The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The 1926 Graphic

Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross

Stronghurst Graphic: January 14, 1926

COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ORGANIZED:  Despite a disagreeable snowstorm and almost impassible roads, citizens from all parts of Henderson County gathered at the new gymnasium in Biggsville last Friday evening to attend the banquet where a permanent organization was perfected.  Between three and four hundred people gathered at the five long tables to enjoy the feast prepared by the ladies of the Biggsville Presbyterian Church.  A color scheme of pink, white and green was carried out.

After the guests had been seated, Mr. R. E. Brooking, who presided and acted as toastmaster, called on Rev. F. M. Caughey, pastor of the Biggsville U.P. Church, who offered the invocation. Music for the occasion was furnished by the Stronghurst High School Orchestra under the direction of L. O. Dawson, superintendent of the local schools.  The orchestra was highly praised for their excellent music. The Better Stronghurst League paid the expenses for the orchestra and also furnished the conveyance for those not having ways to go.  Stronghurst is proud of the musicians that are developing in her schools and in view of their inexperience, the orchestra did well.  Much of the enthusiasm of the affair was due to the community singing led between courses by Farm Adviser E. D. Walker.

The first speaker of the evening introduced by the toastmaster was H. R. Tazewell of Ft. Madison, Santa Fe Division Freight Agent, who made his remarks very brief and assured them the cooperation of their railroad.  He could not stay for the program on account of having to catch a bus for home.  The Biggsville quartette came next and was composed of the following members:  Messrs.  Walter Cochran, William Stevenson, Jr., Charles Graham and Thomas Glenn.  Their number was greatly enjoyed. Mr. Brooking made a few serious remarks regarding Henderson County and as he introduced the different speakers, kept the crowd in good humor by telling stories of a comical nature in spite of the length of the program.

County Judge J. W. Gordon was next and opened by saying that the large attendance, notwithstanding the roads and weather, showed that the spirit of the pioneers who settled the district was still evidence and that the present generation should be able to cause the community to progress in the future as it did in the past.  He said Henderson County’s population was almost 100% Nordics, the class who’s honest, thrift and industry had made America great.  He declared that Henderson County was the garden spot of the country and stood third in per capita wealth for the state. He closed his remarks by saying the purpose of the meeting was to organize a community spirit to include the county, and after urging cooperation as the only means of progress, he issued three precautions:  first, select good officers; second, do not mix with politics; and third, have an objective and work toward it.

Paul G. Erickson of Media, who has been acting secretary of the preliminary organization and who was in charge of Henderson County exhibit in Chicago recently, gave a report of the financial situation of the organization.  Mr. W. L. Ware, a representative of the Illinois chapter of Commerce was next and gave his ideas concerning the purpose and benefits of a Chamber of Commerce…  C. W. Bond, secretary of the Greater Burlington Association then offered Burlington’s congratulations and stated that if his city could be of any help, he could assure that no stone would be left unturned to supply that aid and told of the success of a similar association oat his old home in Hennepin County, Mass. where the plan had worked successful for 13 years.

Mr. E. G. Lewis then proceeded with his address and said the three primary needs of Henderson County were good roads, adjustments of land problems and the encouraging of new industry to locate here.  He suggested road oiling and graveling plan which called for the issuing of $25,000 in bonds and pointed out that figures showed the cost of poor roads to every car was $66 a year and with approximately 2,500 cars and trucks in the county, direct saving from good roads ran into many thousands of dollars…

Following this talk, the business of organization was affected electing the following officers: President-E. G. Lewis of Media; 1st Vice President-R. E. Brooking of Oquawka; 2nd Vice President-C. W. Cooper of Bald Bluff; Secretary-Paul G. Erickson of Media; Treasurer-D. Prescott of Stronghurst and Assistant Treasurer-Haven Strickler, Lomax.  Dues were set at $5.00 per year and steps would be taken immediately to increase the membership and get the organization functioning.

