The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The 1925 Graphic

Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross

Stronghurst Graphic: December 31, 1925

HE MEETS A TRAGIC DEATH: Douglas Wassom, one of the wealthiest and best known farmers in this section of Henderson County, was found dead on his farm adjoining Stronghurst about 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.  The body was discovered by Paul Long, son of W.J. Long who was attracted to the place by the barking of Mr. Wassom’s dog.

Arriving on the scene, Paul found Mr. Wassom lying face downward and the body frozen stiff.  The boy returned and reported and the body was brought to the Regan undertaking rooms.  Coroner Emerson arrived from Lomax about 6 o’clock and conducted in inquest.  A. F. Kaiser was made foreman and the other members of the jury were Harold and Jesse Simonson, Joseph Wilcox, John McGovern and F.G.Reynolds.  The decision of the jury was that Mr. Wassom’s death had resulted from being struck or kicked by one of the horses he was feeding in his pasture. This was indicated by a severe bruise on top of his head.  It was also decided that he had come to his death about 24 hours before the body was found. It quite probable that the faithful dog which had called attention to the tragedy had been guarding his master’s body through all the long hours after his death.

Mr. Wassom was 73 years of age and had been a resident of Henderson County all his life.  His early years were spent in the Bedford settlement about 8 miles southeast of here.  Fifteen years ago he exchanged farms with Henry Adair and became a resident of this community.  At various times he added to his possessions until at the time of his death he was the owner of 1,040 acres in a fairly compact body and adjoining the village on the north.

At the time of his death, Mr. Wassom had something like $75 in currency and silver in his pockets and this had not been disturbed. ($1,143.75 in today’s cash value).  The ordinary citizen would not have been carrying this much money).  It is believed that he was the owner of considerable other property although at this time, the extent of it is unknown.  Nevertheless, he left an estate worth in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars and was indebted to no one.  He had never married and his nearest surviving relatives were nephews and nieces among whom are John Wassom of Stronghurst and Asa Wassom of Smithshire. Funeral service will be held Thursday afternoon at the Christian Church and interment in the local cemetery.

A considerable interest is felt locally in the disposition which is to be made of the estate after passing from the hands of the owner.  The largest tract of land was composed of a half-dozen or more individual farms and in each instance when a new tract was purchased, the buildings were sold and removed from the land.  The only buildings left on the farm where Mr. Wassom himself resided and were those on the Frank Davis place occupied by his nephew, John Wassom and family.

Mr. Wassom was a man somewhat reticent in disposition and one who kept his own counsel.  Yet there was a kindness in his disposition that was well known to those who enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with him and all sincerely regret the tragic manner in which his life came to it close. 

***WEDDING BELLS***STRICKLER-HARTQUIST: Simple, yet very impressive, was the quiet home wedding solemnized at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hartquist, Dec. 30th when their daughter, Edith, was given in marriage to Mr.  Haven Strickler of Lomax.  Promptly at 12 o’clock, in the presence of immediate family, the bridal couple with Miss Evelyn Hartquist and Mr. Sam Howell as attendants, took their respective places.  Rev. E. J. Holt, paster of the Lutheran Church, using the impressive ring ceremony, spoke the words which untied their lives.   A delicious  three-course dinner was then served, the color scheme of pink and white being carried out.

The bride is the next to the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hartquist of this place.  She received her education in the local high school and the following year she graduated from Brown’s Business College in Galesburg.  She then accepted the position of stenographer for the Henderson County Farm Bureau, which she so faithfully held for a period of five years.  She resigned from that position a year ago and since then has been at home with her parents.

Mr. Strickler is the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Strickler of Lomax.  He graduated from Hedding College in Abingdon in 198 and then attended the University of Illinois for two years.  During this time, he became a member of Sigma Phi Sigma Fraternity.  At present he holds the position of cashier of the commercial Trust and Saving Bank of Lomax, having held this position of approximately three years.

Both of these young people by their charming personalities and sterling worth have made a host of friends whose well wishes go with them on their journey through life. After a few days in Chicago, they will be at home at Lomax, Ill.

***WEDDING BELLS***SIEGWORTH-THOMPSON: Mr. John Siegworth and Mrs. Anna Thompson were united in marriage at Monticello, MO. on Dec. 23rd.  The newlyweds were met at Decorra last Tuesday evening by a charivari party and conducted to their future home at Honey Creek Farm near Decorra.

