The Henderson County Quill
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.
Stronghurst Graphic, Stronghurst, Illinois, January 2, 1913
FROM THE JAWS OF DEATH: Dale Davis and George Peasley, both of the Decorra country, had one of the most remarkable escapes from death early Monday morning. The two young men, who are the sons of Elmer Davis and C.E. Peasley respectively, had been spending the evening well, it does not matter where, but anyway, were on their way home and approached the Santa Fe Railroad crossing just north of the Peasley residence without noticing that a fast train was coming from the west. While on the crossing, Dale, who was driving, was aroused by the roar of the train and the glare of the head light not more than 25 feet away. He gave a yell at the horse he was driving and it was undoubtedly that yell that made it possible for the circumstance to be recorded as a narrow escape rather than as a sad fatality. The horse responded to the shout of the drive and springing forward, jerked the buggy almost clear of the track, but not quite far enough to avert a wreck. The swiftly moving engine caught the rear wheels of the buggy and hurled the boys out some twenty feet or more against the embankment on the south side of the track and east of the crossing. The buggy was torn to pieces and part of the wreckage carried a distance of half a mile or more by the engine. The train was brought to a stop and backed up to the crossing, the trainmen no doubt expecting to find a gruesome sight awaiting them. Instead, they found a couple of somewhat dazed young men pinching themselves to make sure that they were alive. Beyond a few slight bruises and scratches, both boys were unhurt. The horse escaped injury and was later found at home by the boys when they arrived. It was a close call and it is safe to say that hereafter the boys on approaching a railroad crossing will sit up and take notice.
OLENA CHURCH MEETING: Enjoying ideal weather, the United Presbyterian congregation of Olena held its annual business meeting and dinner at the church with good attendance. The election of officers was as follows: Trustee for 3 years - J.W. Brook; Supt. of Sabbath school - John Shaw; Ass't - Russell Carothers; Sec'y-Treas. - Bertha Biddenstadt; Ass't - Will Marshall; Ushers - Ernest McKeown and Will Marshall; Ass't - Charles Heisler, Jr. and Earl Shaw.
The treasurer, Robert Marshall, reported the finances to be in a healthy condition. Russell Carothers, the treasurer of the Mission money, noted that the envelope plan was an improvement over the old method of collecting funds.
The dinner was the event of the day. Spread upon the long church tables covered with snow white linen loaded with the best menu that could be selected and fine enough for the king, it was up to the standards of former dinners and showed that the women of the congregation were making progress in Domestic Science. All old and young partook with relish which delighted the dinner committee - Misses Lura Speck, Beth Brook, Lura Marshall, Millie Lant and Bertha Jackson.
Scores of small children, who had been trained by Bertha Jackson, sang three motion songs: 1st "I, An Indian" They had a wigwam erected with the boys wearing Indian suits carrying bows and arrows and beating drums; the girls had papooses strapped on their backs and were in Indian garb too. 2nd "Better be Good" solo by Margaret Land and accompanied by a chorus of children and Bertha Jackson. 3rd - a sleighing song sung by five little girls, accompanied by Ernest Watson. A candy treat was distributed to the children and all went home in a happy mood. (No doubt this was a highlight of the winter month and would be discussed whenever neighbors met.)
GONE HOME***Christenia Jane Cogswell Hurd*** Christenia Cogswell, daughter of Richard H. and Isabel B. Cogswell, was born Jan. 5, 1831, in Warren, Warren County, Penn. In 1835, the family emigrated to Illinois and located on what was then known as the Talbot branch of Cedar Fork, 10 1/2 miles northeast of Monmouth. In 1843, the family moved on a farm one mile south of Warren, generally known as Hoppers Ills. On June 19, 1851, she married Geo. W. Hurd. Soon after they went to Wisconsin where they remained a little over a year, returning to Warren County were Alexis now stands and lived there until the winter of 1864 when they moved to Knox county to a farm 3 miles northeast of Victoria. In 1867, greatly discouraged by the loss of a large sum of money in an unfortunate land deal, the Hurds decided to return to Hopper where she owned a small tract of land and where she remained until a few weeks of her demise.
Her husband died in 1889; he was well known as Elder Hurd, being an Evangelist minister of the Advent Church. Mrs. Hurd had been a faithful member of the M.E. Church since her 20th year...
She leaves 4 sons to mourn: W.E. Hurd of Stronghurst, G.M. Hurd of Bixby, Okla., R.G. Hurd of Sanger, Texas; also a brother Geo. Cogswell of Wataga; 17 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Two daughters preceded her to the beyond, Mrs. Emma Cole and Mrs. Electa Hicks. (The fourth son was not named.)
Her remains were laid to rest in the Hopper Cemetery.
NEW YEAR'S DAY IN TOWN: No general observance of the day as a holiday occurred; the only places of business closed were the banks, and it is quite likely that the working force in these institutions were busy balancing the books for last year. The rural carriers also took a respite; and in view of the fact that they were obliged to serve their routes on Christmas, it not probable that any one was unreasonable enough to find fault on account of the suspension of the free delivery service for a day. Few shoppers were in town and some of the merchants took advantage of the lull to begin their annual inventories of stock. The public schools were in session and so far as outward appearance went, there was nothing to indicate that it was a day of any special significance. The air was balmy and it was pleasant to be out of doors; one could imagine they were enjoying a day such as some of our Southern California friends might experience. (Times have changed; looking backward, we today would not have called them the Good Old Days. Who wants to give up the New Year's Day holiday?)
ANOTHER AUTO BURNS: A fine touring car belonging to Andrew J. Davis was destroyed by fire. He had taken it to Burlington for overhauling at the shops and after the work had been done, Mr. Cable, a representative of the company which made the car, was trying it out on the roads about town. When about 9 miles north of that city for some cause, the car caught fire and was soon enveloped in flames which reduced it to a heap of junk. The car was insured through the Kaiser agency of Stronghurst for $1000.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: The first article brought to the post office here for mailing under the parcel post law was a dressed chicken. (Wonder what it was like when it was delivered?) Mrs Malinda Sells, the youngest sister of the late John Evans, died at the home of her son in Indianolia, Ia., on New Year's Day. M.R. Moody of Rozetta and Miss Mary E. Thompson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Thompson of the same place were married at the Reed M.E. Church in the presence of about three hundred invited guests. C.A. Lukens and family and Harry McGaw of Stronghurst were among the latter; but on account of two or three breakdowns of the auto in which they were traveling, they failed to arrive at the church in time to witness the ceremony. They state, however, that they were there in ample time for the wedding feast.
Promoter W.T. Love and his assistant manager, Mr. Beardsley, were up from Lomax. The gentlemen state that they now have 21 factory prospects in sight for the new city and are planning for an interurban road to parallel the Santa Fe as far as Galesburg. Mrs. Frank Haislett send greeting from her new home in Yuma, Colo. Clyde Gittings of Lomax vicinity is loading a car for the move to Arkansas.
In Gladstone, Mr. and Mrs. Babcook had a call from the stork who left them a fine boy to be proud of. Miss Ollie and Bertha Knudstrom are very sick with diptheria and Dr. Ditto quarantined the place.