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Duanna (Burgoyne) Hawkins


William B. Hawkins
Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

Duanna (Burgoyne) Hawkins -- also spelled "Duana," "Duanah" and "Duannah" -- was born on Aug. 20, 1835 in Muskingum County, OH, the daughter of James and Mary (Miner) Burgoyne.

She moved with her family to Indiana and in 1850, at the age of 15, lived on her father's farm in Center Township, Wayne County, IN.

On March 26 or 28, 1855, when she was about 19 years of age, Duanah married 24-year-old William B. Hawkins (Jan. 1, 1831-1921) in nuptials held Catlin Township, Vermilion County, IL. He was the son of Nathan and Sarah Hoover (Wright) Hawkins of Wayne County, IN.

The couple bore four daughters -- Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Patterson, Nora Church, Luella "Ella" Woods and Mary "Etta" Taylor.

Their eldest daughter is known to have been born in Richmond, Wayne County in 1856. At some point they pulled up stakes and relocated to Illinois.

After the outbreak of the Civil War, William joined the Union Army on Aug. 11, 1862. He was assigned to the 125th Illinois Infantry, Company G. With the exception of Chickamauga in September 1863, he served in all of his regiment's battles -- Mission Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Perryville and Atlanta, and took part in Sherman's famed, devastating march to the sea. 

When profiled years later in a local county history book, the entry said that "At Dallas, Ga., while on picket duty, he came near being captured, but he cunningly managed to elude the rebels. His gallant conduct in the face of the enemy, received merited commendation from his superior officers and he was promoted to the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge at Washington, DC."

Civil War's Battle of Atlanta in which William took part 


William Hawkins' profile, 1889
Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion
and Edgar Counties Illinois
, Vol. 1.

William returned home to Illinois after the war. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, of Catlin Township, Vermilion County, William was marked as a farmer. Two boarders under their roof were farm laborers Alonzo Ward (age 13) and John J. McCartha (23).

The family remained on the Catlin farm in 1880, in Section 7, Township 18, Range 12. In 1889 their farm was so well admired in the community that it was pictured in the book Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion and Edgar Counties Illinois, Vol. 1, by Chapman Brothers. The Portrait book profiled William in the space of nearly a page, and said:

He is actively engaged in tilling the soil and raising stock... as finely improved and well cultivated a farm as is to be found throughout the length and breadth of this rich agricultural region.... He of whom we write was the eldest of the family, and was bred to the life of a farmer, and habits of industry and frugality were early taught him by precept and example. He engaged in farming, tending sawmill, and in other occupations till he had obtained man's estate, and in the spring of 1860 sought the fertile prairies of Vermilion County, this State, accompanied by his wife and child, with a view of establishing a home here permanently. He has since been a valued resident of Catlin Township, with the exception of the bitter years spent on Southern battlefields, when with true patriotism he heroically gave up home and tore himself from his loved ones to aid his country in the time of her greatest trial... [For] three long and weary years [he] served faithfully and efficiently through many hard campaigns and suffered the hardships and privations of a soldier's life without a murmur... He owns 170 acres of choice, ell-tilled land, on which he has erected a fine set of buildings, including a roomy, substantially built residence, a view of which with the surrounding lawns, beautified by lovely shade trees, is an attractive addition to this volume.... Mr. Hawkins is a velued member of this community, and his loyalty to his country is as marked as in the days when he courageously took his life in his hands and marched forth to do battle for its honor and the preservation of its integrity.

In addition to the Portrait book, Duanah is named in the 1879 book History of Vermilion County, authored by H.W. Beckwith, and the 1883 book by Luther B. Hill, A History of the State of Oklahoma, Vol. 1.

They were members of the local Presbyterian Church, where, said the Portrait book, they were "zealous workers in the cause of religion, seeking to promote the moral and social elevation of this community." William voted the Republican ticket in politics.

Unlike hundreds of his wife's Miner relatives, no evidence has been found indicating that William was awarded a Civil War pension by the government.


The Hawkins farm, circa 1889
Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion and Edgar Counties Illinois, Vol. 1.


Duanah passed away at the age of 60 on Nov. 23, 1895. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. [Find-a-Grave]

William survived his wife by more than a quarter of a century. He succumbed to death at the age of 90 on April 13, 1921.


~ Daughter Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Hawkins) Patterson ~

Daughter Sarah Elizabeth " Lizzie" Hawkins (1856- ? ) was born in 1856 in Richmond, Wayne County, IN.

She would have been age six when her father went off to war in 1862. 

Lizzie entered into the rite of marriage with George W. Patterson (Sept. 19, 1849-1942).

They immediately settled on a farm in Catlin Township, Vermilion County. 

At least four offspring born to the pair were Elmer Hawkins Patterson, Zella Belle Giles, Nellie Augusta Patterson and Genevieve A. Winter. 

Lizzie died in 1927 in Illinois. Her remains sleep for all time in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery. On her grave marker is inscribed: "Born Richmond, Ind." 

The widowed George lived on for another 15 years. The angel of death cleaved him away in Catlin on Oct. 12, 1942. His grave marker is etched with "Born Alamo, Ind."

Son Elmer Hawkins "E.H." Patterson (1879-1957) was born on Jan. 11, 1879 in Catlin, IL. He tied the marital cord with Helen Lane ( ? - ? ) and later Florence ( ? - ? ). He was the father of William J. Patterson and Helen Boyd. Elmer became a trade magazine publisher and relocated to Kansas City, where they were in 1907. In time they moved to Chicago. Among the titles he produced were the Furniture Index of Jamestown, NY, Chicago Market Daily, American Furniture Mart of Chicago and the Chicago Market News. While in the Windy City, he held memberships in the Catlin lodge of the Masons as well as the Merchants Manufacturing Club, Furniture Club and Lake Shore Club. Later, the family migrated east to New York and settled in Hartfield, east of Mayville, NY. There, he belonged to the Chautauqua County Historical Society and founded the Civil War Round Table in Mayville. Death carried him away into eternity on Dec. 1, 1957. An obituary was printed in the Chicago Tribune, in which the family asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Heart Fund of Jamestown, NY. A more detailed obituary appeared in the Buffalo (NY) News. Funeral rites were held in the family home. His remains sleep in eternal repose in Bemus Point Cemetery in Ellery Center, Chautauqua County, NY. Among his survivors were nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson William J. Patterson resided in Dewittville, NY in 1957.
  • Granddaughter Helen Elizabeth Patterson (1907-1967) was born on Christmas Day 1907 in Kansas City, KS. She wed Dr. Luke Howard Boyd (Aug 19, 1908-1973), son of Harry E. and Florence (Smith) Boyd, the father a prominent funeral director in Jamestown, NY. The couple bore six children, among them John William Boyd, Joan M. Bova, Luke H. Boyd Jr., Susan Boyd, Dr. Mark P. Boyd and Matthew Boyd, the sons named for the first four books of the New Testament. During World War II, Luke joined the U.S. Navy and held the rank of lieutenant. The family was plunged into grief on Christmas Eve 1944 at the death of their 10-year-old son John following an attack of acute appendicitis. His remains were laid to rest in Bemus Point Cemetery. The Boyds' longtime home was in Bemus Point, a community along Chautauqua Lake in New York. Among many other newsworthy patients he treated over the years, Luke helped remove shrapnel from the eye of a boy caught in the explosion of a cooking gas tank in Bemus Point in July 1936. In July 1938, he helped treat a swimmer who had become paralyzed after diving into the shallow waters of Lake Chautauqua. Circa 1938, he was a Republican candidate for the office of county coroner and won the election in November, garnering 7,705 votes and ousting the incumbent Democrat. Luke also was involved with the community as a leader of the Catholic Charities Appeal and as health officer for the Town of Ellery. In her own right, Helen ran for and won an election in 1957 to the Bemus Point Central School board of directors. Helen was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and its Altar and Rosary Societies. She also held terms as president of the Chautauqua County and Jamestown Medical Auxiliaries and belonged to the Jamestown General Hospital Auxiliary, Bemus Point Study Club and Mixed Bowling League. Their final address together was 76 Lakeside Drive in Jamestown, NY. Sadly, she passed away on Jan. 24, 1967 at the age of 58 in  WCA Hospital in Jamestown. Her funeral mass was held in the family church, performed by Rev. James H. Cotter. Interment of the remains was in Bemus Point Cemetery, and the Warren (PA) Times-Morror published an obituary. Luke survived her by six years and married again to Mildred (Lindquist) Hooper (1914-1999). He died in Dec. 1973. Mildred endured as a widow for more than a quarter of a century. She was spirited away into the heavenly host on Dec. 15, 1999.