FIRE FIRE FIRE IN BIGGSVILLE:  Fire of an unknown origin started about 12:15 Sunday morning and destroyed a section of Biggsville’s business district-the McCormick Grocery, Dixon’s Restaurant and Woolsey’s Grocery.  Mr. Wooley’s loss is estimated about $20,000.  He carried some insurance but not enough to cover the loss.  The McCormick Grocery building loss was close to $6,000 and some insurance was carried. The Dixon Restaurant was a total loss estimated at about $7,000.  The office of the Henderson County Public Service, which was in the McCormick building, suffered a loss of about $1,000.  Nothing was saved from the McCormick building and very little from the restaurant while there were quite a few articles saved from the Woolsey Grocery. 

The fire was discovered by L. Dixon who lived above his restaurant.  It soon became evident that flames could not be checked by the volunteers, and the alarm was sent to Monmouth, Kirkwood, Burlington and Stronghurst.  These places all answered the call by sending their trucks.  Monmouth and Kirkwood trucks were the first there.  They soon had their equipment pumping water from a creek about 100 feet to the rear of the buildings, but their hose stopped up with mud and when the Stronghurst department arrived, some of their hose was used.  The Stronghurst firemen dropped their hose into a well in front of the restaurant and were soon busy checking the flames.  There was not enough hose for the Burlington truck to pump from the creek, but their firemen were busy with their chemical equipment.  Chemicals were used from all four trucks.  The concrete block walls of the Woolsey’s building did much toward checking the flames and helped to hold the flames from the next building.  This building was erected just a few years ago and cost about $1,200. About 45 minutes after the fire started, it had totally destroyed the building, leaving just the concrete walls.

Credit for the quickest run has been given to Monmouth as they covered the 15 miles in about 18 minutes, but the Stronghurst Department must have broken the speed record for bad country roads as the covered the 10 ½ miles in about 40 minutes. (I don’t know if this was a mistake of the editor or he was nudging the Stronghurst Dept.)  Burlington was on the scene in 18 minutes after they left that city.  It is evident that if it had not been for the help of the fire equipment that the loss would have been over a quarter of a million as the whole north side would have been destroyed.

Many people gathered from the surrounding country and stayed till late that morning.  This is the third bad fire Biggsville has had in the last year and a half as the gymnasium and grade school were both destroyed.  It seems as though that village has had more than its share of bad fires.

LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Miss Ethel Peterson is ill at the Wheeling home in the west end of town.  Rev. Gerber and wife will soon be at home in the C. S. Forbes property on East Main Street.  A. A. Cavins was in town this week; he and his family are preparing to move from their recent residence at Princeville to Princeton, Ill.  The many friends of Harold Lukens will be pleased to learn that he has been offered a position as director of plays by the Frederick B. Ingram Production Co. which gave “Sweetheart Town” here last August.  We are sorry lose Harold but glad to know that his talents in that line are appreciated.  He left last Sunday for Moline, Ill. to assume his new duties. Tuesday evening Audrey Spicknel’s Chevrolet coupe caught on fire south of town.  As luck would have it, he was near Elsworth Wetterling’s residence and this enable him to get water on the fire before it did much damage.  The cushions and upholstering were badly burned, but the damage was covered with insurance.  Mr. Spicknel thinks that the fire was caused by a box of matches which were under the cushion becoming ignited.  He considers himself lucky that he did not lose his car.

J. Y. Gearheart, J. A. Crist, Roy Willard and wife from the Raritan neighborhood and Nate Groom of this place were in Arkansas looking over some of the rice fields of that state.  A. E. Moore is remodeling the Frank Smith house southeast of town.  Mr. Smith and family expect to move to that place soon and Carl Jacobson will move to the farm 7 miles south to the village where the Smith’s have resided for some time. Nearly 100 Odd Fellows from over the county attended the banquet at the Community Club room Wednesday night served by the Rebecca Lodge of this place.  Speakers of the evening were Judge Gordon of Oquawka; Rev. Cross of Media; T. P. Fields and Harry Wilson of Monmouth.  After the banquet, initiatory degree work was conferred on three new members. 

