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Maxfield Family
The Tampico Area Historical Society encompasses parts of Whiteside County and Bureau County in Illinois. Focus is on Tampico, Hume Twp., Hahnaman/Deer Grove, & Prophetstown in Whiteside County & Yorktown & Thomas in Bureau County.
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1 post
Aug 02, 2017
5:34 PM
I am trying to find information about my great great grandfather, Harry Alanson Maxfield, and his adoptive mother, Capitola Maxfield. I believe Capitola was born in Como, Illinois in 1859. She never married but apparently adopted Frank, who was born around 1880, perhaps in or around Rock Island. We have heard different stories about Harry's origins. One is that the orphanage from which he was adopted burned in a fire and all the records were lost. We have no idea if this is true or where the orphanage may have been located. We have also heard that he was brought to Illinois on the Orphan Train. Again, we have no idea if there is any truth to this. For this theory, we heard that his birth name was Harry Alanson and Maxfield was added when he was adopted.

I know that both Harry and Capitola are buried in Tampico as are two of his children, Otto and Jay. His wife Mable is also buried there. I believe Harry lived in Tampico most of his life.

If you can provide any other information about Harry or Capitola, and how Harry ended up in Tampico or what ha and his mother did while they lived there, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Mike Maxfield
1084 posts
Aug 04, 2017
3:51 PM
Here is her obituary as it appears on our website in the Obituary section: The Daily Gazette, Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois
December 31, 1918 - Tuesday, pg 7

Capitola Lonore Maxfield was born at Como, Whiteside County, Ill., March 19, 1859, and passed away at Tampico, December 28, 1918, at the age of 59 years, 9 months and 9 days. Early in life she moved with her parents to Clinton, Ia., where they resided for a limited time, later moving to Dixon, Ill., from whence after a brief residence they moved to Tampico in the fall of 1875, where the greater part of her life was spent.

She united with the Tampico Baptist Church, February 1, 1879, and was a faithful member until death. While her health permitted she was a regular attendant and a loyal worker in all departments of the organization. Possessed of a beautiful singing voice, for many years she was a member of the choir and was of great assistance in all musical lines of work and entertainment fostered by the society, and could be depended upon always to do her part.

She was of a genial, friendly disposition and possessed the friendship of a large number of friends in Tampico and vicinity, to whom she was generally known as "Aunt Cap."

She leaves to mourn her loss one sister, Jennie R. of Tampico, three brothers, Hiram D. of Yuba City, Cal., Albert of St. Paul, Minn., and Pleasant W. of Tampico; two sisters and three brothers preceding her in death. (Buried: Tampico Memorial Cemetery)

I'll see what else I can find for you. Hopefully some others may be able to contribute as well.

Harry's burial permit can be found here: https://goo.gl/photos/dyThdhdKaHcphTjD7

Last Edited by Denise on Aug 04, 2017 4:21 PM
2 posts
Aug 04, 2017
4:13 PM
Denise, thank you. I have seen this obituary before. I have never found one for Harry. We were hoping to find out more about Harry and how he arrived, and the alleged orphanage or the alleged Orphane Train. We always found it curious that a young, single woman in about 1880 would/could adopt a child.
1085 posts
Aug 04, 2017
4:22 PM
ok, it is in the Sterling Gazette, so let me see if it is online. If not, I can go to Sterling Library where they are archived and transcribe it.

Subject Description Date Location
Maxfield, Harry A. funeral rites 22 Feb 1957;2;1
Maxfield, Harry A. (Mable Thomas) obituary 18 Feb 1957;2;1

Last Edited by Denise on Aug 04, 2017 4:23 PM
1086 posts
Aug 04, 2017
4:42 PM
I will check at the historical society's research library. A wonderful lady did extensive research on Orphan Trains and left us a copy of her work. I'll see if his name is in it.
1087 posts
Aug 05, 2017
7:12 AM
Here's his obit and a little misc. All of this can be found online. You need to register, but it is free! https://sterlingpl.newspaperarchive.com/

May 1, 1957, P. 42

Notice is hereby given to all persons that Monday, June 3, 1957, is the claim date in the estate of Harry A. Maxfield, Deceased, pending in the County Court of Whiteside County, Illinois, and that claims may be filed against the said estate on or before said date without issuance of summons.
Ruby J. Maxfield, Executor
Jacob Cantlin, Donald E. Blodgett, Attorneys
April 17, 24, May 1

Feb. 22, 1957, P. 3

Services for Harry A. Maxfield, 78, Sterling, who died Monday, were held Thursday in the Melvin Funeral Home with the Rev. Vernon Gibbs, pastor of the El Vista Baptist Church officiating. Burial was in the Tampico Memorial Cemetery.

