DeWitt County Obituaries
Names In Alpha Order
OBITUARY OF FRANK CALDWELL -- 1893
The following article appeared in the 24 February 1893 issue of The Clinton Star.
Frank CALDWELL, only brother of Ed CALDWELL, of this city, died of heart disease at Akron,
OH, Feb. 18, after one weeks sickness. The remains were brought to this city Wednesday night
for burial. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. W. A. HUNTER from the residence of Mrs.
Richard CRANG Thursday forenoon. The father and mother, who live at Easton, Ill. attended
the funeral. Seven months ago he moved to Akron to engage in the law business.
He was born in Ipava, Ill, April 1, 1861. For several years past he had lived in Nebraska,
superintending street improvement in several important cities.
OBITUARY OF LEVI CANTRALL - 1900
The following obituary appeared in the 16 November 1900 issue of The Clinton Register.
Death of Levi Cantrall.
Levi Cantrall, son of John and Rachael Cantrall, was born May 7, 1814, in Clark county, Ohio,
one of thirteen children. Sept. 15,1835, he went west with his parents, leaving the farm on
which he was born for what was then the "far west." Oct. 5, the same year he and his father's
family arrived at the farm which became their home, south of and near Waynesville, Ill. His
father entered a piece of land for him immediately south of and adjoining his own home. Here,
Levi Cantrall, upon his marriage to Miss Elizabeth G. Robb Oct. 17, 1839, brought his bride and
here their children were born: Louisa Jennie, born Oct. 27, 1840 and who died April 15,1896;
John Robb, born Jan. 21, 1842; Nancy A., born April 29, 1844, and who died March 15,1875. This
was his home continuously until Nov. 1, 1875, he moved to the village of Waynesville, having
there built the home which he has since occupied, except that since the death of his wife,
Nov. 28, 1898, he has from time to time made a home with his son at Tuscola, Ill. He died on
the old farm of his father, now occupied by Jas. Cantrall, a nephew.
In the spring of 1836, Mr. Cantrall's father ... secured an order to organize a Presbyterian
church in Waynesville. This church was so organized June 25, 1836. Of this church he was
elected an elder .... Levi Cantrall had united with the Buck Creek Presbyterian church,
Champaign county, Ohio, Nov. 11, 1830, in the 17th year of his age. On the organization of
the Waynesville church, be transferred his membership to that and was the last of the charter
member. Elder Joshua Cantrall died Aug. 11, 1840, and Dec. 4, 1841, Levi Cantrall was elected
elder in the room of his father. From 1836 till the spring of 1838, the church worshipped in
his father's house or in the woods near by. In 1839, the first building was elected, replaced
with a better one in 1854. This was rebuilt in 1891. In the building, furnishing and caring
for all three buildings, he had a part and no infrequently a prominent one. The parsonage was
laid out by him ....
An elder of the church for 59 years in one church, he was the senior elder in the Presbyterian
church in the United States .... He voted at every election for 64 years and had he been spared
a few days, would have cast a ballot 17 times for a president of the United States.
He died at the home of his nephew, Jas. Cantrall, Monday, Nov. 5, 1900 aged 86 years and six
months lacking a single day.
The funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church, of which he was so long a member,
Nov. 7, 1900, at 2 O'clock, Rev. A. S. Covert presiding and reading the scriptures, prayer
offered by Rev. W. C. Lacy, of the M. E. church, and the sermon by Rev. Ambrose S. Wright, of
Mt. Ayr, Iowa, a former pastor, who also conducted the interment at Union cemetery ....
OBITUARY OF Z. D. CANTRELL - 1897
The Following article appeared in the 21 May 1897 issue of the Clinton Public.
Z. D. CANTRELL.
After a lingering illness of eight months and surrounded by his devoted wife and children,
Z. D. Cantrell departed this life Sunday at 12:40 o'clock p. m., aged 63 years. Mr. Cantrell
had been a sufferer from diabetes for the last eight years, but not until recently was he
confined to the house. At times during the last days of his illness he was unconscious, but
just before death regained consciousness and recognized his friends and relatives.
