Putnam County


John P. Bracken

Kirk Booth brought the sad news to town last night of the death by drowning of John P. Bracken, son of Capt. Bracken of Putnam. In company with F. C. Cook, another young man of Putnam, the two had started on their bicycles to make the journey to Chicago and the world's fair. As we understand it they were following the canal, and by some accident or adventure Mr. Bracken either ran into or was thrown over into the canal, and sank, drowning before assistance could be rendered him by his companion. This happened not a great ways from Joliet. The friends at Putnam were notified, and the body recovered, which was duly cared for and would reach Putnam by this afternoon.

The death of this young man has cast a gloom over the entire community. It is a blow felt by every one acquainted with him or the family. No better young man lived in this section. He was the soul of honor, of irreproachable character, of sterling virtues and genial nature, companionable, always happy, bringing sunlight wherever he came, having no enemies, everybody being a friend. He was about 25 years of age and unmarried. We mourn with the family in their lacerating, agonizing trial and bereavement, and general sympathy is expressed and felt for all who feel the pangs of this dispensation.

Contributed 08 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 07 Sep 1893, page 2.

Pierre Condit

Died, at his home in Putnam, Putnam county, Ill., on Sunday evening, May 7, 1893, Pierre Condit, age 56.

The subject of this sketch was the son of Courtlandt and Mary L. Condit, and was born near Putnam in 1837. He was one of the old settlers of Putnam county. In his maturity he was joined in wedlock to Fannie Kirk, who has been a faithful companion during all the years succeeding their nuptials.

During the earlier years of life especially he was a stock dealer and shipper, and he was known almost as an expert in his fine judgment of stock. His power of weighing cattle or hogs in mind and determining their weight was almost marvelous. He seemed to have a very fine mental picture of a perfect form, and knew at once if the animal before him filled the picture. Many years of life were spent in the business of storekeeping, and here his taste and tact were also displayed, and at the time of his decease he was a member of the firm of Grubbs & Condit. For many years he has been the assessor for Senachwine township, and his fine judgment of stock and land enabled him to give the most perfect satisfaction in this very intricate and difficult position. Pierre Condit was known as a kindly neighbor and good citizen, but thro all these successes a nemesis appeared to accompany him, and to be ever ready to thwart his noblest endeavors. To rid himself of this incubus, he took the home Keeley treatment some two months since. He seemed to come thro all right. He had been assess or for a long while, and at the convention last month he felt sure of a renomination, but was defeated in this and nominated for justice. This did not seem to satisfy him, and he apparently became despondent. Some weeks since he disappeared from his home, and not returning, a searching party was made up, when he was found in the Giltner school house, near Putnam, where he had attempted to cut his throat, but severed none of the large blood vessels; he then cut gashes in both ankles, some two inches above the internal malleoli, endeavoring to sever the large vessels, but failed. Tho he had lost much blood he was still living, and upon being taken home seemed to recover, the wounds healing, so much so that the one in the throat could scarcely be discerned. Last Friday morning Mr. Condit again disappeared, and was found Saturday afternoon by Jerry Drake and John Dally, near the same Giltner school house, and walking about as if in much pain. He informed them he had taken concentrated lye. He was taken home, where he suffered great agony, which ceased some time before death, and he died tranquilly on Sunday evening. Sunday afternoon Rev. Wm. Woolley reached his Putnam appointment earlier than usual, and was sent for to the residence of Mr. Condit, who wanted to see him. Upon his arrival Mr. Condit conversed with him freely as to his past, and seemed anxious to be baptized, and the sacred ordinance was administered, when he seemed to throw himself confidingly upon the mercies of the loving Father, and soon after passed "thro the valley" and no doubt entered upon his rest.

The obsequies were held at the Putnam M. E. church at 10 a. m., Tuesday, May 9, 1893, Rev. Wm. Woolley officiating. A large concourse of relatives and friends assembled to pay this last tribute to one whose many noble qualities had commanded their love and respect, notwithstanding the nemesis who had followed him during the years, and to whom his final demise may be justly attributed. His remains were buried in Putnam cemetery.

The entombing rites were in the hands of Undertaker Keller, and the pall bearers were John Anderson, O. P. Carroll, W. L. Kelso, V. H. Wheeler, J. Morgan Williams and G. Edward Sparling.

Contributed 08 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 11 May 1893, page 2.

