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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Benton Township Families

When Samuel S. Cole and Grace B. Baird married on May 27, 1859, they united two families, who were early immigrants to Lake County, Illinois and Benton Township.

James Cole and Nancy Swetnum Cole left Ireland to emigrate with their children to America in 1837. They landed at Quebec, Canada and proceeded to Rochester, New York where they remained for two months before moving to Chicago.
The Cole's son, Samuel S. Cole,
was born in County Cork, Ireland on July 25, 1820.
Photographed circa 1880, BBDM
Among the items the Coles brought with them to America was a wooden couch. It is remarkable the family brought such a large piece of furniture across the Atlantic from Ireland. Perhaps the couch was considered useful for their journey since it included a storage compartment. The couch remained in the family's possession until it was donated to the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County in 1963.
Partial view of 8-foot long wooden couch
brought from Ireland by the Cole Family in 1837.
BBDM 63.22
About 1840, James Cole sold his land in Chicago and moved the family to Lake County, Illinois, settling in Shields Township along Greenbay Road.

Another unusual artifact that came down through the generations
a bear trap used by the Coles while living in Shields Township, circa 1840. 
BBDM 62.62.15
In April 1856, Samuel Cole and his father sold their combined farms (201 acres) to the Lake Forest Association. This organization was created by Chicago Presbyterians to establish a Presbyterian college, which today is known as Lake Forest College.

The Coles took their profits from the sale and moved to Benton Township. Samuel purchased land on the west side of Sheridan Road at the intersection of today's Shiloh Boulevard in Zion.

In Benton Township, the Coles became acquainted with the Baird family, who had settled there several years previously.

John Baird and Jean Wilson Baird immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to the United States with their three children, traveling on the Commodore, and arriving at New York on July 3, 1849.

Passenger list for the Commodore showing the Baird family.
Source: New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (online)
From New York, the Bairds most likely traveled via the Erie Canal before taking a ship around the Great Lakes to Southport (now Kenosha) Wisconsin, and settling in Lake County, Illinois. Like many Scottish immigrants before him, John Baird had worked in the textile industry, but chose to take up the plow in America.

The Baird farm was near today's Galilee Avenue and 33rd Street in Zion.

Scottish immigrant, Jean Wilson Baird (1810-1896)
Photographed circa 1893. BBDM
The Baird's daughter, Grace Baird Cole, was
born in Glasgow, Scotland on September 22, 1837. 
Photographed circa 1880, BBDM
Shortly after settling in Benton Township, John Baird sent a letter to his brother-in-law Thomas Wilson, who was living in New York City. Baird was trying to encourage Wilson to settle in Lake County.

In a letter dated November 19, 1849, Baird regales about the quality of farm land and the loveliness of Benton Township: "I am very well pleased with this district of country it is so hilly... the water is good & plenty... to dig down for it if you dig in low ground you will get it in a few feet & if you dig in higher ground you have to go farther down but then the water is colder & purer." (Original letter in the collections of the Chicago History Museum). Thomas Wilson did re-settle his family in Benton Township not long thereafter.

With the Cole and Baird properties relatively close to one another, Samuel Cole and Grace Braid found opportunities to meet through farming activities and Methodist meetings. Within three years of the Coles arriving in the neighborhood, Samuel and Grace were married.

Samuel and Grace had six children: Mary Jane Ferguson (Robert Ferguson), James S. Cole who died in infancy, Samuel N. Cole, Grace N. Ferry (Hiram W. Ferry), Eva E. Carman (Owen Carman), and John J. Cole who died at the age of 26.

Samuel and Grace Cole's residence as photographed in 1881.
The house was located on the west side of Sheridan Road at today's
Shiloh Boulevard in Zion. BBDM 62.62.
The Cole farm consisted of 220 acres, a beautiful brick house on Sheridan Road and out buildings. According to Cole's biographical sketch: "All of the surroundings plainly indicate the thrift of the owner, who is regarded as one of the enterprising, public-spirited and representative men of the community."

Samuel died in July 1895, and left portions of his property to each of his children. Grace died in 1915. Both Samuel and Grace are buried at Lake Mound Cemetery in Zion.

