Looking Into The Past – 2019

100 Years Ago

Permission was granted to hold a public funeral for Mrs. Herman Bollhorst (Dorothy Schlueter) after it was determined that her death was not caused by influenza, but due to pneumonia. Information from The Illinoian-Star – January 7, 1919

The Cass County alms house, at Bluff Springs, received a favorable report from state inspectors. Their only recommendation was the removal of the “Cass County Poor Farm” sign over the farm entrance. Information from The Illinoian-Star – January 17, 1919.

A packed house was on hand to give thanks and celebrate the end of World War I, in a service held at the Fourth Street Lutheran Church. Information from The Illinoian-Star– January 26, 1919

110 Years Ago


The statue that sits atop the Huppers monument, in the Beardstown City Cemetery, was on display in the window of Von Fossen’s store in January of 1909. The sculpture, shipped from Carrara, Italy, was in transit to Beardstown for two months. Together with the base, which came from the state of Vermont, the memorial is about eleven feet high. The base sits on a concrete foundation around seven feet deep. Information from The Illinoian-Star – January 21, 1909

140 Years Ago

The old livery and feed stable on Monroe street took a tumble recently, frightening all in the neighborhood at the noise. Another landmark down.

Central Illinoian, January 23, 1879 – p. 3

The alarm of fire has not been frequent nor of a very serious nature for the past two years, so that at four o’clock Monday morning the sound of bells seemed to rouse almost everyone. The cause was the burning of the Monroe Saloon, corner of Sixth and Monroe streets, and was discovered too late to save anything but a portion of the contents. The saloon was run by August Christianer and the building, on which there was some insurance, was owned by Leo Eckert. The origin of the fire is supposed to have been from a defective flue.

Central Illinoian, January 30, 1879 – p. 3

50 Years Ago

According to an article in the February 9th, 1969 edition of the Jacksonville Daily Journal, Eddie Garnier received 307 Christmas cards during the 1968 holiday season. This was not surprising, as the retired C. B. & Q. dispatcher spent countless hours volunteering his time and boundless energy to patients at Schmitt Memorial Hospital or residents of Beardstown’s nursing homes. If anyone needed an errand run or any kind of assistance, all they had to do was contact Mr. Garnier. “If I can do anything for you, call me night or day,” was his standard request.

Beardstown’s fastest man was seen frequently, walking briskly around the city. I remember the kindly “Walking Man,” as he was known to a few children, stopping to distribute sticks of chewing gum. Before he passed away at the age of 84, later in 1969, Mr. Garnier said that he had served as a pallbearer for over 150 local funerals. The city’s Eddie Garnier Apartments were named in his honor.

100 Years Ago

The Von Fossen Music Company announced plans to open a branch store in Virginia. A partnership was formed with C. F. Noeker, jeweler. The store, dealing in phonographs and musical instruments, was to be located in the Bishop building, on the west side of the square. Mr. Noeker planned to move his jewelry store into the same building. Information from the Illinoian-Star – February 6, 1919

110 Years Ago

Rev P. C. Croll preached his first sermon at the 4th St. Lutheran Church on February 14th. The pastor and his family came to Beardstown from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Information from the Illinoian-Star – Feb 15, 1909

120 Years Ago

Edward E. Meyer was attending to his duties as clutchman at the ice house of H. C. Meyer when his clothing became caught in the rapidly revolving chain. His cries for help led coworkers to his battered and lifeless body. He was survived by a wife and two children. Information from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – February 2, 1899

145 Years Ago

The election of city officers in Beardstown, Ill., yesterday passed off quietly, and resulted in the choice of the following gentlemen: Mayor, A. H. Sielscholt [sic]; Police Magistrate, J. L. Blank; City Marshal, Thomas Doyle; Aldermen – First Ward, George Plahn; Second Ward, Henry Garvin; Third Ward, G. T. Frauman.

Chicago Tribune – February 17, 1874

155 Years Ago

At the late city election, in Beardstown, Cass county, Ill., the democratic candidate for mayor, C. H. Havekluft, was elected by 45 majority.

