little of Chicago, a representative of the Anti-Saloon League, will occupy the pulpit of the local M.E. Church Sabbath morning and will also speak in the evening at a union service at the U.P. Church. He is said to be a forceful speaker. (Ah, that demon rum will be discussed!).
At their recent election the members of the Stronghurst Women's Community Club elected the following officers: Pres., Mrs. Chas. Peasley; First V-Pres., Mrs. I. F. Harter; Second V-Pres., Mrs. J. S. McMillan; Sec., Mrs. Chas. Marshall; Rec. Sec., Mrs. A. Worthington; Treas., Miss Emma Marshall; Health Chairman, Mrs. I. F. Harter; and Playground Chairman, Mrs. Geo. Widney. Mrs. Amanda Bell is reported to be somewhat improved in health. R. A. McKeown went to Chicago with a shipment of stock for the Co-operative Shippers Association. Mrs. A. A. Worthington returned from a visit with her brother, Wilbur Simonson and family at Quincy, Ill. A. F. Kaiser went down to Dallas City and brought home the Kaiser Packard car from the Burg shops where it had been refinished in an artistic manner.
Agnes Marie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Kimmitt of Gladstone born Sept. 22, 1921, passed away at her home on May 10, 1923. Burial was at Oquawka. The recent freeze did not seem to have affected the small fruit prospect. In fact, the strawberries are forming so thickly as to make the maturity of the fruit to full size a seeming impossibility. The wave length for the W.O.C. radio station at Davenport, Iowa was changed to 484 meters, that length having been assigned to this station recently by the government in the interest of better service for listeners. Nearly all the country schools in the vicinity of Stronghurst were closed for the year last week. At the Cox school southeast of town, Miss Sarah White, teacher, and the Allison school east of town presided over by Mrs. Marguerite Boyd, picnics for pupils and patrons marked the closing day.
Six Monmouth college girls with Miss Evelyn Fort as accompanist will broadcast a concert from W.O.C. station at Davenport next Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. In addition, Miss Fort will also give a piano solo. Mrs. A. R. Brooks of this place is the proud possessor of a yellow ribbon, testifying to the fact that she was awarded 3rd prize at the 15th Annual Purdue University Egg Show held April 30-May 3rd on her exhibit of Light Braham eggs. As there were several thousand exhibitors in this great show, Mrs. Brooks' pride is justifiable. The judges scored her exhibit as 91.8. Rev. John G. Thompson of Los Angeles, Calif. arrived here for a visit amongst relatives and former friends. Rev. Thompson is a nephew of Mrs. Mary Thompson and was principal of the Media Academy some 25 years ago or more. He is making a six months tour of the Eastern part of the United States and expects to attend the General Assembly of the U. P. Church in Buffalo in June. Mr. and Mrs. Glen Melvin who live on Route 3 out of Stronghurst are the parents of a young son born at the Monmouth Hospital last Tuesday morning.
During the heavy wind storm last Friday night the 75 horse barns on the east side of the race track at the Tri-County Fair Grounds at La Harpe were completely demolished. Five La Harpe egg merchants were fined $15 and costs each for failure to take out egg dealers' licenses and to enclose certificates of inspection in the cases of eggs sold.
Mrs. John Ewing took her little niece Ethel Ewing, who has been living with her for some time to Quincy, Ill where she will make her future home with her mother, Mrs. Warner. The many friends of Mrs. John Lant of Olena will be pleased to hear that she has recovered sufficiently from her recent surgical operation to be able to return home.
CARMAN CONCERNS: County Superintendent of Schools, A. L. Beall, conducted the 7th year examination to 25 pupils of Crystal Lake, Ellison Valley, Kirby, Carman, Millville, Snake Hollow and Tywappity Schools. Mrs. Minnie Wiegand, Mr. Earl Marsden, Mr. Stout, Miss Morse and Virgil Pence helped grade papers. Mr. and Mrs. Earl D. Marsden and son Max have gone to Burlington to spend the summer.
(This issue of the paper featured Chapter 5 of the novel Whiskey Runners, another example of how prohibition was sweeping the nation.)