    Great-granddaughter Joan Boyd (1940-2009) was born Jan. 16, 1940 in Bemus Point, NY. She was a 1958 alumna of Bemus Point High School and then attended D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY and Jamestown Community College where she received a nursing degree. On Sept. 17, 1960, she married Peter J. Bova ( ? - ? ), son of August Bova of Warren, PA and a twin brother of Paul Bova. Their ceremony was conducted in Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church of Bemus Point. The happy event was announced in the Warren Times Mirror, with Joan's bridal portrait, saying that "The molded basque bodice of the bridal gown was delicately embroidered in a lily-of-the-valley motif, with petal neckline and brief scalloped sleeves. Matching mitts and sides of the voluminous skirt were accented with the same tracer, while garlands of the embroidery outlined the princess front panel. A full gathered flounce formed the sweeping chapel train." Peter was a graduate of Warren High School, attended Edinboro State College and was self-employed at the time of marriage. Their first home was at 516 Fourth Avene, Warren. Five offspring born in this family were Casey Casel, Kerry Buchanan, Peter J. Bova Jr., Jane Highouse and Elizabeth Lasecki. They remained in Warren for the balance of their lives. For 27 years, until retirement in 2002, Joan was employed with Warren State Hospital as a psychiatric nurse. Said an obituary, "She was a member of St. Joseph R.C. Church, Warren Senior Center and was a volunteer with the Warren Public Library Association. She was known for her love of her family and her commitment of making her children the center of her life." Sadly, at the age of 69, Joan died in Hamot Medical Center in Erie, PA on Feb. 2, 2009. Interment of the remains was in St. Joseph Cemetery near Warren. Of their five children, Casey tied the knot with Jess Casel and they have lived in Jamestown, NY -- Kerry entered into marriage with Rich Buchanan and put down roots in Warren -- Peter J. Bova Jr. also settled in Warren -- Jane wed James Highhouse and has dwelled in Warren -- and Elizabeth married Kevin Lasecki and moved to Russell, PA. 

    Great-grandson Luke H. Boyd Jr. (1933-2015) was born in 1933 in Washington, DC. He spent his youth in Bemus Point, NY and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. He then received a master's of business administration from the Buffalo campus of the State University of New York. He and his grade school classmate Patricia ( ? - ? ) were united in matrimony. Together, they produced a family of six -- Matthew Boyd, Hilary Boyd, Alison Garritt, John Boyd, Luke Howard Boyd III and Mark Boyd. Luke became employed with Marlin Rockwell in Jamestown, NY and Morse Chain in Ithaca, NY followed by a move to Denver, CO. He received a law degree at the University of Denver. In 1980, they relocated to Winchester, VA when he was named vice president at Abex Corporation, a manufacturer of railroad brake shoes, blocks, linings and other friction products containing asbestos. From there he joined the Winchester Public Defender Office, continuing until retirement. Said an obituary, "While living in Colorado, Luke spent many weekends mountain climbing or cross country skiing with his family. After moving to Winchester, he enjoyed golfing with his wife. He was always very interested in military history and spent his free time studying the American Civil War and visiting the local battlefields." He certainly would have had plenty of local battle sites to study as the town of Winchester is known to have changed sides more than 70 times during the war and was where one of the direct ancestors of the founder of this website died of battle wounds in June 1863. Grief cascaded over the family when Luke passed away at the age of 82 on Christmas Eve 2015 in Winchester Medical Center. Of their six children, Matthew Boyd was deceased by 2015 -- Hilary Boyd resided in Richmond, VA -- Alison wed Richard Garritt and moved to Jersey City, NJ -- John Boyd has remained in Winchester -- Luke Howard Boyd, III married Banu and relocated to Richmond -- and Mark Boyd tied the knot with Sally and settled in nearby Middleburg, VA.

    Great-granddaughter Susan Boyd dwelled in Bradford, PA in 1967. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Bruce Klussman. At some point they migrated to Naples, FL and were there in 2009-2015. 

    Great-grandson Dr. Mark P. Boyd (1936-2008) was born on Aug. 21, 1936 in Jamestown,, NY. He grew up on Bemus Point and was a 1954 graduate of Jamestown High School. He was a 1958 graduate of Niagara University, receiving a bachelor of science in natural sciences. Also in 1958, he married high school classmate Mary Alice Sheridan ( ? - ? ). Their trio of sons were Patrick S. Boyd, Michael W. Boyd and Mathew S. Boyd. The pair relocated to Washington, DC, where Mark went on to earn a doctor of dentistry degree from Georgetown University. In the early years of the Vietnam War, he joined the U.S. Air Force, trained as a medical service officer at Georgetown Dental School, providing care to the very first group of Peace Corps volunteers. From there he was sent to Gunter and Maxwell Air Force Bases in Alabama and then assigned to the 811th Medical Group at Loring Air Force Base in Maine. When he left active duty in 1964, the couple established a permanent home in Maine in the town of Orono. Over the years his offices were on Main Street, 118 Forest Avenue and 15 Forest Avenue until closure in 2002. Among Mark's community and professional involvements were the Orono-Old Town Kiwanis Club, as vice president of the Hermon Skeet Club, founder of the Orono Dental Clinic, co-founder of the Orono Health Association and member of the Penobscot Dental Society. In retirement, he continued to provide community dental services through Downeast Health and the Maine Coast Dental Clinic in Ellsworth. The Bangor Daily News said that Mark was "light of heart and always quick to joke. In his personal life he enjoyed spending time with his family, which includes a long, and somewhat dubious, list of dogs. Some activities he enjoyed include hunting, canoeing, sailing, skiing, sporting clays and skeet shooting." He passed away following a short illness at the age of 71 on March 19, 2008. His funeral rites were conducted by Rev. Dana Douglas in the Dedham Congregational Church. Of their three sons, Patrick married Susan and settled in Washburn, ME -- Michael wed Kellie and put down roots in Dedham, ME -- and Mathew was joined in wedlock with Christina and relocated to Custer, WA.

