March 14, 2018

Helen posted this 2018 re our richness of life at home

I didn't realize that we were poor by standards that society sets; wasn't until a few years ago when at a ladies circle meeting when we were all asked our favorite toy we got at Christmas, etc. I drew a blank as I could not remember receiving a special toy except for a q pie doll that was broken that same day.So I said; my favorite memories were not the things we received but the decorating and family meal with all the trimmings. We didn't have grandparents to visit; we spent the day with each other. Mom made Christmas so special the decorations, food, Christmas tree; we weren't poor; we were rich with their love..

Amboy Il Newspaper re: grandpa Hank 3/14/18

75 years ago March 11 1943
Henry Wellman of Lee Center has the distinction of being  a member of the Masonic fraternity for 60 years.In commemoration of his membership, he was recently presented with a pin by Lee Center A.F. and A.M. Mr Wellman is the father of Elizabeth Flach, Walter Wellman, Howard Wellman, Mary Brayman, And Don Wellman.

His son Howard (Our father )  entered the Masons in his dad's footsteps and a member over 50 years. His ring was passed to SIL, Voris Page, also a Mason.

February 19, 2018

Home info from Helen Page re the wellman house

 The paper I have seems to say Aunt Leona and mom and dad were joint tenants,  and not tenants in common, with the right of survivorship. I will show this to Chris at lunch today. It is dated 1956.  Also I have the bill for Uncle Dons funeral. It was made out to Charles W. Wellman. Dons name is listed as Don Harold Wellman.  The coffin described as 6/3 Half couch Oxford Grey Silk Interior And Overthrow Ext. HNDLS. Plate Masonic Plate  $150.00.        Outside Wooden Box    10.00.   Embalming. 20.00.  Funeral Car Edward’s 3Way.   18.00.  Grave decorations. 2.00.  Chairs and Delivery. 5.00.  Ambulance Service 5.00.   Personal Services 5.00. Total $215.00. By Government Check  100.00 Veterans Bureau.         Balance $115.00.            Then it goes on to say - Received payment in full from W.H.Wellman on this 24th day of October, 1934.    Carrie B. Vaughn Executrix of the Estate of Frank Vaughn, deceased.     Thank you very much for this settlement.      The funeral must have been in January as the bill is dated Jan. 24,1934.           Looks like Uncle Walt paid the bill.       Interesting account of how they did funeral work then. Mom told me that Dons leg was pretty mangled from the accident; got gangrene , amputated his leg.  He was in Amboy Hospital, wonder if they had antibiotics then? Take care, no more doing the twist(lol).πŸ’•Mary Page was Rachel Nears friend. She was related to Esther Conibear as Esther was a Near. Esther’s mother rented our house in Lee Center before Don bought it. Rachel was probably married to Esther’s brother. Uncle Walt’s son is Charles Walter Wellman. He is still living in Streator with his second wife Winnie. I showed the deed to Chris and Kathy. Aunt Leona bought the house and in 1956 and signed it over to Mom and dad. They bought the house during the depression, dad had moved his money he had in the Amboy bank to the Plano bank thinking it would never close. Ended up the Amboy bank didn’t close and Plano did. He had a saving from when he got out of the Navy. Looks like Aunt Leona bought it and they paid her. Probably they decided in ‘56 to get out of her name.   Time now to go to book clubπŸ’•

January 23, 2018

" A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" Luke 6:45

As we now approach our annual church conference,Feb. 11th, we urge all to attend as we discuss past, present and future matters of the church. Recently while reading over old minutes of the church, I cam across many inspirational comments made by roger Schnell. a pillar of our church whom we greatly miss. In his wisdom, Roger often ended our annual conference with words of hope for the church's future. I often look back and remember the strong faith he lived and shared with us.

I would like to share a couple of Roger's quotes that exemplifies what we can hope to be in our our hearts this 175th year at Lee enter First Congregational UCC. .

We need remember......

