Births (N-Z)

Monday, Aug. 31, to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Shaw, a girl. (The Astoria Argus, Thursday, September 3, 1891, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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Sunday, Aug. 30, to Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Wilstead, a boy. (The Astoria Argus, Thursday, September 3, 1891, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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"Lon" Wood and wife became the parents of a son the day before yesterday. (Canton Register, Thursday, January 12, 1888, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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J. K. Snyder and wife are happy over the birth of a girl baby. (Canton Register, Thursday, March 20, 1890, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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The Ninetieth Anniversary of Abraham S. Swartz Of Banner Township.

The ninetieth anniversary of Abraham S. Swartz of Banner township was celebrated on Sunday, Nov. 11. About sixty of the old gentleman’s friends and neighbors had been invited to honor the occasion with their presence, to which invitation there was a ready and hearty response. A leading feature of the occasion was a regular old fashioned country dinner prepared by his daughter, Mrs. W. H. Babcock, with whom he makes his home.

Preceding the dinner announcement the Hon. J. W. Johnson, in behalf of Mr. Swartz neighbors, presented him with an elegant cane. The presentation speech of Mr. Johnson, during its delivery, very much affected Mr. Swartz, and many of his friends as well. In addition to this the old gentleman was the recipient of a number of presents from the members of his family. Then followed the dinner, and around two tables well laden with the best that comes to the hand of a country housewife, gathered the representatives of four generations. A thanksgiving prayer was offered by the Hon. J. W. Johnson. The scene was a happy one, and its like is seldom witnessed in an ordinary life time.

Abraham S. Swartz is a venerable old man and has a history. In his early days he lived in Rochester, N. Y. and at different times was elected alderman of that city. Possessing an inventive genius he produced the first mowing machine known in this country, and the first melodeon ever invented in this country was the result of his thought. This instrument was at once conceded to be of a better make and style than those produced in the old country. Mr. Swartz was the patentee of many other useful inventions. In his early manhood days he was an intimate friend of President Cleveland, then studying law in Buffalo, and with him drank many a foaming glass of beer. Coming west Mr. Swartz in 1864 built the first brewery ever erected in Chicago. For over fifty years past he has been a member of the Masonic order, and is therefore one of the oldest Masons in this part of the country. Besides Mr. Swartz’s two daughters, Mrs. Wm. H. Babcock and Mrs. Lafe Crandall of this city, and son, T. L. Swartz of Banner township, there were present sixteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Mr. Swartz is a great lover of tobacco. He is still very active and at his advanced age he insists on helping to do the chores. Sunday morning he read without glasses the finest print in the Fulton county premium list. The day was highly enjoyed by him, and with all present the memory of the event will long linger.

(Canton Daily Register, November 12, 1894, submitted by Dorene Fox-Sprague)

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Pioneer has had Eventful Career
Fulton County Octogenerian Celebrates Birthday Saturday

Came from Ohio in Prairie Schooner

Henry Wages tells Register reporter the story of his long life.

     Looking backward upon a long and useful life, 77 years of which were spent in Canton and vicinity, Henry Wages, six miles southeast of Canton, on Saturday celebrated his eighty second birthday anniversary. Not with a blast of trumpets, nor with the waving of banners, was the day ushered in, but in a quiet manner, free from the cares of the world, did that aged Fultonian observe his natal anniversary.

     Born in Ohio, where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Wage then resided, he came to Illinois with them when but four years of age. The family came to Canton, located on the old Coleman farm, north of the city, and has resided in this vicinity continually. Since the day of arrival here, when he was but infant, Henry Wages continued his residence in this vicinity fought battles against adversity, conquered in the name of civilization and now lives to look back on a happy and well spent past.

Here in An Early Day

     The family lived on the Coleman farm from 1835 until 1841, when they moved to the Monterey neighborhood and lived there for the same length of time, after which they moved to the countryside where Mr. Wages now resides, having spent the greater portion of his active career in the fields and meadows of his present farm.

     The trip from the old home in Ohio to Canton was one of privation and experience, a battle against the obstacles of nature. Not a railroad was seen on the trip, which was made with a three-horse team across country, six weeks were required to make the trip and ere it was completed the family longed for rest and a place to settle.

