Russell and Amelia Wing
Amelia (De Land) Wing (Washington Lawrence De Land was her father). She was adopted by the Giffords after her mother, Sarah Ann Moore De Land died.
Amelia Wing - full name was Susan Amelia
Russell Merritt Wing
Judge Russell Wing
The first home he purchased was in Morris, Illinois. Some of his children were born here. It was a large storied frame house, surrounded by a spacious yard-acreage. In the summer time they spent a lot of time out of doors. In the yard were towering elms and oaks, spreading maples and butternuts with an apple tree or two. It was the coolest spot. The lawn furniture was arranged to take advantage of the shade. Amelia would sit fanning herself on a still afternoon; Russell would be stretched out in a hammock smoking a cigar; the children would be romping with their multiple pets-the dog Tippy, the burro, white mice, the horses, the parrot----- but no cat. Or perhaps Amelia would busy herself among her flowers, snipping off the dead leaves, watering, hoeing.
From time to time the children were washed and curled, then poured into their best bib and tucker-for an excursion to Grandmother Mary Ann Wing in Lisbon. Grandmother sat in the light of the window, reading her bible. She would lookup and spy four mites with beaming faces walking up to the front door. She would smile for here was family company and then her heart would sink. "What to do with four lively match sticks?" she would murmur. "Well, there is one safe game when the going got rough-Meeting." Meeting to this lady of Quaker lineage meant sitting in a row of chairs, folded hands, absolute silence. When the din rose noisely, she would weedle FIRMLY,"Let's play Meeting." There was no choice, no way to escape; they were stuck with it but how they hated it!
Amelia became friendly with the wives of her husband's partners. One of them told on herself ruefully this early happening in her life. Her husband was a rising young attorney in Springfield. He liked to gather with the men of the town to chew over politics, have a laugh now and then. Sometimes in the local pool hall. There was a certain man he enjoyed, who had a gift with a story, had some quaint sayings and some good ideas too---Abraham Lincoln. "I'd fuss over his seeing him and his croonies so much. I was ambitious for us. I wanted to get ahead and we were headed in the right direction except for this loitering with the wrong people, I thought. 'Mark my word' I told him! No good will come out of association with him. He won't go any place. And he became the president of the United States! Wasn't I a fool?"
Old friends and neighbors or just anyone from back home would come to the Wing Law Firm Offices with a needy story and always the ample hand would go to the pocket to give generously. Russell learned later that one of his partners told the receptionist not to admit anyone with a sad tale to see Judge Wing anymore.---"He would give away his shirt. Keep 'em out," he ordered. One time a neighbor lady from Morris came up to see Chicago. She had known years of skimping so the Wings wanted to do something special for her. They took her out to dinner at one of the nicest places in the city. Nothing on the menu looked familiar to her in that city of confusion until her eye fell on "Beans." These she had had every day of her life. This was it for her. No persuasion moved her. So beans it was.- to the great disappointment of the Wings. - Virginia Mowry Barber
FORMER JUDGE WING IS ILL
Russell M. Wing, one of the foremost lawyers in Chicago, and former judge of the county court of Kendall county, was reported yesterday to have been stricken with paralysis at Hot Springs, Ark., where he went two weeks ago for the benefit of his health.
His son, Fred Wing, and Justice of the Peace David McCallum of Evanston were notified of Mr. Wing's illness by a telegram Friday night, and both started for Hot Springs yesterday. The absence of full information concerning Mr. Wing's condition caused grave fears among his many friends.
Mrs Wing received a telegram late last night from her son Frederick stating that Mr. Wing was much better and he was out of danger. Mrs. Wing said she now felt satisfied her husband's illness was not serious. She said he would not attempt to return home for two or three weeks, even though his condition should warrant. (end of article)
Russell Wing had a stroke in Hot Springs, Ark., April, 1903 and was never the same afterwards. - Barbara La Favre
RUSSELL M. WING, FAMOUS LAWYER OF NINETIES, DIES
Russell Merritt Wing, for years a leader among lawyers of Chicago in Criminal and civil cases, died last night in the Mary Thompson hospital. He had been retired from active practice of law for fifteen years as the result of a stroke of apoplexy, and has lived in Wilmette with his wife, who survives him. Two sons and one daughter also survive.
Mr. Wing was about 67 years old. He was born in Kendall county, Ill., and before coming to Chicago in 1889 from Morris, was county judge of Grundy county. He was regarded in his time as one of the great trial lawyers of the west, and was connected with many of the famous cases in the nineties.
