Sunday, September 30, 2007

Smallpox 1903

January 17, 1903

As yet Fulton is free from smallpox, but the neighbors on all sides have it and the greatest care should be exercised to prevent this city from suffering with the contagion. New cases are being reported every few days in Clinton and Lyons, and Rock Falls has become so badly infected that all public meetings have been forbidden. In that city the disease seems to be of a more severe nature and some deaths have already resulted. Many are opposed to vaccination and think it is of no value in stopping the spread of the disease, but it is a fact that if one member of the family is suffering with smallpox the other members seldom catch it if properly vaccinated, and it is universally acknowledged to be the most contagious of all diseases.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Obituary: 1874 Early Dutch Settler

April 22, 1874
In Memoriam

Geert Nanenga who died on Sunday morning, the 5th of April, 1874, was one of the most God-loving people I have ever known. It is not strange that the death of such a person, especially one of the most important members of our church, has made a deep impression on our hearts. At the funeral ceremony last Tuesday you could feel the effect his life and death had made on us. The whole church was behind the corpse coach. They walked in mourning behind the elders. It was a heavy mourning and if someone asks why the mourning is so great, while we believe our loving brother is living forever, the answer is in three points.
First, our loss. He was a man with a special influence in the church and was well respected. He had special qualities in speaking with those who were not converted and they respected him. He was quiet and polite as he spoke with them.
His pleasant fondness for God’s house was obvious. He was hesitant to boast of his devotion, but preferred as I said in his funeral oration, “He was quiet in his devotion to the church, but the walls of the church spoke his message.” As such people die, it is heavy on our hearts, the same as when Dorcas died. When she died, the clothes she made for poor people were displayed.
His walk through life had a positive tone with both God and the people. He was such a good example for us. We can see clearly that when we look at a new naked human being, he was complete. Jesus has the fame, but in Brother Nannenga you could view his soul-saving and it was special.
Secondly, his death is so difficult because for all people on earth who must travel to eternity and have not prepared, Mr. Nannenga has led the way. He was ready for it just as corn in the field should no longer be in the field when the grain is ready to be harvested. His last disease prepared him for eternity. At first his disease affected him seriously (bile fever and then liver disease). He was so sick, he wished for death. The world no longer had charm for him. The last words he spoke to a friend were, “I battled the war of life.” It took about 3 hours for his death. After speaking these words, he lapsed into a coma. They thought the end had come and he must have thought it, too, because he said good-bye to the people around him, but he revived because his soul remained in his body. For him came a last temptation because he said, “I fear I have cheated death.” After a few minutes they asked him if he was afraid to die and he said, “I desire it.” With calmness, he drank from a bottle which he held himself.
Now he drinks forever from the river of life out of the throne of God in the new Jerusalem. Now the battle is over and the faces of all who knew him looked sad when they said, “Geert Nannenga is dead.” The world is poorer for it. What a difference it makes who it is that dies. Some people are calm about death and no tears will be shed, but how this reaches people’s hearts and especially the God-loving, so they cry, “How great it is in the eyes of the Lord the death of his brother.”

John Van der Meulen
Fulton, Ill., 16 April, 1874
DE HOPE, April 22, 1874
Holland, Michigan

1902 Fulton New Year's Dinner

Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Broadhead gave a splendid six-course New Year’s dinner to the faithful clerks in the former’s store at the family residence on Cherry street. Those who sat around the festive board were Mr. and Mrs. Broadhead, Miss Bertha Fischer, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Sterenberg, Mr. and Mrs. B.H. Pruis, Almet Chapman, Will Cochran, John Reagan, and Claus Buis.

1900 Fulton City Ordinances

From the Revised Ordinances of the City of Fulton, 1900: Owned by Fred K. Bastian.


Section 2. No person being naked or having the person indecently exposed shall swim or bathe in the Mississippi river, or in any place exposed to public view, between the hours of one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset.

Section 10. If the owner or keeper of any disorderly or gambling house, or house of ill-fame, or any house or place reasonably supposed to be such, shall refuse to permit the mayor, or any alderman, the city marshal, or any police officer to enter the same, it shall be lawful for the mayor, or any alderman, the city marshal, or any police officer, so being refused entrance, to enter or cause the same to be entered by forcibly breaking the doors or otherwise, and to arrest, with or without warrant, all persons found therein violating any law or ordinance, or subject to reasonable suspicion thereof.