Ida May (Drake) COOK

In the providence of the Great Father we are called to mourn the inestimable loss of our beloved Ida May (Drake) Cook. She was born February 21, 1871, on high prairie, Senachwine township, Putnam Co., Ill., where she resided until the spring of 1880, when she came with her parents to a farm near Putnam, and later moved into the village where she resided until her marriage Oct. 23, 1895 to Walter E. Cook, when she left the old home for her new abode at Toledo, Ohio, with great joy and unbounded happiness, with no dream of aught but a bright, happy and broad future, with many returns to the old fold and home scenses and joyful meetings with loved ones. But God had  not so willed, for on Oct. 4, a daughter was born, and although every effort known to human skill was faithfully applied, she gradually declined until Oct. 12, in the early morn at 7:10 o'clock she caught hold of the staff and without one word of complaint she walked into the valley and shadow of death alone, save one, the Lord Jesus, for she was a faithful chrisitan, having been reared in the nurture and admonition of the Lord from her childhood. She was "born again" and united with the Christian church at Putnam in June, 1887, and her life was consistent with her vows to the close of her earthly journey. Having taken a letter from the church at Putnam and resuming her affiliations with a church of the same denomination at Toledo, Ohio, she continued in the service of the master at that city. She was a devoted member of the Y. P. S. C. E. and was ever faithful to its pledges. As a girl in her home she was quiet, gentle and meek, always loving and cheerful. Her countenance beamed with love and was the index to a christian spirit. The sunshine she shed about her home and those about her was such as to inspire one to live better and to more perfectly understand that life was what the christian made it, a sphere worth occupying.

A short service was held at the residence before leaving Toledo, conducted by the Rev J. M. Frost of the Christian church of that city. After which the relatives and remains started on the sad journey over the Lake Shore and Rock Island to Putnam, arriving Wednesday, Oct. 14, the bereaved relatives and friends meeting them at the station here. The funeral was held at the Christian church in the afternoon at 2 o'clock, where nine days less than a year before she was a bride and enjoyed the happiest hour of her life. The obsequies were conducted by Revs J. F. M. Parker, J. E. Parker and L. R. Thomas, and were very impressive. The remains were laid to rest in Senachwine cemetery, where in that silent city they will dwell until the mourn of resurrection when they will come forth to see corruption no more.

Father and mother Drake were present at the death of their beloved daughter. The dear Heavenly Father, who has numbered the hairs of their heads, and tenderly notices the little sparrows fall, who will cause all things to work together for good to them that love him, and that while we sorrow at the departure from earth of one so richly endowed with Christian charity, so fondly devoted to her family and brethren, we nevertheless acquiesce in the will of God, who is able to keep her deathless-spirit safe in his own loving omnipotent arms against that day when we shall no longer see through a glass darkly, but we shall see face to face and know as we are known. The last song sang by her was "God be with you till we meet 'again," sung a few hours before her death in a well modulated voice.

Her suffering ended with the night, Yet lived she at its close. And breathed that long, long night away, In statue-like repose. But when the sun in all his state illuminated the eastern skies, She passed through glory's morning gate, And walked in Paradise.

Many thanks to all who assisted in the sad offices connected with the death and burial of beloved Ida.
J. J. Euard.
Putnam, Ill., Oct. 20, 1896.

Source: Henry Republican, 22 October, 1896

Mrs. Francis Downey

The family of Francis Downey mourn the sad loss of a dear wife and mother. The summons came suddenly. On last Monday about 2 a.m., she got up during a thunderstorm and descending the stairs was found later at the foot of the stairs, having expired from heart disease.

It was a shock to all the friends. Jane Walsch was born near Manor Hamilton, County Leitrim, Ireland, Aug. 31, 1825. Her mother having departed this life, she and a brother and a younger sister were cared for by their grandfather and grandmother until they grew to womanhood and manhood. She was united in marriage to Francis Downey April 14, 1849, and in the following Jan., took passage for America. After arriving in America they located at Troy, New York, for several years, when they concluded they would come farther west and located at South Hampton, Illinois, afterward moving to Henry, Marshall co., where they lived until 1865, when they moved to their present home in Putnam county, 5 ½ miles southwest of Putnam village. To this union were born six boys and four girls, all of whom survive her, her death being the first to break the family circle, at the age of 73 years, 8 months, 14 days, having been married over 50 years.

