Thursday, January 31, 2008

Betsey Bennett's Hogs

Fulton Journal: May 18, 1886

Last week Michael Callahan drove a number of Mrs. Betsey Bennett's hogs to the pound. This naturally displeased that lady and when she met Michael yesterday she upbraided him for his ungallant conduct. He replied somewhat warmly and Mrs. Bennett continued her reproaches, emphasizing her remarks with a brick bat which struck Michael under his off eye. The next thing was for Michael to swear out a warrant, which he did before Police Magistrate Plumley. Marshal Weber was unable to find Mrs. Bennett this morning but after dinner she came in and plead guilty to disturbing the peace and was fined $10 and costs. Mike's eye is pretty black.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fulton's Connection to Stealing Lincoln's Body - Part 5

Fulton Journal
November 24, 1876

Dastardly Attempt to Despoil the Lincoln Monument

Springfield, Ill., Nov 7. An attempt was made this evening to perpetrate one of the most infamous outrages which the mind of man can conceive of—that of stealing the bone and ashes of Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, the perpetrators escaped, leaving the evidences of their crime behind them, and though the clews are next to nothing, if human ingenuity can track them it will be done. Somehow or other nobody knows how, J.C. Power, the custodian of the Lincoln Monument, became impressed with the idea that there were designs upon the remains and communicated his suspicions to Mr. Sweet and Robert Lincoln. They could hardly believe that any one even the meanest and lowest scoundrels in the land, could conceive such a thing. However, to prevent the horse from getting out of the stable, they concluded to lock the door—to adopt precautions even should there be nothing in the feeling. Accordingly Sweet wrote Col. Steward, of this city, about two weeks ago, requesting him to station a guard at the monument. This was done, but no one came to disturb the corpse. Detective Tyrrell, of the United States Secret Service, whose headquarters are in Chicago, having business here, was requested by Sweet and Lincoln to see Mr. Power, and to look around town and watch for suspicious characters. He arrived here three or four days ago, and commenced a vigorous shadowing of several small hotels, but saw no one whom he recognized. This afternoon Mr. Power came into town in a hurry and hunted up Tyrrell and informed him that two very hard looking cases had been out to the cemetary looking around, and he felt assured that they were there for no good purpose. One registered as from Kenosha, and other registered from Racine, Wis. Their names are suppressed, since they have nothing to do with what occurred later. An effort will, of course, be made to find out who they are. Mr. Power, not being used to the detective work, could give but meager descriptions of them. The result of the interview with Tyrrell is unknown, but he must have concluded that election night was an excellent one in which to rob the tomb.
The evening’s train brought from Chicago ex-Chief of the Secret Service Elmer Washburne, who, it seems, had been requested by Sweet and Lincoln to come here and aid Tyrrell. About half-past 6 o’clock, Washburne, Tyrrell, and three other men went out to Oak Ridge and concealed themselves in Memorial Hall, inside the monument, to await developments. One man was posted in the labyrinth in the rear, so called because of walls running in different directions and making numerous passage-ways, these walls supporting the terrace. His object was to hear the noises made in the vault, if any were made. After patiently waiting for nearly three hours, and when about tired out from standing still, the utmost silence being imperative, he heard a grating noise, which lasted perhaps five minutes.—then, in a little while, came several successive thuds, as if some one was hammering. The time having arrived for action, Washburne and his men slipped out of the door with cocked revolvers in their hands, determined to shoot to kill if any resistance was made. Just as they were turning the corner the left one of the men accidentally exploded his revolver. The noise was very loud, so still were the surroundings, and unfortunately it was too loud, for, though there were but about 120 feet to go over, when the officers got to the door of the vault the dastardly villians were gone. They must have had some one watching to give them the signal of danger, or else had come outside for a breath of fresh air, and heard the snapping of the cap and ran into the woods which surrounded the monument. It is but a short distance, and a man could get within shelter and unobservable in a quarter of a minute. The men at once scattered and went into the direction the thieves had gone, and, while dodging behind the trees, two of them exchanged shots, each mistaking the other for one of the fugitives. After shooting at each other, they cried “Wash,” “Wash,” indicative of a friend in such an emergency, and then they found out their mistake. The bullets whizzed close to both, and it was miraculous that they escaped injury.
No traces of the thieves being discovered, the party returned to the catacomb, and there beheld a sight which made them sad. The body, as is known perhaps, is inclosed in a lead casket. This is surrounded by a cedar case, and in the receptacle of these is a sarcophagus. The latter had a double lid, the upper one not being as large as the other. Both had been pried off with a chisel or an ax, and somewhat chipped in the operation. The under lid was laid crosswise on the casket, the headpiece on the floor and the upper lid standing against the wall. The casket itself was pulled out about a foot from the body of the sarcophagus, and a small piece had been taken off on the floor, where were also an ax with the edge full of marble dust, an ordinary chisel, and a pair of nippers. The other tools had evidently been taken away since the lock on the iron-grated door had been sawed off.
It should, perhaps, be stated that the sarcophagus was in the catacomb and not in the crypt, being thus placed in order that visitors might see it. The damage done is comparatively little.
The officers, of course, were disappointed at not catching the vandals, but they think it is only a question of a little time when they will be apprehended.
Only one motive can be attributed to these despoilers of the grave, and that is the hope of a reward for the restoration of the remains. If they had succeeded in carrying them off, it certainly could not have been the intention to take away the casket, for it must weigh from 500 to 600 pounds, and half a dozen men could not have carried it to the fence to transfer it to a wagon in the road. It is more than likely that they intended to cut open the casket and gather up the bones and dust of the martyr-President and put them in a bag. What would have been the indignation of the country had this been done? The scheme concocted by these men is certainly unparalled in the history of crime and now there is evidence of minds so debased it is certain that measures will be taken to guard the monument and prevent further attempts. The facts given above did not come until early this morning, and are known to only a few, otherwise the outlook would have occupied as great a share of the attention of the community as the election. Words cannot express the feeling of those who do know it, and it is earnestly hoped that the double-distilled perpetrators of this attempted robbery of the remains of American’s most loved President will soon be brought to justice.

