Death of Rebecca Diehl

Rebecca Diehl Stauffer was born in Carroll County, Maryland, January 20, 1856 and fell asleep in Jesus at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. D. Brantner, near Maryland Station Sunday morning, January 21, 1917, age 61 years and 1 day. 

When but five years of age she came west with her parents, traveling by wagon.  They settled in Lee County, Ill., but a few years later they moved to Pine Creek, Ogle County, where the remainder of her life was spent. 

March 20, 1873 she was united in marriage to George W. Stauffer.  To this union six children were born.  David E., Clinton W., Charles Lee, who reside near the old home; Harry W. of Dixon, Ill.,; Mrs. J. D. Brantner of Maryland Station, and Ada May, who died at the age of one year and four months, and one sister, Mrs. John Grego of Polo, Ill.  There were eight grandchildren and one great grandchild, and a large number of relatives and friends are left to mourn the going of a devoted mother, grandmother and friend.

In October 1872 she united with the church of the Brethren and for 45 years she lived faithful and consistent Christian life.

Hannah Rebecca Diehl married my grandfather George Washington Stauffer.  This weekend in October 2008, I travelled with my sister Cathy Stauffer Slater and my cousin Leah Cox Adams to visit the home we all new as children.  Some of my best memories are of those years when I was so small...and we lived in Dixon Illinois.  

george stauffer fmaily
Back Row left to right Charles Lee, Harry W., and Clinton W.
Seated left to right George W. Susan Mary, H. Rebecca, and David E.

My grandparents Charles Lee Stauffer and Goldie Mae Bovey Stauffer lived down the street.  My grandfather was a truck farmer and raised vegetables to sell to the local grocers when he was not ministering in a church.  He and Goldie raised chickens to eat and had laying hens for fresh eggs. 

When the chickens were gone, which I do not remember them being there, my sister, myself and my cousin and a few other kids from the neighborhood moved into the chicken coop and made it our clubhouse.  I was never old enough to be the clubhouse leader, for that was always my sister Cathy or my cousin Leah.  We had many a meeting in that old chicken coop, sitting on old crates and gunny sacks, and somehow always dodging the wasps.  We choreographed many a plays and danced before my grandmother, Goldie and my mother Fern Cline Stauffer and Aunt Bernice Stauffer Cox as they shelled peas, snapped beans, and prepared corn for canning.  They sat outside by the well under the big maple tree to stay cool while they worked and we played.

The Big Maple Tree today

The First Evangelical Methodist church in Dixon established in 1892, was the center of everyone’s life then.  My father Farnwell Elsmere Stauffer, Bud as he was known, sung in the choir.  My sister and I and my brother Rex Allen Stauffer attended Sunday school regularly.  My brother always went with me as he was too little to go by himself.  There were always church socials, church dances, dinners and of course church itself where we sat through those long grueling sermons.  I think that is where I developed my restless leg syndromes, as they call it.  I could never sit completely still for that long.

The memories go on and on and are a story for another time, for now I must get back to the present.  Cathy Leah and I did some genealogy research on our trip.  We verified some birth and death dates and visited the cemeteries and then went to the library in Polo Illinois to research where the Stauffer farms were back in the 1800.  We spent an afternoon there pulling old Platt charts from 1873 and 1893, and a new Platt chart to locate the properties and who owned them today.  The following is an excerpt from ‘The Biographical Record of Ogle County”, 1899:

Daniel H. Stauffer, one of the progressive farmers of Ogle County, owns and operates a fine farm on section 19, Pine Creek township.  He was born in Stark County, Ohio, February 4, 1853, and is the son of John E. and Rebecca (Haight) Stauffer, the former being a native of Pennsylvania, but who is now a resident of Polo, Illinois.  In 1854, John E. Stauffer left Ohio with his family and moved to Elkhart County, Indiana, where they made their home for thirteen years.  Soon after the close of the Civil war, they came to Ogle County, locating on the place which is now the home of our subject.  On that farm the father toiled until 1880, when he rented the place and moved to Polo where he has since lived a retired life.  To John E. and Rebecca Stauffer twelve children were born, ten of whom are now living.  John W. is now residing in Glendale, Arizona, where he is engaged in the fruit business.  Sarah E. is the wife of Cyrus Nicodemus, a merchant of Polo.  George w. is a farmer of Pine Creek township.  Christina is the wife of Solomon Solenberger, a retired farmer of Polo.  Mary E. is the wife of Abraham Miller, of Buffalo Township.  Ananias is a farmer of Buffalo Township.  William is a farmer of Pine Creek Township.  Rebecca is the wife of Frank McDowell of Polo.  Anna is making her home with her parents in Polo.

The subject of this sketch was thirteen years old when he came to Ogle County.  His education commenced in the public schools of Elkhart County, Indiana, was completed in the public schools of Ogle County.  He assisted his father on the farm until he attained his majority, when he rented a portion of the home place and worked it on shares.  The following year he purchased eighty acres in Pine Creek Township, but had to assume the greater part of the purchase price.  This eighty was about three miles from his present home, and on the Dixon road.  It is now owned by John Ambrose.  Removing to his new purchase, he there lived for fourteen years, having in the meantime added eighteen acres to the tract.  In 1890 he sold the place and bought the old homestead where he has since made his home.  In 1892 he erected his present commodious and comfortable residence, and, since becoming the owner, he has erected all the other buildings now on the place.  He has followed general farming, and is regarded as one of the best farmers in the County.