Samuel and Grace's granddaughter, Elsie Ferguson Bairstow, donated the photographs and objects featured in this post (and other items) to the Dunn Museum in the early 1960s to ensure that her family's immigrant history would be preserved and shared with future generations.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Captain Blodgett's Roster

Asiel Z. Blodgett (1832-1916) of Waukegan understood the importance of being a good leader.

During the Civil War, he served as the main recruiter and Captain of Company D, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He prided himself on knowing each of the men in his command.
Asiel Z. Blodgett, print from a glass negative taken in Waukegan, circa 1875. Dunn Museum 2011.0.86

While at Wartrace, Tennessee in the summer of 1863, he was given a challenge. An officer from another company asked, "Captain Blodgett, I am curious to know whether or not you have memorized your roster."

Blodgett replied, "I am of the opinion that I have memorized it."

The officer bet Blodgett that he could not "call it correctly."

That day, Captain Blodgett was sitting in front of his tent, using the drummer boy's drum as a writing surface to make out his reports. He had set the drum on top of a camp stool, and with the challenge made, brushed aside his reports.

He wrote directly on the drum head from left to right, carefully listing every man's name from memory. All 98 men of Company D, plus the eight men who had died in the company's first year of service. Blodgett won the bet.
At the request of Lake County Historian, Bess Bower Dunn, Blodgett's son sent a copy of the "drum head roster."

Shortly after making the roster, the 96th Illinois fought in the Battle of Chickamauga, September 18 - 20, 1863. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the Civil War, and had the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg two months earlier.

The 96th's Company D lost five men (killed) and 18 wounded. Among the injured was Blodgett, who was wounded twice on September 20. Early in the engagement he was shot in the shoulder and though the wound hurt him greatly, he remained with the command.

Hill Two from the Vittetoe Road. Chickamauga after the battle. Signal Corps U. S. Army

According to the Regimental history, on Sunday afternoon, September 20th, Blodgett was "thrown to the ground by the fall of a heavy tree-top which, striking his head and back, rendered him unconscious." This happened in the midst of the battle, leaving Blodgett temporarily within Rebel lines. "When the Union lines advanced in a second charge" the men removed the tree and "he was released from his perilous position."

The drum was lost in the confusion of battle.

Blodgett recovered only partially from his injuries and reluctantly had to resign his position in August 1864. Years later, he received an official package from the U.S. War Department. Opening it, he found the drum head on which he had written the names of his men.

In 1939, Bess Bower Dunn, contacted one of Blodgett's sons about the story. John H. Blodgett replied with a copy of the "drum head roster" and the full account.

Blodgett's son wrote: "It occurred to me that possibly some of the relatives of the men who were with Dad are still around and if so might be interested in looking it over. If Frank Justice [sic] cares to say anything about it in his paper I would like to have you send me a copy."

Indeed, Frank Just, the editor of the Waukegan Daily Sun, was very interested and ran a long article on Blodgett and the 96th Illinois.
Excerpt of article written by Athlyn Deshais on Blodgett and the 96th Illinois. Waukegan Daily Sun, 1939.

Athlyn Deshais wrote in her article: "They are gone now, those gallant soldiers who marched and fought beneath the banner on which was inscribed the magic figures, 96.... The day of the eye-witness reminiscences belongs to the past."

For more, read by post on the life of Asiel Z. Blodgett and post on the 96th Illinois at the Battle of Chickamauga.

"History of the 96th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry," Charles A. Partridge, editor, 1887.
Letters of John H. Blodgett to Bess Bower Dunn, 1939. Bess Dunn Collection, Dunn Museum.
"Capt. Blodgett Honored by His Brave Soldiers," by Athlyn Deshais, Waukegan Daily Sun, 1939.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Harness Horse Racing Craze

Harness racing at the Waukegan Fair's race track, Waukegan, Illinois, circa 1878.
Dunn Museum, Glass Negatives Collection, 93.32.142.

Horse racing, specifically harness racing, was a wildly popular past-time in Lake County from the 1850s to the 1910s. In Lake County, there were three harness racing tracks: McKay's in Waukegan, the Libertyville Trotting Association, and the Lake County Fair in Libertyville.