"We must stay charged , enthusiastic, and keep the wheels of faith and community turning." " We can compare our congregation to a forest ....some trees dying, new ones growing , and life flourishing on those established." "A challenge is given to set our goals high and continue in our faith & growth this coming year"

In the year of our 175th anniversary. no better words can be shared.. Roger is greatly missed but his words continue to inspire and are an example of a steadfast love for God


January 20, 2018

February 1890  Henry and Maude Wellman Wedding Announcement
As  seen in the Daily Magnet Newspaper delivered once a month to Lee Center.

A large and merry party assembled Wednesday Evening at Mr J.R.Tait's, to witness the marriage of Mrs Tait's sister,Mrs Maud Spencer to Henry Wellman. The couple were united by Rev J.H Saule in his usual and impressive manner. He spoke of the solemnity of the occasion in a few well chosen words.The brides maid was Miss Allie Tait, of Amboy, and the best man was Harry Hale of Lee Center. Over the bride and groom,as they stood facing the assembly, a bell was tastefully arranged with flowers and evergreens.. The room was also decorated with sprigs and wreaths of Arbor vita.. after the ceremony was concluded,all joined in wishing the newly wedded couple success and joy through life. The company then adjourned to the dining room, where a sumptuous repast had been prepared. All did ample justice to the viands, after which time the company spent a short time in pleasant conversation.Among the many presents was a couple set of dishes, silver knives and folks, together with many articles of useful and ornamental nature.Mr Wellman's young friends presented him with a nice easy chair.There were many friends from a distance.The bride's mother,Mrs William Tait, of Bismark Iowa,came and will make her daughter a visit, Mrs Mr. and Mrs Webster of Minn., who have been traveling through the east, Mrs Oldfield and J .H. Oldfield of Downers Grove, and C.H. Oldfield of Cullison, Kansas.At a late hour, the company wended their way homeward, well satisfied and wishing Mr. and Mrs. Wellman a long and happy Life

*"Hank" and Maude are the grandparents to the five Wellmans..Howard Jr, Don, Helen, Karen and Cindy.

I had to giggle a bit as I read this old newspaper clipping. . I have questions with it., maybe my sister can clarify 

January 18, 2018

Lee Center church History Part 2

1852 Rev S.W.Phelps
Rev Phelps was a graduate of Columbia College, a fine classical scholar graduating with honors. He had prepared for the foreign Missionary Service. However, on account of frail health,he was persuaded by friends to enter the Home Missionary Service. He married Caroline Thompson June 10th, 1851, in New York city. She was originally from Galena and her uncle Artemus Hunt was Western Agent of the Home Missionary Society. Mrs Phelps had been a teacher for 4 years in New York prior to their marriage. She was a woman of refinement and culture, reading the Greek language fluently. She was a popular teacher and woman of literary ability. Learning that Lee Center church had applied for a pastor, he visited and accepted the offer. Mr Phelps preached his first sermon in the south room of the academy. with a congregation of about 60-70. The furnishing were narrow seatings for two, and an improvised table for Bible and Hymn books. The parsonage was the front room of the house across the way from the academy: the front chamber with one window being the ministers study and store room. The living room had a plain rag carpet, a few chairs that Mrs Davis had given them, a table, washstand pastor had made, and the curtains were of mosquito netting looped with bright ribbons.

The was a spirit of quiet happiness that rose above the surroundings. . Prayer meetings were held Wednesday evenings, usually at the pastor's home. Deacon and Mrs Barnes, Mr Lyman Wheat and daughter Josephine, Mr and Mrs Martin Wright, and Helen, Mr and Mrs Ira Brewer, and Uncle Elisha Pratt, Mr and Mrs James Brewer, and Deacon and Mrs Crombie , who lived in the rear of the house, are those who usually attended. After the meeting there was often time to talk over the interests of the church and devise ways and means to purchase a parsonage.

The house being sold,in the Spring there was to be a general moving; as a result of the house was brought that was known many years as the stone parsonage. ( also the home of Mrs Carmeleta Christie who was serving as a missionary in in Turkey)

During the winter the people gave the pastor a donation which was very successful. Dr and Mrs Adams, Dr and Mrs Ingals, Mr and Mrs Haskell were especially interested and helpful. The Palestine people came west and the pastor's heart was gladdened and encouraged receiving more than a hundred dollars plus a large pile of wood.

Sabbath School that first winter was attended by three and the following year by six. In 1854 the stone part of the academy was built into which the church service was transferred. The academy was under the supervision of Simon Wright and had quite a reputation abroad. they had a fine staff of teachers. Foreign students came which gave impetus to Sabbath School, and from the beginning, it sustained a Bible class.

In 1854 More families had come to the church services Mr and Mrs Cochkran, Mr and Mrs Clapp, Mrs George King and family,Mr and Mrs Bartlett, and others, which added to the church congregation. The time had arrived when they had begun to talk about building . Church land was purchased, plans drawn, and building began. a lot would happen in the following month , before the church dedication would be held..... More to come

Lee Center church History

An interesting article about How the Settlers of Lee center formed first church gathering. In the article, is mentioned Dr Adams, who resided in the home I grew up in ( Howard and June Welman's home)

There was a small farmhouse on a prairie farm which has since been remodeled and improved.. It was then surrounded by prairie on the road running north from what is now kinown as Amboy. called Crombie Lane. .It was the home of Moses crombie. They assembled July5, 1843, four families, who gathered for purpose of organizing for a church; which included he families of Furwell( 4), Barnes and Davis.

The house remained open for worship:ministers had been welcomed to their home:; the longed for the christian influence of their homeland.They were all from New England, except the Barnes, who were from New York.Earnestly they prayed for strength and guidiance in their work. Their first meeting was a prayer meeting and and the hymn they sang " I love thy Church o'o God". we would see them calm and deliberate as they signed their names to the articles of faith. and elected their Deacons; Moses Crombie and Ransom.Barnes. They named their church " The Congregational Church of Palestine Grove. We learned that Rev John Merrel was their first minister, Rev John Ingersol their second minister,and Rev Joseph Gardner, their third minister.Yhe length of the pastorates is not known but others joined the worship during this time. Rev John Ingersol also preached at Inlet, so it is imagined they had preachers that were available , that came into that neighborhood.As the congregation increased, it was transferred to the Wasson school house.About 1845, steps were taken to build an acaemy in the village near Inlet Grove. A few families had settled from Inlet Grove onto the prairie, Geo Haskell, a public spirited man, had moved his merchantile business. Rev Luke Hitchcok, a social man strong in his church and being a presiding elder of the rock River district, had, settled there. a Methodist church had been built on the lot now owned by sylvester Shaw, purchased by David Gray, and transformed by him into a dwelling house and harness shop. A parsonage was added onto this site where Christian Ulrichs house was later built.

One evening there was a discussion as to the name of the town. Those who lead were Esq Haskell, dr Adams, and Joseph Gardener. as the furture town was so near the center of Lee co, they united on the name of Lee Center. Deacon Crombie took the contract to build the academy, built a house and moved. Several families having settled in the vacinity, Mr Ira Brewer, Mr Wheat, Bradford church and was thought best to transfer Palestine Church to Lee Center , where it merged into the Lee Center Congregational church. Meetings continued at Deacon crombies home, until the completion of the academy. Rev Hanna and RevBrewer sometimes preached

January 15, 2018

Dibley Family by Aunt Mary (Wellman) Breyman

Happenings of our church 1911
The Dibley Family by Mary Breyman
"There was to be a new minister in our little Lee Center Congregational Church in about 1911. The whole community was agog,, as the new family was from London ,England! It hardly seemed possible that anyone would leave a big city, cross the sea, and travel to such a small community in the middle West to make their home. However, the Rev. Frederick Kempster had so chosen to do so, and with him would be his wife , Madge, her sister Polly, and brother Charles Dibley.
Great were the preparations for their arrival. The church was a lovely one of a New England style of white clapboard, a center isle , a tall steeple, and a lovely pipe organ with gold pipes shining. The ladies of the church scrubbed and dusted, swept the red Turkish rugs in the center and outer isles, cleaned the parsonage and with the help of the men painted and wallpapered where needed.
All of this is a hazy recollection to me as I was 8 years old, but I did sense the pressure that was mounting until the day of the arrival of our new church family. When that day did come, they were met at the train station in Amboy, and their dog Victoria ( called Vicky, and named for their adored Queen Victoria of England 1837-1901)
The whole village turned out to welcome them as they arrived with their luggage in one of our members carriages. Their household goods to follow in a dray ( wagon) I can't recall. but knowing my home town, I am sure they were welcomed with open arms.
Rev Kempster was a handsome , bombastic, opinionated man, showing from the beginning how superior he felt himself to be over the town folk. . The Dibleys ( Charles the brother) were a different story. Madge, the wife was a sweet , gentle, beautiful lady in rather delicate health. Polly was also dainty, but prim and proper. with decided opinions, yet willing to become part of our community, and was a willing worker at the church. . Charles ( Charley) was too a gentle , rather shy man, but as time went by, it was realized he was a bit more than fond of " a nip from the bottle" all were approaching middle age.
These three fine people made a great effort to make themselves a part of the community, and I might add, succeeded beautifully! It was obvious from the start they had lived a far different life in London and as time went on, we learned that their family had owned a large department store in the heart of London until their parents' death. Also it was learned that the family had suffered great losses which they had been too proud to admit. At that time the rev Kempster came into the picture and swept Madge off her feet and into marriage, with the promise that her sister and brother would be included in their trip across the Atlantic to our country, along with their wealth.
I was aware that there was mystery connected with the minister, as there would be discussions among the church adults which would immediately cease when youngster entered the room. Then one day word was passed about that the minister had k=left town, leaving no note or forwarding address. Madge was devastated and all three in a state of despair over their plight.
The people rallied around and gave them sympathetic support and encouragement. Little by little they settled down in another house, as of course, the future minister would need the parsonage.
All three Dibleys had beautiful singing voices and were so proud to relate to us the times that the two sisters had given command performances before the Queen. Charley played the trumpet and was a member of the Queens band. their second home was near Aunt Lissie's ( the old Jeanblanc house on Main street) and we would often hear them singing ,,Oh what sweet music they made!
There was an Odd Fellows Lodge and Rebecah Lodge and the Dibleys were members. I remember when the two sisters would dress for meetings--always in their finest clothes. They would carry reticules over their wrists and hold their long skirts up so that only the dust ruffles would touch the wooden sidewalks.
Their clothing was all of the finest materials from their store in London. but when anything new was made for them, it continued to end the Victorian style.
I spent lots of time in their home, and Polly would get out many of their treasures that had come with them from England for me to see. I especially recall a pair of turquoise lusters with beautiful cut prims, reaching almost to the table , their lovely sterling silver and a set of deep red with underlay vases, which many years later were presented to me as a gift.
One day , Madge brought out her wedding dress, cream color heavy satin and lace with a bustle and long train .
When I was asked to stay for tea, it was served with lovely silver service and the delicious scones and other British goodies, filled with currents or raisins.
The years rolled on , and the Dibleys grew old gracefully. Charlie was the first to die, then a few years later, a few years later, Madge and dear Polly was left alone. These proud people never complained nor did they ever ask for anything. It was learned too late that they were often hungry and was discovered they had quietly sold off most of their beautiful English possessions. It was further learned that a very kind man and generous Catholic meat market man, Frank Brady, sent meat to them from Amboy via the rural mail man. It was the latter, that told of this man's generosity.
The Dibleys are buried at our beautiful Woodside Cemetery , far from their home country, but I feel sure that they were contented to be put to rest under the whispering pines in a community where they had spent a great part of their lives among friends of our community and church,
*My dad's sister, Aunt Mary Breyman wrote her memories of friendship and fondness of the Dibleys in Lee Center. I just recently ran across a
this letter that I shared with you . Parts brought tears to my eyes when I read of the Dibley family's unknown struggles at the end of their lives. When dad was caretaker at the cemetery, I remember mowing their gravesites many years, not knowing anything about them. Aunt Mary's story touched me, and I appreciate the courage they had, and respect the sacrifices made as they journeyed to our country, and the gift of friendship brought to our church in 1911 until their deaths. . It is interesting of how much our lives have changed over the years, but one thing remains steadfast, is our love and devotion to our Lord. This was long, but feel our church ancestors have a story to tell...finding this letter, compelled me to share it. Cindy

November 14, 2017

lelia Place A great lady gets her Angel wings

Lelia (Whisenand) Place

October 8, 1918 - November 11, 2017

Lelia (Whisenand) Place, 99, of Compton, passed away Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon. Lelia was born October 8, 1918 in Brooklyn, Missouri, the daughter of Henry and Pearl (Helms) Whisenand. She graduated from Dixon High School in 1937. She married Charles Place May 20, 1938 in Dixon, IL.
Lelia grew up during the Depression and learned a sense of hard-work early on. To her younger siblings, she was a motherly figure. After her marriage to Charles, she became his partner in farming. She tended to the garden, raised her own livestock, drove the tractor, and did just about anything else the farm required. She and her husband enjoyed attending farm sales together as well as traveling, having taken many trips through the years.
After Charles’ death, she worked at Clayton’s Floral in Dixon for many years. Lelia was a member of the Church of the Brethren in Dixon but also attended the Paw Paw United Methodist Church and Reynolds Methodist Church in Ashton. She was also a member of the Lee County Home Extension as well as the Hobby Club, which would meet at the homes of the members. Lelia volunteered at the Shabbona Nursing Home in the crafts and activities department. She was very community minded, volunteering her time and skills (baking and cooking) to benefit others. She enjoyed painting and crafting. She had a vast collection of rocks, minerals, agates, and even seashells. This was a testament to her love of nature and ability to find beauty wherever she went. Lelia always made time for her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She took pride in passing on the skills she had learned to them.
Lelia is survived by her children, Norma Davis of Mt. Horeb, WI and Nancy (Richard) Eggers of Paw Paw, IL; nine grandchildren, Holly Feuling of Platteville, WI, Heather Hansen of Madison, WI, Kristine Meadows of St. Charles, IL, Michelle (John) Hilleson of Lee, IL, Kevin (Michelle) Eggers of Indianapolis, IN, Jason Eggers of Glen Ellyn, IL, Sue (Robert) Bertenshaw of Puyallup, WA, Anthony (Theresa) Eggers of Grimes, IA, and Justin (Rachel) Eggers of Hinckley, IL; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; two brothers, Lawrence (Donna) Whisenand of Atlanta, GA and Ralph Whisenand of Amboy, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Lelia is preceded in death by her husband, Charles; a grandson, Jason Davis; and five siblings, Raymond Whisenand, Henry Whisenand Jr., Eloise Radke, Jewel Wakely, and Robert Whisenand.
Visitation for Lelia will be from 3-7 P.M. Sunday, November 19, 2017, at Torman Funeral Home, 510 Flagg St. in Paw Paw.
A funeral service will be held at 11 A.M. Monday, November 20, 2017 at Reynolds United Methodist Church, 2496 Reynolds Rd, in Ashton, IL with Pastor Seamus Enright officiating. Additional visitation will be from 10-11 A.M. at the church. Interment will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Dixon.
Contributions in Lelia’s memory may be directed to Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon.

November 11, 2017

Aunt Leona's birthday surprise.

All Aboard the "Happy Birthday Train!"
A beautiful memory of our Aunt Leona


October 7, 2017


There comes a time in our lives we meet some pretty special people, and I for one, was blessed to become lasting friends with each of the dear KSB Hospital Nurse graduates. Our motto was "Ache and pains we will fix, We're the class of 66!" . As look back over the years, I give each of the gals full credit of inspiring each other to study hard, and learn to be the best nurses we could be. We owe our success to several instructors . our director of nurses Maxine Peterson, and staff of KSB Hospital for all the clinical hours they nurtured us.( I have to insert, this was before the 40 hr work week came into law, so we ate ,slept , worked and breathed hospital most of 24/7, including on call ) This photo was taken at an all school of nursing class reunion many years ago. Since that time , Sheila has passed away . Mary ,Kathy , Wanda , Judy , and I remain besties. This was a good memory I wanted to share . It may have been 51 years ago, but to me it seems like yesterday.

