From our archives: ‘Sterling’ couple planned $100,000 gift
What we thought: 100 years ago
Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Gazette on Dec. 22 and 23, 1913.
Give children $100,000 on
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Fletcher to share
• • •
$12,500 for each
of the eight families
On Christmas morning, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Fletcher of 405 West Third street, will distribute one hundred thousand dollars as Christmas presents, to eight families, comprising the membership of the Fletcher household.
Of this membership, there are six children of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, and the family of two of their children, who have crossed the Great Divide. This most excellent household consists of six children, twenty-four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A family gathering will be held at the [Fletcher] home … on Christmas, and on this occasion, the distribution will take place. Almost all of the children will be present, as well as grandchildren, and some of the great grandchildren.
When interviewed this morning at his home, Mr. Fletcher requested that but little be said about the distribution. He stated that his interests were such, that it takes considerable of his time to look after his farms and other holdings, and he was of the opinion that he could afford to give the eight families of his household one hundred thousand dollars, so that he would be able to see them enjoy it, and by judicious investment would cause this money to multiply. He believed that the distribution would lessen his work and cares.
Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher are Sterling’s most estimable citizens. In the full meaning of the word, they are Sterling in character, and respected and regarded by a very large circle of friends.
That Christmas Day will be the most happy one in the lives of this splendid and worthy couple goes without saying.
The presents will be practically all in splendid real estate. After making this big distribution, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher will have plenty of holdings left to occupy their time in looking after the investments. Each family will receive $12,500. – Dec. 23, 1913
An appeal to Good Fellows of Sterling
Lonely home in need of necessities of life
• • •
No Christmas cheer
for aged citizen
Somewhere in this city, there is an aged man, whose house is cold and dreary, and the coming of the Christmas season, with its spirit of Christmas cheer, is meaningless to him, unless the Good Fellows of this community, share with him a part of their sunshine and cheer. This home is doubly cheerless, as it is without a helpmate, to look after his cares and desires. His wife of many years has preceded him to the Great Beyond.
This citizen is beyond the age of four score years. His home is cheerless. Unless the Good Fellows assist in brightening this, probably his last Christmas on earth, Christmas morning will find his humble home cheerless, and almost without the necessities of life.
A thorough investigation of conditions at this home has been made. Substantial necessities of life are needed. Warm underclothing, good clothing, stockings, shoes, substantial food, such as flour, potatoes, some meat and foods. Those who investigated the home yesterday found it practically without food, with the exception of a few potatoes.
This aged man is deserving. Mr. Good Fellow, if you will but come to his rescue and give him from your store, just a little mite of your plenty, this holiday season will be the happiest time of his life. – Dec. 22, 1913
Although the “busy” Christmas shopping season has been on for more than a week, no attempts at shoplifting have been reported to the police.
The fact is that shoplifting as it is practiced in the larger cities is not prevalent here.
It is not always the practiced thief who tries to pick up small articles or even larger bundles of goods in passing through a crowded store. Often it is some sorely tempted person who has not the means to buy and who is carried away either by the need of the things or the desire to possess them.
A girl with all her love of finery stirring within her, or a woman with little children whose stockings are fated to go empty on account of the lack of money to make the Christmas purchases, is often the offender, and as a rule, such persons are gently dealt with. They are merely compelled to restore the stolen property and then permitted to go in peace. – Dec. 22, 1913
Groceries will close Christmas morning
All of the owners of stores of the city [Rock Falls] have agreed to close their places of business at 10 o’clock in order to give their clerks a pleasant day. No orders will be taken that day and no deliveries made, but they will stay in the stores for immediate wants and will close promptly at 10 o’clock. This recognition of the rights of the clerks is all right. – Dec. 23, 1913
The gift of news
No more acceptable Christmas present could be given to a relative or friend, either at home or in some other city, than a year’s subscription to the Daily Gazette. The daily news from home would be a constant reminder of your generosity. If desired, the Gazette will write a letter to the recipient, telling him that you have sent the Daily Gazette for a year as a Christmas present. – Dec. 22, 1913