Another of our early settlers passes away.

The death of Mr. Reuben Wagner on the 8th and Mr. Jacob A. Knodle on the 23rd of October, 1903, who were brothers-in-law and have been living next door neighbors in Mount Morris, is a rather peculiar coincidence. It is also an interesting fact that the day of Mr. Wagner's funeral, Oct. 10., was also the eightieth birthday of Mr. Knodle. Both of these gentlemen had been numbered among the early pioneers of the township, coming from their eastern homes more than sixty years ago and it is with a feeling of sadness that we chronicle the passing of these old and highly respected citizens and landmarks in the course of our county's settlement.

Mr. Knodle's death came as a surprise to his many friends and acquaintances in this neighborhood, owing to the fact that his sickness was of very short duration. He was only confined to his bed about a week but for several weeks previous had been unwell and unable to attend to his work regularly. Stomach trouble was the cause of his death. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Methodist Church, conducted by Rev. W. L. Whipple. Interment took place in the old cemetery.

The death of Upton Miller several months ago and that of Mr. Knodle last week removes two familiar figures from the north part of the business section of Mount Morris. For many years both had been engaged in wood working of different kinds in the Miller and Knodle buildings, located side by side, and both were skilled workmen. Their taking off so near together is another peculiar circumstance.

We believe that Mt. Knodle, among the few old settlers of Mount Morris yet remaining, holds a unique record in point of length of residence within the immediate limits of the village of Mount Morris. We have Uncle Henry Sharer, Uncle Benj. Swingley, Uncle Michael Bovey, N. W. Ankney, Capt. Peter Householder, members of the Wagner family, and other old settlers who came here in the neighborhood of sixty years ago, but all of them have spent a part of their lives in the country or in distant counties or states. But Mr. Knodle came to Mount Morris in 1841, over 62 years ago, and during this entire time has continued to live within the limits of the village, and no other person, unless it be his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Winders, can lay claim to the same record.

Mr. Knodle was born near Fairplay in Washington Co., MD, October 10, 1823, and at the time of death was just 13 days over 80 years of age. He was one of the nine children of Jonathan and Barbara Knodle, who in the year 1841 started west to seek a new home in Illinois. Jacob was then but eighteen years of age. The trip was made in an emigrant wagon pulled by a team of horses, as the majority of the settlers of that early day were compelled to do.

It is interesting to note here that the senior Knodle was the publisher of the Rock River Register, the first paper published in Ogle County, and Jacob spent several of his first years here about this primitive printing office. Concerning the establishment of this paper, "Mount Morris, Past and Present" says:

"The principals in this enterprise were Jonathan and Emanuel Knodle, of Washington County, Md., the former as publisher and the latter as editor of the proposed paper. These gentlemen purchased the press and materials with which a small paper entitled the Casket was printed at Boonsboro, Md, and on the sixteenth day of July 1841, the former accompanied by his family and with their houshold goods, including the said printing outfit, they set out in wagons for Mount Morris. When they arrived at Wheeling, W. Va., finding their loads too heavy to be drawn by the teams, the press and printing materials were shipped from there by boat to Savanna, Illinois. The water being low in the Mississippi, the boats could not ascend as far as Savanna, and the outfit was unloaded at Peru".

The first issue of the paper made it's appearance the 12th of January, 1842. Emanuel Knodle was editor, but he died after only about six months and the paper was later moved to Grand Detour and there finally was suspended.

The subject of our sketch learned the carpenter's trade and also that of wagon-making and other branched of the wood working business. He pursued this line of work during the remainder of his life, even up to the last month.

Mr. Knodle was married in 1848 to Ann Little, an older sister to Mrs. Samuel Middour and Mrs. D. H. Smith of this place. She lived only 7 years after the marriage, passing away Jan. 30, 1855, aged 25 years, 11 months, and 19 days. To them was born one son, Frank F., still a well known resident of Mount Morris. He was aged but 9 months at the time of his mother's death.

April 7, 1868, thirteen years after the death of his first wife, Mr. Knodle was again united in marriage with Hannah Wagner, who remains to mourn his loss. Besides the son and wife, he is survived by one sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Winders of this place, and two brothers, Samuel Knodle of Forreston, and William Knodle of Oregon. One sister, Catherine, aged 11 years, and three brothers, Peter, Jonathan, and Joseph, preceded him to the grave; also a fourth brother, who died in infancy.

Mr. Knodle was a peaceful law-abiding citizen, known as a good neighbor, and a kind husband and father. His long continued residence in Mount Morris extended the circle of his friends far and wide. He was a faithful member of the M. E. Church and died in the hope of a resurrection.

Among the relatives from out of town who attended the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. Benj. Knodle of DeKalb, Floyd Knodle of Rockford, Albert Knodle, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Seibert, Col. and Mrs. B. F. Sheets, Miss Hormell, Samuel Knodle, Mrs. J. A. Walker, Mrs. Mary Crowell, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Knodle of Oregon, Nehemiah Wagner of Chicago, and Otto Timmerman of Dixon.

Mt. Morris newspaper

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