James McKay's racetrack was built about 1852 and located where the Karcher Hotel building still stands on Washington Street in Waukegan. It was used for "trotting matches" and as the site of the first Lake County Fair.

Waukegan Fair's (McKay's) racetrack, circa 1878. Note the county courthouse in the distance at center.
BBDM Glass Negative Collection

Chicago Tribune column on 4th of July activities at Waukegan 
in 1860, including "trotting matches" at McKay's track.
Black Weasel, owned by Mr. Arnold, won $50 in the mile heat.

It was a given that county fairs needed a racetrack to draw crowds, and harness racing was a featured attraction. When the Lake County Fair moved to Libetyville the new fairgrounds included a racetrack.

From 1858 - 1881, the Lake County Fairgrounds were located at Milwaukee Avenue and Winchester Road (now Winchester House), and then at Appley Avenue (now Lake Minear) from 1882 - 1925.

Lake County Fairgrounds and racetrack on the site of today's Lake Minear, 
Libertyville, circa 1907. Dunn Museum M-86.1.655

Another view of the Lake County Fairgrounds racetrack  with harness racers coming around the turn, 
about 1910. Dunn Museum M-86.1.646

In 1904, a new racetrack opened called the Libertyville Trotting Association Track. It was located on 100 acres west of Garfield Avenue and south of Route 176. Locals often refer to this track as the "one-mile track," although all harness racetracks are required to be one-mile.

Libertyville Trotting Association Track in use from 1904 - 1918. This colorized postcard is from about 1914 and shows the track during its motorized race days. Dunn Museum M-86.1.658

For the first several years, the Trotting Association Track featured harness racing, and then was used as a training track for harness races. By the 1910s, the popularity of automobile and motorcycle races monopolized the Libertyville track, and harness racing's popularity began to wane. In 1918, Samuel Insull purchased the property and closed the track.

One of the regionally known trotters was King Heyday (1891 - 1919), owned by Edward and Charlotte DeWolf of Waukegan. (pictured below)

Edward Dewolf with his prize trotter, King Heyday, circa 1910. 
King Heyday was foaled on August 18, 1891. Dunn Museum, DeWolf Collection

Edward DeWolf (1848-1927) was an influential businessman in Waukegan, a promoter of the Electric Railroad line, and a mayor of Waukegan (1895-97). He was a lover of history, historical preservation, nature, and a keen horseman. He and his wife, Charlotte, owned several trotting horses, but King Heyday was their favorite.
Edward P. DeWolf (1848 - 1927)

King Heyday, was bred at the J.W. Swanbrough Stock Farm on Sheridan Road in Waukegan Township. King Heyday's sire was Prairie King (pictured below) and dam Mabel H.

Prairie King (King Heyday's sire), photographed in 1890 
at the Swanbrough Stock Farm. Dunn Museum, DeWolf Collection

The stock farm was owned and operated by John W. Swanbrough (1843 - 1924), who fought with the 96th Illinois in the Civil War. Swanbrough was a member of the Illinois Association of Horse Breeders, and served as Lake County Sheriff (1876-1886).

With the popularity of harness racing came the need to breed trotters or "standardbreds." The term appeared in 1879 based on the racing standard of a one-mile track and standard time of 2.5 minutes maximum. A horse bred to these standards was "standardbred."

Swanbrough Stock Farm catalogue, 1891
Steenbock Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison

King Heyday with Charles Heydecker, circa 1905.
Heydecker bred and owned King Heyday's dam, Mabel H. 
Dunn Museum, DeWolf Collection

Edward DeWolf called King Heyday: "the handsomest horse that I had ever seen" and "a horse with remarkable speed."

King Heyday took his record of 2.17 at the Milwaukee Mile. DeWolf boasted: "his mile really being in 2.13." The Milwaukee Mile was a private horse racing track established by 1876. In 1891, the property became the permanent home of the Wisconsin State Fair.

Charlotte DeWolf loved "driving" King Heyday, whom she nicknamed "Punch." She took him out every day, except Sundays, for a drive in a carriage or sleigh. (pictured below)

Charlotte DeWolf being pulled in a sleigh by her beloved King Heyday, nicknamed "Punch." 
The DeWolf's setter, Laddie, is barely visible at left. Dunn Museum, DeWolf Collection

According to DeWolf, King Heyday was "Charlotte's pet, and he seemed to understand and return the love she had for him."
Charlotte DeWolf with King Heyday and Laddie, circa 1915. Dunn Museum, DeWolf Collection

King Heyday died on December 10, 1919, and Charlotte DeWolf passed away eight days later.