    Great-grandson Matthew C. Boyd (1944- ? ) was born in 1944 in a hospital in Jamestown, NY. He was a 1962 graduate of Bemus Point Central High School and served as class secretary. He is believed to have been an undergraduate at John Carroll University in 1964 and a student at Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio in 1967. He tied the marital cord with Helen ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Arizona and in 2008-2009 were in Phoenix.

Daughter Zella Belle Patterson (1883-1913) was born on Aug. 12, 1883 in Illinois. Circa 1903, at the age of about 20, she married Robert L. Giles (1880- ? ). One son of the couple was Omer E. Giles. The pair moved to Kansas City, MO as shown in the 1910 federal census enumeration, with Robert earning a living as a retail store clerk. Zella's unmarried sister Nellie lived under their roof that year. By 1913, they relocated to Michigan and were in Imlay, Lapeer County, MI. Tragically, at the age of just 29, and stricken with acute rheumatism and heart disease, she died on May 15, 1913. The body was transported back to her home state for burial in the sacred soil of Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. The widowed Robert returned to Illinois and wed again to Matilda ( ? - ? ). The second marriage resulted in at least two more sons, Dwight Giles and Verne Giles. As of 1920, they made their dwelling-place west of Hickory Corner in Newell, Vermilion County, with him laboring as a farmer.

  • Grandson Omer E. Giles (1909-1983) was born on Oct. 8, 1908 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County. His earliest years were spent in Kansas City, MO and Imlay, MI. He was about four years of age when his mother died and still a young boy when Matilda became his stepmother. He grew up in Newell, Vermilion County, IL. On Dec. 19, 1931, Omer was joined in matrimony with Rosalea Ruth Morgan (Nov. 29, 1906-1980), a native of South Danville, Vermilion County. The three known children they produced together were Omer Giles, Zella L. Huck/Hauk and Donna M. Schell. Grief descended upon the family at the death of young son Omer in 1938. In young manhood, Omer toiled in Danville-area coal mines and then for a decade on the Wabash Railroad. Their home in 1940 was at 210 West Third Street in Tilton, Vermilion County, with him employed by the Wabash. He stood 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs. when required to register for the military draft during World War II. In June 1942, the family pulled up stakes and moved to the West Coast, settling in Contra Costa, CA, where he found work as a welder in the Richmond shipyards and then as a construction welder at a Shell Oil refinery in Pittsburg. At the birth of their daughter in 1942, their address was 463 29th Street in Oakland. Later he joined the workforce of Fluor Corporation on a contract at Union Oil Company in Oleum. Omer and Rosalea were pictured in the Martinez News-Gazette in 1956 when celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Apparently self-employed in 1959, he placed advertising in the News-Gazette, promising that "Give me a break: I'll fix it" and specializing in ornamental wright iron railings, boat and horse trailers and arc-gas welding. Their final move was in about 1973 to near Oroville, CA, making a dwelling in Concow along the banks of Kirby Creek. Sadly, Rosalea died in a hospital in Paradise, CA on Jan. 25, 1980. Her funeral rites were held in the First Christian Church of Paradise, by the hand of Rev. Daniel Immel, with an obituary appearing in the Chico Enterprise-Record. Burial was in Memory Garden of Concord, CA. Omer survived for a little more than three years and wed again to Ada ( ? - ? ). He died on March 18, 1983 in Feather River Hospital. His obituary in the Paradise Post  noted that he "worked as a railroad welder 40 years. He moved to the ridge 13 years ago from Martinez." Rev. Edward Pollard conducted funeral rites.

    Great-granddaughter Zella Frances Giles (1941- ? ) was born in about 1941 in Illinois. She was very young when moving with her family to California and reached adulthood in Martinez, CA. On Nov. 3, 1956, during her senior year at Alhambra High School, she first wed John Thomas Moore ( ? - ? ), son of W.H. Moore of Caryville, CA. The wedding ritual was held in the First Baptist Church, and the pair was pictured in the Martinez News-Gazette, cutting their cake. John was a graduate of a high school in Caryville and, at the time of marriage, was stationed in Los Angeles with the U.S. Navy. Later, she was joined in wedlock with (?) Huck/Hauk and in 1980-1983 made her home in Oroville, CA.

    Great-granddaughter Donna Marie Giles (1942- ? ) was born in Nov. 1942 in California. A record of her birth was made in the roll of infant church members of Stege Presbyterian Church of Richmond, CA, and the news printed in the Oakland Tribune. On June 23, 1962, she entered into marriage with her first husband, Darrell Ray Shubert ( ? - ? ), son of Clara Shubert of Missouri Street, Martinez, CA. The nuptials were conducted in the local First Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. John Browning. In announcing the happy event, the Martinez News-Gazette said the bride "chose a white nylon gown. Her illusion net veil fell from a white braided headpiece. She carried a bouquet of white carnations centered with an orchid corsage." She married (?) Schell and in 1980 was living in Cassville, MO.

Daughter Nell Augusta Patterson (1888-1981) was born on Aug. 27, 1888 in Illinois. Over the span of her 92 years of life, she does not appear to have married. In 1910, United States Census records show her at age 22 residing with her married sister Zella Giles in Kansas City, MO and earning a living as a telephone operator. Circa 1950, she dwelled with her widowed brother Elmer in Chautauqua, NY. She is known to have been back in Danville, IL when named in the brother's 1957 Buffalo News obituary. She succumbed to the spectre of death in Vermilion County on Jan. 10, 1981. Burial was in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

Vermilion Street in downtown Danville, IL 

Daughter Genevieve A. Patterson (1897-1927) was born in 1897 in Fairmount, Vermilion County, IL. She wed Franklin Dean Winter (May 15, 1891-1951), son of William G. and Elizabeth A. (Williamson) Winter of Watseka, IL. The pair's two known children were Mary Elizabeth Engle, William George Winter and Howard Ernest Winter. As of 1920, when the U.S. Census was taken, the Winters made their home in Chautauqua, NY, where Genevieve's older brother had relocated, and with Franklin earning income as a farm manager. They mourned at the death of son William at about age two on June 19, 1920. The remained in Chautauqua in 1925 with Franklin continuing to labor as a farmer. By 1927, they returned to their native Illinois, with Franklin now working as an electrician, and lived at 102 West Third in Danville. Death again made a claim  on the family when Genevieve passed at the age of about 30 in Danville on Oct. 21, 1927. The remains were lowered under the sod of Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. Now widowed, Franklin and the two children settled in Tilton, Vermilion County, where he was employed in 1930 as an armature winder in car barns, helping to diagnose and repair broken electric motors. Franklin tied the knot a second time during the early 1930s with Winifred "Winnie" Vail Morris ( ? - ? ), daughter of Mary M. Bridwell. Circa 1940, their home was in Tilton, with him now engaged in electrican work in a local coal mine. Having contracted emphysema and bronchial asthma, they relocated in 1947 to Texas and settled in the town of Anthony in El Paso County. Franklin passed into the realm of the heavenly host at the age of 60 on June 26, 1951. The body was transported back to Catlin to sleep for the ages.

  • Granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Winter (1916-1994) was born on Sept. 2, 1916 in Illinois. Her young years were spent in Chautauqua, NY. Mary wed Danville native and widower Fred Charles Engle (Oct. 10, 1907-1986). He previously had been married to Annanelle Harvey (1908-1943) and circa 1940 had worked for D&D Food Market and in 1950 as a school custodian, both in Danville. Fred was cleaved away by the angel of death at age 79 on Oct. 26, 1986. Mary outlived him by eight years. She died at age 78 in Danville on Dec. 15, 1994. Her remains sleep in eternal lrepose in Danville's Spring Hill Cemetery.
  • Grandson Howard Ernest Winter (1921-2000) was born on April 8, 1921 in Danville, IL. His earliest years were lived in Chautauqua, NY but then returned to Danville at five or six years of age. As of 1935, he  and his sister and their widowed father lived together in Tilton, Vermilion County, IL.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, serving from Oct. 13, 1942 to Nov. 2, 1945, and attaining the rank of corporal. Howard is known to have been united in matrimony with Rita Ann Dempsey (1925-2003). They became the parents of two -- Paula Ann Woodyard and Steven Winter. They planted themselves in Danville. Sadly, Howard died on May 7, 2000. Burial was held in the Danville National Cemetery.  Rita outlived her spouse by three-and-a-half years. She passed away at age 78 on Oct. 18, 2003. 

    Great-granddaughter Paula Ann Winter (1953-2015) was born on Aug. 15, 1953 in Danville. She was wed to (?) Woodyard ( ? - ? ) and the mother of Amy DeVillez. She also was the stepmother of three. Paula in the 2010s lived in Chrisman, IL. Said an obituary, "She enjoyed planting flowers, working in her garden, reading her bible, and baking." Sadly, she died at the age of 62 in Paris (IL) Healthcare Center on Nov. 15, 2015. Burial was in Friends Chapel Cemetery near Scottland, IL. The family made a request that any memorial contributions be made to Faith in Action or D.O. it! Edgar County Cancer Support Group. Daughter Amy bore a son, Xavier DeVillez.

    Great-grandson Steven Winter has dwelled in Tilton, IL.


~ Daughter Nora Belle (Hawkins) Church ~

Daughter Nora Belle Hawkins (1867-1925) was born on Jan. 20, 1867 in Catlin Township, southwest of Danville, Vermilion County, IL.

On March 18, 1886, when she was 19 years of age, she wed Thomas A. Church (June 1860-1911), also originally from Illinois, and the son of Adolphus and Fannie Church, immigrants from England.

They produced a brood of at least 10 children -- Ross H. Church, Ralph A. Church, Ray W. Church, Clyde W. Church, James Merle Church, Lowell T. Church, Willard Church, Fannie B. Church, Edith Belle Puzey and Alfred Vivan Church.

Danville, IL, county seat near the Church farm 

Circa 1900 and 1910, federal census enumeration records show the family making their home on a farm in Catlin Township. Son Ross, age 22, helped with farmwork in 1910,

Sadly, at the age of about 50, Thomas died in 1911.

Nora Belle outlived her husband by 14 years. Census records for 1920 show her heading a farming household containing eight children ranging in age from 12 to 29.

On Oct. 5, 1925, Nora Belle passed away in Danville. Her remains were interred in the family plot at Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. Inscribed at the base of their upright grave marker is the prayer "Thy will be done."

Son Ross H. Church (1887-1963) was born on Feb. 2, 1887 in Catlin Township. A bachelor at the age of 22, in 1910, he helped his father with work on the family farm in Catlin Township, southwest of Danville, Vermilion County, IL. In time, at age 29, he entered into marriage with 23-year-old Maude May Valentine (1892-1978). Known children of the pair were Dorothy Elnora Church, Hilda Marie Church and an infant daughter who died in 1925. When the federal census enumerations were made in 1920 through 1950, the Churches were farmers in Catlin Township, with Fairmount as their postal address. Ross was required to register for the military draft in World War II and stated that he was self-employed. Sadness blanketed the family when Ross died on Feb. 26, 1963. Maude outlived him by 15 years. She passed away on April 27, 1978. Their remains repose in holy sleep in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy Elnora Church (1918-2007) was born on Jan. 4, 1918 in  Danville. In 1940, when she was 22 years of age, she was employed as a public school teacher in Catlin Township. She continued to teach into 1950 at a local primary school. Dorothy was twice wed. Her first spouse was Elmer Varner (Sept. 12, 1902-1976), a native of Olney, IL. One daughter of the pair was Joni Varner. They belonged to the Christian Science Church of Danville, IL. Sadly, he died in Danville at age 73 on April 2, 1976. Dorothy later married Hungarian immigrant and widower John O. Miko (1901-1984), whose first wife Carrie Adele (Boyier) had died in 1963. John passed away on Sept. 23, 1984. She died in Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville on Sept. 19, 2007. Burial was in Davis Cemetery in Fairmount, with Robert Mello leading the memorial service.

    Great-granddaughter Joni Varner wed (?) Munford and is the mother of Tony Munford and Kacey Munford. As of 2007, having taken back her maiden name, she made her residence in Fayetteville, AR. 

  • Granddaughter Hilda Marie Church (1922-2015) was born on July 15, 1922. She appears to have never married. Said the Illinois Commercial News, "Hilda worked on the family farm and at the Card Cottage in Danville for 12 years. She was a member of Catlin United Methodist Church." Her homeplace in 2007 was in Danville, IL, and at the end she resided in the Hawthorne Inn of Danville. Hilda died in Danville on May 1, 2015. The remains were lowered under the sod of Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin.

Son Ralph A. Church (1890-1964) was born on April 24, 1890 in Illinois. He joined the U.S. Coast Artillery Corps on April 3, 1918 during World War I and was assigned to Battery E of the 68th Artillery. He was deployed to Europe in August 1918, aboard the ship Leicestershire, sailing from Boston. After the close of the war, upon his discharge on March 6, 1919, he returned home and continued to help his father with farm labor. The angel of death swept Ralph away at the age of 73, in Vermilion County, on Jan. 24, 1964. Interment of the remains was in Oakridge Cemetery.

Son Ray W. Church (1892-1956) was born on April 23, 1892 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County, IL. Circa 1910, he boarded in the home of his aunt and uncle, Marietta and Gail Taylor, and assisted them with farmwork. At the age of 21, in 1913, he tied the knot with Nancy J. Setser (April 24, 1894-1977), of Kentucky birth and the daughter of W.F. and Gurney (Robison) Setser. They appear to have stayed put in their home county over the years and to have earned their income by farming in Carroll Township, Vermilion County. Two known offspring of this union were Willard Church and Frances Katavich. Ray died at the age of 64 in Nov. 1956. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Danville. Nancy survived as a widow for another 21 years. She passed away at age 82 on Feb. 6, 1977.

