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The Fairfield Weekly Ledger

May 18, 1881

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Fairfield Weekly Ledger
Jefferson County, Iowa
Transcribed by:  Joey Stark

Note:  Typographical errors (followed by [sic]) and spelling variations in names in this document are intentional and reflect the actual newspaper articles.   Transcriber’s notes are occasionally included and are indicated with [Ed. note:….].  Surnames shown here are in UPPER CASE for easy location; not rendered as such in the newspapers.

May 18, 1881

Killed by a Stalk Cutter.

Just as we go to press we are informed by Chas. STONER of the death of Peter BAYNE, aged fourteen years, son of John BAYNE, who lives near Abingdon, about fifteen miles northwest of this city.  The accident occurred while he was driving a team with the cutter along the public road, the horses frightening at a plank on a bridge which had been torn loose as the cutter ran over it.  The left arm and left leg of the unfortunate boy were badly mangled, the latter being almost torn from the body at the knee.  Mr. MOHR was sent for, but the boy was past earthly aid when medical aid reached him.

The Evergreen Cemetery.

Eleventh annual report of the president of the Fairfield Evergreen Cemetery Association, from April 5th, 1880, to April 6th, 1881, as shown by the reports of secretary and treasurer, to-wit:
Cash on hand from 10th report
From sale of lots
 sextons’ fees
 stone sold
 wood sold
 continuous care of lot
 sale of cement
Paid out on orders
Cash in hands of treasurer
Assets on hand
Notes on hand, valued at
Book accounts

There are 192 lots unsold east of the old cemetery.  There is ground north of the old cemetery, as plotted but unsurveyed, for 77 lots.

The expenditures were as follows:
For labor
 services as secretary and treasurer
 safe and desk
 seeds, painting and shrubbery
 tools, postage and stationery
 day-book acknowledging deeds
 lumber, hauling sand and dirt
 stone cement
 gravel, sundries
Total expenses
Total orders drawn

Unpaid orders from prior year, No. 355,
 interest on same, $7.10
Orders drawn during past year, Nos. 357
to 391 inclusive
Amount paid out on orders as shown by treasurer’s report

The following are the officers for the ensuing year:  President – Clement JORDAN; Secretary and Treasurer, Geo. STEVER; Managers – N. S. BRIGHT, W. W. JUNKIN, Geo. A. WELLS, Clement JORDAN and Geo. STEVER;  Sexton – Israel JUNE.

Persons will not be permitted to leave horses or teams without a driver inside the enclosure.  No dogs will be permitted on the grounds under any circumstances.

All persons are forbid picking wild or cultivated flowers within the enclosure, removing plants or shrubs, or mutilating property.  Persons trespassing as above will certainly be prosecuted under the law, as vandalism must be stopped.
Fairfield, Iowa, May 7, 1881

College Notes.

In the examinations of the Class of ’81 first honors were awarded to S. M. JOHNSON; second, Miss Alice SCOTT; third to W. C. HOWELL.  Though courtesy Miss SCOTT has the valedictory, she being the only lady member of the class, while JOHNSON has the salutatory.

Prof. BOYD has vacated the mansion at the College and will occupy the ARMSTRONG property.  Dr. EWING will live in the mansion as soon as necessary repairs are made.

The new catalogues for 1880-81 will be ready for distribution this week.

Prof. W. ROMMEL, of Mt. Pleasant, will have charge of the musical department at the beginning of the fall term.

Real Estate Transfers

Reported Monday of each week by LEGGETT & McKEMEY, abstracters and real estate agents.---  Office over Farmers’ bank:

May 4, Martha A. NESSELHOUS and husband to Allen KING, lot 4, block 17, new plat of Fairfield, $815.
May 4, C. M. BILLS and wife to Perry KING, s½ lots 7 and 8, block 5, Gage’s addition to Fairfield, $1200.
May 6, Isaac McDONNELL and wife to Marion BRADSHAW, lots 1 and 2, block 7, McQuerry’s addition to Batavia, $225.
May 7.  Anson WEST to Wm. G. SIMMONS, 5 acres in 20-73-9, $100.
May 7, W. S. LYNCH and wife to Jefferson County Coal Company, 10 acres in 34-73-9. $700.
May 7, W. L. SHELDON and wife to John G. FLEENER, 15 acres in 33-73-11, $100.
May 11, Richard MURPHY and wife to M. A. McCOID, block 103, Centennial addition to Fairfield, $800.
May 13, First National Bank, Davenport, to Wm. G. SIMMONS, 20 acres in 20-73-9, $200.
May 14, Abraham and Catherine WHISTLER to Cyrus and Levi WHISTLER, 30 acres in 8-73-8, $200.
May 14, Samuel CUMMINGS to Joseph GIBSON, 20 acres in 7-71-9, $250.
May 13, Edward JOY et al., to Mary E. ROWLAND, lots 10, 11 and 12, block 6, H.. W. & Co’s addition to Fairfield, $1500.

Proposals for Painting and Graining Union School Building.

By order of the School Board, the undersigned will receive proposals until June 9th, 1881, for the painting of the outside wood work of the Union School Building.  Also for the painting n [sic] solid colors, or graining, of the inside wood work of same.  Style of painting and graining and specifications, can be found with either of the committee.  The Board will reserve the privilege of rejecting any or all bids.
 Committee on Repairs.

