of Civil War Soldiers
- submitted by Shirley Aleguas
SURNAMES P - Q - R - S
PARKER, M. V.|
RANKIN, James Steven
RANSDELL, John P.
RAY, Felix G.
RAY, William Everment
READ, James Hughey
RICHARDSON, James F.
RICHARDSON, Samuel L.
RING, James M.
ROHRER, Wilburn G.|
SEYMOUR, John Brudd
SEYMOUR, John P.
SIBERT, W. E.
SMEDLEY, Thomas Braxton
SMITH, Capt. Alexander
SNYDER, Adam W
SNYDER, George W.
SMITH, William P.|
SPENCER, Benjamin F.
SPERRY, James M.
SPERRY, Luther C.
SPIRES, James Burton
STAGG, James M.
STEWART, John B.
RANSDELL, JOHN P. - (1841-1916)
John P. Ransdell passed away at his home 229 West College avenue at 6 o'clock Saturday morning after a long and
tedious illness. Mr. Ransdell was born at the well known homestead, "Prairie View," six miles southeast of the city
January 29, 1841 and was the son of Eli and Anna Graff Ransdell. He was reared on the farm and attended school as
far as practicable. He was a member of Co. K, 101st Ill. Infantry and had a good record as a soldier doing his duty
faithfully and bravely. On his return home he went to the farm and carried it on successfully till some twelve years
ago when he removed to the city where he has since resided.
Mr. Ransdell was an upright, honorable man whose word was always as good as gold. He was successful in his
business and respected by all who knew him.
His parents and only sister, Mrs. Lutie Boston died some years ago. He is survived by his wife, one nephew, W. E.
Boston and one niece, Mrs. Jos. Robinson.
He was a member of Matt Starr post, G. A. R.
The funeral will be conducted at the family residence, 229 West College avenue at 2:30 p.m., Monday, in charge of Rev.
M. L. Pontius. Burial will be in Diamond Grove Cemetery.
(Jacksonville Journal, November 19, 1916)
RING, JAMES M. - (1833-1916)
JAMES M. RING'S LONG LIFE CLOSED SUNDAY
Deceased came to This State More Than Sixty Years Ago - Veteran of the War - Funeral This Afternoon.
James M. Ring for many years a resident of Jacksonville, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. T. A. Ebrey, 700 South
Diamond street Sunday morning at 9 o'clock after a brief illness. Mr. Ring has been in his usual health until about a week
ago when he contracted a severe cold which developed into pneumonia and this was the cause of death.
James M. Ring was the son of Richard and Anna Cully Ring, and was born at Liberty, Ind., July 23, 1833, and was at the
time of death 83 years, 4 months and 24 days old. Sixty-one years ago Mr. Ring came to Illinois and this state has been
his residence almost all of the time since then with the exception of a few years spent in Missouri.
He was united in marriage April 1, 1869 to Hattie E. Howard at Lawrence, Kan. To this union three children were born,
two of whom died in infancy. He is survived by one daughter, Mrs. T. A. Ebrey. His wife preceded him in death April 1,
1916. Since that time he has made his home with his daughter.
For many years he was engaged in business in this city. For a number of years before retiring from active business life he
was in the pump business and had headquarters in the basement of the Yates building next door to the Journal office.
When the Civil war started Mr. Ring enlisted in 27th Reg. Ill. Volunteer infantry. He was a member of Matt Star Post
G. A. R., and a member of Illini Lodge No. 4, I. O. O. F. Mr. Ring lived an honest and upright life and had a host of friends
in this community.
Funeral services will be held from Centenary church this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock in charge of the Rev. E. L. Fletcher.
Burial will be in Diamond Grove cemetery.
(Jacksonville Journal, December 19, 1916)
SIBERT, W. E. - (1825-1916)
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR LATE "UNCLE ERVIN" SIBERT
Well Known Resident of Meredosia Community Laid to Rest Monday Afternoon
Meredosia, Jan. 11 - Funeral services were held at the Methodist church in Meredosia Monday afternoon, Rev. T. L.
Hancock, the pastor, having charge of the services. The singing was in charge of a choir composed of Will G. Looman,
Mrs. James McLain, Mrs. William G. Looman, Mrs. O. W. Gould, Mrs. J. H. Looman, Misses Mae Wilson and Margaret
McLain, with Miss Nellie Waldo as pianist.
The bearers were his neighbors, Wm. Wenty, George Rausch, Wm. Drivendack, Chance Bushnell, Jas. McLain and C. E.
Price. Interment was made in Oakland cemetery at Meredosia.
Those from a distance in attendance at the funeral was his nephew, Edward Long of Virginia, George Mathews and Mrs.
Ella Rockwood of Bluffs, Miss Della Hemer of Beardstown, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Parlier of Jacksonville.
W. E. Sibert or "Uncle Ervin" as his intimate friends all called him passed away after a two weeks' illness last Saturday
evening, January 8, at 9:30 o'clock at his home six miles east of Meredosia.
He was born near Portsmouth, O., Nov. 25, 1825 and made the trip to Illinois in October, 1835, before he was ten years of
age, walking most of the way, as the way overland was slow and tedious by ox team.
With him on his trip to Illinois were his parents, his uncles, Gideon and Jeremiah Sibert and their families, about twenty
persons in all. They settled near the mouth of the Little Sandy creek west of Winchester. At this place they resided until
1837 or 1838 when the Siberts came to the McKendree chapel neighborhood east of Meredosia. Ervin was forced to go
on his own resources at this time, and got employment in a meat packing industry in Meredosia. While here the Northern
Cross railroad was built and on the first train ever run west of the Alleghenies on Nov. 8, 1838 Ervin was a passenger.
He followed the pursuit of agriculture until 1857 when he went to Holt county, Mo., and enlisted in the 7th Kansas Cavalry
at the out-break of the Civil war. He served out his time of enlistment and went into the cattle business at the close of
the war in Holt county, Mo. In 1870 he returned to Illinois and has made his home with his half-sister, Miss Ann Mathews
ever since. Until the last ten years when the weight of age forbade, he farmed east of Meredosia.
He was a remarkably well informed man and kept abreast of the times by reading. His favorite paper was the Globe
Democrat which he took for the last 45 years. In politics he was a Democrat until the Dread Scott decision. Since that
time he has affiliated with the Republican party. He is survived by his half-brother, Isaac N. Mathews and his half-sister,
(Jacksonville Journal, January 12, 1916)
SANDERS, CHARLES - (1826-1916)
(Cemetery Reading has "G. J." and has death year 1915, but sure it is the same person)
PROMINENT CONCORD RESIDENT DIES
Charles Sanders Came to Morgan County in Early Days - Acquired Large Land Holdings
At 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, the venerable Charles Sanders died at his home in Concord. He was born Feb. 14, 1826, in
Virginia, being nearly ninety one years old at the time of his death. During his early days he had but few advantages
and worked hard, receiving for some time but $1 a week. But out of that he saved $45 with which he made his way
to this state and when he landed in Springfield had but 25¢ in his pocket. He arrived in this county March 4, 1852,
and rented the George Rentschler farm of 100 acres near Concord for five years, and from this humble beginning he
went on prospering until he became the owner of 707 acres of choice Morgan county land.
Mr. Sanders was the son of a good man who sacrificed all he had to pay an honest debt contracted by going
security, and who was so crushed by it that he died not long afterward. After he was settled in this county Mr.
Sanders went back to bring out his grandmother, Mrs. Barbara Burns, who was eighty-nine years old.
It was always a proud boast of his that when he was on his way to Springfield a kind-hearted man gave him a ride in
his buggy, and when he asked his name he replied, Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Sanders was a member of Capt. Brown's company in the 101st Illinois regiment which took such a prominent
part in the great conflict and won such fame for Morgan county. In the battle of Peach Tree Creek he was one of a
very few of his company who survived. The union forces had only 6,000 men and the Rebels were 45,000 strong.
Mr. Sanders made an impromptu barricade with his knapsack full of clothes and after the fight was over there were
fifty three holes found in the article. Once a bullet grazed his forehead, and others went thru his clothes, but he
lived to participate in the famous "march to the sea" and the grand review.
Mr. Sanders always took a great deal of interest in everything pertaining to the betterment of the community and
was a liberal contributor to the fund for the Concord Methodist church. He was always a very strong temperance
advocate and had never lost an opportunity to hit the traffic a blow.
He was married to Miss Hannah Eagle May 21, 1856, by Rev. John H. Lane, a Methodist preacher. His wife died
many years ago. He was the father of ten children and those surviving him are Elizabeth, Mrs. Charles Yeck, Martha
Ellen, Mrs. Eliza Harmon, Mrs. Meca Yeck, Minnie, Mrs. Charles Meyers, and two sons, James and Ernest, all of
whom reside in and near Concord. Those who are dead are Edward Lincoln, Grace, William T. Sherman and Louis.
Mr. Sanders was an upright honorable man successful in business, kind hearted to everyone and a strong force in
the community in which he lived. He was widely respected by all who knew him and in his death the county loses
a useful citizen and a man who served well his generation.
(Jacksonville Journal, November 30, 1916)
SEYMOUR, JOHN P. - (1828-1916)
JOHN P. SEYMOUR, OF FRANKLIN, DIED AT QUINCY SOLDIERS HOME
Old Morgan County Resident Saw Hard Service in the Civil War - Born in North Carolina.
John P. Seymour of Franklin, one of the earliest pioneer settlers and oldest residents of Morgan county, died
Tuesday at the Soldiers' and Sailors' home in Quincy after an illness of two years' duration.
Mr. Seymour was born in Person county, North Carolina, July 17, 1828, the son of William and Elizabeth Seymour.
At the age of seven years he came with his parents to Morgan county, settling seven miles southwest of Franklin,
where he remained until removal to Franklin twenty years ago. Mr. Seymour enlisted in Co. H, 101st Illinois
Volunteers and saw hard service in the civil war for three years. He pursued the occupation of farming until beset
by bad health.
Mr. Seymour was a member of Hartland Baptist church and was a man of uprightness and conviction, universally
esteemed as a kind neighbor and true friend. He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Bull of Franklin and a brother, William Seymour of Girard. The children surviving are Mrs. Eva Boyer of Franklin, Mrs. Sadie Dugger and Mrs. Kate Nighbert of Palmyra, Charles O. Seymour and W. E. Seymour of Franklin.
Charles O. Seymour recently went to South Dakota on a business visit. Funeral arrangements have been delayed
pending word from him.
(Jacksonville Journal, August 16, 1916)
PARKER, M. V. - (1832-1916)
(The death year is not the same in the Cemetery readings, possibly the stone was misread or this isn't the same person??)
M.V. Parker of this city died at the Soldiers' Home in Quincy Wednesday evening at the age of nearly 84 years.
He was born in Cashocton county, Ohio, June 30, 1832 and came to this state with his parents when a small child.
