Bettie Patterson  



(written b: Benj. Schwering and submitted by Tom Jones)

Death terminated the mortal life of one of Mason County's pioneers which for the multiplicity of its associations, illustrious contacts, versatile experiences, beauty and sweetness of character, and long years of healthful activity, is perhaps unequalled.

Such was the record of Mrs. Bettie L. Patterson of Bath, Ill. When the final summons came on Tuesday morning, Feb. 9, 1937 which ended the earthly career of the remarkable woman after having attained the advanced age of 90 years, 3 months and 5 days.

Mrs. Patterson was the daughter of Henry and Diana Beadle, and was born at Binghampton, New York Nov. 4, 1846. When only seven years of age, she and her parents left the Empire State, and traveled in a prairie schooner drawn by oxen in true pioneer style, across the country to Janesville, Wisconsin, where the family resided for several years. From there they migrated still farther west as was the custom of those days, and found a new home at Auburn, Iowa. Shortly after this the Civil War broke out, in which her father, Henry Beadle, took a prominent part, finally being captured at the battle of Shiloh, April 1862, and later died in the famous Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.

At the age of 14 years, Bettie Beadle came to Bath, Illinois to make her home with her uncles, Isaac and Stephen Brown, and since that time spent the greater part of her life in this town. She entered the Bath schools and completed her education here and became identified with the early life and activities of this historic town.

In 1867 she married Captain Thomas F. Patterson, a young man of the village who had seen distinguished service in the Civil War. Captain Patterson when only 18 years of age, had enlisted in the 85th Illinois Infantry, and participated in fourteen of the principal battles of the Civil War. It is also of interest to mention here that Mr. Patterson was a distant relative of the poet Edgar E. Guest. After living at Bath for a short while the young couple moved to Jacksonville, Ill. Where their five children were born and reared. Later in life they again decided to return to the old home town as the remaining uncle was aged and infirm and needed their care.

Mrs. Patterson's husband died at Bath, over twenty years ago. She continued caring for the aged uncle, and after his passing continued living in the homey little cottage with which her life had been identified or so many years and whose associations were most dear. An interesting coincidence is the military interest which surrounded her life. rs. Patterson herself, was a descendant of General Putnam of Revolutionary fame. Both her father and husband fought in the Civil War, her son, J. Clifton Patterson, was connected with the Spanish-American War, while another son, Frank Patterson, served in the recent World War.

Although having lived in the days of the pioneer, Mrs. Patterson was by no means pioneer in spirit, but secured as keen an enjoyment and appreciation of present day activities as the people of today. She made frequent trips to the Pacific coast to visit her children residing there, and while there only a few years ago took an aeroplane ride. Quite a far cry from the ox-team days! She was an interested member of the Bath Old School Mates Association and still attended the last meeting held in October 1936. Mrs. Patterson enjoyed remarkable health until just recently. Her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jones, have cared for her since her health began to fail.

Mrs. Patterson united with the Bath Methodist church at an early age, and was a faithful member until her death. Funeral services were held from this church, Feb. 11, 1937in charge of the pastor, Rev. Albert Jern, who chose for his discourse the very appropriate text found in Job 5:26 - “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age like as a shock of corn cometh into its season,” Special music was furnished by Mrs. Robert Shirley and Mrs. Alfred Steffen, with Mrs. Harry Karl at the piano. Pall bearers were her old friends and neighbors, Orlando Lynn, Charles E. Clark, Harrison Brown, Donald Steigleder, George Hart and Harry Price. The beautiful floral tributes were cared for by the Misses Freda Steigleder, Verene Meege, Margry Price and Mrlan Brown.

Surviving are: three sons, Frank E. Patterson of Jacksonville, Ill., J. Clifford Patterson and George Rice Patterson, both of Los Angeles, Calif. And Mrs. Laura Jones of Chicago. Also the following grandchildren, Lawrence H. Jones and Thomas B. Jones of Peoria, Ill., Dorothy Nichols of Chicago, and Ruby Hatch of San Francisco. The great great grandchildren are laurel M. and Judith Lea Nichols of Chicago and Linda LaVerne Jones of Peoria.

Mrs. Patterson had an even, placid disposition, with a gentle dignity and a charming stateliness of manner. Her unassuming and kindly spirit made her much beloved by her friends and neighbors. She spent the greater part of her life at Bath, and was one of the few remaining Mason County pioneers.

Unknown Paper – date Friday, Feb 19, 1937  


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