I write a few lines for the "non-resident issue,” of the Press. It has been a little better than 10 years since we left our old home in Lawrence County, and came to Arkansas, locating among good people of Paragould.
My former home was 1 1/2 miles northeast of Sumner, where my father, Amos Grogan, now lives. My husband lived 2 1/2 miles northwest of Sumner on the Alsey home place. Our children Wilma and Amos, have learned to enjoy the visits, back to "Old Lawrence".
We enjoy reading the old home paper and are always glad to hear from old friends in Lawrence. We also think the reunion will be like a homecoming. I anxiously await the issue, as it is published on my birthday, February 4th. Thanking the editor for this favor. I am yours sincerely.
Mrs. Clementine Alsey
January 18, 1915
It affords me great pleasure to write to the non-resident issue of the Press. I was born March 24, 1883 in Lawrence County, Christy Township, 2 1/2 miles southwest of Sumner. I resided in Lawrence County until 1904, when I came to Paragould, Arkansas and began working for a Valve and Heading Manufacturing Company for $40 per month and I am with the same company, and now receive a salary of $75 per month.
I was married on June 6, 1906 to Miss Myrtle Lytle of the city.
Our home has been blessed with two sons. The oldest Joe Lytle Alsey, was born May 29, 1910, died October 5, 1911 Howard Milton Alsey was born February 5, 1912.
Paragould has a population of 8000, and is indeed a city of churches and schools. There are twelve churches, four Baptists, three Methodist, two Christian, one Presbyterian, one Holiness and one Catholic. We are members of the East Side Methodist Church. There are six schools, four public schools, one high school and one Business College.
This is a land of opportunity, and we quite often see residents of Lawrence County in this vicinity. There are several non-residents of Lawrence County in this city, but will leave them to write for them selves.
I will close wishing the “Pink Issue" a great success.
January 11, 1915
The Sumner Press:
The opportunity of addressing a communication to you, to be published along with other communications from persons formerly residing in Lawrence County, that (are) now non-residents, is accepted with pleasure.
Clementine Alsey nee Grogan, was born in 1876 and married Ellsworth Alsey of Lawrence Co about 1904. At the time of this letter, her daughter, Wilma was about 9 years old and her son Amos was about 7.
(Libe Bern Alsey)
Libe Bern Alsey was the son of William and Joanna Alsey. Libe Bern was born on March 24, 1883 in Sumner Illinois. The father, William, born in Hanover, Germany, came to America with his parents and two sisters when he was 5 years old (1849). At an early life he became an orphan and lived with an aunt in St. Charles, Missouri until he was 17 yrs of age. Thence he moved to Cincinnati and was married to Joanna Hicks in 1863. He then moved to Lawrence County where he farmed for the remainder of his life dying in 1908. He and Joanna had ten children, 5 girls and 5 boys. Libe was 32 years old when this letter was written and was the brother-in-law of Clementine Alsey. On June 6, 1906 he was united in marriage to Myrtle Lytle. Myrtle was born December 1, 1883 and died September 26, 1918. and he married Ida May Cox in 1919. It appears that both Libe and his brother, Ellsworth left Lawrence County before their father died. Libe Berndied April 19, 1959 and is buried nest to Myrtle in the Linwood Cemetery Paragould, Greene County, Arkansas
(Charles O. Baltzell)
Charles O. Baltzell, born March 1873, was the son of a Civil War veteran, Henry H. and his wife, Margaret C. Rodrick Baltzell. His father held several town offices upon his return from the war. In Lawrence county. Charles married Maud Bennyhuff in 1898 and the son he refers to in this letter is Ernest R. Baltzell born 1899.
(Charles O. Baltzell)
Before moving to Princeton, Indiana, Charles taught school at Pinhook School, a one room school located in Bridgeport Township. Later in 1900, his brother Robert also taught there. Robert later went on to practice law in Indiana also, and was appointed a federal judge by President Coolidge serving 25 years on the bench.
On January 21, 1916 Charles wrote another letter:” I have been located at Princeton, Indiana, following the practice of the law for practically 18 years. During that time have had some varied experiences in a business and political way and otherwise. We have a son, our only child, now 16 years of age, who is a freshman in our State University. Aside from my work in my profession, I am president of the Citizens Trust and Savings Bank, which gives me broader opportunities in a business way.”
