The Read Family outside their home at 1203 E. Jefferson, Bloomington. Photographed: Uncle Newt (far left), James (young boy on left), Roland (young boy on right)

Hodge/Read Family Collection


Processed by Torii Moré
Spring 2011

Table of Contents

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
One Box.
Collection Dates:
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
Other Finding Aids: None.
Location: Archives.
See Hodge-Read box in photograph collection, and also folder titled "Hodge-Hill Family Photos" in the people photograph collection. Genealogical information for the Hodges can be found in the genealogy surname files under Hodge-Hill.


Item 4.7: William Hodge, Sheriff of Tazewell County 1827-1831 James P. Hodge, son of William H. Hodge


Historical Sketch

William Herron Hodge was born to Francis Hodge and Nancy Walker in North Carolina January 4, 1794. Largely taking his education in his own hands, William was advanced enough by his eighteenth birthday to teach, doing so in Tennessee and Kentucky. In 1820, William traveled west and by February of that year had arrived in Sangamon County, Illinois. In 1824 he moved to Blooming Grove and bought land-at that time only 12 other families lived in the area. William assisted in the formation of Tazewell County in 1827 and McLean County in 1831. He was sheriff, collector and assessor of Tazewell County from 1827 to 1831.

William Hodge married Rachel Wall of Kentucky in 1814 and had 10 children, 6 of whom were still living in 1879 (O. N. Hodge, Nancy, William C., Mary J., James P., and Harriet). James P. (born January 9, 1834) married Ellen Rouse Hodge (born 1839), and their daughter Dottie married into the Read family. William H. Hodge passed away April 9, 1875.

G. Burt Read (1867-1945, youngest son of Lucius C. and Amelia Read) was a Bloomington native and married Dottie Hodge (daughter of James Hodge and Ellen Rouse Hodge). G. B. Read and Dottie had 2 sons, James G. Read and Spencer Roland Read. G. B. founded Portable Elevator Manufacturing Company in Bloomington which his son Roland eventually took over. He was an active member of the First Methodist Church, Bloomington, president of the Bloomington Commercial club (forerunner of the present Chamber of Commerce) 1912-1913, and belonged to the Illinois Manufacturers Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Farm Equipment Manufacturers, among others. Read family items can be found in folders 5, 7, 10, 12, and 13.

Scope and Contents Note
Most of this collection is correspondence between the Hodges (1830-1880), land and estate documents (1815-1890), and receipts. There is also some correspondence between the Read family and the Holmans who were in France in the 1920s and 30s. Folder 13 includes a letter dated February 8, 1911, from Roland, who at the time was in boarding school (Mercersburg Academy) in Pennsylvania. Addressed to "ma and pop," this letter details his activities in school. The earliest item in this collection is in Folder 14 and dated September 18, 1780 (or maybe 1790). It involves a transaction for 10 shillings and 6 pence.


Box and Folder Inventory

Folder 1:
Hodge Biographical Information
"The Life and Story of James Price Hodge" 6 pages
Photocopied biography of William Herron Hodge from The Good Old Times in McLean County by Dr. E. Duis
Photocopied biography of O.N. Hodge from The History of Mclean County, Illinois
Pedigree chart put together by Dorothy Neff for the McLean County Genealogical Society