He spent a good part of his life in Fulton county and later came to this county where he has since resided. He was
twice married, his last wife having died two years ago. He is survived by a son and daughter and a niece, Mrs. R.
Whitney, 324 Wolcott street, where he has made his home since the death of his wife. He enlisted in the union army
in August 1862 and served thruout the war as a good soldier.
Capt. John E. Wright expected to go to Quincy today to bring back the remains and brief services will be held at the
home of Mrs. Whitney after which the body will be taken to Murrayville where the funeral will be conducted in the
M. E. church and interment will be in old Bethel cemetery.
(Jacksonville Journal, February 18, 1916)
James Spencer, formerly for many years a resident of this county, died at his home five miles east of Roodhouse,
Wednesday afternoon at 1 o'clock, as the result of injuries received Tuesday evening between 5 and 6 o'clock, by
being kicked in the stomach by a mule. The injured man was attended to by Dr. Smith of Roodhouse, who called Dr.
Carl F. Black of this city to the case, but their efforts to save the injured man were unsuccessful.
Mr. Spencer was born and reared in the vicinity of Murrayville and spent his whole life there until about five years
ago when he removed to Greene county. He was a veteran of the civil war, having served his country faithfully as
a member of the famous 101st Illinois. He was about 66 years of age at the time of his death.
Deceased is survived by his wife and two sons, Robert and Arthur, and two daughters, Mattie Spencer and Mrs.
Christina Merhall. He also leaves five brothers: John, living west of this city; Frank, of Murrayville; Wilson, of
Kansas; George, of Missouri and Joseph Spencer of Bath; and one sister, Mrs. Jane Neighbors of Murrayville.
Funeral services will be held at the Bethel church this morning at 11 o'clock and interment will be in the Gunn
cemetery, five miles south of Murrayville.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal, Jacksonville, Illinois, April 6, 1905)
SPENCER, BENJAMIN F.
BENJ. F. SPENCER RITES TOMORROW AT MURRAYVILLE
Aged Resident of County Was Widely Known - Served in Civil War for Union.
Benjamin Franklin Spencer, a member of a pioneer family and a long time resident of Morgan county, passed
away at his home five miles south of Murrayville Saturday afternoon, after an extended illness. For the past three
years mr. Spencer has been in failing health and his condition had been serious since last September.
Mr. Spencer was born February 21, 1842 on the old Spencer homestead south of Murrayville. It was on this
farm that the decedent's parents, William S. and Parthenia Totton Spencer, settled when they came west from
Kentucky, and with the exception of a few years spent in Roodhouse Mr. Spencer has always resided there.
As a youth Mr. Spencer enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil War. He was a member of
Company I, 101st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers under command of Captain Lightfoot.
In the year of 1864, he was married to Miss Mary C. Payton who preceded him in death several years ago.
Surviving are the following children: Mrs. Katherine Wagstaff, Jacksonville; Mrs. Thankful Wagstaff, Murrayville;
Mrs. Parthenia Chapman, Alton; Mrs. Nellie Chapman, Roodhouse; Fred Iasiah and Charles Spencer all of Texas;
and Dr. J. H. Spencer of this city. The decedent leaves one sister, Mrs. Jane Neighbors, of this city, the only living
member of a large family.
Mr. Spencer spent many years as a farmer and stock raiser at his farm south of Murrayville, where he was
considered one of the most successful men of his community. He was a member of the Methodist church for fifty
years and was active in the work until ill health interfered.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Murrayville Methodist church in charge
of Rev. Paul Dubois, with interment in the Murrayville cemetery. The Murrayville post of the American Legion will
assist at the services.
(Jacksonville Journal, dtd. 28 Mar 1927)
SNYDER, GEORGE W. - (1842-1916)
GEORGE SNYDER DIES AT HOME IN ALEXANDER WEDNESDAY
Old Resident of Morgan County and Veteran of Civil War Passes Away After Long Illness - Was Wounded in
George W. Snyder, Sr. died Wednesday evening at his home in Alexander, thus ending a life of long usefulness and
upright Christian character. Mr. Snyder had been in failing health for several years but his illness became acute but
a short time since. Deceased was born in Harrisburg, Pa., March 30, 1842, and was hence in his seventy-fourth year.
Mr. Snyder enlisted in Co. G., Union Guards, 10th Ill. Infantry, original three months service men. The officers of the
company were McLean F. Wood, captain; James Mitchell, first lieutenant; James F. Longley, second lieutenant;
Theodore F. Dockson, first sergeant; Joseph C. Mitchell, John McAhan and John S. Patterson, sergeants; Wm. E.
Hunt, Edward R. Egbert, Wm. S. Sperry and John M. Stringham, corporals. Charles B. Happy and Tm. T. Gibbons,
The company was principally raised in Jacksonville and the list contains many familiar names: Thos. C. Barber,
Wesley Platt, Philip Cruse, Preston Trotter, James Walker, Charles French, John W. Sargent and many others. At
the end of this term of service he again enlisted in the 7th Infantry and served with zeal and fidelity till almost the
close of the war. His death was the result of a wound received from a rebel sharpshooter while in the service.
Mr. Snyder left Pennsylvania when about sixteen years of age. He enlisted in April, 1861 and was mustered out in
July 1865. He returned to Jacksonville at the close of the conflict and was married to Miss Lydia N. Souper in 1872.
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder removed to Nortonville and after a number of years there went to live on a farm south of
Alexander. They have occupied their present residence in the village about eight years. Surviving Mr. Snyder are
three sons and three daughters: James A. Snyder resides in East St. Louis, George W. Snyder, Jr., in Franklin and
John S. Snyder in Alexander. Miss Elizabeth Snyder and Mabel, wife of Jesse Lawson, make their home in
Alexander and Miss Annie May Snyder lives in Jacksonville. There is one granddaughter, Mabel Snyder, daughter
of J. A. Snyder.
Mr. Snyder belonged to Matt Starr post, G. A. R., and was known as one of its faithful members. He had membership
in Alexander Methodist church and in all his dealings he was fair and straightforward.
Arrangements for the funeral will be made at a later time.
(Jacksonville Journal, February 17, 1916)
SPENCER, WILLIAM - (Jacksonville East Cemetery)
WILLIAM SPENCER MET INSTANT DEATH
While the coroner's jury enquiring into the death of William Spencer, who was killed by a street car on the South Main
street line Sunday, returned a verdict exonerating Motorman Linderman and saying that death was accidental, it
recommended that steps be taken to make cars, both north and south, come to a full stop at the Anna street intersection
with South Main street.
William Spencer, Sr., a well known resident of the city was struck and instantly killed by a south bound car just south of
Anna street at 12:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The car was in charge of Motorman Linderman.
The remains were taken to the undertaking parlors of W. W. Gilham and Coroner Rose empaneled a jury and set the
hour of the inquest for 7:30 o'clock Monday evening. However, there were so many witnesses and others interested
in the case that adjournment was taken to the circuit court room.
The testimony of a large number of witnesses was heard. Attorney W. N. Hairgrove was present representing the
Spencer family. State's Attorney Robinson was present representing the state and Bellatti, Bellatti and Moriarty as
attorneys for the railway company.
Court Reporter __. W. English took the testimony for Coroner Rose and Mrs. Glenn Skinner the testimony for the
railway company. The taking of testimony was not finished until nearly 11 o'clock. After that the jury deliberated
until midnight before a verdict was reached.
The full text of the verdict follows:
TEXT OF VERDICT
In the matter of the inquisition on the body of William S. Spencer deceased, held at Jacksonville, Ill., on the 6th day of
May A.D., 1918, we, the undersigned, jurors, sworn to inquire of the death of William S. Spencer, on oath do find that
he came to his death by being accidentally struck by street car No. 34 of the Jacksonville Railway & Light Co., which
left the public square in Jacksonville, Ill., southbound near the Anna Street crossing on S. Main St., Jacksonville, Ill.
At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, 1918, and being thereby thrown upon a pile of paving brick at the side of the car track
of said street railway. We find that the motorman in charge of the said car was in no wise to be blamed for the accident.
We find that the leaving of the piles of paving brick in their present location has constituted and does constitute a
menace to public safety and we recommend that the proper authorities take immediate action to have same removed
without further delay, also; We find that the running of the cars of the above mentioned street railway company at their
usual rate of speed past the Anna street crossing is dangerous and recommend that the said company shall cause all of
its cars both northbound and southbound to come to a full stop at the near side of said crossing. E.F. Johnston,
Foreman, Clyde C. Hembrough, Charles Blesse, John H. Zell, C.J. Rataichak, Allen Stewart, Clerk.
THE MOTORMAN'S STORY
The testimony of Otto Linderman, the motorman in charge of the car, was perhaps the most definite. Mr. Linderman
testified that he had applied the power to the car at College street and had shut it off before reaching Anna street.
This was explained by Mr. Linderman as being customary as all cars are allowed to coast down the grade to Anna
street of their own momentum. Just before reaching Anna street he saw Mr. Spencer come out of Anna street and turn
south. He was walking about the middle of the pavement between the west side of the car track and the curbing.
Motorman Linderman said that he used his brake partially and sounded the gong. Mr. Spencer, according to the
witness turned and looked at the car. He then continued on south to the west side of the track. Mr. Linderman said
thinking that Mr. Spencer had heard the gong and was out of danger applied the power again. Just as the car got within
about fifteen feet of Mr. Spencer he apparently decided to get across the track to the east side of the street.
Evidently Mr. Spencer misjudged the speed at which the car was going as he was struck just as he got to the east of the
center of the track. Linderman said he applied the brakes but was unable to stop the car in time to prevent it from striking
Mr. Spencer. The car ran, according to Linderman about 20 feet after it struck him.
Mr. Spencer's leg and arm were broken and there was a large scalp wound on the top of his head. It is probable that
there were also internal injuries. Dr. Walrich was driving home and was near the scene and was one of the first to reach
Mr. Spencer. He made an examination and stated that death was instantaneous. Any of the several visible injuries
probably would have caused death and there must have been internal injuries.
MR. SPENCER LONG TIME RESIDENT
William Spencer was a native of England having been born in Woodhouse May 17, 1840. He came to this country
early in life and had been a resident of this city since 1861.
He was united in marriage in this city November 21, 1865 to Miss Elizabeth Humphrey. To this union ten children were
born, two of whom with the widow survive, William Spencer, Jr., and Miss Lennie B. Spencer both of this city.
Mr. Spencer enlisted in Co. A, 10th Illinois Infantry in 1861 and served to the close of the war. He was in all of the
important battles in the campaign from Atlanta to the sea and on thru the Carolinas and took part in the grand review
in Washington. He was a consistent member of Centenary church and was a citizen whose long record of useful service
made him a credit to the community.