At the age of 14 years she united with the Episcopal Church in the old country, and later in life, August 19, 1877 she united with the M. E. church at Putnam, Ill. There were remaining at home at the time of her death, the father, and one son. Her sister, Mrs. Thomas Crawford of Dana, Ill., survives her, bout on account of sickness was unable to attend the funeral, but the husband and two sons were present. Her brother, John Walsch, enlisted in the 11th cavalry in 1862 and died of a wound received in Tennessee.

The children had reached maturity and all married but two, and all respected and useful citizens. The sons are Henry, Norville, Durbin, J. Linn, Oliver and Marshall; the daughters, Mrs. J. M. Williams, Mrs. Lizzie Vail, Mrs. J. O. Winship and Mrs. George Wheeler.

The funeral was held at the M. E. church yesterday, Rev. Northrup officiating. His tribute of the deceased was beautifully expressed and impressive. The pallbearers were the six sons. Interment at Putnam cemetery.

Source: Henry Republican, 18 May 1902

Eliza (Robinson) Haggerty

We learn with sadness of the death of Eliza Haggerty, who died at Kansas City, Dec. 17. Her maiden name was Eliza Robinson, born and raised in Magnolia. She married James Henderson at Magnolia for her first husband, by whom four children survive, the father dying years ago in the west. She was afterwards married to a Mr. Haggerty, by whom she had one child, which also survives her. Mrs. Haggerty will be remembered by the Magnolia people as a winsome girl in her youth, who had many friends. After her first marriage she moved west, and had lived in a number of western states. She was buried at Kansas City.

Transcribed 13 Oct 2018 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 07 Jan 1892, page 3.

Lillian Edsall Mills

On Saturday morning, Jan. 16, 1897, the whole neighborhood was shocked by the intelligence of the sudden death of Lillian E. Mills, wife of O. P. Mills of Clear Creek. The sadness of this news was still more sad from the fact that a little babe only five hours old was left motherless. [Golden Edsall Mills, a son, was born 16 Jan 1897.] All seemed to be well with the young mother, and she was cheerful and bright for a time, but complications arose which were known to be of a dangerous character, and tow other physicians were immediately sent for, but neither had time to arrive before death occurred, at 6:30 a. m., from the direct cause of secondary hemorrhage. It is a sad death indeed, and causes many a heart to ache for the loss of a dear friend; many a tear to flow for the loss of sister and daughter, and a pang and broken heart for him, the husband, as he realizes the void left in his home by one he loved above all the earth. She was one with a noble character, pure and righteous, and was endowed with those qualifications which made friends for her of all she met. A life long member of the Society of Friends, she was an ardent and efficient worker, occupying many positions of honor and worth, and filling them with perfect satisfaction. As a member of the Young People's Society she was a strength and stay, helping to build up by noble example and works, the true Christian life and doing her share toward drawing all to spirituality. She was also for several years a valued member of Magnolia Grange, and as such had occupied several official positions, among which was that of Worthy Lecturer. In all organizations with which she was identified she was indeed a strength, and it is selfom that one of her age can gain such confidence or wield such an influence in a neighborhood as did she during her few years' residence.

The funeral took place from their home near Clear Creek on Monday, Jan 18, at 11 a. m. A large number of sympathizing friends and relatives were in attendance, including the father and brother, Nathan and Horace Edsall of Iowa, Milton Mills of Chicago, A. T. Mills of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Roy and Bertha Mills of Normal, Ill. A short service was held at the house after the custom of Friends. By request of the husband two appropriate songs were sung, and the 14th chapter of St. John was read. Prayer was offered by I. P. Wierman, and feeling remarks were made by J. L. Mills as to the personal worth and Christian character of the deceased, she having been for a number of years closely associated with him and a member of his Sabbath school class. In his remarks he said: "I would say to those who mourn – mourn not, for she is not dead, but sleepeth." The following lines were read, as written by Abel Mills, one of the sorrowing parents: "The sunshine of our dear daughter and sister has radiated in our midst until it has permeated our hearts; and now the shadows have fallen only to make the sunshine more impressive."

These verses were written and read by a brother, A. T. Mills, in sympathy for the bereft husband, and in loving remembrance of the departed:

There is broken now a happy home;
Dear Lillian has gone above;
We give thy body again to loam;
Thy spirit lives in our love.

Thee was for Perry a wife, a wife –
Aye, true, a part of his soul;
The story – beyond all the sweetest in life,
Of two, becoming a whole.

More helpful daughter God ne'er lay
In father and mother's keeping,
Grey hairs and wrinkles thee smoothed away
From these aged ones reaping.

