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Lacon Academy

The Fisher brick, as the corner store was called, was begun in 1837 by Fenn, Howe & Co., and finished the succeeding season. Samuel HOWE built the house formerly occupied by Owen McENTEE as a flour store and still standing, and the Rev. Mr. POMEROY built the “Jake FOSTER” house. The front room was made purposely large for prayer meetings, but we fear its “days of grace” are ended.

The new proprietors of the place early turned their attention to education, and in 1836 the “Lacon Academy” was organized, and $1,000 pledged to its support. A building was put up in that year capable of holding sixty or seventy pupils, which for several years afforded all the educational privileges needed. It was used for church purposes, town meetings, elections, lyceums and all public purposes for many years, and afterward was turned into a dwelling house. Later still it served as a work-shop, and finally was turned around facing the street, a more pretentious front added, and became the store which William FISHER occupies. Here in the spring of 1837 was taught the first school in Lacon, by Jane M. KILGORE, now a well preserved matron of sixty, and wife of Henry M. BARNES. Among her pupils were the three children of Norman FENN, - Sarah Ann, Adaline and William Porter. Sarah married Samuel DUNHAM, builder of the Presbyterian Church, who is less than one month died, and she became a widow, after which he wedded Eleazer POMEROY, dying many years ago. Adaline married James N. WILLIAMSON, moved to Chicago, and died in Michigan in 1878. William Porter enlisted in the Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry in the war of the rebellion, served with credit until after the capture of Mobile and died of the small pox.

General BABB sent three children – Jane, Evaline and Erastus. The two girls became wives of the Rev. John T. DEVORE, a noted Methodist minister of early times, and both died in Oregon. Erastus also died there.

William Hadley sent his two sons, at present living in Peoria; and the Rev. Augustus POMEROY sent two, - Henry and Augustus. They removed elsewhere at an early day.

Samuel POMEROY sent Cornelia, Samuel and Frank. Cornelia became the wife of Judge BANGS, for many years a resident of Lacon, and now of Chicago. Samuel was for several years with William FISHER, and died in Peru, and Frank lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ira FENN sent three nieces named respectively Matilda, Laetitia and Maria McMILLEN. Matilda died in Lacon; Laetitia married Geo. ECKLEY, became the mother of two children, removed to California, and now lives with her daughter in the Sandwich Islands.

There were two children named LINDSAY, - Benjamin and Dorcas. The former was for many years a conductor on the C. & A. Railroad, and the latter married George WIGHTMAN. There was also among the pupils a girl named Jemina ORR, who afterward became the wife of Philip MAGUIRE.

The old school house served its purpose for several years, and was replaced by a larger one, afterward reconstructe4d into the dwelling now occupied by the family of the late Henry L. CRANE.

Extracted from Records of the Olden Time, authored by Spencer Ellsworth, 1880, page 338


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