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Hodge/Read Family Collection

Processed by: Torii More, April 2011


  1. Collection Information
  2. Historical Sketch
  3. Photographs
  4. Scope and Content Note
  5. Box and Folder Inventory
Collection Information

Volume: 1 Box
Dates: 1780-1938
Restrictions: None
Reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History
Provenance: None
Location: Archives


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 (in what would become Mclean County) and bought land—at that time only twelve 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 ten children, six 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
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Folder 1: Hodge Biographical Information
1.1 “The Life and Story of James Price Hodge” 6 pages
1.2 Photocopied biography of William Herron Hodge from The Good Old Times in McLean County by Dr. E. Duis
1.3 Photocopied biography of O.N. Hodge from The History of Mclean County, Illinois
1.4 Pedigree chart put together by Dorothy Neff for the McLean County Genealogical Society
Folder 2: Correspondence
Folder 2
2.1 Small envelope to Mr. Hodge & Lady
2.2 Envelope to Mr. Hodge
2.3 Letter from Lucy Bogardus(?) in Deer Creek, Illinois to Aunt Ell. (coming for a visit, asking when is a good time)
2.4 February 13, 1888 Letter from daughter Dottie in Bloomington to “mama” (papa visiting, Ed Miller died, Jen came home)
2.5 Song & poem about beans
2.6 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)
2.7 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)
2.8 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)
2.9 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(?)
2.10 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”
2.11 Letter for W. H. Hodge from S. Francis Ho. regarding payment of $7.52 for advertising land for sale.
2.12 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
2.13 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
2.14 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: Correspondence
3.1 Outline for a story
3.2 Undated letter from unknown in North Carolina, Rockingham County. Discusses who in the community has died, who has married, etc.
3.3 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”)
3.4 April 16, 1936. Letter to William H. Hodge from George Wall in Warren County, Kentucky.
3.5 November 23, 1839. Letter to “Children” from George & Margaret Wall in Kentucky (religion, faith in the lord, quotes from preaching of William Hodge)
3.6 November 24, 1839. Letter to William Hodge & Elias H. Wall from J. J. McFadin(?)
3.7 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
3.8 September 6, 1840. Letter to W. H. Hodge from McLechin(?)
3.9 September 16, 1840.
3.10 October 19, 1840. Letter from Stephen Claypool to “sirs” (James B. Price, William H. Hodge, and Elias H. Wall)
3.11 December 13, 1840. Letter from Elias B. McFiadin to his cousin, William H. Hodge.
Folder 4: Legal & Financial Documents
4.1 September 15, 1842. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer’s Office, Illinois for $55.20.
4.2 June 13, 1842. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer’s Office, Illinois for $2121.40.
4.3 February 2, 1841. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer’s Office, Illinois for $100.00
4.4 September 3, 1840. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer’s Office, Illinois for $199.50
4.5 May 13, 1841. Check for William H. Hodge from Treasurer’s Office, Illinois for $698.50.
4.6 Hand-written certification of publication of a notice in the Western Whig that William Maxwell has died.
4.7 Certificate signed by the Governor and Secretary of State certifying that William H. Hodge has been elected Sheriff of Tazewell County, November 25, 1827.
4.8 Certificate signed by the Governor and Secretary of State certifying that William H. Hodge has been elected Sheriff of Tazewell County, December 27, 1828.
4.9 Letter of Administration certifying William H. Hodge is executor of the estate of James O. P. Robertson, deceased. January 1845
4.10 September 18, 1828. Part of a letter to General Land Office returning Patent and Warrant for territory in Arkansas.
4.11 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.
4.12 Bill for John Hendrix- lease room, potatoes, corn, oats, boots, etc. totaling to $24.35
4.13 Document designating William H. Hodge as executor of the estate of James Hodge, deceased.
4.14 List of names and corresponding dollar amounts, don’t know what for.
Folder 5: Legal & Financial Documents
Folder 5
5.1 Article of Agreement between James Fell and James Hodge for Osage Orange hedging
5.2 $100 receipt from Receiver’s Office at Danville, Illinois for James Robertson of McLean County for land
Folder 6: Custody of Maxwell Children
6.1 Document assigning William Hodge custody of Larkin Maxwell, Martin Maxwell, and Levi Maxwell until they turn 21.
6.2 2 pages of goods and chattels of William Maxwell dated May 16, 1833
Folder 7: Newspaper Clippings (coming soon)
Folder 8: Property of Joseph Slatton
8.1 January 30, 1839. Document listing court fees and argument for estate rights of William Maxwell.
8.2 List of goods, totaled to $24.82, titled “Mr. William Hodge 1836”
8.3 June 8, 1829. Letter of administration- State of Illinois Tazewell County
Folder 9: Death of James Hodge
9.1 Letter of Administration making William H. Hodge executor of the estate of James Hodge, August 12, 1832
9.2 July 19, 1843. Letter to W. H. Hodge from the Auditor’s Office Springfield, Illinois.
9.3 September 15, 1842. Check for $300
Folder 10: Read-Holman Correspondence
10.1 1 picture of house, 1of flower garden, 1of a house and two ladies, and 1 scenery picture all with Emory Holman signed on reverse.
10.2 1 picture of Paris garden signed Frank
10.3 1 picture of “D. Emory Holman, M.D. standing, Mrs. S. Francis Holman seated. artificial lake at the homestead in Attleboro, Mass. 1923.”
10.4 April 8, ’82. Letter from Emory Holman, M.D.
10.5 December 17, 1924. Letter to cousin Roland in Florida from Francis Holman in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Enclosed memorial card of D. Emory Holman.
10.6 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”
10.7 February 15, 1940. Letter from Charles H. B. to his cousin Mrs. G. B. Read in Bloomington, Illinois.
10.8 Memorial card of D. Emory Holman
10.9 Janvier 22, 1931. Letter to Mrs. Read from Charles Holman-Black regarding his brother, Frank’s death.
10.11 Postcard from Frank to cousins
10.12 April 25, 1930. Letter to Mrs. Read from Charles Holman-Black
10.13 1935. Letter from Frank Holman in Paris, France to Mrs. Dottie Read in Bloomington
10.14 Postcard from Charles Holman-Black to Bert, Dottie, Roland, and Emma
10.15 July 1, 1917. Letter to Cousin Burt at the Portable Elevator Manufacturing Company
Folder 11: Contract
11.1 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 (Coming soon)
Folder 13: G.B. and Roland Read Correspondence (coming soon)
Folder 14: 1780-1863 Receipts
14.1 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.
14.2 Approximately 53 receipts, dates ranging from 1780-1863.
Folder 15: Receipts
Folder 15
15.1 Approximately 68 hand-written receipts from 1807-1868
Folder 16: W. H. Hodge Land Contracts
16.1 October 1, 1833 (3)
16.2 September 16, 1835
16.3 February 20, 1836(?)
16.4 John F. Henry, April 1, 1837
16.5 No Date
Folder 17: Contracts
17.1 August 30, 1816 Tennessee. Calwell Stewart.
17.2 July 24, 1823 Tennessee. Francis Hodge
Folder 18: Receipts
18.1 17 receipts from 1840s-1870s including names William Platt, William Hodge, and J. A. Savidge(?).