Olive Bell (nee Bass) was the daughter of Henry Vincent and Louisa (nee Moore) Bass of Lukin Township, Lawrence Co, Il. She married Julius (or Johan C.) Bell on March 25, 1896 in Clayton, St Louis County, Missouri. She was about 42 years old when she wrote this letter, and the children she refers to are Arthur, Leslie and Olivia. Her husband was a stationary engineer in an ice plant.
A stationary engineer was a man who operated or assisted in the operation of steam power plants, as well as refrigerating and ventilating systems and had to be familiar with all mechanical devices found in such facilities. As such this occupation was considered to be one of importance, and a good job to have, although the hours were usually 10 hours a day.
Having maintained my home in Petty Township from the time of my birth until after attaining my majority, I have always and do now think and speak of it as my home. Since finishing my school work, in 1898, I have resided at this place. My wife, a son, 15 years of age, and myself constitute our family aside from my father, H. H. Baltzell who makes his home, a part of the time, with us. My mind oft-times goes back to my school days, spent at the Leech school and later the public schools of Sumner and the four years I spent teaching in public schools of Lawrence County.
I shall ever have fond memories of my boyhood days, spent in Petty Township, and of the people, there are no better.
Charles O. Baltzell
East St. Louis, Illinois
January 14, 1915
My former home being in Lawrence I thought I would write something of my life since I left there.
I was born in Lukin Township in the vicinity of Prairie schoolhouse. I lived there for 17 years then came to St. Louis, where I worked for several different families in the capacity of house girl. I followed this six years, then was married. I have had fairly good luck so far. My husband is a stationary engineer here in the city. I have two boys and one daughter. The two boys are in their third year of high school and the girl is in her eighth grade and will graduate in June.
My former name was Olive Bass but is now Mrs. J. C. Bell. I was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Bass.
I am glad if I can help you along by contributing this small article.
I remain yours very truly,
Mrs. J. C. Bell
526 North 13th Street
Olive Bass, Doris Bell, Warren Bell, Edith Bell, Leslie Bell
January 14, 1915
As you want the non-resident subscribers to write a sketch of their lives, I will try from memory, as I have no dates.
I was born on a farm six miles south of Sumner in 1830. My maiden name was Spencer. My father's name was Thomas Spencer, and my mother's was Lanterman.
When I was five years old we moved a mile west of Sumner no town then. Lived there until 1887, and then to Sumner. Lived there until 1904, when Mr. Bell died and I went to Salem. Lived with a married daughter, Mrs. Draper. In 1907 she died, and then I came to Sedalia, Missouri, to live with my youngest daughter, Mrs. Dr. Staats, where I'm living now.
I'm a member of the Christian Church in Sumner, the only charter member living. I am 84 years and 1 month old. Have many friends in and around Sumner. Wish all of them a happy and prosperous year.
Mrs. Philo Bell
Husband of Mary Bell
Sumner Christian Church
(Mary Emmaline Spencer Bell)
Mary Emmaline Spencer Bell was born September 1830 and listed her occupation prior to her husband’s death in 1904 as milliner. Philo Bell was born in Wayne County Ohio October 15, 1824 and came to Lawrence County when 15 years of age. They were married March 22, 1849. They had had five daughters Carrie (b. abt. 1855); Hattie (b. abt. 1858); Effie M (b. abt. 1863); Emily and Clara, but only two of them were alive by 1900. By 1910 she was living with Effie, who had married Dr. Ethan Staats. Mrs. Philo Bell died July 30, 1925 and buried in the Sumner Cemetery.
Mrs. Philo Bell wrote letters for the 1916, 1917 and 1919 Editions of the Pink Letters.
(Mrs. William E. Berninger)
A Dray is a type of a horse- drawn wagon used to haul goods.
