The following custom was adopted where ever we have published newspapers. We desire to issue on Thursday, February 4, 1915, a special edition of the Sumner Press. This edition will be known as the non-resident Issue, and will contain letters from former Lawrence County residents who have moved to other points in Illinois or any other state or in fact anywhere on the globe.
It is impossible for all who once made Lawrence County their home to come together in a reunion face-to-face, but it is possible, practically speaking to have a reunion brought by means of each one writing a letter to the Press editor. Taken collectively these letters make mighty interesting reading, not only for those who have wandered from Lawrence County but to both those who remain here and share reminiscences of gone days.
This edition will be printed on Pink Paper and will represent quite an additional cost but it is considered worthwhile by the publishers.
The paper for that week, will be mainly the product of those who have tasted of good things of life in Lawrence County, that are now residents of other communities.
The first issue of the Non-resident Historical Edition of the Sumner Press was originally set to be printed on February 4, 1915. Due to the editor’s father becoming ill and letters continuing to come in, printing was postponed until February 11, 1915
Pilgrims make fine response to roll call
Letters tell, in original style, of happenings of the long-ago
Past and present perfectly blended by the storytellers
Those who have located elsewhere,
now get together in one grand reunion of mind and soul,
As the tale is told that grips the heartstrings of the readers
As pictures of the past and present and visions of the future quickly passed before
Former sons and daughters of Lawrence County Thus Called:
“The Pilgrims of Lawrence County”Advertisers
January 16, 1915
Dear Editor Press:
I write a few lines for the "non-resident issue,” of the Press. It has been a little better than 10 years since we left our old home in Lawrence County, and came to Arkansas, locating among good people of Paragould.
My former home was 1 1/2 miles northeast of Sumner, where my father, Amos Grogan, now lives. My husband lived 2 1/2 miles northwest of Sumner on the Alsey home place.
Our children Wilma and Amos, have learned to enjoy the visits, back to "Old Lawrence".
We enjoy reading the old home paper and are always glad to hear from old friends in Lawrence. We also think the reunion will be like a homecoming. I anxiously await the issue, as it is published on my birthday, February 11. Thanking the editor for this favor. I am yours sincerely.
It affords me great pleasure to write to the non-resident issue of the Press. I was born March 24, 1883 in Lawrence County, Christy Township, 2 1/2 miles southwest of Sumner. I resided in Lawrence County until 1904, when I came to Paragould, Arkansas and began working for a Valve and Heading Manufacturing Company for $40 per month and I am with the same company, and now receive a salary of $75 per month.
I was married on June 6, 1906 to Miss Myrtle Lytle of the city.
Our home has been blessed with two sons. The oldest Joe Lytle Alsey, was born May 29, 1910, died October 5, 1911 Howard Milton Alsey was born February 5, 1912.
Paragould has a population of 8000, and is indeed a city of churches and schools. There are twelve churches, four Baptists, three Methodist, two Christian, one Presbyterian, one Holiness and one Catholic. We are members of the East Side Methodist Church. There are six schools, four public schools, one high school and one Business College.
This is a land of opportunity, and we quite often see residents of Lawrence County in this vicinity. There are several non-residents of Lawrence County in this city, but will leave them to write for them selves.
I will close wishing the “Pink Issue" a great success.
January 14, 1915
As you want the non-resident subscribers to write a sketch of their lives, I will try from memory, as I have no dates.
I was born on a farm six miles south of Sumner in 1830. My maiden name was Spencer, my father's name was Thomas Spencer, my mother's was Lanterman.
When I was five years old we moved a mile west of Sumner no town then. Lived there until 1887, then moved to Sumner. Lived there until 1904, when Mr. Bell died and I went to Salem to live with a daughter, Mrs. Draper. Lived there three years and she died, then I went to Sedalia, Missouri, to live with my youngest daughter, Mrs. Dr. Staats, where I'm living now.
I'm a member of the Christian church in Sumner, the only charter member living. I am 84 years and 1 month old. Have many friends in and around Sumner. Wish all of them a happy and prosperous year.
