Old Settlers' Society.
Thr early settlers of Henry County organized their society in 1875, and have had every year large and interesting gatherings of the pioneers, their families and friends. It is one of the most successful and prosperous county organizations in the State. Speeches, poems, familiar talks, reminiscences and anecdotes are the performances on these occasions from the stand; but in. the crowds many dear old friends meet and clasp hands, and eyes which age is fast making dim are there brightened again; and who can imagine the swelling hearts, the glow of recollections of the long ago thai come rushing to the rekindled memories of the white-haired grandfathers and grandmothers at these hearty reunions ? We most heartily endorse the concluding verse of a poem, read at the Old Settlers' meeting of 1879, by T. F. Davenport, as follows:—
"So keep up these gatherings, year after year; For we cannot expect to be always here.
As the months and years go harrying by, And we fail in strength as time will fly,
"We can still look back on the simple ways.
The innocent pleasures, the happy days, Of our pioneer life, and still can say
We thank our God, we're here today."
The first, meeting to organize an old settlers' association was held in the Town Hall in Cleveland , July 10, 1875. James Glenn was selected to act as Chairman; James H. Paddelford as Secretary, and William Glenn was chosen Treasurer. A meeting was appointed for Aug. 13, 1875, to be held at Hanna Grove, That meeting was well attended, and great interest was manifested by the pioneers in recounting the incidents experienced in their early settlement of the county, James M, Allan was elected President of the association; James H. Paddelford, Secretary; Patterson Holmes, Assistant Secretary, and Wiiliam Glenn, Treasurer; and one Vice-President for each township was also selected, as follows :
Clover, J. W. Epperson; Oxford, Robert D. Timberlake
Weller, John Pyatt; Kewanee, E, E. Slocum
Western, Chauncey Washbum: Osco, R. H, Hinman
Munson, J. W. Crawford; Cornwall, Levis Shearer
Annawan, John L. Dow; Colona, James Glenn
Geneseo, Alfred W. Perry; Alba, W. D. Robertson
Phenix, Benj. F, Friitz ; Yorktown, Lyman Stowell
Burns, Jacob Kemmerllng; Galva, John A. Ayres
Wethcrsfield, Charles B. Minor; Lynn, George B. Pillsbury
Andovcr, S, W. Knapp; Cambridge, George T. H. Wilson
Edford, William Austin; Atkinson, Asa Crook
Hanna, Phil, K. Manna; and Loraine, Joseph Arnett
The second annual meeting was held at Geneseo Aug. 11, 1876, when Joseph A. Sawyer was chosen President and T. F. Davenport Permanent Secretary; P. H. Beveridge was chosen Assistant Secretary, and Philip K, Hanna, Treasurer.
The third annual meeting was held at Cambridge, Aug. 10, 1877, when Philip K. Hanna was elected President; M. B. Potter, Assistant Secretary ; and M. B. Lloyd, Treasurer. Mr. Lloyd held the position of Treasurer until 1883.
The fourth annual meeting was held at Kewanee, Aug. 11, 1878, and Matthew B. Potter was chosen President,
The next annual meeting was held at Orion, Aug. 21, 1879, Alfred W. Perry was given the position of President.
The sixth annual meeting was held at Hanna Grove, Aug. 26, 1880 , when Mr. Lewis Shearer was chosen President.
At the next meeting, which was held at Cambridge , Sept. 8, 1881, Malilon B. Lloyd was elected President.
Dr. Ira R.. Wells was elected to this position at the eighth annual meeting, which was held at Geneseo, Aug. 30, 1882 ,
The next meeting was held at Orion, Aug. 28, 1883 , when Matthew B. Potter was elected President, and C, C. Blish Treasurer.
At the tenth annual meeting, held Sept. 17, 1884, at Alpha, A. W. Perry was elected President, and Mr. Blish was re-elected Treasurer,
The next meeting was held at Colona, Aug. 27, 1885, when Mr. Richard Mascall was given the position of President, and Mr. Blisli was again re-elected Treasurer. The meeting of 1885 was at Colona, and probably one of the largest and most interesting meetings ever held in the county. President A. W. Perry, whose zeal at the Old Settlers' meeting is well known to be boundless, selected from the assembly ten old ladies who were in Henry County 50 years ago, and who now were seated on the stand facing the throng on this semi-centennial celebration of the country's natal day, the only ladies, save Mrs. Earl P. Aldrich, who was not present, who now reside in the county, and who were here 50 years ago.These ladies were:
Mrs. Columbia Aldrich, Mrs. Polly Hecox, Mrs. Caroline Withrow, Mrs. James Glenn, Mrs. Martha Sively, Mrs. Arthur Hunt, Mrs, Elizabeth Brandenburg, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Lowe and Mrs. Anna Burrall.
History of Henry County
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