DeWitt County Obituaries
K - M
Names In Alpha Order
OBITUARY OF THOMAS KELLY -- 1893
The following obituary appeared in the 24 February 1893 issue of The Clinton Star.
Death of Thomas Kelly
Thomas KELLY was born in Sumner county, Tenn., Nov. 16, 1818. He was married to Miss Susan F.
GREGORY, in the same state and county, Jan. _, 1842. To them seven children were born, six of
whom survive. They are Mary C. CHANEY, of Taylor county, Iowa; Joseph in Weldon, Ill; John in
Oregon; James in Mason county , Ill; Ann and Susie live on the farm. One daughter died in
Mr. and Mrs. KELLY lived in their native state until 1844, when they moved to Logan county,
Ky., where they lived till 1854. From there they came to Mason county, Ill., and finally to
DeWitt county in 1869, and settled on a farm near Weldon on which he peacefully passed away,
Feb. 16, 1893. Thomas KELLY was converted when quite young and the M. E. church, but some
years afterwards united with the Baptist church, in which faith he died . . . . His funeral
took place from his late residence on the 18th inst., and the remains interred in the Weldon
cemetery, Rev. D. MacARTHUR officiating.
OBITUARY OF CHARLES MALTBY -- 1900
The following article appeared in the 2 February 1900 issue of the Clinton Register.
LINCOLN PARTNER DEAD. He Once Lived in Waynesville in This County.--They were Close Friends.
Charles Maltby, who for7nerly lived in Waynesville, died at his home in California. He was
brought into prominence by his intimate association with Abraham Lincoln, when the two were
young men together. Messrs. Maltby and Lincoln were partners in the grocery business at Old
Salem, that historic spot in Menard county where Lincoln spent his early manhood days. In 1849
Mr. Maltby removed to California and when Lincoln was elected president, one of his first official
acts was to appoint his former partner to an important position in the Indian agencies. From that
time until the first Cleveland administration Mr. Maltby was connected in various capacities with
the Indian agencies and the internal revenue department in California. Since his removal he had
retired from active business pursuits.
Mr. Maltby spent a portion of his time in Santa Barbara and the remainder in San Francisco. His
wife died several years ago. He is survived by one son, Charles Maltby, and by one brother, Harris
Maltby, of Lincoln, formerly a justice of the peace at that place. He was59 years old.
OBITUARY OF DR. THADDEUS KIRK - 1890
The following obituary appeared in the 10 January 1890 issue of The Clinton Public.
Dr. Thaddeus Kirk.
At his home in St. James, Minn., Dr. Thaddeus Kirk departed this life on Saturday, January 4,
in the thirty-third year of his age. On last Friday his parents received a telegram from St.
James announcing the sickness of their boy and of his precarious condition, and Mr. Kirk would
have started at once had he been able to leave his sick bed. It was decided to wait for another
dispatch and if the news was not more favorable his mother and one of his brothers would leave on
the morning train. Early the next morning came the expected telegram but it brought the sad news
that Thaddeus was dead. That night two of his brothers left for Minnesota and on Wednesday they
returned with their precious dead.
Dr. Thaddeus Kirk was born in Clinton on the 18th of November, 1857. From childhood he was industrious
and assisted his father in the brick making and building business, and when he was but fifteen years
of age he almost did a man's work when his father had the contract for building the Magill House and
Union Block. In his younger days he was crippled by disease in one of his limbs, and as he grew to
manhood he gave all his spare hours to study and improving his mind for the medical profession. He
began his preparatory studies with Dr. D. W. Edmiston and then spent two years in Rush Medical
College, from which he graduated with honors. He found friends who were anxious and willing to
assist him with money in preparing for his profession, and the first money he earned after locating
at St. James was promptly paid to his benefactors in repayment of the loan. After he graduated Dr.
Kirk located in St. James, Minn., where he soon secured the appointment of local surgeon for the
Northwestern railway company, which had large shops in the town, it being the end of one of the
divisions. He was fortunate in the management of cases that came under his care, and it was not
long before he had a large and lucrative practice. Three years ago on the fourth of last November
he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Clinton, of Milwaukee, Wis., who is now left to mourn the
death of her young husband. Dr. Kirk was a bright young man and gave promise of great usefulness
in his profession.
The funeral services were held in the M. E. Church in this city yesterday morning, and were
conducted by Dr. Reed, assisted by Rev. W. A. Hunter. Dr. Kirk was a member of the Masonic
fraternity, and tile order in this city took charge of the ceremonies. At the grave, after the
ritualistic services, Mr. Ellis I. Day, Master of the lodge, paid [an] eloquent tribute to the
memory of the deceased ....
OBITUARY OF EMILY KNAEDLER -- 1895
The following article appeared in the 9 August 1895 issue of The Clinton Register.
AN OLD RESIDENT PASSES AWAY. Mrs. Emily Knaedler Is at Rest After Living Her
Allotted Number of Years.
On last Saturday, Aug. 3, Mrs. G. W. KNAEDLER breathed her last after several years
suffering from that dread disease, malignant cancer.
