A SUMMARY OF LOCAL CURRENT EVENTS FROM 1865 TO THE PRESENT TIME, DRAWN FROM NEWSPAPER FILES.
The following items of Boone County local history are made up in chronological order from the files of the "Belvidere Standard" :
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE.
Among the advertisements :
Gritzbaugh, clothing, next door to Boone County Bank ; H. D. Waterman & Bros., hardware; Miss C. Brink, milliner; Wm. W. Fuller, drug store; H. G. King, drug store.
April 11, it was rumored that the First National Bank was about to be started.
April 10, two or three thousand persons assembled in the streets to celebrate Lee's surrender, and the close of the war.
Gardner Block, Union Block, and other buildings were decorated. The Wide-a-Wakes turned out and General Fuller, Capt. Coon, and Dr. Molony spoke. Jefferson Davis was burned in effigy in the streets.
Lincoln's death plunged Belvidere, as well as the rest of the country, into great gloom. Union services were held at the Presbyterian Church, Sunday morning, April 16. Services in all the other churches were dispensed with. A great throng filled the church and all the ministers of Belvidere took part, including Rev. Eddy of the Presbyterian, Rev. Cooper of the Episcopal, Rev. Lawrence of the Baptist, and Rev. Bliss of the Methodist.
The First National Bank commenced business May 10, 1865. The first board of directors was elected March 27th, and consisted of Allen C. Fuller, I. T. Witbeck, Mark Ramsey. John Yourt, Benj. F. Lawrence, N. C. Tompkins, Ezra May, Wm. S. Dunton, George Waterman.
Officers were as follows: President, Allen C. Fuller ; Cashier, N. C. Tompkins ; Vice-President, Benjamin F. Lawrence; Teller, James S. Terwilliger.
The spring of 1865 was quite cool, frost being in the ground as late as the middle of May. The Manchester Republican was published in 1865.
Howe's circus exhibited in Belvidere in May. The dam at the Baltic Mills, which was dam aged in the spring of 1865, was repaired with. over three hundred loads of brush and small trees. Thirty or forty rods of new race was also cut.
The Boone County S. S. Convention was held at the Baptist Church at Belvidere, May 26. H. W. Avery, Jr., was elected president. E. Moss, vice-president, and Chas. E. Abbe, secretary.
Many of the boys in blue were returning from time to time in June.
I. R. Mudge's rhubarb plantation employed twelve to fifteen men during the season and made from 1,000 to 1,200 gallons per day or about 10,000 gallons during the season. The juice was pressed out by an ordinary cane mill and a special press, and placed in large vats in the cellar. The production was known as "American Sherry."
A drought of considerable length took place this year.
The Fourth of July celebration took place on Gooseberry Island. There was a procession of some length, including a car of young ladies representing all of the states in the Union: From 5,000 to 6,000 people were present. J. S. Hildrup was president of the day and Judge T. D. Murphy, of McHenry County, gave the oration. A display of fireworks on the Court House Square closed the festivities in the evening. General Ste phen Hurlbut, who had just returned from the war, also spoke at the exercises, amid great enthusiasm.
The wheat crop in 1865 was very poor, the oats and corn good.
A census taken at Belvidere, August, 1865, shows the following :
Outside of corporation. 999 ; south side within corporation, 1,108; north side, within corporation, 1,551; total, 3,361.
The Ninety-Fifth Illinois Volunteers arrived at Springfield the middle of August and were mustered out shortly after. August 22nd, the Ninety-Fifth Illinois returned home. Companies B, G and K were from Belvidere ; a very large crowd assembled in town and the train arrived shortly after dinner time, amid much confusion of welcomes given the soldier boys by fathers. mothers, wives, and sweethearts. A procession was formed with P. J. Garcelon as marshal, and W. R. Cornell and W. F. Hovey as assistants. Simon P. Doty was president of the day and many of the citizens and veterans already re turned took part. A banquet was held at Rider's new stores, after which a crowd of about 5,000 people gathered in front of Rice's Block and im promptu speeches were made by General Allen C. Fuller, General Stephen Hurlbut, Major C. B. Loop, and I. M. Moore. In the evening parties were held at Union Hall and Ames' Hall.
Otis Caswell died in the early part of September.