John G. SEMON Finds a Watery Grave in Cedar Creek

Shortly after noon Saturday three boys well known in this city, John SEMON, Harry WILLIAMS and Lou. HAMPSON, started for Cedar creek to go bathing.--- Taking off their clothes at a deep hole a few rods below the C., R. I. & P. bridge, SEMON and WILLIAMS plunged into the water and swam across the creek, which is probably fifty feet wide at that point.  The stream was three or four feet higher than usual, and the swift current exhausted their strength.  After resting on the bank they soon started on the return trip, which WILLIAMS accomplished successfully.  When but a short distance from the shore, however, SEMON cried out that he didn’t think he could make it, and asked for help.  WILLIAMS swam out toward him, HAMPSON being unable to swim, and catching him, succeeded in getting him close to the branches of a tree which had fallen into the water.--- Here he was almost exhausted, and in his struggles with the drowning boy lost his hold.  SEMON immediately sank, and did not rise again.  Seeing that they could accomplish little without aid, the boys ran to READ’s mill, and Mr. READ, his son and others went to their assistance, but they were unable to find the body.  Word was then sent to town and a large force of willing workers were soon engaged in the search.  After working until seven o’clock, with very crude implements to aid them, the search was then abandoned by most of the part, although some kept at the work until nine o’clock.

Saturday night was spent busily in arranging grappling hooks, etc., and Sunday morning several hundred people gathered at the scene of the accident, and began the search for the body with renewed activity.  Two large rafts were launched and pulled up and down the stream by men on short, while several skiffs and swimmers and divers did good service, but up to noon, although it seemed that a thorough effort had been made, nothing was accomplished.  Then a meeting was held, and J. S. BECK chosen to direct the work.  The rafts were lashed together, reaching clear across the creek, and lowered down the stream, Jake COURTNEY, Marv. MENZIE, Ed. RUSSELL, Bert. STEVER, Charley SMITH, of Libertyville, and others doing the diving and swimming, while a score or more of men worked with grappling irons and hooks.  The raft was run down the stream several hundred yards, but with no better success than before.  The divers began to work near where the boy sank, holding to a rope in their descents, and searching carefully on the bottom of the creek.  About five o’clock COURTNEY, a powerful swimmer and thorough water man, made a dive about fifty yards below were SEMON entered the water, and thought his feet touched the body.  After rising and giving directions to the men at the rope, but saying nothing of his discovery, he went down again, and after remaining under the water some time, arose with the lifeless remains in his arms and was quickly towed ashore.  The body laid on the creek bottom, in several feet of water, diagonally across the stream, and was tightly wedged under a snag – held so closely, indeed, that it is hardly probable it would have risen at all.  The grappling hooks had caught it several times, making three or four wounds on the body in different places, but in no case had taken hold sufficiently to raise it to the surface.  The remains were brought to the city as soon as possible, taken to the home of the bereaved family, and prepared for immediate interment.---  Though in the water about twenty-four hours, and not yet much swollen or disfigured, it was necessary that they be interred as soon as possible.  The funeral occurred Monday morning at 10:30, Rev. W. M. SPARR conducting the services, and the remains were followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of people.

John George SEMON was the only son of Henry and Francis SEMON, and was aged eighteen years, six months, fifteen days.  He was born and raised in this city.  He was a bright, active boy, and of late years had been a great source of comfort to his parents by his aid and care in the management of their property and business.  He was a boy of good habits, industrious and intelligent, and was popular among his friends and companions.  He was not a venturesome lad, and, by persons some he was accounted a fair swimmer.  It is generally thought that his death was caused by cramp seizing him in the water, although he made no complaint of his kind to his comrades.

Mr. and Mrs. SEMON are two of our oldest and most respected German citizens, and the blow is a peculiarly severe one to them.  Their two boys, Henry and Johnnie, were their pride and hope.  A few years ago death took away Henry, the older, and now John is carried to the grave, his death the result of a lamentable accident, and its suddenness the cause of a greater shock and greater grief than under almost any other circumstances.

As is usual in time of distress, the people of Fairfield turned out nobly to their work of searching for the body, and hundreds of tireless, energetic workers proffered their services on every occasion when a demand was made.---  It was not a pleasant task in the cold, muddy water, but the work never flagged on account of its unpleasantness.  Saturday night, after several hours hard work, Mr. READ offered to feed the workers at his home, but because of a lack of tools to prosecute the search further, his kind offer was declined.  Sunday a collection of $20 was taken up in a few moments and teams dispatched to the town for provisions to feed the large army of workers.  Despite the wet and cold and wearisome task, all hands toiled tirelessly, and their efforts were finally rewarded.

Mr. and Mrs. SEMON tender their heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of friends whose kind offices have placed them under obligations they never can repay, and their sorrow has been made lighter by the universal sympathy shown them in their bereavement.


The undersigned, executor of the estate of Samuel WHEELER, Sr., will make his final settlement with said estate in the Circuit Court of Jefferson county, Iowa, at the September Term, 1881, beginning September 5, 1881, at which time all interested may appear and contest the same if they think proper.
3t19   Executor.

Dissolution Notice.

The firm of BAXTER & HUGHES, composed of the undersigned, and lately engaged in the omnibus and transfer business at Fairfield, Iowa, has been dissolved by mutual consent.  J. M. HUGHES will continue the business, and will collect all accounts due the firm and pay all claims against it. J. M. HUGHES,
     J. A. BAXTER.
April 29, 1881.  3t

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