"The first child born to Theodore and Katherina was named Elizebeth. Her birth date was August 10, 1860 and she entered the world on her parent's farm at Lily Lake near Volo. She spent her youth on the farm and later married Isaac Franklyn Sexton. She was known in the family as "Lizzie" or "Aunt Lizzie'' and her husband as "Frank'' or "Uncle Frank Sexton." She had worked as a waitress in the McHenry Hotel on the Fox River and that is where they spent their honeymoon. In later years, they would drive to MeHenry from Elgin in and always stop in at the McHenry Hotel. The couple had four children; Rose, Frances (Fanny), William (Barney), and Jacob. William died in Kansas City and Frances in Manasha, Wisconsin.
In 1904, the Sextons were residing in Volo, but circa 1911 they moved to Elgin. Illinois. It was said that Theodore bought a brick house in Elgin and gave it to them. At the time of their demise they were living at 857 St. Charles Street and this could have been the same house.
Aunt Lizzie was considered to be a kindly person, but somehwat strict. She would take in people less fortunate than herself, but frowned on drinking. Frank was a carpenter by trade and later was employed as a
bartender. At one time he opermted a key club In Elgin. He was reported to be a person who enjoyed life and liked to have fun. In her later years, Lizzie was not in very good health. She had been suffering from heart trouble for about seven years before she died at 1:30 a.m. on August 4, 1946, only six days before her 85th birthday. She lies in the Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin beside her husband who died less than two months after her. Rose's son, Russell Virgil, and Jacob's son, Donald Sexton, both of Elgin, contributed much of this information."
JOHANN ADAM ( John ) WORTS
"The old records at St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg show that on September 16, 1861, a John Wirths, (note spelling), was born of Theodore and Katherine parents. And, on September 18, 1861, the child was baptized with John A. Winkel and Maria Schneider as sponsors. John spent his youth on the family farm at Lily Lake. On June 20, 1883, he was married to Magdelena Wagner at St. John the BaptIst Church in Johnsburg. It was a double ceremony, for at the same time, John's sister, Anna, was married to Magdelana's brother, Michael. The Wagner farm was back to back with the Wirtz (Worts) farm.
John and Lena began their life together on a farm on Lily Lake Road south of Route 120. Since Theodore owned land which virtually encompassed Lily Lake, it is not known whether John rented the land from his father, or if the land belonged to someone else. It was on this farm that their first child, Peter, was born on April14, 1884. On December 12, 1886, a daughter, Barbara (Maudie), was born, and a son, Michael, on May 27, 1889. These children were baptized at St. John the Baptist Church. From what information could be gathered, it seems that sometime after the birth of Michael, John moved his family to the old homestead farm. This probably occurred in1891 after Theodore ratired and moved to the house in Volo.
On November 5, 1892, Agnes Clara (Clara), was born. Twin girls, Anna and Helena, were born on August 29,1894, but both died about two months later. It is interesting to note that these births were recorded with the name of Wirtz in the files of St. Peter's Church in Volo. The twins are interred in the church cemetery. While still farming on the homestead, another daughter, Laura, was born on November 22, 1899, however, for some reason she was baptized at St. Mary's in McHenry. William (Willis), the last child, was born on November 26, 1901 in Chicago. Unfortunately, Willie drowned when he fell through the ice while skating on December
24, 1912 in McHenry.
Family and friends frequently addressed John as "Honus'' , the German nickname for John. He was known as a hardworker and a good farmer, he did all of his own blacksmith work and shoed his own horses. At one time the Case Company solicited his employment because of his mechanical capabilities, however, he declined. Tessie, the daughter of John's brother, Jacob, told me she always liked "Uncle John'' and remembered a time long ago when her father became ill and John, with his son Peter, worked Jacob's farm while at the same time caring for their own. That certainly was no easy task, For at that time there was no powered farm equipment, everything had to be done by hand or with horses.