Fulton's Connection to Stealing Lincoln's Body - Part 4

(This excerpt is taken from the new book by Thomas J. Craughwell about the plot to steal Abraham Lincoln's body.)

Thomas J. Craughwell
2007: p. 76

“Nelson Driggs was admitted to the state penitentiary in Joliet on February 16, 1876; Benjamin Boyd arrived two days later. Within days of their incarceration, Kennally devised a scheme that was as daring as it was devilish. He would steal the body of Abraham Lincoln from its tomb in Springfield, conceal it in some safe place, then cut a deal with the governor of Illinois to ransom it. As soon as Ben Boyd was released from jail, Kennally would return the body of the Great Emancipator.”

Fulton's Connection to Stealing Lincoln's Body - Part 3

Fulton Journal:
February 18, 1876

Ben Boyd, the notorious counterfeiter, was sentenced by Judge Blodgett on Wednesday to pay a fine of $100 and be imprisoned in the Penitentiary at Joliet for ten years at hard labor. The Judge declined to give him a new trial.

Fulton's Connection to Stealing Lincoln's Body - Part 2

Fulton Journal:
November 5, 1875

The Counterfeiters

The interest created in our community by the arrest of Ben Boyd, the noted counterfeiter, and his wife, in this city, and their confederates in Centralia, is still maintained. We stated last week that Boyd and his wife had rented the old Wm. Kitchen house, and that it was there they were arrested. In this we were mistaken. The house they occupied is on the north side of Prairie street,(13th Avenue) and is a large two story and attic building owned by Dr. Reed. The two upon arriving at Chicago were taken before U.S. Commissioner Adams, where they waived an examination, and the commissioner held them to bail, to await action by the grand jury. Boyd was held in the sum of $30,000 and Mrs. Boyd in $15,000. Not being able to obtain parties who were willing to become responsible in such large amounts, they were sent to the Chicago jail where they will probably remain until their trial by the United States Court. The evidence against them is so perfectly overwhelming that they cannot fail of being speedily indicted, tried, and sentenced each to a long term at Joliet.
As the arrest of the counterfeiters, with those at Centralia, has been the most important that has occurred for years, the public are anxious to ascertain all about their lives and doings that can be furnished. The best sketch of Boyd’s and Drigg’s history that we have yet noticed appeared in the St.Louis Globe-Democrat of Tuesday last and which we herewith append;
Ben Boyd, as previously stated, is the engraver of the country. He was arrested at Davenport, Iowa, in 1859 or ’60 and sent to the Penitentiary at Fort Madison. At this time he was engaged in engraving plates for Jim Vessey and Charlie Hathaway, who were in this city, although the Hathaway family lived at Fort Madison. After his release from the Iowa Penitentiary, Boyd came to this city and operated for Sleight and Frisbie. He soon after went to Decatur, Ill., and married Allie Ackman, the oldest daughter of Mrs. John B. Trout, whose husband has done time in the Michigan Penitentiary, for counterfeiting of course. Boyd’s wife, who was captured with her husband at Fulton, on Thursday night, is a sister of Martha Ann Ackman, who is the wife of Pete McCartney, the great American briber, who believes in paying well for liberty when in the custody of men who “can be handled.” It was at the time of McCartney’s arrest by the Sheriff at Mattoon, Ill., in 1865, Col. Wood then being Chief of the Secret Service Department, that Ben got married. McCartney was in Springfield Jail, and Boyd acting as a stool-pigeon. He got out, and, in a few hours, was Pete’s brother-in-law. This Allie Ackman or Mrs. Boyd, rather, has a history. About the time of her marriage, she and Ed. Pierce were arrested at the Everett House, in this city, by Detective Eagan. In a traveling basket John found $25,000 in $50, $20, and $10 bogus bills, and $5,000 in scrip. Pierce was convicted, and sent to Jefferson for fifteen years, while Eagan turned the woman over to C.P. Bradley, head of the Secret Service Department at Chicago. Boyd couldn’t live without his girl, and succeeded in securing her release by “turning up;” that is, placing in the hands of the authorities plates for the face of all the bogus bills found at the time of her arrest. Boyd is probably as well known by the alias of ‘Charlie Mitchell.” He is undoubtedly the best letterer on steel in the country. It was he who engraved the $5 Traders’ of Chicago plate, which passed for a long time, even among bankers, without suspicion. Within the last year the name on this plate has been changed to the Boston Bank, the Canton Bank, and, within the last month, to the Aurora Bank, of Aurora, Ill., large numbers of which notes are now in circulation. Some four years ago he cut a $50 Treasury note plate, and he and Driggs flooded North Missouri with the counterfeits. It was Boyd, also, who manufactured the 50-cent Lincoln vignette plate which gave the Department so much trouble.
He learned the trade of an engraver in Cincinnati, under Nat Kenzie, who was in the counterfeiting business also, and is now in the Pennsylvania Penitentiary. Nat it was who cut the accurate $100 greenback plate in ’64, bills which defied detection by the most expert tellers. During fifteen or twenty years, Boyd has been connected with Doc Gorman, Tom Twitchell, and, in fact, all the noted counterfeiters. He has never been under arrest since his release from the Iowa Penitentiary, except in connection with McCartney, at Mattoon, as previously referred to, and five years afterward, when John Eagan arrested him at Venice and sent him to Springfield, where he again escaped.
On the 7th of March, 1861, John Eagan, at present doing duty at the Union Depot, was in the employ of the Secret Service Department, and looked upon as the most competent man in the West. On that day he added to his reputation by arresting Driggs, at the house of John Roe, on the north side of Morgan, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets. In his possession was found $282,000 in counterfeit money on different state banks, and twenty-one full sets of plates, besides press, inks, and bond paper enough to make millions of dollars, were found in the house. While Eagan, who was accompanied by Sergt. Frances and Dick Barry, had Driggs under arrest, his 18 year-old nephew, Henry Guthrie, alias Henry G. Henry, entered the house accompanied by a valise, which he carried. Both were seized and in the valise 25,000 $1 notes on a Cadiz, O., bank and $600 in gold were found. Materials to ‘raise’ bills were also found in a trunk in a house. As a result of this haul, no less than thirty-nine indictments were found against Driggs, and being allowed to plead guilty on a single count, he was sent to the Penitentiary to serve out a ten year term. His nephew, Guthrie, was also convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment but before his time had expired Gov. Gamble pardoned him out.
Soon after Driggs’ release from the Missouri pen, he went to Louisville and sold goods for a short time. He then returned to this city, hunted up Boyd, and in November 1871, they went to Nauvoo, Ill., taking up their residence at the house of Louis Sleight. “Nelse” who must now be over 70 years of age, originally came from Ohio, where he was in early life a well-to-do merchant, controlling almost the entire trade of five counties, and looked upon as high respectable. He has been dealing in “coney” for the last thirty-five years, and served a term in the Illinois Penitentiary, before it was removed from Alton, for having been found with plates in his possession. Twenty-five or thirty years ago Driggs was connected with Jerry Cowden, and Oscar Finch, the noted Eastern counterfeiters, and his cronies in the West have been such men as Louis Sleight, now dead, John Frisbie, Pete McCartney, John Vessey, Charlie Hathaway, Nat Kinsey, Dr. Parker, and Lou Dollman, who was shot and killed by Chief Harrington in this city, 1866. In 1856 or ’57, Driggs made his headquarters at Metropolis, Ill., near Cairo, having for partners Sleight and Frisblel who subsequently moved to Nauvoo, where Frisble’s brother was killed in an altercation on a boat. Driggs was the moneyed man of the party. Milt, alias “Doctor” Parker was another of the gang, and he is now serving out a term in the Eastern Pennsylvania Penitentiary, under the name of Edwards, having been arrested and convicted in Philadelphia last year. During the War, Parker, Frisbie and Sleight were taken to the Old Capital Prison, and kept there for some time.
Those arrests are looked upon as of the utmost importance, for the reason that, with Boyd’s incarceration, the supply of plates will be cut off, and Driggs will not be on the outside to negotiate the disposal of ‘coney’ as only he can. Chief Washburn has accomplished wonders since his appointment to the head of Secret Service Department, and these arrests are the crowning success of his career.