Mrs. Philo Bell
East St. Louis, Illinois
January 14, 1915
My former home being in Lawrence I thought I would write something of my life since I left there.
I was born in Lukin Township in the vicinity of Prairie schoolhouse. I lived there for 17 years and came to St. Louis, where I worked for several different families in the capacity of house girl. I followed this six years, then was married. I have had fairly good luck so far. My husband is a stationary engineer here in the city. I have two boys and one daughter. The two boys are in their third year of high school and the girl is in her eighth grade and will graduate in June.
My former name was Olive Bass but is now Mrs. J. C. Bell. I was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Bass.
I and glad if I can help you along by contributing this small article.
I remain yours very truly,
Mrs. J. C. Bell
526 north 13th Street
January 11, 1915
The Sumner Press:
The opportunity of addressing a communication to you, to be published along with other communications from persons formally residing in Lawrence County, that are now non-residents, I accepted with pleasure.
Having maintained my home in Petty Township from the time of my birth until after attaining my majority, I have always and do think and speak of it as my home. Since finishing my school work, in 1898, I have resided in this place, my wife, a son, 15 years of age, and myself constitute our family aside from my father. H. H. Baltzell who makes his home, a part of the time, with us. My mind oft times goes back to my school days, spent at the Leach school and later the public schools of Sumner and the four years I spent teaching in public schools of Lawrence County.
I shall ever have fond memories of my boyhood days, spent in Petty Township, and of the people, there are no better.
Charles O. Baltzell
Ulcaml County, Ohio
January 17, 1915
While we have never been residents of Lawrence County, we had the pleasure of spending several days last summer with relatives and friends in Sumner and vicinity.
We have been receiving the Press for some time past, through the courtesy of our nephew, Oliver Baltzell, who we wish to thank very kindly for the favor.
We enjoy very much the columns of the Press, as we always appreciate the news of the former buckeyes that are now located in Lawrence County.
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Benham
January 13, 1915
We first moved from Parkersburg to Lawrence County when I was but eight years of age, I lived in the County from the time I moved there until I was almost 17. We then moved to Sumner, where I lived until I was 26. When I became 26, I was married to W. E. Berninger of Lancaster. We then moved to Lancaster and lived there three months. We then came to think Lawrence County the best, after all and again moved to Sumner. My husband then bought a dray3, and drayed a while, but he became dissatisfied and sold the dray. He then went north six months and worked, came back to Lawrence County and secured a position on the B. & O. Railroad with Mr. Orr. He worked a while at this and finally came to Indianapolis and found work with the Pennsylvania road, where he has been working for the past nine years. It seems as though railroad work is more abundant than any other.
My maiden name was Miss Ursula E. Morgan daughter of L. H. Morgan.
Mrs. William E. Berninger
427 North Dearborn Street
Gallatin County, Illinois
January 26, 1915
We consider it a great pleasure and count it a great privilege to read the Press, for it is through the courtesy of some kind friend that we enjoy this great paper, for it certainly has grown to be interesting.
Our stay in Sumner though brief was a very pleasant one. No place on earth can't afford better people. The Rev.Brooks having charge of the Presbyterian Church there and one night in walking the floor (as sometimes preachers do) of the little Presbyterian manse a vision appeared to him and he heard a voice from Equality say, come over and help us, and we came in the vision was a great multitude of unsaved people, and since our coming 160 of this multitude have confessed Christ as their Savior. Now someone may ask, did it pay for you to leave Sumner? Yes I say 1000 times yes. When we remember the value that master put on them, he says one soul is worth the whole world. And speaking of the Presbyterians did you ever go up to their little church to worship? If you haven’t you have certainly missed a treat and if you have, you will go again, were you meet so many fine people such as G. W. McNece and wife, H A. Piper and wife, Ferd Foss and wife, John Culbertson and wife, G. R. Stout and wife, Mr. Klingler and wife, and the Thompson brothers and dear Miss Ora, but always gave as such good cheer on our way, and H. M. Wagner and Miss Stella, John McVicker and family, Mr. Legg and wife, Shelby Piper and little wife and brother Hull and good wife, Mr. and Mrs. Pickering and those dear elderly ladies, Mesdames Catherine Piper, McClure and Grow, how they did cheer and encourage us by their warm hand clasp and last, but not least, the great Sabbath school man, Dr. Dale, and many others too numerous to mention.