Folder 2:
Small envelope to Mr. Hodge & Lady
Envelope to Mr. Hodge
December 9, 1965. Letter from Ms. Dimm October and December 1865, and February 1866. Letter about mailing a picture, but the letter was returned and re-sent multiple times.
Letter from Lucy Bogardus(?) in Deer Creek, Illinois to Aunt Ell. (coming for a visit, asking when is a good time)
February 13, 1888 Letter from daughter Dottie in Bloomington to "mama" (papa visiting, Ed Miller died, Jen came home)
Song & poem about beans
February 17, 1888. Letter from daughter (Dottie) in Bloomington to "mama" (sprained ankle, visit Aunt Lucy and rest to not get sick, chickens have been laying many eggs since you left)
February 11, 1888 (?). Letter from daughter in Bloomington to "mama" (death of Auntie Eager (?), death of Capt. Al Sweetzer(?)'s mother, father and Uncle Newt are getting along splendid and have not complained)
October 20, 1891. Letter from A. Jannis in Salem, Marion County, Oregon to Mrs. Hodge. (sad to hear of illness, moved to the front bedroom, weather)
Note that says "by the way are you pleased with your 'Illinois' 'residence' rather how are you pleased with '(illegible)' it is getting rather dark to write I will close. Expecting an answer soon. Yours respectfully, Sam Ingman(?)
Note that says "Dear Friends, Greeting. I send a taste of Kansas Wedding Cake P. B. Shough says he don't want any better & he knows. From Anne"
Letter for W. H. Hodge from S. Francis Ho. regarding payment of $7.52 for advertising land for sale.
Tuesday (month unknown) 23rd 1871. Letter to children and J.P and Ellen Hodge (?) from John O... (?) regarding Will being in good health, mentions Chelsea, Louisa, fruit crops, Millie
May 11, 1852. Letter from R (or P?) Eager in Granville to his son Henry Eager in Springfield, Illinois. Mentions Charles, who expects to work in Michigan for $50 a month, fantasizing of wealth and his son being governor
July 1, 1852. Letter from R (or P?) Eager in Granville to his son. Letter speaks of money problems, feels like he is losing his mind, going to bed at half past seven and wakening at four, eats his meals but not as much as he used to eat. He wants his son (the receiver of the letter) to be successful, speaks of his wife (recipients mother) and says she enjoys herself very well. Also speaks of marriages of local people.


Folder 3:
Outline for a story
Undated letter from unknown in North Carolina, Rockingham County. Discusses who in the community has died, who has married, etc.
December 27, 1836 to William Hodge in McLean County from John Guthrie (glad to hear father is in good health, wants to hear how Aunt Sarah Hains and James Hains are since he hasn't heard from them since they moved out to "your country")
April 16, 1936. Letter to William H. Hodge from George Wall in Warren County, Kentucky.
November 23, 1839. Letter to "Children" from George & Margaret Wall in Kentucky (religion, faith in the lord, quotes from preaching of William Hodge)
November 24, 1839. Letter to William Hodge & Elias H. Wall from J. J. McFadin(?)
July 10, 1840. Letter from James R. McFadin to William Hodge. Letter talks about the absence of James (presumably J. J. McFadin), guessing he is at the Gadina Mines
September 6, 1840. Letter to W. H. Hodge from McLechin(?)
September 16, 1840.
October 19, 1840. Letter from Stephen Claypool to "sirs" (James B. Price, William H. Hodge, and Elias H. Wall)
December 13, 1840. Letter from Elias B. McFiadin to his cousin, William H. Hodge.
September 19, 1841. (they all shared 1 piece of folded paper) Letter from John & Nancy Walker to sister & William Hodge & Family; Abram V. Elizabeth (?) to sister; and unknown to John Pichersson(?) & wife. Envelope addressed to William Hodge.
August 22, 1843. Note from A. Gridley to Mary Hodge regarding something about courts in the state of Illinois and the bankrupt law of the United States.
May 30, 1847. Letter to Uncle William Hodge from Sarah and Mahala (?) Morley in Christian County Taylorville (sorry to hear Uncle Andrew lost his life "in the cause of his country," offers to take little William in and take him to school)
October 22, 1852. Letter from James T. Baker to his aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth W. Hodge (personal illness, family health)
April 26. 1854. From father (p. Eager?) in Granville to son (unknown)
August 3, 1855. Letter from H. Harris in Cincinnati to "sir" (enclosed ears of Oregon wheat, describes the differences in the crop from each)
February 16, 1856. Letter to daughter from Hodge. (enclosed $5, if unhappy come home, willing to come get you if you can't find someone trustworthy to accompany you)
September 9, 1866. Letter from John Moore in Camp Patterson to (illegible) informing that his/her son, Andrew Hodge, died of fever.
August 5, 1867. Letter to "father and mother" from Nancy W. Harris. (hope health is good)
March 1969. Letter from Mary E. Smith to "aunt" (poor health, family updates, mentions Robert, Martin Baird, Uncle Billy, Jessie, Cousin Anderson Wilson, and others)
May 22, 1869. Letter to Jane from her brother (going West, staying with her and the relatives)
November 26, 1869. Letter from George A. Hodge and Nicolas to Grandfather (school, reading)
July 3, 1871. Letter from G. H. in Nicolaus, Sutter County California to his Grandfather W. H. Hodge (crops, mentions Uncle James, Uncle Newt, Aunt Ella, weather)
August 28, '71. Letter from N. W. Harris in Oregon to his mother and father (good health, crops, mentions Walla Walla Washington)
January 12, 1885. Letter from N.W. Harris to James P. Hodge & Family (notice for court regarding deed, asking James to take care of it)
Envelope addressed to Mr. William H. Hodge in Bloomington Illinois