The County Fair was held in the early part of September, and among the exhibitions was James Kelley's 76 varieties of apples from his orchard of 1,000 trees. S. W. Bristol's pears and grapes. Horses by J. V. Wing, H. D. Waterman, and P. J. Garcelon. Hogs exhibited by Asa Moss.
November, 1865, Luther W. Lawrence was elected county judge. Major Loop, county clerk. E. L. Lawrence, surveyor. W. H. Dunham, superintendent of schools. Enoch Kendall, county treasurer.
Adelphi Hall was completed in November, 1865. The Standard of that time stated that they considered the name a little fancy and rather poor for a hall in a country village.
S. Molony completed his gothic house, costing over $10,000, December, 1865, at that time the most expensive residence in the county. Dr. Soule completed his new residence about the same time (where Irving Terwilliger now lives). During 1865, two frame stores were built by Mr. Rider and a plough factory by S. Longcor.
Ade1phi Hall was dedicated by a grand ball on Thanksgiving Eve., 1865. Tickets were $5.00, and none were admitted except on invitation. Seventeen sets danced at one time and the social leaders of the city were present. General Fuller made an address, and the Messrs. Traver of the Julien House served the supper.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX
A reminder of the time when Belvidere was well provided with wooden awnings, is found in the item that the awning at Conger and Vann election, held March 12, the no-license board was elected by a majority of about 91.
The firm of D. D. Sabin & Co., commenced business March, 1866, in the Ade1phi Block.
On Sunday morning, April 1, 1866, a fire broke out on North State Street and several wooden buildings were burned.
March 20, the Kishwaukee still covered with ice. On April 1, 1866, a fire broke out in the Ball Alley on State street about 1 o'clock in the morning and consumed several frame buildings. By forming a line to the river and one or two mud holes, the fire was kept in check.
A base ball club was formed April 19, 1866, with the following officers : Wales W. Wood, president; W. S. Wheeler, vice-president ; Jahn C. Neely, secretary ; E. H. Talbott, treasurer ; J. S. Terwilliger, Chas. H. Fuller, and H. G. King, directors. It was known as the "Mystic Base Ball Club."
The Philharmonic Society held a concert at Adelphi Flail May 7, 1866. The president of the society was W. H. Gilman.
The postmaster in 1866 was J. Nelson Brockway.
Another base ball club known as the "Belvidere Base Ball Club," was organized on the south side of the river, with D. D. Sabin as president.
Considerable excitement was caused among the Irish citizens in 1866 by Fenian in Canada. According to the paper the Irish citizens seemed to be divided on the question, some of them joining the Fenian Brotherhood, and others keeping aloof from the movement.
Belvidere postoffice was designated a money order office in June.
In June the railroad bridge across the Kishwaukee was totally destroyed by fire and after burning about an hour fell into the river. This bridge was built about 1854 and was made of wood, with a large number of iron bolts. The stone work was uninjured.
Fourth of July celebration was held north of town, near General Fuller's. The marshal was P. J. Garcelon and the oration of the day was by General Hurlbut. In the afternoon a large crowd witnessed the ball game by two nines of the Mystic Base Ball Club.
The railroad company did not immediately rebuild the bridge and a meeting of the citizens was called to protest.
Frost about the first of October caused considerable damage, spoiling about 50 per cent of the corn crop and a great deal of broom corn.
After a short time the Mystic and Belvidere clubs joined under the name of the Phoenix, with Major C. B. Loop as president. The grounds were in Dr. Woodworth's pasture lot, south of the river, a few rods above the bridge.
The State Street sewer was reconstructed in 1866. Previous to that time it was built of planks, which became very much rotted ; the contract was awarded to Wm. Haywood and L. 0. Gilman.
In October, John Plane placed a handsome iron fence on the South State Street side of his premises, being the only one in Belvidere.
Rev. Mr. Cooper held select school in the brick block on Mechanics Street, above the old bank.
L. 0. Gilman was elected sheriff November 7, 1866, and Stephen Hurlbut, representative, Daniel E. Foote, coroner.
John R. Gough lectured in the Presbyterian Church December 7th.
The corner stone of the South Baptist Church was laid December 6th.
In December, Union Hall was partitioned in the center, one suite being occupied by Wales W. Wood as offices and the other by Wm. R. Dodge.
Silvester Tripp raised a Chester hog two years old and weighing over 1,100 pounds.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN
On January 24, 1867, occurred the heaviest snow since 1842.
The Belvidere Northwestern was established in January, the editor being E. H. Talbott.