Miss Emily MILES was born in 1824, near Geneva, NY, coming with her parents to
Urbana, O., when but a child. At the age of nineteen see was united in marriage to G. W.
KNAEDLER, and with him came to Clinton in 1850. After teaching a private school for
a couple of years, Mrs. KNAEDLER thought the millinery business more to her liking, so
she opened up the rooms in Squire J. J. McGRAW's building above what is now occupied
by A. J. LATIMER's shoe store. For over 30 years she carried an a successful business
here, until her health failed, and she went to Gainesville, Fla., but returned in 1888 to
remain a couple of years after her husband's death.
She was the mother of four children, Thomas, who died in 1852, V. L. KNAEDLER, who
is living near Clay City, Ok., Mrs. Sarah ESTELL, and Mrs. Jeanette EDMISTON, both
of whom are living in this city. During the past few years she has visited a number of
health resorts in the hope of getting relief from this disease which had such a firm hold
on her, but in vain. In March last she entered a hospital in Chicago but the doctors could
do nothing for her, so in April she returned to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Jeanette
EDMISTON to spend the law days left her, in her old home, and surrounded by friends
and loved ones.
She was seventy-one years of age. The funeral services were held at the home of Mrs.
EDMISTON on Monday afternoon, Rev. W. J. TULL being in charge of the services.
The Methodist choir sang several appropriate hymns, and the remains were interred in
OBITUARY OF JAMES LISENBY - 1890
The following article appeared in the 14 March 1890 issue of The Clinton
A Brief Account of the Late James Lisenby
James LISENBY died at his home in Newman, Stanislaus county, California, on the 19th of
December. He was born in Monroe county, Kentucky, on the 2d of March, 1822. He was the
son of Benjamin G. LISENBY who came to Illinois in 1828, and settled in Sangamon county,
where the family lived for two years. In 1830 the family came to DeWitt county and
located in Creek township. In 1833 James LISENBY returned to Sangamon county, and then
went to southwestern Wisconsin and worked in the lead mines. In 1846 he returned to
DeWitt county and earned his living by farming in summer and teaching school during the
winter months. On the 14th of November, 1848, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha
J. McKINLEY. Mrs. LISENBY lived but a few years. She was the mother of A. V. LISFNBY,
who now lives in Fresno, California. In July, 1855, James LISENBY was united in marriage
to Mrs. Martha J. STANSBURY, her husband being Mr. LISENBY's predecessor as county clerk
of this county.
In 1859 Mr. LISENBY was elected assessor and treasurer of this county on the Democratic
ticket and served for two years, but in 1861, when he was a candidate for re-election,
he was defeated by B. T. JONES. In the fall election in 1863 Mr. LISENBY was elected
county clerk, and held that office till 1873, when he was defeated by W. W. GRAHAM, the
Republican candidate. In 1877 the office of county clerk went back to the LISENBY family,
his son Gus. being elected and he continued to hold the office till 18_6, when Steve CARTER
In 1853 James LISENBY was one of the charter members at the organization of the Odd Fellows'
Lodge in Farmer City, he being engaged in business in that town at that time.
The Rev. J. R. WOLFE, who is connected with the LISFNBY family by marriage, is now a minister
of the M. E. Church, and is located in California, was present with Mr. LISENBY during his
last sickness, and from [him] we gather some facts of Mr. LISENBY's history since 1874, at which
time he moved from this county to California . . . .
In 1873, during the latter part of his term of office as county clerk, Mr. LISENBY was stricken.
with inflammatory rheumatism, from which he never recovered. To regain his health he visited Hot
Springs, Arkansas, and the Black Sulphur Springs in the Indian Territory. In 1874 he went to
California, and was treated at the Surgical Medical Institute in San Francisco . . . . After
coming back to Clinton and
winding up his business affairs as well as he could, he returned to California and settled at
French Camp for about two years, when he moved to Stockton. About two years ago he moved near
Newman, Stanismus county. There the people became anxious for him to accept the office of justice
of the peace, which he did, and filled with satisfaction to all as long as he was able to attend
to business. On the 2d day of December he was taken with a chill and fever, from which he never
recovered. He gradually grew worse, and on the nineteenth day [died] ...
OBITUARY OF MARGARET LISENBY -- 1889
The following article appeared in the 15 March 1889 issue of The Clinton Register.
Mrs. Margaret Lisenby, who died in LeRoy on March 3, was born in Tennessee, near Jonesboro,
eighty-seven years ago. Her life was early marked by the death of her father, while he was
a prisoner in the hands of the British at Quebec, he having been one of the army surrendered at
Detroit by Gen. Hull. Mrs. Lisenby married in Kentucky the step-son of her mother, Benjamin V.
Lisenby, and came to Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1829. In 1830 she with her husband settled
in DeWitt county an a farm, which remained, in their hands until the death of Mr. Lisenby, over
twenty years ago.
She was the mother of ten children, seven of whom grew to maturity. Three only survive her
death, Mrs. Nancy Suver, of Warren county, Mrs. Henrietta Fisher of LeRoy, and Wm. J. Lisenby
of DeWitt. She died at the residence of Mrs. Fisher, with whom she had made her home for a
number of years. She was buried near DeWitt in the family cemetery, March 5.
