WOODSON B POWER|
Petersburg Democrat, Friday December 5, 1930
WOODSON B POWER, 91, ANSWER’S DEATH’S CALL
W B Power was the eldest son of pioneer parents who came here from Kentucky
in 1830 and settled at the edge of the prairie, 5 miles east of Petersburg.
His birth, September 3, 1839 was attended by the music of the drumming
prairie chickens, punctuated with the staccato of the bull whip urging
reluctant oxen to turn the tough prairie sod of his father’s broad acres.
But there was no click of telegraph instrument, or corn planter; no hum of
sewing machine or reaper, for these instruments of modern life had not yet
been invented. Nor were his infant slumbers disturbed by the whistle of the
locomotive. For he was a young man when the first railroad came to Menard
County. In fact there was no Menard County then, and no public schools, yet
he secured a liberal education for those days, having been a student at the
famous North Sangamon Academy at Indian Point.
His boyish eyes looked out to the north, to the east and to the south from
his father’s yard upon unnumbered acres of waving prairie and to the west,
almost from the door step spread the primeval forest, clear to the Sangamon
River. Lincoln surveyed the original town of Petersburg only 3 years before
his birth, and as a boy and man he often took the "grist" to Salem Mill along
the winding through the forest, then little more than a trail, that followed
the general direction of what is now road 43A.
He married when he was 21 years old and settled near Little Brick
Schoolhouse, which was upon his land. He was a successful farmer, retiring
from that business when 65 years old and moved to Petersburg, where he lived
for 26 years until his death on Thanksgiving afternoon November 27, 1930,
over 91 years old. While never a wealthy man, he was always "well to do" and
dies possessed of "land and houses". His long life allowed him to enjoy the
rare distinction of knowing 5 eldest sons of his direct line; viz: his father
E D Power; himself, his son George C Power of Petersburg’ his grandson Paul
W Power of Chicago and his great grandson Kent W Power of Tours, France.
He was married 5 times and was the father of 13 children, three of whom;
Nettie, Surrency and Roma died in early life. Of his 10 remaining children
all are living except William D Power who died in 1927. They are, in order
of their seniority: George C Power of Petersburg, Illinois; Fannie M Cogdill
of South Haven, Michigan; Mary T Estill of Memphis, Missouri; Emma V Custer
and Martha L Holmes, both of Chicago; Edgar D Power and Oran Guy Power of Los
Angeles; Opal and Zelia Power of Chicago. He is also survived by 33
grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.
He was a member of the Christian Church of Petersburg for about 50 years and
always in his place of Sundays until extreme deafness and the infirmities of
age made attendance at church impossible. Yet up to the Sunday preceding his
death he tried very hard to hear some pulpit orator over the radio, but
He was also and Odd Fellow, having joined the Salem Lodge No 122 in 1883,
whose members officiated at his burial in Rose Hill Cemetery.
After a brief service at his late home, funeral services were conducted at
the Christian Church by the pastor the Reverend L R Cronkhite and the
Reverend W M Groves, who delivered the sermon. The choir was composed of Mrs
Pearl Apken, Fern Pond Irwin and Edgar Watkins, who sung most touchingly one
of Uncle Wood’s favorite songs, " Heaven is my Home", requested by his son
Edgar D Power of Los Angeles and which was also sung at William D Power’s
funeral from the same church and choir in 1927.
His pallbearers were E A Holmes of Chicago, his grand son-in-law J W Cheaney
of Springfield, his grandson Paul W Power of Chicago and three young friends
of Petersburg who he loved and admired, Herman G Wilms, Sidney J Shaw and
Much could be said about his character and sterling business integrity, but
he was a modest unassuming man and encomiums would not be in keeping with his
wishes so let his virtues be silently enshrined in the hearts of his children
who loved him in life and who revere his memory in death.
Submitted by: Denny Custer