Helen Hodgman


In the death of Mrs. Romanus Hodgman, which occurred at her home on Euclid Avenue, Dec. 27, Princeton has lost another of her remaining pioneer citizens.

Helen White Hodgman was born in Chicopee, Mass., July 24, 1833. She completed her education in the Wilbraham Academy and taught in Springfield, Mass. In the meantime, her father Captain Ebenezer White came west, settling in Princeton in 1850, where shortly after, Miss White joined her family. Here she met Romanus Hodgman, a civil engineer from Chelmsford, Mass., who like so many young men of his day had come to the new West to cast his lot with its people, and they were married in 1857 by the Rev. Owen Lovejoy.

They first settled in Galva, Ill., but returned to Princeton in 1860, where they have since lived.

Mr. and Mrs. Hodgman joined the Congregational church of Princeton in the early days, where for many years they were active workers. Mrs. Hodgman was a woman of positive convictions, not only in her religious life, but in the various philanthropic objects which she espoused. She never forgot her anti-slavery training, and this led her for many years to assist the colored people of Princeton in their feeble African church, teaching for some time in their Sunday school. She was always interested in temperance and in her prime worked enthusiastically for the prohibition of the liquor traffic, and in the W. C. T. U., being for many years president of the local society.

She was very fond of nature in all its forms and spent many hours of her later life in her garden, always delighting to pass on to her neighbors and friends, the fruits and flowers of her raising.
The death of the oldest daughter, Malvina, in 1907, was a great blow to Mrs. Hodgman and this, together with a serious accident about the same time so impaired her health that she spent the last years quietly, seldom leaving her home. But there she kept open house for her many friends, who often enjoyed her generous hospitality.

Mrs. Hodgman began to decline in health about two months ago, and twelve days before she died sustained a fall which caused intense suffering, which with other complications, made death come as a blessed release.

In the absence of Rev. Mr. Lee, pastor of the Congregational Church, the funeral services were conducted by the Rev. G. B. Pence, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Interment was in the family plot in Oakland. The surviving members of the family are her husband, with whom she had lived for sixty years, and two children, Miss Carrie E. Hodgman and Dr. Charles W. Hodgman, both of Princeton.

As Mrs. Hodgman was ever thoughtful for others, so she was gratefully remembered by many beautiful tributes.

Miss Emma V. White, a sister in Minneapolis, and two nieces, Miss Margaret Elizabeth Reed, of Chicago, and Mae Isabelle Reed of Columbus, Ohio, were present from abroad to attend the services, and her only grandchild, D. Munger Hodgman, from the Philadelphia Dental College.

(Bureau County Republican, Jan. 3, 1918, submitted by Janine Crandell)




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