Contributed by Carole Vaughn
Following are transcribed articles from the Fairbury (IL, USA) Independent
Newspaper and a poem written by a cousin I can't identify because of his
THE FAIRBURY INDEPENDENT
June 2, 1877 Saturday issue
Mr. Joel Tucker, east of McDowell, reports having seen a snake this week
which had a head on each end, both which seemed to be perfect except one
head had no eyes. A couple of boys had captured it. This is the second
snake seen in the vicinity having a double head. Like General Grant at
Vicksburg...such snake has no rear.
A fragment of the McDowell family (25) went fishing at Tucker's Monday
night. They had an immense time taking their dinner at the residence of Mr.
Joel Tucker. Reports says the feast was great and the flow of fish unparalleled.
*****Joel Tucker married Mary McDowell Hefner after the death of his first
wife Sarah (Sallie) Ann Stull. Joel's son Williard Tucker married Mary
McDowell Hefner's daughter Matilda C. Hefner.******
November 8, 1879
Joel Tucker reroofed and replastered his house.
August 28, 1880
Item...His 80th birthday
Last Saturday was the 80th birthday of Uncle Joel Tucker of Avoca and some
of his grandchildren projected(?) a huge surprise party in honor of the
event. About ?(illegible) persons, relatives and friends gathered at the
residence of the old patriarch and joined in the festivities of the
accasion. A sumptuous repast, a table "fit to set before a King", was
spread on the lawn at noon and all comprising four generations partook thereof.
The occasion, which was a complete surprise to Uncle Joel, was one of
unalloyed happiness to all present. Mr. Tucker was the recipient of a fine
easy chair, a present from relatives and friends. In the evening an elegant
supper was served at the residence of Mr. H. E. Banker across the road from
Mr.Tucker, this day also being Mrs. Banker's anniversary.>(Eulala Tucker
Banker is Joel's Daughter)
She was presented among other things with a set of handsome chairs and a
fine dress pattern. On this occasion Mrs. Joel Tucker was also remembered by
the happy party and received a very nice cushioned rocking chair as a token
The event was one of more than ordinary importance and will long be
remembered. Uncle Joel Tucker has lived at his present residence since 1851
and has hosts of relatives and friends who delight to honor him in his old
age. May it be many years before his sun shall finally set.
This is a poem found with a family history that I believe Edwin Patten
GRANDPA TUCKER'S PLACE
There's a cabin built beside the route
'Twas built by a friend of man
It's not so grand but mighty cute
And it's history covers quite a span
Seventy years back with years to spare
Might make it a hundred or more
And thanks to the hand that has kept it there
And to those loved ones gone before.
Memory goes back to those childhood days
As we gathered in numbers at grandpa's place
At the ford or log cabins or games and plays
Or the swimming or boating race.
The river seems smaller than it used to be
And gone the forest where we used to roam
Since the days we sported with hearts young and free
Around the premises of grandpa's home.
When I was still a little girl, we had Tucker family reunions every year
near McDowell at Marie Green Pike's house. She was my grandpa Harold
Tucker's niece. I have lots of black and white pictures filled with
unidentifiable old people. Dad thinks many of these came from Indiana. The
river in this poem is probably the Vermillion. The Avoca cemetary where most
of my Tuckers are buried is adjacent to it. Dad remembers going to reunions
before my time at the river and people would wash their cars there. I assume
that's the Grandpa Tucker's Place mentioned. I've yet to look at the old
plat books for Livingston Co.
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