Recall Big Storm

     No sooner had they settled on the Coleman farm, said Mr. Wages Sunday, when he described his early experiences to a reporter for the Register, than the historic storm of 1835 swept across the country, demolished houses and out-buildings and came near renduring desolate a land that was becoming peopled by sturdy pioneers who were making of what was once a wilderness a land of fertile and productive farms.

     Mr. Wages described the great storm, though he was but a boy at the time. It removed the roof from the old log cabin in which the family resided, and visited many places with even more severity than experienced by the Wages family. The storm of 1835 became noted for the wreckage that it caused and the handicap that resulted to the early settlers.

Cities Small Then

     "Canton, Peoria and Pekin," Mr. Wages said, "were nothing in comparison to what they are in this day. Our family crossed the Illinois river at either Peoria or Pekin, I am uncertain at this point, but Canton was nothing. Prairie was everywhere to be seen. It stretched forth to welcome conquering man as he came from the rising sun.

     Man came and conquered and now we look with pride upon a growing city, whose industries furnish employment to thousands of men and whose farms produce the rewards due those who struggled when a gain was more uncertain than it is today.

     "I have lived in Canton and vicinity for a period of 77 years, and since coming here I have never been out of the grand old state of Illinois," declared Mr. Wages, and he added that deer was plentiful in the bottom when he and his parents first came to the soil of Illinois.

     There were Indians here in large numbers, fully 500 living in the vicinity of Liverpool, but they were never violent or blood thirsty, always friends of the white man, drinking from the well of the paleface, and welcoming the latter to the fruits of the redskins in the forest and along the rivers' banks. All was peace, Mr. Wages declared, between the two races and they lived as friends until the redman moved on farther west.

Overland to Chicago

     He remembers well when his father went to Chicago long before there were railroads. He traveled across country to Peoria, where he took a stage coach to the windy city. There were no railroads into Chicago at that time, and all travel was by stage or cross country. He remembers seeing many travelers on foot, as in those days that was one of the ways of traveling distances of within a 50 mile limit.

     Of a family of 11[family consisted of 12 children - Roy Girard], Mr. Wages and but two others survive. He has one brother, John Wages, a resident of Southwestern, Iowa, who is 84 years old, and another, Jacob Wages, resides within one-half mile of the subject of this story.

     Mrs. Wages who was Mary Jane Bybee, and Mr. Wages enjoy excellent health in their declining years at their country home. There are two sons Estie and John Wages who live nearby. (Canton Register, circa 1912, submitted by Roy Girard)

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     At his country home on Rural Route 7, in the same community where, half a century ago deer and wild turkeys roamed in droves through the woods, Jacob Wages today observed his 90th anniversary. Having enjoyed remarkably good health until the past year, Mr. Wages has been confined to his bed by illness for the last six weeks. He is being cared for by Mr. and Mrs. James Wages, a son and daughter-in-law, and George Wages, who makes his home with his father.
     Mr. Wages, a Civil War veteran, is one of a few surviving members of Company E., 193rd Infantry. He enlisted on August 4, 1862 and received his honorable discharge February 7, 1865, after having been wounded in the left ankle during a disastrous battle at Missionary Ridge. A company of 32 men enter the battle and all but 16 were wounded or killed.
     Last of a pioneer family of 12, the aged man was born in Banner township March 29, 1840, a son of Ephraim and Nancy (Buckenham) Wages, who came by covered wagon from Maryland in 1835. His education was limited, having attended the country schools when parents were required to pay tuition for each child.
     Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Wages engaged in farming. On his 25th birthday anniversary, he was married to Victoria Courtney of Banner, and the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary before her death, several years ago.
     Besides 32 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren, Mr. Wages has the following children: Mrs. Hattie Bybee of Glasford, Mrs. Daniel Williams of Banner, Mrs. John Brown of Banner, Mrs. Snowden Hughes of Canton, Fred Wages of Peoria, Marshall Wages of Canton, and James and George Wages at home.
(Canton Register, unknown date, submitted by Roy Girard)

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