  • Grandson Willard H. Church (1914- ? ) was born on April 10, 1914 in Fairmount near Catlin Township, Vermilion County. At the age of 23, on Sept. 22, 1937, he tied the knot in Covington, IN with Dorothy Lane ( ? - ? ). A stepson of this family was Erwin Krabbe. The Churches lived under the roof of his parents in Carroll Township in 1940, with Willard employed as a road laborer by the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment during the Great Depression. It is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings. By 1950, now in Danville, Willard workd as a clerk in a retail grocery and Dorothy as a nurse's aide in a local hospital. He became manager of Eisner Food Store in Danville and continued there until retirement in 1974. He held a membership in the First Baptist Church of Danville and liked to play bingo and follow the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. On Jan. 25, 1972, Willard again entered into marriage with Anita Kyle ( ? - ? ), with their vows exchanged in Danville. She brought five stepchildren into that union -- Carol Fisher, Karen Foster, Shirley Kyle, Jerry Kyle and Donald Kyle. With his health in decline, Willard was admitted to Bloomington (IL) Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 73 on Oct. 15, 1987. An obituary was published in the Bloomington Pantagraph. The remains were cremated.
  • Granddaughter Frances Marie Church (1923-1977) was born on Nov. 23, 1923. Her first husband was (?) Katavich ( ? - ? ). Their only son was Joseph Katavich. The marriage dissolved in divorce, with Frances and her son moving back into her parents' household. Frances supported herself circa 1950 as a nurse's aide at City Hospital. In 1952, she wed again to World War II veteran Hubert Tatar (1919-2006), son of Anton and Anna (Wrobel) Tatar. He is believed to have brought stepchildren Joseph Tatar and Cheryl Tatar into the second family. Frances died in Urbana, IL at the age of 53 on Nov. 2, 1977. Her remains sleep for the ages in Danville's Greenwood Cemetery. Hubert lived for another nearly three decades. Death enveloped him in Urbana at the age of 87 on Aug. 4, 2006.
  • Great-grandson Joseph Katavich (1945- ? ) was born in about 1945. He may be the same man living in Danville whose daughter Sheryl Lynn Crippin married James Joburn Leonard in Durham, NC on May 11, 1991, as reported in the Raleigh News and Observer

Son Clyde W. Church (1893-1953) was born on Aug. 23, 1893. When he was 26 years of age in 1920, a bachelor, he lived and worked on his parents' home farm. At age 59, he died on June 21, 1953 and sleeps under a single stone in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin Township.

Son James Merle Church (1894-1961) was born on June 2, 1894. Still single in 1900, the 24-year-old James resided and labored on the home farm in Catlin Township. He is known to have joined the U.S. Army during World War II with assignment to the 1st Battery of the U.S. Field Artillery. He died at the age of 66, in Vermilion County, on Aug. 7, 1961. Burial was in the sacred soil of Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

Son Lowell T. Church (1897-1973) was born on March 25, 1897. He died at the age of 76 on April 22, 1973. His remains were laid to rest in Oakridge Cemetery, Catlin Township.  

Son Willard S. Church (1898-1958) was born on Dec. 29, 1898 or 1899. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, he disclosed that he dwelled in rural Fairmount, IL, that he earned a living as a farmer and that his mother was his nearest relative. Death carried him away at the age of 58 on Feb. 2, 1958. He sleeps under a single stone in Oakridge Cemetery.

Daughter Fannie B. Church (1903-1970) was born on Feb. 12, 1903. There is no evidence that she married or reproduced. Fannie passed into eternity at the age of 67 on Nov. 5, 1970. Interment was in Oakridge Cemetery.

Daughter Edith Belle Church (1905-1965) was born on Sept. 8, 1905 in Vermilion County. In 1930, at about 24 years of age, she married Richard W. Puzey (1906-1985). Together, they produced a trio of sons -- Thomas Richard Puzey, Richard A. "Dickie" Puzey and William "Lee" Puzey. They endured the heartache of the death of two-day-old son Thomas on Jan. 8, 1935. Edith died four days after Christmas 1965, with burial in Oakridge Cemetery. The widowed Richard lived for another two decades. He passed away three days after Christmas 1985, at the age of 79.

  • Grandson Richard A. "Dickie" Puzey (1936-2015) was born on Valentine's Day 1936 in Danville. He drove a truck for more than 50 years and was a part-time farmer. He also belonged to the Fairview United Methodist Church, Danville Consistory, Catlin lodge of the Masons and the Ansar Shrine. If he married, he does not seem to have reproduced. Richard's final home was in Westville, IL. Sadly, he died in Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville on Feb. 10, 2015, just four days shy of his 79th birthday. An obituary appeared in the Champaign (IL) News-Gazette.
  • Grandson William "Lee" Puzey (1940-1991) was born on Nov. 19, 1940 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County. Evidence suggests that he was a farmer and the father of Tara Puzey and Lynn "Pat" Suppan. On Dec. 22, 1981, he wed Georgette James (1944- ? ). Their union held firm for nine-plus years until his death at the age of 50 on March 19, 1991. His remains sleep for eternity in Oakridge Cemetery. 

Son Alfred Vivan Church (1907-1999) was born on June 14, 1907. He was joined in wedlock with Ruth M. Witherspoon (April 27, 1921-1996), also a native of Vermilion County. It's not known whether the pair reproduced. Sadly, Ruth passed away on Feb. 20, 1996. He died in Danville at the age of 91 on April 9, 1999.


~ Daughter Luella "Ella" (Hawkins) Woods ~

Daughter Luella "Ella" Hawkins (1869-1940) was born on Jan. 12, 1869.

She was joined in holy marital union with Arthur E. Woods (1857-1935).

Four known children borne of this family were Walter Hawkins Woods, Bessie Luella Duncan, Wayne Arthur Woods and Ruth Duannah Cord.   

The family home in the 1910s was in Greentown, IN. 

Sadly, Arthur passed into eternity on Nov. 2, 1935, at the age of 78.

Luella outlived him by five years. At the age of 71, she died on Oct. 9, 1940. Burial was in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Danville, IL 

Son Walter Hawkins Woods (1894-1972) was born on June 8, 1894 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County, IL. During World War I, he joined the U.S. Army. He was married and the father of an only known son, Russell Walter Woods. They made their residence in 1970 in Fairmount, Vermilion County. Death enveloped him on Jan. 6, 1972 or 1973. The remains were lowered into honored rest in Pate Cemetery in Catlin.

  • Grandson Russell Walter Woods (1922-1995) was born on June 16, 1922 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County, IL. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and attained the rank of staff sergeant. He was wounded during the conflict and awarded a Purple Heart. On March 9, 1946, in nuptials held at Danville, Russell was united in matrimony with Lydia M. Thomas (1927-2015), daughter of William Edward and Elizabeth (Smoot) Thomas. Their five known children were Robert E. Woods, Ronald D. Woods, Judy Meeker, Sandy Cosat and Janet Bray. Said the Champaign (IL) News-Gazette, "Lydia had been a telephone operator and bookkeeper for Woods Electric. Lydia had been the secretary for Women in Construction Chapter 118 for several years. She was a member of the Catlin Church of Christ and Dorcas Sunday school Class and volunteered at Vermilion Manor Nursing Home." Death carried Russell away at the age of 73, in Catlin, on Oct. 13, 1995. Lydia lived for another two decades. She surrendered to the angel of death in Danville's North Logan Health Care on July 10, 2015.