Fulton's Connection to Stealing Lincoln's Body - Part 1

Ben Boyd: Counterfeiter

Fulton Journal: October 29, 1875


A Noted Counterfeiter and his Lady Arrested in Fulton,
and More of the Gang in Centralia.

On or about the 25th of September a man giving his name as B. Wilson arrived in this city on the steamer Diamond Jo, of the Diamond Jo Line, from LeClaire, a town about twenty miles down the river. He brought with him four boxes of household goods, two mattresses, one beadstead, a bundle of carpet, a bundle of pipe, a sewing machine, stove and six chairs. Nothing unusual, the reader will say, about these goods, if the man was a housekeeper. Certainly not, simply considered as a housekeeper’s outfit, but it will be seen further on in this article that there was something unusual in the boxes at least. When he came to sign the receipt for the goods at Startzman’s Warehouse his hurry to get them away was so great as to attract the attention of Mr. Chas. B. Startzman, the clerk, who asked him if he was just moving into town, to which he replied that he was, and that he had rented a house of Dr. Reed. He further said that he would remain in town during the winter, looking for a farm, as he desired to purchase one in the vicinity, but when told that there were a couple of men in the office having farms for sale, replied that he had no time to talk farms then. He was plainly dressed, but his heavy gold watch chain, and an abundance of gold rings, together with his general personal appearance denoted him to be something else than a farmer.
His goods were removed to the old Wm. Kitchen house, now owned by Dr. Reed, on Prairie street and shortely afterwards a woman, said to be his wife, and a second man, arrived, and the three appearently settled down to housekeeping. They had hardly got their stove in order however, as it was noticed, before a green curtain was placed at each window, and from that time until Friday of last week, these curtains were always down. This did not create any particular notice at first, but as days went by the same thing continued it began to excite remark. The men were very seldom seen out of doors, the woman doing most of the trading and marketing. One or two of the ladies in the neighborhood, we are informed, paid friendly calls, but their advances were evidently not well received, and were consequently discontinued. The man who rented the house of Dr. Reed gave his names as D.F. Wilson, and told the Doctor at the time that his family consisted of himself and wife, and an invalid man. He wanted the house only until Spring when he intended to buy a farm and settle down upon it. On Thursday forenoon of last week a month’s rent was paid, but by a different man than the one who originally hired the house. On the afternoon of that day United States Detective P.P. Tyrrell, and two other officers called at the house quite unexpectedly to the inmates upon an errand of importance to the Government, and after a rather unceremoneous introduction Mr. Benjamin Boyd, alias Boynton, alias B. Wilson, alias D.F. Wilson, and his wife Almirinda were arrested as counterfeiters, the second man and the one probably who paid the rent to Dr. Reed, escaping. The man wanted, however was secured and when taken was in the act of completing a $20 bill. As soon as the parties were arrested the Detectives commenced searching for plates and other apparatus for counterfeiting and for such qualities of the “queer” as had been stricken off which the house afforded. As near as we can learn, completed plates of $100 and $1000 bills were found, and about $7,000 of counterfeit money. The plates showed evidence of the highest skill in engraving, and the money, partly $100 greenbacks and the balance notes of several National Banks, so well executed as to deceive the best experts. At 4 o’clock the same afternoon, the officers took their prisoners, and the plates and bogus money, to the Western Union Depot, and secured passage for Springfield, supposing then that Fulton was in the Middle District of Illinois, and that the prisoners would have to be taken before the U.S. Commissioner at that City. On arriving at the depot, Boyd telegraphed to a confrere “Bob is dead,” a way these fellows have undoubtedly of informing each other when they are arrested.
Boyd gave his age to the officers as 41, and his wife’s 30. The latter is a sister of the notorious Pete McCartney, a gentleman of large ability in the counterfeiting line, but the officers state that Boyd’s steel plates show finer work than those of McCartney’s ever did. Boyd, it is said, has been an engraver from his youth up, and stands now second to none in the art. It will therefore be seen that his capture is one of great importance. He is an old offender, and was pardoned out of the Illinois Penitentiary by Gov. Palmer in 1872, but has been steadily at work on the queer since. The house selected by him for his operations in this city was well adapted for the purpose, being isolated, and the rooms in the second story affording excellent opportunity for quiet work. Finding that Fulton was in the Northern District of Illinois, Detective Tyrrell by order of his chief, Washburn, transferred them to Chicago where they are at present awaiting action by the United States authorities.
