N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #4

N. J. Comerford, a prominent citizen of Minooka and Joliet, collected obituaries and newspaper articles during his lifetime for placement in his scrapbook. Michele Roberts, historian at Three Rivers Public Library in Minooka, photocopied his books for transcription. That transcription is included on this website in a series of articles called N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook.

See also:

  1. N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #1
  2. N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #2
  3. N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #3
  4. N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #4
  5. N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #5

Murdered – Why?

William D. Taylor, director in chief for the Famous Players-Lasky plant, was found shot to death in his Hollywood bungalow yesterday

Soldier, Engineer, Actor, Miner, and Farmer

Los Angeles, Cal., Feb. 2 – [Special] – William D. Taylor had a remarkable career, including three trips to the Klondike, during one of which he wrested a small fortune from the wilds, and a rise during the world war from a private in the British army to the rank of captain in a few months.

He was born in Malloss, County Cork, Ireland, in 1877, his mother being an Irish gentlewoman and his father a colonel in the British army. His father desired him to follow a military career and he studied in a number of European colleges, with the object of becoming an army engineer. Defective eyesight, however, disqualified him for the rigid British regular army tests.

He then spent two years in Germany and France, completing his engineering course, and when 18 had his first experience with the theater, when he became secretary of the famous Charles Hawtrey company. His father objected to this association with the stage and purchased for him a ranch at Harper, Kas., where for nearly two years he farmed.

Lured to Klondike.

The lure of the stage remained with him, however, and when he received an offer from Fanny Davenport to join her in juvenile parts he abandoned the Kansas farm for a three year contract. He remained on the stage until the Klondike gold strike, when he joined the adventures to Alaska, finally reaching the Klondike after a nine months’ journey over the “long route,” through Canada. He won a small fortune in the gold fields, but lost it through unfortunate investments on his return to America.

He then played in stock in the old Castle Garden theater in Boston and later joined Chicago and Seattle stock companies. When at Seattle the Klondike again lured him, and he spent two more years in the wilds. This time fortune failed to smile and he returned to the stage, joining the Harry Corson Clarke company on its tour of the Hawaiian islands.

Reads Bible, Pacifies Lunatics

On returning from this tour he again started for Alaska, but on the way, attracted by the engineering problem offered by the Grand Trunk railway terminal at Prince Rupert, B. C., brought his engineering training into play until the terminal was completed. He then went to the Klondike, where he was snowed in alone in a cabin eighteen miles from the nearest settlement for eight months. His Alaska adventures included an attack by a companion who went suddenly mad from long isolation in a snow bound cabin and brandishing a .44 revolver in each hand, threatened to kill him. There was a Bible in the cabin, and Taylor coolly argued with the maniac, finally convincing him by readings from the Bible that it would be wrong to take a human life.

On his return from his third trip to the Klondike Taylor found that many actors of the legitimate stage had dropped their prejudice against the screen drama, and he, too, joined the secession, going to the old Kay Bee company, appearing in “The Iconoclast,” produced at Inceville. He remained with Ince several months, and also worked with Vitagraph. He appeared in “Capt. Alvarez,” the first multiple reel picture produced on the Pacific coast.

Directed Many Famous Stars

He then turned his attention to directing. He directed the first great serial, “The Diamond from the Sky.” In 1914 he joined the Famous Players corporation, but enlisted with the British army as a private, rising rapidly to the rank of captain. At the close of the war he returned to the Lasky company.

During his moving picture career Taylor directed nearly every great star of the screen, including Mary Pickford, Constance Talmadge, Mary Miles Minter, Elsie Ferguson, Wallace Reid, George Bevan, Dustin Farnum, Betty Compson, Catherine Williams, House Peters, Jack Pickford, and many others.

The last picture he directed, completed a few days ago, was “The Great Temptation,” starring Betty Compson. He was about to begin a new picture Monday, “The Ordeal,” starring Agnes AYRES. He was also attempting to select a story in which he later planned to star Betty Compson.

Played Lone Hand All His Life

Among the recent plays in which he appeared as an actor were “Huckleberry Finn” and “Sacred or Profane Love.” He lent his own name to the William D. Taylor Productions company, which made such pictures as “Huckleberry Finn,” “The Furnace,” “The Soul of Youth,” and “The Witching Hour,” all of which enjoyed successful runs on Broadway.

Among others which he directed were “Ann of Green Gables,” “Judy,” “Rogues’ Harbor,” “Jenny, Be Good,” “Tom Sawyer,” “Wealth,” “Joanna Enlists,” and “Sacred and Profane Love,” the last name starring Elsie Ferguson.

All his life in his career of adventure and in the movies Taylor played “a lone hand.” He went alone to Alaska in all three of his prospecting trips, and lived alone at his South Alvarado street, home with only a colored servant to attend him.