    Great-grandson Robert E. Woods (1946-2024) was born on Nov. 22, 1946 in Danville. On Oct. 7, 1967, at the age of 20, he was united in wedlock with Linda O'Neil ( ? - ? ). Three sons born to the couple were Todd Woods, Craig Woods and Jason Woods. Robert served in the National Guard during the Vietnam War from Nov. 1965 to Dec. 1971. He was employed for 27 years by Local 538 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and then self-employed as a contractor for 17 years under the name "Woods Electric." Said an obituary, "He was clever and full to the brim with an immense amount of knowledge. You could ask Bob anything and he would have an answer or story for you. He gained this knowledge through all of life experiences: electrician, fisherman, hunter, and 3-D shooting. He had a servantís heart and would help whenever he could. Whether redoing his own house or helping with his sonís homes, there wasnít much that Bob couldnít do." In later life he and Linda gave of their time cleaning the Holy Family Church and riding together in a motorcycle club. Grief swept over the family when, at age 77, Robert died in Danville's Accolade Healthcare on April 24, 2024. The headcount of his survivors included 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Funeral rites were led by Mike Strunga at the Catlin Church of Christ, with interment following in Pate Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Ronald D. Woods (1952-2020) was born on June 19, 1952 in Danville. His is known to have been the father of Kevin Woods, Ronald Woods, Cheri Coffin, Amanda Woods and Jessica Woods. At the age of 47, on Sept. 17, 1999, he was joined in matrimony with Sandra Kay Schoolcraft ( ? - ? ). She is believed to have been married before and to have brought a trio of stepchildren into the second family, Jennifer Shuman, Nikki Schoolcraft and Chad Schoolcraft. Said an obituary, Ronald "served in the US Army. He was a plumber for 38 years. He was a member of the Catlin American Legion, Moose Lodge, and the Fairmount Conservation Club [and] enjoyed fishing, woodworking, NASCAR, and tinkering with old tractors." Over the years he endured the heartbreaking losses of daughters Amanda (age 1 day on Jan. 26, 1978) and Jessica (age 1 day on July 25, 1980) and stepchildren Nikki (age 3 on April 6, 1972) and Chad (age 28 on June 23, 2000). He succumbed to the spectre of death at age 68, in Fairmount, on Sept. 16, 2020. Pastor Patti Wise presided over the funeral rites. His remains sleep for the ages in Catlin's Pate Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Judy Woods married Michael Meeker. Sadly, she was deceased by 2024.

    Great-granddaughter Sandy Woods wed Clifford Cosat. 

    Great-granddaughter Janet Woods entered into marriage with Richard Bray.

Daughter Bessie Luella Woods (1896-1970) was born on July 24, 1896 in Greentown, Howard County, IN. She wed Paul Miller Duncan (1894-1977). The couple spent their entire lives together in Greentown with an address in 1970 of 219 East Grant Street. The only son of this union was Gerald Vern Duncan. They are known to have belonged to the Congregational Christian Church in town. For years, Bessie suffered with hypertension and coronary heart disease. After suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, she passed away in St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Kokomo, IN at the age of 73 on April 5, 1970. Jointly officiating her funeral were Rev. Chester Mitchell and Rev. Chester Perkins. Her remains were laid to rest in the local Greenlawn Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Kokomo Tribune. Her survivors included three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Paul survived in widowerhood for another seven years. He died at the age of 83 on Sept. 8, 1977.

  • Grandson Gerald Vern Duncan (1917-2000) was born on Jan. 20, 1917 in Greentown, Howard County, IN. He appears to have been twice-wed. In 1940, he first tied the marital cord with Clarabelle Baker (1921-1973). Sadly, Clarabelle died in 1973. Gerald's second bride was Alice Marie Fivecoat (March 9, 1918-2001). She brought at least one stepchild into the marriage, Lewis E. Moloch Jr.  Their address was the family home at 219 East Grant Street in Greentown. At the age of 83, on May 31, 2000, he died in Kokomo. His remains are asleep in Greentown's Greenlawn Cemetery. Alice lived for another year in Kokomo and, burdened with probable lung cancer and congestive heart failure, passed away on March 10, 2001.

Son Wayne Arthur Woods (1901-1954) was born on Sept. 23, 1901. He entered into marriage with Freeda ( ? -1986). One known daughter of the pair was Priscilla Ottino. They made a home in Danville, IL where he belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Catlin and the local lodge of the Masons. In 1946, the family relocated to New Mexico, where he was employed as an administrative assistant with the Atomic Energy Commission. Their home address in the mid-1950s was 1100 Jefferson Street Southeast. On the fateful day of Sept. 24, 1954, having traveled to Chama to buy supplies for their cabin at El Vado, he was stricken and died in Bernalillo, Sandoval County, NM. Interment was in Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque. Freeda outlived Wayne by 32 years and remained in Albuquerque. She died in a local hospital at the age of 81 on Oct. 9, 1986. An obituary appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. Her remains were cremated, and a memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church.

  • Granddaughter Priscilla Woods ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On Sept. 21, 1946, she tied the knot with James Elmer Ottino Jr. (1924-2017), a native of Portsmouth, OH. The couple exchanged their vows in the First Presbyterian Church of New Carlisle, OH. Together they bore three known children, Terri Sue Clifford, Cherri Lynn Taylor and James Wayne Ottino. James was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and also served during the Korean War, stationed at the Naval Hospital in Mare Island, Vallejo, CA. Later, they relocated to Albuquerque, NM, at the address as of 1970 of 1100 California Northeast. There, James worked for Mountain Bell and retired in 1976. He was active in the Temple 6 Lodge and Order of Eastern Star, and liked to golf. Priscilla was a civilian employee at the Kirtland (NM) Air Force Base in 1965. The marriage dissolved and a divorce was granted in Albuquerque in May 1973. As of 1977-1980, she dwelled on Calle Olas Altos NE in Albuquerque. James married again to Mary Lou ( ? - ? ) and were together for 42 years, remaining in Albuquerque. He died at the age of 92 on Jan. 6, 2017, with his cremains placed into rest at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Terri Sue Ottino ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She and Robert Douglas Clifford ( ? - ? ) entered into marriage on Nov. 21, 1970, in the First United Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque, by the hand of Rev. Dr. Carlton C. Allen. Terri Sue was pictured in an announcement in the Albuquerque Journal, saying that the bride "wore a gown of imported silk faille fashioned with an empire waistline, batteau neckline and chapel length train, trimmed with heavy Venice lace. Her full length veil was held in place by a pearl Camelot headpiece." Robert was the son of Joseph Clifford of Flint, MI. The newlyweds made their first home in Midwest City, OK. Terri married again by 1977 to Billy Cappelle ( ? - ? ) and in 1986 made her homeplace in El Paso, TX. Their one known daughter was Jennifer Cappelle. 

    Great-granddaughter Cherri Lynn Ottino (1952-1994) was born in 1952 in Vallejo, CA. She was an alumna of the New Mexico College of Pharmacy and in 1977 was employed by Campbell Drug Company as a  pharmacist. On Aug. 6, 1977, she married Jack William Taylor ( ? - ? ), son of Jack I. Taylor of Albuquerque. Their nuptials were conducted by Rev. Dr. David Poling in the First United Presbyterian Church. At the time, Jack worked for Kaman Bearing and Supply. The pair did not reproduce. Later in 1977, she joined the workforce of Parkhurst Pharmacy at Grants, NM. The Taylors were in Rio Rancho, NM as of 1986. Cherri was a Grand Bethel Honored Queen in New Mexico and Honored Queen of Bethel No. 2 of the International Order of Job's Daughters. She also served a term as president of the Kappa Epsilon Pharmacy at her alma mater. Grief blanketed the family when, after a lengthy illness, Cherri died at the age of 42 on June 3, 1994. The Albuquerque Journal printed an obituary. Her remains were cremated.