On the same day that Boyd and his lady were arrested here, Elmer Washburn, Chief of the United States Secret Service, with some officers connected with his department, succeeded in arresting at Centralia, a Mr. and Mrs. Stautfelt, alias Statlaw and a Mrs. Carroll, alias Driggs, also engaged in the business of counterfeiting, and with whom it appears Boyd was connected. Two more of the party were afterwards arrested a little out of Centralia, who proved to be Carroll, alias Driggs, and his wife’s brother. When captured, Carroll had between $200 and $300 counterfeit money on his person. He is an old offender, and is believed to be the party who, a short time ago, published and uttered the counterfeits on the Traders’ National Bank of Chicago, the Paxton National Bank, Canton National Bank, First National Bank of Aurora, and the First National Bank of Peru. The premises at Centralia were searched and a press, paper, numbering machine, type, and a complete outfit for counterfeiting found. The engraved plates found among this lot were the handiwork of Boyd. Indeed, it appears that Boyd was the director general or head center of the whole gang and that it was his intention to establish his headquarters in Fulton. On Friday last the officers continued their search in and around Centralia, and were rewarded by unearthing six boxes of the queer in the woods about eight miles from that place, aggregating about $150,000 in fifty cent fractional currency and $5 national banknotes on the banks above named, and $1,000 in fifty dollar national bank notes. The fractional currency had the Stanton and Dexter heads, but was finished on one side only, and printed on regular fiber paper. Two rolls of bank note paper were also found. Warrants for other parties have been taken out, as it is thought the ramifications of the gang extend throughout the State.
The detectives have shown great skill in the manner in which they have worked up the case, and the public congratulate them on their success in capturing the noted offenders. Had not this been done, it is but reasonable to suppose that this section of the West would have been flooded with counterfeit money during the winter.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fishing Trip

Fulton Jouornal
May 21, 1915


To Wisconsin's Great North Woods and Lake Region (Over Decoration Day)

Leave Chicago Friday, May 28th, six p.m. on the Fisherman's Special from the Chicago & North Western railway terminal, and return the following Tuesday morning. Go early--get the benefit of the year's best fishing. Make your sleeping car reservations now.
Free booklets with maps and full particulars, Ticket agents, Chicago & North Western railway.

Fulton Flower Thieves

Fulton Journal
June 8, 1915

Flower thieves are something despicable. Several citizens have had their flower gardens raided and peonies, roses and other blooms have been snatched off and carried away. There are some kids in Fulton who have no respect for the property or rights of the people, and a dose of strap oil vigorously applied might check them in their lawlessness.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Green Family

A private residence (corner Short & Cherry) near de Immigrant dates from the Civil War. It was owned by the Green family, prominent Fulton merchants, with stores at 1100 & 1102 4th Street.

Fulton Journal: September 25, 1917.

Historical Residence Centrally Located Greatly improved—Now of Bungalow Type

The Green homestead residence on the corner of Second street and Tenth avenue, now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Than Green and Mrs. Cornelia Green, is one of the historical homes of Fulton. Built of brick, it was constructed over a half a century ago and is among the attractive home-like residences of our city. Here the late Richard Green, a pioneer merchant of Fulton, resided until his death about twenty years ago. He was a good business man of genial qualities and strict integrity and founded the mercantile firm of R. Green & Sons, the only one wherein there is still an active member that was doing business in Fulton when the editor of the Journal came here to enter upon newspaper work thirty-six years ago this month. We refer to W.C. Green. It is a remarkable truth that the entire business of a town like Fulton passes from old hands into new in from thirty to thirty-five years,.
From a copy of a city directory of Fulton published in 1857 that contained the names of about 500 men who were residents of Fulton, but one is still living in the old town, namely, Harvey Mitchell. The others have all moved away or passed to that bourn from which no traveler ever returns.
The Green homestead has been greatly improved on the exterior by a new heavy cornice and two new rustic porches which give it an attractive bungalow appearance. The walls are to have a coat of kellastone which will add to its charming exterior.