Z. D. Cantrell was born in Sangamon county, near Cantrall, on August 28, 1833, and was a son of
John M. Cantrell, who died in 1863. Mr. Cantrell grew to manhood in Waynesville. The
advantages of an early education was not open to him, but through careful study and reading he
became well informed regarding the leading topics of general interest. At the age of 22 he was
united in marriage to Miss Susan Foreman. Shortly after his marriage he purchased an 80-acre
tract of land near Elm Grove. By close application to business and making good use of
opportunities he began to make valuable additions to his landed estates. At the time of his
removal to Clinton, in 1890, he was the possessor of several fine farms.
Mr. Cantrell was honored and respected by the people of DeWitt county, having repeatedly held
offices in the gift of the people in attest of his ability and popularity. For 25 years he
held the office of justice of the peace. In 1889 he was elected and served as president of the
Old Settlers' association of DeWitt county. He also served several terms as president of the
DeWitt County Agricultural and Mechanical association. During his life he was an active member
of the Presbyterian church. It was due to his untiring efforts that the Elm Grove church was
built. Along in the 60's he donated a tract of land on his farm and gave liberally toward the
building of the church, and was one of the leading members of that congregation ....
Besides an aged Wife, he leaves four children to mourn the loss of a loving husband and kind
father: Elder C. G. Cantrell, pastor of the Christian church at Williamsville; E. E. Cantrell,
living on the old home place near Elm Grove; Dr. T. D. Cantrell, of Clinton; and Mrs. M. Angie
Lichtenberger, wife of Rev. J. P. Lichtenberger, pastor of the Christian church at Canton.
The funeral of the late Z. D. Cantrell was held Tuesday afternoon at the Presbyterian church.
An eloquent and impressive sermon was delivered by Rev. W. A. Hunter. At the conclusion of
the services at the church, the remains were followed to Woodlawn cemetery by the Masons and
a large concourse of friends. After a short prayer by Dr. Hunter, the remains were laid to
rest with the beautiful and impressive ceremony of the Masonic fraternity. J. W. McPherson
was selected as marshal. The following gentlemen acted as pall-bearers: J. T. Cox, Isaiah
Wilson, W, O. Rogers, Wm. Gambrel, Wm. Phares, and Frank Crawford. The floral designs were
a pillow by the State bank, of which he had been director; a wreath by the family, and a
bouquet of roses by Mrs. Wm. Metzger.
OBITUARY OF JOHN CARROLL 1896
The following article also appeared in the 28 February 1896 issue of The Clinton Register.
GONE TO REST. Another of Clinton's Oldest Citizens Joins Friends on the Other Shore.
Sunday morning at 2:30 o'clock John CARROLL, one of Clinton's oldest and most highly respected
citizens, died at his home on South
Monroe street, aged 61 years. For several years he had been afflicted with stomach trouble,
and had visited health resorts, but no permanent good came. Last Summer and fall he was at
Hot Springs, Ark., and Battle Creek, Mich., but returned home but little improved. During the
winter he had been failing and his family realized the end was near.
John CARROLL was born in Ireland in 1835, and came to America in 1848. He remained in New York
until 1855, where he learned his trade, cabinet making. In 1855 he came to Clinton where he
worked at his trade for awhile and then engaged in the furniture business with Reuben SACKETT.
This partnership continued until about five years ago when he retired from business on account
of failing health. In 1851 he was married to Miss Ann FITZGERALD, who survives him. To them
nine children were born, two of whom, Charles and Edward, are dead. Mrs. J. T. SULLIVAN lives
in Sioux City, Ia., Jas. lives in Iowa, Mrs. Hugh MAGILL, John and Will live in Clinton.
Funeral services were held in St. John's Church Tuesday at 10:30, deceased having been a member
of that church for years. Services were conducted by Rev. M. A. DOOLING . . . . The pail-
bearers were Thos. HENNEBERRY, James JORDAN, Wm. HART, John O’DEA and James TIERNEY. The
burial was at Woodlawn cemetery.
OBITUARY OF DENNIS COADY - 1889
The following obituary appeared in the 19 April 1889 issue of The Clinton Public.
Death of Dennis Coady.