    Great-grandson James Wayne Ottino ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On June 7, 1980, he tied the marital cord with Nancy Diana Dougherty ( ? - ? ), of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and the daughter of William Dougherty. Their wedding was held in the United Church of Stoney Creek, Ontario. They planted themselves in Albuquerque. As of 1987, he served as assistant vice president/assistant branch manager of the North Fourth Street branch of First National Bank of Albuquerque. He wed a second time in 1984 to Dana D. Jeter ( ? - ? ), with their union ending in divorce in 1990. By 1994, he had married again to JoLou Trujillo ( ? - ? ).

Daughter Ruth Duannah Woods (1912-2002) was born on March 29, 1912 and was named in part for her grandmother. She married Clarence Clifford Cord (Oct. 6, 1909-1998), a native of Yeddo, Fountain County, IN and the son of Sterling Henry and Sarah Jane (Foster) Cord. They put down roots in Catlin, IL and stayed for good. There is no evidence to suggest that the couple reproduced. Clarence was required to register for the military draft during World War II and disclosed that he was employed by Noble Motor Company in nearby Danville. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1950, the pair were in Catlin, with Clarence continuing to work as an automobile mechanic in a local garage. The family grieved when he died at the age of 88 on Sept. 30, 1998. Ruth lived on for another three-and-a-half years. She passed into the realm of eternity on March 7, 2002. Burial was in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin. 


~ Daughter Marietta "Etta" (Hawkins) Taylor ~

Daughter Marietta "Etta" Hawkins (1871-1940) was born on June 28, 1871 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County.

Circa 1894, she was united in wedlock with Gail Hamilton Taylor (May 15, 1871-1947), son of Thomas Alfred and Mary B. (Acree) Taylor.

They were the parents of Hester L. Rouse, Russell H. Taylor, Thomas A. Taylor, Mary Etta Elgin, Margaret D. McGee and Elizabeth I. Van Allen.

Humorous greeting card from Catlin

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Taylors dwelled in Catlin Township.  At that time, Gail labored as a farmer, assisted by 27-year-old boarder John W. Ogle.

The family was plunged into grief at the death of son Thomas at just under 14 months of age on Feb. 17, 1901. His tender remains were placed into repose in Oakridge Cemetery.  

Gail continued to farm as of 1910, with 17-year-old nephew Ray W. Church living in their home and helping with farmwork. In 1920, census records show Gail as a farmer with his son Russell as a farm laborer.

Marietta died at the age of 69 on July 10, 1940, bringing to a close their union of 46 years' duration.

Gail lived for another seven years and joined his wife in death on April 14, 1947. They rest together in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin.

Daughter Hester Leone Taylor (1895-1959) was born on July 21, 1895 in Vermilion County. She was single at the age of 24 in 1920. Hester married George Clinton Rouse (Oct. 16, 1895-1971). He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army's quartermaster corps during World War I. One known daughter of the pair was Jeannette Hart. Sadly, she passed away at age 64, in Kankakee, IL, on July 26, 1959. She sleeps in the sacred soil of Oakridge Cemetery. George survived as a widower in Catlin for another dozen years. Death cleaved him away at age 75 on Sept. 15, 1971. Burial was in Star Chapel United Methodist Cemetery in Empire Prairie, MO.

  • Granddaughter Jeannette Rouse (1930-2018) was born on July 13, 1930 in Danville, IL. At the age of about 21, in 1951, she was joined in wedlock with World War II veteran William Jean "Bud" Hart (May 24, 1926-2015), also of Danville. The family relocated to Texas. Two children produced by this marriage were Thomas Hart and Mary Catherine Hart. Their longtime home appears to have been in Lewisville, TX. William died at the age of 88, in Lewisville, on Jan. 15, 2015. Jeannette continued on for three-and-a-half years and was reunited with him in eternity on Oct. 13, 2018. Her obituary was printed in the Champaign-Urbana (IL) News-Gazette. Their cremains are in honored repose in the columbarium of Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Thomas Hart was deceased by 2018. 

    Great-granddaughter Mary Catherine Hart ( ? - ? ) 

Son Russell H. Taylor (1897-1966) was born on April 14, 1897. He served in  the U.S. Army's field artillery during World War I. After the close of the war, he returned hom to Catlin, Vermilion County and helped his father with farm labor. Russell was united in matrimony with Martha Pratt (Dec. 28, 1895-1967), originally from Cook County, IL. They became parents of at least two offspring, William Pratt Taylor and Helen M. Taylor. When the United States Census enumeration was made in 1930, the young family resided in Catlin, next door to Russell's parents. Sadly, Russell died on May 12, 1966. Interment of the remains was in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery. The angel of death spirited away Martha a year later on Nov. 7, 1967.

  • Grandson William Pratt Taylor (1924-1998) was born on Jan. 21, 1924 in Fairmount, IL. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II. On March 2, 1946, at age 22, he entered into marriage with Leone Ellen Darr (April 30, 1925-2023) of Jamaica Township, Vermilion County and the daughter of Howard and Eunice (Hodgson) Darr. Together, they produced a brood of three -- Thomas Taylor, Marietta Hamilton and Marilyn Moore. Leone was an alumna of Fairmount High School and Utterback Business College. She earned a living with work as a home health aide for CRIS Family Services and held memberships in the Catlin United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women. She also volunteered as judge of elections for more than four decades. Said an obituary, Leone "enjoyed reading, cooking, and testing new recipes on her family. Leone and Bill enjoyed playing euchre and were active in several card clubs. She was also a dedicated Illini fan." Death overcame him in Danville at the age of 74 on April 12, 1998. Leone survived for a quarter of a century. She died at the age of 97, in OSF Sacred Heart Hospital, on March 16, 2023. Their final resting place is in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Thomas Taylor tied the knot with Pam.

    Great-granddaughter Marietta Taylor wed Ed Hamilton.

    Great-granddaughter Marilyn Taylor married Richard Moore. 

  • Granddaughter Helen M. Taylor (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927. She grew up in Catlin Township and attended school there. 

Daughter Mary Etta Taylor (1902-1953) was born on July 1, 1902 in Catlin, Vermilion County. She was wed to Irvin Lee Elgin (May 20, 1902-1972), of nearby Fairmount. Circa 1930, they lived under the roof of Mary Etta's parents in Catlin. At least two children of the couple were Robert Taylor Elgin and Betty M. Mayerik. Sadly, at the age of 50, Mary Etta died on May 26, 1953. Burial was in the local Oakridge Cemetery. Irvin outlived her by 19 years. The angel of death swept him away at the age of 69 on Jan. 13, 1972.

