OMTA & ABMP
President of the Oregon Massage Therapists Association
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events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
by Robert Bike
The Bible mentions about 232 plants by name, or closely enough to figure out what plant is meant. Of these, 24 are aromatic plants; that is, parts of the plants can be pressed or distilled to get an essential oil. Essential oils are the lifeblood of plants and have tremendous healing capabilities.
healing power of plants is the basis for modern medicines.
Originally published in manuscript form in 1999, I completely revised the book and added illustrations.
Biblical Aromatherapy in paperback,
List price $24.99; introductory offer $19.99
To order the pdf version and download to your computer or phone,
The electronic version is only $2.99!
Carlile, columnist for the Freeport (Illinois) Journal Standard,
featured this website in her column on January 19, 2007.
Life Purpose is to inspire my friends
Robert Bike, LMT, LLC
Fred H. Bowers, dentist, Japan; later Freeport.
Charles H. Bucks, Bucks & Warner, Chicago; later Winona, Minnesota.
Mabel Clare DeVore, Freeport; later married Mr. Hitchner, Albia, Iowa.
Emily Doeserich, Sabula, Iowa; later married Mr. Neurome.
Katherine Finn, teacher, Freeport; later married Mr. Scanlan.
Rose E. Gross, Freeport.
Frederick M. Gund, assistant secretary of German Insurance, Freeport; later manager of Williamsburgh City Fire Insurance Company, Freeport.
Jennie May Potter, teacher, Freeport; married Mr. Jordan.
Clementine Roland, married Mr. Kennicott, Carbondale, Illinois.
William E. Ruston, minister, Freeport; later Fairly, Iowa.
Julia Schofield, married Mr. Liscom, Chicago; later Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Matilda Smith, Freeport.
Edwin H. Smythe, inspector for Central Union Telephone Company, Chicago; later patent expert, Chicago.
William H. Staver, banker, Winfield, Kansas; later Mexico.
Sarah Helen Stevens, stenographer, Freeport; later Chicago.
Elmer E. Thayer, a well-known actor, later head of the Independent Coal Company
In the 1880s in Freeport, there were no hospitals, and few people saw the need for one. In December of 1886, the Muehlenhoff family contracted typhoid fever. The Reverand Father Clemens Kalvelage of St. Joseph's Church contacted the Sisters of Charity in Joliet, requesting help. Sister Mary Francis and Sister Mary Jerome nursed the family back to health. The community was impressed with their service, and plans began for Freeport's first hospital.
On February 5, 1887, William Stoneman died. His will gave $7,000 to the City of Freeport for the establishment of a hospital.
In July of 1888, Father Kalvelage used his own funds to purchase two lots on S. Walnut Avenue. He travelled to Danville to visit their hospital, and returned with their floor plans. Ground was broken in the summer of 1889. The cornerstone was laid on September 1, 1889. The city sold to the hospital 50 cords of limestone valued at $5.00 per cord, though the debt was later forgiven. Many citizens donated money, sand, lime and cement. The masons at Flachtemeier's donated the labor of cutting the foundation stone.
Jacob Eberle and John Rodemeier excavated for the foundation. H. H. Upp was superintendent of construction. The Eberle Brothers did stone work. John Trunck did brick work. Charles Seifert was the carpenter. M. Scanlan did the plastering. Bouge and Swarz painted. Bartlett Hardware contracted for the steam heat. The tin slate for the roof came from Philadelphia; the galvanized cornices came from Milwaukee. The total cost of all the contractors was just $14,565.
The cross was erected on October 19.
On Lincoln's birthday in 1890, St. Francis Hospital was dedicated. The first patient arrived on February 14. Dr. W. L. Caldwell was the first doctor.
In May of 1893, the Henney Buggy Company donated an ambulance wagon, and Dr. J. H. Stealy donated the horse that pulled it.
In 1894, Dr. Caldwell donated a seven-foot statue of St. Francis of Assisi that had been made in Cologne, Germany, which was placed over the entrance.
In 1902, an addition was built at the south end of the original hospital. In 1909, when John Taylor died, he gave his driving park to the hospital. The city bought the park for the public's use from the hospital.
In 1923, the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing was started. The Hospital, along with the Freeport Board of Education, offered a 52-week course in practical nursing. In 1926, the southern half of the hospital was built, with an exact replica of the Grotto of Lourdes on the grounds.
In 1942, St. Clare Convent was built to house the Sisters who worked in the hospital. During the polio epidemic of 1945, the first floor was reserved for polio patients. Four iron lungs were in use, and doctors and nurses from around the state came to help.
On a Saturday in July, 1965, St. Francis Hospital closed its doors. In the spring of 1967, the original hospital and the addition were torn down. The 1926 addition still stands, and houses the St. Francis School for Exceptional Children.
Father Kalvelage was also instrumental in the founding of St. Vincent's Orphanage.
For more information and photos, see 1948.
Elmer E. Thayer was born in Freeport June 24, 1872, a son of William H. and Letitia Thayer. He attended Freeport public schools and while still young started his career as an actor and musical comedy star, taking part in many home talent plays. Later he traveled throughout the country with his brothers, Otis B. Thayer and Ave Thayer, presenting "Sweet Clover." He acted for twenty years. For several years he was also a black-face comedian traveling throughout the United States and Canada and claimed he was the first black-face to successfully tour Canada.
He was the father of, Tiffany Thayer, a wildly popular author and actor, who dedicated his books to "Pops." In one copy he sent to his father, the first off the press, he wrote, "Just to be sure there is no dispute as to who owns this book, to 'Pops' from the 'keed.' Tiffany Thayer." In one novel he wrote: "To Pops, for whom the moral will be clear."
Elmer Thayer married Sybil Farrar in 1898. They had one son, Tiffany Thayer. In 1910 he married Mrs. Ora Johnson.
For the last nine years of his life Elmer Thayer was head of the Independent Coal Company.
He coached and directed home talent plays, being especially active in aiding in the presentation of plays offered by the young people of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Freeport High School. During World War One, Elmer was well known as a "minute man" speaker.
on any year in the chart below to see the class and other info,
such as postcards, people and events from that year.