Clara Barton, the noted nurse during the Civil War, lectured at the Presbyterian Church In February.
Wendell Phillips spoke in Adelphi Hall February 12, on the subject, "Reconstruction."
Wales W. Wood was appointed master in chancery in place of J. S. Hildrup, who resigned, in February, 1867.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE
Velocipedes being ridden by the men.
Business changes, John & W. Gray bought out Pearsall & Terwilliger ; Gage & Fuller have sold out their crockery line to W. W. Fuller and are keeping a stock of hardware; I. T. Witbeck has become a member of the firm.
Among the advertisements are : H. Cunningham, Jr., hardware ; Dr. George Peal, drug store, opposite Adelphi Hall ; D. D. Sabin & Co.. dry goods, Adelphi Hall building ; Greenlee Bros. & Co., hardware. Gen. Hurlbut was nominated for minister to Bogota. Union Hall being built.
Petroleum V. Nasby lectured April 24, 1869.
Chas. Tripp was experimenting on a velocipede worked by hand.
May 11, 1869, apple and cherry trees blossoming in abundance.
"Mr. Doty (May 25) has raised the frame of his new hotel located on the fiats. This build ing, we suppose, is the first of a row which will extend along there at no distant day. It wanted Doty to pioneer the thing."
Decoration Day was held at the Cemetery, Col. Gilman and Major Loop being in charge. Among the speakers was General Doubleday, who fired the first gun at Fort Sumter on the Union side.
Forepaugh's circus exhibited in Belvidere, June 16.
June 15, "The Board of Trustees have caused several lamps to be placed along our streets. which we suppose will do duty on dark nights, although there are not enough of them to light up very much."
The Boone County Agricultural Society. President this year, Dudley W. Gates. Vice-president. Geo. Reed. Secretary and treasurer, A. E. Jenner.
Fourth of July celebration. President, General Fuller. Orator, J. S. Hildrup. Marshal, R. E. Osgood. The procession was held in the morning, a contest of fire engines from Rockford and Harvard in the afternoon, and fireworks in the evening.
The Winnebago Fire and Hose Companies, including about seventy-five firemen in uniform, marched in the procession. The exercises were held in a grove of young oaks on the premises of Mr. Hollister, near the railroad culvert on the south side. Anvils were fired and bells were rung very early. About 2,500 people were present, and the day was fine and quite cool. Slater's Cornet Band, and a band from Poplar Grove, furnished the music.
The week before June 22 was very wet, causing a freshet in the river and did considerable damage to crops.
The paper suggests that the citizens trim off the lower branches of their shade trees along the streets, not Tearing it to the emus to chew them off.
This year, 1809, the hay crop was heavy, and oats good, wheat and rye less than the average, corn only fair, potatoes good. Wages for farm help, during harvest, averaged from $2.50 a day, sometimes $3.00.
A county map was gotten up in 1869 by Thompson & Co.
A new school house was contracted for on the school grounds at a slight distance from the old building on a spot made vacant by the removal of the Primary Building, a two-story frame, 30 by 60 by 24 feet high.
The brick school house was also considerably improved. The directors at this time were B. N. Dean, D. D. Sabin, and Chas. Abbe.
Boone County Fair receipts for 1869, $3,000, which was $1,000 greater than any previous fair.
The basement of the Presbyterian Church was furnished off this fall and divided into rooms. M. G. Leonard had charge of the work.
The fall, during October, was unusually cold.
Four prisoners escaped from the county jail November 1st, by sawing out the upper portion of one of the bars.
Election held November 2, 1869. Luther W. Lawrence was elected county judge. C. B. Loop, county clerk. L. 0. Gilman, county treasurer. W. H. Dunham, County Superintendent. Jesse S. Hildrup and Westel W. Sedgwick, delegates to the constitutional convention.
Asa Moss was experimenting with new kinds of potatoes.
Rev. N. W. Minor engaged as pastor of the North Baptist Church. Previous to this he had been pastor in Springfield for fifteen years.
The Mississippi Valley National Telegram Co., removed its office to the room over Stewart's clothing store. M. D. Williams was manager. The rate of a message to Chicago was twenty cents.
Union Hall was opened December 25, 1869, by a grand sociable and' oyster supper. J. S. Hildrup presided and W. W. Wood made the address.