Four months later, Cornelia Geen was dead.

Fulton Journal, December 25, 1917.

Resident of Fulton and Vicinity for over Seventy-Nine Years

Mrs. Cornelia P. Green, widow of Richard Green a pioneer merchant of Fulton, who established the mercantile firm of R. Green & Sons, over a half century ago, and a continuous resident of Fulton for sixty-four years, died suddenly at about eight o’clock Sunday morning, December 23.
Mrs. Green was over eighty-one years old and one of very few of the early settlers of western Whiteside county that came here in 1838.
She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Johnson, one of a family of twelve children, of whom but two survive, Mrs. Anna M. Reed of Kentwood, La., and Caleb C. Johnson of Sterling.
Mrs. Green, although eighty-two years old, yet she was at the store of R. Green & Sons Friday and Saturday, interested in the display of holiday goods, and although her health had been poor for some time owing to weak heart action, she was thought to be improving. Sunday morning she arose at an early hour to give some instructions about breakfast, as her grandson and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Dwight P. Green of Chicago, were at the home as guests for the Christmas holidays, and returned to her room about 7:30, and when a member of the family went to call her for breakfast, she had passed from this life and was lying in her bed as if she were sleeping. It was the peaceful close of a busy, useful life of a good and kind-hearted woman, beloved by all who knew her.
She is survived by her son, Nathaniel Green, with whom she had made her home since the death of Richard Green over twenty years ago; a daughter, Mrs. L.P. Raley, whose home is in La Crosse, Wis.; also a step-son, William C. Green, senior member now of the firm of R. Green & Sons.
The funeral will be held at the old home on the corner of Second street and Tenth avenue Wednesday at ten o’clock, and the services will be conducted by Rev. K.J. McAulay, pastor of the Presbyterian church.

Fulton Journal: December 28, 1917

Funeral of Mrs. Green

The funeral of Mrs. Cornelia P. Green, who died suddenly Sunday morning at the home of her son and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Green, was held Wednesday forenoon at ten o’clock at the house. In respect to the memory of Mrs. Green, who had passed nearly all of her life in this city, all of the business houses were closed during the hour of services which was from ten to eleven o’clock.
The services, which were conducted by Rev. K.J. McAulay, included a tribute to the noble life and fine character of the deceased and in which he spoke words of consolation and comfort to the bereaved ones. During the services Miss Harriet C. Bell beautifully sang two hymns, “Asleep in Jesus’ and “Abide with Me.” The floral offerings were beautiful and most numerous.
The attendance at the services was large.
Those from a distance who were present at the funeral were Mr.and Mrs. L. P. Raley of La Crosse, Wis., C. C. Johnson and son Jesse and son of Sterling, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Green of Laramie, Wyo., and Mrs. and Mrs. W.G. Bierd of Chicago.
Those who attended the casket and escorted it to the Fulton cemetery where the body was laid to rest were Fred K. Bastian, A.C. Williamson, J.C. Snyder, G. B. Robinson, Jenkins McCullagh and Peter Lorenzen.

Fulton Journal: December 19, 1922

Stricken Down Near His House Saturday Afternoon and
Passed Away a Few Minutes Later

Nathaniel Green, a life-long resident of Fulton and for nearly fifty years an active and influential business man, died suddenly at his home on Second street and Tenth avenue Saturday afternoon at about two o’clock. He had gone out into the yard and shortly after was found lying on the ground, still breathing, by his wife, who called for assistance and Peter Brondyke and Ed Jaarsma came from the jitney station and carried him into the house where he expired a few minutes later.
An inquest was held by Coroner Frye of Sterling Monday afternoon, with the following citizens as jurors: A.S. Chapman, foreman; David Shipma, W.M. Slaymaker, Matt Hansen, Ed Temple, and Claus Bruins.
The verdict was that death was caused by acute myrocarditis, or heart disease.
Nathaniel Green was born in Fulton August 14, 1855, hence was in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He married Miss Elizabeth Baker, daughter of the late John W. Baker, one of the first settlers in Fulton. Mrs. Green and son, Dwight P. Green of Winnetka, are the surviving members of the family. Over forty years ago Mr. Green became a partner in the pioneer mercantile firm of R Green & Sons, with his father, the late Richard Green and his half-brother, W.C. Green. The store is known all over the western part of Whiteside county, and has been a successful business enterprise during its long history.
The sudden death of Nathaniel Green removes one of the best known business men of this city and in his long mercantile career he had won respect for his high character and integrity as a citizen. He was esteemed for his genial personality and kind impulses, and hundreds of people to this section will learn of his death with deep sorrow. A devoted husband, a kind father, a generous and noble-minded friend, a public-spirited and conscientious citizen has been called from a life of usefulness, and his death not only causes profound sorrow to relatives and friends, but it is also a great loss to the community, and he will be sadly missed and his death sincerely mourned.
The funeral was held at the Presbyterian church Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. with Rev. E.P. Westphal, pastor of the church, conducting the services, which were largely attended. All the stores and offices in the city were closed this afternoon during the hours of the funeral, and all the business and professional men attended as honorary pall-bearers. The interment was in the family lot in the Fulton cemetery.