He was leader in the defense at the Cronin trial and in the well remembered Mooney case. He also defended successfully Superintendent Kernan of the bridewell, who was charged with conspiracy in the murder of an insane inmate.
This trial was conducted before Judge E. H. Gary of Dupage county (sitting in Cook county), now chairman of the United States Steel company.
Mr. Wing was once a partner of Justice Carter of the Illinois Supreme court, and of Judge Stough of Morris.
In early days he was a student in the office of Col. John Van Armon, likewise a famous trial lawyer. Shortly before his retirement from practice he was the partner of Thomas L. Chadbourne, now of Washington. (end of article)
Kendall Co. News, by Joe Williams
Wednesday, January 8, 1919
Judge Russell M. Wing Dead.
"Merritt" Wing was a product of Kendall County, and among us Lisbon people was a pride and a joy forever. He was one of us, just a common, everyday fellow, a good pal big hearted, genial, and as genial to and as thoughtful of the poor devil on the street, as he possibly could be to the nabob in the highest circles; and now he is dead. He died at the Mary Thompson hospital Chicago last Saturday night, after a lingering illness, following a physical breakdown of a number of years standing.
Merritt was the son of Russell and Mary Wing, and was born at the parent homestead, a farm now owned and occupied by Austin Thompson, situated about a mile east of Hoge's (Holderman) Grove, a locality once known as Fairview, aged 67 years.
His uncle Bronwell Wing and his son Thomas built the mill now called Millhurst (you all know where) both losing all of their financial substance in that ill fated enterprise.
George W. Hinman, one time editor of the Inter Ocean writes a very fine tribute to the fame, the character and wise customs of the man in private life and his wonderful talents in the practice of law. The writer says he was one of four of the greatest criminal lawyers in the west and that his fame extended to New York. He leaves a wife, two sons and one daughter; also a sister, Mrs. Electa Kemple of Colorado Springs, Col., and a brother Frank, some where in Iowa. His home was at Willmette but his law office was always in Chicago. So we again mourn the loss of a good friend. (end of article)
The Late Judge Wing
By George Wheeler Hinman, Former Editor of the Chicago Inter Ocean.
The funeral service of former Judge Russell Merritt Wing, who died late Saturday night in the Mary Thompson Hospital, will be held at 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at his late residence, 1011 Forest av., Wilmette.
Mr. Wing was for many years one of the four leading trial lawyers of the Middle West, with a reputation and practice that extended as far east as New York. Of the four, only William S. Forrest is still in active life.
Although often retained in civil cases, Mr. Wing made his reputation mainly in criminal law. He was especially known for his appeal to a jury. In fact, he would discourse with his friends by the hour on the art of appealing to the "twelve honest men in the box."
A fluent advocate, he nevertheless rarely used oratory in defending his clients. Instead, he studied every face, every gesture, every posture of every juryman and varied his examination or plea to suit what he saw in the man's expression or attitude.
At the end of one of his hard-fought cases, famous in the legal annals of Illinois, he threw away a speech on which he had worked for two weeks and made his final appeal to the jury in conversational tone and informal manner, because he thought his associates had exhausted the jury's capacity for rhetoric and that he would please them better with a merely casual talk. As usual, he read the jury right and got the verdict.
Much of Mr. Wing's success in court was attributed to this lack of personal vanity. He had no pride of authorship, no desire to win personal admiration. From the beginning of a case to the end his one purpose was to win, regardless of personal sacrifices. (end of article)
BRING BODY OF NOTED CHICAGO ATTORNEY TO HARTFORD FOR BURIAL
JUDGE RUSSELL M. WING DIED AT HIS HOME IN WILMETTE, ILL., SATURDAY.
The body of former Judge Russell Merritt Wing, father of Fred M. Wing and Mrs. C. H. Mowry of Hartford, was brought here last night from Wilmette, Ill., where his death occurred last Saturday evening and where funeral services were held at his late home at 1011 Forest avenue yesterday afternoon.
The body was placed in the vault at Maple Hill cemetery, and burial will occur later in the family lot there.
Judge Wing was for many years one of the four leading trial lawyers in the Middle West, with a practice that extended as far east as New York. He gained a national reputation as a criminal lawyer, and was famed as the leading counsel in many of the most famous cases in the legal annals of Illinois.
The Chicago Herald-Examiner of Monday contained a glowing tribute to the memory of Judge Wing, written by George Wheeler Hinman, former editor of the Chicago Inter Ocean and a close personal friend of Mr. Wing.