Folder 4:
Legal & Financial Documents
September 15, 1842. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer's Office, Illinois for $55.20.
June 13, 1842. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer's Office, Illinois for $2121.40.
February 2, 1841. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer's Office, Illinois for $100.00
September 3, 1840. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer's Office, Illinois for $199.50
May 13, 1841. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer's Office, Illinois for $698.50.
Hand-written certification of publication of a notice in the Western Whig that William Maxwell has died.
Certificate signed by the Governor and Secretary of State certifying that William H. Hodge has been elected Sheriff of Tazewell County, November 25, 1827.
Certificate signed by the Governor and Secretary of State certifying that William H. Hodge has been elected Sheriff of Tazewell County, December 27, 1828.
Letter of Administration certifying William H. Hodge is executor of the estate of James O. P. Robertson, deceased. January 1845
September 18, 1828. Part of a letter to General Land Office returning Patent and Warrant for territory in Arkansas.
Piece of paper with writing on both sides. One side regarding the body of Jeremiah Nickel, signed by James Patrick, on the other side there is writing certifying the defendant knows his responsibility, dated April 4, 1807 and signed by James Patrick and Walter Martin(?). Below that is writing regarding the goods and chattels of the defendant, dated January 1808 signed by A. Philips.
Bill for John Hendrix- lease room, potatoes, corn, oats, boots, etc. totaling to $24.35
Document designating William H. Hodge as executor of the estate of James Hodge, deceased.
List of names and corresponding dollar amounts, don't know what for.


Folder 5:
Legal & Financial Documents
Article of Agreement between James Fell and James Hodge for Osage Orange hedging
$100 receipt from Receiver's Office at Danville, Illinois for James Robertson of McLean County for land
Marriage announcement for the marriage of George Burt Read and Dottie Hodge, December 19, 1889
Note dated 1807. North Carolina, Rockingham County. Committed to take the body of Thomas Smith to Rockingham County. Signed by W. Walker
Note dated October 8, 1819 signed Geo Cohoon(?) and James Reid regarding "Negroes" belonging to Zacchrus Wilson (Three men, two girls). "twelve months credit will be given and Bond with approved
Speech of Mr. J. T. Stuart, of Illinois on The Tariff Bill delivered in the House of Representatives of the U.S. July 9, 1842 (multiple pages)
Patent for the "Thrashing Machine" invented by Joseph Hathaway
Form for Collector of Special Assessments for the City of Bloomington regarding a special assessment for the improvement of South Center Street. 1874
October 30, 1848. List of payments received from W. H. Hodge
March 24, 1826. Document for Thrashing Machine, something about $40 from James Mount to William Hodge for said improvement, June 1832


