February 14, 1913, Friday 
Clinton Register
Clinton, Illinois

Elected President of the New Bank Being Organized in That City.
Boyhood Home Near DeWitt.

The people of DeWitt county will be pleased to know that a former resident of this county has been given substantial honor in Decatur, where he has lived a few years.  He was unanimously chosen president of the new bank to be opened there about April 1.  The following is from the Decatur Herald, which favored the Register with the electro [selection?] of the new president:

In a meeting of the stockholders of the proposed Farmers' and Merchants' State Bank of Decatur, Saturday afternoon, the board of directors was elected and G. F. WISEGARVER named president of the organization, which already has its charter, and options on three possible sites, the permanent location to be decided on in a meeting of the board Feb. 14.

Capital stock of $100,000, at which the new bank will be incorporated in large part has been subscribed and taken up within the last week, being represented mostly by outside capital which will become Decatur capital in the development of the bank.

The directors of the bank represent a total of more than $200,000 additional in outside capital which will be brought into Decatur by the moving here of several of the directors and all of the officers of the bank.

The board of directors is composed of Pres. G. F. Wisegarver, of Decatur, one of the wealthy young land owners of the Nineteenth congressional district; R. E. Best, formerly cashier of the Farmers' State Bank, in Palmer, who has severed his connection with that institution, and will move his family to Decatur; Thomas E. Lyon, of Springfield, representative in the Illinois legislature from the forty- fifth district, serving his third term; Thomas E. Ballet, of East St. Louis, owner of some 10,000 acres of land in south central Illinois; H. C. Hunter, of St. Louis, Mo., vice president and general manager of the John Bowman Safe and Lock company; John R. Pogre, of Sullivan, formerly representative, who will move to Decatur; and F. W. Drisch, of Sullivan, a wealthy land owner of Moultrie county, who will move to Decatur to make his home.

Mr. Wisegarver is a son of Geo. W. WISEGARVER, who was one of the early settlers of DeWitt county and who died several years ago.  He is a brother of Smith WISEGARVER near DeWitt and of Thos. WISEGARVER of DeLand.  In 1892 he sold his land here and moved to Douglas county to buy cheaper land.  Two or three years ago he sold his land there and bought 320 acres in Creek township, a few miles from where he owned land before moving to Douglas county.  He also has other business interests in this and Douglas counties.

While Mr. Wisegarver is financially substantial, he is equally substantial in business, because he is conservative in whatever he undertakes.  While he is not widely known in Decatur, the directors felt he was of the class who grow in the estimation of the people and his many friends in DeWitt county feel certain they were not mistaken in selecting him as president of the bank, which is to be a part of one of the best cities in Illinois.


July 18, 1913, Friday
Clinton Register
Clinton, Illinois

Mrs. John Richardson Warned Out of Bolo, Ill., After Harrowing Experience.
Woman Faints After Being Carried Through Streets of Town by Mob—
Merchant Accuses Brother-in-Law—
Couple Disappears.

[This didn't happen in DeWitt County, but it's an interesting story from the time period.]

Waukegan, Ill., July 18.–Hands and feet tied, astride an old-fashioned fence rail, Mrs. John Richardson was carried through the streets of Bolo, west of Gray’s Lake, for an hour while a score of angry women pelted her with mud and stones.

When the woman had fainted from pain and terror, she was lifted half-clad from the rail and revived.  She was ordered to leave town.  She left at noon.

In the meantime, William Dunnell, her husband’s brother-in-law, had been informed by the male citizens of the town that he could not make himself too conspicuous by his absence.  He disappeared from Bolo at the same time as Mrs. Richardson.

Richardson, who keeps the largest store in town, is an invalid and has been confined to a wheelchair for months.  As they rode Mrs. Richardson through the streets on the rail, the irate women reminded her time and time again of this fact in bitter-tongued reproaches.

Invalid accuses wife.

Recently Richardson’s suspicions were aroused and he accused his wife and his brother-in-law.

At an agreed [upon] hour groups of women were seen gathering at corners near the Richardson home.  Mrs. Richardson came out into her yard.  There were excited cries, much fluttering of skirts and the woman’s hands had been drawn behind her back and tied.

Bring Fence Rail.

The women had now grown in number and their ranks suddenly parted and half a dozen of them stepped forward bearing a fence rail.  Willing hands lifted Mrs. Richardson to the rail and the others tied her feet.  The line of march was laid through the main street of the town, then back again, then up again.

When those who carried the rail became tired, others took their places, and the punishment of the woman was kept up for an hour before she fainted and fell forward.

Ordered to Leave Town.

Her bonds were cut and she was carried to the sidewalk.  When she regained consciousness she was ordered to leave the town.  Within five minutes there was not a woman on the streets of Bolo.

“Yes, we did have what you might call a rail party,” one young woman admitted to a reporter later in the afternoon.  She refused further information.  Storekeepers past whose places the crowd of women marched told the story of the attack on Mrs. Richardson, but names were refused.


August 22, 1913, Friday
Clinton Register
Clinton, Illinois

Shot At By Brother-in-Law But Escapes Injury—
Henson Hikes.

Harp township was the scene of a shooting affair Tuesday when Fred HENSON fired a shot from a rifle at his brother-in-law, Bert GODDEN.  Godden was standing in front of the house when Henson fired, and the latter was either a poor marksman, or used a blank cartridge, as a search failed to show where the ball struck.  After firing, Henson made his getaway.

Young Godden accompanied by his father, Robert GODDEN, came to Clinton and had a warrant issued for the arrest of Henson.  The sheriff drove to the home of Henson, two miles north of Birkbeck, but the bird had flown.  Before leaving, Henson told his wife that she would never see him again.  Mrs. Henson is the daughter of Robert Godden and says that her husband has frequently threatened her life.  She told the sheriff that if her husband put in an appearance at the home she would report.  It seems that the shooting affair grew out of a family quarrel and that Henson threatened to “wipe out the family.”


September 26, 1913, Friday
Clinton Register
Clinton, Illinois


The southwest part of the Thos. SNELL homestead, north of Clinton, has been torn down.  Monday afternoon workmen were removing the floor of the first story and a box about 10 x 7 inches was found under it.  The box was found by Thos. Hickman, son of H. A. Hickman, who lives near and opened it, there being a slide lid.  He then gave it to M. L. Argo, who was working with him.  Their first thought was that the one who put it there could never be found, and did not notify the coroner.  Next day Mrs. Hickman learned of it and, when her husband returned, told him.  That night they decided the coroner should be notified, which was done Wednesday morning.

About 7 o'clock Wednesday morning Coroner Moore held an inquest, the following being the jury: C. J. Nixon, H. A. Hickman, Melvin Ledden, Wm. Nebel, M. L. Argo and G. W. Hughes.

Thos. Hickman and M. L. Argo testified to finding the box and that a hole in the brick wall on the south side of the cellar stairway had been made, and the box was under the floor, seeming to have been put through the hole and the bricks laid in the place they were taken from.

The jury’s verdict was that “an unknown child had died from cause unknown.”   The box was given over to supervisor Dick Wood and burial was in the public ground in Woodlawn cemetery.