Mount Morris Index, Mount Morris, IL

December 21, 1922 p. 1



After an illness, which extended aver three years, following an attack of pneumonia, just preceding his wife's death, Willoughby Felker, an aged and respected citizen of our community, passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Fred Watts, on Sunday afternoon. Mr. Felker had been making his home with his daughter for over two years.

Mr. Felker was one of the early settlers in this vicinity, coming here with his parents in 1855. He was an unusually active man until he was taken ill three years ago, and was a familiar figure in our community for many years, being highly thought of and respected by all who knew him.

The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, from the Brethren Chapel, conducted by Rev. Frank McCune, assisted by Rev. Geo. P. Kabele, of the Lutheran Church, with whom Mr. Felker and his wife had lived as neighbors, their residence adjoining the Lutheran parsonage. Rev. Kabele touched reminiscently upon Mr. Felker as a neighbor and the sterling worth of his character.

Interment was made at Silver Creek Cemetery, in the family lot, where his wife was laid to rest three years ago. The pall bearers were W. E. West, D. S. Cripe, D. L. Miller, Jr., L. S. Snively, John B. White and J. P. Holsinger.

Willoughby M. Felker was born near Hagerstown, Washington, Co., Md., Feb. 3, 1844 and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Fred Watts Dec. 17, 1922, aged 78 years 10 months and 14 days. He was one of a large family of children born to Abraham and Catherine Felker. The family moved to Franklin Grove, Lee Co., Ill., in 1855, staying with the Wingerts two weeks, then came on to Mount Morris where they lived in town three years. Then they moved on the Felker farm now owned by Jess Allen. This had been purchased some years before when the father had come west on a tour of investigation.

Mr. Felker was married to Alice Butterbaugh in 1868. They set up house keeping in the old Butterbaugh home, later building the house where his son, Merritt, now lives. Five children came to bless the home, of whom four survive: Mrs. Olive Long, of Leaf River; Henry, of Vinton, Iowa; Mrs. Fannie Watts, of Mount Morris; Merritt, of Leaf River. Mrs. Edna McNeal, a daughter, died in 1918. These four children, fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren survive him. Of these children he was especially fond. Also two sisters, Mrs. Henry Thomas, of Mount Morris, and Mrs. Alice King of California, survive.

Four years ago Mr. and Mrs. Felker celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary, at which time Mr. Felker said he and his wife had never in all their married life been separated more than a week at a time. Three years ago mother Felker was called home. Her death, following an attack of pneumonia with which he was taken a week previous, was a severe blow to him, and he never regained his strength.

About fifty years ago Mr. Felker united with the Brethren Church, some few years after the Silver Creek churchhouse was built. In 1887 he with Daniel Emmert were elected deacons at the same meeting at which Elder D. L. Miller was elected to the ministry. He served some years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Old Folks Home. He lived in the day when the social side of the church was more pronounced than today. Living near Leaf River he often met the trains and entertained large numbers at their home. They were good friends of the College.

Mr. Felker was a good man; strong in his convictions, a true friend who always showed a keen sense of humor, respected ad loved by those who knew him.

Contributed by Peg Allen Arnold

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