Folder 6:
Custody of Maxwell Children
Document assigning William Hodge custody of Larkin Maxwell, Martin Maxwell, and Levi Maxwell until they turn 21.
2 pages of goods and chattels of William Maxwell dated May 16, 1833


Folder 7:
Newspaper Clippings
"James G. Read Dies Suddenly"
"Tribute to Young Man; Remarkable Expression of Esteem at the Funeral of James Read on Wednesday"
"Attended Reception for Cardinal" Mr. and Mrs. G. Bert Read were in Chicago to attend...
"Lost and Found" Article about Mr. Hodge and his brother getting lost in March of 1842.
"Wedded for Fifty Years; Mr. and Mrs. James P. Hodge" November 27, 1905.
"Dress Made Over for War Orphans; Bloomington women are busy- One energetic example of helping those bereaved and beggared by devastation of war"
"D. A. R. Unveils Tablet to Heroes of Revolution"
"New Honor for Mrs. G. B. Read; Bloomington woman receives second decoration for work done during the war"
Pelco News (published monthly by Portable Elevator Manufacturing Co.) April 1945 "Death Ends Career of G. Burt Read"
November 28, 2008. Bill Kemp's article "Portable Elevator company was key to farm production" in the Pantagraph
Clipping from 1860 of the republican ticket


Folder 8:
Property of Joseph Slatton
January 30, 1839. Document listing court fees and argument for estate rights of William Maxwell.
List of goods, totaled to $24.82, titled "Mr. William Hodge 1836"
June 8, 1829. Letter of administration- State of Illinois Tazewell County


Folder 9:
Death of James Hodge
Letter of Administration making William H. Hodge executor of the estate of James Hodge, August 12, 1832
July 19, 1843. Letter to W. H. Hodge from the Auditor's Office Springfield, Illinois.
September 15, 1842. Check for $300


Folder 10:
Read-Holman Correspondence
1 picture of house, 1of flower garden, 1of a house and two ladies, and 1 scenery picture all with Emory Holman signed on reverse. 1 picture of Paris garden signed Frank 1 picture of "D. Emory Holman, M.D. standing, Mrs. S. Francis Holman seated. artificial lake at the homestead in Attleboro, Mass. 1923."
April 8, '82. Letter from Emory Holman, M.D.
December 17, 1924. Letter to cousin Roland in Florida from Francis Holman in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Enclosed memorial card of D. Emory Holman.
Photograph of land 1905. "Lunneberg Mass where L___ Holman Houghton came from Newburg. Her home was 2 miles away in a ___ ___ ____ ___." Side: "tree now as you see it here"
February 15, 1940. Letter from Charles H. B. to his cousin Mrs. G. B. Read in Bloomington, Illinois.
Memorial card of D. Emory Holman
Janvier 22, 1931. Letter to Mrs. Read from Charles Holman-Black regarding his brother, Frank's death.
Postcard from Frank to cousins
April 25, 1930. Letter to Mrs. Read from Charles Holman-Black
1935. Letter from Frank Holman in Paris, France to Mrs. Dottie Read in Bloomington
Postcard from Charles Holman-Black to Bert, Dottie, Roland, and Emma
July 1, 1917. Letter to Cousin Burt at the Portable Elevator Manufacturing Company


Folder 11:
February 23, 1884. Contract between S. S. Green and E. P. Black, both of Denver, Colorado. Contract regarding sale of cows.


Folder 12:
Mr. & Mrs. G. B. Read Correspondence
2 Memorial cards for S. Francis Holman, died January 22, 1930. One with note enclosed
Note from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Belgium to inform Mrs. G. B. Read of Bloomington to recognize her for her devotion to war work.
January 25, 1925. Letter to G. B. Read from the French Ambassador during WWI (Thanks for fighting in France)
September 20, 1938. Letter to Mrs. G. B. Read from Elizabeth Love(?) Webb
June 15, 1931. Letter from J. G. Aronson Ltd., Exporters of all qualities of Nairobi coffee, to Mrs. G. B. Read regarding a parcel of coffee.
October 13, 1931. Letter from J. G. Aronson Ltd., Exporters of all qualities of Nairobi coffee, to Mrs. G. B. Read regarding received money and future orders.
Letter from A. Paternette forwarding the medal of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Vendome for appreciation of devotion to Belgian Relief work.


