LaSalle County

Woolever, Richard Orlando D.
The Streator Daily Free Press, Streator, Illinois
Saturday, November 11, 1899

Dying When Found
Richard Woolever Believed to Have
Stumbled To His Death
Richard Woolever who lately moved back from Fort Madison, Iowa, to Streator with his family after an absence of about seven years, met death by an accident last night while on his way home. Mr. Woolever moved into the old Fusselman place, on Otter Street, just south of Broadway, a few days ago. Yesterday afternoon he came up town, but about 6 o’clock started for home, going east on Main Street. Not more than fifteen minutes later two men who live in that vicinity found Mr. Woolever in a dying condition near the northeast corner of Main and Otter Streets, in a ditch which runs along the east side of the latter thoroughfare. They removed him to a grassy place nearby, where he gasped his last, not having been able to utter a word to those around him.
O.H. McCoy, Frank Beeth and Joseph Mohr, who had been at work putting in a furnace at Charles Iserman’s home, one-half mile east, came up just after the dying man had been picked up by the two individuals first on the scene. As soon as possible the patrol wagon was summoned and the body taken to the family residence, a few blocks north.
From the information now at hand it seems that Mr. Woolever stumbled over a plank which projected into his path and, falling headforemost into the shallow ditch, broke his neck. This plank was one of a number used to prevent the dirt at the approaches of the small bridge on Main Street at that point from rolling into the ditch.
The plank extended from the northwest corner of the bridge in a northerly direction and projected about 10 inches past the post to which it was nailed at a height of about six inches from the ground. Mr. Woolever, who, it seems left the sidewalk on the south side of Main street and crossed over to the north side, where there was no walk, in order to effect a short cut to his home, sought to avoid the post, but, not seeing the end of the timber, fell over it. When found, the head and body rested in the ditch, in which there was no water, while the legs of the unfortunate man lay across the plank.
Mr. Woolever was born in 1843 at Heyworth, Ill. From there he went to Bloomington to reside with his grandmother. At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted at that city in the 91st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and served four years under the “stars and Stripes.” Returning to Bloomington after the war was over he married and lived there until about 1880, when he moved to Streator with his family. He was an employee of Powers Bros. for a number of years and it was who bought their rag business when they decided to devote their energies entirely to their hardware store.
In 1892, or thereabouts, Mr. Woolever moved with his family to Fort Madison, Iowa, where he continued in the rag business and where the family remained until their removal to Streator a short time ago.
The deceased is survived by the wife and ten children, Bert, of Fort Madison; Mrs. William Cockburn, of Chicago; Rev. Walter O., of Pleasant River, Iowa; and Elmer, Mrs. Frank Cox, Jr., Ray, Gertrude, Grace and Louise, of this city.
Coroner Taylor and a jury are holding an inquest at the coroner’s office this afternoon.
The funeral of the deceased will be held Monday afternoon.

Submitted by Chuck Woolever

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