Death Ends Career of ‘Fiddling Bob’

Senator Taylor of Tennessee Succumbs After an Operation for Gallstones

Violin Leads to Fame, Charms the Mountaineers with Music and Wins His Way to Congress

April 1911, newspaper unknown

Washington, March 31 – Robert Love Taylor – known as “Fiddling Bob” to all the South – is dead.

Unable to withstand the shock of an operation for gallstones, performed last Thursday, the senior United States Senator from Tennessee died today, ending a picturesque and typically American career.

Mrs. Taylor, worn out by a twenty-four hour vigil, had gone to her apartments, when, at 3 o’clock this morning, the senator began to sink so rapidly that she was sent for. She was at his side when the end came.

Senate to Pay Tribute

The Senate tomorrow will pay tribute to his memory by an early adjournment. Both houses will appoint committees to leave here tomorrow night to attend the funeral at Senator Taylor’s old home in Knoxville. The burial service will be held there probably on Wednesday.

As “Fiddling Bob” Senator Taylor “fiddled” his way first into the House of Representatives at Washington, then into the governor’s chair of his native state, and finally into the United States Senate.

Noted as an orator and a constructive statesman of the new South, he was the principal figure in some of the most picturesque battles of American politics, among them a fight for the governorship of Tennessee against his brother, Alfred A. Taylor, for many years a representative.

He was nominated in 1878 for representative on the Democratic ticket against A. H. Pettibone, a distinguished Republican lawyer and politician of the time. His nomination was regarded in the light of a joke.

Wins His Sobriquet

But “Fiddling Bob” – and this is where he earned the sobriquet – set a precedent in campaigning. In default of money and influential friends, he tucked his violin under his arm and set out to win votes with its melodious strains.

Trudging over the mountains he told funny stories, played his violin and whirled the buxom mountaineer girls “around the corners” on the puncheon floors as though he were one of them. No one could resist his mellifluous oratory if the violin passed without effect. The laughter of his opponents changed to well-founded dismay – “Fiddling Bob” was elected to Congress.

The governorship fight against his brother in 1886 is considered a classic. Alfred A. Taylor was nominated on the Republican ticket so the Democrats prevailed upon “Fiddling Bob” to run against him.

Again Uses Violin

Once more he had recourse to the lure of the violin and played in the mountain wilds to rustic audiences whose souls he charmed and whose votes he won.

It was called the “War of the Roses,” and was marked by fiery oratory, bonfires, fiddlings, debates, dances, merry-makings and mass meetings, to which people walked or came in wagons for many miles.

“Fiddling Bob” was elected. He was reelected in 1888, and in 1896 again was chosen governor.

“I haven’t played on my violin for twenty years,” said Senator Taylor in New York just before his death. “As a matter of fact, I played it only fairly well. My brother is the real violinist. People so often asked me to play for them that I finally gave the violin to my daughter. However, I made $250,000 from my lecture. “The Fiddle and the Bow.”

This is the lecture in which occurs the famous phrase, epitome of southern gallantry and devotion to beautiful women. “The drumbeats of fluttering hearts and the sweet musketry of kisses.”

Senator Taylor

Taylor was the originator of many similar impassioned phrases, which earned him a warm place in the affections of the southern people.

Was 61 Years Old

Senator Taylor was 61 years old. Born at Happy Valley, in eastern Tennessee, he spent most of his life at Nashville, Tenn., practicing law. He was educated at Pennington, N. J., with his brothers, all six of whom became famous. His father was a representative in Congress and later a commissioner in Indian affairs.

Once pension agent at Knoxville, thrice governor of Tennessee, Senator Taylor forged his way to Congress from the same district that elected his father and later his brother, Alfred A. Taylor.

Senator Taylor was a Cleveland Democrat. He had served in the Senate from January, 1907, when he succeeded Senator E. W. Carmack, until the present time. His chief achievement was his activity on behalf of a comprehensive system of good roads and the lakes-to-the-gulf deep water way project.

Besides Mrs. Taylor, his third wife, who was Miss Mamie St. John of Chilhowie, Smythe County, Va., whom he married in September, 1904, Senator Taylor is survived by a son, David, and three married daughters.

District Deputy George E. Clarke, of South Bend, Indiana, lectured before the Chautauqua Assembly late in August on “The American Cataline” and “An Untilled Adventurer,” the latter a brilliant character sketch and critical narrative of the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Brother Clarke is a fluent and finished orator. His addresses were pronounced among the finest ever delivered before the Assembly. [newspaper and date unknown]

Michael Lennon

1839 – 1919

February 11, 1919, newspaper unknown

Michael Lennon, 80 years of age, pioneer resident and merchant of Joliet, died Monday night at 6:30 o’clock in his home, 216 Sherman street, following several weeks’ illness. For half a century Mr. Lennon has been actively associated with Joliet business and political interests and has taken a prominent part in all civic movements. He has filled a number of municipal offices, serving the city five years as alderman and three years as chief of the fire department, three terms as city treasurer and eight years as highway commissioner. Mr. Lennon is the last of six children of one of the earliest Irish families locating in Joliet. He was born July 4, 1839, near Athione, county Roscommon, Ireland. In 1852, with his mother, five brothers and three sisters, he started for America. The family came by way of New Orleans, taking the water route up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, finally landing in Joliet, a river village, in March.