Mr. Wing was born in Kendall county, Illinois, sixty-seven years ago. After graduating from Fowler Institute at Morris, Ill., he passed through Hillsdale College, Michigan. Then going to Chicago he entered the law office of John Van Arnam, then known as the ablest lawyer in the Middle West. Later he graduated from the Chicago Law School.
In 1874 he was married to Miss Amelia De Land of Jamestown, N. Y. He is survived by the widow, his two children living in Hartford, and another son, Bert Wing, a lawyer at Wilmette. Mrs. J. T. Wilkinson of this village is a niece of Mr. Wing. The widow will come to Hartford soon to live with her son, Fred Wing, at his farm home southwest of the village.
In private life Mr. Wing had a small circle of unusually devoted friends. Among them he was witty, cordial, always ready to help with money or advice. From long practice in criminal law he had acquired an ability to read faces and fathom motives to a degree that approached clairvoyance.
Often, after a glance at a man, he would say: "Your friend there is a rascal; don't bring him into the case; he will betray you"; or "He is honest and will help us."
The writer heard Mr. Wing express such summary opinions scores of times and not once did he prove to be in error.
Mr. Wing was the leading counsel for the defense in the second Cronin murder trial. His skill and eloquence gave him a national reputation, and resulted in the acquittal of the accused. Among the many other noted cases was that of Mooney, a Joliet life termer, accused of having murdered his cellmate, John Anderson. When Anderson's body was found it was covered with blood, and there were thirty-three wounds - but there wasn't a drop of blood on Mooney.
Twice he was convicted. In the third trial Mr. Wing was principal counsel for the defense. More than 2,700 jurors were examined. Mooney then turned state's evidence and confessed. The jury notwithstanding acquitted the prisoner and he was remanded to serve out his old life term.
He also successfully defended Superintendent Herman of the Bridewell, accused of conspiracy in the murder of an inmate.
Mr. Wing was born in Kendall County, Illinois, sixty-seven years ago. After graduating at Fowler Institute in Morris, Ill. he passed through hillsdale College, Michigan. Coming to Chicago he studied law in the office of John Van Arnam (the ablest lawyer in the Middle West at that time). Mr. Wing also graduated from the Chicago Law School.
At different periods he was associated as partner with Justice Carter of the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Stough of Morris and Thomas L. Chadbourne, now of Washington, D.C. He retired from active practice about 1904.
In 1874 he was married to Miss Amelia De Land of Jamestown, N. Y. He is survived by his widow, two sons, Bert Wing, a lawyer, who lives in Wilmette, and Fred Wing of Hartford, Mich., and a daughter, Mrs. Clarence Mowry. (end of article)
Stella Electa Wing - about 17 years old
Grandma wrote this letter at ten years old. It appears she thinks the family is soon to move to Evanston. Her father had been commuting to Chicago to his law practice for some time. On the envelope she wrote "Angels will you please give to Jeasos and will you take it to him.
- Barbara La Favre
Will it rain any more to make the rodes bade. Will my papa come home to night. I hope he will. Will you please give me a song-book. And will the angels bring it to us.
But have I ask to mutch of you. Can we go to Lisbon some time. Will I ever have a pino to play on. Will Tipy be shot when we move away. Or will we aways live hear. I cannot think of enything more to day. Will you please write to me. Or have you not got the time to write to me.
so good by.
Stella E. Wing"
Bess Wing (Stella's sister). She was my mother's favorite. One day Aunt Bess asked Virginia if she was excited about the upcoming Valentine's Day. Virginia said, "No, I hardly get any." On that special day a knock was heard at the classroom door. A large bag was handed anonymously to the teacher. Much to all the children's surprise, Virginia got the most valentines when they were passed from the fancy box. - Barbara La Favre
Bess wished to go off to a girl's boarding school. The fashionable finishing school "National Park Seminary" in Washington, D.C. was chosen by her. Then she was separated from her mother but she had a grand time with the girls. She was full of fun and popular. She made a life long friend of Georgianna . It was here that she learned to speak fluent French and later used it to converse with her husband if they wanted to keep secrets from others or just for the novelty.
