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Local Editorials

From our archives: Recalling when city was on the ‘Brink’

What we thought: 125 years ago

Hezekiah Brink
Sterling's first settler was lauded in a Gazette editorial on June 15, 1888.
Hezekiah Brink (1809-1894) Sterling's first settler was lauded in a Gazette editorial on June 15, 1888.

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorials appeared in the Gazette on June 15, 1888.

Hezekiah still

going strong

It is 54 years ago to a day nearly (the precise day is not known) when Hezekiah Brink settled here at Sterling. He yet lives here, on ground not far away from where he first settled.

His health is good for a man of his years, and he is in possession of all his faculties.

All that is here at Sterling of population and wealth, Mr. Brink has witnessed the development of – the disappearance of groves and prairie grass and flowers and the uprising of house here and house there.

Children have been born and grown up and married and their children have grown up and married and have little ones of their own, all since he came here.

Whiteside has already 40,000 population, where then it had scarcely 40 people, and all of them save one family, Indians.

The deer then roamed the prairie, and the wild fox here dug his hole undisturbed. Indians roamed up and down the lovely valley, their warring days over.

All is changed now.

What thoughts must be Mr. Brink’s, as he reflects upon the wonderful changes his eyes have witnessed since he came here 54 years ago!

Locust watchers

Professor Riley, the United States entomologist, says the 17-year locusts are now hatching and that a plague of them may be expected at various points in the northwest soon.

If all of them prove as “snoopy” as those sent into this office, they’ll not do much harm.

We placed ours in a roomy box with plenty of ventilation, giving them choicest leaves and tenderest twigs. After 4 days, that is, yesterday, we turned them out for an airing.

At noon today, not one of them had attempted to fly. Indeed, all of them (there were some 16 in all) save three were dead.

It may have been a lack of sunshine, or it may have been something else; but there was manifest lack of vitality.

The three remaining ones have no disposition to fly, and if they were human beings, there is not an insurance company on this continent that would take a risk upon their lives.

Baseball fever

It is scarcely possible to conceive the extent of the baseball fever. Here at Sterling are clubs of boys, ranging from 8 to 18 years old; of young men, and of older men. There are ward clubs, and mechanic’s clubs, and mixed clubs.

All of them find time, sometime and somewhere, for playing.

By common consent it is healthful, and by common agreement it is exhilarating and enjoyable, even though one get a broken thumb or a crack upon the head now and then.



We would warn the Gazette readers that cases of sunstroke are already occurring here and there, and that, as a consequence, care should be taken to avoid undue exercise and undue emotion.

It is a mistake to suppose that it is only in the direct rays of the sun that one may suffer from this deadly malady. On the contrary, it may come at the home, in the office, or worship – indeed, wherever there is great heat.

Perspiration should be encouraged; a sudden check of it is peculiarly dangerous.

Violent excitement is as dangerous as violent exercise.

It is dangerous to take cold water in excess when heated. The hours of most frequent occurrence of attack are from 4 o’clock to 7 o’clock p.m.

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