Funeral services will be held from the residence 1323 South East street Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock in charge of
the Rev. W. R. Leslie. The members of Matt Starr Post G. A. R. will attend the funeral in a body and will have charge of
the services at the grave. Burial will be in Jacksonville cemetery.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal - dtd. 7 May 1918)
SNYDER, ADAM W
Adam W. Snyder died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eva Liter, 303 East Walnut street Thursday morning at 5:20
Deceased was born in Saratoga, N. Y., May 27, 1840. He spent his early life in that city and in 1863 he enlisted in
Company C, First New York Veteran Cavalry. He served until the close of the war being mustered out in 1865.
He came to this state over 40 years ago and has always made his home in this vicinity. H was united in marriage in
1883 to Rebecca Vier. She preceded him in death in 1898. He is survived by two sons, John B. Snyder of this city
and Lewis P. Snyder who is in service at Camp Logan, Texas, and three daughters, Mrs. I. E. Liter, Mrs. Claude Dotson
of this city and Mrs. Cleve Long of Springfield.
Mr. Snyder was a farmer by occupation and followed his calling until a number of years ago when he retired from
active work. For the past two years he has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Eva Liter, who has given him
every care and attention a loving daughter could bestow.
Brief services will be said at the Liter home Saturday afternoon at 1:45 o'clock and the remains will then be taken to
Little Indian where services will be said at Zion church with burial in the nearby cemetery.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal, dtd. 22 Feb 1918)
- (Jacksonville East Cemetery)
CIVIL WAR VETERAN ANSWERS FINAL SUMMONS
Augustus Shelburn Passed Away at Home of Son at Midnight Wednesday - Was Confined in Andersonville Prison.
August Shelburn, a veteran of the civil war, passed away at the home of his son, Fred Shelburn, 953 East College avenue
at midnight Wednesday. While he has been an invalid for many years Mr. Shelburn had been in his usual health until a
few days ago and death came suddenly and unexpectedly.
Deceased was born in Spencer county, Ky., and came to this state when a boy. Since that time he has made his home in
Macoupin and Morgan counties. His wife preceded him in death. One son, Fred Shelburn survives.
Mr. Shelburn when the civil war began enlisted in Co. D, 14th Illinois Volunteer Infantry at Camp Butler, which was
located at the old fair grounds west of the city.
He served with distinction and was captured by the confederates and placed in Andersonville prison. The vicissitudes
thru which he went in that prison so undermined his health that he had been an invalid since.
No arrangements for the funeral have yet been made.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal - dtd. 17 Jan 1918)
The funeral of the late August Shelburn was conducted in the undertaking parlors of W. W. Gilham yesterday morning
in the presence of the number of friends and members of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The services were in charge of Rev. A. A. Todd, pastor of the First Baptist church of which the deceased was a member.
Music was furnished by Misses Laura Hayden and Etta Massey who sang with fine acceptance, "Nearer My God to
Thee" and "Abide With Me."
Dr. Todd read the 23rd psalm and the 25th and offered a fervent prayer. He then took for his text, "Arise and depart for
this is not your rest." A few thoughts only are presented. These words were uttered to the children of Israel when they
were too much inclined to regard a camping place a site of permanent abode. We are not stationary in this life, the world
moves, the sea is disturbed with waves and the atmosphere by winds. We like to regard the world as a place of
permanent rest but the Maker did not so design it. This world is not an abiding place but we move about in it till death
ends our careers. But we have the assurance that there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." "Let not your
hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so I
should have told you; I go to prepare a place for you."
This comforting message came to our brother for he was a Christian, a member of the Baptist church and a consistent
man. It is to our interest to prepare for that rest. He was devoted to his family; his grandchild who mourns him so
deeply was the only girl in the family and greatly she will miss him. But he has entered into a glorious rest prepared for
them that love God.
The ritual of the Grand Army was then carried out by Commander George Faul and assisting officers and flowers were
laid on the casket in proper form, after which the remains were borne to their last resting place in Jacksonville cemetery
by Comrades S. T. Madox, L. Goheen, R. R. Stevenson, C. R. Taylor, S. W. Nichols and John Minter.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal - dtd. 20 Jan 1918)
SMITH, CAPT. ALEXANDER
CAPT. SMITH'S CHARRED REMAINS ARE FOUND IN HIS OWN HOME
LONG TIME CITIZEN, FAMOUS IN WAR, BURNED TO DEATH MONDAY MORNING
Fire Discovered at Early Hour By Sister Who was Member of that Household - Exact Details About Death
Will Never Be Known - Coroner's Jury Returns Verdict - Funeral Plans are Not Complete.
A great sorrow came to many people in Jacksonville Monday morning when the news was spread abroad that
Capt. Alexander Smith had been burned to death at his West State street home adjoining the Dunlap Hotel.
Altho in feeble health for several years, Capt. Smith had during recent months seemed somewhat improved
and the news of his very sad death came as a great shock. His charred remains were found in an upstairs
room of his residence some time after his sister, Mrs. F. M. Rule, had been awakened by the smoke which
poured into her bedroom. The coroner's jury returned a verdict of death by burning and suffocation but the
exact facts of the tragedy will never be known as there is no one with knowledge of the details.
The house is two stories and the upper part is divided in two by a hall running north and south thru it. On
the west side are two rooms in the north one of which Capt. Smith slept and in the other kept various articles.
A door connects the two rooms. On the opposite or east side of the hall Mrs. Rule, Captain Smith's sister,
and her little granddaughter, Sarah Lee Rule, ten years old, sleep. As the captain has been for some time in
delicate health both he and Mrs. Rule left their doors open that any sound might be heard by either in case of
Fire Discovered at 4 A.M.
About 4 o'clock yesterday morning Mrs. Rule was awakened by smoke in her room and on arising and
investigating she found fire in the house. She hastened to arouse her granddaughter who went down and
turned in the alarm and then Mrs. Rule went to the Captain's room, searched as well as she could all about
the bed and room but could find no trace of him. The smoke of the fire which seemed to be under the room
was so dense she had to get out. When she started downstairs the baseboard of the upper part of the
stairway was burning and the ends of several steps were well nigh burned off. The fire came up inside the
partition and spread mainly about the west part of the house where the captain was sleeping. She observed
it coming out about the door casing and base boards of the rooms but investigating she found no fire near
the floor of the lower story and none whatever in the basement kitchen and furnace room.
As soon as the department arrived Mrs. Rule told Chief Hunt she felt the captain was certainly upstairs.
Capt. Roach of the night police force and Fireman John Taylor searched all about the room occupied by the
captain but could find no trace of him. Then they took a ladder to the south window of the room adjoining,
broke their way in and looked all about that room and found nothing. It should be remembered that this
searching was done in the midst of dense smoke and as thoroughly as possible.
Some one reported that the captain was over at the hotel which seemed to be the case and the energies of
the men were bent toward putting out the fire. The chemical was found to be inadequate and the engine
steam was turned on and the flames were soon subdued. The house was not greatly damaged by the fire
but the contents were pretty thoroughly ruined by water.
Charred Body Found
After the fire had been put under control Chief Hunt told James Hurst to search the rooms for valuables and
put them in safe keeping. The man went upstairs and soon came running down stating that the body of
Captain Smith had been found. It seems the unfortunate man was roused by the fire which must have been
evident to him sometime before it was disclosed to his sister. He must have been confused and instead of
getting out he groped his way into the room south of his own and by some means stumbled and staggered
into the corner where he was found behind a door. He was found with his head against the wall and right
over the worst part of the fire which had burned through the floor, burned a part of his body and rendered
him almost unrecognizable.
Chief Hunt at once took a tarpaulin from the hook and ladder wagon and wrapped the body in it and had it
removed to the undertaking parlors of John Reynolds. Coroner Rose summoned a jury consisting of Dr. W.
W. Crane, foreman; C. E. McDougall, J. R. Kirkman, John E. Wright, A. P. Vasconcellos and John Minter,
clerk, S. W. Nichols was also assisting in taking down the testimony. All were veterans of the war but Mr.
The evidence of Fireman Hurst, Mrs. Rule and Chief Samuel Hunt was heard and the verdict was that death
was caused by suffocation and burning.
It is understood that the loss of the house is covered by insurance. The house formerly stood on Jordan
street and was built by Hon. Thomas Springer for his daughter, Mrs. Kinman, but was sold later and removed
to the place it now occupies. It is well built and in good condition. Naturally the first question is how did the
In the testimony given Chief Hunt, the fireman and Mrs. Rule felt sure it was caused by the electric wires as
the fire was almost wholly inside the partition under the stairs at the start and no fire at all was visible in any
other part of the house. Mrs. Rule said they had no matches about the place. The kitchen was untouched by
fire and the heating plant had not yet been fired and there was at the start no fire below the button in the hall
which turns on the electricity in the house. About this Chief Hunt testified, a large hole more than a foot in
diameter was burned.
On the other hand, S. E. Anderson, inspector for the Jacksonville Railway and Light Company and G. A. Sieber,
electrical contractor are certain the fire did not originate there and in proof of it say they had the wires about
the button examined and found them intact which could not be if the fire started there.
When Mrs. Smith died, two and half years ago, the Captain's sister, Mrs. Rule, and her husband, Rev. F. M.
Rule, came to live with and take care of the captain. Dr. Rule has been absent for some time in Minnesota
aiding in financial work for a college and later at Tracy caring for his son who was at the point of death with
pneumonia, but who is improving. He was wired and answered that he would be here today. The adopted
son, Alex Smith, Jr., residing in St. Louis, arrived last evening. Mrs. Rule bore the terrible ordeal as well as
could be expected though she was dreadfully prostrated and the grief of Major Vickery, who had for almost
half a century been associated with Capt. Smith, is pathetic.
Major E. S. Johnson, a member of Captain Smith's regiment, also came down from Springfield yesterday to
tender his sympathy and services as far as they might be of use.
Born in Ohio
Captain Smith was born in Eaton, Ohio, June 27, 1844, and was the son of Alexander and Elizabeth Ritchie
Smith. The father was born in Virginia and the mother in Vermont. The father died in Iowa in 1857. When
yet a boy Captain Smith began to learn the saddler's trade at Atlanta, Ill., but at the beginning of the war he
at once heard the call of his country and April 1, 1861, enlisted, when but sixteen years of age. He laid the
claim to being the first man in the state to enlist and the first one to reach Camp Butler to be mustered in.
He enlisted in Co. E, 7th Ill. Volunteers, and April 29th was promoted to the rank of corporal. At the
expiration of his three months service in the 7th, he re-enlisted and July 25, 1861 was promoted to the office
of first lieutenant, and Nov. 12, 1862 was made captain at Corinth, Miss., when but eighteen years and three
Great War Record
On the wall in his room is a frame containing the record of his various positions and it was ever much prized
by him. He served till mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 9, 1865, and was finally discharged at Springfield
July 13, 1865. He participated in fifteen sanguinary battles, was in the famous march to the sea, Carolina
campaign, surrender of Johnston's army, and the famous review at Washington.
