Warrenville and the American Civil War: April 1864

When April 1864 began in Warrenville, the year must already have felt long with the community already having buried three of its members in as many months, however the month brought more death and pain to Warrenville residents. On the 10th of the month Israel Kenyon died, and was buried at Big Woods two days later, near his mother who had been laid there to rest just the month before.

On April 16th, Maria Williams, distraught from grief over the death of her son the month prior, passed away. She was buried with her husband and three children in the family’s Warrenville Cemetery plot. It is said that some people die of a broken heart and Mrs. Williams heart likely could not have taken any more tragedy after her son, Samuel’s death.

On April 19th, visitors from Iowa came to Warrenville. Mrs. Aurora Sherman along with four children came to visit the Potters, who were still living with Hiram Leonard. Their home town, McGregor, Iowa, was actually a booming metropolis compared to Warrenville at the time. Although today, McGregor doesn’t even boast a population of 1,000 people, the Civil War years saw the growth of the railroad industry through the Mississippi River town. It is likely that the stories they brought with them of all the happenings in the Iowa town were a happy distraction.

Taken from the Warrenville Historical Society’s program “1864 in 48 Minutes” that was held on January 26, 2014.

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