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Saybrook’s last Civil War widow Emma Cook, May 1938

In May 1938, the Village of Saybrook prepared to celebrate its first Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) without a Civil War veteran. The last two Saybrook veterans, L.H. Cherrington and Joseph Rennabarger, passed away in November 1937.

Seen here is 85-year-old Emma Cook, on the porch of her Saybrook home, looking at a portrait of her late husband Riley Cook, a veteran who died in July 1918. Mrs. Cook was the village’s last Civil War widow. She passed away on August 5, 1941.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History


Robert Lampi1/16/20 12:15pm

I have researched 2 family members from the Saybrook, Il. area who fought in the Civil War. John P. Lewis, who died in Kansas and Robert C. Lewis who died in Illinois. Both were in the 116th, co. F, Illinois infantry . Robert C. Lewis died from typhoid in basic training. John P. Lewis survived the war returned to Saybrook and then unto Kansas. I have found pictures of both of them on family search. Is there any additional resources I can use or do you have any additional pictures of the 116th or these 2 individuals.

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