Section 14. No person shall in said city store or keep more than one hundred pounds of gunpowder, at any one time, within one hundred and fifty feet of any other building.

Section 15. No person shall ride or drive any horse or other animal in any street or other public place at an immoderate speed.

Section 16. No person, upon turning the corner of any street, or crossing the intersection of any street in said city, shall ride or drive any horse or other animal with greater speed than at the rate of six miles an hour.

Section 23. No person shall use or propel by riding the same, any velocipede or bicycle upon any sidewalk of the city of Fulton.

Section 27. No person shall erect or maintain on or near the line of any public street any fence constructed in whole or in part of barbed wife.

Section 36. No persons shall play at ball of any description, or engage in other out-door games or athletic exercises within the corporate limits of this city on Sunday.

River Rats

Fulton Journal April 20, 1923:


Business Men Employ Harold Blodgett to Take Charge of Extermination Effort



A city wide drive against the rats will be on in Fulton next Wednesday and Thursday, and on those days poison designed to bring many of the rodents to their end will be placed at the dumps nearby and about town generally where it is thought results can be obtained. The business men have contributed a fund and employed Harold Blodgett, who will have the work in charge. He has recently taken a course in the science and art of exterminating rats.
This work is similar to that being undertaken with good results in other cities. Nearly every merchant has been making his own campaign against rats for years, and it has come to be understood that a general drive is the thing that will really rid the city of these pests. Fulton is no more troubled with them than any other place, but there are enough of them here to make well worth while to try to eradicate them.
W.H. Mitchell and John E. Ferry made the rounds of the business houses this morning and obtained the required amount in subscriptions to make the drive effective.
They said it would be well for owners of dogs and cats to look to these animals next week and keep them away from the dumps and other places where poison for rats will be placed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Liquor Licenses

May 8, 1885: Fulton Journal

“The city council has granted four saloon licenses. The license fee is $500 making a total of $2,000 and as it is payable in advance it is collected and safely deposited by the City Treasurer. Three of these saloons are located on three of the corners at the intersection of Cherry and River streets.” (10th Avenue and 3rd Street).
“The other saloon will be kept in the King’s House.”


April 21, 1885: Fulton Journal.

“The whole number of votes cast at the school election held last Saturday was 139. George S. Sardam received 138 and H.C. Fellows one. This large and unanimous vote is conclusive that our citizens consider Mr. Sardam the right man in the right place.”

New City Hall

City Hall 1879
Fulton Journal: October 31, 1879

Mr. E. D. Chapman is progressing rapidly with the brick work on the new City Hall building. Should the rest of the work go on as rapidly as Mr. Chapman is pushing his, the City Hall will be an accomplished fact before the snow flies, and our Aldermen can enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner of turtle soup and steak in their elegant council room.

Women's Suffrage Movement in Fulton

Fulton Journal
March 19, 1880

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Lecture

The Baptist church was well filled on Friday evening of last week to hear the lecture of Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The subject announced was, “What Home Life consists of,” but upon consultation she decided to substitute her deservedly popular lecture, “Our Girls.” At the appointed hour Mrs. Stanton was introduced by Mrs. George Terwilliger, and for over two hours held the closest attention of her hearers. She is a lady of imposing presence, a fluent, graceful speaker, mingling argument, advice, invective, appeal and humor with the hand of a master, and all without oratorical effort or ostentatious display. The great trouble we think with most of our female speakers, is, that they speak in an unnatural tone, and gesture and act as though they were upon the stage instead of in a lecture room. Not so with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She both speaks and acts in a perfectly natural manner, much to the delight and we may add benefit of her audience. It will be impossible for us to give anything like a fair sketch of her admirable lecture on Friday evening. Such lectures need to be heard to be fully appreciated. We wish that every parent in Fulton who has growing daughters could have been present and heard the excellent advice given in relation to the education, mode of dress, manners, and occupations of girls, and to their rights as citizens also. Mrs. Stanton holds that girls should be allowed the privileges of our Colleges, and other higher institutions of learning equally with the boys, that they should be permitted to enter the trades and professions upon equally as favorable auspices as the boys, and mentioned a number of instances where this has been done that the girls have far outranked the boys in scholarship, and in proficiency in business life. Women should no longer be looked upon as the drudge or the plaything of man, but as a human being equal to himself in intellect, in force of character and business capacity. In matters of dress and manners her remarks were pointed and reasonable, and cannot fail of having a powerful effect in aiding the abolishment of the present unhealthy mode of female dressing, and in inaugurating a more rational system of manners. The last of her lecture was devoted to what we have long been accustomed to term “Woman’s Rights,” but her arguments in behalf of her sex being entitled to the elective franchise as citizens the same as other citizens; entitled to representation because they are subject to taxation, and entitled to stand equal with man in all the affairs and business of life, were so clearly, forcibly and kindly put that the results of allowing these rights were robbed of the terrors which the great mass of people have thrown around them. But few of the large audience went away we think without being convinced that she was pretty nearly right. The lecture as a whole will be long remembered. In this connection it is but proper for us to say that the people of Fulton are greatly indebted to Mr. Leslie Williams for the privilege of hearing this winter two of our most celebrated lecturers, Mr. Geo. R. Wendling and Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. That this privilege has been appreciated we can fully attest.

April 2, 1880: Fulton Journal

Miss Susan B. Anthony, the distinguished lecturer, will be in Fulton on May 17. The bare statement that she will be here will be sufficient to attract a large audience. Miss Anthony has devoted her life, in spite of jibes and sneers—the reproaches of the press, and the revilings of would be moralists—to one great object. None doubt her sincerity, none dare deny the power of her reasoning and her rare gifts of oratory. Her subject at this place will be, “Woman wants Bread and Not the Ballot.”

May 14, 1880: Fulton Journal

Everybody knows that Susan B. Anthony will deliver her great lecture “Woman wants Bread, and not the Ballot,” at Music Hall on next Monday evening, the 17th, but we cannot help announcing it once more. If any one has not secured a seat as yet, it will be well to go at once to Williams City Drug Store, and get a ticket.

June 4, 1880: Fulton Journal

A large list of names of ladies of this city was secured to a petition in favor of Woman’s Suffrage on Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon sent to the Woman’s National Suffrage Committee in Chicago.

FULTON, ILL June 1880
Chicago Historical Museum

We the undersigned believing in the justice of the proposed measure of the N.W. S.A. for procuring the enfranchisement of women pledge ourselves to aid by our voice and means in attaining that end.

Mrs. Hearmuthis A.Hudson
Mrs. Susan Starckman
Miss Annie E. Snyder
Mrs. Elizabeth Parker
Mrs. Anna Williams
Mrs. B.A. Conger
Mrs. Sarah Powell
Miss Nellie E. James
Mrs. Sarah Fredericks
Mrs. May Whitemore
Mrs. Laura Sutherland
Mary E.L. Herrold
Hannah Lusk
C. Broadhead
Mrs. B. Wallace
Mrs. Hattie Hudson
Mrs. Adie Chaptman
Mrs. Jennie Rofs
Mrs. J.P. Jacobs
Mrs. E.W. Gerrish
Mrs. E.J. Hotern
Mrs. M.B. Terwilliger
Mrs. L. Lusk
Mrs. E. Summers
Mrs. W. Culbertson
Mrs. A Hall
Mrs. B Smith
Mrs. Wm. Gay
Mrs. M Loyas
Mrs. J. Bryning
Mrs. C Eckert
Mrs. G. Bevens
Mrs. G. Hall
Mrs. E Southerson
Mrs. H. Morgan
Mrs. Emma Puffer
Mrs. Myra Wythe
Miss Anna Wythe
Miss Sarah Wythe
Miss Mate Green
Mrs. Elisabeth Robinson
Mrs. Eleanor Myers
Miss Florence Myers
Miss Aggie Myers
Mrs. L.N. Reed
Miss Lizzie Baker
Emma H. Reed
Mrs. M.E. Mitchell
Miss C. Eddy
Mrs. Luisa Holmes
Mrs. R.L. Jenks
Mrs Robinson
Miss E. Marcelus
Mrs. G. Jones
Mrs. M. Downey
Mrs. E. Marsh
Mrs. J.P. Legim
Mrs. N. Butchern
Miss Sims
Mrs. N. Roberts
Miss R. Langford
Mrs. J.C. Snyder
Mrs. E. Smith
Mrs. Bryning
Mrs. Barrett
Mrs. Alice Mercereau
Mrs. Georgie Terwilliger
Mrs. Mary Loudrin age 83
Mrs. H C Fellows

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pointer Beer

Fulton Journal: June 22, 1934

Kiwanians Visit Pointer Brewery

Wednesday noon twenty-two members and guests of the Fulton Kiwanis club were guests of the Pointer Brewery Company at Clinton. The guests were seated at a long table heaped with all the delicacies of the “Dutch Lunch” and foamy mugs of Pointer beer were placed at every plate.
After the bountiful repast the guests were divided into three groups and conducted through the brewery, where the different processes were explained.
From the boiler room where the great boilers fired by modern power stokers furnish the steam for the various machines throughout the entire plant one was impressed by the immaculate cleanliness that is maintained. Two great ice machines, one of twenty-five ton capacity and another of forty-five tons capacity, are used to keep the temperatures correct in the various rooms and tanks.
Great bins on the top floors store the barley and malt and feed through tubes into the mixing vats where the hops are added and the mixture processed before going to the enormous kettle where the brewing is done. From the kettle the beer is pumped to huge cooling vat and from there it drains slowly over an immense cooling rack of pipes where it drains into another vat. From there it is pumped to the fermenting rooms where it is processed for seven days and then pumped to aging tanks. The rooms containing the fermenting and aging tanks are kept at about forty degrees at all times.
After the beer is properly aged it is filtered into finishing tanks on the ground floor. These tanks are kept locked by the U.S. government locks and when one is filled a government inspector will collect the tax and remove the locks. From these tanks the beer goes to the bottling and keg departments where it is packed for delivery. Throughout the entire plant rigid inspection and cleanliness insure the utmost purity in Pointer beer.

Willow Chairs

Fulton Folk Art: Willow Chairs

Travelers along the Lincoln Highway coming or going to the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair bought children’s willow chairs made by men in Fulton who peddled them near the Lincoln Highway bridge where travelers stopped to pay toll. It was the depression and paychecks were slim for most Fultonians. Abundant were the willow trees that grew on the riverbanks and islands. An interview with Henry Musk revealed that willow chair income for local inhabitants increased because of a man named Carl Senkel.
Carl Senkel and his twin sons, Bob and Rollie came to Fulton in 1931 and taught local people how to make children’s willow chairs. Carl had a shop in an old boat factory. Rollie Senkel said that the willows grew tall and straight along the river. The willows were cut into pieces with an old tobacco cutter and nailed together. Archie Cowan had a small willow chair factory in the 300 block of 9th Avenue and his factory operated until 1933. At the age of 18, Henry Musk began copying the technique of willow chair making from the people assembling these chairs. Musk said he improved the quality of the chair by letting the willow dry two weeks before construction and by making a tighter chair.
The chairs sold from $.35 to $.75 depending on whether they were rustic, varnished, or painted. Some chairs were rockers. Musk made them and sold them for two years near the tollbooth at the Fulton Lyons bridge. Musk continued to make chairs until 1987 and he estimated that he made 3000 of them in his lifetime. The cost of the chair when he finished his career was $10.
Henry Musk shared detailed instructions for his chairmaking. He said that he preferred river willow three years old or 8 to 10 feet tall. Three trees are needed to make one chair. Willows cut from the first week in May until the first week in September have bark that will strip easily. During the other months, the willow needs to be soaked to remove the bark. Soaking weakens the willow. Bark needs to be removed immediately. A husking pen works well for stripping. The tree needs to dry in the sun for one day before it is put in the shade to dry for one week. Then the chair maker can cut the wood into the desired lengths and let it dry another week.
In the 1930’s, Fulton flourished with folk art. The willows still grow by the river…