All seemed to be going well for the John A. Worts family until he met with a serious accident. This incident had a profound effect on John's behavior and personality. During the spring of 1894, while using a horse driven buzzsaw, his right hand slipped into the rapidly rotating blade. The saw cut through his hand between the third and fourth fingers down to the wrist bone. Peter, who was working with his father at the time described the scene to me as follows:
"I heard him yell and turned to see what happened, He was holding his right hand to his head. At first, I thought something had struck him in the head, for his Face was covered with blood. Then I saw two Fingers and part of his hand dangling from his wrist. My mother had heard him holler and by this time was on the scene, She ordered me to get some "cowflops'' to apply to the wound to staunch the flow of blood while, at the same time, she tore strips of cloth from her dress to make a bandage. While she applied the cloth, she told me to quickly hitch the horse to the buggy. I had to take him all the way to McHenry to a doctor over a distance of five or so miles. My father never lost consciousness, nor did he cry out in pain, but he sure cussed a lot. When we arrived at the doctor's office, my father walked in and said, thrusting his hand toward the doctor, ``here, sew this up!" The doctor stated it would be necessary to remove the severed fingers and part of the hand from the wrist before the wound could be closed. With only a few hearty shots of whiskey as an anesthetic, the amputation, stitching, and bandaging was performed without so much as a murmur out of my father, I knew then he was a very strong man."
Strong as he was, John was not able to regain the same temperament he possessed prior to the accident, He started drinking heavily, lost interest in his Farm and family, and became steadily more abusive to those close to him. My father told me of an incident that happened when he was about 12 years old, John arrived home at supper time quite drunk, He began to doze at the dinner table an in doing so, upset a dish. He flew into a rage and made the accusation that someone threw something at him. Then he knocked everything off of the table and pummeled his wife and my father.
Of course, he was sorry about it the next day, but that did not do away with the black eyes and bruises. Similar abuses took place as time passed and John continued to become drunk from time to time. On another occasion, John became involved in a knife fight in which hIs opponent was injured and John was lucky to have escaped prosecution.
Sometime after Laura was born, probably in 1900, John moved his family to Chicago. He purchased a saloon on west Congress Street, but the business failed because the former owner opened another in the same vicinity shortly afterward and, of course, retained all of his customers. Then John moved to 51st Street and Lowe Avenue in Chicago and again went into the saloon business. This venture also failed. In 1903, John and his son, Peter, were both employed by the Tuthill Brick Company. However, sometime within the next couple of years, John moved his family back to the McHenry area, But, Peter was no longer with him for on June 20, 1904, Peter became married to my mother, Gertrude Hentsch.
In the year 1906, John took over the operation of the Buffalo House at Lily Lake from his brother, Michael. It is not clear whether he moved from Chicago directly to Lily Lake, or to McHenry and thence to Lily Lake. John and Lena operated the Buffalo House saloon until 1911, then the business was transfered to John's brother, Matt, After leaving the Buffalo House, John moved to McHenry where he apparently ran another saloon.
From the sketchy information available, it seems that John and Lena may have moved back to Volo and then back and forth to Chicago during the WorId War I years . It is known that John was in Chicaqo in the 1920's working for the Borden Dairy Company with my father at 70th Street and Stewart Avenue. Later, he was emplayed as a watchman by the Wanzer Dairy Company located in the same vicinity.
During the year of 1932. the Worts family suffered many losses. John lost his wife and his son, Michael; his sister Helena and her husband; his youngest brother, Michael L.
John's wife, Magdelena, nee Wagner, passed away at St. Bernard's Hospital in Chicago on January 11, 1932, She had been ill with diabetes for some time. The effects of diabetes caused kidney failure which, in turn, caused her demise, Magdelena was born on March 13,1865 at Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Her parents, Peter and Barbara Wagner were emigrants from Germany. After coming to America from the Elfel area near Koblenz, they originally settled in the Johhsburg area. For some unknown reason, the family moved to northern Wisconsin, but then returned to Volo in i866 or 1867.
My father remembered his mother's parents very well. He said they were kindly, mild mannered people. He recalled Peter having a long beard and that one time when my father was seated on Peter's lap, he pulled on the beard. Instead of being physically reprimanded, hewas firmly told in German, "Die Kinder mussen nicht mit Opa's Bart spielen,'' (The children must not play with Grandpa's beard). Peter liked to tell, and my father loved to listen to, stories about north Wisconsin and the Chippewa Indians. One that stands out in my mind is that when Peter's wife, Barbara, baked bread in their log cabin she always made extra and gave it to the Indians. Her kindness paid offf because on one dark winter day during a driving blizzard, Peter became hopelessly lost in the woods. However, a band of
Indians recognized his tracks, located him and led him safely back to the Wagner's cabin,
Magdelena certainly inherited all of the goad qualities of her parents. After all she had been through, she always remained a quiet, gentle and soft spoken person right up to the moment of her death. She was held in high esteem by her children and grandchildren as well as all who knew her. I can remember, as a nine year old out looking for discarded Christmas trees, that I wept when informed by my brother of her death. Her body was taken back to McHenry to St. Mary's For funeral services and burial.
The summer brought additional sorrows, for on June 28, 1932, John's sister, Helena (Aunt Lena Gainer) died. She was preceded in death by her husband, James, one month earlier. Then, on August 29, 1932, John's son, Michael, was struck and killed by an automobile in Chicago. A little more than a week later, John's brother, MIchael L., passed away. The year 1932 was a bad one for the Worts family.
After the death of his wife, John moved back to Volo. In 1933, after repeal of the Prohibition Law, he opened a saloon in the old creamery building in Volo across the road from his home. As of this writing, both buildings are still standing. Later, the saloon was operated by John's nephew, Theodore (Teddy) Wagner. For a time his daughter, Laura Wray and her family, lived with him. Then, for another period of time, John's sister, Agnes, resided
in his house. Lastly, his daughter, Barbara (Maudie), lived there. Somewhere along the line, John moved to another house behind his that was owned by Rose Donnell.
It is paradoxical that John could be so intolerant with his own family, and on the other hand, get along well with everyone else. He was usually nice to his grandchildren, however, he would not stand for any misbehavior. He had a subtle way of getting those three fingers on you If you got out of line, that made you sit up and take notice.
He had a talent for farming and took excellent care of the tools of his trade. In other matters, he could at times be totally irresponsible. It is a tragedy that he did not stick to farming instead of entering the saloon business. John smoked a pipe that was strong enough to kill a horse and periodically Indulged himself with a cigar. He liked his beer and a few schnapps and his language was usually well peppered with profanities. He often said that when he died, he wanted a keg of beer placed at each end of his casket and another as a gravemarker.
On October 24, 1942, John Adam Worts died in the Lake County General Hospital. He had been suffering for more than a week with bleeding ulcers. Funeral services were conducted in Volo's St. Peter Church and he was interred next to his wife in St, Mary's Cemetery in McHenry. There were no kegs of beer."
"Anna was born November 1, 1862. She was baptized in St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg as Anna Wirtz. Her sponsors were Farobeus Koth and Anna Winkels. As were her two older siblings, she was born on the family farm at Lily Lake. She grew up there and on June 20, 1883 was married to Michael Wagner in a double ceremony as described earlier in this writing. Anna and Michael farmed in the Volo area until advancing age caused them to retire and take up residence within the villages. They lived in a home
atop a hill directly in back of the home of John and Lena.
"Aunt Annie'' was the name by which I recall her, but my cousin, Earl Wray, said she preferred to be called "Tante Anna.'' This is probably true because Earl knew her in her later years much better than I. She was a faithful member of St. Peter's Church in Volo and was also a member of the St. Anne's Society there.
Anna and Michael lived in quiet retirement until he suddently passed away on April 22, 1937 at the age of 76 years. In addition to Anna and their ten children, he was survived by three brothers; Martin, of Ottawa, Illinois; Frank, of Sprinq Grove, Illinois; and Henry, of McHenry. Two sisters, Mrs, Hubert Weber of McHenry and Mrs. Mary Pitzen of Wisconsin, survived him.
Anna continued to live in Volo and sometime after the death of her husband, her sister, Agnes, moved in with her. In the fall of 1950, Anna's health began to fail and she became very seriously ill for a period of three weeks before she died on June 21, 1951. It was a coincidence that she was separated in death from that of her life-long friend, Margaret Pitzen, by only a couple of hours. Both had spent their entire lives in the McHenry area and had been close friends since childhood.
At the time of her death, Anna was survived by nine of her children, her sister, Agnes, and a brother, Matt, of Round Lake, Illinois. Her son, Theodore, preceded her in death in 1938. Anna was also the grandmother of thirty-five and the great-grandmother of forty-five, Funeral services were conducted in St, Peter's Church and she was interred beside her husband in the church cemetery in Volo."
""Uncle Matt'' was the last child born to Theodore and Katherina before Theodore went marching off to the Civil War. He was born on August 14, 1864 at the Lily Lake homestead farm. On May 17, 1893, he was married to Bertha Steliman in St. Peter's Church in Volo. Ten children were born of this marriage, two of whom succumbed after reaching little more than one year of age.
After his marriage, Matt started farming on his own in the same general area as his father and brother before him, At one time he owned a farm in Big Hollow on the west corner of Route 12 and Molidor Road, Circa 1911, he gave up farming and bought the Buffalo House from his brother. John. He also bought 40 acres, which included about a third of the Lily Lake Frontage. However, he Fell upon hard times and was forced to sell. Later, he operated a tavern in Volo along with brothers John and Jacob. He also had several farms east of Volo in the Round Lake and Hainesville area.
Matt had worked for the Hende Brothers as a carpenter and then about 1917 moved to Chicago s northside. He owned a building on Ridgeway Avenue, but later, when his son, Bill, returned from duty in the Navy, he purchased a two apartment building on Fulton Street. While residing in Chicago, Matt worked for the Northwestern Rail road as a carpenter.
Of Theodore's four boys, Matt was the shortest, but only by a slight margin. However, he was also quite a scrapper. Matt and my father besides being uncle and nephew, were also good pals. My father told of the time he was helping Uncle Matt moving to a new location and they stopped in a roadside tavern for a couple of cold beers. Some how they became involved in an argument with the local patrons that led to fisticuffs. Although they were outnumbered, they "cleaned the place out," but were forced to leave when the tavern owner ordered them out with the business end of a shotgun.
Uncle Matt told the story to my brothers and myself when he was 97 years of age and came to attend the funeral of our father, even though we had heard the story before from our father, we still enjoyed hearing it again from Uncle Matt. After a while in the funeral parlor, Matt became uneasy and asked by brother Barney if there was some place In the neighborhood where he could smoke some cigarettes and have a couple of drinks of whiskey. We brought him to a tavern a few doors down the street where he insisted upon buying a drink. I clearly remember him complaining that, "they sure as hell don't put much whiskey in the glass nowadays.''
As the oldest survivor of the pioneer days, Matt was invited to ride in a parade commemorating the establishment oF McHenry as a village. Matt accepted, but it seemed prudent for him to have a health check first. He entered St. Anne's Hospital for the checkup, but while there he suffered a fatal heart attack on July 17, 1964. Some say that perhaps because he could not have his daily cigarettes and schnapps during the examinations, it was too much of a shock to his system. He was reported to be in good spirits upon entered the hospital, kidding with the nurses and looking forward to his 100th birthday which was only four weeks away.
Matt was laid to rest beside his wife and some of his children in their family plot in St. Peter's cemetery in Volo. His wife. Bertha, had passed away on April 2, 1939 I do not know if she was born in Germany but she did have relatives there. Her eldest daughter, Dora, kept in contact with them by mail. Dora was well versed in family matters. Unfortunately, she passed away on February 20, 1974 before I began the family genealogy. I am sure she would have enjoyed working with me on it and, undoubtedly, could have contributed much more to it."
"Almost all of the information regarding Jacob was provided by his daughter, Anastasia Guge, (Aunt Tessie) , At the time of my conversations with her, she was in her mid-eighties. Yet, her memory for facts and dates was extremely sharp. She was able to recall events as if they happened only a few weeks before.
Jacob was born at the family farm at Lily Lake on October 22, 1866. He was the fifth child of Theodore and Katherina. Jacob was baptized at St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg. He is listed on the church records as "Jacobus Wirth'' and his sponsors were Jacob Winkels and El izabeth Schaff.
He grew to manhood on the farm and left it when he married Mary Wagner. Mary was not related to the Wagners of Volo. She was the daughter of John and Caroline Wagner who operated a farm near Fremont Center which
lies to the east of Volo. The young couple were married in St. Mary's Church in Fremont Center on November 27, 1890. The marriage was recorded with the name spelled "Wirtz''. The witnesses were Amelia Wirtz, who was not related, and Martin Wagner.
Jacob and Mary started out on a farm near Lily Lake. But, in 1892, they purchased a building in Volo at the fork in the road, The structure was known as the Washington Hotel, however, it was known as the Gale Hotel in the 1850's, Jacob operated a meat market on the first floor and the family maintained living quarters in the rear. At the same time, the second floor contained a dance hall. He kept the market in operation for about two years and then went back to farming. At first, he rented a farm near Volo, but later he purchased the old family homestead and farmed on it.
Over a period of eleven years, Mary gave birth to seven children. The eldest was Theodore, (Butch), barn in 1891, and the youngest was Cecelia, born in 1902. But, tragedy struck the family when on Sunday, October 18, 1904, Mary died at the age of only 32 years. Services were held in St. Peter's Church and Mary was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. Beside mourning the death of his wife, the bereaved Jacob must have wondered how he would be able to care for his young children and the farm at the same time.
Somehow, Jacob continued on the farm, with the older children helping him and caring for the younger, until1908 when he again purchased the Washington Hotel from Matt Bauer. It was then a tavern and Jacob continued with it as such for about another two years. He then sold it to his brother-in-law, Michael Wagner. For some reason it later returned to his ownership and he later sold it to Mrs, Catherine Molidor who converted the building to a dwelling,
In 1911, Jacob moved his family to McHenry. He rented a home owned by Nicholaus Winkels who planned to occupy the second floor. As previously written, Nicholaus was found dead lying at the foot of the second floor staircase by Jacob as he brought in his first load of household furnishings. During either 1914 or 1915, three of Jacob's daughters moved to Elgin, Illinois. They were Tessie, Carrie, and Rena and they left to take employment with the Elgin Watch Company.
By this time, Butch and George were married and raising their own families, so Jacob decided to move back to Volo with his daughters, Emma and Cecelia. After a while in Volo, Jacob and his two daughters moved to Elgin and rejoined his three daughters already there. He purchased a home on Liberty Street, and once again the family was able to live together, Some time later, Jacob married a second time. All I know about it is that the woman's first name was Jeanette.
As mentioned earlier, Jacob was fatally injured in an automobile accident, along with his father, on April 27, 1927. Double services were held in St. Peter's Church in Volo, and father and son were laid to rest in the family plot in the church cemetery. Jacob was about six feet tall and wore a red mustache. Three of his children, Butch, George, and Emma also had reddish hair. Jacob's daughter, Tessie, said he was a good father to his children, a hard worker, and a fine farmer.
Before leaving Jacob, it seems appropriate to mention an escapade he and his brother, Matt, engaged in. It seems that prior to moving to Elgin, Jake and Matt became somewhat inebriated, caused a ruckus in town and ended up in jail. As a young boy, I recollect the family talking about it from time to time. I guess it could be considered a rather comical incident, but probably not to the people frightened by the brothers' antics. Various versions of the story have circulated over the years. One is that the boys got drunk and rode on their horses through McHenry, firing their pistols and claiming they were the Jesse James boys. In typical western fashion they were "rounded up'' by the sheriff and hauled off to jail. Some say that it was my grandfather, John A, Worts, who bailed his brothers out of jail.
However, I will consider Factual the story related to me by Jacob's daughter, Aunt Tessie: "While in Chicago visiting his sister, Agnes, my father attended a movie house featuring a film about the Jesse James gang. Apparently, he was fascinated, not only from seeing a motion picture, but also by the exploits of the James boys as depicted in the film. Upon returning to McHenry, he met Matt and went out to have a few drinks. Of course the main topic of conversation was my father's experience at the movie house. After a tour of saloons and many drinks later, Matt was also caught up in awe with the deeds of the James gang. At one of the saloons, my father pul led out e gun and shouted, "up with your hands, we're the James boys.'' The frightened saloon patrons fled and somebody contacted Itfie police. The sheriff came and the two ``James boys'' were quietly escorted to jail. The next day, my brother, Butch, borrowed money from Jack Raymond to bail them out. It is possible that Uncle John accompanied Butch to bail them out. My father was fined $90.00 and costs and Uncle Matt was fined $60.00 and costs.''
"Except for family comments to the effect that Aunt Aggie should have been a boy because she was so much like her brothers, I was not able to gather much information about her. She was born on November 2, 1868 on a farm at Lily Lake. She was married to William Montgomery, (date unknown), and they had one child, a son named Roy who was born in 1893.
Agnes and her husband spent most of their life in Chicago where he worked as an electrician. In the early 1920's, William died of a heart attack at home after he had been refused entry at St. Bernard's Hospital in Chicago. Agnes continued to live by herself on ChIcago's southside in the vicinity of Garfield Boulevard and Wentworth Avenue until she moved back to Volo in the 1930's to live with her then widowed brother, John. She remained with John until about 1939 when John's daughter, Maudie, and her family came to live with him. At that time, Agnes moved to live with her sister, Anna, just a few door away.
Agnes passed away on February 15, 1959, at an age of 90 years. She spent her last years in a nursing home in the North Shore area of Illinois and was laid to rest in the North Shore Garden of Memories. My father's sister, Clara, remembered Agnes as one who liked a good time. Clara recalled her Aunt Aggie accompanying John A. to McHenry where he would sell his farm produce. Some of the proceeds of the sale would be spent on a good time instead of on the essentials. This would leave Clara's mother quite unhappy.
Like his father, Agnes' son, Roy, also became an electrician. Neither father or son had ever been farmers. Roy married Margaret Worts, the widow of John's son, Michael, in the 1930's. Roy died June 6, 1967. He was interred in a Chicago area cemetery, the location of which I do not know."
MICHAEL L. WORTS
"Michael,the seventh child of Theodore and Katherina, was born on the farm at Lily Lake on December 18, 1870. He stayed on the farm until he was about17 years of age and then went to Chicago where he worked for several years. He returned to McHenry and became employed at the MoHenry Brewery. It was here that he met Catherine Boley, the daughter of Gottlieb Boley, owner of the brewery. On November 19. 1897, Michael and Catherine were married at St. Mary's Church in McHenry by the Reverend Father Kersch.
After their marriage, they went to Chicago for a few years. During this time, Michael learned the art of brewing beer in one of Chicago's breweries. The couple then returned to McHenry in1899 and Michael again became employed at the McHenry Brewery.
In 1901, Michael constructed a building at Lily Lake which was a combination hotel and saloon. It was known as the "Buffalo House" and built on land that was once part of the original homestead. Although extensively modified, the building still stands today. It is known as the Lakeside Inn and is operated as a bar and restaurant. By this time, Michael and Catherine had two daughters; Josephine, born September 24, 1898 and Rose, born January 2,1899. They operated the business for about five years and then moved back to McHenry. It was said that Catherine did not like living at the Buffalo House and urged Michael to return to the brewery business.
After Gottlieb Boley died in1900, the brewery was taken over, or operated by others. Somehow, Michael and Patsy Boley, Catherine's brother, entered into a partnership, in which Michael became the senior member, and began their operation of the brewery. They expanded the business into the production of soda pop as well as brewing beer of an excellent quality.