Mr. and Mrs. Will Forester are the parents of a nine-pound boy born Jan. 9th at their home southwest of Stronghurst.  Mr. Theo Knutstrom returned from Detroit, Mich. where he attended the Dodge Broos. Automobile convention.  An eight and half pound daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Delford Putney in Kirkwood Jan. 8th.  The new comer will be called Winnifred Mae.  Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Felton who have been residents of Montana for some time have returned to this vicinity and will reside on the farm of Mrs. Felton’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Painter southwest of town.

OBITUARY-JOSEPH GRATE: “Joseph Grate, who lived three fourths of a mile east of Old Bedford church, died suddenly Monday morning about 8:30 at the age of 72 years.  He had not been very well for several weeks but attended church Sunday and was taken much worse that night.  His wife, who was Miss Rosa Rriskell, survives with eight children, seven sons and one daughter, all living in the home community.  The children are Clyde, Rolla, Arthur, Leonard, Asa, Virgil and Bernard and Mrs. Pearl Livermore.  He also leaves two brothers, James and Nathan Grate and one sister, Mrs. Joseph Atwater of LaHarpe.  He was a prominent citizen and worthy man.”-LaHarpe Quill Jan. 21, 1926

OBITUARY-WM. PATTERSON: William Patterson passed away at the home of his niece, Mrs. Mare Morgan in this place Wednesday evening of this week following an illness of a few days.  The immediate case of his death was a heart attack and the suddenness of his demise came as a shock to his many friends. “Uncle Will” as Mr. Patterson was familiarly known to everyone in this community, has made his home here with his niece for several years past, making frequent visits during the period to his old home near Ursa in Adams County, where he owned a farm.  Up until the past year or two his physical vigor and youthful spirit were a source of comment amongst his many friends and acquaintances and the number of those who retain their bodily and mental vigor up to such an advanced age are indeed few.

Mr. Patterson age at the time of his death was 84 years, 11 months and 24 days.  He was one of the very few Civil War veterans of this community who await the final summons.  Funeral services over his remains will be conducted at his late home here and the remains will be taken to Marceline, Ill. for interment beside those of his wife who preceded him in death by a number of years.

WEDDING BELLS-DRAIN & MILLER- William G. Drain of Terre Haute and Miss Mary Elizabeth Miller of LaHarpe were married in Carthage Thursday evening, Jan. 14th at the home of the bride’s sister, Mrs. Warren Kirkpatrick.  They left immediately after the ceremony for Chicago where Will takes a position with the Standard Oil Co.  Mary returned to LaHarpe the first of the week to complete arrangements for moving to the city.

Will is the son of Pearl Drain and has been associated with his father in farm work in the Terre Haute country for several years.  He is industrious, capable and worthy.  His bride is a daughter of S. Grant Miller and posses a pleasant, happy disposition that has won her many friends.  She was educated in the public schools and spent some time in a ladies’ seminary at Aurora, Ill. and at Culver-Stockton College at Canton, Missouri.

FIRST NATIONAL BANK MEETING: At the regular meeting was held on Jan. 12th and adjourned at noon to meet again on Jan. 13th to organize as a new board.  L.M. Loomis was elected as President., C. C. Craig as Vice President, Chas. E. Peasley as second Vice President, J. F. McMillan as Cashier, Lucile Jones as assistant Cashier and Clifton Regan, Jr. as bookkeeper for the coming year.  On Tuesday, Jan. 12th, the stockholder meeting was held with 559 shares represented.  The following directors were elected: C. C. Craig, G.E.Chander, Delbert Dixson, A. E. Jones, L. M. Loomis, Chas. E. Peasley and A. A. Worthington.