Back from school mother and Bess traveled around together for Merritt was too busy with his cases to go and Stella was married. They came out to California. Another jaunt took them to Colorado Springs to stay with Merritt's mother and his sister Electa, husband and daughter Bessie - the Kemples. There was Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods to see. Bessie Kemple enjoyed Baiting her guest Bess Wing for there was a jealous feeling in Bessie for all the finery, the charm and advantages of her cousin. They bantered back and forth ending in a real argument. Bess Wing kept up her end for she was quick and humorous. With little to do there was time on their hands so mother and Bess went exploring. Up in the loft of the ancient carriage house they discovered antiques, half hidden under debris and layers of thick dust accumulating over the years. They hauled and shoved. Among them was a rosewood sofa and a large drop leaf table. the dust removed their beauty was revealed. The sofa was carved simply. They were enthusiastic over their find. At dinner they turned the conversation to the antiques. ----"Yes, they are mine, and there is quite some history about them," and Grandmother Mary Ann went on to explain, "When we - that is papa and I left the east to make our home in Lisbon, Illinois, we didn't find a Quaker Church so we chose the Methodist. It was a poor church and didn't have a pulpit. Papa did something about it. He ordered from back east that sofa and table and it was used for years in the front of that church by the preacher for an altar and place for him to sit. It has been in the best of company, don't you think? When the church afforded a real pulpit, they gave it back to us and I used it in my parlor and on it Electa was courted - Quite a come down". And she grinned at her grinned at her daughter. She went on "Do you like them?" Bess and mother nodded. "Well, you shall have one of them. Electa and Bessie should have the other. You choose the one you want." The Kemples thought, "My! maybe they are nice and we had better bring them into our parlor. The Wings know what is nice and they are so interested in them. "Now they hated to part with either piece but Mary Ann had spoken and they were hers. Bess and mother talked it over, Bess would take the sofa. It was shipped to Evanston and taken to the upholsters. A green cut velvet was selected to cover it. The rosewood was refinished. It turned into a love. Bess took it where ever she traveled in making her homes after she married. One day Bess talked it over with her niece, "Virginia, when I die, I want you to have this sofa. I have told you all about it. Would you like it?" -----"Yes, but when will that be?" answered the little monster. Bess laughed,"You will have to wait!"
The wedding invitations had been sent out from 1925 Sherman ave., Evanston, announcing the coming marriage of Bess De Land Wing and Eugene Willard. It would be an elegant affair held in the home on an evening - the year 190 or 1904. The groom-to-be was tall, good looking, from a wealthy New England family whose grandfather had been in the stove manufacturing business. He was a Yale man, about 13 years older than Bess. His business was stocks and bonds. On the evening flowers were everywhere. It was a gala event for most. The guests were many and beautifully gowned and handsomely suited. But Virginia didn't understand all this, her first affair into society. She was found in a corner, tears running down her cheeks. When asked what was wrong, she bubbled between little sobs, "That lady over there - she is too poor to have sleeves in her dress and I am so sorry for her." She was only half reassured that it was all right, evening gowns were made sleeveless. It was wee Virginia's first experience with formal dress. The wedding was held up while the bride and others tried to persuade Virginia to act as flower girl but she was too shy even to do it for her beloved Aunt Bess. Another little Miss was substituted. She carried the basket of flowers. The ceremony over; the cake was cut; the bride and groom received congratulations. They disappeared to change into traveling attire. Down the long, winding oak stairs, amid flying rice, came the joyous bride and groom, all smiles. Down below stood Virginia looking up at her darling, her radiant Aunt Bess, but only sadness was in her heart, a sinking, desolate, lonely feeling of separation swept over her - Aunt Bess was going away, maybe far away, to be lost to her, to be terribly missed every moment. Aunt Bess was her world. And over the years how many times Virginia went through these disastrous feelings as Aunt Bess would leave again for a new residence, her husband deciding on a new location - St. Louis, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sierra Madre, always on the move. So strong an impression did this all make on Virginia that for her life she hated to say "Goodbye" to anyone the same torture would come back. She avoided it whenever possible. The only time Virginia went into hysterics was in a railroad station when her parents took her to meet Aunt Bess and Uncle Gene, to welcome them home after a long time away. When Virginia saw her, she cried and cried and couldn't stop. She was gathered into Bess's warm and comforting embrace. - Virginia Mowry Barber
Mrs. Bess Deland Williard died yesterday evening at the home of her brother, Fred M. Wing, southwest of the village, aged 31 years. Mrs. Williard's death was caused by tuberculosis, she having recently returned from the west where she had been in quest of health. Funeral services for her will be held at the home Thursday morning and will be private, with interment at Maple Hill. (end of article)
Four generations of Wings! (l to r): Mary Ann Wing, Stella Wing Mowry, Virginia Mowry, Russell Merritt Wing
Kendall County News - Jan. 15, 1913.