FIRE AT THE MCMILLAN HOME: Quite a little excitement was caused in the village when the new fire siren broke the stillness of the night with its piercing warning of fire.  The cause of the sounding of the alarm was what might have resulted in a serious fire at the J. S. McMillan home in the southwest part of town.  Large sparks were issuing from the chimney and lighting on the shingle roof of the dwelling.  However, the roof was not set on fire and the fire department soon arrived and the big spot light of the fire truck was thrown on the roof as firemen climbed up ladders to extinguish all lurking sparks.  In spite of the cold weather, a large crowd was soon gathered at the scene.  As no damage was done, the village may be congratulated on the effectiveness of the new equipment and organization along this line.

35th ANNIVERSARY OF LUTHERAN CONGREGATION: In two days of festive programs, the Lutheran congregation last Sunday and Monday celebrated the 35th anniversary of its organization.  The Rev. Peter Peterson, present of the Illinois conference and residing in Chicago, spoke very impressively both morning and afternoon on Sunday and the Rev. A. T. Larimer of Monmouth conducted Bible study period on Monday afternoon and also delivered an excellent address at the Confirm and Reunion on Monday evening.  Besides his address at this occasion, there were splendid talks by representatives from the classes that have been confirmed.  Much oratorical, poetical and prophetical talent revealed itself to the delight of all… (Read the entire article on microfilm at the Henderson County Library, Biggsville.)

BIGGEST BUSINESS IN TOWN: If the “inquiring Reporter” should walk the streets of Stronghurst asking “What is the largest business in the town?” he would no doubt receive a variety of replies, but it is doubtful if anyone would think of the shipping association.  Nevertheless, the report of manager Frank Johnson to the annual meeting of the Stronghurst Shipping Association held last Tuesday showed the livestock to the amount of $314, 313.64 has been handled during the past year would seem to entitle the organization to consideration for first place… (Net Market Values: Hogs-$252.136.03; cattle-$34,555.16)…(What would be the biggest today?  The elevator? The nursing home+assisted living? The school?)

In election which followed, C. E. Combines was elected director for three years to succeed himself.  Other members of the board are Frank Lant, Leslie Lovitt, Otto Steffey and Ed Links… At a directors meeting held at the close of the annual meeting, Frank Lant was chosen as president and Clarence Combites as secretary, and Frank Johnson was retained as manager.

LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: At the W. V. Curtis sale, the building and Lot 9, block 15 on Broadway was sold to J. W. Stine.  Earl Davison purchased a truck and N. F. Billups a touring car. Mrs. Ernest Shult of Powell, Wyo. arrived here to visit her parents, Mr. and Mrs. I. H. Brokaw.  John Johnson has been engaged to replace Mr. Jesse Denum as night watchman while the latter is away at Colony, Mo.  Joe Woodward and Ernest Putney are busy getting in their winter supply of wood from the Bruen timber south of town.  Mrs. Lois T Aulsen of Chicago visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Lovitt, over the holidays.  Warren Dowell and family of near Carman are under the doctor’s care with LaGrippe.  Clifton Regan, Jr. has accepted a position as bookkeeper in the First National Bank of this village. Editor Kershaw is confined to his home by illness and has been unable to be in his place of business since Friday. Herbert Annegers, who is employed as a teacher and coach a Downs, Ill. is visiting relatives.  Malcolm McCullom of Carthage is visiting at the home of his sister, Mrs. Foster Lazear.  Phil Chant who has a position with the Corn Products Plant at Argo, Ill. spent Christmas with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. T. Chant.  Dale Rankin, who has a clerical position with the Illinois Bell Telephone Co. with headquarters at Paxton, Ill. was an over Christmas visitor with home folks.  Nearly all of the transcontinental trains on the Santa Fe passing through Stronghurst have been running in two or three sections during the past week to accommodate holiday travelers.


***WEDDING BELLS***LEFLER-DOWEL-Julius Lefler and Winifred Dowell were united in marriage at the bride’s home on Christmas Day.  Rev. W.H.Cross of the Media United Church officiated.  On the following Sunday the newlyweds went on a honeymoon to Wichita, Kansas.

BROUSE-COLLINS: Harold Brouse of Biggsville and Gladys Collins of Media were united in marriage at 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 30th by Rev. W.H.Cross at the church parsonage.  It was a single ring ceremony and congratulations are to be bestowed upon the young couple.

MEDIA NEWS: John Gilbert McVey, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs.  Vern McVey, born Nov. 12, 1925 was found dead in his crib Thursday morning, Dec. 24th by his mother.  The child was apparently in a healthy condition and his death was a severe shock to the parents, John Gilbert being the only child.  A short funeral service was held Friday morning at the McVey home and the burial took place in the Kirkwood Cemetery.  The new Weaver Lakes are being made good use of since the hard freeze.  A number of skating parties have been held in the past week.  Both young and old have become enthusiastic over the sport.  Bids are being made on the pond by men who are interested in putting up ice. (Ice boxes were the norm as refrigerators were expensive.)