OBITUARY OF HENRY A. MAGILL - 1901
The following article appeared in the 8 March 1901 issue of The Clinton Register.
Ex-Mayor Magill Called from Earth.
At the home of his mother on North Madison street Sunday morning at 5 o'clock . . . the
lifelight of Harry Magill went out. He had been a sufferer for several months and his death
was not unexpected. He was never of robust health, but had not been confined to his bed until
last summer. Being in failing health he, in company with Chas. Cline, went to Colorado, his
physician believing he would be benefited there. Soon after arriving at Colorado Springs, he
was confined to his bed, and remained in the hospital several weeks. At first it was thought
he would never be able to return to Clinton, but lie improved and returned the last of October.
He was on the streets only a few times after his return. He gradually grew worse . . . .
Henry Alfred Magill was born in Clinton April 20, 1864, and this has been his home. He was the
only son of Henry and Fannie Magill, his father dying several years ago. His mother and two
sisters, Mrs. Hattie Amsden of Clinton; and Mrs. J. D. Moore, of Decatur, survive him. He
attended school until 16 years old when he became clerk in the dry goods house of Magill Bros.
in which his father was interested. In 1883 he accepted a position in Warner & Cols. bank, in
which his father was also interested. On account of poor health he was compelled to quit office
work in 1893, and had since not been actively engaged in any business. In 1890 he was elected
mayor of Clinton and was reelected, three times, serving eight years . . . . The only other
office he ever aspired to was member of the legislature for which he was a candidate one year
ago, but failed to secure the nomination . . . .
He was a member of the Knights of Pythias order at Clinton, of the Elks at Bloomington and an
honorary member of the Clinton fire department.
Funeral services were held Monday at the home at 3 o'clock, conducted by Rev. S. C. Black . .
The pall bearers were W. B. Hickman, W. M. Carter, C. M. Warner, C. W. Lemon, J. Q. Lewis, E. L.
Freudenstein. Interment in Woodlawn.
OBITUARY OF HENRY MANN
The following article appeared in the 20 March 1891 issue of The Clinton Public.
A Veteran of the Black Hawk War.
Every body who has lived in Clinton for the past thirty years or more knew Henry Mann. He was a native
of Buffalo, New York, and was born on the 22d of November, 1804. He died at his home in this city on last
Sunday, March 15th, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. He was married over fifty-two years ago and
was the father of thirteen children. His aged wife survives him. He enlisted for the Black Hawk War in
Galena, under Major Stevenson, and served till his company was mustered out. His company was part of the
regiment commanded by Abraham Lincoln, of which Philip Clark was a member.
Henry Mann was of mixed blood being part Indian and part Negro and physically was probably one of the strongest
men in DeWitt County when he first came here; and indeed in his later years but few men could handle as heavy a
load as he was able to lift. In the early days of this county during court week the lawyers and people from the
country who attended court used to vie with each other, in the evenings, jumping long distances. Mr. Lincoln could
beat any man till Henry Mann came upon the green one afternoon and left Mr. Lincoln SO far behind that Uncle Henry
was declared to be the champion.
In his younger days Henry Mann was an exhorter, first in the Methodist Church, and later in the Baptist Church, and
it is said of him that he was a powerful exhorter. He had a thorough knowledge of the bible and could quote from
any chapter in it. In his later years he would surprise people by his aptness in quotation. He was a man of fair
Uncle Henry was popular with everybody, and the old man will be much missed at the homes where he was always relied
upon to help especially during house cleaning season.
OBITUARY OF JAMES WASHINGTON McCORD - 1891
The following obituary appeared in the 4 December 1891 issue of The Clinton
James Washington McCord.
After nearly sixty-two years spent within what is now the limits of DeWitt County, James Washington
McCord answered the summons on the 21st day of November that called him from time to eternity. He
had reached the ripe age of eighty-four years, nine months and twenty-six days when he was called
hence. He was born in[Overton] County, Tennessee, on the 25th of January, 1807. On the 29th of
October, 1827, in his native Tennessee, he was united in marriage to Miss Julia Wheeler, who was
the mother of Mary, wife of Amos Weedman; Lucinda, wife of William McMurray; Charlotte, widow of
Milton Judd; and of William McCord, who lives near Farmer City. His first wife died in the year
1852, and on the 5th of December, 1853, he married Mrs. Mary Harrold, who with her three children
survive him. The children are: Amanda, wife of J. J. Sutton; John T. McCord; and Cora, wife of
ustin G. Shoe. He also leaves twenty grandchildren and twenty-five great-grand-children.
"Uncle Wash," as he was familiarly called, came from Tennessee in the year 1830 and settled near
Farmer City, long before DeWitt County was organized. The country was wild and unsettled, the nearest
towns being Decatur, Springfield and Blooming Grove, where he had to carry his corn to mill to be ground.