Mrs. J. H. Lynn played several organ selections.

Pallbearers were John Wenk, Oscar Koenig, David Tarner, Guy Coats, Wayne Rude and Lester Carlson. In charge of flowers were Mr. and Mrs. John Frank, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Gilbert and Henry Nielsen.

Feb. 18, 1957
P. 3;1
arry A. Maxfield, 76, 1406 E. 14th St., a retired farmer, died at 6:15 a.m. today in Community General Hospital.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Melvin Funeral Home and burial will be in Tampico Memorial Cemetery. The Rev. Vernon Gibbs. pastor of the El Vista Baptist Church of Peoria will conduct the services.

He farmed southwest of Tampico for 42 years. He served on the Tampico high school board of education for 12 years and as president of the Tampico Farmers Mutual Telephone Company for 30 years from 1919 to 1949. For the past nine years, he was employed at Obermiller's clothing store in Sterling until ill health forced him to retire last December.

He was born July 12, 1880, in Rock Island. He lived with H. D. Maxfield until he was 12 years of age when he went to live with his foster grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Maxfield, Tampico.

He was a graduate of Tampico High School and a member of the Baptist church since childhood.

He married Mable A. Thomas in 1901. To this marriage were born five children. Three surviving children are Frank H. Cincinnati, Ohio, Mrs. Ida J. Kettle. Austin, Colo., and Mrs. Helen E. McCutcheon, Clinton, Iowa. Two sons, Jay and Otto, preceded him in death. His first wife also preceded him.

On Jan. 24, 1922, he married Ruby Lehman of Sterling. In 1947 they moved to Sterling.

Surviving besides his widow. Ruby, son and two daughters are seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at the funeral home after noon Tuesday.

Last Edited by Denise on Aug 05, 2017 7:15 AM
3 posts
Aug 05, 2017
11:26 AM
Denise, thank you. This raises more questions but also provides a few clues. If you ever have a chance to see if Harry Alanson was listed on the Orphan Train, please let me know. If you ever hear about a fire in an orphanage in the 1870 to 1890 time frame, please let me know that also. Again, I appreciate your help. Mike
1088 posts
Aug 06, 2017
8:06 PM
Will do! I'll get over there in the next day or two.
1089 posts
Aug 07, 2017
8:58 AM
I pulled up Harry's headstone and noticed his middle name was spelled ALLISON. https://goo.gl/photos/gqxeGk6ce2cEQ1Vy8
4 posts
Aug 07, 2017
6:19 PM
Denise, sometimes I don't know how to resolve such discrepancies. Harry registered for bot WWI and WWII. Both of those cards plus his selective service card are very clear. On those the name is Alanson.
5 posts
Aug 08, 2017
11:51 AM

I looked at your photo. What is interesting is that whoever selected the headstone did not put the last name Maxfield on it. I don't know if anyone else in the family who is buried there have the name Maxfield on the headstone, for instance, if this was in a "family" section of the cemetary. Of so, then perhaps on this one they only used Allison, and not Maxfield, because that was his birth name? Any thoughts on why it was done this way? In any event, when you have a chance to check the lists from the Orphan Train, perhaps you could check on Alanson and Allison. Again, thank you.
1090 posts
Aug 08, 2017
6:53 PM
Since Google decided to eliminate Picasa Albums, it is more difficult to show the pictures on the website. You are correct, his headstone is part of a family lot. If you go to our Google Photos album for Section F: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOkLtQZvIXdiPxT8TKRNN4fRP_7FNUs3-w93dv4 and scroll about 3/4 of the way down, you will see 3 photos. First, "Dad" - Harry Allison. 2nd - MAXFIELD stone and 3rd "Mother (no name) but has birth/death dates. To my knowledge, the only way to rectify the spelling is to replace the stone. However, I'm told that some of these monument people can work wonders on making corrections. Contact a local monument place and see what they think.

Last Edited by Denise on Aug 08, 2017 7:24 PM
1094 posts
Aug 17, 2017
6:09 AM
I checked the ORPHAN TRAIN book and did not find any reference to ALLISON/ALANSON or even MAXFIELD.

Sometimes I run across articles in the Tampico Tornado - so I will post if I find something.

Have you checked with the WS Circuit Clerk? https://www.whiteside.org/departments/circuit-clerk.html

Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like me to check further.

6 posts
Aug 18, 2017
2:55 PM

Thank you. I will let you know if I need something else.

1096 posts
Aug 20, 2017
12:33 PM
Always happy to help. Hoping you might find something in probate records at the Morrison Circuit Clerk's office.

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