Was Held Tuesday Afternoon—Services in Presbyterian Church—Burial in Fulton Cemetery

The obsequies attending the burial of Nathaniel Green were held Tuesday afternoon. The attendance included many relatives and friends and a large number of the business men of this city and other citizens and the floral offerings were numerous and remarkably beautiful
The funeral cortege formed at the house at 2:15 and proceeded to the Presbyterian church, where the services at 2:30 were conducted by Rev. E.P. Westphal. During the services, Miss Harriet C. Bell and Mrs. John K. Lorenzen sang two beautiful selections: “I Know My Heavenly Father Knows” and “One Sweetly Solemn Thought.”
A large number of Fulton’s business and professional men were honorary pall-bearers. The active pall-bearers were J.E. Temple, John Voss, Ralph Wilkens, George J. Strating, M.F. Bielema, William Dornbush, W.T. Huizenga, and Walter Machamer, all of whom had been clerks under Mr. Green.
The funeral cortege then proceeded to the cemetery where all that was mortal of a good man was consigned to the last resting place.

Fulton Journal: October 4, 1929:

Excerpt from the obituary of W.C. Green.

William Clark Green was born in Bono, Lawrence County, Ind., September 8, 1843, the son of Richard and Martha Mason Green. When he was a year old his mother passed away, and for about six years he was cared for by his Uncle Nathaniel and Aunt Elizabeth Green. He came to Fulton with them when he was a small boy, the family living in what is now the residence of the Misses Prochaska on Twelfth avenue. His father moved his stock of goods from his store in Bono, Ind., to Fulton in 1849, thus becoming a pioneer merchant of this place.
W.C. Green attended the Fulton public schools and the Fulton Military school, but he was ever a student, continuing his education through life, books and magazines being his friendly instructors.
For a time as a young man he was employed as a clerk in the Pitkin Pease general store, which was located on the corner where the Walter building now stands. In 1865, his father resumed the mercantile business after a few years spent in another line of work and subsequently took his sons into partnership. They conducted the business at the corner of what is now Lincoln Way and Eleventh avenue under the firm name of R. Green and Sons, a name so closely linked with the business interests of Fulton for so many years it cannot soon be forgotten. The firm name remained the same after the death of the father, and until 1923, six years ago, when after the death of Nathaniel Green, one of the sons, the store was sold and W.C. Green retired from active business pursuits after fifty-eight years of successful mercantile service.
On October 10, 1866, Mr. Green was united in marriage with Alice Amelia Roberts, daughter of Elisha and Naomi Roberts of Fulton, whose home was the building now used as Odd Fellows hall. They were privileged to live together for sixty-three happy years, during which time Mrs. Green was her husband’s loyal helpmate, interested in all that interested him. To them were born a son, Alfred E., now vice chairman of the board of the Detroit and Security Trust Company of Detroit, Mich., and a daughter, Lutie May, now Mrs. C.N. Harrison, wife of Dr. Harrison of Fulton.
Mr. Green is survived by his wife, his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Green of Detroit, his daughter and her husband, Dr. and Mrs. C.N. Harrison of Fulton, his sister, Mrs. L.P. Raley of Fulton, and two grandsons, William M. and Richard A. Green of Detroit. His parents, a sister, Margaret, and a brother, Nathaniel, preceded him in death.
Mr. Green never joined a fraternal organization, but was a member of the old First Baptist church of Fulton. After this church ceased to exist, Mr. Green and his wife attended the Presbyterian church and for many years were identified with its activities. His greatest interest centered in his home and family, and the sorrowing members of his family have the sympathy of the community.

Fulton Journal: June 25, 1937

Excerpts from Obituary for Sarah Baker Green

Sarah Elizabeth Baker, daughter of John W. and Mary Hall Wright Baker, was born in Garden Plain Township, November 28, 1857, and passed away after a brief illness in Jane Lamb hospital, Wednesday night, June 16, 1937. She was the last surviving member of a family of ten children. Her great uncle, John Baker, was the first white settler in Fulton, coming here from Centerville, Maryland in 1835.
Her father, a nephew of John Baker, came from Centerville in December, 1836, and the following year he was joined by her mother, the first white woman to come to Fulton. After two years here they moved to Garden Plain, where they engaged in farming. The old homestead is still known as “The Baker Place”.
Elizabeth Baker, the subject of this sketch, after completing her education taught school for a time and then coming to Fulton she, with a relative, engaged in the dressmaking business.
On May 24, 1884, she was married to Nathaniel Green, a young business man in Fulton, the ceremony taking place in the Garden Plain home. They took up their residence in Fulton, their home for the remainder of their lives. One son, Dwight Phelps Green, was born to them. The happy family circle was broken on December 16, 1922, when the husband and father was suddenly taken by death. Bravely and undauntedly Mrs. Green carried on upheld by her Christian faith and encouraged by her son, then an attorney in Chicago.
Mrs. Green is survived by her devoted son, Dwight, of Winnetka, whose home comings were her greatest joy. He was with her at the hospital during the few days of her illness and his presence gave her comfort.
Also surviving is her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Dwight Green, who is convalescing from a serious illness and so was unable to attend the funeral. She also is mourned by a grandson, Dwight P. Green, Jr., who this week was graduated from Princeton University; a niece, Mrs. Lutie Green Harrison of Fulton; a nephew, Albert E. Green of Detroit, Mich.; a niece, Mrs. Percy Robinson of Denver, Colo. several cousins and a legion of friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Baker Family: Fulton

Fulton Journal: January 15, 1864

Mr. John Baker was born in the State of Maryland on the 6th day of August, 1801, and was consequently in his 63d year when he died. He was the youngest of twelve children, all of whom he survived.
He was married in his native State, and had two children; one of them died in infancy, and the other is a resident of this state. While yet a comparatively young man he was called to lay his beloved wife in the tomb, and was thus made to drink of that cup, than which none is more bitter.

After his wife’s death he determined to gratify his natural enterprise and energy in travel, and seeking himself a home in the then far west. His footsteps were directed to this county—then inhabited solely by Indians and he located himself near Albany in 1833, the year after the Black Hawk War-the first white man who settled in this county.