A sister wert thou, to us and me,
An example of living right;
We were happy when we came to thee,
O Lillian, gone from our sight.

At the close of the service this reference was read:

"Lillian Edsall Mills was born in Marshall county, Iowa, August 21, 1868, and died January 16, 1897, being age8 years 4 mos 22 days. September 1, 1892, she was married to O. P. Mills, and became a resident of Clear Creek, Putnam county, Ill."

The remains were interred in the Friends' burying grounds at Clear Creek, and the last rites were paid to the mortal body of one dearly loved. The six brothers who were present acted as pall bearers. She has gone beyond where her spirit lives, and she will continue to live in the memory of those whose good fortune it was to know her, for to know her was but to lover her.

[Memorial of Magnolia Grange not transcribed]

Transcribed 19 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 28 Jan 1897

Charlotte McCarty Philson

Wenona Index, Jan 16 1896: Mrs. Charlotte Philson died at the home of her son-in-law, William Grosscup, southwest of Wenona, Saturday night, January 11, 1896, aged 81 years. Mrs. Philson had been ailing for sometime. She was married to Mr. Philson September 1, 1835, and came from Ohio to Putnam county in 1846. The husband died in 1878. Mrs William Grosscup and Mrs. W. W. Champ, of near Lostant, are daughters. Funeral services were held Tuesday and interment took place at the Cumberland Cemetery.

Contributed 29 Mar 2018 by pientokj@aol.com

Thomas Philson

Died on Sunday morning, Aug. 4, 1878, at his home four miles west of Magnolia, Thomas Philson. Mr. Philson was a victim of that most fatal disease, diabetes. Toward the last the right side of the heart became fatally implicated. His lungs were in a diseased condition, and also his kidneys. Squire Philson, by the timely advice of Dr. Jeffries of his rapid and near approach to that terrible leap from which none ever return, was enabled to have his important business all satisfatorily arranged, and was prepared to meet his God. Squire Philson has been a man of influence in Putnam County, and will be missd by many. The Squire has held all the offices of important trust within the gift of the people of the county, and discharged the duties with much credit to himself and his constituents. He leaves a host of friends, and a large circle of relatives to mourn his loss. His remains were interred in the Myer's burying ground on Monday.

[Note: "Squire" was used for people who had served as Justice of the Peace.]

He left no will and his estate went through probate. William Grosscup was administrater. He sold some of the family land on Mar 20, 1880, at a public auction located at the dwelling house which was located at the west half of SE quarter of section 28 in Township 31 North in Range 1, east of the third prime meridian in Lasalle Co., Ill. to Edward Phillips, who paid $100.00 for "the east half of 22 acres of the South end of the west half of NE quarter of Section 4 in Township 30 North in Range 1 west of the 3rd principal meridian in Marshall Co., Ill." There were no adequate bidders for the "west half of the SE quarter of Section 28 in Township 31 north, range 1 east of the 3rd prime meridian." He also did an appraisal of the family properties and furnishings, which were estimated to be worth $725.00 plus $165.00 of furnishings, etc. There were liabilities of $4,315.28 listed against assets of $3,518.31 for a deficit of $796.97. The following signed papers to settle the estated: Charlotte Philson, Mary Champ, John W. Philson, Alizanna Philson, Isabelle Grosscup, Alexander Philson and Lydia Newby.

Contributed 29 Mar 2018 by pientokj@aol.com

Henry News Republican August 8, 1878
Died in Magnolia township, August 6, of diabetes, Thomas Philson, aged 68 years.
Thomas Philson was buried on Monday in Magnolia township. He was an old settler, an industrious and prosperous farmer, and a prominent citizen. We know of no one in his section of kindlier disposition, and for sterling honesty and manly qualities few excelled him. For many years he worked at carpentering, and was regarded as one of the best mechanics in the vicinity, and for Lyman Horrom alone, who was a neighbor of his for some years, he done over $3000 worth of work. He was elected sheriff of Putnam county for one term, and in town offices he held nearly all from supervisor down. For the past year he has suffered with that debilitating disorder diabetis, which has confined him to the house a greater part of the time for the past four months, and with some affection of the heart culminated in his death. His funeral was largely attended, attesting that a good man has gone to his long home.

