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Articles & Local History > 1891 - FENTON - PRATT - DENROCK

Sterling Standard Gazette, Feb. 26, 1891

 Sterling Standard

February 26, 1891






Fenton, the metropolis of Fenton township, is located on the CB&Q railroad where it crosses Rock creek. It consists of three stores, two creameries, an elevator, a depot, blacksmith shop, a school-house, a warehouse, a butcher shop and about twenty dwelling houses. It was platted by James Euson in 1872. It contains forty acres and is cut diagonally by the CB&Q railroad. Mr. Euson gave ten acres to the railroad as an inducement to locate a depot at the place. The place was named Fenton Center, which name was changed to Fenton only a few years ago. The first postmaster was G. W. Wood, who built the elevator. Jacob Green ran the first store in the place. Quite an extensive business is being done at Fenton, and the town is rapidly improving in the number and appearance of its buildings.

New Lebanon Church

The United Brethren church is the only church of this vicinity and was built in 1870. It is located one mile west of the village, and has lately been re-papered and painted and compares favorably with any of the smaller churches in the county. The church has a membership at present of forty-six, and the Sunday school about fifty. Services are held every Sabbath alternately by the Liberals and Radicals, W. T. Richardson being the preacher for the former and J. O. Swartz for the latter.


W. T. Richardson lives in the * B. parsonage at Fenton, and preaches alternately at New Lebanon and Zion. Newton, where he alternates with J. G. B. Shadford of Albany. In the afternoons he holds services at the school-house at Fenton, commencing at two o'clock. There is also a Sunday school here with over forty members. Mr. Richardson was born in Kane Co., Ill., in 1846, and spent most of his life farming. He has only been preaching a few years, his charges being at Mendota, Geneseo and Fenton. He was married in 1871 to Hattie J. Holmes and they have no children. They are well liked and are very pleasant conversationalists. Rev. Richardson, like the majority of his profession, is a Prohibitionist.


The W. C. T. C. Have a good organization here. It was started recently by Mrs. Burgess. It starts out with Mrs. Thomas Corbett president, and could be placed in no better hands. At present there are thirty-six members with a large percentage of honorary members. We wish it success.


Fenton has a good school building and at present a good school. The building was erected in 1885, and cost about $1,000. It has a good organ, maps, charts, and has the best supply of blackboards of any schoolhouse in the county. Some school directors would get a good object lesson if they would visit this room. There are forty-three pupils this term and the average attendance is thirty-six. There is no library but there is some talk of starting one soon. There is no reason why Fenton cannot have as good a library as Empire, Galt, Como, Coleta and other progressive ungraded schools in the county.

Miss Martha Burns is the teacher at present and having the good will of the pupils and the co-operation of the patrons she is giving excellent satisfaction. Miss Burns has a good record as a teacher and has been been very successful wherever she has taught. The school board at present is composed of Thos. McLaughlin, Albert Thompson and Wm. James. They are competent men and wor for the best interest of their school. Long may they wave.

M. W. A.

The Ewing Camp No.. 175 of the M. W. A. was named in honor of H. L. Ewing, its first consul. It was organized in 1887, and rapidly grew until it had at one time forty-two members, but by removals and withdrawals there are only twenty-two at present. Its officers at present are Allen M. Pratt, consul; Truman Crocker, adviser; Geo. Moss, banker, and I. C. Plockley, clerk. It includes some of the best men in the town. The meetings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month in Elmendorf's hall. This is quite a commodious hall, and is much used for sociables, dances, etc.

M. D. Allen, M. D., keeps a large store well supplied with groceries, dry goods, hardware, drugs, etc. He owns and operates the only elevator in the town, and also has a large warehouse filled with farm machinery in all its details. He has several head of fine driving horses and has fitted up a half-mile track, east of the railroad, to train them on. Mr. Allen was born in Bradford county, Pa., in 1850, and came to Illinois in 1857. He studied medicine at Milledgevelle and then attended a course of lectures at Ann Arbor, Mich. He then entered the Chicago Medical college, where he graduated in 1874 He has practiced his profession ever since, and is the only physician in the town. He came to Fenton in 1877, and built a store where Geo. W. Crocker's residence now stands; this he afterwards moved to where his store now stands. He was at one time engaged with J. Wright in the creamery, which partnership lasted two years. He has for many years been the principal merchant at the place. He was married in 1879 to Lydia Moss of Fenton. She is an estimable lady, and was appointed P. M.. during Cleveland's administration. She is a pronounced Democrat, but Mr. Allen is an Independent, and sits the political fence.

Jehial Wright has a large stock of groceries, dry goods, hardware, etc. He also runs a large creamery. His store has lately been remodeled and moved on the the site-formerly occupied by his creamery building. It is now the neatest store in the village. He has owned the store two years and has been in the creamery business since 1883. He does a large business and has five cream haulers engaged for the coming season. They are John C. Blean, John Burns, F. W. Stock, Wm. Whitemore and C. J. Wright. Kirk Likes is his butter maker and he attends to it very successfully. Like most of the creameries of this county, the butter is shipped principally to Philadelphia. Mr. Wright was born in Vermont in 1838, and came to Illinois in 1852. He came to Fenton in 1875 and worked at h is trade, that of a harness maker. In 1883 he entered into partnership with M. D. Allen in the creamery, but since 1885 he has run this alone. He purchased the store of F. M. Elmendorf in 1889 and has since been doing his share of the business. He married Laura E. Murray in 1867, and they have a family of four children, two sons and two daughters , one daughter, Fannie, is the wife of W. H. Colville, station agent at Kangley, Ill. Mr. Wright served as Justice of the Peace for several years and is a good republican.

Richard Foster and Elisha Bull run a joint store and have a good trade. They handle groceries, dry goods, and notions. Mr. Foster is a newcomer to the village and has only been here two months. He came from Thomson. Carroll county, where he still owns a store. He is a Canadian by birth and is fifty five years of age. He came to the U. S. in 1842 and was married in 1862. They have one daughter. Elisha Bull, the junior member of the firm was born in Fenton in 1863, and has lived here ever since. He was married in 1884 to Annie Neary. They have two children both boys. Mr. Bull is the present post master of Fenton.

Bealer Bros. run a large creamery and do a good business. This is a new creamery, built last year and cost about $2, 000. They average about 800 lbs. Of butter per day during the season, and have five cream routes. Their haulers for next season are not engaged yet. The firm is composed of Philip and Will Bealer. Philip , the senior member, was married six years ago to Lillie, daughter of Martin Jenks. They have three boys and one girl. Wm. Bealer, the junior member, married Frances Crocker of Fenton in 1889. They have one child. Both members are hustlers and are republicans.

F. M. Prestly, butter-maker for Bealer Bros. Was born in Illinois and has lived in Fenton township for twnety-one years. He has lived in the village for the last seven years. He was married in 1885 to Mary Neary. They have one child. Fred is a staunch republican.

M. B. Pinkley is station agent of the C. B. & Q. at this place, and is an efficient man for the position. He has been at Fenton since 1886 and has had his salary raised twice in that time. Will Miller is his assistant and is learning the rade. Mr. Pinkley was born in Ohio in 1850 and taught school several years before he came to Illinois. He was married in 1872 to Surepta Stover. They have two children, one son and one daughter. The son, Victor M. Pinkley, is a skillful manager of the greased lightning, and is night operator of East Clinton. Mr. Pinkley takes great interest in local affairs and bets on John M. Palmer.

George W. Crocker is the only live stock dealer in the city and consequently does an extensive business. He formerly lived in Chicago and was a carpenter  at one time. He was born in Chicago in 1860 and was married in 1888. He is Independent in poltics and says he "votes the way the wind blows."

 F. C. Hughes, blacksmith and general repairer, is a native of Ohio and was born in 1855. He has worked at his trade about twenty years and came from Durand, Ill., to Fenton last July. He married Jennie Moore in 1885 and they have two children, one boy and one girl. Mr. Hughes is a good workman andhis patrons speak well of him. He is a republican.