The death of Dennis Coady, last Saturday afternoon, was a surprise to his friends, for he
was apparently a man of rugged constitution. One evening last January Mr. Coady went
from Clinton to Springfield in the pay car and when the train was going into Springfield
it collided with an engine on the 0. &; M. road. Mr. Coady was standing at the back door
of the pay car looking out of the window when the sudden collision of the two trains
threw him flat on his back in the car. From the result of this injury he was
laid up for several weeks, and being a portly man his recovery was slow and tedious.
Before he finally recovered from the effects of the injury he had a severe attack of
erysipelas, which for a time threatened his life; but he pulled through and once more his
friends were gladdened by seeing his pleasant face on the streets. Mr. Coady was a man
of determined energy, and once he was able to be out he gave attention to his department.
One day about three weeks ago he rode out on a hand-car to inspect a bit of work. The
day was raw and chilly, and when he came home at night he was suffering from a severe
cold. This aggravated his old enemy, rheumatism, and again he was confined to his bed.
So serious was his condition that a week ago last Tuesday his attending physician called
in counsel. At that time he was threatened with rheumatism of the heart, and his physicians
had but little hope of his recovery. Superintendent Wilkinson felt so much interest in
Mr. Coady that after hearing of the doubts expressed by Drs. Goodbrake and Wright, he sent
the Central's surgeon up from Springfield by special train on Tuesday night that he might
advise and consult with the local physicians. Mr. Coady’s brother, who lives near Geneva
Lake, Wisconsin, was at once telegraphed for, but by the time he arrived Mr. Coady was dying.
Mr. Coady kept gradually sinking till Saturday afternoon when he passed from this world
Dennis Coady was born in the County of Kilkenny, Ireland, in the year 1824, and on his
last birthday anniversary he was sixty-four years of age. At the age of twenty-four years
he left his native Green Isle and emigrated to this country. For a few months after his
arrival in this country he worked as a laborer in Pennsylvania, but in the fall of 1849 he
came to Illinois and got a job in the construction of the branch of the Illinois Central
road, which was then being built from Chicago down to Cairo. He helped to lay the first
iron on the Cairo end of the line. Being an energetic worker and exhibiting skill and
judgment in the handling of men he was soon promoted to be a section boss, and with his gang
of men helped to grade, tie and iron both the branch and the main line. When the war of the
rebellion broke out Mr. Coady had charge of a section, with headquarters at Cairo, under
George Poore who was then roadmaster of the Centralia and Cairo division. Poore resigned his
position as roadmaster to enter the army as captain of a company, and Mr. Clark promoted
Mr. Coady and from that time till his death he held the position of roadmaster on one
division or the other of the Central road. He hid charge of a division at Freeport, and
then for a time he was at Decatur.
A few years ago Mr. Coady seriously considered the question of retiring from railroad
life. He had bought a large farm near Geneva Lake, Wis., and went out there to improve
it and build a house on it. About that time the Central company bought the
Gilman, Clinton and Springfield road. This road had passed through adversity and the
hands of a receiver who spent little or nothing in keeping it up, so that when the Central
bought it the road-bed and iron track was in very poor condition. The managers of the
Central at once decided that Dennis Coady was the man to reconstruct the road, and once
more he was brought back into service as roadmaster of the division from Gilman to
Springfield, with headquarters at Clinton. He left his farm and his family in
Wisconsin and threw all of his energies into making his division one of the best in the
Central system. It was under his supervision that the trestle work at Salt Creek, between
Clinton and Kenny, was filled in and made into a solid road-bed, and the work was done
so much cheaper than the estimates of the civil engineers of the company that on its
completion the company presented him with a costly gold watch as a mark of its
appreciation of his economical services.
For nearly forty Years Dennis Coady served the Illinois Central company, and at the time
of his death he was one of the oldest [employees] of that corporation. He felt that the
interest of the company were his own, and he gave the company faithful and
honest service, That the officers of the company appreciated him is evidenced by the
anxiety they expressed during his illness, and also the liberal arrangements made for his
funeral. A special car was tendered the family and friends to accompany the remains of
Mr. Coady to Geneva Lake for burial. The remains were taken from this city on Monday
afternoon, and were accompanied by all the section foremen of the Springfield division
as well as the foremen on the main line who live in Clinton. The Central machine shops
were closed during the afternoon and all the [employees] of the company attended the
funeral from the house to the station.
Dennis Coady was one of a family of eight children, there being six boys and two girls.