Not long after he removed to this town and opened a farm where he resided on the side hill near the Cat Tail bridge, and where he married her who now sits solitary in her widowhood.

The following paragraph is taken from a pamphlet entitled “Sketches of the early history and c. of Fulton.

“The first effort for a town at this point was made by Mr. John Baker of Maryland in the year 1836. This gentleman had then been in the county some three years residing a few miles below on the banks of the Mississippi. During that time he employed himself in seeking a locality which might be favorable as a permanant settlement with a prospect of advancing to something of real importance. It at length became apparent to his mind that the narrows of the Mississippi at no distant period, would become the site of a city. He resolved therefore to here sit his stakes and make a beginning.

At this time the Winnebago Indians occupied large and populous villages near- by.—In the following year, however, they removed to their new homes across the Mississippi in accordance with their late treaty. The deep trodden tracks of the Indian pony and the marks of Indian corn hills are still visible.—Soon sites Mr. Baker had determined to make a strike here, he drew up a claim for the ground on which Fulton now stands.

About 14 years ago Mr. Baker moved from this place to Lockport near Joliet and there resided until some four years since, when he returned to this town.

In 1850, leaving his family behind, he went to California, and was gone about three years. In consequence of the state of his health he has been obliged since the removal of his family here to travel much of the time, far in the interior of the continent, where he might find a clearer and dryer atmosphere.

He returned from his last tour late in the past Autumn, and after a few weeks was seized with a violent attack of ‘Typhoid Pneumonia’ which notwithstanding all that medical skill and the assiduous attention and nursing of affectionate friends could do, ran its rapid course, and on the evening of the 23rd Dec., last, his mortal life was extinct.

Mr. Baker was a man of sterling qualities. Possessed of an indomitable will, difficulties only proved the incentives to increased energy and effort. Of the adventurous spirit, he hesitated not to throw himself /////and circumstances from which more timid souls would shrink. Somewhat stern in his manner and appearance, he bore within a warm and genial heart which endeared him to those who knew him.

Reserved with strangers, he was sufficiently frank and confiding to friends. Possessed with a high sense of honor, he scorned that which was mean.

He was no intermeddler with other men’s matters and had a great faculty of minding his own business.

Long then will his memory remain green in the ????of those that knew him.

Fulton Journal: Centennial Edition: July 5, 1935

The First Settler
By Dwight P. Green
John Baker was the first settler in Fulton, whence he came in 1835, via New Orleans, from Centerville, on the east shore of Maryland. Driven from the south by the cholera epidemic, he proceeded up the Mississippi, stopping first at Rock Island, which was then a Fort. After a brief stay on the Meredocia, he selected the Cattail, near the George Ingwersen farm, for the site of his permanent home, and there built his log cabin, which was the first in the locality of Fulton. It is said that his selection of this site was prompted by his recognition that here were the “Narrows” of the Mississippi, which would afford an easy crossing in the future. Later events proved the accuracy of his vision. Concerning his home on the Cattail, many stories of early hospitality to overland travelers have been recorded.

Here Mr. Baker lived alone for a year, except for friendly Indians in the neighborhood and occasional travelers passing by. In December 1836, he was joined by his nephew, John W. Baker, aged twenty-four, who came overland from Centerville, Md., via Chicago, which he passed by as an unpromising swamp.

In the following year, John W. Baker was joined by his wife, whom he had left in Centerville until he had completed his explorations in the west. Her name before marriage was Mary Hall Wright. At the age of twenty, she left her family and comfortable circumstances in Maryland to join her husband in establishing their home on the frontier. She was the first white woman in the locality of Fulton. She came overland to the Ohio River, thence by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to Rock Island, where she was met by her husband and escorted to the cabin on the Cattail.

In the following year came John W.’s three sisters: Frances, who in 1837 married Mr. Edmond Rolfe, and thus became the first bride in Fulton; Rosena, who became Mrs. Jacob Parker, long a resident of Garden Plain; and Martha, who married Mr. George LaShelle. Miss Elizabeth Skinner, a niece, also accompanied the party of sisters. Hers was the first death in Fulton. She was buried on a high bluff, north of the settlement.

John Baker, the first settler, acquired by Government grant, the land on which Fulton was later built. He continued to live in Fulton until 1850, when the lure for further pioneering and the gold fever took him overland to California. Following his return, he made several trips by “prairie schooners” to Colorado, accompanied by sons of John W. Baker, some of whom continue to make their homes in the west in the same pioneer spirit that had been displayed by their parents in Illinois.

John Baker married, as his second wife, Mrs. Ellen Humphrey, who was the grandmother of Dwight Phelps of Tacoma, Washington, and Mrs. Hattie Robinson, formerly of Fulton, now deceased. John Baker died in Fulton in 1863.

John W. Baker opened the first store in Fulton and built the first frame building on the corner of what was then Base and Ferry streets, the center of the settlement (now Fourth street and Seventh avenue). While in Fulton he held several public offices. He later moved to Garden Plain, where he spent the remainder of his active life as a farmer. He died in 1882. Mrs. Baker died in 1883. Ten children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Baker of which the only survivor is Mrs. Elizabeth Green, of Fulton. Children of Albert Baker, deceased son of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Baker are living in the west, and children of Thomas Baker, another deceased son, are living in northern California.

Fulton Journal: November 18, 1878

Selections from a sermon by Rev. D.E. Wells, at the funeral of Mrs. John Baker, held in the Presbyterian church, in Fulton, on Sunday, November 3, 1878.

Dear mourners and friends, we are summoned to give heed to the lessons taught by the providence of God which has removed a venerated relative neighbor and friend.