Chicago was his closest trading point, and to there across the broad prairies lie had to haul in two
and four-horse wagons the products of his farm to exchange for the few necessaries the pioneers of those
days could afford to indulge in. He knew by practical experience what it cost in labor to cultivate the
wild prairie soil or to clear the timber land in order to make the rich, productive farms of the present
day. No one ever heard "Uncle Wash" complain of the lot of the farmers in these later days when "calamity
howlers" are almost as thick as blackberries. He rejoiced at the prosperity of the county of which he was
one of the original settlers. He was no laggard in the journey of life, and he looked back with pride or)
the sixty and more years that he had spent within a few miles of where he first settled in the county. He
had seen this county in its days of prairie grass and sloughs and helped to bring it to its present high
tate of cultivation.
About the year 1835 "Uncle Wash" professed religion and united with the M- E. Church. For over fifty-six
years he lived a consistent Christian. He was earnest in church work and zealously served the Lord, and
the quarterly conference commissioned him as a local preacher. The circuit rider had no more earnest helper
in protracted meetings, and at the camp meetings he was a power in exhortation and prayer. His home was the
home of the itinerant preachers, and the venerable Peter Cartwright was always a welcome visitor.
In those days "meeting houses" were few and far between, and services were generally conducted in the cabins
of the early settlers when the itinerant made an occasional visit. More than one of the early settlers in
that neighborhood were converted in "Uncle Wash's" house, and it was he who sang the triumphal song "To Jacob's
God" when his neighbors and their children were gathered into the fold.
When the gold fever broke out in 1849 and swept over this country "Uncle Wash" and a number of his neighbors
made the overland trip to California and suffered all the hardships of the journey in those primitive days.
He soon became disgusted with his life among the mountains and gulches of California, and at the first
opportunity he boarded a vessel bound for South America and in due course of time arrived at New York, and
from there he "struck out" for the prairies of Illinois. That was all the experience he wanted, and ever
after he was contented and fully satisfied that the soil of DeWitt County was more sure of results than the
richest gold mine in California.
"Uncle Wash" was not an office seeker, although his popularity would have brought him to the front at any time
in the early history of the county. In looking over the history we find that he served one year as super-visor
of Harp township, elected in 1863. When Decatur Poole was sheriff of the county "Uncle Wash" served as his
deputy. Politically he was an old Andrew Jackson [Democrat], and rarely did he swerve at the ballot box unless
some very intimate friend or some one of his Republican relatives were candidates on the opposition ticket.
He had no bitterness in his heart against his neighbor. He never brooded over misfortune or wept over
calamities, but met every vicissitude of fortune or fate with a smile on his face. Whenever he met one of
his friends in trouble or who seemed downhearted lie would quote Cowper's beautiful lines to him:
"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense
But trust him for his grace,
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face,"
That truly Christian and Masonic virtue, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, was his rule of
action. No beggar or tramp went unfed from his door, and in him the widow and orphan always had a benefactor.
He was a member of the Masonic fraternity for over forty years, and when in good health rarely missed a stated
meeting of the order. And as the lodge to which he was member performed its last sad rites over his remains the
poem of Rob. Morris came to our mind:
There's a world where all are equal,
We are hurrying toward it fast,
We shall meet upon the level there,
When the gates of death are pass'd.
We shall meet upon the level there,
But never thence depart,
There's a mansion-'tis all ready-
For each faithful, trusting heart.
There's a mansion and a welcome,
And a multitude are there,
Who have met upon the level
And been tried upon the square.
OBITUARY OF JOHN MCMILLIN - 1901
The following obituary appeared in the 1 March 1901 issue of The Clinton Register.
AT SEVENTY-TWO YEARS. John McMillin, Another of the Aged Fathers "At Rest Over There''--
John McMillin, one of the oldest and best known residents of DeWitt county, died Sunday night
at his home in Clinton at the age of over 72 years. His death was due to rheumatism, from
which he had been a sufferer for 30 years. He had been confined to the house all winter and
for the past two weeks had been paralyzed, but not until a week ago did he take to bed with a
severe chill . . . .
John McMillin was born on a farm in Champaign county, Ohio, November 29, 1828. At the age of
ten years deceased was left an orphan and he made his home with different relatives until he
reached the age of fifteen years, when he "tackled" the world to fight alone. At Urbana, Ohio,
he apprenticed himself to a blacksmith. After he mastered the trade he opened a shop of his
own at Logansport, Ohio, and on August 2, 1849, was united in marriage to Miss Clarisa Niles
at Urbana, 0. In 1856, the McMillin family, which consisted of two children, Ella and Robert,
moved to Clinton, Ill., where the father opened a blacksmith shop in partnership with Geo.
Knadler on the lot where Jacob Tick's poultry house now stands. He continued in that business
for two years, when he moved to the Knadler farm, northwest of Clinton, and began farming.
The next year he purchased a farm in Barnett township.
About 1869, deceased was first stricken with rheumatism, and for a time it was thought he would
not recover. He was taken to Hot Springs, where he recovered under treatment, but his health
was wrecked. He concluded to give up farming at that time and moved to Clinton, where he
conducted a livery barn on East Main street. In the business he suffered a great misfortune,
fire destroying the barn and all its contents, involving a loss of many thousand dollars to Mr.
McMillin. He rebuilt the barn but only ran it for one year, when he returned to the farm,
where he lived until a year ago last November when he retired and moved to Clinton.
Deceased leaves surviving an aged wife and one son, Albert McMillin. Two children are dead,
Ellen McMillin died Aug. 1858, and Mrs. Emma Jones died 1892 . . . .
OBITUARY OF ELIZA McVAY -- 1893
The following article appeared in the 17 March 1893 issue of The Clinton Star.
Mrs. Eliza McVAY, an aunt of Emerson VANDERVORT of this city, died suddenly at her
home in Normal Sunday evening while eating supper, of heart failure.
Funeral services were held at the residence Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. The remains
were brought to Clinton on the evening train, and laid in Woodlawn cemetery beside her
husband who died in Texas township Mar. 10, 1871.
Mrs. Eliza VANDERVORT was born in Clermont county, Oh., August 26, 1827, and was
married to Ezra McVAY, Sept. 30, 1849. In 1856 they came to Illinois and settled on a farm
in Texas township. After the death of the husband and father the family remained on the
farm until the fall of 1881, when the deceased and her daughters, Misses Luella and
Florence, moved to Normal, Ill. The oldest daughter became the wife of J. H. STAFFORD
while the family lived in this county, and died in May 1892. Both surviving daughters
graduated at the Normal university and had been engaged in teaching. For two years Miss
Luella had remained at home with her mother, and Miss Florence had continued teaching in
the Pontiac schools, a position she has now resigned, and will remain at home with her sister.
OBITUARY OF ADALINE MEACHUM -- 1904
The following obituary appeared in the 11 March 1904 issue of The Clinton Register.
AGED MOTHER CALLED HOME. Had Been a Resident of DeWitt County Nearly Sixty Four Years,
in Barnett Township.
Adaline HALL was the daughter of Aquilla and Polly BUCHANAN HALL and was born in Bourbon
county, Ky., Nov. 3, 1829. Her father was the son of Mahlon HALL, who came to Illinois in
1829. The HALL family was of Virginia origin and among the pioneers of Kentucky and Illinois.
The other children in this family were as follows: Wm. HALL, Cassandra HALL (mother of Hugh
BOWLES), Henry Parker HALL, Thos. D. HALL, and Aquilla P. HALL, of Clinton, now the only
surviving member. The father died in the fall of 1836 while on a business trip to Alabama.
The widow and the children came to Illinois in 1840, when Adeline was eleven years of age.
They settled on the farm east of Hallsville, where the deceased grew to womanhood and where
she has lived so long. She was married April 7, 1847, to James Harvey HILDRETH, who was
prominent and well known in those early days. They lived in Logan county not far from the
town since built and now known as Chestnut. in this family there were four children: Mary
Tabatha, who married Abner JACKSON; Henry C. HILDRETH, Sarah Catherine, who married Wm.
WEEDMAN, and John H. HILDRETH, here present, who survives all the rest, and is now residing
at Frankfort, Mo. The deceased continued to live in Logan county till the death of her
husband, June 4, 1853, and on March 3, 1868, was married to Harrison MEACHUM. In 1873, they
moved to the farm east of Hallsville. They were blessed with eight children: William, now
residing on the farm; Cassandra, the wife of C. N. DAVIDSON, of Kenney; Kissiah, wife of A. P.
KIRBY, of Covington, Tenn., all of whom survive their mother; Laura, who died at the age of
two years; Florence, who also passed away in infancy; George, who died at the age of 21;
Dora, who was a year younger, and the youngest the little girl, Lina, who went away to God
when but a little more than two years old. She confessed the Savior in early life and had
membership in the Old Union congregation. There are some present who remember seeing her
baptized. She placed her membership with this congregation in March, 1889 . . . . The time
of her pilgrimage was 74 years, 4 months and 3 days . . . .
OBITUARY OF SARAH J. METTLIN -- 1889
The following article appeared in the 24 May 1889 issue of The Clinton Register.
Mrs. Sarah J. Mettlin died at her home in Kenney Tuesday, May 10, at 10 a. m., in the 60th
year of her age. Her death was caused by cancer of the breast, from which she had been a
sufferer several years and which would yield to no medical treatment. The funeral occurred
from the house Thursday, at 10 a.m., Dr. Vasburg, D. D., of Decatur, officiating. A large
throng came to pay their last respects to the honored dead and accompany the soulless body
to the Hutchin's family graveyard. . . . The relatives and friends from a distance who
attended the funeral were Walter Hutchin and Alexander Mettlin, of Decatur; Mr. and Mrs.
Wallace Hutchin and daughter, Elfa, and Dr. Downey and wife, of Clinton; and Miss Belle
Nesbitt, of Springfield.
Mrs. Mettlin's maiden name was Sarah J. Hutchin. She was born in Butler county, C., April 19,
1829. With her father, Thomas Hutchin and family, she emigrated to Illinois in 1839 and
settled on Salt creek, where her father is remembered as an extensive farmer. In 1854 she
married S. J. Mettlin, who died in Kenney in 1858. She was early united with the Universalist
church of Decatur, Ill., of which she remained a member to her death. . . . Mrs. Mettlin
leaves no children, her immediate family consisted of her youngest sister, Icyphene Hutchin,
who had made her home with her for several years, and her niece, Sallie A. Turner, whom she
adopted when five years old. Besides a large circle of near relatives and friends, she
leaves three sisters, all living in DeWitt county, Mrs. Mary Davenport, Mrs. J. R. Turner and
Miss I. C. Hutchin, and three brothers, Wallace Hutchin, of Clinton, Ill., Wm. Hutchin, of
Sundance, Wyoming Ty.; and Chas. Hutchin, of Kenney. --Kenney Gazette.
OBITUARY OF CLIFTON H. MOORE -- 1901
The following article appeared in the 3 May 1901 issue of The Clinton Register.
ANOTHER IS FALLEN. An Aged And Honored Citizen Ends Life's Pilgrimage. Was the Friend and
Associate of Lincoln, Douglas, David Davis and Leonard Sweat.
. . . Clinton as He Found It.
When Mr. MOORE arrived in Clinton, or what was called Clinton in 1841, he met conditions that
were not encouraging. He had less than $250, thirteen law books and about as many other books.
The place was the county seat, yet there were only ten or twelve families, the entire population
being less than one hundred. There were two or three log houses and about as many frame
buildings an the square. In the rear of one of these which stood on the east side of the
square near the southeast corner, Mr. MOORE opened a law office, the front of the building
being used for a residence. Where the court house now stands was a frame 18x4O building used
for a court house, church and for other purposes. In it Peter CARTWRIGHT preached. Mr.
MOORE's first client was Wm. HICKMAN, for whom he won the suit. In those days Waynesville was
the principal town in the county and Mt. Pleasant, now Farmer City, was second. Marion, now
DeWitt, was first selected as the county seat, but it was soon changed to Clinton.
Beginning of His Great Wealth.
Mr. MOORE's first land-buying was buying at tax sale the land of non-residents, and as the land
was not considered valuable, he got it for little more than the taxes. The first land owned by
him was west of the railroad from the ARGO homestead and the first house he built was on the lot
where Mrs. A. M. SACKETT lives, a part of the east portion of Mrs. SACKETT's residence being
part of the house he built. Land then sold for from $1.25 to $5.00 an acre and Mr. MOORE wisely
invested all his earnings in land. In a few years he owned many hundred acres and continued to
buy as he could raise the money. Until 1846 his land purchases were in small tracts. In that
year he bought his first farm, 120 acres, opposite his home farm one mile northeast of Clinton,
for less than $5 an acre.
Such were the conditions when the young lawyer came to make his home in the city that he saw
grow from comparatively nothing to what it is today. None but the pioneers know what it is to
grow up with the country. Mr. MOORE was the last of those who were voters when he came to
Clinton to pass away. Judge McGRAW and others who welcomed him have long since died.
LINCOLN, DOUGLAS, David DAVIS, Leonard SWEAT, Henry S. GREEN and other noted men were his
associates and he often met them as opposing counsel. DAVIS was his first partner in land-
owning from early days until DAVIS' death. It is said it was on the advice of DAVIS that he
began to buy land. They owned as much as 30,000 acres in partnership.
Mr. MOORE's most liberal gifts were to the churches. To the Methodist, Presbyterian and
Christian churches he had given fine organs, and had donated over $3,000 to the Universalist
His Fine Library.
He owned the largest and best private library in the state outside of Chicago. It contains many
thousand volumes from the first books published to the most recent. Perhaps, for the number,
there never was a finer and better selected library. The selections had all been made by
himself, and no worthless books were bought. Nothing gave Mr. MOORE greater pleasure than to
have friends visit him in his library. He took pride in explaining the books of antiquity and
of their rarity and value. One of the parts of the library that he felt great pride in was his
bound volumes of newspapers. These comprise the Pantagraph and the New York Tribune from 1860
and the Clinton papers from their first issue. The latter he had intended giving to the county
when the new court house was built but as the vaults were too small for space to be given them,
this wish of Mr. MOORE was never realized. It was known he was puzzled as to what disposition
to make of this large collection of books and papers. Mrs. MOORE told the writer this gave him
more concern than all his other property. Considering that its value is perhaps $100,000. it
is not to be wondered that he could not readily decide what should be done with it. He had
talked of leaving it to his son, also of leaving it to the city. Many believe the latter was
decided upon, but it will not be known until the conditions of his will are made public. If it
is bequeathed to the city that had so long been his home, it is probable provision has been
made for the erection of a building for it.