Only two brothers survive him; John, who lives at Geneva Lake, and who was present at
the funeral, and Edward, who lives in Dakota. Mr. Coady was twice married, his first
wife dying in the year 1872. The issue of his first marriage was three girls and one boy.
One of his daughters is married to Mr. James Shaw, a farmer living near Maroa; one is
teaching school at Geneva Lake; and a third is a member of the Order
of Dominican Sisters and lives in Washington, D. C. This daughter arrived in this city
from Washington but a few minutes before the funeral left the house, and was in time to
get a last look at the face of her father John, the only son by the first marriage, was killed
near the machine shops in this city, on the 24th of August, 1888, by being crushed
between five freight cars. This was a terrible blow to Mr. Coady, from which he never
recovered. In the year 1876 he was married to the lady who survives him. The issue of
the second marriage was three boys and one girl, all of whom are living. Two of his
daughters graduated from the Clinton high school and were bright scholars.
Mr. Coady left his family well provided for. Besides the farms he owned at Geneva Lake
he owned a good residence in this city and valuable property in Cairo and at Decatur. In
addition to this he had life insurance policies for $4000 and had considerable money out
at interest. He was a careful and prudent man, and his family were provided with all the
comforts to make life and home happy. In his intercourse with his fellowman and the men which
worked under him he was genial and pleasant, and he always had a kind word for every body.
OBITUARY OF MILTON R. COLWELL - 1903
The following article appeared in the 27 November 1903 issue of The Clinton Register.
OLD SOLDIER AT REST.
ONE OF CLINTONS MERCHANTS CALLED FROM EARTH.
Was Among the Best Known and Most Honorable Men in DeWitt County.
Today Clinton is in sorrow .... Another of its old soldiers has heard the last roll call, and
is at rest, his age being 62 years, 1 month and 1 day.
About two months ago M. R. Colwell was taken sick with typhoid fever and his recovery was soon
thought to he in doubt, but about two weeks ago he began to improve and continued to grow
better until the first of this week when he became worse and his recovery seemed hopeless ....
The end of his earthly pilgrimage came at 4 O'clock this morning, his family and several
friends being at his bedside.
Milton R. Colwell was born in Champaign county, Ohio, Oct. 26, 1841, and his father Benjamin L.
Colwell, moved to DeWitt county, Ill., in 1850, and located in Clinton, where he lived a short
time, working at his trade, that of a mason and brick maker. He bought a farm two and a half
miles northeast of Clinton, where he lived until 1883, when he sold his farm and moved to Wood
River, Neb., where he died a few months ago, aged 87 years. Aug 5,1862, when 20 years old he
enlisted in the 107th Illinois infantry and remained in service until July 1865, returning to
this county. He was in the Franklin, Nashville and Atlanta campaigns and was taken prisoner
at Clinch Gap, Tenn., Dec. 14, 1863, and sent to Belle Isle where he was a prisoner until
Mar. 7, 1864. When released he joined his regiment while it was on the march to Atlanta.
Oct. 24,1867, he was married to Miss Ida Simpson, daughter of Henry Simpson who lived southeast
of Clinton one mile, who survives him. The two children born to them are Mrs. H. C. Cline,
who lives on the Colwell homestead southeast of Clinton, and Miss Adda L., who lived with her
parents. His farm of 80 acres he bought in 1870 and 1875, and occupied it until about four
years ago when he moved to Clinton and engaged in the furniture business with W. H. McFarland
and Carl Jones. Two years later Mr. McFarland sold his interest to his partners and the firm
name had since been Colwell & Jones. For several months before his sickness began he was in
poor health, and a few weeks before he was confined to his bed bad decided to retire from
business as soon as a partner could be found satisfactory to Mr. Jones ....
Mr. Colwell was one of the leading members of the Universalist church, assisting in its
organization. He was also a member of Frank Lowry Post, No. 157, G. A. R., and of the Knights
of Pythias. Politically he was a Republican, but not a partisan ....
In addition to his fancily, he is survived by his mother, one brother and two sisters at Wood
River, Neb., and one brother, O. T. Colwell, of Clinton, who with a sister, Mrs. Burkerd, were
with the family when death came.