William Miller was born in Ohio in 1837 and has bveen in Illinois for thirty-four years. His farm is located at the north edge of the village and contains 135 acres. He married Louisa Barkman in 1860. They have four children, twon sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Henry, married  Edith Blasdell, of Fenton. They have one child One daughter, Addie, is the wife of A. N. Harrison, and resides at Leaf River, Ogle County, Ill. The other two are at home. Mr. Miller is a republicn.

Jacob P. Miller, a brother of Wm. Miller, was born in Ohio in 1841. He has lived in Fenton for thirty-two years, and lives just west of Fenton. He served in the late war as a member of Co. D., 46 Ill. Vol. He was married in 1866 to Samantha Jane Pinkley and has raised a family of three children, two boys and one girl. Mr. Miller is very  highly esteemed, is an active member of the U. B. Church. He has served several years as collector and school director, and is a republican.

Joseph  Pinkley was born in Bedford County, Penn., in 1814, and came with his parents to Ohio in 1821. He was married there in 1843 to Sarah France. They have six  children, three f whom live at Fenton; one is Mrs. Jacob Miller, another is Mrs. John Florence, and another is I. C. Pinkley. Mr. Pinkley is quite feeble, but has been a useful  citizen. He has served as town clerk seventeen years, twelve years as town clerk of Fenton. He was justice of the peace twenty-seven years, ten of which he was J. P. of Fenton. He is a Democrat.

I. C. Pinkley, N. P., J. P., P. A., T. C., and C. of M. W. A. is a son of Joseph Pinkley, and was born in Knox  County, Ohio in 1850. He is without doubt the busiest man in Fenton. "Curt" is well known throughout the county and has hosts of friends. The titles following his name he rightly deserves, and fills each office to the satisfaction of its patrons. He is a steadfast Democrat, and his sun rises and sets with Grover Cleveland.

Fred France lives half a mile west of Fenton, and owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He came to Illinois about 1869 and settled near Fenton. He married Mary Sprinkle in 1858 and has raised a family of four children, three girls and one son. Andrew J, the son, lives on part of the farm, and was married in 1884 to Addie Lenhart, they have two children, Father and son are Democrats.

Emanuel Florence was born in New York in 1820. He came to Illinois in 1854 and settled on section nine. He owns one hudred and forty-five acres in the township, which he rents to his son, Edgar. Mr. Florence was married in 1847 to Phoebe Green. They have two sons and two daughters, all married. Mr. Florence moved to Fenton and built a comfortable house in 1887, and now takes things easy. He was a Democrat previous to the civil war, but has been a Republican ever since.

H. L. Ewing, a prominent citizen of Fenton township, was born in Ohio in 1846. He remained there until 1866, at which time he came to this county. . In 1868 he married Esther P., daughter of  R. M. Thompson. They have seven children, four boys and three girls. He moved onto his present farm in 1876, and has one hundred and sixty acres in section thirteen . He is quite prominent in county politics, and has served as town clerk, commissioner of highways and has been school director ever since he has been in the district. He is a solid Republican.

Charles H. Mason owns three hundred acres in section fourteen and devotes most of his time to stock raising. He has several head of fine roadsters and is the owner of "Cap," a well bred roadster. He has rented his farm to his brother, John Mason, who is erecting a new house. Mr. Mason married Minnie Garrison and has a family of four childrenn, three girls and oen boy. He is a Republican.

Edward J. Ewers, one of the old settlers of Fenton, came here in 1839. He was born in New York in 1813, and was married to Mary Davis in 1842.  He lives on section 17, and at one time had a large farmm, but has divided it all among his sons, excepting 120 acres. He has raised a family of seven children, four sons, and and three daughters, all grown up. He is a well known and  highly esteemed as any man i the township, and has served in the capacities of town treasurer, school trusteee and school director nearly ever since and town was organized. He has alwaysbeen a Republican until lately, but now votes with the prohibitionists. His children are George; Ellen, wife of Levi Strunk; Wm. D., Mry, Amy, Edward *, and  Jessie, all living in Fenton, except George.

Wm. D. Ewers was born in Fenton in 1847,  and has lived here ever since. In 1875 he married Kate Prestley and has a family of ive children, one boy and four girls. He resides on his farm of 200 acres in section 16, where he has a very comfortable home. He is commissioner of highways, school director of Coburn, and a good Republican.








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