Mr. Hildrup in the constitutional convention was appointed upon the committee on finance, banks and currency, and congressional apportionment.
Col. Gilman was appointed U. S. deputy marshal.
Dr. Lake was experimenting with a grape known as the "Belvidere."
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY
January 16th, there was a heavy thunder shower. The next day was the coldest thus far of the season, about ten degrees below.
The Young Men's Christian Association, February 5, 1870, elected officers. President, S. S. Fisk. Vice-president, Dr. D. E. Foote. Secretaries, A. S. Downs and Jas. Goodman. The society appears to have had several meetings before this time.
Anna E. Dickinson gave a lecture on the Mormon question in Union Hall, February 8. This year the government officials buying horses for the U. S. cavalry spent several days in Belvidere, having their headquarters at Trusdell's stable, and about thirty horses were purchased, from $90.00 to $100.00 apiece.
March 15, 1870. Heavy snows.
At the corporation election, several colored citizens voted, evidently for the first time, under the Fifteenth Amendment.
March 22nd, ice still in the river.
April, 1870, a freshet in the river broke through the Baltic Mill dam, about 20 feet wide.
Union religion meetings were held in Union Hall during April, being attended by a large audience.
A petition being circulated asking the Board of Trustees to purchase some hand fire engines.
April 13th, Osgood & Ellison's livery stable near the Julien House was burned. The flames also destroyed Fellows & Hare's planing mill and a large pile of wood. On account of the fact that there were no fire engines in town the fire was difficult to handle. The article speaks of the burning of the old Union Hall Block, about 1860.
Wm. Derthick speared a pickerel in the Kishwaukee, weighing 13 1/2 pounds.
Capron.—Messrs. Stow & Tripp keeping store. A number of citizens leaving for Kansas . Mr. Cornwell's cheese factory in full blast, with Frank Robinson in charge.
The board of trustees considering as to the organization of a fire department.
The proposed constitution of the state was published in the issue of May 24, 1870 .
George Francis Train lectured in Union Hall. May 28.
Decoration Day services were held at the cem etery. It was stated that about twenty-nine sol diers were then buried there. General Fuller was chairman and W. W. Wood, Mr. Rollins, and L. W. Lawrence addressed the meeting.
May, 1870, an arborvitae hedge was set along the main road in the cemetery, a well dug and other improvements made.
From a short history of Belvidere by Joseph H. Hills, of Chicago , in the issue of May 31, 1870 , we take the following:
The last Indians went away November, 1835. They were Pottawatomies under their old chief, "Monomonic," and were about seven families, composed of about seventy people.
Simon P. Doty came from Rochester , N. Y., June 10, 1835 . Dr. Whitney, the same date, from Yates County , N. Y. About the same time came Cornelius Cline, Timothy Caswell and family, John K. Towner and family, and Albertus Nix-son. In the spring of 1836, came Oliver Hale, Obadiah Sands, Cephas Gardner, and Mat Mobony. In 1837 came McDougal, in 1838, John M. Glasner, and Wm. H. Gilman. The four corners at State and Mechanics Streets were laid out by Doty and Nathaniel Crosby with a common square in 1836. Mr. Doty built the first house, which now (May 31, 1870) stands on the raise of ground in the rear of Union Hall. It was a frame building, 24 by 18 feet. In 1839 Mr. Doty was on the southwest corner, Alexander Neely on the northeast, Joel Walker on the northwest, and a cellar on the southeast of the "four corners."
In 1850 Belvidere bad about 1,000 inhabitants, in 1870 about 5,000.
Some business firms then here were :
Dry goods, Ira Wilson, established in 1856. Gage, Fuller & Witbeck, groceries. E. T. Gage was for a number of years with Ira Witbeck in the dry goods business. C. H. Fuller was with Waterman from 1863 to 1866, when they sold out to Greenlee Bros., with whom he remained for about two years, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Gage. Mr. Witbeck came from Chicago, being a brother to a prominent lumber dealer of that city. Geo. Bement, jeweler, came to Belvidere about 1851. J. R. Williams located in Union Block, next door to the postoffice, came to Belvidere in 1845, now in the clothing business. American House now kept by F. A. McIntyre, late of Chicago, for a number of years kept by Wm. Anderson.
June, 1870, Capron building a new school house at a cost of about $3,500.
Little Thunder Mill was built by I. D. Miller in 1852, and sold to the McKay Bros. in 1870.
Daniel Caswell was accidentally killed by a gun July 11, 1870, at Le Roy, Minn. He was the son of Otis Caswell, one of the early settlers, and was proprietor of a hotel at the place of his residence. A special election was ordered for June 27th, polls held at Union Livery Stable, to vote on the question of purchasing fire engines, the question being whether the town should purchase one steam fire engine, two hand fire engines, or no engines at all.
A great jubilee was held for about a week, commencing June 29th. Governor Oglesby was present, and a large number of singers to take part in the musical numbers.
The Capron Messenger published in 1870.
The causeway across the flats improved by retaining walls.
Dr. Lake in August, 1870, sold his entire stock of Belvidere grapes, about two hundred roots, to Hotchkiss & Mundy, for $500.00.
August 30th, a meeting of the Lyceum was held at the South Baptist Church. A debate was held, "Resolved, that the morals of American people are on the advance." Affirmative : F. S. Whitman and C. E. Fuller. Negative : H. Nunn and Z. W. Smith. Also music, essays and recitations.
Anti .Masonic Convention was held in Belvidere, October 31, 1870. President J. Blanchard, of Wheaton College, was a speaker, also C. A. Blanchard.
I. R. Mudge had 18 to 20 acres in hops and raised on this about half a ton of baled hops to the acre. About sixty were employed in picking.
The Anti-Masonic meetings resulted in the nomination of a ticket for the fall election.
Croquet was very popular among the men folks, some of the games being played near the livery stable on the north side. Luther Lawrence is mentioned as one of the "crack players."
The seventeen year locusts made their appearance this year.
Strawberries were very plentiful.
The old settlers' picnic was held June 14, in the Fair Grounds. Elder Lawrence presided. The ladies of 1835 were introduced, being Mrs. J. K. Towner, Mrs. Luke Teeple, Mrs. J. C. Mordoff, and Mrs. Woodword, the two latter being the daughters of Cornelius Cline. The account states that a few rods west of the speakers platform w as the site of an old Indian corn field, said to be the last made by the Indians. The following were present, with date of arrival : 1835—Harlyn Shattuck. 1836—E. E. Moss, Oliver Hale, A. D. Hale, Mrs. I. N. McCoy, Mrs. A. H. Cushman, Chas. Curtis, Mrs. Geo. Sands, I. N. McCoy. 1837—C. C. Bristol, Albert Stone, Mrs. Clark Heath, H. J. Hanson, H. C. Walker, H. FL Cushman, C. C. Powers, and Asa Moss.
Cherries were , very plentiful this year, selling as low as $1.00 per bushel. Mostly the "Morello."
Fourth of July, 1871, was celebrated at Nijah Hotchkiss' Grove. The procession was headed by Cherry Valley Band. W. H. Gilman was president of the day and J. S. Hildrup, orator.
Elder Lawrence raised a small piece of "alsike" clover, evidently a new thing then.
Mr. Capen, an early resident of Belvidere, died in July, 1871, from a sun stroke, on his farm in McHenry County. He was a remarkably fleshy man, and kept a clothing store in Belvidere in the early days.
Apples were very plentiful this year and a large number of cider mills were started, to prevent them from rotting on the ground.
P. J. Garcelon died in November, 1871. He was an auctioneer, aged 49 years. He had been sheriff of the county two terms and was noted for his active business habits.
At the election John Gray was elected county treasurer and Chas. S. Moss surveyor.
The Kishwaukee froze November 21, 1871, and a few days later was heavy enough for skating.
Robert Ferguson shot a gray wolf on the Rollins farm, November 21st, and received a ten dollar bounty.
Boone County Agricultural Society was made a joint stock company at a meeting in Mr. Jenner's office, December 9, 1871. Five hundred shares of ten dollars each.
Miss Mary E. Dunton and Miss Alice Walker conducted an academic school in 1871-72, in the rooms over Gardner's store.
December 20th, early in the morning, a fire was discovered in the South Baptist Church, which was being repaired. A strong breeze was blowing and the church was practically consumed. It was built in 1867. The dwelling house of Chas. Abbe adjoining was also burned.
Weather in 1868. Hottest day, July 18, 96°. Coldest day, February 10, 32° below. In 1869, hottest day, August 19, 92°. Coldest day, February 5, 8° below. In 1870, hottest, June 30, 100°. Coldest day, December 23, 15° below. In 1871, hottest day, July 8, 94°. Coldest day, December 20, 22° below.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO
S. P. Stevenson, January 30, 1872, was awarded the contract for keeping the county poor.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE.