The remains can be seen by friends at the residence, comer South Quincy and West White streets
from 2 to 4 o'clock Saturday. Funeral will be held in the Universalist church at 2 o'clock
Sunday, conducted by Rev. C. E. Varney, assisted by Rev. Mecca Varney, The G. A. R. assisted
by the W. R. C., all have charge of the services, and the K. P.'s will act as escort. The pall
bearers will be C. K. Zorger, John Killough, Thos. Ewing, I. N. Bailor, C. W. Williamson and
C. S. Lafferty. Interment in Woodlawn Cemetery.
OBITUARY FOR NANCY BYERLY COPPENBARGER
The following excerpt was taken from a clipping of a newspaper article which appeared in the
20 January 1905 issue of The Gazett-Herald, a Kenney, Illinois, newspaper. The clipping was
contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Butler.
Another Pioneer Dead. Mrs. Nancy Coppenbarger Passes to Her Reward.
Mrs. Coppenbarger had been in very poor health for about two weeks, being unable to retain
solid food on her stomach and her demise was not unexpected. At about 4 o'clock last
Saturday morning she called Mrs. Anna Thompson, who was keeping house for her and said she
wished something to eat. After swallowing a small amount of egg-nog, Mrs. Coppenbarger laid
back on her pillow, drew a deep breath and in a short time passed peacefully away, like unto a
child failing asleep.
Nancy Byerly was born in Roan, County, North Carolina, January 31, 1817, and died at her home,
near Kenney, Illinois, January 14, 1905, aged 87 years, 11 months and 13 days.
Her parents moved to the then almost unbroken wilds of Indiana, settling in what is now Shelby
county. Her early childhood was spent in aiding her parents in the duties and trials which the
early pioneer was forced to endure. She united with the AL E. church at the age of 18 years.
In the year 1851 she removed to Illinois with her parents and settled in DeWitt county, east
of Clinton, where she resided until her marriage with Wm. Coppenbarger in 1856. With him she
lived for three years when he died leaving her with four small children by his first wife, she
having no children of her own; but she endeavored to the best of her ability to raise them to
be honorable men and women.
Out of a family of eight brothers and sisters, but one survives her, Uncle Sam Byerly, of Kenney.
Funeral services -were held at the late residence Sunday January 15, at 12:30 o'clock, conducted
by Rev. M. P. Hall. Interment was made in Hays cemetery northwest of town.
OBITUARY OF MRS. ELEANOR A. CUNDIFF -- 1886
The following article appeared in the 29 January 1886 issue of The Clinton Public.
Mrs. Eleanor A. Cundiff died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. J. G. Cackley, on Sunday
evening last, in the seventieth year of her age. She had been confined to her bed for about
three weeks, but was thought to be getting better till Sunday morning when her disease took an
unfavorable turn, and that evening she died. She was the wife of Thornton Cundiff, who died
near Farmer City in the year 1858. Mrs. Cundiff and her husband moved from Hancock county,
Ohio, to DeWitt county in 1852. They first settled on a farm near where Mr. George Hartsock
now lives, and lived there for a couple of years. Then they came to Clinton and kept the hotel
which formerly stood on the corner now occupied by the Masonic Block. In 1856 they left
Clinton and bought the farm near Farmer City fair grounds which was lately owned by Campbell
and Kyle, where Mr. Cundiff died in 1858. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Cundiff came
back to Clinton and made this her future home, living with her children.
Mrs. Cundiff was the mother of eleven children, seven of whom survive her. They are Mrs. J. G.
Cackley, Mrs. J. M. North, and William and John Cundiff, all of whom live in Clinton; Mrs.
Joseph Rinier, of Auburn, Ind.; Mrs. Richard Kingore, of Pontiac; Mrs. James Kirk, of Eureka.
All of her children and their families were present at the funeral with the exception of Mrs.
Kirk, who was detained at home by sickness. Mrs. Cundiff was the sister of Mr. L. B. Beatty
and of Mrs. James Delay. Thornton Cundiff has one sister and two brothers still living --
Mrs. Elizabeth Twining, of Bloomington, Mr. Ben L. Cundiff, and one brother in Michigan.
Mrs. Cundiff . . . for fifty-four years . . . was a member of the M. E. Church, having
connected herself with it when she was but sixteen years of age . . . .
She was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon.