The "Turnover Years"
The Graham Family

In June of 1888, John H. Graham
purchased the property where our
house was built. In that year, Edward
Cronkrite and William Stewart divided
their 160 acres into what appears to be
three parcels. Graham paid $2,198.80
for a 74-acre parcel on the south side of
Farm School Road. In December 1888,
Warren Dart paid $896 for a 50-acre
Left: The wedding
announcement for Sarah
("Sadie") Graham and
Charles Carnefix. The
announcement appeared
in the November 22, 1887
edition of the Freeport
Daily Journal newspaper.

Right: Two days later, the
couple was married at the
home of Sadie's parents.
The November 25th
edition of the Freeport
Daily Journal reported the
couple's marriage.

Sadie's older brother,
David, would later become
President of Freeport's
Second National Bank.
Above: Notice of the settlement of the Samuel Davis estate,
published in the Freeport Daily Journal on June 26, 1885.

Below: After Samuel Davis died, he owed J. H. Graham for
what probably were farm-related supplies. John Graham
was a Rock City merchant at that time, and would later own
some of the Davis land that makes up our property today.
This notice was filed in the May 26, 1883 edition of the
Freeport Daily Journal.
Above: Two notices that appeared in the Freeport Daily Journal in December 1885, concerning property sold out of
the Samuel Davis estate.
Left: Excerpt from Edward Cronkrite's
biography in
Biographies of the State
Officers and Thirty-Third General
Assembly of Illinois. Note to "large and
portly" State Representatives: Hire your own
biographer.
Edward Cronkrite and William Stewart

The land that includes our home was sold out of
the Samuel Davis estate in December 1885 to
Edward L. Cronkrite and William Stewart. The
Davis estate had only been settled about six
months earlier in June of 1885. Why the estate
settlement took almost 3 years is unclear, but
Samuel did have what appears to have been
substantial assets. By this time, Mary Davis was
the only known link to the original Davis clan
still remaining in Rock Run Township. That she
sold the Davis family land is not surprising, since
she came to the area for no other reason we
know of, than her marriage to Samuel.

Cronkrite and Stewart paid about $20/acre for
160 acres carved out of the Davis land in Section
27 of Rock Run Township (see green outline in
this map). Both buyers were prominent Freeport citizens who were well connected and probably
well-off financially. Cronkrite was a Freeport businessman, a two-term Freeport mayor, and served in
the Illinois House of Representatives. Stewart, also referred to as "Captain Stewart", was an early
settler in Stephenson County and was elected twice as county sheriff. He served with John Davis in
the 46th Regiment during the Civil War. We're not sure why Cronkrite and Stewart were attracted to
this land, other than as an investment opportunity. They would only own the property for about
three years. They may have seen it as a chance to make money by dividing a larger piece of land into
smaller tracts that could be sold to a wider audience of interested buyers. Stephenson County real
estate records show the two mortgaging the property to J.H. Stearns for $2,140.80, or two-thirds of
the purchase price. Stearns was a Stephenson County judge at the time.
Above: Sam Warn's obituary appeared in the January 20,
1933 edition of the Freeport Journal-Standard. This is
another example of an obituary not matching up with
other informational sources. The date of birth conflicts
with what was reported on the 1900 U.S. Census. The
census showed Sam's birth year as 1860.
Above: Sam's divorce was granted in September 1928,
the same year he left for Los Angeles. We don't know
why he moved there.
Above: These types of stories were common in the
Freeport Daily Journal. This report was published in
December 1905, a time when farm leases typically
began for the following growing season. Walter Lapp
was the father of
Grace (Lapp) Mullican, who would
later live in our house. The Carnefix family was one of
the original settlers of Rock Run Township.

Below: In January 1908, Sam Warn sold the property
to David Welling. In turn, Sam Warn bought a
property in Rock City that was owned by David
Welling. We're not sure why this real estate trade
took place, but suspect Sam may have been getting
divorced from his first wife at that time.
With the death of Samuel Davis came the most significant three decades of our property's history.
The Davis land would be divided into a 74-acre parcel where our house was built, and the property
changed hands several times. We were told that the original part of our house was constructed in
the 1880's, and the kitchen addition probably occurred during this chain of ownership. These years
are curious to us, because we can't figure out who built the original house or the kitchen addition.
But each of the owners during this period had their own interesting stories.
David F. Welling

In January of 1908, a pair of odd real estate transactions appeared
on the same day in the Stephenson County real estate records.
Sam Warn sold his 74-acre property to David F. Welling for $4,810.
Welling then sold Sam a building he owned on Main Street in Rock
City. The Rock City property was where Welling had operated the
David Welling Agricultural Implement Shop.  The Freeport
Journal-Standard society pages frequently mentioned Welling's
sale of horse-drawn buggies in the early 1900's. Some of those
buggies were sold on credit, as shown in Stephenson County
public filings which Welling recorded against the buyers of his
equipment.

The Rock Run Historical Society suggests that the former Welling
implement building became a boarding house run by Sam's wife
Ida. In the Society's historical calendar for the year 2000, a photo
taken sometime after 1911 shows what would have been the
former Welling implement building, and at that time was the "Ida
Warns" boarding house. We wonder if 1908 was the time period in
Above: In 1913, David Welling died at
the young age of 48. He and his wife,
Mary, are buried in the Saint Paul's
Epplyanna cemetery near Davis,
Illinois. Mary died in 1960.
Excerpt, 1894 plat map of Rock Run Township, Stephenson County
Thomas Flynn

On April 4, 1896 John Graham sold the 74 acres to Thomas
Jefferson Flynn Jr. for $1,350. Known mostly as T.J. Flynn or
Jefferson Flynn, Thomas was a Rock Run Township resident
born in February 1863 to Thomas and Ellen (Kelly) Flynn. His
grandfather, also named Thomas Flynn, was one of the original
Rock Run settlers who arrived in 1836. The Flynn's, along with a
number of fellow Irishmen, settled in the southeast corner of
the township in an area that would come to be known as Irish
Grove. The eldest Flynn bought 80 acres from the U.S.
Government in Section 25 of Rock Run Township in 1845 and
1847, and another 80 acres in Section 36 in 1848.

T.J. married Sophia Wendt in 1889. Sophia was the fourth of
five daughters born to Fred and Elizabeth Wendt. Fred was a
farmer and stone mason in Rock Run Township, about a mile
south of our house. T.J. and Sophia had three children, the
oldest named  - what else? - Thomas. Sometime after 1900, the
Flynn's left Rock Run Township for what is now the Chicago
suburb of Lisle, where the 1910 U.S. Census listed T.J. as a
farmer. Back then, Du Page county probably looked not much
different than most other counties in Illinois, which were
focused mainly on agriculture. Today, suburbia has taken over
Du Page County, and the Flynn's farm is now probably a mass of
commercial or residential real estate.

The 1910 census showed that T.J. owned his house in Lisle
Township. Why the Flynn's packed up and moved east is
unknown, but they took the whole family. Eldest son Thomas,
who was called by his middle name, Everett, was 20 years old in
1910. Daughter Hanora, who went by her middle name of Pearl,
was 18. Youngest son Edward, who went by his middle name of
Emerson, was 16.

After his death in 1911, T.J. was buried in the Irish Grove
Catholic Cemetery in Rock Run Township. Shortly after, Sophia
acquired a 180-acre farm about a mile north of Pearl City. It's
not clear how or why she purchased these acres, but both of
her sons moved with her and were listed in her household in
the 1920 U.S. Census. In 1929, this farm was the site the largest
which Sam's marriage to Ida was in its final stages. His farm real estate sales might have provided the
funding to set up Ida with her own source of income, while Sam moved to Freeport to start his
business there.

Whatever the reason for the Warn/Welling real estate trade, David Welling owned our property for
only a short time. In September 1909, he sold the property to Franklin Hufford for $5,550. Was
Welling's purchase of the farm to help Sam Warn out of a situation, with hope of selling the property
later for more money? Maybe. On the surface, the transaction would have netted Welling a decent
return, but he could have been the owner who added the kitchen addition during that time.

So Who Built Our House...and When?

The couple who sold us our property said the original part of the house was built in the 1880s. What
we've seen in the basement would certainly support this time period. However, if the house was
constructed in that decade, we're pretty sure it wasn't the primary residence of whoever built it. The
three owners of that decade - Samuel Davis, Cronkrite/Stewart, and John Graham - already had
homes elsewhere.  Samuel Davis owned houses in the village of Davis and on his property at the
corner of Eggert Road and Farm School Road. He probably wouldn't have needed a third place to
live. Cronkrite and Stewart were both well-established in Freeport, with Stewart already having his
own country home at his family's 360-acre farm west of Dakota. His farm is referred to several times
over the years in the Freeport Daily Journal society pages, as a sort of country retreat for family and
friends. We know Cronkrite was a horse breeder, based on entries in the American Morgan Horse
Register. Would he have built a house on 160 acres so that he, too, could have a country retreat?
Maybe.

If John Graham built our house, Margaret Graham’s
1922 obituary in the Freeport Journal-Standard
suggests they never lived here. The obituary states that during their marriage, the Graham’s lived for
three years on a farm about 3 miles south of Rock City. This was probably on land they owned at the
corner of Eggert Road and Cedarville Road, shown in the 1871 plat map of Rock Run Township.  
Around 1860 the Graham’s moved into Rock City, where they stayed until 1871. They then moved to
their 160-acre farm property adjacent to Rock City, also shown in the 1871 plat map, and were there
until John's death in 1897.

We're pretty sure there was a house here in 1894, since the Rock Run Township plat map from that
year clearly shows a square dot on John Graham's 74 acres. Those dots represented homes, so
someone lived there, whether it was in today's house or an earlier residence. If Cronkrite and Stewart
built a house on the property, then John Graham had to have a reason to own land with a home on
it. One theory is that he bought it for one of his children, so they could farm the family land. That
time period was when some of his sons would have become adults. However, research on John
Graham's children does not suggest any of them were farmers. By 1900, the U.S. Census shows only
Henry Graham and his brother, John Jr., living in Rock City. The rest of the Graham siblings had
moved outside the township, although several were still involved in the grain merchandising
business and general store. The 1890 census records might have shed some light on who lived in our
house, but unfortunately most of the U.S. census data for that year was destroyed by fire.

John Graham did have a daughter who married a farmer in 1887, which could have been the reason
he wanted to own a farm with house on it. Sarah "Sadie" Graham was 27 years old when she married
Charles A. Carnefix. According to a wedding announcement in the Freeport Daily Journal, Charles
Carnefix was a "prosperous farmer in Rock Run Township." He had graduated with a degree in civil
engineering from the University of Michigan in 1875. It’s possible that John Graham built our house
for his daughter and son-in-law after they were married, so that Charles could farm the Graham land.

Just two years after the marriage, however, Charles died. A 1913 bulletin published by the University
of Michigan College of Engineering stated that he died at Rock City on June 6, 1889 and was a
teacher at that time. So was he a teacher or a farmer? Did he and Sarah plan to begin their new life
together in a new home on Farm School Road? We may never know.

Another theory is that the house was built specifically for tenant farmers. Typical leases were based
on a crop share arrangement, where the landowner and tenant share the costs of raising crops or
livestock, and split the farm products. This arrangement was common well into the 20th century. In
fact, the house in which I was raised was provided by a landowner who rented my father farm
ground on a
50/50 crop share basis. This type of lease was more of a business partnership between
the landowner and the tenant, so providing a decent place for the tenant to live helped the
landowner entice a good farmer to work the land. The fact that all of the 1880s-era owners were
probably well-off financially may explain why the original part of the house is a bit nicer than
common tenant farmer houses I've seen. Most homes built for farm tenants didn't have basements
or second-floor sitting rooms, as does the original part of our house.

Still, none of this information ties to a specific person or year in which the house was originally built.
We researched the local newspapers for reports of contractors building houses in the last two
decades of the 19th century, but didn't find anything relevant to our property. Although the previous
owners we've talked to said the original part of the house was built in the 1880s, the house itself has
revealed few clues to its origination date. We were told that the first addition to the original house
occurred in the 1890s, and thanks to a bedroom remodel project in 2014-15, we know the wall studs
in that part of the house measure 1.75 x 3.75 inches. That was a bit of a surprise, since we often hear
about how homes of that period used studs that were a full 2x4 inches. We hope the final bedroom
to be remodeled in the oldest part of the house will give us a few more clues about the time of
construction.

The other angle we explored was the prices each owner paid when they bought and sold the
property. In theory, a large difference between the price paid and the price sold would suggest that
real estate fixtures were added during that period of ownership. Since the chain of ownership was
fairly long from the time the Cronkrite and Steward land was divided up, until David Welling sold the
property to Franklin Hufford, we had quite a few data points to look at.

The first evidence we analyzed was the Cronkrite/Stewart sale transactions. John Graham paid
almost $30/acre for his 74 acres, compared to $17.92/acre paid by Warren Dart and around $28/acre
by Herman Bokhof. The Dart land, where most of the Espenscheid Woods forest preserve is now
located, was the roughest, most jagged piece of ground and rightly should have sold for the least
money per acre. The Graham land was also somewhat rough, with many trees, and even today would
have only about 15 tillable acres. The Bokhof land was the only flat piece of the 160 acres, and
according to the 1871 plat map, had little or no trees. If crop farming was the highest and best use for
farm real estate in the 1880s, then the Bokhof land should have been the most valuable on a per-
acre basis. However, the Graham land fetched the highest price per acre, possibly because it was the
only tract with buildings.

But then an unusual thing happened. John Graham took a large loss on his 74 acres when he sold to
T.J. Flynn in 1896. What is odd about this loss is that farm real estate prices in Illinois were on a rising
trend in the 1890s. Why Graham parted with the land for less than two-thirds of what he paid for it is
unclear. One possibility is we misinterpreted how Cronkrite and Stewart divided their 160 acres, and
Graham actually ended up with more than 74 acres. However, the legal descriptions seem to tie out
to what the 1894 plat map shows. Another theory is that the economic Panic of 1896 affected
Graham in a way that required him to quickly raise liquidity. Even though panics, recessions and
depressions didn't always affect rural areas to the same extent as the rest of the population, John
Graham was a merchant who probably had ties to Chicago and other urban areas. Credit availability
is often the first thing to contract when an economy weakens, so maybe he needed to sell some
assets to support his business.

We also know that John Graham was nearing the end of his life. Whether he realized this in 1896,
we'll never know, but maybe he was trying to do some estate planning for his large family. The real
insight to the sale to Flynn, as well as the next two sales of the property over the following 3 years, is
what at first glance appears to be a windfall for Sam Warn. His return would have been about 12%
annually for an 8.5-year investment. When I first did the math on Sam's investment return, it seemed
unlikely that the value of his property could have increased by 2.67 times without some significant
capital improvements. In fact, an argument could be made that Sam Warn was the man who built
the house to begin with, for how else could a person add $3,000 in value to the property during that
time frame?

But upon further review of historical farm real estate prices, the period between 1900 and 1920 was
a boom for agricultural land values. The
USDA's Census of Agriculture in 1920 was an eye-opening
look at real estate trends going all the way back to 1850. In Illinois, farm real estate values increased
by about 40% in the decade of the 1890s, and then roughly doubled between 1900 and 1910. So if
John Graham's $2,200 purchase of the 74 acres in 1886 represented the baseline for Illinois land
values, then Frank Hufford's $5,550 purchase in 1909 doesn't seem out of line - with or without
buildings on the property.

So...we still don't know who built our house.
Above: When Sam Warn moved to California, this is the street he loved on in 1930, in the Watts section of Los
Angeles. As it looked around 2013, this neighborhood probably wouldn't have been his first choice. Sam may have
followed his son Charles to California. Charles was listed in the 1920 U.S. Census as living about a mile southwest of
the University of Southern California campus. He was a veterinarian, who later became the head of the Los Angeles
city humane department. Even Sam's first wife, Ida, moved to the Los Angeles area later in her life, to live with her
daughter, Jessie (Warn) Folkrod. Ida was listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as "Idabell Warn", aged 71 years and
mother-in-law of George Folkrod. Ida and the Folkrods lived in the Inglewood section of the city.
what newspapers reported and U.S. Census enumerators transcribed. The obituary said she was a
lifelong resident of the Kent, Illinois community near the farm she owned north of Pearl City.
Obviously she made a few other stops in life before settling there, including what appears to be a
return to Rock Run Township in the late-1920s and early-1930s. The 1930 U.S. Census appears to
show her as a housekeeper for Oscar Blackmore in Davis, Illinois. Blackmore had been declared an
incompetent by the court in 1929, and all of his substantial land holdings were sold in November of
that year. Sophia's connection to Oscar Blackmore may have been through his brother's wife, Mary
(Flynn) Blackmore. The year of son Everett's arrest for bootlegging also came around this time, so
maybe the Flynn's said goodbye to the Pearl City farm after the liquor raid.

George Funnell

On August 18, 1897, George Funnell purchased the 74 acres from T.J. Flynn for $1,480.

George was born in Barcomb, England on September 14, 1842. As a youth, he moved to the United
States in 1854. After settling in Elgin, Illinois, both of his parents died, leaving George and his brother
James as orphans. George came to Pecatonica, Illinois in 1861 and at some point learned the
butchering trade. He married Armitta Abbott of Wayne, Illinois in 1867. They lived for some time in
Ridott  Township in Stephenson County, before moving to the Pecatonica area. George operated a
butcher shop in Pecatonica for a number of years and was a leader in the community.

The 1900 U.S. Census shows George living in Pecatonica with his wife and youngest son Frank. At the
time he lived on a farm near Pecatonica and called himself a butcher and stock breeder. His son Fred
was also in meat marketing, having reported his occupation as a butcher in the 1900 census. George
appeared in the February 1881 edition of the American Shorthorn Herd Book as co-owner of a bull
named Sonsie's Duke.

We know little else about George Funnell or his connection to T.J. Flynn. Why he, like Flynn, owned
the property for such a short time remains a mystery. What we do know is that from the 1890s
through the 1920s, farmland values were on the rise. It's possible that both Flynn and Funnell saw
their purchases as short-term investments, and they cashed out as soon as they could sell for a
reasonable profit.

George died on August 14, 1904 and is buried in the Pecatonica Cemetery. His wife died in 1920, and
is also buried in the Pecatonica Cemetery.
Above: T.J. Flynn's son, Everett, was a
bootlegger in the 1920s. This article
appeared in the September 18, 1929
edition of the Freeport Journal-Standard.
Everett Flynn's record fine would be
eclipsed by his accomplice Paul Santos,
who pled not guilty and lost his case in
court three months later. His fine was
$1,300 and he was sentenced to 3 months
in jail.


Left: Everett Flynn was at church during
the raid on the Flynn farm.
Above: Former Davis-area resident Dan Buck provided this photo of an early bridge over Rock Run
Creek near our house. The photo appears to have been taken directly across the road from our
house, looking east. We don't know the year in which this photo originated, but a bridge was
constructed here in 1905 by the W.H. Shons Bridge Company. Iron-constructed bridges like this one
are often traced back to this period, based on those documented on
bridgehunter.com in
Stephenson County.

We believe this bridge is one of at least 3 constructed at this location over the years - and possibly
the first. As was common in those days, the bridge was built perpendicular to the creek, causing the
road to change direction. The photo shows the bridge angled to the north, causing the road to bend
markedly on the east side. Later bridges would cross the creek at an angle and eliminate the bend. A
survey of our property shows an older center line of Farm School Road in a different location than it
is today (see below).

The bridge above was damaged in 1916, after heavy rains in March of that year caused severe
flooding. On March 29th, the Freeport Journal-Standard reported that the Pecatonica River rose at
least a foot higher than its previous record at Freeport. The following month, the County Supervisor
of Highways inspected what was then referred to as the Hufford Bridge, and bids were gathered for
its repair. In
June of 1916, W. H. Shons won the bid to beef up the 115-foot span. A permanent
abutment was added, as well as a concrete wing, which would be designed to carry a new steel or
concrete span in the future.

A former owner of our house,
Brian Barnes, sent us a picture of a flood in 1996, which swelled Rock
Run Creek to about 500 feet wide. "It washed out all the new pasture fence," Brian said, "as well as
left a pile of rocks 50 feet across, 5 feet high from the bridge south a tenth of a mile." A flood of that
magnitude in 1916 would probably have tested the capacity of the Farm School Road bridge.

An
aerial photo from 1939 shows what seems to be a straighter road than what appears in the
background of this photo, so at some point after it's likely that at least some of the bend was
removed with the 1905 bridge. The current bridge was
constructed in 1984 and crosses the creek at a
25-degree angle. Farm School Road is relatively straight on both sides of the bridge.

Below: Survey of our property. At the top of the survey is a notation of the "former center line of
road". This was probably from when Farm School Road angled to meet the bridge, as shown in the
above photo.
parcel on the north side of Farm School Road (most of this is now the Espenscheid Woods forest
preserve). The remaining 36 acres were probably an eighth-mile-wide swath cut off the east edge of
the 160 acres, which were sold that same month to Herman Bokhof for $996.62.An 1894 plat map
shows our house on the property purchased by John Graham, who was a native of Pennsylvania. He
came to Rock Run Township in 1842 and began farming, but eventually gave that up to own a
general store in Rock City. His business pursuits evolved into the Graham Brothers Company, which
included a general store and grain elevator in Rock City, as well as grain elevators in Dakota, Durand,
Florence and Nora. U.S. Postal records indicate that both John Graham and his son Henry were
Postmasters of the Rock City post office. John was appointed Postmaster in 1891 and Henry in 1902.

John Graham married Margaret Ann Young, also a Pennsylvania native, in 1857. They had 11
children, 10 of who were alive and living with John and Margaret as of the 1880 U.S. Census (their
son Robert died in 1867). John died on February 23, 1897 at the age of 72. Shortly after he died,
Margaret moved to Freeport, where she lived until her death in 1922.
Maybe moving to Los Angeles with a
new baby was a fresh start for the
Warn's, although when he was
enumerated in April 1930, Sam was
unemployed, a month shy of his 67th
birthday, and living in the Watts
section of the city.

Sam's three children from his first
marriage all ventured to the Los
Angeles area. Eldest son Charles
appears to have been the first to move
to California. He became a veterinarian
and headed the Los Angeles city
humane department in the 1930s. His
claim to fame was putting an end to a
Hollywood research chemist's
Above: Sam's son William left his mark in the basement with this
quote: "When this you see remember me". His name is written on the
wood beam, just out of sight near the foundation wall.
stated that animal experiments could not be
conducted outside a state-accredited university
laboratory. In this case, the law won and the
experiment ended immediately.
experiment with freezing monkeys and attempting to bring them back to life. In August 1936, Dr.
Ralph S. Willard had already frozen one monkey and claimed to have brought it back to life. When he
tried reviving a second frozen monkey on August 20th, Dr. Warn invoked California law, which
Samuel Warn

On July 17, 1899, George Funnell sold the 74-acre property to Samuel B. Warn for $1,800. Sam Warn
was born in 1860 and lived for several years in the Davis and Rock City areas. The 1900 census shows
him as Samuel
Warren, living on a farm he owned in Rock Run Township. His occupation was listed as
"Farmer", which suggests he and his family were living in our house. Although he did own other
acreage in Rock Run Township a few miles south of our property, none of the old plat maps show a
house on those acres. He married his wife, Ida, at the tender age of 17. They had two sons and a
daughter.

According to former owner
Brian Barnes, the kitchen and back porch were added during the Warn's
ownership in 1904 and 1906, respectively.

By 1905, the Warn's were no longer living on the farm. In September of that year, Sam bought a
house in Davis from Robert J. Long. The November 2, 1905 edition of the Freeport Daily Journal
society pages reported that Sam was moving into "rooms over J.S. Afflerbaugh's store" in Davis. The
next month, the newspaper reported that Sam's moving day had arrived, and that a man named Bert
Snook had moved onto the Warn farm. We assume this was the 74-acre property, and Bert Snook
was renting it for the 1906 season. Evidently, the Warn's time in our house was relatively brief.

In January 1908, Sam Warn sold our property to David Welling. The next month, he sold his other
farm land in Sections 2 and 3 of Rock Run Township to T.J. Flynn. Sam's ties to country life were
apparently over. By March of 1908, he had moved into a house on Main Street in Rock City. The next
month, he was in the process of adding onto the house, possibly turning it into a boarding house that
would later be run by Ida Warn.

We suspect a divorce may have prompted the sales of his farm properties, and he probably left Rock
Run Township (and his wife) around the time he sold his land. In May of 1909, the Rockford
Register-Gazette reported that Ida Warn had filed for divorce. At that time Sam operated a saloon in
Freeport. The 1910 U.S. Census shows Ida Warn living as head of household in Rock City with her
teenage daughter, Jessie. Her occupation was "Keeper of Boarding House." Sam Warn did not appear
in the 1910 census for Rock Run township, or any other location that we could find. His second wife,
Minnie, was 19 years old when she married Sam, which suggests their matrimony began when Sam
was in his 40s.

The 1920 U.S. Census shows Sam living in the Freeport area (Lancaster Township) with Minnie, who
was 22 years younger. His occupation was listed as carpenter, and they had no children at that time.
His 1933 obituary stated that he had operated a store in Freeport called Basement Bargain.

In January 1928, Minnie filed for divorce on account of drunkenness. She was granted the divorce in
September 1928. Evidently Minnie either didn't follow through with the divorce, or else she
continued living with Sam afterwards. A daughter, June, was born about the same time the divorce
proceedings began. His 1933 obituary mentions a wife and baby who moved with him to California in
July 1928, and the 1930 U.S. Census has him living in Los Angeles with Minnie (his wife, according to
the census) and his 2-year-old daughter.
Above Left: George Funnell did not take kindly to a dog biting his son. The outcome was unfortunate, but the writing
style was awesome (April 7, 1881 edition of the Rockford Register).
Above Right: George was involved in a major drunken brawl in 1874.
bootleg liquor still uncovered in
Stephenson County up to that point.
Everett Flynn paid a hefty fine for his
part of the alcohol manufacturing
operation.

In July 1942, Sophia suffered a stroke
and died on September 18, 1942.
Sophia's obituary was common to
many we've seen during our
research,
in which the description of
her life didn't quite match up with