Among the advertisements in the Standard:
C. E. Abbe, agent, sewing machines ; Reynolds & Gilman, market ; Turneaure & Stow, boots and shoes ; Moulton & Darneille, successors to Cephas Gardner, groceries; J. H. Saxton, furniture; Geo. Bement, jewelry ; Greenlee Bros., hardware ; Wm. Haywood, agricultural implements.
Rev. T. C. Easton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church was appointed commissioner of Illinois to the world's fair at Vienna.
April 12th, a meeting was held in reference to a railroad to run southeast from Belvidere to Joliet. Wm. H. Gilman was president and Ralph Roberts was secretary. Gen. Hurlbut was chief speaker and about $22,000.00 in stock was sub scribed. The next meeting as to the railroad was held in Union Hall the next Saturday. Gen. Fuller in chair, and about $10,000.00 more was subscribed.
This was a raw, wet spring.
The Second M. E. Church purchased the Neely Block, east of the Julian House, with the intention of removing their church and putting in a basement story.
0. B. Ingalls was postmaster, May, 1873.
Convention was held at Marengo, May 17th, to nominate a Republican candidate for circuit judge. Two hundred and ten ballots were taken without any choice. The last one was a tie be tween T. E. Murphy and Chas. Kellum. Boone County delegates voted for Mr. Murphy. The election was held June 2nd, and Boone County voted 273 for Murphy, and 264 for Kellum.
The South Baptist Church is being completed.
Fourth of July exercises were held in Hotchkiss Grove. 0. H. Wright was president of the day. S. L. Covey and Vim. F. Hovey were marshals. and Chas. Fuller gave the oration.
The Kishwaukee bridge near Big Thunder Mill broke down June 28th, while a load of grain was being driven across.
At the Fourth of July celebration, a heavy rain came on and the last part was held in Adelphi Hall. Five hundred couples participated at a ball at Union Hall in the evening.
Purling Plane died July 20th, at the residence of his son, John Plane. Mr. Plane was born at Norfolk, England, and was 106 years of age at the time of his death.
This summer the rumor of a snake 10 or 12 feet long caused considerable commotion among the boys who had been used to swimming in the Kishwaukee River.
A mass meeting was held on the Fair Grounds for the purpose of forming the Boone County
Farmers' Association. A. J. Burbank of Flora presided, and L. W. Lawrence was speaker of the day and also president, and G. B. Moss was elected secretary.
Croquet this summer seemed to be the principal amusement of the men.
A hunting match for a game supper was arranged for Friday, November 7, 1873. The choosers were Geo. Hurlbut and H. F. Bowley. Thirty men were on each side, including a number of our prominent citizens ; the losers to give a supper at the Julian House. In the hunt Mr. Bowley's side came out a little ahead. About eighty people took part , in the supper.
Gen. Tom Thumb and his wife gave a, performance in Union Hall, November 14th, a very large number came to see them.
A wooden wedding was given at Seymour Van Epps, December 15th. and was attended by a large number of neighbors.
The Adelphic Debating Society was organized a short time ago by the young people and held meetings in the North Side school house.
During 1873, 339 carloads of stock were shipped, consisting of 179 hogs, 116 cattle, 26 horses, and 18 sheep. The largest shippers were Covey and Ames, M. G. Leonard and D. Bailey.
The Boone County Grange, P. of H., w as organized January 3, 1874. L. P. Wood, of Spring, was elected Master ; A. P. Daniels, of Manchester, Overseer ; A. J. Burbank, of Flora, secretary ; A. Drake, of Caledonia, treasurer; Geo. Reed : of Spring, gatekeeper.
Flora Grange Hall was dedicated, February 4, 1874, about 300 persons being present.
John Herbert, of Bonus, kept from 400 to 800 sheep for more than 15 years.
Meetings were held in February to nominate candidates for a no license ticket at the coming election.
March 9, 1874, the corporation election took place and decided in favor of no license by no majority. In the first ward D. D. Sabin and Stephen Lambert were elected trustees. In the second ward. John Saxton and C. L. Stow were elected trustees, and I. T. Witbeck was elected trustee at large.