He was married to Miss Elizabeth Kinney July 11, 1861, in St. Patrick’s church, the Rev. T. Farley officiating. Mrs. Lennon died several months ago.

Mr. Lennon was the pioneer grocer of Joliet, establishing his store at Jefferson and Desplaines streets. He always took pride in the fact that he was a blacksmith in his youth, making wagons, buggies and horse shoes.

Later he was interested in the insurance, business and served as chief clerk in the department of public works. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and one of the early parishioners in Sacred Heart church.

He is survived by two sons, William H. and John of Joliet, and six daughters, Mary E., Celia K., Frances and Mrs. Clyde Roberts of Joliet, Mrs. Lawrence Ryan of Chicago and Mrs. Homer Mooney of Carson City, Neb. He was a brother of the late John Lennon.

Six nephews will act as pallbearers at the funeral Wednesday morning at 9:30 o’clock from the home to Sacred Heart church at 10 o’clock. Burial will be in Mount Olivet cemetery.

Judge DeSelm Unhurt as Bolt Kills Companion

August 15, 1921, newspaper unknown

J. B. Smith, veteran editor of the Kankakee Daily Democrat and a leader in democratic politics of Kankakee, was instantly killed by lightning yesterday while playing golf at the Kankakee Country club. He was 67 years old. A number of his friends reside in Joliet.

Judge Arthur W. DeSelm of Kankakee and judge of the judicial circuit, was with Mr. Smith. He was uninjured.

Both were playing golf when a storm arose. They had started to the club house when the bolt struck Mr. Smith.

January 2, 1917

Jeremiah A. Kinsella

1857 – 1916

The funeral of Jeremiah A. Kinsella, 709 Western avenue, who died in St. Joseph’s hospital Friday night, was held yesterday afternoon.

The funeral cortege left the residence at 2:30 o’clock, headed by the representatives of the Knights of Columbus, of which Mr. Kinsella was a member. Those representing the order were: William Redmond, John Fitzgibbons, William Ganson, and A.E. Dinet.

The active pall bearers were William Lyons, Eneshia Meers, William Kaffer, Jacob Adler, Jr., Daniel Lennon and John D’Arcy.

Those acting as honorary pall bearers were: Joseph A. Kelly, John Bannon, James Clark, Frank Murphy, Thomas Hennebry and P.C. Haley.

Requiem high mass was sung at St. Patrick’s church by the Rev. Father O’Dwyer, Father McMann of Minooka and Father O’Brien.

John Walsh sang “Thy Will Be Done,” and the St. Patrick’s quartette, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Odenthal, William Odenthal and Miss Annie Collins sang “Christian, Good Night.”

Burial was by motor to St. Patrick’s cemetery. A special mass was said in St. Patrick’s church this morning at 8:30 o’clock.

Mr. Kinsella was 59 years old, and had extensive land holdings in Will and Grundy counties.

He is survived by five children, Norine, Evelyn, Helen, Gerald and John, all of whom reside in Joliet.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Modern Woodmen of America.

Andrew J. Hunter, Former Congressman, Who Died

January 13, 1912, newspaper unknown

Andrew J. Hunter, an Illinois Democrat, who served two terms as a representative in Congress, died yesterday at Paris, Ill., at the age of 81 years. He was born in Greencastle, Ind., Dec. 17, 1831, and was educated in the public schools and at Edgar Academy, the latter school in Illinois. After leaving school, he followed the profession of civil engineer for three years, then studied law and was admitted to the bar and took up the practice of law at Paris, Ill. He represented Edgar County in the state senate from 1864 to 1868. In 1882 he was a candidate for Congress against Joseph G. Cannon and was defeated. In 1884 he was elected to the Edgar County Court and re-elected in 1890, resigning in 1892 upon his election as congressman at large. In 1896 he was elected to Congress from the nineteenth district.

Aged Minooka Resident Dead

February 1914, newspaper unknown

Mrs. Patrick Clennon Departs This Life at Home of Her Son Aged Ninety-five Years

Mrs. Patrick Clennon died at 4:30 yesterday afternoon at the home of her son J. P. Clennon near Minooka. Her death was caused from old age and general breakdown. She was about ninety-five years of age. She was born in Queen County, Ireland, and came to America in 1847 and lived in Ohio for three years, later coming to Illinois where she has lived since. Her husband died about twenty years ago. She leaves but one son at whose home she passed away. Her son is president of the First National bank at Minooka. She also leaves eight grandchildren. The funeral will be held at 10:30 Monday from St. Mary’s church in Minooka. Rev. Father McMahon will officiate. Burial in Minooka cemetery.

