Fairly Good Crowd, Interesting Session, Those Gone Before.
Originally Published in the Kendall County Record, July 4, 1900.
Edited and Compiled by Elmer Dickson.
There was a considerable gathering of the pioneers of Kendall County at the Yorkville Fair Grounds this past Friday. It is estimated that as many as 300 people attended. It was not expected that a very large crowd would be present as it was a postponed meeting, and the notice was very meager. Very few from a distance were seen in the crowd.
President Sheldon Hiram Wheeler and Secretary Robert Gilbert Leitch were on hand to welcome the visitors as they came. A light shower came up at noon, but the dinning hall was opened up and those who had baskets filled with provisions made use of the tables there and perhaps enjoyed their dinners as much, if not more, than they would on the ground.
At two o’clock or thereabouts the exercises of the amphitheatre began with a prayer by Reverend S. W. Meek of the Yorkville Congregational Church, who was also the speaker for the occasion and made an address on the “Joys and Blessings which Old People Enjoy,” which almost made the young folks wish they were old.
He was followed by Mr. J. B. Lormor of New York with the reading of an incident of the old Mississippi River steamboat days. He is a fine elocutionist.
Mr. John Fitzgerald responded with a neat little speech when called upon in which he humorously took exception to one of Mr. Meek’s ideas, and then followed with a glowing tribute to the character of the people of Illinois; Northern Illinois in particular.
Mr. E. J. Quigley of Mitchell, South Dakota, a former Yorkville school teacher, told of the Kendall County folks who were located there, and Mr. Herrington made some remarks.
The election of officers for the coming year’s picnic resulted as follows:
President, Sheldon Hiram Wheeler.
Secretary, Morgan Alexander “Dick” Skinner.
Charles Roberts, Oswego.
Alex Patterson, Bristol.
Gilbert “Denslow” Henning, Little Rock.
Lyell Thompson Aldrich, Fox.
Robert Gilbert Leitch, Kendall.
Sheldon Wheeler Johnson, NaAuSay.
Junior Daniel Platt, Lisbon.
Thomas Jefferson Phillips, Big Grove.
It was a noticeable fact that a large proportion of those present were old people, and they enjoyed mingling together and talking over old times.
There was no music, vocal or instrumental. Secretary Leitch says that a good many of the older people did not desire any, as the noise interfered with visiting, and as it was “old settlers” day the officers tried to please the old folks rather than the younger ones. They could have their fun some other time.
The names of those who passed to the other side since the last picnic was prepared by the Secretary but was not read. The following is the list:
Died in 1899.
Reuben Owens, September 10, 1899. Lived in the county sixty-three years. (Came in 1836.)
John S. Seely, September 15, 1899. Lived in the county forty-six years.
Mrs. J. J. Grooms, November 7, 1899. It has been sixty-six years since she came to Kendall Township, but had lived several years in Kansas. (Came in 1833-34.)
Died in 1900.
John Shurtliff, of Seward Township, died January 4, 1900. Lived in Kendall County, fifty-four years.
George J. Squires, of Oswego Township, died January 4, 1900. Lived in Kendall County forty-seven years.
Mrs. James Brady, of Seward Township, died January 14, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty-three years. (Came to Kendall County about 1837.)
Joseph Failing, of Oswego Township, died January 18, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty-one years. (Came to Kendall County about 1839.)
William H. Harrison, of Little Rock Township, died January 26, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty-six years. (Came to Kendall County about 1835.)
Edmund S. Seely, of NaAuSay Township, died March 21, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty years. (1840)
Samuel “Perry” Rarick, April 6, 1900, died in Chicago. Came to Kendall County in 1840, where he lived until six years ago, when he went to Chicago and lived until his death.
Lewis B. Judson died in Aurora, April 11, 1900. Settled in Kendall County in 1838, where he lived until 1873, when he moved to Aurora and lived there until his death.
Lewis Morgan, of Kendall Township, died April 24, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty-two years. (Came in about 1838.)
Matthew Budd, of Fox Township, died May 14, 1900. Lived in Kendall County fifty-two years.
Mrs. Phebe H. Latham, of Plano, died June 9, 1900. Lived in Kendall County sixty-four years. (Came to Kendall County about 1836.)
Mrs. William Stephen, February 28, 1900. Settled in Big Grove Township, Kendall County, in 1837. Aged 72 years. Died in Omaha, Nebraska.
Oliver Havenhill, May 4, 1900. Settled in Big Grove Township in 1831. Died at Dwight, Illinois.
Nancy Brainard, a former resident of Big Grove Township, died May 7, 1900 at Plano, Illinois. She had lived in Kendall County fifty-six years. (About 1844)
Mrs. Cornelia Peterson, of Lisbon Township died May 1, 1900. Lived in Kendall County since 1841.
Mrs. Samuel Inscho, of Kendall Township, died January 16, 1900. She lived in Kendall Township sixty-six years. (Came about 1834.)
Weir S. Weeks, February 6, 1900. Lived in Kendall County fifty-eight years. (Came about 1842.)
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