 On the 15th of October, 1876, Mr. Stauffer was united in marriage with Miss Maggie C. Spickler, daughter of C. B. and Sarah (Plumb) Spickler, her father being a retired merchant in Polo.  By this union there have been seven children, two of whom are deceased—Florence, Charlie B., Ollie C., Ellen R., Henry M., Bertha P and Emma R.  The parents met with a sad bereavement in the loss of their two eldest sons.  On New Years day, 1896, the boys were skating on Rock River, and both tell into an air hole and were drowned.

Politically Mr. Stauffer is a Republican, having been an advocate of the principles of the party since casting his first vote.  Religiously he is a member of the German Baptist church and for ten years served as deacon in the same.  He has always taken an active interest in the work of the church, being a firm believer in the Christian religion and in the teachings of his church.  His wife is also a member and active worker in that body.  Both are highly esteemed by all who know them.  Mr. Stauffer has been quite successful in life, and his success has been attained by his own efforts, assisted by his faithful helpmeet.  He is the owner of one of the finest homes and best farms in this rich and productive County.

The home Daniel built in 1890 on his fathers land

Daniel farmed 160 acres of his father, Peter Ensminger Stauffer’s property.  The home he built in 1892 is still standing.  It is the second farm west on Henry road.  Eighty adjoining acres were farmed by his brother William and a farm still exists today at the corner of Henry Road and what is today called the Lowell Park road.  My great grandfather George Washington Stauffer farmed 80 acres adjoining the 80 acres that Daniel sold to John Ambrose.  The farm sat back off the Lowell Park road, just north of Edgewood Road.  Today there is a brand new home there.  At the corner of Lowell Park road and Edgewood Road, adjoining the property of George W. Stauffer, is the farm that was the Daniel Stauffer’s first home that he sold to John Ambrose in 1890. 

george before
The Stauffer Farm off Lowell Park Road

george after


william stauffer
The farm of William Stauffer on Lowell Park and Henry Road

daniel first
The first farm of Daniel Stauffer on Edgewood Road

From a book authored by Wanda Wiggins entitled “Pine Creek People Places and Time”, I learned of my Great Uncle David and his son Floyd and the history of the Red Brick house and the big White House. 

After we turn off Judson Road south to Dixon, (Lowell Park Road) just down the road a half mile, we pass a beautiful farm home which, during my lifetime, I always knew as ‘The Stauffer Farm’.  Indeed it was, but there is more to the story.  Presently, the owners of the beautiful white house are Phil and Jean Frey. 

white house
The Big White House today


 Now back to the red brick house.  Although I do not know when it was built, I know that William Upton Powell, youngest son of Upton and Anna Smith Powell came with his parents and siblings in 1854 to the 451 acres his father bought the year before.  Most of this acreage is the area of now White Pines Park.

On January 21, 1872 William Upton married Lydia Alice Stuff and their farm was there among the White Pines trees. 

They moved from the area of the beautiful stand of pines west and then south.  What were the roads like?  We can only imagine a well travelled dirt path or road area. 

The Powell’s moved into the red brick house.  The pictures show the white fence in front, a symbol of many houses build more than on hundred years ago.

 The Powell’s with their two daughters Ann and Pearl lived in the red brick house and farmed the land.  The girls grew up.  Anna married David Stauffer.  Pearl married John Plum.  The Powell’s built the new white house across the road and moved into it.

David and Anna Stauffer lived in the red brick house where their children Powell, Marian, and Floyd were born.  After the Stauffer children grew and were ready to start families, William Upton and Alice were ready to retire.  Another home was built in Polo on the street which is now Division Street where recently a small tea room was business.


The Powell’s moved to Polo.  David and Anna moved across the road from the red brick house to the big white house. 

Their son Floyd Stauffer married Anna Brimblecarn, and they became parent to Gladys (Wolf), Frances (Herbst), and Kathryn (Weaver). 

David Stauffer passed away.  Anna moved from the big white house to a small house in Polo.  Her son Floyd and his wife Anna moved from the red brick house to the big white house across the road.  The girls all married and moved to other areas.  The red brick house over the ensuing years was rented to several families, including Harold and Ruth Lowe and their family.  Harold worked on the farm.

The farm with two houses, (the small white houses between the red brick house and the corner house were all taken away).  It was sold to a land corporation.  Phil and Jean Frey came to the farm in February 1978 and lived in the red brick house while the white house was being readied.  They moved into the big white house in January 1979.  The red brick house was taken down by a land corporation but remains in pictures and memories. 

The outside upstairs porch was removed from the big white house but the inside ornate wood work is a joy to behold.  It fits well the couple who now call it home who, like the house, have become an integral part of the community and their families, as they continue life on the farm now as grandparents too.

So up the road from George lived his brother David, and then later David’s son Floyd owned the big white house.  It truly is a beautiful farm today.

I can't help but think how simple life would be if what defined us was our faith, our family and our home. It was great fun being together again....

Terri Stauffer-Schmidt, Cathy Stauffer-Slater Leah Cox Adams


Lunch at the White Pines Park Lodge