South Bend, Ind. – May 13. An event which attracted unusual interest here was the unveiling last Sunday of the monument erected to the memory of the Hon. George E. Clarke, founder of South Bend Council No. 553, Knights of Columbus. The ceremonies were held in Cedar Grove cemetery, and the exercises, in which the cadet battalion of Notre Dame University took part, were held at the foot of the monument. Music was furnished by the Notre Dame band. Edward Toomey opened the program with a resume of George Clarke’s life, and William A. McInerney, of South Bend, delivered an address. Mr. McInerney and Mr. Clarke were intimate friends for years, and in the course of his remarks the speaker dwelt upon the sterling virtues displayed by Mr. Clarke both as an American citizen and a Catholic.

Is Magnificent Monument

The monument erected in memory of Clarke is a simple yet magnificent structure of granite. The lettering is of a beautiful rounded design set in relief on the face of the stone. The entire knighthood of the State contributed towards the memorial and many were in attendance at the ceremonies. The committee in charge consisted of E.J. Twomey, W. F. Stanton, Elkhart, and W. F. Mooney of Indianapolis.

In addition to being the founder of the local council, Clarke was the founder of 25 other councils in cities surrounding South Bend. His faithful and active services on the behalf of the knighthood led him to become known as the “father of the knighthood in Indiana.”

He was born in New Orleans, May 8, 1860, and died in 1909. After leaving high school he gained a wide experience as a newspaper reporter, private secretary to the president of the M. & O. railway, an employe of the Studebaker corporation, and training at Cornell, St. Vincent’s college, University of Michigan and Notre Dame University. He chose law as his profession and became one of the foremost attorneys in the city. For two terms he was prosecuting attorney of St. Joseph county, Notre Dame University conferred upon him the degrees of LL. B., B. A. and M. A. The University of Michigan made him a Master of Law. Clarke also became widely known as a fluent and brilliant speaker. He was a member of the State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Capt. G. W. Streeter

Captain Streeter of Chicago Dies

1921, newspaper unknown

Chicago, Jan. 24 – Captain George Wellington Streeter, chief figure in one of the most picturesque legal struggles ever enacted in Chicago is dead.

Captain Streeter was claimant to the title for a large section of the north side, along Lake Michigan and commonly known as Streeterville.

His death occurred Saturday night on a little houseboat where he made his home, it became known today.

Captain Streeter, 80 years old, has been fighting since 1886 to establish his claim to one of the most valuable sections of Chicago’s lake front. In that year, his schooner, the Reutan, stranded on the beach during a storm. Captain Streeter built a breakwater about the stranded Bessel 450 feet off shore and made it his home.

The rapidly shifting sands filled in the space between the boat and the shore and in time 193 acres was added to the city’s area. It was this land which Captain Streeter fought for.

In 1915, the court ruled that Streeter had no title to the property and his brick castle, which had been succeeded by the steamer Domicile was wrecked by deputy sheriffs.

The site of Captain Streeter’s “deestrict” is part of Chicago’s famous “Gold coast” and is now covered by more than a dozen skyscraper apartment buildings and hotels. The land is valued at more than $50,000.000.

Edwin O. Excell

Born Dec. 13, 1851. Died June 11, 1921.

Prof. Excell had been known in evangelistic circles for more than a quarter of a century. Born in Uniontown, Pa., Dec. 13, 1851, he married Eliza Jane Bell of Brady’s Bend, Pa., when he was 20 years old and moved to the Pacific coast.

There, according to his friends, he was a brick mason, studying music in his odd hours. According to the story, he had a habit of singing at his work. One day Sam Jones, “the Georgia evangelist,” visited the place where he was working. Attracted by Prof. Excell’s voice, he engaged him as a chorister, and for the next twenty years the two were inseparable.

Begins Publishing Hymn Books

In 1881 Prof. Excell began the publishing of hymn books. These rapidly attained a wide usage in Protestant churches the world over.

Since 1914 Prof. Excell has been an officer of the International Sunday School association and acted as musical director and choir leader at its conventions. He had visited virtually every state and province on the North American continent.

Divorce Suit Aggravates Illness

Prof. Excell entered the Wesley Memorial hospital on Nov. 1, 1920. At that time he was reported as suffering from sclerosis of the spinal cord and heart disease.

This was aggravated, members of his family declared, by the filing of a divorce suit against his grandson, Edwin O. Excell. Edwin’s wife charged that the evangelist had attempted to alienate Edwin’s affections.

Prof. Excell was a Methodist and a Prohibitionist. His publishing offices were located at 410 South Michigan avenue. His home was at 4308 Oakenwald avenue.

Associate Pays Tribute

“Mr. Excell was possessed of a voice which for range and power was said by competent authorities to have been without an equal during his younger years,” said Charles H. Gabriel, famous gospel hymn composer and friend and associate of Mr. Excell for forty years, who resides in River Forest. “He could sing from low C in the bass to upper G in the tenor register.