We are all real well, both children, Mary and Watson, are in school have fine school year. Now about the Press, I feel the extra edition all decked out as you plan will be exceedingly fine and interesting. I have been reading it now for 14 months, every column and cannot find one word, which has made me do think you are boosting for Christ, now are you and the dear boys Christians? I mean, I the accepted Christ as your personal savior? You will see by reading Psalms 107:2 that the Psalmsist writing under the inscription of the Holy Spirit said "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so". You see we are boosting for Christ, will you please read with me St. Luke, 12:4-5 and also eighth verse, same chapter.
Success and best wishes to all and may this year be the greatest year in all the history of the dear old Press, because of his presence with you.
January 12, 1915
I am a son of Lawrence County and have read the Press from its first issue and am still reading it.
I don't like your politics, but as you don't say much we will let it pass for this time.
I was born in Lawrence County, Christy Township, in 1843. Lived on a farm four miles southwest of Sumner. When I was 18 I enlisted on the fourth day of August, 1862, in C B, 98th Regiment Illinois volunteers and arrived at home July 7, 1865. I was in 21 battles, taken prisoner wants, made my escape. Was never wounded nor sick while in the Army. Chickamauga, Georgia was our hardest fight.
My first schooling was in a log schoolhouse on my father's farm, taught by Marion Shick (Marion Jones) and she is still living. All the rest of my teachers are dead.
I am now living in San Jose, Mason County, Illinois, and manager of a General Store.
January 25, 1915
In complying to your request for a short letter from all who once lived in Sumner, will say, I believe there is something inspiring about your little city, for since leaving there I have been asked many times, where are you from and it always makes me feel proud to answer, from Sumner, Illinois. I just can't help it.
Well, we broke camp at Sumner on June 29, 1906, and located at St. Francisville, there we entered the grocery business and during our first year was hard to get by, but we pulled through and were doing a nice business but we sold out and moved to Vincennes, where we thought the children would have a better chance. We also bought a store and are doing a good business here.
Now about my family. It was for Edna and the babies, don't you know. I am glad to report that we still have the same number that we left Sumner with, namely: Edna Pearl, Mary Jeanette, George Hubert, Daniel Leslie and Miss Helen, and, by the way, they are some boosters for Sumner, Illinois, too.
Well, I will not take up any more space this time, except to say that I am proud I was raised in Sumner and have some very good friends there and extend an invitation to all when in Vincennes to call at our home. Just take a car at union station and tell the conducted to put you off at first and Swartzel.
George and Edna Burnside
January 16, 1915
Saturday morning is red letter day in our weekly calendar. Why? That is the mail on which the Press arrives. We are sure that no "Sons of Old Lawrence" can give it a more hearty welcome then that it receives here. Letters can keep one tied to the old home, but it takes a hometown paper to keep in touch with all. Certainly the Press is a wonder at doing this.
Now, "Get Together" is a slogan of the age. So do Sumner folks when far away, and what is what we have done. In answer to your kind invitation, "Modesty" forbids us to tell about ourselves-we shall tell about each other. Now if the ladies will kindly remove their hats.