Ursula E. Morgan Berninger wrote another letter on January 7, 1917 from the same address. She stated that she “still had a warm spot in her heart for old Lawrence county. We moved to Indianapolis in 1906. My boy was just four years old, and now he is 14 and past. He will graduate in common school in three weeks. Since coming here I have learned to love old Indiana. My man can say what a lot of men can't. He has worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad ever since we lived here. It is 11 years the 14th day of February. Since living in Indianapolis the Lord has blessed us by sending us a little daughter, which brought happiness into our family.” One year later she wrote another short letter in which she says that as long as her father, mother, brother and sister-in law still live in Lawrence county she will use her (RR) card pass and visit there.
(Mrs. M. Brooks)
January 13, 1915
We first moved from Parkersburg to Lawrence County when I was but eight years of age. I lived in the county from the time I moved there until I was almost 17. We then moved to Sumner, where I lived until I was 26. When I became 26, I was married to W. E. Berninger of Lancaster. We then moved to Lancaster and lived there three months. We then came to think Lawrence County the best, after all and again moved to Sumner. My husband then bought a dray, and drayed a while, but he became dissatisfied and sold the dray. He then went north six months and worked, came back to Lawrence County and secured a position on the B. & O. Railroad with Mr. Orr. He worked a while at this and finally came to Indianapolis and found work with the Pennsylvania road, where he has been working for the past nine years. It as though railroad work is more abundant than any other.
My maiden name was Miss Ursula E. Morgan daughter of L. H. Morgan.
Mrs. William E. Berninger
427 North Dearborn Street -------------
Gallatin County, Illinois
January 26, 1915
We consider it a great pleasure and count it a great privilege to read the Press, for it is through the courtesy of some kind friend that we enjoy this great paper, for it certainly has grown to be interesting.
Our stay in Sumner though brief was a very pleasant one. No place on earth can't afford better people. The Rev. Brooks having charge of the Presbyterian Church there and one night in walking the floor (as sometimes preachers do) of the little Presbyterian manse a vision appeared to him and he heard a voice from Equality say, come over and help us, and we came and in the vision was a great multitude of unsaved people, and since our coming 160 of this multitude have confessed Christ as their Savior. Now someone may ask, did it pay for you to leave Sumner? Yes I say 1000 times yes. When we remember the value that master put on them, he says one soul is worth the whole world. And speaking of the Presbyterians did you ever go up to their little church to worship?
If you haven’t you have certainly missed a treat and if you have, you will go again, were you meet so many fine people such as G. W. McNece and wife, H A. Piper and wife, Ferd Foss and wife, John Culbertson and wife, G. R. Stout and wife, Mr. Klingler and wife, and the Thompson brothers and dear Miss Ora, that always gave us such good cheer on our way, and H. M. Wagner and Miss Stella, John McVicker and family, Mr. Legg and wife, Shelby Piper and little wife and brother Hull and good wife, Mr. and Mrs. Pickering and those dear elderly ladies, Mesdames Catherine Piper, McClure and Grow, how they did cheer and encourage us by their warm hand clasp and last, but not least, the great Sabbath school man, Dr. Dale, and many others too numerous to mention.
We are all real well, both children, Mary and Watson, are in school, have fine school here. Now about the Press, I feel the extra edition all decked out as you plan will be exceedingly fine and interesting
Success and best wishes to all and may this year be the greatest year in all the history of the dear old Press, because of His presence with you.
Mrs. M. Brooks
January 25, 1915
In complying to your request for a short letter from all who once lived in Sumner, will say, I believe there is something inspiring about your little city, for since leaving there I have been asked many times, where are you from and it always makes me feel proud to answer, from Sumner, Illinois. I just can't help it.
Well, we broke camp at Sumner on June 29, 1906, and located at St. Francisville, where we entered the grocery business and during our first year was hard to get by, but we pulled through and were doing a nice business when we sold out and moved to Vincennes, where we thought the children would have a better chance. We also bought a store and are doing a good business here.
Now about my family. It was for Edna and the babies, don't you know. I am glad to report that we still have the same number that we left Sumner with, namely: Edna Pearl, Mary Jeanette, George Hubert, Daniel Leslie and Miss Helen, and, by the way, they are some boosters for Sumner, Illinois, too.
Well, I will not take up any more space this time, except to say that I am proud I was raised in Sumner and have some very good friends there and extend an invitation to all when in Vincennes to call at our home. Just take a car at union station and tell the conductor to put you off at First and Swartzel.