~ ~ ~

Special thanks to museum collections volunteer, Cynthia Kolanko, for her dedication to processing the Edward DeWolf Collection, and bringing King Heyday's story to light.

- Diana Dretske, Curator

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

John Hobart Jansen - First Waukegan Fireman to Die in Line of Duty

John Hobart Jansen (1861 - 1908) was the first member of the Waukegan Fire Department to die in the line of duty.

The son of Prussian immigrants, John was born near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and worked on his family's farm. When he was about 23 years old, he left the farm to work as a lineman for the Milwaukee phone company, and two years later became a fireman with the Milwaukee Fire Department as a "truckman" on hook and ladder #2.

In 1892, John married Jenny Van Arnam. About 1902, John and Jenny and their four children moved to Waukegan. John took a job as the manager of the the Chicago Telephone Company's Waukegan branch. While working for the phone company, he also volunteered as a fireman for the Waukegan Fire Department.
Waukegan Fire Department Time Log Book, with last
listing for "Jansen" on April 19, 1908, Dunn Museum Collections.
At 11 p.m. on April 22, 1908, while heading from his job at the phone company, Jansen heard the alarm for a fire at the North Shore Electric Company. Instead of continuing home, Jansen turned around to assist his fellow firemen.

When the firemen arrived at the plant on Spring Street they found that "the belt on the big fly wheel was burning, that the interior of the plant had caught fire, and that the fly wheel was running wild."

Jansen was "aiding in bringing more hose to the firemen fighting the flames" when the drive wheel burst. "Jansen was picked up bodily by a huge fragment and carried through both walls of the Waukegan Ice Company building where his body was picked up bleeding and terribly mangled." He was rushed toward the Jane McAlister Hospital on North Avenue, but died en route.

Damaged buildings on Spring Street in Waukegan after fire in which
Fireman John Hobart Jansen was struck down about 11:30 p.m., April 22, 1908.
Image courtesy private collection.
Also killed was merchant policeman, Joseph Paddock (1879 - 1908). Paddock had been "standing with his back up against the wall of the Phil Sheridan saloon when one of the monstrous spokes of the giant wheel came crashing through both walls of the Waukegan Ice Company plant and felled him."

According to the papers, scores of locals gathered to watch the fire even though they were warned of the danger. "Fragments of the flying iron and steel filled the air and littered the ground."

On Saturday, April 25, the funeral service for Jansen was held at his residence on North Avenue. The house was packed with mourners, including family, friends, members of the Waukegan Fire Department and other area fire departments, mayor and city councilmen, and Odd Fellows. The city had never seen such a large procession, despite the downpour of rain.

Fireman John H. Jansen, circa 1889.
In 1908, efforts were made to raise funds to create a monument to Jansen, but it would take nearly 100 years before a memorial was made. On a sunny day in May 2005, the Waukegan Fire Department honored John Hobart Jansen with a memorial plaque.

Jansen memorial plaque dedication, May 2005
Fireman's Park on Dover Street, Waukegan.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Jansen.

Special thanks to Thomas and Kenneth Jansen for generously sharing the family's history and research. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bruce Jenner Physical Fitness Trail

The running and fitness craze of the 1970s, and the popularity of Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, led to the creation of the "Bruce Jenner Physical Fitness Trail" at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda.

Named in honor of the Olympic decathlon champion, the trail was dedicated on Wednesday, October 5, 1977. Jenner was on hand to cut the ribbon.
Jenner with the gold medal for
winning the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics
US Magazine photo.
The trail was designed by the Lake County Forest Preserves' landscape architect, Janie Brown, and built in part by the Youth Conservation Corps and CETA. It consisted of 20 exercise stations along a one-mile wooded, jogging trail off Shelter E road at Lakewood Forest Preserve.

Forest Preserve trail map, 1977. 

The Lake County Forest Preserve District was following a growing trend across the country for "proper physical conditioning." It was felt that the Preserves' land and the "great beauty of the Illinois landscape" was ideally suited for "low-keyed, individualistic forms of recreation."

