Thursday, August 27, 2009

Did your ancestor keep quiet in study hall?

When in doubt, read everything. There's not usually a lot of genealogical meat in Midwestern newspapers as old as 1855, but you just never know.

C. B. Smith was teaching school in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois, that spring, and he told his students that he would publish in the local newspaper "the names of all those who would not whisper in study hours for ten weeks; also the names of those who should whisper but once, or twice, or three times during the same period." And he did, in a "Communication" to the editor of the Sterling Times and Whiteside County Advertiser, 29 March 1855, page 3, column 2 (microfilm via interlibrary loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library).

No school census for Whiteside County that year? No problem:


John Aumont
Isaac Bryson
Marian Fassett
Catharine Price
Ellen Colder
Emma Wilson
Ruth Brink
Amos Miller
Alonzo Colder
Kate Wallace
Emma Colder [hmm, these names could be Golder]
Emily Worthington
Ann E. Wilson
Angie Stebbins
Sarah King

Jacob Bryson
Caroline Sackett
Josephine Worthington
Sarah Stebbins
J. G. Manahan
Mary Worthington
Frances Galt
Josephine Galt

William Penrose
Frances Fassett


Robt Penrose

Concluded Smith, "The evil is in great measure eradicated."

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