George B. and Edna Burnside
5600 Drexel Avenue
January 16, 1915
Saturday morning is red letter day in our weekly calendar. Why? That is the mail on which the Press arrives. We are sure that no "Sons of Old Lawrence" can give it a more hearty welcome then that it receives here. Letters can keep one tied to the old home, but it takes a hometown paper to keep in touch with all. Certainly the Press is a wonder at doing this.
George B Burnside was born in December 1872 to Daniel G and Mary A. (nee Houts) Burnside, farmers in Christy Township. George married Edna Jackson December 25, 1892. Edna was born in March 1875. The following Children were born to this union: Edna Pearl (b. Feb. 1895); Mary J. (b. Mar. 1898); George H. (b. abt. 1901); Daniel L. (b. abt. 1904); Helen (b. abt. 1906).
Editor’s Note: George B. Burnside wrote another letter in 1916 from the same address: This finds us still on the job at our store in Vincennes. Things have been running along much the same…Of course, business has been a little puny, but I am under the impression it will be much better before the end of the year 1916. ..Our happy family of five little Burnside’s is still unbroken.”
Georges’ sister Ida Yetman wrote a letter in this chapter.
Guy Buzzard was the son of Peter and Anna (Piper) Buzzard of Christy Township, Lawrence County, Il. Guy was born on December 14, 1890. In 1910 he was still living with his parents and teaching in the county, but after graduating in 1914 from Normal State University at Normal Ill, he continued his education at University at Chicago. There he became President of the ISNU Alumni club whose purpose was to further the social life of the alumni among other things.
He also became a member of Sigma XI (a fraternal organization for research in science) His doctorate dissertation dealt with the geography of Cape Cod. He married Alice Irene Couchman on September 12, 1920, daughter of Henry Benjamin and Alice (nee Smith) Couchman from Sumner. Irene was born August 10, 1892. To this union the following children were born: John Andrew (b. Jul. 1921); Henry L. (b. abt. 1924); Robert Douglas (b. Jun. 1926); Charles E. (b. abt. 1928). In 1933 he became President of Eastern Illinois University retiring from that post in 1956. Irene died January 3, 1974 and Guy died July 13, 1979
A “normal school” is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name.
Robert Guy Buzzard
Irene Couchman Buzzard
Now, "Get Together" is a slogan of the age. So do Sumner folks when far away, and that is what we have done. In answer to your kind invitation, "Modesty" forbids us to tell about ourselves-we shall tell about each other. Now if the ladies will kindly remove their hats.
Harry Lathrop, whose father, Mr. G. S. Lathrop, lives just east of Sumner, owes in my mind a great deal to Old Lawrence. His success since he left her boundaries is conclusive proof. It was on the banks of Muddy, which flowed near the old home just north of the famed Captain Lewis farm, that she taught him the first lesson of his chosen profession-teaching. I suppose instructing the fish the danger of biting on the Sabbath. So it must have been, for the records of Lawrence County’s rural schools credit Harry with four years successful teaching. Teaching led to work in a normal school, and Harry found himself a student in the Illinois State Normal University at Normal, Illinois. After graduation in June, 1912, he was offered the principalship of the high school at Paxton, Illinois, for the next school year, and accepted. The call of his Alma Mater however, was so strong that after one year at the Paxton High he returned to normal to finish his undergraduate work-and other studies. With the class of ‘14 he received the degree of Bachelor of Education. Not only did he leave the old Normal with an enviable record as a student, but, with honors in other lines as well. Among the debating circles of the normal schools of Wisconsin, Indiana, and our own Illinois, he has a reputation as a winning debater. In literacy society work he was a leader, but his greatest achievement has been beyond a doubt the "attachments" that he formed in Normal.
At present he is doing graduate work in the Department of Geography and Economics in the University of Chicago, working for the degree of Master of science. "An authority in geographic circles on the Illinois oilfield." With, how could he help it?-We leave him.
One minute for change of reels.
Robert Guy Buzzard, commonly known as plain "Guy," finished Sumner high school in 1909. Having heard the call of the pedagog he spent three years uplifting the country boys and girls of his home county. But having seen the proverbial ladder with lots of room up higher he determined to occupy some of the hitherto unoccupied space. Therefore he landed at Normal, Illinois, if a heart full of aspirations and a head at least partially full of brains.