The "running boom" of the 1970s is credited to the excitement of the 1972 gold medal win of American marathon runner, Frank Shorter. At the time, marathons weren't as well known or understood by the public, but Shorter's dramatic finish sparked a sensation for marathons and fitness that has continued to grow.

The Forest Preserves' jogging and exercise trail was developed to be adaptable to various ages and physical conditions, and provided both "physical conditioning and enjoyment of the out-of-doors."

Although The Herald newspaper reported that the appearance of the exercise stations "looks a little like a medieval torture chamber, with its chains, ropes and strange-looking apparatus," the fitness trail proved to be quite popular with folks from around the county.

Photo by Scott Sanders, The Herald, June 7, 1978
A wood-chip path winding through a hilly wooded area led joggers to stations that in some cases resembled a playground or obstacle course. Included in the activities: a tire run, rope ladder, climbing wall, and balance beam.

Jenner was scheduled to speak at the College of Lake County about the Olympic training regimen and the 1976 Olympic competition. Following the gold medal win, Jenner began a new career covering sports for ABC with appearances on "Good Morning America."

Poster promoting Jenner's appearance as the
"Grand Opening Speaker" for the physical fitness trail.

Jenner, who was much admired as an all-around athlete and extremely well-liked, became a sought after motivational speaker. Jenner was also very accommodating to the many requests received for personal appearances. Knowing that Jenner was scheduled to be in the area to speak at the College of Lake County (CLC), the trail opening was arranged for the same day. Jenner graciously agreed to be on hand.

In 1978, the Forest Preserves received a special award from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the design of the trail.

In recent years, the fitness trail apparatus has been removed.

Press releases, memos, brochure from the Lake County Forest Preserves' "Bruce Jenner Physical Fitness Trail" reference file.
"Decathlon Champion to Speak at CLC," News-Sun, September 13, 1977.
"Olympic Champion to Dedicate Forest Preserve Jogging Trail," News-Sun, September 21, 1977.
"Jenner to Open Fitness Trail," Barrington Courier, September 29, 1977.
"Bruce Jnner Opens Fitness Trail," Lake County Papers, September 29, 1977.
"Shaping Up in the Woods," The Herald, June 7, 1978.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Portrait of Levi H. Mead, 65th Illinois

This handsome portrait of Levi H. Mead, from the collections of the Bess Bower Dunn Museum, prompted me to research his life in Newport Township, Lake County, Illinois and his service with the 65th Illinois during the Civil War. 

Levi H. Mead (1839 - 1864), circa 1862
(BBDM Collections)

Levi's roots in Lake County began about 1840 when he was just a baby. His family came to Lake County from Ohio. They first settled in Benton Township and then in Newport Township on the west side of Greenbay Road just south of today's 21st Street.

In 1850, the Mead family consisted of patriarch Edward Mead, who had served in the War of 1812, wife Ellen, and children: Sarah, Martha, Amanda, John, William Edward, Margaret, Levi, and George. All the children (except for the youngest) were born in Ohio where the family had spent many years.

In the summer of 1862, with the Civil War still raging, President Lincoln called for 600,000 more troops. In Lake County, James S. Putnam (1829 - 1869) of Waukegan was elected a captain in the 65th Illinois "Scotch Regiment" and set about recruiting men for Company F.

The 6' 1" farmer, Levi Mead, was one of the first to add his name to the company's rolls, joining on February 28, 1862. Levi's older brother John, joined on April 1st, and together they mustered in at Camp Douglas in Chicago on April 26.

The regiment was ordered to Martinsburg, Virginia and was among 14,000 troops under the command of Colonel Dixon S. Miles to hold Harpers Ferry. Unfortunately, General Robert E. Lee's forces were too much for them and on September 15, the Federals surrendered, the 65th Illinois among the prisoners.

The following day, the 65th Illinois was paroled and sent to Chicago.

During this "furlough," Levi married his sweetheart Amelia J. Wells. Amelia was the daughter of English immigrant John Wells. The Wells family had settled in Newport Township in 1843.