Harry Lathrop, whose father, Mr. G. S. Lathrop, lives just east of Sumner, owes in my mind a great deal to Old Lawrence his success since he left her boundaries is conclusive proof. It was on the banks of Muddy, which flowed near the old home just north of the famed Captain Lewis farm, that he taught him the first lesson of his chosen profession-teaching. I suppose instructing the fish the danger of biting on the Sabbath, so it must have been, for the records of Lawrence County’s Rural Schools credit Harry with four years successful teaching. Teaching led to work in a normal school, and Harry found himself a student in the Illinois state Normal University at Normal, Illinois. After graduation in June, 1912, he was offered the principalship of the high school at Paxton, Illinois, for the next school year, and accepted. The call to his Alma Mater however, was so strong that after one year at the Paxton High he returned to normal to finish his undergraduate work-and other studies. With the class of 14 he received the degree of Bachelor of Education. Not only did he leave the old Normal with an enviable record as a student, but, with honors in other lines as well. Among the debating circles of the normal schools of Wisconsin, Indiana, and our own Illinois, he has a reputation as a winning debater. In literacy society work he was a leader, but his greatest achievement has been beyond a doubt the "attachments" that he formed in Normal.
At present he is doing graduate work in the Department of Geography and economics in the University of Chicago, working for the degree of Master of science. "An authority in geographic circles on the Illinois oilfield." With, how could he help it?-We leave him.
One minute for change of reels.
Robert Guy Buzzard, commonly known as plain "Guy," Finney Sumner high school in 1909. Having heard the call of the pedagog he spent three years uplifting the country boys and girls of his home county but having seen the proverbial loader with lots of room up higher he determined to occupy some of the hitherio unoccupied space. Therefore he landed at normal, Illinois, if a heart full of aspirations and a head at least partially full of brains.
I, say at least partially full because there has been so much expansion since that time, room must be allowed for growth. The brains got to work and in 1913, Robert Guy received his diploma from the University high school, but the vacancy will was still not filled and pursuit was immediately instituted after the elusive Normal School Diploma. In 1914 the diligent work was rewarded. The Illinois state normal University issued a diploma of which was written dignified black letters, "Robert Guy Buzzard" his record at normal was commendable. Prominent in literature, dramatic and journalistic circles, his activities, culminated in the yearbook of 1914, of which he was editor.
The habitat of this particular kind of bird is limited to southerly climes but the city by the waters needed a specimen. Hence guy was employed to teach in the Harvard School for boys on Drexel Boulevard, Chicago. However, at the same time he is doing work in the University of Chicago and will receive the degree of S. B. With the class of 16. But the story is not complete without the following chapter. O O ………………
The preceding line when properly translated gives the full story of guys matrimonial endeavors for the benefit of his friends in old Lawrence.
Thus in death the tale of "Two Non-residents”.
And now, dear Editor, may we again express our appreciation of your news the paper, and the part of the press is doing to "boost" Sumner and old Lawrence.
Very truly yours,
Robert Guy Buzzard
5600 Drexel Avenue
Clapham, New Mexico
January 25, 1915
We think our “Old Times Issue" a capital idea and hope to see many interesting letters from our old friends and acquaintances.
After almost 4 years residence in Sumner, we left there in May 1911, came to Union County, New Mexico, and move that wants to our claim, or Homestead, a 320 acres. One which we made final proof and received our patent timber 1914.
Homesteading is no joke. It's real life. And we are better off physically for having gone through with it. The children are healthy and robust and have profited by their experiences in the great new western country.
Carroll, our oldest boy is attending business college in Denver, Colorado, Leah, our oldest daughter, is in school in Clayton, New Mexico, Robert and Hazel go to our country school, while J. C. and Anna and little Carrie run the ranch, look after the cows, pigs and poultry, and enjoy western life on the Prairie.
Those of you who are reading "The Prairie Wife" in the Saturday evening Post, will get a glimpse of actual western life, or homemaking, away out on the Prairie among the coyotes, Jack rabbits, range cattle, etc.
Duty call us and we came, and are glad we did. We expect to stay in the grand new state,"New Mexico." The boys have killed eagle, wildcat, coyote, learn to ride pitching broncos, and talk spanish.
We raised an enormous feed crop also corn and maize.
This section of the country, 15 years ago was considered as only a grazing country, has developed into a garden spot, and all without irrigation.