  • Grandson Robert Taylor Elgin (1927-2023) was born on Dec. 1, 1927 in Danville, Vermilion County. He was an alumnus of Catlin High School. On Jan. 4, 1948, the 20-year-old Robert was joined in matrimony with Myrna Jean Spesard (Nov. 11, 1928-2018), also of Catlin and the daughter of Lloyd and Pearl (Archer) Spesard. To them were born four daughters -- Gail Voorhees, Jeannie Riordan, Sandra Cox and Jody Baird. Robert joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1963 and remained there for 28 years, including terms as postmaster in the towns of Fairmount and Westville. He also was president at one time of the National League of Postmasters. He also held memberships in the local lodge of the Masons, Danville Consistory and Scottish Rite as well as the Westville Church of Christ. Said an obituary, Robert "enjoyed farming, woodworking, and furniture building. Bob learned to play the dulcimer and built his own... He was an avid stamp collector and enjoyed educating and speaking about stamps." Most of all, the family said, he was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. The Danville (IL) Commercial News said that Myrna "enjoyed gardening, dancing, camping and bird watching [as] well as sewing and crafts. She had been active in the Illinois Branch of the National League of Postmasters Auxiliary." They dwelled in Fairmoutn, IL. Myrna passed away in their home at the age of 89 on July 18, 2018. Having reached the age of 95, he died in Carle Hospital in Urbana, IL on Jan. 9, 2023. Rev. Mike Robert officiated the services. His remains were laid to rest among his ancestors and extended family in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Gail Elgin (1949- ? ) was born in 1949. On Aug. 8, 1969, at 19 years of age, she married Charles Philip "Chip" Voorhees (Nov. 23, 1950-2004), son of Jewell Taylor and Kathleen Irvin (Guthrie) Voorhees. The duo of children in this family were Michael Vorhees and Kristin Zuponeck. They settled in St. Joseph, IL. There, Chip worked for more than 30 years for Material Services of Fairmount and was the company's plant manager at the end of his life. He also liked to fish, hunt, play his guitar, scuba dive and travel. Sadly, and without warning, Chip surrendered to the angel of death in St. Joseph, IL on April 3, 2004. Burial was in Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery, with Rev. Mike Roberts leading the services. In an obituary in the Georgetown (IL) Independent News, the family requested that any memorial gifts be made to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation Inc. Gail resided in St. Joseph in 2023. Their son Michael married Paige and lives in Fairmount, while daughter Kristin wed George Zuponeck and dwells in Plainfield, IL.

    Great-granddaughter Jeannie Elgin wed James Riordan and settled in Bloomington, IL.

    Great-granddaughter Sandra Elgin tied the marital cord with Michael Cox. They dwelled in Danville, IL in 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Jody Elgin entered into marriage with Charles Baird. The pair has lived in Farmer City, IL. 

  • High school footballer John Mayerik
    Courtesy Randall Black
    Granddaughter Betty M. Elgin (1930-2006) was born on Sept. 22, 1930. When she was 19 years of age, on Nov. 22, 1949, she exchanged marital vows with John Joseph Mayerik (Oct. 14, 1925-2011), the son of Adam Joseph and Mary (Mazur) Mayerik of Westville, Vermilion County. Their union endured the ups and downs of a remarkable 56 years together. John played right end for Westville High School football team and was an All-State Prep honoree in 1943. He went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy. Their three offspring were David Mayerik, Rob Mayerik and Sharon McClure. Betty passed away on April 18, 2006. John survived for another five-and-a-half years and died in Catlin three days before Christmas 2011.  

    Great-grandson David Mayerik wed Christine Beemer, daughter of Irving A. and Jean D. (Cornwell) Beemer. They relocated to Mason, OH. There, David is believed to be employed as vice president of operations with Gold Star Chili, Inc.

    Great-grandson Rob Mayerik married Cheryl. They moved to Marietta, GA. Evidence suggests that he works as director of application development for NEO, Inc.

    Great-granddaughter Sharon Mayerik tied the knot with Greg McClure. The pair settled in Savoy, Champaign County, IL. 

Daughter Margaret D. Taylor (1906-1989) was born on Oct. 30, 1906 in Vermilion County, IL. She was joined in marriage with Cecil C. McGee (1900-1965). Together, they bore three known children -- Theodore Taylor McGee, Ruth Patterson and Gerald Ray McGee. They were in Danville, Vermilion County in 1935 and then circa 1940, when the federal census enumeration was made, the family dwelled on a farm in nearby Jamaica Township. Tragically, their son Theodore died at age 12 or 13 in 1939. The cause is not yet known. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Indianola, Vermilion County. Sadly, at the age of 82, Margaret died in April 1, 1989. Interment of the remains was conducted in Woodlawn Cemetery in Indianola.

  • Grandson Gerald Ray McGee (1930-2013) was born on Feb. 15, 1930 in Vance Township, Vermilion County. He was a 1948 graduate of Sidell High School. Early in his career he was a farmer, and later a school bus driver for the Jamaica Township schools.  On June 6, 1952, in St. James Methodist Church in Danville, he entered into wedlock with Lucy Virginia "Ginger" Dedman (Aug. 26, 1934-2018) of Mattoon Township, Coles County, IL. Four children in this family were Charles McGee, John McGee, Paula Dickey and Leigh Ann Hanson. Said the Danville (IL) Commercial News, "He worked construction with Bob Bennett of Sidell for several years. He enjoyed working for the Jamaica Township Road Commissioner." He also was a longtime elder of the Sidell Christian Church and a member of the Champaign Elks Club. He also liked to camp, travel and attend dances. In her own right, Ginger served as tax assessor for a decade in Fairmount Township. Said an obituary, she "served on the Sidell Library Board as secretary and treasurer for 25 years and attended the Sidell Methodist Church. She enjoyed reading and gardening. She was a dedicated farm wife, helping with the family farm operation, and she enjoyed sewing and needlework." Their years were spent in Sidell, IL. He passed away in Fairmount at the age of 83 on Sept. 23, 2013. Ginger survived her spouse by nearly five years. Death swept her into the arms of the heavenly host at the age of 83 on July 26, 2018 as a patient in Cole Foundation Hospital. Her funeral rites were conducted in the family church, led by Pastor Don Shane. They repose for all time in  Indianola's Woodlawn Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Charles McGee tied the marital cord with Deborah.

    Great-grandson John McGee wed Stacey. 

    Great-granddaughter Paula McGee married Daniel Dickey. 

    Great-granddaughter Leigh Ann McGee entered into marriage with Tom Hanson. 

  • Granddaughter Ruth McGee (1928- ? ) was born in about 1928. She was raised on a farm in Jamaica Township, Vermilion County. Ruth was united in matrimony with (?) Patterson. She was still living in Sidell, IL as of 2013.

Daughter Elizabeth I. Taylor (1911-1993) was born on Aug. 14, 1911 in Catlin Township, Vermilion County. She was united in wedlock with Norlyn B. Van Allen (1907-1969). The only known offspring of this union were John W. Van Allen and Trudy Shepherd. The family escaped near-tragedy on March 14, 1951 when their automobile was struck by a fleeing robber west of Ogden, IL. They sued the driver for $30,000 in damages. Sadly, Norlyn died at the age of 61 on Jan. 4, 1969. Elizabeth survived for another quarter of a century and maintained a residence in Oakwood, IL. At the age of 82, she passed away in Danville on Nov. 21, 1993. Burial was under the sod of Catlin's Oakridge Cemetery.

  • Grandson John W. Van Allen ( ? - ? ) was a self-employed farmer in Oakwood, IL in 1981. On Aug. 8, 1981, he was joined in the bonds of marriage with Darlene Rose Paul, daughter of Donald A. Paul of Kensington Avenue, Evansville, IN. The wedding mass was held at St. Paul's Catholic Church. At the time, she was employed by St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Danville in the medical records department. 
  • Granddaughter Trudy Van Allen ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). In June 1984, she is believed to have wed Sgt. Michael Shepherd ( ? - ? ) who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. He was the son of William Shepherd of 1911 Croxton Avenue in Bloomington, IL. Trudy was pictured in an engagement announcement in the Bloomington Pantagraph.


Copyright © 2006, 2019, 2024 Mark A. Miner

Cindy Mitchell has researched this family and generously shared her findings.