August 14, 2017


I will never forget the 1st day your Mom went to school; Jill and I walked with her until we got her across the highway. She went to Nash school so that was quite a walk. I fully expected she would want to come back home with us; but instead she went on and Jill cried all the way back home(LOL). She really missed her sister; we played a lot of board games for a while until she got used to it.  Written by Helen 

August 11, 2017

howard wellman

It was this time of month that I lost my brother Howard Wellman Jr. and also lost my father, Howard Sr...Both were such wonderful men and special dads that blessed the lives of many... especially my dear family.
Memories of our family ...and childhood are what shape our personality and who we are. Whether we like it (or not), our personality is formed by our parents, brothers, sisters, and the environment that we grew up in. I was so fortunate to have been raised in a family as we had! We realize that our past continues to affect who we are. Thank you for your unselfish love, dad and Howie! We miss you so much, but know you are always walking along side us, and guiding us with your words of wisdom and enduring love, ..that will never vanish. 

This is dad having some fun while traveling in the Appalachians.

Kind eyes

Hippie Tom "Kind Eyes"  by Terry Alby

old elevator

Helen submitted info  about this old grain elevator on Pine Hill Road. "  was called the Aschenbrenner elevator.I found information in a book called The Lee County Central Electric Railway by Philip L.  Keister. Elenor Baylor told us about it so we bought one. Doris Hillison grew up in a house next to it."

August 2, 2017

"Casey" Page has seen these tracks a few times.

As I recall. the Jeanblanc brothers once owned  (tracks and elevator) in Lee Center.  The little puffer belly locomotive  pulled grain cars.  Ferd Jeanblanc was the engineer  to Amboy and back.  Later the Lee Co Grain used these tracks still and my bil Voris Page engineered this train I believe, and was dubbed the name "Casey"  Interestingly, my grandmother was pictured putting a pike into this railroad in Lee Center. Also my mother June Wellman was head bookkeeper for Lee Co Grain many years.  They lived on a farm nearby the tracks between Amboy and Lee Center.( later owned by Bob and Jackie Delhotel

July 26, 2017

Cubs hx

July 25, 1988, today's date in Chicago Cubs history........The Cubs test their $5 million lighting system prior to their historic first night game at Wrigley Field scheduled for August 8th against the Phillies. Six banks of lights on 33-foot steel towers along the first-base and third-base baselines illuminate the field during the charity event in which players take batting practice and participate in a home run derby. The Cubs hosted "Cubs Care" under the lights from 6 to 9 p.m. The club held an informal workout and home run hitting contest featuring Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. Ken Holtzman and Fergie Jenkins were the pitchers. The photo is six banks of lights illuminated Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs held their first official night practice in Chicago, July 25, 1988. Wrigley Field is the last major league park to install lights and will have their first night game on Aug. 8, against the Phillies. (AP Photo/John Swart)


Tomorrow June27th would be my nieces birthday. Remembering her birth, I recall her dad coming home from the Navy, joining his wife Donice, for  a couple weeks, to be with her when their first child was born . As often happens, the baby said not yet. Unable to extend his furlough, Don headed back , driving to east coast naval station . Donice went into labor about 2 hrs after he left Mom made calls and soon Don found himself surrounded by State police in  Indiana . He had been driving fast , so he was rather nervous until they told him to "turn around son, you've got a baby coming" . Deborah Lynn Wellman entered the world soon after . Donice and their new baby joined Don 6 weeks later.   (Newprt)
Deb passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 47 yrs. She was such a joy to me to later babysit for and watch her grow up over the years. One memory I have, was taking her exploring for fossils at box canyon. She loved fishing trips with her family, cookouts in the woods, and later proved skilled in crafts. She became interested in making quilts . So many memories fading away but her smiles and laughter remain with me always . Deb worked many years at KSB in housekeeping. She also worked at O'Connell camp resort and At Franklin  Grove HS in custodial work. She has a daughter Elizabeth Bartlett , who lives in Missouri.  Happy Birthday in Heaven Debbie. In know your parents and grandparents joined with you there with  much love  in their hearts for you as well. May each  Rest in Peace with the Lord now, and , know they  were loved .  

This is another photo of Don, Donice,Deb and Joan, taken in 1969, the year Stephanie was born. When we would go visit them, they had a dry sink in the old fashioned pantry and we could lay her inside with blankets, but as it always turned out Aunt Donice and the girls held her most the time! I love this sweet picture of them ! It was a good memory I decided to stick into my blog today