The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.1916
Stronghurst Graphic, July 13, 1916:
OBITUARY***JOHN HENRY STRODTMANN: John Henry Strodmann, son of Juergen and Mary (Hildebrandt) Strodtmann, was born in Badbergen, Germany, April 21, 1831, departed this life in his home near Decorra on June 26, 1916 at the ripe age of 85 years, 2 months and 3 days. He immigrated to America in 1848 landing in New York City where he engaged in the grocery business for six years. He married Miss Catharina A. VonDreelen there in 1853 where they continued to reside until removing to Illinois in 1854. They located on the south1/2 of the southwest 1/4 of Sec.33 in Olena Precinct (Stronghurst Township) in 1855. This virgin eighty had nothing on it but blue stem and slough grass, which fed the deer and furnished a hiding place for snakes.
Uncle Henry and Aunt Catharina went into the tall timber of Squirrel Ridge and with their own hands made the rails with which they fenced their future home. They hauled them and plowed the sod with a yoke of oxen and in a very few years this wild land was converted into field of grain, orchards of fruit and gardens of roses and vegetables. Although they had the foresight to see and believe that the land would become valuable, they never purchased any but this small tract and some timber land and some lots in the village of Stronghurst. (This is a picture of the pioneer experience in brief-man conquering the wilderness.)
Mr. Strodtmann was well and favorable known in the community. He was one of the original subscribers of stock in the Stronghurst State Bank and when was elected as one of its directors when it was organized; he has held that same position until the time of his death. He was a great lover of music and many can attest to pleasant hours spent in his home with him at the organ. He was a regular attendant at the Maple Grove Church until recent years when his hearing became so impaired that he was unable to hear the words of the Gospel from the pulpit. His gradual decline began about five years ago, but his last illness was of but ten days.
Dr. and Mrs. Harter of Stronghurst were with him almost constantly during this time as well as the assistance of a trained nurse. His advanced years together with other complications made recovery impossible and he slept quietly away Monday. Funeral services were held on the lawn of the home with burial in the Maple Grove Cemetery. (Picture shown)
1891 GRAPHIC: Fred Randall went to Chicago to take a position with Swift & Co. While in Chicago, Ira Putney secured the promise from Major McClaughry, chief of police of that city, to address the people of Henderson County at the Soldiers Reunion planned for August in Stronghurst. Peter Johnson, a Swede man employed by Jos. Thompson farm, had his face badly disfigured by being kicked by a horse. The new Driving Park Association completed arrangements for a Horse Fair to be held in the village on Aug.19 to 21st.
A new enterprise just added to the town and one viewed with satisfaction by farmers of the community alike is the new stock company elevator. With two commodious elevators and two hustling grain buyers, Stronghurst will become the most import grain point in the country. The new elevator is owned principally by the farms of the community and is leased by E.B.Campbell, who buys for Pursley & Co. of Peoria. The first load of grain was dumped in the new building on Friday.
COUNTY NEWS OLENA: The dry weather is getting quite noticeable and the dust almost suffocating. John Lant is suffering from neuralgia and rheumatism. Silas Dowell, who has been critically ill at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Harry Fox, is improving. Miss Edna Salter has been nursing him.
GLADSTONE: Mr. Chas. Babcook went to Canada where he expects to stay until December if the work is good. W.M.Pence was called to Ohio by the serious illness of his brother. Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Pence were in Davenport making the trip in their Ford roadster. Al Stott, Jr. had the misfortune to get a finger cut off; Dr. Ditto dressed the wound. John Applebee, while helping bale hay at the Chas. Kemp place, fell from a load of hay and broke his leg near the hip. He was brought to town and taken to the home of his sister, Miss Susie Applebee, where the limb was set. Mr. Fred Payne of Burlington will have charge of the plumbing work of Mr. I. F. Forward's new home.
OQUAWKA: Miss Viola Grassmiller was operated on for appendicitis at the Burlington Hospital. The local ball team bested Galesburg with a victory of 12 to 7. Arthur Smith passed away at the home of his mother, Mrs. Thomas Smith. Arthur had been working in a Chicago drugstore for many years, but for the last two had not been well, being a sufferer from Bright's disease. He kept growing worse until he passed away Saturday afternoon. The funeral time has not been set awaiting the arrival of a niece, Mrs. Francis Rice from Los Angles, California.
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: R. D. Nevius and daughter Amy from California visited friends in Fulton County. Tom Morgan and Meredith Lovitt made an auto trip to Burlington. (This may seem silly to us today, but in 1916 this item told of two young rakes, one of which obviously owned a car and drove all the way to the big city. How else was the neighborhood to know unless it was duly reported in the paper.)
Miss Mae Lovitt of Pueblo, Colo. surprised her father, P.T. Lovitt, Jr. with a visit. It had been eight years since last the two met and her father failed to recognize her. Raus Richey of Joliette, North Dakota reports that prospects are fine for good crops of all kinds there. Ed Holmes will be here the first of next week with his merry-go-round for his twelfth year at the picnic. Thirty-seven autos were parked in the center of Main St. at one time last Saturday evening during the band concert.
(This tells us two things: that the area was prosperous as families were buying cars and the gradual shift from horse power to mechanical transportation was increasing.) At the Hollingsworth Hat Shop an assortment of early fall felt Sport or outing Hats in white are availableöalso colors. While helping to load a planning mill for T.D.Steffey, James Wolfe had one of his thumbs quite badly mashed. Last Sunday between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. seven train loads of troops bound for the Mexican border passed through here on the Santa Fe.(Pancho Villa was raiding across the border during this time of unrest in the Mexican government.)
Notice to the readers: "On page seven of this issue of The Graphic will be found an ordinance concerning liquor, passed by the village board at its last session. A careful reading of this local statute will reveal the fact the "lid" has been clamped on pretty tight and that here after any citizen whose craving for alcoholic stimulants cannot be suppressed, will have to "take his drink like a gentleman" or run the risk of becoming involved in the meshes of the law." (Can't sell it either as a drink, by the bottle, or as a prescription, have it at a club, or drink it on the streets; any place that sells or distributes is labeled a "nuisance and will be fined. Many more provisions of this law are listedöin effect anyone dealing with alcohol was subject to fines.)