News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Long Lost Belt Found

Back when newspapers were important to society, the Clinton Register published this on August 4, 1899. I am guessing that the sawyer is related to the great Wapella man "Sawmill" Johnny Schmidt.

It Had Lain in Water Thirteen Years and Was Remarkably Well Preserved.—Dan Schmidt the Owner.

Big, good-natured Dan SCHMIDT, who lives twelve miles northwest of Clinton, and a belt he lost years ago, are attracting considerable attention in that part of the county. The cause is as follows:

A belt that was lost thirteen years ago last February lay hid beneath the rolling waters of Long Point and, like America it finally was discovered, but not by Christopher Columbus, but by John HUME, of Wapella, the pioneer fisherman who is always ready to exchange good fishing stories in the dead of winter or heat of summer. The belt belonged to Dan Schmidt, of Long Point, Wapella township, and thirteen years ago was used in sawing wood for John W. HOUGHAM, a neighbor, and Wm. TUCKET, a man who was working for Jacob PARLIER at the time, was helping saw wood, and the creek being very high at the time and all hands having to cross a foot log, Mr. Tucket having hold of the belt went to toss it across the water, but it never reached the other side and no trace of it was found until last Sunday. While John Hume was fishing he saw something in the water which looked like a couple of old tin pans and asked Vet BURTON what that was, and Mr. Burton got a stick and pulled it out of the water, mud and sand saying "That's Dan Schmidt's belt that was thrown in the creek a good many years ago." The belt was a new leather belt soaked full of castor oil and when found looked as good as ever except for somewhat colored. It took a strong pull to even brake [sic] one little piece of the lace that it was fastened together with. Dan has got the belt home again after so long a time and is going to oil it up and keep it show to the belt users of this county how well it has been preserved when being in the creek thirteen years.

The belt was a 4-inch one, 36 feet long, standard quality of leather belting. The belt was bought of P. C. SUMMERS, of this place, several years before it was lost for $10, and as Mr. Summers is dead, we expect Dan will keep the belt to remember Mr. Summers by.

Another article same day


Seward Nelson Post G. A. R. held an ice cream social at the residence of comrade P. B. HERRINGTON, in Long Point, Saturday afternoon, recitations and songs by the Post, were enjoyed until Truman MASON and Joseph SCOGGIN were reported sick and all rendered their assistance. All they could say was "Home." An ambulance wagon was procured from Stull SWEARINGEN's blacksmith shop and the tired, sick heroes were safely guarded to their homes, where medical aid was summoned.

I am guessing that there was something more to the story than the Register let on.


Anonymous said...

I watched Top Gun last night and it made me think of one of DeWitt Counties finest.

You should post this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Were there any movies made about Sawmill's Dad losing his belt?

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