St. Patrick's Day was celebrated by a large dance in Union Hall. The music was by Pease's band. The number present was 500. The procession and the proceedings during the day were interfered with by rain.
A meeting was held April 25, 1874, to revive the Belvidere Ladies' Library Association. It was reported that the old library consisted of about 200 volumes, and it was decided to reorganize the work of the association. Among the ladies most interested were Mrs. M. C. Leonard and Mrs. R. S. Moloney, Miss M. E. Dunton and Mrs. Glasner.
Among the attorneys' advertisements at this time are : W. R. Dodge, over First National Bank. Wales W. Wood, over Bennett jewelry store. J. S. Hildrup, over Terwilliger's drug store, corner of State and Mechanics Streets. Chas. E. Fuller, over Fuller's book store, south side, and M. M. Boyce, Rice's Block, south side.
The library movement resulted in the formation of an organization of the Belvidere Library Association. At a meeting held at Mrs. Glasner's residence, April 30, 1874, a constitution was adopted and officers were elected.
The month of April, 1874, was unusually cool, according to the figures kept by Geo. B. Moss for many years.
The Standard states that A. W. Robertson, who rims the South Prairie quarry, occasionally digs out fossils, shells and small quantities of iron ore.
Decoration Day services were held in the Belvidere cemetery, the day being very hot. Wales Wood was chairman ; John Rollins, marshal, and Judge Lawrence, Rev. John Fulton and John Rollins were the speakers. Thirty-five soldiers are named as being buried in the cemetery.
Mr. and Mrs. Enos Tompkins celebrated their golden wedding, June 6, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Tompkins removed to Belvidere in 1851, from Towanda, Pa. He was in the war of 1812.
Attorney M. M. Boyce died suddenly at Independence, Ia., while attending court, June, 1874. Mr. Boyce came to Belvidere about 1850 and served some years as state's attorney and one year as county judge.
Lightning-rod agents were complained of as swindling the farmers.
The Belvidere Library Association opened its library at Miss Jenner's.
The Fourth of July celebration was held in Pier's grove, about 2 1/ 2 miles east of town. A. large number of the Sunday school scholars marched, making a procession over a mile in length. Races were held at the fair grounds in the afternoon and a torch light procession in the evening.
Base ball had considerable run this year. The question of organizing a fire department was taken up.
Belvidere library removed to the postoffice, August.
The Free Methodist camp meetings were held several years before 1874, near Caledonia, but that year a grove near Cherry Valley was pur chased and improved under the direction of Elder W. P. Gray, and lots offered for sale.
Trips and excursions to Geneva Lake are quite often mentioned in the papers.
The first killing frost in 1874 was October 12th.
A trap shoot was held in Rowan's pasture October 21, 1874, attended by quite a number of the shooters.
The vote for state officers, November 3, 1874. was about 1,299 to the Republicans and 184 to the Democrats. S. L. Covey was unanimously elected sheriff.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE
The hotel was run by W. S. Woodword. There were two churches, Methodist and Congregational.
Among the stores were Woodworth & Alex ander, general store, established about 1869. This firm also ran a grain elevator and kept the postoffice.
F. J. Hawley, hardware. W. H. Brook & Co., general store, including drugs.
Daniel Wilcox was freight and baggage agent for the Northwestern for many years in Belvidere.
Challenge debate at the Adelphi Hall, Belvidere Literary Union of the south side, and the Adelphi Lyceum of the north side. Major C. R. Loop was chairman. The Union speakers were E. D. Sherman, M. C. Harding and L. W. Terry. The Ade1phi speakers were H. A. Boomer, E. J. Shaw and Geo. Lovering. The salutatory address was by C. A. Church. The Union society won.
March, 1875, effort being made to organize a militia. Meeting held in rooms over T. L. Devlin's shoe shop and forty names enrolled.
The ice broke up in the Kishwaukee, March 20, 1875.
April 1, 1875. A. 0. Williams' drug store caught fire and burned, together with Pettit & Bowley's jewelry store. This was the third fire in this locality. The first was a hotel built by Mr. Doty which burned in 1855, when occupied by Mr. Wilson. The next was the Union Block, including the old Union Hall, built by Enos Tompkins, Henry Crosby, W. R. Woodruff and Alexander Neely. The citizens turned out in great numbers and succeeded in saving the adjoining buildings, including Glasner's store.
Spelling schools were very popular this year and among those who took part we notice the names of a great many of the prominent citizens.
