From our archives: Farewell to ‘prominent, impressive’ banker

What we thought: 100 years ago

Published: Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Caption
Samuel C. Eells (1822-1913) The longtime Dixon banker won praise for his honesty and integrity in a eulogy by the Telegraph on Sept. 24, 1913. (Photo taken from a microfilmed copy of the Sept. 24, 1913, Telegraph.)

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorials appeared in the Telegraph on Sept. 23 and 24, 1913.

Samuel C. Eells

The death of Samuel C. Eells removed from our community one of the most prominent and impressive characters that Dixon has ever possessed.

He came to our city in the year 1854, and was employed as clerk in a bank opened here by Robertson, Eastman & Co. of Rockford. His faithful and reliable qualities soon after resulted in  change of management which placed him in control.

The bank thus started was the foundation upon which was organized the Lee County National Bank, with Joseph Crawford as president and Mr. Eells as cashier.

That bank was reorganized at the expiration of its charter, under the name of the City National Bank, and at the death of Mr. Crawford, Mr. Eells was appointed president, and so continued up to the present time.

He possessed and retained in a remarkable degree the confidence and loyalty of his depositors. He was looked upon by them as the highest type of financial solidity, and his name carried with it a feeling of safety through many troublous periods when panic was in control of the financial world.

At the time of his withdrawal from active work in the bank only a few months ago, he was the oldest banker in the state in point of service, and under his management, there never appeared in our community during that whole period any doubt or shadow as to the safety of funds in his charge.

He was a citizen who held high regard for the city where he lived so long. His name appeared prominently upon every subscription for the public good since he became a resident of Dixon, and reached a position of influence.

He was a member of the executive committee chosen to take charge of the effort to obtain the Henderson Shoe Factory, and was of much assistance in that movement. He was in every way an admirable citizen. His influence was favorably exerted in all directions tending to the betterment of the community, and he assisted cheerfully in the moral and religious work with which he was connected, or which he deemed to be for the welfare of our city.

His name will stand as one of the conspicuous monuments in the history of Dixon, marked with the record of long and faithful service as a banker, and as an honorable and respected citizen. – Sept. 24, 1913

Boy starts steam roller to moving

Lad is frightened and flees, and the prank nearly caused trouble

School boys let their curiosity get away with them yesterday noon when they were standing around a steam roller, which is being used in the macadam work on North Ottawa Avenue, and their mischief came near to resulting seriously.

The engineer had gone to his dinner and had left the machine standing at the side of the road, with steam up. One of the lads climbed up on the machine and during his investigations pulled a lever, and the heavy roller started moving.

The boy was frightened and jumped off of the cab, while the roller moved backward across the street and tried to climb over the curb.

Help was sent for, and the engineer arrived in time to prevent damage being done by the roller. – Sept. 24, 1913

What a good

booster really is

Every person is a booster for his town, or he is not.

To which class do you belong?

If to the booster side, you are an element of progress in the town, and to the extent that you boost, to that extent will he own progress. If you are a booster, you can see in your town good and much more good than bad, and another thing, if there is bad, you are always ready to boost out of it and help the good.

If you belong to the class with a hammer in your hand, you are working against the best interests of the town, and it would make no difference to what town you belonged, you would still be using the hammer, for you would be looking for the bad and could see no good wherever it might exist.

And so there is no place for the man with the hammer, and all kids of use for the man who is looking after the best interests of the community in which he lives.

The booster is always willing to help in any good move although the move may not be in full accord with what he might wish to do.

The knocker class are the fellows who can’t agree with you and have it as an excuse to lay down.

Another class will work all right, if they are the ones to originate the idea and lead off.

But the booster is the man all the time boosting and never laying down – always willing. He may offer suggestions, but if his ideas are refused, he is never a quitter, for he does not imagine that in himself all the knowledge lies.

Thus we see what we see, and no more. – Sept. 23, 1913

To visit Dixon’s ‘Great White Way’

Geneva citizens to be here this evening in autos for inspection

It is reported that a delegation of Geneva citizens and officials will visit Dixon this evening to inspect the “Great White Way,” leaving Geneva at noon today and arriving in this city about dusk. The word received by the I.N.U. officials here is that there will be about 20 auto loads of Geneva people.

Sterling citizens were so impressed with the Dixon lights, which are the best in the state, with no exception, that they are planning on installing something similar. – Sept. 23, 1913

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