The business thrived until the enactment of the Federal law of Prohibition forced Michael to cease production of real beer and instead, brew the legal 3.2% "near" beer. Clandestinely, how ever, Michael continued to brew the real beer. This he kept available in the brewery basement for the old Germans who still wanted the real stuff. Unfortunately for Michael, federal authorities became aware of his activities and in the late 1920's he was incarerated, not once, but twice in the Woodstock County jail. But, he was adamant and was said to have declared something like, "by God, I learned to make good beer and that's my trade, and I'll contInue to make it, prohibition or not!''
I have one recollection of meeting Uncle Mike when I was about seven or eight years old. When my father lived in McHenry, he was employed at the brewery. One day he decided to visit Uncle Mike and brought me along with him. All that I can remember of Uncle Mike is he was nice to me and was an older man with gray hair, I remember he laughed when my father introduced me as his "baby'' and I resented the term, Instead of candy, or something of that nature, he presented me with a copper mug containing real beer and it tasted real good. I am sure he and my Father downed several more.
I heard my father recount many times how he delivered barrels of beer to Buffalo Grove and other locations with horse and wagon, and in later years with a Republic truck. My brothers told me of driving to McHenry during the latter days of Prohibition and Uncle MIke would give them real beer to take back to Chicago. My brother, Barney, informed me that Uncle Mike intended to provide all the beer and have a gigantic party to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the double wedding of his brother and sister to their respective spouses. ThIs event was to have taken place in June of 1933, but fate was not to have it that way,
Michael L. Worts died in his home on Green Street In McHenry on Septtember 8, 1932. He had been in ill health for some time and was confined to bed during the four weeks preceding his death. Some of the family believed that conditions imposed by ProhIbition had a lot to do wIth Michael's early demise. Funeral services were held in St. Mary's Church with interment in the church cemetery.
WhIle gathering information at the HcHenry Plaindealer offices, I met Earl Walsh, a retired sheriff of McHenry County. He remembered the Worts family very well and commented that Michael Worts was a real gentlemen and an astute business man, most unlike the other, rougher Worts boys. He mentioned too how well Michael's home was maintained with beautiful flowers abounding on the property. My brother, Barney, also had the same recollection of how neat and well kept the house and grounds were.
Micahel's wife, Aunt Kate, passed away on March 19, 1961 and rests next to her husband in St. Mary's Cemetery. Those who knew her say she enjoyed the garden work as much as her husband. She was a kindly person who was good to her children and was well liked by her neighbors. The couple's older daughter, Josephine (Ohirich), died on August 27, 1971, and the younger, Rose (Bell), on May 1, 1974."
ANNA MARIA WORTS
"Not much information could be obtained in regard to Mary. She was born at the family farm on December 4, 1872, On October 1, 1899, she married Ben Wegener, a neighboring farmer. The ceremony was performed at St. Peter's Church in Volo. Three days shy of two years of marriage, Mary passed away shortly before reaching the age of thirty years. The cause of her death on September 28, 1901 was due to what was then called consumption. She was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in Volo. No information was obtainable about what happened to Ben other than it is thought he is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in McHenry. I have no record to indicate that any children were born of this marriage."
HELANA W. ( Lena ) WORTS
"Helena, (Aunt Lena Gainer), was the last child born to Theodore and Katherina. She was born on February 27, 1877 at the Lily Lake family farm, On May 29, 1900 she was married to James Gainer. The couple lived in Volo with Theodore for a while and then moved to Wauconda where they operated a livery stable and a restaurant.
During World War I, James worked for the government in some capacity that dealt with grain production. At another time he worked with John Wagner, the son of Michael and Anna Wagner, in the trucking business, James Gainer died on May 29. 1932, and one month afterward, Aunt Lena also passed away on June 28, 1932. They had one son, Clarence, who was born December 31, 1907, James and Helena rest in he Wauconda Cemetery.
It must have been a difficult and sorrowful time in Clarence's life to have lost both of his parents within a month of time. In 1932, he married Martha Osgood and he spent his entire life in Wauconda. Clarence was very active as a participant in many civic affairs. He was a highly respected and popular figure in the Wauconda community, His death on April 23, 1980 after a lengthy illness was mourned by many."