“He was the owner of the largest hymn book publishing house in the world, selling annually well over 1,000,000 books. He was without doubt the best, greatest and last of his line in the profession of ‘song-evangelist’, choir director and leader of multitudes in song. There were no choirs in his earlier career and he would often lead as many as 20,000 or even 30,000 persons in song unassisted.

“I traveled throughout the United States and Canada with Mr. Excell for many, many years and knew him for a great man.”

Orasamus Page, World’s Oldest “Newsie” Dead

Orasamus Page, age 104 years, the “world’s oldest newsie”, died this morning at 1 o’clock in his home, North Eastern avenue. Mr. Page would have been 105 years old on February 11.

With him, when he died, were his bride of seventy years ago and his daughter, Mrs. William Bigelow, 628 Benton street. Death was not unexpected as he had been ailing, for several weeks. Telegrams announcing his death were sent to his four children who live away from Joliet and arrangements for the funeral will not be perfected until replies have been received.

The body is at Buck’s undertaking rooms in the Masonic Temple, Jefferson street, where the funeral services will be held Sunday unless the present plan is changed.

The old newspaper vendor, who had seen the birth and passing of more than a century of years, had been ailing for many weeks and had not been able to attend to his sales regularly at the new Union station. He has sold papers about the Joliet depots since 1893 and thousands new the centenarian newspaper “boy”.

Unsold Papers Saved in Cottage.

Since 1909 he lived in a tiny rectangular cottage, its length divided into three rooms, at 305 North Eastern avenue. The building is trim enough without, within it is cluttered with the miscellaneous accumulation of many lean years; broken backed chairs, boxes, a wax flower group under a glass dome, the only ornament, and everywhere unsold papers. A little stand in one of the two front windows holds the papers which each day are left over from his depot sales. Although he kept only the morning papers, kindly neighbors provide that his business continue during the whole day, so that it is not unusual for a boy to drop in after supper to get an issue for his father. Orasamus was always found sitting just inside the door while his wife, cheery and shrill voiced at 96, hustled about in the second room at some invisible task.

Was Early Riser

Every morning at four he was up and by 5 o’clock without fail, except during the few illnesses of his later years, he would be on hand to get his 40 or 50 papers at the Alton station. A few were sold at the early trains there but more left with customers along Jefferson street. The wearisome journey home took him over half an hour.

After breakfast he used to go to the Eastern Avenue station, only a step from the cottage. What papers were not sold there had no chance except at the house, for he could not make the trip downtown again. In good weather he walked a little in the afternoon; otherwise the rest of the day was spent in his chair. Always he was in bed by 9 o’clock in the evening.

Family Long Lived

Orasamus Page was born Feb. 11, 1808, near an Indian village, on his father’s farm in Cattaraugus county, New York. In 1820 the family moved to Ohio; then scattered until now there are descendants in many states in the union. Orasamus came to Illinois with his wife and oldest daughter in 1847. He was a general contractor and his first work in his new home was the grading of 50 miles of the Great Western roadbed east of Decatur. In 1861 he moved to Braidwood where he made his home until he came to Joliet in the World’s Fair year. Financial losses combined with his old age and crippled condition – he lost a foot before he left Ohio – forced him into the occupation which he pursued to the time of his last illness.

Longevity was a tradition in his family. Though his father only lived to be 90, two of his grandparents lived to be more than 100. One reached the advanced age of 106 years. Orasamus’ oldest daughter, Mrs. Ada Fitzberg, of Bird City, Kansas, is already 70 years old. His “baby” is 47.

The Page family had a record of patriotic service to which the old man pointed with pride. His paternal grandfather was a general under Washington in the Revolutionary War. His father and uncles served in the War of 1812. A brother, Moses Page, went through the Civil War. He himself enlisted for the Mexican War, but got no further than the border and did not see active service. Before the Civil War began he was incapacitated for military duty by the accident which cost him his right foot. But he “stumped” the state on his one good foot and peg leg (the pun pleased him) for Lincoln in 1860.

His most active years were devoted to teaming and moving and from the stories which he told must have had a comfortable living while residing at Braidwood. He liked to boast of the feats of strength or sheer endurance which he had performed. His property was lost in some legal complication which did not seem to be very clear to him as he could not explain it. Since coming to Joliet in the World’s Fair year he has subsisted entirely by the sale of his papers. Already a man of 84 he attracts the attention of railroad men and travelers at once and as the years roll by and he still stumps up to the platform with his papers every morning, his fame spreads until there are people in every part of the land who at some time have noted him.

Page camped on the present site of Joliet before any man new living had been here and before there were any permanent settlers. In 1827 when 19 years of age he with a band of others left Ohio on an errand which he had always shrouded in secrecy. He admits only that it was partly concerned with the breaking up of a band of highwaymen and marauders known as the Prairie bandits. They came as far west as Chicago and camped one night in Joliet.

Before leaving Ohio he witnessed the building of the first railroad in the country, a stretch of timber track from New York to Cumberland. He himself shipped the first steam carried load of cattle into the country, he claimed, and in telling about it always added with disgust that he could have driven them to their destination about as rapidly. In his time he drove cattle and hogs from Ohio to New York and Baltimore, walking beside them all the way. Once on a mountain he was snowed in with a herd and his helpers for six weeks.

After coming to Braidwood he taught school for a time, farmed, contracted, and served several terms as constable and justice of the peace. For these two offices he had at the last a supreme contempt and regretted ever having held them.

Page and his wife were married in 1838. If he had lived a year longer they could have celebrated their diamond wedding jubilee. They have had five children, all of whom are believed to be living. One, Mrs. Ada Fishbert of Bird City, Kansas, is 70 years old and has several grandchildren, Edward, a son lives somewhere in Oregon. Mrs. Richard Holsworth, one of their daughters, is in Ohio. Mrs. Violet Fernandez, another daughter, helps publish an Italian paper in Ontario, Texas, and the last, their baby, is Mrs. William Bigelow of Joliet. Edward Taylor, a grandson, also lives in Joliet.

Deaths Reported

Raymond C. Thorne, who met death in a Los Angeles suburb when his automobile skidded and upset.

Joseph Leiter, Jr., who was killed by an accidental shotgun blast while on a duck hunting trip near his father’s hunting lodge at the mouth of the Mississippi. The picture was taken three years ago.

The sons of two old and wealthy Chicago families met tragic deaths yesterday.

Joseph Leiter, Jr., 10 year old son of Joseph Leiter, millionaire resident of Chicago and Washington, was killed by the accidental discharge of a shotgun while duck hunting in Louisiana.

Raymond C. Thorne, son of the late W.C. Thorne, former president of Montgomery Ward & Co., was killed in Los Angeles when his automobile turned turtle, pinning him beneath it.

“Joseph Leiter, Jr., was killed today while hunting near the mouth of the Mississippi river by the unexplained explosion of a cartridge in his gun. According to his father, who was entertaining a party of friends at Chateau Canard on a hunting trip in the nearby swamps, the boy left the shooting lodge.

“After shooting a duck the lad reloaded his shotgun and laid it on the ground while he went after the bird. When he returned and picked up the gun the shell was exploded, killing him instantly, Mr. Leiter, Sr., was not at the lodge at the time.”

The slain youth, son of the man who became world famous when he cornered the wheat market in the Chicago pit, was a grandson of Levi Z. Leiter of Chicago, who founded the Leiter fortune. He was a nephew of the late Lady Curzon of England. The boy would have inherited an estate of several millions had he grown to manhood.

Auto Kills Raymond C. Thorne

Los Angeles, Cal., Jan. 10 [Special] – Raymond C. Thorne, a vice-president of Montgomery Ward & Co., Chicago, was killed here this morning when his automobile skidded and turned turtle on Wilshire boulevard.

He was hurrying from a downtown club to his palatial residence in Beverly Hills when the accident occurred. He lay in the mud, pinned beneath the heavy machine, for some time before a passing motorist found him. He was not identified for several hours, until William C. Camp, his step-father, visited the undertaking establishment in which the body lay.

Went West to Open Home

Last spring he went to California and built a palatial residence for his wife in Beverly Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles. It had only been recently completed and a week ago he again went west to prepare for its opening.

Mrs. William C. Camp, Thorne’s mother, who lives at 3314 Sheridan road, and his widow, who was visiting her, are prostrated by the tragedy. Both are under the care of physicians.

Elias Tabler Funeral Will be Held Tomorrow

February 23, 1921

Elias Tabler, who died yesterday in his home in Minooka, will be buried tomorrow afternoon in Aux Sable cemetery. Services will be held in Minooka M. E. church at 2 o’clock.

Mr. Tabler was 84 years old and was one of the very earliest settlers in Grundy county. His father, Nathaniel H. Tabler, was one of the second group of pioneers to unload their prairie ______________________ camp on one of the choicest spots in Nature’s gifts. The first actual settler of Aux Sable was Salmon Rutherford, who came in 1833 from New York. He built a hotel and named it “Dresden.” Following him came Mr. Tabler and family with Henry Cryder, Zach Walley and their families from Delaware county, Ohio. Elias was born in this spot where the three families settled. They lived there most of his life until 29 years ago, when he moved into Minooka.

His father and mother came across country in the prairie schooner drawn by a yoke of oxen and followed by eight or ten head of cattle. In the “Aux Sable country” as it was then called, a log cabin was built and the prairie converted into productive soil. Nathaniel and wife reared their family in this pioneer surroundings and Elias was one of their children.

Orasamus Page, 104, is Dead, Was World’s Oldest “Newsie”

Dead Centenarian and His Aged Wife

Mr. and Mrs. Orasamus Page, the latter surviving at the age of 96.

Herald, January 2, 1913

Adlai E. Stevenson

For much the greater part of his long life Adlai E. Stevenson had been a citizen of Illinois. He represented the state in Congress and the state was honored in his person when he was elected Vice President on the ticket with Cleveland in 1892. It was striking evidence of his party’s belief in his popularity that he was again nominated for the same office in 1900 as Bryan’s running mate and that he was called upon to make the race for governor of the state in 1908.

He was a stalwart party man, but the popularity that he enjoyed was due in great measure to personal charm. He was courteous, companionable, a master of anecdote, distinguished always by pleasing manners. He had many friends in the South, and at the time of the fight for the World’s Fair he was credited with doing very effective work for Chicago among southern members of Congress. His death removes form the state one of a group of prominent public men whose influence was felt for many years in national politics.

John Patten



Minooka, Jan. 26 – Funeral services for John Patten, who died in his home, two and one-half miles west of Minooka, Thursday morning at ___ o’clock, were held from the home to the Methodist Episcopal chaplain.

Pall bearers were Edward Carlson, John Buckley, E. Henderson, John Holt, James Shearer, and Roy Hare, all members of Minooka Lodge No. 528, A. F. and A. M., of which the deceased was a member. William H. Zarley of Joliet, acting as worshipful master, also Frank Conkling of Joliet, acting as church at 1:30 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

The Rev. Paul Carson officiated. The Masonic service was conducted by the members of Minooka lodge 528, A. F. and A. M.

W.A. Clark, D.C. Crook, Alexander Bell, and C.F. Dirst, also Masonic brothers, acted as flower bearers Miss Audrey Bell sang “Sometime We’ll Understand,” “Face to Face,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.” Miss Franc Watson accompanied her on the piano.

Mr. Patten was also a member of Minnehaha Chapter No. 273, Order of the Eastern Star.

He is survived by his widow, one daughter, Erma, one son, Clifford, one brother, William Patten of Joliet, two sisters, Mrs. Emma Bull of Joliet, and Mrs. G.I. Bush of Bay City, Mich.

Capt. O’Connor Famed as Boer War Hero, Dies

July 16, 1922, newspaper unknown

Led Expedition to Fight English

Capt. Patrick O’Connor died yesterday in the county hospital of injuries received during the Boer war, in which he commanded a company of Irish-Americans from Chicago, who enlisted ostensibly as an ambulance corps but in reality to fight against England.

O’Connor was a veteran of the Spanish-American war, a member of the 7th Illinois infantry, when the Irish societies of Chicago and throughout the country decided to send men to aid the Boers in their fight for freedom. In order not to complicate their embarkation they were organized as a Red Cross unit and thus were able to leave the country.

In Many Engagements

Fifty-eight Chicagoans sailed on the Gascogne on Feb. 15, 1900, and upon reaching Pretoria, in the Transvaal, threw away their hospital equipments and replaced them with Mauser rifles.

They became part of Col. Blake’s South African Irish-American brigade and took part in numerous engagements. Only thirty-three of the fifty-eight returned. Several were killed, some captured, and others reported missing and never accounted for.

Meets “Oom Paul”

Richard Harding Davis, veteran war correspondent and novelist, was present when Capt. O’Connor was presented to President Krueger, “Oom Paul,” and quotes O’Connor as saying:

“We have come, sir, because your people are fighting for their liberty. We have also come that we may meet the race we hate – the English race – but since we have met your people we are willing to fight and to die for them, for themselves, no matter what their cause may be.”

Upon his return O’Connor was lionized by Irish societies, was regarded as one of the greatest Irish patriots, and all are striving for the honor of burying him.

Heart Attack Brings Death to T. Langdon

January 16, 1922, newspaper unknown

Former Supervisor Succumbs to Sudden Illness today

Thomas Langdon, 75 years old, retired Troy farmer and for 12 years member of the board of supervisors, died suddenly at 11:30 o’clock this morning at his home, 317 Hunter avenue.

Mr. Langdon had made a trip into the country an hour or so before his death. He had not been feeling well for the last week but his condition was not considered serious. He was suddenly stricken shortly after his return to his home this morning and died within a few minutes.

Born on a farm in Will County, he resided in Troy until six years ago when he moved to Joliet. Surviving him are three daughters, Mrs. Robert Miller and Mrs. James Sexton of Joliet; Mrs. Charles C. McCann, of Detroit; a brother, Frank Langdon, former fire marshal and two sisters, Mrs. Eliza Green of Joliet and Mrs. Martin Langdon of Omaha, Neb. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

James Riley of Minooka, A Pioneer, Laid to Rest


Deceased was Popular Among Wide Circle of Friends

James Riley, who died at St. Joseph’s hospital, February 22, following an intestinal operation, was one of Minooka’s earliest settlers as well as most respected residents.

When, but four years of age, in 1850, Mr. Riley, with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Riley came to Illinois from Malone, N. Y. The family settled in Kendall County, just over the line from Will and Grundy counties. Four years later Mr. Riley purchased the farm upon which James Riley resided until his fatal illness.

James Riley was a man of the big hearted type – a man who made and retained the friendship of every person with whom he became acquainted. He was highly congenial, and no visit to Minooka by a former resident of the vicinity was completed until a call had been made upon Mr. Riley.

Like all of the early settlers of this part of Illinois he was an enthusiastic Hunter in his youth and it was not long before he became widely known as a sportsman, of the higher type – a man who respected the game laws and who did all in his power to discourage the disregarding of them. His home, in later years became a mecca for sportsmen, and many Joliet nimrods were frequent visitors. The funeral was held form his late residence to St. Mary’s church in Minooka, where ritual services were conducted by Rev. McMahon. Interment was by carriage to Mt. Olivet cemetery, Joliet. The pall bearers were J. P. McEvilly, James Harvey, Richard Talbot, Arthur Thomas, Edward Brady and John Talbot.

He is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Maria Turley, to whom he was married in 1890, by one son, Roland, two daughters, Alice and Marie, one sister, Mrs. Martin Kaffer, of Minooka; and two brothers Hugh of Chicago and Lawrence of Joliet.

Pioneer Who is Hit by Paralysis

James W. Martin

Channahon Woman Dies in Seward

Henderson Funeral Today with Burial in Chapman Cemetery

Was Active Socially

November 2, 1915, newspaper unknown

Channahon, Nov. 2 – Mrs. Ebenezer Henderson of Seward, formerly of Channahon, who died at the Silver Cross hospital Saturday night after a short illness, was buried today, Tuesday, November 2 at 1 o’clock from the home in Seward, in Chapman’s cemetery.

Mrs. Henderson was the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Jennings. Besides her husband and parents, she leaves four children, Mabel, Loyd and Elmer Smith and an infant daughter, also one brother, George Jennings, four sisters, Mrs. Lawrence Monson, Wilmington; Mrs. Ethel Mull, Lawrence, Kansas; Effie and Vera Jennings of Channahon.

Mrs. Henderson who was an active member of the Woman’s Relief Corps, was serving her second term as president. She had also been Secretary for several years.

Hold Funeral of Minooka Pioneer

Mrs. Bridget McEvilly, 70 Year Resident, Buried Yesterday

Sing Solumn Mass

November, 1915, newspaper unknown

Mrs. Bridget McEvilly was buried in Minooka yesterday. She was 72 years old and one of Will County’s well known pioneer women.

Since her arrival in America at the age of two years from Castle-Bar, Ireland, where she was born in 1843, she has made her home on a farm near Minooka.

For seventeen months she had been confined to her home with paralysis. She died Sunday evening, November 7, 1915.

In 1867 she was married to Hugh McEvilly. During her life neighbors and friends for miles around made her home a center of social gatherings. Her wide spread acquaintance and numerous friends were evidenced by the attendants at her funeral from Chicago, Joliet, Morris, Minooka and other neighboring towns.

Eight children survive her, James, Edward, John and William and four daughters, Anna, Katherine, Agnes and Tessie, all of Minooka. One brother, James McEvilly, also lives in Minooka on the farm, where his father first settled. Two sisters Mrs. Annie McEvilly and Miss Helen McEvilly reside in Chicago. Another sister was the late Mrs. Joseph Kavanaugh of Joliet.

The funeral services were held yesterday morning at 10:30 o’clock at St. Mary’s Catholic church, Minooka, to St. Mary’s cemetery.

Solemn high mass was celebrated with Rev. Father Joseph McMahon as celebrant. He was assisted by Rev. Father P. O’Dwyer and Rev. Father Thomas O’Brien of St. Patrick’s church in Joliet. Rev. H.G. Van Pelt of Sacred Heart church delivered the sermon.

The choir was assisted by members of the St. Patrick’s and St. John’s churches of Joliet.

Pall bearers were: John Brannick, J. P. Clennon, John McDonald, Alexander Coulehan, Ambrose Brannick and James McDonald.

Tribute to O’Donovan Rossa

1915, newspaper unknown

50,000 Take Part in Funeral Procession at Dublin

Fifty thousand persons participated Sunday in a funeral parade at Glasnevin cemetery for Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, the Irish patriot who died on June 30 in the United States. The funeral procession included contingents of the Irish volunteers, National Volunteers, Jim Larkin’s Citizens’ army and other organizations.

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa died a month ago at St. Vincent’s Hospital, West Brighton, Staten Island, N. Y., as a result of complication of diseases. He was the last of the famous group of Fenian leaders, with the single exception of Col. W.F. Roantree of Dublin. O’Donovan Rossa plotted to slay the enemies of Ireland with dynamite.

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