Folder 13:
G.B. and Roland Read Correspondence
December 1917. Postcard from R to Mrs. G.B. Read (weather, roads, Christmas turkey).
Deux Franks
Envelope that looks like it was lost for a while (lots of stamps) for Roland S. Read
Letter from Emma to Roland
February 8, 1911. Letter to "Ma & Pop" from Roland, written on Mercersburg Academy stationary (friends, meals, roommate, having fun, classes and teachers, boxing, broken fountain pen, list of expenses)
August 2, 1917. Letter from the War Department to Roland S. Read, 1203 E. Jefferson St., Notice of Call and to Appear for Physical Examination
August 21, 1917. Letter from the War Department stating that Roland S. Read submitted a physical examination and was discharged from the military service as physically unfit.
Note written by Roland December 21, 1903.


Folder 14:
1780-1863 Receipts
10 Lafayette Bank checks (Bloomington, IL). Spanning the years 1859-1861, for various people including William H. Hodge, "Self", Charles Ragsdale, Christ Walls, and G. W. Price. Amounts vary from $10-$100.
Approximately 53 receipts, dates ranging from 1780-1863.


Folder 15:
Approximately 68 hand-written receipts from 1807-1868


Folder 16:
W. H. Hodge Land Contracts
October 1, 1833 (3)
September 16, 1835
February 20, 1836(?)
John F. Henry, April 1, 1837
No Date


Folder 17:
August 30, 1816 Tennessee. Calwell Stewart.
July 24, 1823 Tennessee. Francis Hodge
November 7, 1833 McLean County. Achillis Deathrage(?) and wife to W. H. Hodge
September 25, 1835. McLean County. James Whittaker and Mary Hodge
August 28, 1836. McLean County. William H. Hodge and James P. Hodge
February 25, 1837. McLean County. Margaret W. Hodge and William Hodge
June 15, 1842. McLean County. Quit Claim Deed Issac Funk and heirs
April 14, 1842. William H. Allen and his wife, Martha Maria of Jersey County, Illinois, and William H. Hodge of McLean County, Illinois.
March 15, 1842. McLean County. William H. Allen and William H. Hodge
July 15, 1843. Mclean County. Levi Maxwell, Liam Wallace, William Hodge.
January 17, 1845. McLean County. Leah Maxwell, Washington Maxwell, William H. Hodge
September 16, 1844. McLean County. Hugh Harris, Nancy Harris, and William H. Hodge, administrator of the estate of Paul L
May 22, 1848. McLean County. William H. Hodge and James P. Hodge, Harriet Hodge.
January 6, 1848. McLean County. Joshua G. Dodge and William H. Hodge
March 19, 1894, filed September 5, 1849. Mclean County. B. Mathewson to William H. Hodge
Filed May 6, 1849. McLean County Chattel Mortgage, Thomas Howes to William H. Hodge
March 25, 1884. George E. Corbin of Denver and L. R. Graves of Denver


Folder 18:
17 receipts from 1840s-1870s including names William Platt, William Hodge, and J. A. Savidge(?).


Folder 19:
Lists of Goods
Booklet containing information about people and corresponding goods
List of groceries and prices
Account of Sarah Hammock, September 1849.
List of items, amounts, and totals
William H. Hodge goods and chattels


Folder 20:
1900 Agenda belonging to Francis Holman- includes a small clipping of an announcement that Roland Read will be in Greece
1901 Agenda belonging to Francis Holman- includes separate notebook pages dated June 25, 1881 with drawings, dates, and travel.
Tiny picture of bare trees and homes


McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research