Son of Robert & Judith (Lowry) Philson
Spouse of Charlotte Ellen McCarthy
Mary PHILSON 1838 - 1920
Alizanna PHILSON 1840 - 1883
Isabelle PHILSON 1841 - 1911
John William PHILSON 1843 - 1912
Alexander Hayse PHILSON 1846 - 1904
Lydia Jane PHILSON 1846 – 1899

Contributed 29 Mar 2018 by pientokj@aol.com


b. May 27, 1913, Spring Valley, IL
d. April 16, 1989, Hennepin, IL age 75 yrs.

Mrs. Beatrice Podobinski, 75 of Hennepin, died April 16, at Heartland Health Care Center where she had been a patient for one month. Services were Wednesday from Barto Funeral Home, Spring Valley with a mass at St. Patrick's church Hennepin. The Rev. John Kwak officiated. Burial was in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Hennepin. She was born in Spring Valley May 27, 1913, to Alec and Marie O'Byrne Kinkin. She married Paul Podobinski June 8, 1932 in Chicago. He preceded her in death in 1981. She is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Walter (Kathleen) Mecozzi of Princeton; Mrs. Alex (Carole) Rolando and Mrs. Paula Colby, both of Hennepin; 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; four sisters Mrs. James M. (Marie) Coutts and Mrs. Irene Kachinovas, both of Spring Valley, Mrs. Ernest (Lillian) Foley in California and Mrs. Elmer (Mickey) Dobberstein of Peru; one brother, Theodore DeSerf of Texas. She was a member of St. Patrick's Church of Hennepin.

Submitted by Denise Parsons McHenry, IL


b. December 28, 1904, Spring Valley, Bureau, IL
d. November 15, 1981, Hennepin, Putnam, IL age 76 yrs

Paul Podobinski, 76 of Rt. 1 Hennepin, died in St. Margaret's hospital at 4:05 p.m. Sunday Nov. 15. He had been a hospital patient eight weeks and ill three years. Funeral services were at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in the Barto Funeral home and 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's church, Hennepin. The Rev. J. Kwak officiated at the Mass. Burial was in St. Anthony's Cem. in Hennepin. Mr. Podobinski was born in Spring Valley December 28, 1904, to John and Amelia Podobinski. He married Beatrice Kinkin, June 8, 1932, in Chicago. Mr. Podobinski was an iron worker and a member of Iron Workers Local 386 of LaSalle. Surviving are his wife: three daughters, Mrs. Walter (Pauline) Mecozzi of Sterling, Mrs. Paula Colby of Hennepin and Mrs. Alex (Carole) Rolando of Hennepin; 11 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, two brothers, Stanley of Spring Valley and Henry of Glesburg and two sisters, Mrs. Katherine Goodrick of Spring Valley and Mrs. Marie Tapp of Texas. He was preceded in death by three sisters and two brothers.

Submitted by Denise Parsons McHenry, IL

Mary E. (Funk) Ryan

Mrs. Mary E. Ryan, youngest daughter of Joseph and Margaret Funk, was born in Putnam county, Ill., Jan 21, 1856, and died at her home near Tonica, Dec. 26, 1891, aged 25 years, 11 months and 5 days. Her early life was passed at Oxbow, Putnam cmount, until her marriage, Jan. 8, 1879, to Amos Ryan, since which time her home has been near Tonica. One child, little Johnny, and the bereaved husband are left to mourn the loss of wife and mother. The aged father, three brothers and two sisters also survive her.

Transcribed 13 Oct 2018 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 07 Jan 1892, page 3.

Byron W. Watson

Dr. Watson, a resident of Putnam, died suddenly Saturday evening. He had been out on the street that day, but after he reached his residence he complained of illness, and died during the evening.

Dr. Byron Wesley Watson was born at Dunkard, Greene county, Pa. in 1818, and died at Putnam, Ill., Jan. 23, 1897, aged 78 years 5 months and 3 days. To him were born four children; one son deceased years ago. The other resides at Washburn, his state. The two daughters are married and reside in South Dakota. There are five grandchildren.

Dr. Watson practiced as a physician for over 50 years. He was a man of extensive information and highly educated, of engaging manners and pleasing address. He had had three wives, his last one being Mrs. M. Johnson of Putnam, a very worthy lady, with whom he had lived happily, being a loving and affectionate husband and father, as those assert who knew him best. Our knowledge of his life is meagre, and as nothing has been furnished, this sketch is somewhat brief. The funeral was conducted by Rev. D. McLeish of Henry at the residence on Tuesday last at one p.m., and burial at Putnam cemetery.

Transcribed 13 Oct 2018 by Norma Hass from the Henry Republican, 28 Jan 1897, page 2.

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