The Mead and Wells children were school mates at the Biddlecome School (later known as Lone Oak School), on 21st Street east of Kilbourn Road. It was a log school until 1857, when a new wood frame schoolhouse was built and the old school was moved onto the Shea farm where it was used as a barn. (Source: Biddlecome School History, BBDM)

On the afternoon of December 24, 1862, Levi and Amelia went to Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha, Wisconsin and were married in a "common" ceremony by Samuel H. Thompson, a minister of the Gospel.

It's unknown how long Levi was able to remain at home with his new bride, but in April 1863, the 65th was sent back the front.

By May, the regiment was serving in campaigns in East Tennessee, taking part in the battles around Chattanooga and in the defense of Knoxville. After a severe winter campaign over 1863 - 1864, the regiment reenlisted as a veteran organization.

On April 7, 1864, Mead mustered in as a veteran at Louisville, Kentucky. Afterwards, he and 400 comrades were given veterans furloughs and went home for an extended period.

When the 65th Illinois returned to the field, it joined General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign as part of the XXIII Corps.

"Map of the environs of Pine Mountain, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, 
and Little Kenesaw Mountain"  by G.H. Blakeslee 1864. 
(Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington D.C.)

On June 15, after over a week of steady rain, the regiment was brought into a fierce engagement with the Confederates between Kennesaw and Lost Mountains near Marietta, Georgia. 

The Rebels fell back and on June 16, the 65th Illinois occupied their works. Over the course of the next few days from June 17 - 19, the regiment engaged the enemy in lively skirmishing.

While on the skirmish line on Friday, June 17, Levi Mead was struck by a musket ball in the throat and killed at Lost Mountain.

U.S. Register of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865.
Levi H. Mead's record is highlighted in red.
On the 20th, the advance was checked by a deep and almost impassable creek - the enemy defending the bridge with artillery and infantry. Volunteers being called for, about 50 men of the 65th Illinois stepped forward and charged across the bridge, driving back the enemy, and holding the position until the remainder of the Regiment crossed.

Description of locality where Levi H. Mead was first buried 
"around Kennesaw" Mountain "under a Chestnut tree." 
More than likely, Levi's brother John helped to bury him. 
(From US Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries records, 1862-1960,

On June 30, Orson V. Young of the 96th Illinois wrote home to his parents in Newport Township: "I saw Levi and John a few days before Levi was killed. I suppose his folks have heard all about it by this time." (BBDM 92.33.70)

Just twenty-three years old, Amelia Wells Mead was now a grieving widow with no children and no income. She set about making a widow's pension claim to the U.S. Government. This process included getting a certified copy of the public record of her marriage; testimony of her "widowhood" and good character from witnesses Azro D. Hutchins and Elijah Eddy; power of attorney given to Francis E. Clarke (brother of the late Lt. Col. Isaac Clarke of the 96th Illinois); and service and death record of her husband Levi H. Mead.

She further had to declare that she never "engaged in or aided and abetted the existing Rebellion."

In 1866, a program began to re-bury over 10,000 Union dead (including Levi Mead) from Sherman's Atlanta Campaign at the new Marietta National Cemetery.

Entrance to the Marietta National Cemetery. 
"Here rest the remains of 10,312 Officers and Soldiers 
who died in defense of the Union, 1861 - 1865."
Record of Levi Mead's interment at the National Cemetery.
Levi H. Mead's grave marker, Marietta National Cemetery. Image:

Levi's brother John, also with the 65th Illinois, mustered out as a sergeant in Chicago on April 25, 1865. Three years later, John married his brother's widow.

John and Amelia had one child, Earnest E. Mead, born in November 1877. The family lived in Shelby County, Iowa; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and finally in Avon Township, Lake County, Illinois.

Reunion of the 65th Illinois, circa 1885, location unknown. John Mead is second from left.
Image credit:
Amelia Wells Mead died in 1920, and John Mead in 1924. They are buried at Avon Centre Cemetery in Grayslake, Illinois.
Image credit:
~ ~ ~

Grateful appreciation to Patricia Harold  for providing confirmation of Amelia J. Wells' marriage to Levi H. Mead, and sharing copies of documents found on Her connection to these events is through her stepmother, Marge Wells Copley, a g-g-grand niece of Amelia Wells Mead.