Clifton H. MOORE was born in Kirtland, O., near Cleveland, Oct. 26, 1817, and was the first
born of eight brothers. His father was born in Saratoga county, N. Y., Jan, 31, 1794, and
served in the war of the Revolution. He possessed great physical powers and lived almost a
century. When 93 years old he walked fourteen miles in half a day- Mr. MOORE taught school
previous to coming to Pekin, Ill, when 21 years old. He then had only $5 in his pocket. He
there read law while acting as deputy county clerk and was admitted to practice at Springfield
in July, 1841. A month later he came to Clinton, being the first lawyer to locate here. Four
years later, Aug. 14, 1845, he was married to Miss Elizabeth RICHMOND of Tazewell county, with
whom he became acquainted while in Pekin. Four children were born to them, only one of whom
Arthur, is living. A daughter, the wife of Congressman WARNER, died about ten years ago. Two
died in infancy. His wife died May 30, 1871, and in July, 1873, he was married to Miss Rose
ONSTITE, of North Amherst, O., who survives him. His only direct descendants are his son
Arthur and the children of Congressman WARNER. They are Clifton H., John, Vesper, Winifred and
Frances. All live in Clinton, except Vesper who is in Kansas. The following brothers survive
him: M. MOORE, of Farmer City; Blish MOORE, near DeWitt; A. C. MOORE, of Ohio and H. C. MOORE,
A few years after coming to Clinton he formed a law partnership with the late Henry S. GREENE,
which continued several years. After its dissolution Mr. MOORE had no law partner until his
son-in-law, Vespasian WARNER, became associated with him. Soon after that time he retired
from active practice in the courts, leaving the conducting of cases at the bar to his young and
ambitious partner. This partnership began in February 1868, over 33 years ago. In all that
time they never had a misunderstanding or an unfriendly word. Since 1894 R.- A. LEMON had
been associated with them.
When Mr. MOORE located in Clinton he was a Whig and in the forming of the Republican party
became one of its strongest advocates. Being a personal friend of LINCOLN he attended the
National convention in 1860, and did much toward his nomination. There is no doubt that
Mr. MOORE could have had a good position under LINCOLN, but he was averse to political
positions, and always advised young men to avoid seeking office. The only office that Mr.
MOORE ever held was as a member of the constitutional convention in 1870 to "revise, alter and
amend the constitution of Illinois."
He was never a member of any church, but it is said the Universalist church belief is nearest
his. He was long a member of the Masonic order, and among its most honored members.
His Wealth Estimated.
Mr. MOORE's wealth has been a matter of discussion since his death and various estimates have
been made. No one seems able to give near a correct estimate. Congressman WARNER says he is
sure it is not less than one million and would not be surprised if it is as much as two millions
of dollars. He thinks the raise in the value of land the last ten years would not fall far
short of adding a million dollars to his wealth. His life tells stronger than words the
possibilities for the young man in a new and rich country. And the fact that his life work and
the estimation of the wealth he has accumulated were told by him in a letter to an uncle before
he left Ohio, while a school teacher, reveals a foresight and resolution for future work that
have few equals. This letter was kept by the one to whom it was written until about four
years ago when it was returned to the writer, and is said to be among his papers. The Register
hopes to be able to publish it at no distant day.
At this time no one seems to know the exact amount of land owned by Mr. MOORE, but in 1887 a
report given out by him placed the number at ten thousand acres in Illinois and seven thousand
acres in Iowa, besides city and personal property. With this estimate it would appear he
was worth about one million dollars at that time. Since then land in Illinois has about doubled
in value and in Iowa it is worth three-fourths more than then, besides many farms have been
added to his estate.
The first tax receipt ever received by Mr. MOORE from a collector was for thirteen cents, and is
yet among his papers. For several years previous to his death his taxes had been from $11,000
to $13,000, at least half of which was an property in this county. His yearly income is
estimated to be from $30,000 to $40,000. At prevailing rentals for land it would have been
from $10,000 to $15,000 more.
Liberal to His Renters.
Most of his land was rented for one-third the crop, and when cash was paid, he never asked
over $3.50 per acre, saying no man could afford to pay more than that cash rent on a farm year
after year. He was lenient with his renters, and so long as they proved themselves honest and
industrious they were never requested to give possession. Many of his renters have occupied the
same farms from ten to twenty years. As evidence of how his renters felt toward him, John ELLIS
said to a Register representative Tuesday: "I have lost the best friend I had." Mr. ELLIS has
lived an the same farm three miles east of DeWitt twenty-one years, and though he has 480 acres
of as good land as there is in the county, he paid only $1,000 a year, a little over $2 an acre,
and the lease has two years to run. No doubt many others feel as does Mr. ELLIS.
The life of Mr. MOORE furnishes much room for reflection. The eighty and three years he lived
tell a story that it would be well could it be impressed upon the mind of every young man
seeking to become prominent and wealthy, the two goals which so many perish in striving to
reach. Leaving home at 18 years, starting to make his way in the world, he succeeded beyond any
fond dreams that may have disturbed his young mind. As he grew in wealth he grew in ability and
legal fame. He took rank with the leading lawyers of his state, and though he gave of the force
of his character and the strength of his ability to assist others to positions of remunerative
responsibility, he refused to accept similar kindness in return. He had chosen, perhaps in
youth, to live free of the bickering and annoyances of public life, and no arguments or
prospects of great fame could swerve him from his purpose. He chose to live a quiet and
unassuming life with his family and his people. Clinton was his home, and he had two homes in
Clinton, his residence and his office. About as much time was spent at one as the other, even
up to Wednesday of last week which was his last day at his office. A paralytic stroke three
months ago had convinced him his days were fast nearing the end, and he had told Mr. WARNER
only a few days before his fatal illness that others would soon have to look after his business.