He never wearied of telling about the battle at Altoona pass which was bloody. In this engagement there
were 1200 Union men against 6000 Confederates. Captain Smith took into that battle a company of 51 men
and lost 41. They were armed with Henry rifles and did tremendous execution, and it is said that but for this
very equipment the battle result might have been different. The regimental flag was shot through 217 times
but not surrendered. Although he was engaged in so many battles he was not at any time captured by the
enemy, and was not wounded or sick. At the close of the war he moved to Mattoon where he was clerk of
the Essex House from 1866 to '69, when he came to Jacksonville and entered the employ of the Kelseys, then
managers of the Dunlap, Park and Wabash station hotels. Later, when the Kelseys went away he was
employed by Charles and Walter Dunlap, managers of the Dunlap House and shortly after that he took
charge of the Park House as manager and built up a large business there.
Bought Hotel Property
Finally he gained control of the Dunlap House and later on bought that and the Park Hotel property and
owned other real estate also. In January, 1904, he felt he had done enough in the way of hotel keeping and
leased his property to others and has since been on the retired list.
April 7, 1876 Captain Smith was married to Miss Josephine Marie Litzelman of Terre Haute, Indiana, and she
was the daughter of Mathis Litzelman of Alsatian descent. They took to their hearth and home an adopted
son, a nephew of Mrs. Smith and named him Alexander Jr., and he was ever as their own flesh and blood.
He is now located in St. Louis and arrived in the city last evening. Mrs. Smith died two and half years ago.
Captain Smith also leaves a sister, Mrs. F. M. Rule, of this city.
Captain Smith was a member of State Street church and as far as able attended its services. He was also a
charter member of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, Matt Star Post No. 378, Grand Army of the
Republic, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the Order of Elks, and a charter member of Jacksonville,
Lodge No. 152, Knights of Pythias, and only recently he visited the lodge and made an address.
A Loss to the Community
Captain Smith was a genial, whole-souled gentleman, kind hearted and liberal and did much good in a quiet
manner. He was popular far and wide and no landlord ever was more esteemed by his many guests. For
some time he has been in failing health, yet he bade fair to remain a long time with his loved ones. The
evening before his tragic end he had a pleasant conversation with Major Vickery and later with the brother
of his adopted son with whom he conversed a long time. As he returned to his house Mrs. Rule helped
him up the steps and then went down to lock the front door, little thinking it would be opened under such
circumstances. Truly a good and popular man has gone and his loss will be deeply felt.
Arrangements for the funeral have not been made.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal, Tuesday morning, January 16, 1917)
FINAL HONORS PAID TO CAPT. SMITH THURSDAY
Great Audience Present at the Funeral Services
Deceased Lauded By Ministers for Public Spirit and Personal Characteristics - Nation Owes Great Debt to Capt. Smith
and Others Like Him.
Hundreds of friends gathered in State Street Presbyterian church Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to the
memory of Capt. Alexander Smith. These friends represented every walk in life for Capt. Smith's friendship
and charity were far reaching.
There were men with whom Capt. Smith had been associated in business thru many years. There were those
whom he had befriended and there were the grey haired veterans who had known and fought with him during
the war of the rebellion to preserve the Union.
It was truly a representative gathering and showed in a small measure the wide scope of Capt. Smith's life and
influence in the community. The members of Matt Star Post G. A. R., Jacksonville Lodge No. 152, Knights of
Pythias of which Capt. Smith was a charter member, Jacksonville Lodge No. 682 B. P. O. E. and the T. P. A.
and U. C. T. attended the funeral in a body.
The Knights of Pythias carried a silk flag which had been presented to Capt. Smith by war comrades to replace
the regimental flag that had been riddled with bullets during the war. On it is inscribed a list of the battles in
which the regiment took part. The only time it has been out of possession of the lodge was when Capt. Smith
asked for it on the occasion of the anniversary of one of the battles in which he took part, and it was taken
to his home for that day.
Many Veterans Present
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the service was the large attendance of members of the G. A. R. It
showed in a large measure the opinion of these grey haired men who had known Capt. Smith in the early
days and who had shared with him the perils of battle. So these men who had looked thru the smoke of
battle with eyes unafraid in the morning of life, marched with measured tread beside the remains of all that
was mortal of their comrade, and tho the eyes were dim they still looked unafraid into the sunset of life where
they will soon rest until the final bugle call.
The services opened with a duet "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," by Mrs. William Barr Brown and Mrs. Percy
Jenkinson. At the close of the services they sang, "Sometime We'll Understand."
Appropriate passages of scripture were read by the Rev. R. B. Wilson, pastor of State Street Presbyterian
church. Rev. Frederic B. Madden; pastor of Grace church then offered a fervent prayer.
This was followed by Dr. Joseph R. Harker, president of Illinois Woman's college, who paid a beautiful tribute
to Capt. Smith as a citizen. Dr. Harker said:
It is doubtful if the heart of Jacksonville was ever more deeply stirred than in the sad death of Capt. Alexander
Smith, a Christian brother, a devoted friend, one of our most honored citizens, a patriot and a soldier of nation
wide exalted recognition and reputation. His work was done, his record was made, he had fought a good
fight, he had finished his course, he already had heard the "well done, good and faithful servant" of his
country and his friends. But we were still hoping for some years more of his genial and friendly presence,
and of his personal inspiration and fellow-ship.
A Rich Inheritance
Dr. Morey will speak more fully of his life and character and especially of his service to the nation as a soldier
and patriot, and so I will not speak of his eminent services in these relations. It is very difficult for us to day
to realize our debt to the men and women of fifty years and more ago, who by service and sacrifice met the
needs of the nation and of the pioneer days of this community. Jacksonville is especially rich in such men
and women, of large vision, unusual energy, and willingness to sacrifice themselves for those who should
come after them. Our city is rich in material relating to the making of history, not only of the city itself, but
of the state and the nation. It is doubtful if any other city of its size in the Middle West has produced as
many men and women of as great ability and character. We are in danger of forgetting the rich inheritance
we have as a community and of forgetting these men and women, and what they have done. The present
and coming generations should know more about these things, and should be brought to a fuller appreciation
of the spirit and character and sacrifice of our earlier citizens, so that they in turn might catch that spirit, and
endeavor to emulate their far sightedness and service, and to prove themselves worthy as their successors.
There should be more memorials of these men and women in our institutions and public buildings and parks,
and a larger recognition of their names in some general or public way, otherwise we are going to forget in a
few years, that they ever lived and labored here.
The work that Mr. Ensley Moore is doing in this direction is worthy of the most generous recognition and
praise, and the revival of the Historical Society is a step in the right direction. With the nearness of the
centennial of the State, and with the coming in a few years, of the hundredth anniversary of the founding
of Jacksonville, it is to be hoped that there will be a great revival of interest in these matters.
I have the honor to express briefly what I think we would all like to say much more fully of the Captain as
one of our most honored citizens and as a genial warmhearted friend and Christian gentleman.
An Enthusiastic Friend.
No man among us, it seems to me, was ever more considerate and genial and gentlemanly. The memory will
linger long of the hearty swing of his arm, and the friendly grasp of his hand as he met us, and his genuine
interest in us and our families and our work. And with the heartiness there was always a gentleness and
an enthusiasm which made it worth while to meet him. I have often said that it made the day brighter and
the tasks of life lighter to meet the Captain in the morning. He had his inner circle of friends, as every one
has, and of the depth of his affection and the helpfulness of his friendship to these little can be said here.
But it is a happy legacy he leaves in their hearts, and a memory book of many delightful pages which will
give them joy and strength for the rest of their lives.
But the captain's capacity for friendship was very wide. Although he never I think held a public office in the
community, he was probably for a number of years, one of our best known citizens. His relation to the
Dunlap Hotel gave him an unusual opportunity to meet people. And he had a rare quality of meeting you in
such a way as to make you feel from the start that he was a sincere and genuine friend.
His interest was especially marked in the young men of the community and in the traveling men. He followed
the boys of Jacksonville after they had left and gone into other states, and it was a matter of surprise that
even in the last two or three years, with impaired health, he would recall so many of our boys and young men,
and make constant inquiry about them, always interested in how they are making good.
Interested in Traveling Men
It was natural that he should be interested in traveling men, but his regard and friendship for them was
altogether beyond the fact of his business relations with them. As a class the traveling men of Jacksonville
are among its best citizens, both in character and business ability. They are a great asset to the city, not
always fully and rightly appreciated. But Captain Smith knew them intimately and valued them highly, and
showed his appreciation of them in every possible way. And I am sure I speak for every one of them when
I say that his memory will be lovingly cherished by them, and they will often recall his interesting and helpful
Our beloved Captain Smith is no longer in our midst. But we are all better men and women, because he has
been with us, and our hearts are stronger and our lives more helpful and sunshiny because we have had him
here so long to smile on us and to inspire us. I think the poem that appeared in the Journal of yesterday, by
Mrs. S. A. Hughes, a very beautiful expression of appreciation, and I cannot refrain from using here the first
and fifth stanzas.
"Taps are sounded. Lights are out
Undisturbed by battle shout.
Lies the Captain, while o'er him
Float the stars that never dim;
Stars he loved unto the end,
As when young he helped defend.
Drop not on the Captain's bier,
Unavailing, briny tear,
For remember all the while
Gave he you a pleasant smile;
And we trust there is no night,
That he smiles beyond our sight."
Dr. A. B. Morey for many years pastor of Capt. Smith and a life long friend then delivered the sermon. He
spoke as follows:
"We bury today a soldier, who, though he died at home, died as truly for his country as if he had died on the
battlefield. His whole life was a battle. He had a battle with himself when he was a boy, and a greater battle
as a young man, when he entered the army. He had to struggle with such questions as these: "What has the
war to do with me? What does it mean to my country?" It was the war that stood out as the great
overshadowing event of his life. It gives the keynote of our thought at this hour.
The War Had to Come
The people of today cannot imagine how our brother and his comrades felt fifty-seven years ago. And I am
heartily glad you cannot. But as, year by year we bury these men, who looked down into the deep questions
of that day, they become a glass in which we can see meanings in that struggle, which the greatest statesmen
did not see when the war began; and it is not now so well understood as it will be hereafter. But this much is
plain: As Capt. Smith so often said, "the war had to come." The necessity for it was written in the whole
history of the republic and the colonies. It is written in the history of England for centuries and in the shape
and climate and soil and products of the different parts of our continent. It was written on the flag of the first
ship that brought African slaves to the English colonies of North America. "The war had to come sometime."
The eloquence of some of our statesmen delayed it for a time, the madness of others hastened it, but with
human nature as it is "the war had to come sooner or later." Slavery had grown to such tremendous
proportions that it had fallen under the ban of the civilized world and somehow at some time it must cease
to be. It was worth all our dreadful losses, all the sufferings of the long, frightful conflict and the blood of
our precious dead to wipe out that blot on our fair land and fling it behind us forever.
"What the war cost the nation is fading out of the memory. Where a soldier lies there is a historian lost. The
history of the war is not in books. It is oral history told in idle hours from man to man by those who can say '
part of this I was, all of this I saw.' This kind of historian of the war will soon cease to be. Therefore, we
ought to make a good deal of the old soldier while he lasts. He helps to keep alive the reality of the old days.
Let us catch today .
At the end of the war he came back and quietly took his place as a useful citizen, doing his duty, cultivating
an interest in his fellow men, generous always and everywhere with an open hand for the needy, contributing
to the support of the church and improvement of the city. To him we owe the order of the Knights of Pythias
in our midst. He was the truest of friends. But it was a battle all the way. He had a long hard fight in himself
and for himself and by himself. But in each he at last conquered. The perfect character has come to him now.
He will have to fight no more. But he will never forget the battle. Why should he? His enemies are subdued
and they will hang on the halls of his memory like the shields of the vanquished ones.
"In the greatest poem that was written in memory of the dead, Tennyson describes the mental struggle of our
troubled age. Those two wonderfully gifted young men went to the making of the great poem, one who died
to be its subject, the other who lived to compose it. He who died must have been a man of extraordinary
powers and promise to make such a profound impression and to turn all the poet's deepest thoughts and
feelings for so long a time into pathetic memories of him. Cannot we draw inspiration from this brave soul
who has been snatched from us and resolve afresh to live worthy of him?
The Present's Debt to the Past
"My generation in America is a remnant. The great proportion of the men who were boys with me are gone
to their reward. Such of us as are left must be ____ at the longest, from now to the excused if we remember
that it is not roll call after the battle. Very soon we shall see those who here laid down their lives that this
might be a better world to live in. As we stand today at the edge of the graves of those who died for us we
must beware of one thing, the tendency of excusing ourselves from righting the wrongs of our city and
nation. There is a long, crowded, seething future before us in this land. Having twice been washed in
blood, against the expectation of the wisest, is it fit for us, now that we are at peace and now that the subtle
sorcery of luxury has come to us once more, out of the death of our martyrs, to forget them and to forget
God and make unfashionable the Lord's example of purging the temple? On the side of Eternal Power, not
ourselves, which makes for righteousness, our country was not a unit, and therefore she fell for awhile
beneath those high flaming chariot wheels of justice. There is a prospect that our nation may not be a unit
of times to come, in loving as that Almighty Power loves and in hating what He hates, and therefore there is
a call to remember our past and sow in the fat, ploughed fields of our bitter days and on all the great and yet
smoking furrows of our wars, abundant seed of consistence that will take root and bring forth fruit in politics,
in trade, in homes and in everyone's secret sense of what is pure and true and good.
"To fight against corruption as our soldiers fought against conspiracy; to stand for the whole land in peace
as they stood in war, and in war if it comes again, to make the uttermost sacrifice which he demanded of our
country - there, are just as truly the demands made on us as were the demands on the brave self-sacrificing
soldier. And his death tells us that when we have faithfully done our best for our nation and for our city and
for ourselves - in our hushed homes or in noisy cities or in burning houses each of us in his turn shall hear
the sunset gun."
G. A. R. Service
The Rev. R. B. Wilson then offered the closing prayer. The service of the G. A. R. was then carried out in the
church except the final commitment which was given at the grave. This service was in charge of George Faul,
commander, and Major C. E. McDougall, chaplain, assisted by Capt. John E. Wright, Capt. John A. Schaub
and Lycurgus Goheen.
There were many beautiful floral offerings and these were cared for by Mrs. John R. Robertson, Mrs. H. B.
Brady, and Miss Katherine Barr.
The casket was covered with a silk flag from Matt Star Post and a spray of lilies. Among other offerings were
a Set piece emblem from Jacksonville Lodge No. 152, Knights of Pythias; Sprays from Jacksonville Lodge
No. 682 B. P. O. E.; the T. P. A. and U. C. T., Dunlap and Pacific hotels; Mrs. John R. Robertson; Mr. and
Mrs. Charles K. Moore; Mrs. H. B. Brady, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Russel and a beautiful set piece from the
Burial was in Diamond Grove cemetery. The active bearers were S. O. Barr, H. J. Rodgers, Walter Ayers,
W. L. Fay, Miller Weir, and H. B. Brady. The honorary bearers were Dr. Carl E. Black, Ensley Moore, Dr.
T. J. Pitner, Judge E. P. Kirby, J. H. Hackett, Dr. J. W. Hairgrove, Gates Strawn, C. H. Russell, S. T. Anderson,
Frank Elliott, John A. Ayers, Andrew Russel and Major E. S. Johnson and Capt. J. B. Inman of Springfield.
(Jacksonville Daily Journal, Friday Morning, January 19, 1917)
STAGG, JAMES M.
The venerable J. M. Stagg passed away at his home on South Fayette street about 2 o'clock Tuesday
morning after an illness extending over two weeks. His passing was like the running down of machinery that
had long been in motion and was just simply worn out. His life was one of purity and good deeds and as an
old soldier of the cross and of the Grand Army of the Republic in the days of trials and danger his record is
without spot or blemish. He was the soul of honor in all his dealings with his fellow men and left the legacy
of honored named to surviving relatives and friends. When the last hour came and the angel of death touched
him his last words were "bury me with my Grand Army uniform and tell the boys of the post to attend my
funeral." Of all the organizations on earth he cherished the G. A. R. most, and two of its faithful members,
Comrades Arch Norris and Benjamin Mathers were with him when the scenes of earth passed before his
mental vision for the last time, and he awoke on the eternal camping ground where the phantom battalions
gone before were in waiting to receive and welcome him to that rest that this world can neither give nor take
away. It is a consolation for his mourning daughters and only son to know that he is free from pain and
sickness and sorrow and the trials of earth that come with old age and the stern battle of life, even unto the
end. As he lived he died, loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact in the 80 years of a
useful life. He was conscious to the last moment, though suffering intensely and death, with all its terrors,
was doubtless a welcome relief, even though it caused the fond hearts to break of those so near and dear to
him, but who will some sweet day meet him in the blissful hereafter.
Deceased was born in Cincinnati, O., Dec. 18, 1820, and was thus nearly 80 years of age. In 1838
his father moved to Griggsville, Pike county. In 1850 he was married to Miss Isabella Ingalls, of this city,
who died about three years ago. Three daughters and one son survive him, they being Mrs. Mabel Hagadorn,
of Chicago, Mrs. Summers, Mrs. Elizabeth Gray, of Griggsville and Miss Archsah Lena and Lawrence Eldon
Stagg of this city.
Comrade Stagg was a member of Co. A, 68th Illinois infantry, in the war of the rebellion, having
enlisted May 27, 1862. The late John W. King was his captain and Wm. H. Harrison, of this city, was first
lieutenant. Among the survivors of his company in this city are George W. Smith, Isaac N. Hicks, S. B.
Gray, James S. Hurst, Arthur McKavitt and Charles H. Ayers, of Newport News, Va., all of whom speak well
of Comrade Stagg as an earnest, courageous soldier, and always ready when the bugle called for duty, and
it called many times before the great war drama came to a close at Appomattox and the banner of the lost
cause was forever furled by the legions of gray under their great chieftain, Robert E. Lee, whose star of glory
set behind the red billows of war.
The funeral will take place at 2:30 Thursday afternoon at the residence on South Fayette street, Rev.
A. B. Morey in charge; and the ritual of the Grand Army will, according to the request of the deceased, be
observed at the grave. All members are especially requested to be present and to meet at post hall promptly
at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. Bring your memorial badges. Interment will be in Jacksonville cemetery.
(Oct. 3, 1900)
Christian Rufus, a well known resident of this city passed away Thursday night at his home on West
North street after a brief illness. He was a successful farmer and had many friends who will miss his friendly
greeting. He was a member of the G. A. R. and had served his country well in the days of the war.
Mr. Rufus was born in Germany, Jan. 16, 1836 and came to America in the year 1858. At the time
of his death he had almost attained to the 78th year of his age. He was for some years a sailor and at one time
aided in saving a burning ship and the rescue of quite a number of passengers. At the outbreak of the civil
war he enlisted in the 2nd regiment N.Y. calvary and served in a creditable manner through the war. At the
close of the war he came to Morgan county where he secured a fine farm upon which he made his home until
twelve years since when he moved into this city where he has since resided.
Mr. Rufus was in 1872 united in marriage to Miss Augusta Klapkamp who together with the
following children survive him: Mrs. John Willerton of Tulsa, Okla; Mrs. Fletcher Coker of Patterson, Ill.;
Mrs. A. W. Ruyle of Vandalia, Mo.; Mrs. Albert Newman of Salida, Col.; Mrs. C. C. Sheppard of Oakland,
California; C. W. Rufus of South Bend, Ind.; and Henry Rufus of Tulsa, Okla. He was preceded in death
by one daughter Mable, and one son Ora. He is survived beside those above mentioned by two half brothers,
Ernest and Henry Ginter of Peotone, Ill. Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon at the
residence on West North Street and will be charge of Rev. Clyde Darsie.
Friends are requested to omit flowers. Interment will be made in Jacksonville cemetery.
(27 Dec 1913)
RANKIN, JAMES STEVENS
James Stevens Rankin, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin was born in Londonderry township,
Guernsey Co., Ohio, on March 11, 1824. His father died when he was a small child, and his mother being
left with nine children and a very small farm, he was adopted by his grandparents James and Elizabeth
Stevens. He was of a religious temperament and was converted at an early age. Upon his conversion he
united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and for over fourscore years he remained an earnest member
of that church.
In his early manhood he came to Illinois and lived in various places in this state, locating in Waverly
about eighteen years ago.
Mr. Rankin was married three times. The first time was to Miss Catherine A. Decker, of Guernsey
Co., Ohio, on December 28, 1850. To this union there were born three children: John William of Salem,
Oregon; Joseph H. of Champaign; and Mrs. William Newberry of this city. This wife died in October 1855.
He was married the second time to Miss Mary Linegar of Atlanta, on June 3, 1856. This union was
dissolved by death in October 1858.
His last marriage was to Malinda Ellen Jones of Ripley, on January 3, 1861. Her death occurred
June 9, 1908. To this union there were born seven children, all of them surviving him with the exception
of one daughter, Mrs. Clara May Parrick. The living children are: James M. of Pleasant Hill, Oregon;
Franklin A. of Waverly; Mrs. Mary Ellen Gary of Santa Anna, California; Mrs. Emma Belle McLaughlin
of Jacksonville; Mrs. Effie Viola Smithey of Goss, Mo.; and Mrs. Lucy Olive McKee of Waverly. He is also
survived by one brother, William Rankin of Oklahoma, and twenty-three grandchildren, also twenty-one
great grandchildren. Mr. Rankin has been in failing health for the past year, and for the past six months has
been unable to leave the house. Nine weeks ago he was compelled to remain in bed, and from that time
forward was confined to his bed continuously. Mr. Rankin was a devout and conscientious Christian, kind
and loving husband and father, a hard working, industrious citizen, always doing right as near as he
understood the right.
The funeral services were held at the First Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., in
charge of Rev. J. S. Smith assisted by Rev. Fred R. Johnson. Interment was in the East cemetery.
RAY, WILLIAM EVERMENT
The subject of this sketch was born in Cable Co., Virginia, Oct. 10, 1822; died Oct. 11, 1903 at the
age of 81 yrs. and 1 day.
He was converted when 15 years of age at a camp meeting which was conducted at Franklin by
Elijah Carrington and Peter Cartwright. He united with the M. E. church, but some years ago withdrew from
that church and joined the M. E. church, south, of which he was an honored member until he was changed
into the church Triumphant.
He loved the old forms and customs that were in vogue when he was converted. He was of a quiet
unassuming disposition but his convictions on matters of religion were clear and decided. His last testimony
was that his trust was in the Lord and that all was well. Also, that while he had not lived and done as others,
yet he had tried to live an honest, sincere life before his god, and his fellow men.
He leaves behind, a wife, Mary C. Ray, and two children, Mrs. Jno. Jones and Chas. N. Ray; three
brothers and two sisters, Benjamin P., Elijah and Newton and Evaline McMahon and Sarah Ray, also, many
true and tried friends.
The funeral was held in the M.E. church, south, under the pastor.
(Oct. 16, 1903)
RICHARDSON, SAMUEL L.
Samuel L. Richardson, son of John and Mary Richardson, was born one and one half miles east of
Palmyra, December 1, 1845. He with three sisters and four brothers remained on the home farm until he
grew to manhood. In the year 1873 he was united in marriage to Miss Martha M. Tongate of Palmyra, to
which union four children were born, two boys and one girl dying in infancy and one daughter, Mrs. J. L.
Adcock of Waverly, surviving.
In the year 1905 he with his wife moved to Waverly, where he made his home until death, which
occurred Wednesday September 3, at 2:30 a.m.
When eighteen years of age he enlisted in the service of his country during the Civil War, willing
and anxious to aid his country in every way possible. He was a member of the John W. Ross Post, G. A. R.,
and the Masonic lodge, and for many years enjoyed the comradeship of these orders.
Mr. Richardson united with the Christian church in his early boyhood days, being brought up under
the influence of a good Christian father and mother, and lived a consistent, Christian life, attending church
services when health permitted.
He leaves to mourn his departure his wife, one daughter, and one granddaughter, Eva Mae Adcock,
of whom he was very fond; also many friends.
In losing Mr. Richardson from our midst his family loses a devoted husband and father, and the
community a sympathetic, Christian citizen. He was called rom this life without warning, but we feel as
though no one was better prepared to be called in that manner. He was liked by all, always considering
making and keeping friends a part of his mission in this life.
Funeral services were held at the Christian church Friday, September 5, at 2 p.m. in charge of the
pastor, Rev. W. F. Huff. Members of the G. A. R. and Masonic lodge attended in a body, and the latter had
charge of the services at East cemetery.
(Sept. 5, 1919)
Christian Romang Died Wednesday
Civil War Veteran Died After Long Illness at Age of 89 Years.
Christian Romang, well known local citizen and veteran of the Civil War, died about 1:00 o'clock
Wednesday morning, June 25, following an illness of several years duration. He was born in Berne canton,
Switzerland, September 12, 1840, being 89 years, 9 months and 13 days of age at the time of his death.
Mr. Romang came to the United States in 1854 and resided in St. Louis, Mo., and Springfield, Ill.
In 1861 he enlisted in Co. G, 21st Illinois infantry (Grant's own regiment). He was with General Grant in
his march from Springfield to Riddle Hill on July 3, 1861, and remained with the regiment until mustered
out at the end of the war. He was a member of John W. Ross post, G. A. R., of Waverly.
In 1881 Mr. Romang moved to Waverly where he has since resided. During his active life he was
a wagon maker and owned a wagon making shop that was known far and wide. He continued to work at his
trade until he was compelled to quit on account of age and ill health.
On May 16, 1869, he was united in marriage to Mary Frank, of New Berlin, and to this union seven
children were born, three of whom preceded him in death, Catherine Amelia, John Martin and Mary
Catherine (Mrs. Bert Mitchell.) He is survived by his wife; three sons, Godfrey, George and Joseph; and one
daughter, Mrs. Anna Malam. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at the residence at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon Rev. K. H. Hein, pastor
of the Lutheran church of New Berlin officiating. Burial will be in Waverly cemetery.
William Rynders, son of Andrew and Sarah Rynders was born January 12, 1840 near Little York,
Morgan County, Illinois, and departed this life Friday March 24th, 1911. At the age of 12 years he was
converted, uniting with the Mt. Pleasant M. E. church.
At the age of 21 years, he entered the service of his country, in August 1861, from which he carried
an honorable discharge at the close of the war.
He was united in marriage Nov. 7th, 1865 with Elizabeth Mulch. To this union were born nine
children, two of whom died in infancy and Fredrick A. at the age of 14 years. He follows to the Better Land
his beloved wife by only eight weeks and is the last of a large family.
He leaves to mourn his loss six children; viz: James A., and Ruth K. of this city; Albert C. of
Wichita, Kansas; Mary E. of St. Louis, Mo.; Oscar B. of Alton; and Wesley N. of Easton.
He was engaged in farming for about eight years, when on account of ill health he removed to this
city where he engaged in the lumber, and later in the grain business. He retired from business in 1895.
For several years he was active in church work. He was a remarkable student of the Bible and
believed it unwaveringly. The Bible to him was the "Revealed word of God" his daily help and his business
guide. How well he loved that book! He acted as a Colporteur for the American Bible Society and
distributed Bibles and tracts throughout a wide territory. His Christian faith and ethics were fixed and never
for an instant during the long years of his life did he hesitate, falter or change bu died triumphant in the love
of Jesus, for he ever expressed himself as ready to go at God's command.
Next to his love for God he held his home and home life in esteem. His entire hopes, ambitions and
life were there centered and there he was the ideal husband and father perhaps's a little stern but wisely so;
above all, was hospitable, charitable to all deserving, affectionate and appreciating. (Mar. 31, 1911)
SMITH, WILLIAM P.
William P. Smith, son of Thomas S. and Cynthia Smith was born near White Hall, March 24, 1836,
and died Thursday, November 13th, 1913 at 6:50 a.m. at his home near Lowder. He was united in marriage
to Miss Mary George November 3, 1859. She died in March 1861.
Mr. Smith joined the Army of the Rebellion in August 1861, and served three years. His second
marriage was to Lucy Jane Doyle January 31, 1866. He was converted in February 1866, and united with
the M. E. church in Virden, afterwards moving his membership to Lowder where he lived a consisted
member the remaining days of his life.
To the first union was born one child, who died in infancy. To the second union two daughters were
born: Mary Henrietta, wife of C. O. Swift, who died February 9, 1895; and Nora B. who lives at home with
her mother. Beside his wife and daughter, Mr. Smith is survived by two grandchildren, Mrs. P. O. Watts and
Mrs. Howard Palmer, both of Lowder, and two great grandchildren. Also one brother N. F. Smith of
Manchester, and a sister Mrs. John Beatty of Waverly, together with a host of other relatives and friends.
During his last illness he frequently spoke of this life as being spent in a house built with hands and
expressed a desire to go to "that house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens."
The funeral service was held Monday morning at 11 o'clock in the M.E. church at Lowder, Rev. E.
V. Young of Williamsville officiating. Interment was made in the East cemetery in this city.
(Nov. 21, 1913)
SPERRY, JAMES M.
James M. Sperry was born in Hartford county, Connecticut, September 8, 1833, and died at his home
in Waverly, Ill., February 21, 1904. Deceased came to Illinois in 1840 with his parents, who settled a year
later on a farm nine miles southwest of Waverly. On December 22, 1861, he was united in marriage to Miss
Phoebe C. Wood. To this union was born ten children, seven sons and three daughters. One daughter and
two sons preceded him to the grave. In the fall of 1864 he enlisted as a recruit in Co. G, 101st Illinois
Infantry, and followed that regiment's fortunes during the remainder of its service. He expressed himself
on several occasions as being ready to go. He was a kind but firm father, always enforcing obedience to his
commands. Although he was a great sufferer for many years, he was always patient and uncomplaining.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, at the M. E. Church, South, conducted by Rev. R.
J. Watts, assisted by Rev. Chas. Fry, followed by interment in East cemetery. The pall-bearers (members
of the G. A. R.) were W. T. Osborn, Patrick Maher, Wm. Carr, John Maginn, J. H. Goldsmith and George
SPERRY, LUTHER C.
Luther C. Sperry was born November 28, 1839 at Hartford, Conn. He died at Waverly, Ill., March
4, 1912 at the age of 72 years, 3 months, and 9 days. Mr. Sperry was the youngest child of Alford and Sarah
Sperry, and was the last of a family of six children. The deceased came to Illinois with his father's family,
from their old home in Litchfield county, Connecticut when he was only one year old. He served for three
years in the army during the civil war, enlisting in Champaign county, in the 25th Illinois Infantry. When
mustered out of service at the end of three years he was yet only 21 years of age.
Mr. Sperry was never married and spent his declining years among his relatives. The greater part
of the last two years have been spent with Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Merit, of Waverly, the deceased being an uncle
of Mrs. Merit. He died in their home Monday morning, about 8:30 o'clock.
Edward Sperry was born in the state of Massachusetts (the place is not recorded) December 4, 1825,
and died in Waverly, Ill., September 1, 1908, aged 82 years, 8 months and 3 days. When a mere child of two
years his parents moved to Avon, Conn. Here he grew to manhood. He came to Illinois and settled in
Waverly, taking a homestead a few miles southwest of town.
He was married to Miss Catharine Hilligass in Jacksonville, Ill., September 10, 1848. Of this union
were born two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom died in infancy, leaving the parents to grow into old
age childless. After the marriage they came to Waverly and established their home. By a strange and
interesting coincidence they lived a little while in a frame house situated where the cemetery now is. Little
did they think their first home would be their last earthly resting place. He was the last one of a family of
seven, all of the others preceded him to the silent land.
He was a volunteer in the union army and loyally and bravely fought for the flag of the union. He
served for three years and two months. He was home once in all that time on a furlough of a few weeks.
He belonged to Co. "I" 14th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, 17th army corps. He kept a diary of much of the time
he was in the service, which makes quite interesting reading this late day. He was one of the old guard which
are passing away so swiftly. He was a member of the "Grand Army of the Republic." He was a man who
said little about religious affairs. He believed in christianity. He told the writer that under Peter Akers,
during a great revival in Jacksonville, he was converted. He was a man of splendid high ideal of integrity.
He has gone to his reward and leaves in his death his aged wife with whom he has traveled in life's journey
for nearly 60 years. Also a large number of relatives in the second generation.
These old comrades will miss his benign face, and his place at the meetings of the post will be
vacant. He lived a brave man. He died bravely, yielding at last to the shaft of death.
The funeral was held at the family residence. It was attended by a large circle of sympathizing
friends. The G. A. R. attended in a body. Rev. J. O. Kirkpatrick conducted the funeral services. The
remains were interred in the East Cemetery. (Sept. 4, 1908)
RAY, FELIX G.
Old Soldier Passes Away.
Felix G. Ray Died August 30.
Funeral Services Held at YoungBlood Church and Interment at Waverly.
Felix G. Ray was born in Elizabethtown, Ky., October 19, 1843 and died August 30, 1917. With his
parents he removed to Illinois in early childhood and was a resident of Morgan county the remainder of his
He enlisted in Co. B, 26th Illinois Regiment in 1864 and was honorably discharged at the close of
the war. He was a member of the Waverly Post of the G. A. R.
Mr. Ray was married to Sarah E. Charles July 10, 1870. He leaves to mourn his departure, beside
his wife, five children, namely: Jennie Jolly, Ella Burnett, Lottie Burnett, Elmer Ray and Anna Ditson, one
daughter, Laura Hughes, preceding him in death in 1906. There also survive one sister, Mrs. Susan Eldridge,
one half brother, Wm. Irvin of Prentice, one half brother, Lewis Irvin of Brock, Neb.; eighteen grandchildren
and three great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Young Blood church by Rev. Roy March of Murrayville, Saturday,
at 11 a.m. Interment was in East cemetery in Waverly with a short service by Rev. W. J. Campbell, pastor
of the Baptist church.
RICHARDSON, JAMES F.
James F. Richardson was born in Virginia Nov. 15, 1829 and died at his home in this city Nov. 28,
1902. When he was but twelve years old he moved to Tennessee with his parents. He was converted at the
age of 15 years, and some years after united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and was a member of that
church most of his Christian life. On June 10, 1850, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Taylor. They
had nine children born to them, one dying in infancy - five sons and three daughters survive him. Of these
children all but two were present at the funeral - Frank of Leavenworth, Kansas, and Mrs. Sue Knight, of
Louisville, Ky., who, on account of illness in their families, were unable to be present.
At the call of his country in time of its peril he enlisted in the Third Kentucky Infantry Volunteers,
Nov. 4, 1861. He took part in the following battles: Perryville, Ky.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Chickamauga,
Tenn.; Missionary Ridge, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Nashville, Tenn. He received an
honorable discharge from the army Jan. 10, 1865, after which he came to this city, where he has since
resided. He was a charter member of John W. Ross Post No. 331, G.A.R., and was always foremost in any
movement beneficial to that order.
At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, the remains were escorted from the family residence to the Methodist
Episcopal church by the local Grand Army post, where the funeral service was conducted by Rev. T. D.
Smith, pastor of that church, in the presence of a large congregation, many being unable to gain admission
into the sanctuary.
At the East cemetery a large concourse of sympathizing friends awaited the arrival of the funeral
cortege, where the impressive burial service was read by Commander James M. Joy, followed by an eloquent
prayer and a few appropriate remarks on the life and character of the deceased.
"Uncle Jim," as he was familiarly and affectionately known to all our citizens, will be sadly missed
in this community, where for many years his genial face and kindly manner had become so familiar to both
old and yong. His was an affectionate and sunny nature that cannot be replaced at the family fireside or in
his intercourse with our people. The bereaved wife and children truly have the sympathy of the entire
The pall bearers, all comrades in the Grand Army were: James M. Chambers, W. T. Osborn, Levi
Berry, Timothy Jones, C. Romang, Patrick Maher.
(Dec. 4, 1902 - The Enterprise)
WILBURN G. ROHRER.
Funeral Services Held Last Saturday for Wilburn G. Rohrer Who Died at Age of 88 Years.
The funeral services of Wilburn G. Rohrer, whose death was announced last week, were held at
Rohrer Chapel at 10:30 o'clock last Saturday morning. Mr. Rohrer, though nearly ninety years old, had spent
his entire life in the community south of Waverly, known as the Rohrer Chapel community. He was born
April 2, 1835, the same year that Waverly was surveyed as a townsite, his birthplace being one-quarter mile
north of his late residence, on the farm now owned by J. J. Sims. He was 88 years, 8 months and 10 days
of age at the time of his death. Mr. Rohrer's father was Jonathan Rohrer who was born at Harper's Ferry,
Virginia. At the age of four years, Jonathan Rohrer moved to Kentucky, where he resided until he reached
maturity, coming to Morgan County, Illinois, in 1827 and locating in the southeastern part of the county.
He resided in various places in this vicinity until his death in February, 1879.
Wilburn G. Rohrer was one of a family of seven, there being three other sons and three daughters.
Beginning life at an early day in this community's development he soon took an active part in the worth
while affairs of life. After attending college he returned home and became the first teacher of a newly
organized district school near his home. He soon gave up teaching, having become interested in live stock
and farming and during the remainder of his long life was one of Morgan county's well known and
successful farmers. The farm on which he resided was part of the land that was pre-empted by his father.
Mr. Rohrer was married March 4, 1858, to Miss Susan Keplinger. To this union one child was born,
Mrs. Fannie Curtiss, of Waverly, who survives. On September 8, 1860 death entered his home and took his
young wife. On February 28, 1866, he was married to Miss Lucy A. Allyn. To this union four children were
born, Luther R., who died in July, 1893; Mrs. Flora Lee Christopher who died October 14, 1897, and Oscar
A. and Wilburn Herbert who survive. Deceased is also survived by four grandchildren, Mrs. A. C. Blancke,
of Chicago, daughter of Mrs. Fannie Curtiss; Gertrude Elizabeth, Helen Lucy and Esther Alice Rohrer,
daughters of Mr. and Mrs. O. A. Rohrer. There are also two sisters surviving, Mrs. Mary Pugh and Mrs.
Louise Fletcher. Death came into the home of the deceased, and took his companion of old age and since
that time he has been waiting for the summons to call him home. During his declining years there was much
that Mr. Rohrer loved to talk about, that which lay closest to his heart being his church. Owing to his early
Christian training he was connected in early manhood and united with the church near Vancil Temple known
as Brush College or Old Zion. He remained a member of that church until it was abandoned in 1876 when
the society was transferred to its new home at Rohrer Chapel of which he was one of the builders, remaining
a regular attendant and liberal supporter until his death. He was a member of this society for 68 years. Mr.
Rohrer offered himself for service in 1862 in the Civil War, but owing to ill health was discharged in 1863
from Mount City hospital.
Funeral services were conducted at 10:30 last Saturday morning at Rohrer Chapel, Rev. E. J.
Campbell of Taylorville, a former pastor, officiating, assisted by Rev. C. W. Andrew, pastor of the Waverly
M. E. Circuit.
Music was furnished by Mrs. W. A. Barrow, Mrs. J. H. Shutt, W. L. Carter and C. A. Carter of East
St. Louis. They sang at the church "Abide With Me", "Gathering Home", and "Face to Face", and at the
cemetery the quartet sang "Now the Day is Over."
The beautiful floral tributes were in charge of Mrs. Paul Allyn, Mrs. C. A. Carter, Mrs. W. L. Carter,
Mrs. E. C. Keplinger, Mrs. J. R. Dunseth, Mrs. Oliver Miller, Mrs. Roy Sims.
Interment was made in Ease cemetery at Waverly, the pall bearers being W. A. Barrow, Anderson
Brian, J. F. Kennedy, G. L. Stice, Henry Horton and William Walls.
At the funeral of Mrs. Rohrer, held eleven years ago, Rev. Campbell was in charge of the service,
using the same text as at Mr. Rohrer's funeral, "Blessed are they that die in the Lord." The singers at Mr.
Rohrer's funeral were the ones who furnished the music at his wife's funeral.
(Dec. 21, 1923)
SMEDLEY, THOMAS BRAXTON
Former Waverly Merchant Dies
T.B. SMEDLEY PASSES AWAY
Veteran of Civil War and a Resident of Waverly for More than Thirty Years.
Thomas Braxton Smedley was born in Menard County, near Tallula, Ill., July 22, 1832, and died at
Bloomington September 6, 1917.
His early life, spent on the farm, was that of the typical pioneer, engaged in subduing the land in this
newly settled territory. The neighborhood in which he lived was that which has since become well known
as the home of Abraham Lincoln, and in early life, Mr. Smedley at various times came in contact with the
He was married to Catherine Rice in 1850, her death occurring in 1861. The call to war in the '60s
found him ready to respond. He enlisted on March 13, 1862, and became a member of the 14th Illinois
Volunteers, serving until the end of the war. His service was at first with Grant's army in the Mississippi
Valley from Shiloh to Vicksburg. Later his regiment was in the southeast. Just before Sherman started on
his march to the sea, Mr. Smedley was captured near Marietta, Georgia, and during the remainder of the war
he was confined in Southern prisons, most of the time at Andersonville.
He was mustered out at Springfield July 31, 1865, broken in health by his sufferings in prison, from
the effects of which he never fully recovered.
On August 1, 1867 he was married to Martha Ann Rice of Waverly, and the home was maintained
here for more than thirty years, during most of which time he conducted a successful grocery business.
In 1901 the family moved to Bloomington and for sixteen years the home was made at North Prairie
Street. Mrs. Smedley died six years ago, and since that time Mr. Smedley had been quietly awaiting his time
By strength of will he kept up until just at the last. Always unwilling to cause unnecessary trouble, and
always a lover of the out doors, he maintained his daily walks in all but the worst of weather, even when he
was hardly able to get about. For the last few weeks he had been growing weaker until on Thursday, when
he began to fail rapidly. In the latter part of the afternoon of that day he quietly and calmly went to his rest.
His friends in Waverly remember him as a man of generous and kindly nature, a true friend, and a
man of honor, whose word required no bond to make it good. He was fond of doing for others in his own
quiet way but was inflexibly opposed to having any display made about what he did. He was a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church at Waverly, of the Masonic order and of the Grand Army of the Republic,
and was prominent in the business affairs of Waverly during his life here.
He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. E. H. Reesor of Springfield; two sons, Frank R. Smedley of Idaho
and Ralph C. Smedley, of Monmouth. A little daughter, Bertha, was born September, 1869, and died
February 8, 1877. A brother, C. C. Smedley of Eureka Springs, Ark., and a sister, Mrs. Catherine Ferguson
of St. Louis also survive him.