Jewett Sheldon purchased Mr. Traver's interest in the Julien House, May, 1875, and the firm became Tousley & Sheldon.
W. C. Coates commenced the publication of a daily paper known as the "Dailey Index," in Belvidere in 1875, assisted by Frank Turneaure.
The Washington Guards, commanded by Capt. Flynn.
Belvidere Library Association, June, 1875, the annual report shows 354 books, of which 124 were the remains of a library founded over twenty years before. The library was open one hour Wednesday afternoon and one hour on Saturday afternoon and one hour Saturday evening.
Nine new kerosene burners were substituted for an equal number of gasoline street lamps, which latter were quite unsatisfactory, as they sometimes "became as dim as an ordinary lightning bug," according to the paper.
In 1875, David Daniels of Le Roy kept the county poor.
Bogardus cultivated about 350 acres of broom corn, including over 100 acres on the Hildrup farm.
An old fashioned Fourth of July was observed in 1875 on Saturday, the 3rd, being at Adelphi Hall on account of the rain. D. D. Sabin was president of the day, Col. Gilman, marshal, and Gen. Hurlbut the orator.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Congregational Church was dedicated July 25, 1875, being the building formerly occupied by the South Side Christian Church.
The summer of 1875 was marked by heavy rains.
The public square was fenced. Belvidere Park at Geneva Lake was established in 1875, the stock was divided into 28 shares at $25.00 a share. each representing a lot. For a long time the park was a favorite summer home for many of the prominent Belvidere families, but has mostly passed into the hands of other owners. The land is worth many times what was originally paid for it.
The American House was redecorated in Au gust, 1875, and opened under the management of W. H. Truesdell.
Dr. John S. King, an early settler of Belvidere, died at DeKalb, September 14, 1875, aged 89. He preached the first sermon in the county at Timothy Caswell's (afterward the Lacy place) in February or March, 1836.
The Adelphi Lyceum, a literary society, was started on the north side in 1873 and continued for two years.
The Boone Rifle Company was organized November, 1875, under the instruction of Major C. B. Loop.
Geo. Picken came to Boone County in 1840 and settled in Caledonia. He was a native of Argyleshire, Scotland, and died November 20, 1875. aged 69.
Nijah Hotchkiss died at Cedar Falls. Ia., where he had lived for many years, December, 1875. He was buried at Belvidere with Masonic honors.
The Boone Rifles elected C. B. Loop captain ; Geo. H. Hurlbut, first lieutenant, and S. H. Bailey, second lieutenant.
The winter of 1857 to '58 was very mild. William McBride stated that he plowed every month during that year, although in February he found a little frost.
Among the features of Caledonia Center in 1876 were the Montanye House, the Spencer band, and Chappell's Hall.
A Samaritan Reformer's Club of Belvidere was organized in March, 1876, and a large number signed the pledge.
An election was held in March, 1876. to decide whether Belvidere would adopt city organization and the proposition was lost by ninety votes. A no-license board was elected at the same time.
The ladies of the Library Society gave a Centennial party at Union Hall for the benefit of the library, which was very successful.
The principal Fourth of July celebration this year was held at Garden Prairie, at which L. W. Lawrence and R. P. Porter, of Rockford, werethe speakers. No public meeting was held in Belvidere.
The 40th anniversary of the First Baptist Church, held in July, 1876. The first Baptist house of worship was an old log house opposite the Universalist Church, where E. H. Reynolds' house afterward stood. It was used as a court house and school house.
In the November election, 1876, the vote was as follows : Republican, 1,966; Democratic, 364, and Greenback, 43 ; Chas. E. Fuller, state's attorney ; James W. Sawyer, circuit clerk ; S. L. Covey, sheriff ; Frank S. Whitman, coroner.
The Congregational Church at Poplar Grove burned in January, 1877, at a loss of about $7,000.
In February, 1877, a cantata, the "Court of Babylon," was given in Union Hall by about sixty singers, under the direction of the Baker family. Many of the prominent people took part in the three performances, given to large audiences.
An old fashioned spelling school was held in Adelphi Hall. D. B. Pettit and A. C. Fuller, monitors. Among those who took part were Nathan Smedley, W. W. Wood, 0. H. Wright. Dr. and Mrs. F. S. Whitman were the victors.
HISTORY OF BOONE COUNTY
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