When persons so far advanced in years as was the deceased, is removed from us by death, a very natural desire is felt upon occasions like this, to learn something of their early history. Especially is this true, if it is known that they were among the earliest pioneers or settlers in the locality in which we live. For the purpose of gratifying this desire, I will state that our venerable friend whose remains lie before us was born on the third of December, in the year 1795, in Canton, Conn., which is about twelve miles from the city of Hartford. She was therefore nearly 83 years of age. In the vicinity of her early home, she was married to a Mr. Humphrey. Their family numbered six children of whom four died in early childhood; one named Eunicia, died at the age of 22 years and was buried in our cemetery; the last surviving child was Mrs. Ellen Phelps, whose death at the age of 51 years, we were called to mourn a little over a year ago. Being left a widow when somewhat over thirty years of age, she removed from Conn., with her family, in the year 1839 to Elkhorn in the eastern part of this State, where some of her relatives resided. In the following year, 1840, she was married to John Baker whose name is associated with the earliest settlement of this town. They occupied a house for about one year which stood up on the site of the present residence of Mr. Lucius Kinney on the further declivity of the hill in the eastern part of the city.

At that time, but very few dwellings had been erected here. I know of but five persons now living in this town who were located here at that time, viz; Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Reed, Mr. McCoy, Mr. G. Rice, and Mr. J.W. Baker. Rev. J.H. Prentiss a Home Missionary of the Congregational church, was located here at that time, holding religious services at private houses in neighboring townships in this State and in Iowa. From about the year 1841 to the year 1848, the family of the deceased lived in a house near Langford & Hall’s lumber mill which was recently taken down and removed. That house, was, in a sense, the birth place of the church, of which the deceased was so long a member. In it, on the 18th of December 1845, under the presiding offices of Rev. Wm. Reed of Davenport, the first Congregational church of Fulton and Lyons was organized. Of that organization, the Presbyterian church of Fulton is the successor, as shown in the Centennial sermon preached in this pulpit a little over two years ago. In the year 1848, Mr. Baker removed his family to Lockport, near Joliet in this state where they remained until the year 1860, when they returned to this city and took up their residence in the brick house which stands opposite the Baptist church. Mr. Baker died in the year 1863, so that our departed friend was left again a widow at the age of 68 years.

Mrs. Baker’s connection with the church as a professed Christian dates back to an early period in her life, though her membership with this church was not formed until July 22, 1860, under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Leonard. During the last eight years of Rev. Mr. Leonard’s, the four years pastorate of Rev. Henry Kelgwin, and the six and half since then, the life of this venerated friend to whose worth we are assembled to pay our grateful tribute of appreciation, has been that of one who though humbly conscious of her own imperfection and unworthiness in the sight of God, maintained a life of prayerful consecration to her Lord and Master. When I took charge of this church, five years and two months ago, it was not expected that she would survive but a short time.

Fulton Journal: July 14, 1882:

John W. Baker of Garden Plain, died at his residence on Saturday, July 8th, in the 71st year of his age. The funeral was held in the church at Garden Plain on Sunday and many of our citizens attended. Mr. Baker was a native of Maryland and was born in 1812. He moved west in 1836 and located near the present site of Fulton, but in 1843 he purchased a tract of land in Garden Plain township where he has since resided. He was widely known and had held many local offices of trust. A strong and zealous temperance worker, he was respected and esteemed by a large circle of the citizens of the county.

Fulton Journal: March 30, 1883:

Mrs. Mary Baker, widow of the late John W. Baker, of Garden Plain, died at her residence in Fulton on Wednesday afternoon, in the 70th year of her age. The funeral services were held at the house this forenoon, the Rev. N.D. Graves officiating, and the body was taken to the Garden Plain cemetery for her burial. The deceased was married to J.W. Baker, whom she survived but a few months, in Maryland, in 1833 and three years latter came to Whiteside county where she has since resided.
Fulton Journal: April 30, 1915
Albert J. Baker is Dead
Mrs. Nathaniel Green Thursday received a telegram from Denver, Colo., stating that her brother, A.J. Baker died that morning at his home in that city. Albert J. Baker was born in Gardenplain seventy-three years ago, and was a son of John W. Baker and the grandnephew of John Baker, the first settler in the town of Fulton. During the Civil war he attended school in the Western Union college in this city, and nearly fifty years ago went west and located in Denver, where he established a large brick manufacturing plant and for many years was engaged in that business. He leaves his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Fulton Journal: June 25, 1937

Sarah Elizabeth Baker, daughter of John W. and Mary Hall Wright Baker, was born in Garden Plain Township, November 28, 1857, and passed away after a brief illness in Jane Lamb Hospital, Wednesday night, June 16, 1937. She was the last surviving member of a family of ten children. Her great uncle, John Baker, was the first white settler in Fulton, coming here from Centerville, Maryland, in 1835.

Her father, a nephew of John Baker, came from Centerville in December, 1836, and the following year he was joined by her mother, the first white woman to come to Fulton. After two years here they moved to Garden Plain, where they engaged in farming. The old homestead is still known as “The Baker Place”.

Elizabeth Baker, the subject of this sketch, after completing her education taught school for a time and then coming to Fulton she, with a relative, engaged in the dressmaking business. On May 24, 1884, she was married to Nathaniel Green, a young business man of Fulton, the ceremony taking place in the Garden Plain home. They took up their residence in Fulton, their home for the remainder of their lives. One son, Dwight Phelps Green, was born to them. The happy family circle was broken on December 16, 1922, when the husband and father was suddenly taken by death. Bravely and undauntedly Mrs. Green carried on upheld by her Christian faith and encouraged by her son, then an attorney in Chicago.