Funeral services were held at the late residence in Bloomington Saturday morning, and the remains
were brought to Waverly for interment. Short funeral services were held at 4:15 p.m. at East cemetery, in
charge of Rev. S. C. Schaeffer, pastor of the Congregational Church.
(September 14, 1917)
SPIRES, JAMES BURTON
Civil War Veteran Called By Death
James Burton Spires, son of James and Lucia Skidmore Spires, was born at Highland, Lincoln Co.,
Ky., February 27, 1847, and died at his home in Waverly, Monday, January 23, 1928, being 80 years, 10
months and 25 days of age.
He came to Illinois with his father's family sixty years ago, driving the distance in a covered wagon,
and locating in Morgan County west of Franklin.
On October 1, 1874, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Knoles. They made their first
home on a farm in Sangamon county, where they lived fifteen years, moving from there to a farm near
Waverly, and then into town, where he spent the last years of his life.
He is survived by his wife; one sister, Mrs. Salle A. Taylor, of Pana, Illinois; and one brother, Shelby
S. Spires, location unknown; six brothers and sisters having preceded him in death; twenty-one nephews and
nieces; and many good friends.
Near the close of the Civil War he enlisted in the army, and served until the close of the war. He
lived a quiet, unassuming life, was loved by all who knew him well, and respected by all with whom he had
acquaintance. For several years he has been in failing health, but was confined to his bed only two weeks,
until he was relieved from his suffering.
Funeral services were held at the residence Wednesday, January 25, at 10 a.m., in charge of Rev. R.
N. Montague, pastor of the First M. E. Church, assisted by Rev. J. E. Curry. Music was furnished by Mrs.
R. N. Montague and Mrs. M. J. Black. The pall bearers were Riggs Taylor, Charles Vandveer, Dave
Vandveer, Frank Mitchell, Charles Redfearn and E. D. Scott. The flowers were cared for by four great nieces
of the deceased, Mrs. Irene Edwards, Mrs. Mabel Mitchell, Mrs. Louise McCormick and Miss Cecile
Interment was in East Cemetery.
"Uncle" Louis Price Goes to His Reward.
In the death of "Uncle Louis Price there is removed from us one who, lonely and with few intimate
friends, was nevertheless greatly loved by the public as a whole, and one who will be missed by those who
have grown accustomed to drop a kindly word when they saw him.
Little is known of the life of "Uncle" Louis and the stories that are told by citizens who knew him
for many years are more or less conflicting. He was a slave before the war, and according to one story was
married and had several children at the time the war broke out, stories conflict as to the nature of his work
while a slave, but it seems that at times he was a house servant and at other times put to work in the field.
Mr. Price always spoke, however, of the good treatment he received from the different masters he served.
He had no idea of the date he was born, but said his birthplace was in Kentucky, he was sold and
taken to Missouri and later to Texas. When the war broke out he enlisted as a cook for an officer of the
Union army. He came to Waverly shortly after the close of the war where he resided until last September
when he was taken to the county farm. He was married twice after coming to Waverly, his first wife dying,
and his second returning to her home after he became too feeble to care for her.
For several years "Uncle" Louis has been unable to work and has been cared for by the county and
by friends. He was nearly blind and there was little of this world's interests that gave him pleasure. His
greatest joy was when his pastor would come to his home and talk and read to him from the Holy Scriptures.
He belonged to the Baptist church, and was strong in his faith in Christ. Tho frail in body, his last years were
nevertheless an inspiration to others, and many times has it been said since his death that "he was a good old
"Uncle" Louis died at the county hospital last Sunday, and in compliance with his last request, his
body was brought to Waverly and laid to rest by the side of his wife in East cemetery. The funeral was held
Tuesday morning at the Baptist church in charge of Rev. E. C. Lucas of the Christian church, Mr. Aldrich
the Baptist pastor being out of the city.
(August 8, 1913)
FOUND DEAD IN BED.
CHAS. STROISCH DIES VERY SUDDENLY.
Was a Resident of Waverly for Over Forty Years and was a Shoemaker by Trade. Dies in His Room
at the Waverly Hotel.
Chas. Stroisch, an old and respected resident of the city was found dead in his bed at the Waverly
hotel Sunday morning. Mr. Gough went to his room at about seven o'clock to prepare him for breakfast, and
found him fully dressed and lying across the bed, dead. Dr. Treble was called and stated that he had
evidently been dead for several hours. Mr. Stroisch had been in poor health for some time but had
persistently refused the services of a physician. On retiring Saturday night he seemed to be in about as good
physical condition as for several days previously. On his person was found a gold watch and chain and
$104.75 in money. Some clothing, a revolver and several other articles were found in the room.
Coroner Reynolds was sent for and a jury was summoned. After taking testimony the jury decided
that deceased had come to his death by strangulation due to a lung trouble of long standing.
Mr. Stroisch was born in Leipsio, Saxony, Germany, and came to this country in 1857. He had been
rather feeble the greater portion of the winter and about two months ago he was taken with a severe attack
of the grip which caused his gradual decline in health, with death as a result. Being of a rather peculiar
disposition, he would not call the services of a physician nor would he partake of any medicine as he had
formed a strong opinion against the use of any narcotics or stimulants and insisted that nature's remedies
were sufficient. His every want was carefully looked after and ministered unto, however at the hotel and Mr.
and Mrs. Gough gave him every possible attention during his illness as he had lived with them about nine
years and they had grown to regard him very highly as a man of excellent character and true purposes. Mr.
Stroisch was an exceedingly quiet, unassuming man always minding his own affairs and never was heard
to speak a harmful word of anyone; he was a shoemaker by trade and had lived in this city for over forty
years; he had never married and had made his home at the Waverly hotel for the past nine years. He was a
faithful member of J. W. Ross Post, G. A. R. and served during the war with the old 14th Ill. Regiment.
He is survived by a brother, Ed, who has lived for the past ten years near New Berlin. So far as
known he had no other living relatives.
Funeral services were conducted at the Congregational church by the Rev. W. S. Bugbey assisted
by the G. A. R. post, and interment was made in East cemetery. Quite a number of relatives and friends were
STEWART, JOHN B.
John B. Stewart was born near Jacksonville, Ill.., August 9, 1843, and died at his home in Waverly,
Friday, January 31, 1930, aged 86 years, 5 months and 22 days.
At the age of nineteen he enlisted in the Civil war at the old M. E. church in Concord which was used
as a recruiting office. He saw three years of active service in Co. B, 101st Illinois Infantry, Third Brigade,
Twentieth Chore, and was honorably discharged at Springfield, June 7, 1865.
He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Young, November 8, 1866. To this union ten children were
He was preceded in death by his wife and two children.
The children who survive are: D. M., Chas. E., John F., Jesse H., and Lee Otis, of Waverly; Wm.
E., of Girard; Mrs. Wm. Howard, of Shipman; and Mrs. Elmer Smith, of Concord. He also leaves three
brothers, Stephen G., of Beardstown; Robert L. and George W. of Raymondville, Mo.; besides 43
grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, and a number of other relatives and friends.
Mr. Stewart was converted at the Braner school house near Arcadia, about 59 years ago, and soon
after found a home in Grace Chapel Methodist Protestant church, which was a newly built church, and there
he remained a faithful member till death.
About 47 years ago he moved with his family to Missouri, traveling in a covered wagon, but on
account of the ill health of his wife, he returned a year later and settled on a farm near Arcadia.
He also lived near Manchester, Ill., and about 17 years ago came to Waverly, where he spent the
remainder of his life.
Funeral services were held Monday morning, a short service at the home at 10:30 being followed
by services at the First M. E. church at 11 o'clock. Rev. H. C. Munch, pastor of the church, officiated, being
assisted by Rev. J. E. Curry. A quartet composed of Miss Eola Pease, Miss Elizabeth Stockdale, Miss Edith
Smedley and Mrs. M. J. Black, sang "Going Down the Valley", at the residence, and "Sometime We'll
Understand", "No Night There" and "Will the Circle Be Broken", at the church.
The pall bearers were sons of the deceased, D. M., W. E., C. E., J. S., Jesse H. and Lee O. Stewart.
The flowers were cared for by granddaughters: Mrs. Myra Kruse, Mrs. Edna Garse, Miss Ethel Stewart, Miss
Ruth Stewart, Mrs. Mabel Stewart and Miss Aileen Stewart.
Burial was in Arcadia cemetery. (Friday, February 7, 1930)
JAMES HUGHEY READ
James Hughey Read, son of John T. and Susanna J. Read, was born in Butler county, Kentucky, May
13, 1846, being the third child in a family of ten children, of whom but three are now living, as follows: Mrs.
Mary Jones of Lexington, Mo., Wm. Read of Loami, Ill., and Abram Read, of Whitehall, Ill. His father was
a capable blacksmith, and hearing of the many opportunities in Illinois, brought his family to this county,
when James was four years old and settled in Franklin, where for some years he followed his trade.
Here, at the age of seven years under the instruction of the Hon. John I. Rinaker, now of Carlinville,
he received his first instruction in the public schools. In 1864, when nearly eighteen years of age he enlisted
in Co. C, 145th Ill. Infantry Volunteers, under the command of Col. Lackey, of Macon county, and served
until honorably discharged at Camp Butler at the end of the war.
Following the war he was engaged in farming near Franklin for many years. He was married to Miss
Martha A. Brewer, Jan. 21, 1869, who with the following children; Fred, Alice, Fannie and Wilburn, who
live near Franklin, Walter, of Rockville, Mo., and Mrs. Flora Walker, of Menard county, survive him.
About forty years ago he united with the Franklin Methodist Episcopal church, of which he remained
a member until his death. Mr. Read died at the home of his daughter, Alice, (now Mrs. Chas. Mulch of
Franklin,) Feb. 2, 1908, at the age of 61 years, 8 months and 19 days.
The funeral services were held at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mulch, Tuesday, at 2 p.m.,
conducted by Rev. Flagge, pastor of the M. E. church, and the body was laid away by the members of the
I. O. O. F. of Franklin, of which order Mr. Read had been a member for 41 years, being one of the charter
membes of this body.
JOHN BRUDD SEYMOUR
FRANKLIN VETERAN DIES
John Brudd Seymour, of Franklin, the last surviving Civil War veteran of that community, died
at Passavant hospital in Jacksonville Tuesday morning, having been a patient there for nearly a week,
being removed to the hospital after the destruction by fire of a home where lived in Franklin.
He was 90 years of age, and was born at Hart's Prairie, south of Franklin, August 12, 1846. At
the age of 16 he enlisted in the Union army, and fought in numerous historic battles, being with Gen.
Sherman on the march to the sea. He was the oldest member of a family that has been prominent in the
county for many years. Surviving him are six children.
Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon at the Neece Funeral Home in Franklin and burial
was in the Franklin cemetery.
Waverly Journal, Friday, June 4, 1937
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