The Rock Island Argus – February 29, 1864

70 Years Ago

A crazed Angus bull escaped from the farm of Albert Wessler, west of Arenzville, by charging and narrowly missing a couple of men. After eight days on the loose, the animal was shot and killed by A. H. Kleinschmidt as it charged the tractor that he and Mr. Wessler were riding. The bull was hauled to Zulauf’s Market and displayed at the rear of the store. Information from the Illinoian Star – March 23, 1949

75 Years Ago

Dr. Rudolph Ehrhardt and his wife died with in 14 hours of each other in St. Louis. Dr. Ehrhardt, born in Beardstown, was a member of the family that donated the ground upon which Schmitt Memorial Hospital stood. Their double funeral was held in Beardstown on March 27, 1944. Various sources.

In early 1944, a former Beardstown couple, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Peterson, were each planning to run for governor of New Mexico. Robert did not make it on the ballot as a Republican, but Edna, said to be the first woman gubernatorial candidate in New Mexico history, lost to the incumbant in the Democratic primary. In the 1920’s, Bob Peterson, an athlete and performer during his Beardstown days, appeared in shows that featured Kenneth Norville (Red Norvo). Information from The Daily News – New York, N. Y., and other sources – March 26, 1944.

100 Years Ago

The lighthouse service announced that the postlights on the Illinois river, between Beardstown and Peoria, would be lighted for the first time of the season on the night of March 15, 1919. Information from The Daily Times (Davenport, IA) – March 11, 1919.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred I. Cline recently announced the acquisition of a new motor-driven ambulance to be maintained for free service to the citizens of Beardstown. The vehicle was dedicated as a memorial to the soldiers of all wars and was also to be available to families and pallbearers at funerals. Mr. Cline came to Beardstown from Clinton, Illinois. Information from The Decatur Herald – March 2, 1919.

115 Years Ago

Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ring, of Monroe Precinct, recently welcomed their fifteenth child. Information from the Mattoon Daily Journal – March 2, 1904.

John W. Stuecke, a C. B. & Q. engineer, lost his life in a deluge of scalding water in a derailment near Frederick. Information from the Illinoian Star – March 16, 1904.

120 Years Ago

Wm. Johnson’s ice house which was reported in Tuesday’s issue as being in a dangerous condition toppled over in to the river yesterday morning. The house contained 90,000 pounds of nice clear ice, all of which together with the house is a total loss to Mr. Johnson.

Beardstown Enterprise – March 16, 1899 – p. 1

150 Years Ago

SNOW – Just as spring time was coming the heaviest snow of the season came. On Sunday about one p. m. it commenced to fall in a heavy shower, and continued till about dark, covering the ground on an average to the depth of four inches.

Central Illinoian – Thursday, March 18, 1869 – p. 3

75 Years Ago

In an article found on page 26 of the April 23, 1944 edition of the Chicago Tribune, The Illinois Natural History Survey pointed out that a contemplated flood control ditch to speed the flow of the Sangamon River into the Illinois above Beardstown would ruin Muscooten Bay.

85 Years Ago

A banquet was to be held at the First Methodist Episcopal Church on April 19th, celebrating the 98th anniversary of the founding of a Methodist organization in Beardstown.
From the April 15, 1934 edition of the Jacksonville Daily Journal.

The building housing George Schlueter’s cigar store, located on 10th Street, was being remodeled and expanded. Mr. Schlueter had taken over the business from Martin Schaffer about two years earlier.
Information from various March, 1934 sources.

110 Years Ago

Dedicatory ceremonies for Beardstown’s Lincoln School started at 9:00 a.m., Thursday, April 15, featuring a grand parade and an impressive program.
From the April 21, 1909 edition of The Decatur Herald.

150 Years Ago

JACKSONVILLE, April 10. – A terrible rain and wind storm passed over this part of the state yesterday afternoon, doing immense damage to houses and fences. In the little town of Ashland, in Cass County, a few miles north of this city, more than a dozen houses were blown down or unroofed. A school house, completed last fall at a cost of $2,000, was blown over and literally torn to pieces. One-half of the roof was blown away from Newman’s Hotel, and a good deal of damage done to the building.

Chicago Tribune, p. 1 – April 20, 1869