And when a severe attack of stomach trouble compelled him to remain in his bed, he knew. Death
was standing at his chamber door . . . .
At 2 o'clock yesterday a very large number of friends attended the services at the palatial home
in north part of the city. From 9 till 12 in the forenoon time had been given for friends to
see the familiar face of the honored citizen, yet so many from farther parts of the county were
unable to be present in the forenoon that the opportunity was extended just before and after the
services, which were conducted by Rev. C. W. E. GOSSOW, assisted by Revs. E. A. GILLILAND, S.
C. BLACK, M. A. DOOLING, and T. A. CANADY. Singing was by a selected choir. The sermon of Rev.
GOSSOW impressed all who heard it. His kind words of the deceased brought tears from many. A
large portion of those present could not be seated in the spacious rooms, being compelled to
remain on the outside . . . .
OBITUARY OF PASCHAL H. MILLS -- 1900
The following article appeared in the 13 April 1900 issue of the Clinton Register.
AN HONORABLE CITIZEN DEAD). One of DeWitt County's Former Residents joins the'Silent Majority at
Three Score Years.
Two weeks ago the hundreds of friends of P. H. Mills were grieved to learn he had returned from his
home in Oklahoma to Dewitt county with little hope of recovery. Disease had been for two years
gradually taking his vitality, and as he had expressed a desire to be buried in the cemetery near
his old home, the family brought him to this county two weeks ago, and he was taken to the home
of his son-in-law, John Spicer, near Rowell. He stood the trip better than anticipated, and it was
hoped the presence of old friends would stimulate life's forces and lengthen his days with the ones
he loved and was loved by. But in this they were disappointed. Though he seemed cheered up for a
time, the grip of death was tightening, and it soon became evident he would soon take the long journey
from which none have ever returned. One week ago yesterday he became much worse and his family realized
the end was near. hi the early part of Sunday night relief came forever and the wearied and pained soul
was at rest.
Paschal Hickman Mills was born in DeWitt county March 25,1839, and lived in the county until 1895, when
he moved to Oklahoma, buying a farm near Lexington. He was a son of Paschal and Emily Mills, who passed
away years ago.
Deceased was married to Miss Winifred Armstrong, daughter of Kirby and Miranda Armstrong, October 27,
18591. Six children were born to them, one of whom died in infancy, the others survive their father.
[They] are William A., of Chicago; Mrs. John T. Spicer, near Kenney; Miss Minnie A., of Chicago; Mrs.
Charles C. Post, Oklahoma City, Ok., and Aaron E., of South McAlester, Ind. Ty. His wife and one sister,
Mrs. Kate Sweeney, near Clinton, also survive him.
Most of his life after marriage he lived one mile west of Clinton, where he lived when he. removed to
Oklahoma. He was one of the most generous of men and no man better enjoyed the company of friends, and few
men had more dose friends. Politically he was always a Democrat, and never failed to take an active part
in the campaigns. Sept. 4,1886, he was nominated for sheriff and was so popular in Clintonia township,
his home, that he ran much ahead of his party vote, but was defeated by his opponent, H. C. Henson. This
was the only time he was ever nominated for office. He was an honored member of the Knights of Pythias and
held his membership in the Clinton lodge, until called from earth. Plantagenet lodge attended the funeral
in a body and conducted the usual ceremony at the grave. Services were held in the Presbyterian church
Wednesday at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Horney. Interment was in Woodlawn cemetery.
OBITUARY OF BUSHROD W. MONSON - 1900
The following article appeared in the 12 October 1900 issue of The Clinton Register.
NEARLY FOUR SCORE AND TEN. Bushrod W. Monson, Father of Attorney William Monson Dies of Old Age.
Bushrod W. Monson, father of Nancy M. Hutchin, wife of I. W. Hutchin; Mary T. McHenry, wife of
R. P. McHenry, and William Monson, died at his home in Clinton on the 8th day of October, 1900,
at the age of 89 years, 8 months and eighteen days.
He was born in the state of New York January 23, 1811. When quite young he moved with his
parents to Cincinnati, 0. Soon after, both his parents died and left him, together with eight
other brothers and sisters, without homes and in a strange country. He was apprenticed to a
blacksmith and served his apprenticeship and followed the business near London, Madison county,
Ohio, for a number of years. He was married in 1837 to Sabra Thomas, a young widow whose
maiden name was Sabra Bates. In 1847 they, together with their children, moved to Illinois and
settled on a farm four and one-half miles west of Clinton, where he lived and followed the dual
occupation of farmer and blacksmith until 1880, except two years--1858 and 1859--when he resided
in Clinton. Since 1880 he has resided in Clinton . . . . His wife died November 26, 1884.
Funeral services were held at the residence on West Washington street Tuesday at 2 o'clock,
conducted by the Rev. Gossow, assisted by the Rev. McArthur. The Masons had charge of the
remains. Interment was in Woodlawn cemetery.