I, say at least partially full because there has been so much expansion since that time, room must be allowed for growth. The brains got to work and in 1913, Robert Guy received his diploma from the University High School, but the vacancy was still not filled and pursuit was immediately instituted after the elusive Normal School Diploma. In 1914 the diligent work was rewarded. The Illinois State Normal University issued a diploma of which was written dignified black letters, "Robert Guy Buzzard.“His record at Normal was commendable. Prominent in literature, dramatic and journalistic circles, his activities, culminated in the yearbook of 1914, of which he was editor.
West of Sumner on US Route 50
was the home of Robert Guy Buzzard.
The habitat of this particular kind of bird is limited to southerly climes but the city by the waters needed a specimen. Hence Guy was employed to teach in the Harvard School for boys on Drexel Boulevard, Chicago. However, at the same time he is doing work in the University of Chicago and will receive the degree of S. B. with the class of ‘16. But the story is not complete without the following chapter. O O ………………
The preceding line when properly translated gives the full story of Guy’s matrimonial endeavors for the benefit of his ‘friends’ in old Lawrence.
Thus endeth the tale of "Two Non-residents”.
And now, dear Editor, may we again express our appreciation of your newsy paper, and the part of the Press is doing to "boost" Sumner and old Lawrence.
Very truly yours,
Robert Guy Buzzard
5609 Drexel Ave
Clapham, New Mexico
January 25, 1915
We think our “Old Times Issue" a capital idea and hope to see many interesting letters from our old friends and acquaintances.
After almost 4 years residence in Sumner, we left there in May 1911, came to Union County, New Mexico, and moved at once to our claim, or homestead, of 320 acres on which we made final proof and received our patent in December 1914.
Homesteading is no joke. It's real life. And we are better off physically for having gone through with it. The children are healthy and robust and have profited by their experiences in the great new western country.
Carroll, our oldest boy is attending business college in Denver, Colorado, Leah, our oldest daughter, is in school in Clayton, New Mexico, Robert and Hazel go to our country school, while J. C. and Anna and little Carrie run the ranch, look after the cows, pigs and poultry, and enjoy western life on the prairie.
Those of you who are reading "The Prairie Wife" in the Saturday Evening Post, will get a glimpse of actual western life, or homemaking, away out on the prairie among the coyotes, Jack rabbits, range cattle, etc.
Duty call us and we came, and are glad we did. We expect to stay in the grand new state,"New Mexico." The boys have killed eagle, wildcat, coyote, learn to ride pitching broncos, and talk spanish.
We raised an enormous feed crop also corn and maize.
This section of the country, 15 years ago was considered as only a grazing country, has developed into a garden spot, and all without irrigation.
With kind regards to Sumner friends.
J. C. Caldwell and family
(James Chalmers Caldwell)
James Chalmers Caldwell was the son of David A. and Elizabeth A. (Mount) Caldwell and nephew of Indiana Governor Mount. James was born in Cumberland County, IL April 9, 1869, and opened a clothing store in Neoga IL in 1899. Selling his business there, he spent a year in the West, but in the fall of 1900 returned to Neoga, and established another store. In 1907 he went into partnership with his brother Frank R. Caldwell establishing a clothing business in Sumner. The brothers then opened a branch in Odin, Marion County Illinois On March 13, 1895 James married Anna R. Kimery, daughter of A. W. Kimery, a veteran of the Civil War. James and Mary had four children when they lived in Sumner, Carroll, Leah, Robert and Hazel.
The Lawrenceville Republican on April 6, 1911 wrote a lengthy article about the companies doing business in Sumner at that time. This is J C Caldwell 1915 writer.
Caldwell Bros. deal in the most elegant and up-to-date line of clothing, men's furnishings, ready- to-wear clothing, handsome spring ties, plain and fancy dress shirts, silk and linen handkerchiefs, collars, cuffs, gloves, fine and heavy footwear and gentlemen's haberdashery in general. They also have a fine line of spring samples, including 500 patterns in suit, fancy vest and pants goods.