NEWS FROM LISBON
The remains of Mary A. Wing were laid at rest last Tuesday afternoon in the presence of an unexpectedly large attendance, who had come to pay their last respects, patiently withstanding the prevalance of a lively snow storm, in the mean time. Rev. Al. C. Geyer, pastor of the Morris M. E. Church, conducting the service. Only Mrs. Kemple accompanied the remains from Colorado Springs, as her husband and daughter Bessie were not well enough to make the long journey. Judge R.M. Wing and son Bert were also present. Among those from out of town who were present were Mr. and Mrs. Norm Shufelt, Mrs. I. V. Cryder and son Sherrill, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Johnston, the William Shepherd family and Jim Gardner. About all that is left representing old friends of the family served as pall bearers - P.F. Morrison, William Shepherd, James Gardner, George Skinner, E.A. Jacobson and the writer.
Mary A. Hoag was born in Chautaqua County, New York in the year 1817, when she was married to Russell Wing, coming to Illinois in 1845, settling on the old homestead as what was known as Fairview, later the property of Michael Thompson, a couple of miles this side of the C.C. Hoge home. The family moved to Lisbon in 1871, where the husband, one of our most esteemed citizens, died in 1875. Mrs. Wing continued to reside in the village until going to Colorado Springs to live with her daughter, who faithfully attended her in the many declining years spared to her. Of the family, Sarah, the eldest daughter, died in 1867; Seneca, the eldest son went into the army and died and was buried at Nashville, Tenn., in 1863, aged 19 years. The surviving members of the family are Judge Russell Merritt Wing, of Wilmette, this state; Frank, of Iowa, and Mrs. Electa Kemple, of Colorado Springs. Mrs. Wing was born and raised a Quaker, but after coming west was a faithful adherent to the Methodist Church, though still cherishing many of the Quaker customs, living always the simple life and serving her God in a way that needed no further evidence, that the heavenly life was the one that occupied her thoughts and directed her actions. Her gentle cheerful piety was a source of public comment, and she was esteemed with almost reverential respect by a whole community, living such a just and blameless life could only be possible in one whose whole life and soul was guided by a heart that felt only the pure grace of unfailing righteousness. She served her family tenderly and conscientiously, her friends and the world honorably and charitably, and her God with all her strength and gladness, her faith being the most beautiful spot in a life, such a long life, constantly filling her with a joyous expectation and keeping her always prepared for the change from this world, to the other world, the world without end.
Washington Lawrence De Land married Sarah Ann Moore . They had four children Belle, Carrie, Theodore and Susan Amelia. On Sarah Ann's death Washington Lawrence De Land remarried. When they brought in his children to see his second wife, the neighbor woman said of my grandmother who had brought her in front of the new step mother, "She is just like her mother." This did it! My grandmother Susan Amelia, was not welcome after that statement so her mother's best friend Mrs. Gifford, also of Jamestown, took my grandmother to raise as their only daughter. They had sons only. They were furniture manufacturers and bankers in that town. I have a rosewood chair, imported from France, for the factory, to be used as a model. Her adopted family were very good to her and raised her in luxury as a queen and she always acted like one. She loved her brother Theodore who enlisted in the Civil War, under age so his father had to sign for him. Wonder why father Washington Lawrence De Land didn't go himself instead of his son. Son Theodore died in a Southern prison of smallpox or diphtheria. Believe Washington Lawrence De Land lived to a ripe old age as I remember my grandmother telling of his visits to her. He lived with one of the other daughters I think. Theodore may not have fought at all for it seems he died shortly after enlisting. - Virginia Mowry Barber Chester
Washington married Sarah Ann Moore on Oct. 25, 1838. Washington DeLand was a builder. For a hobby he worked with wood. He carved and enscrolled original designs for jewel boxes, shelves and sewing kits with fancy lids. He was born June 1816 and died Feb. 1889. So he was around 73. Sarah was born 1817 and died 1854. Washington is one of our French Huguenot ancestors. - Barbara La Favre
A Letter from Washington to Amelia:
Dec. 24th 1886
Dear daughter I have just received my pictures & sent you one in this letter. I should sent it before but could not get them. We are geting along as well as can be expected my health has been such that I havint done any thing. I hired a man to fix a Buttery for me - and the rest I shall let go for the present. I have up stairs to papper & have had the paper over a year waiting to be well enough to put it on. We were glad to hear from you & your if I am well enough next summer I shall try to go & see you but you must not on it to much. I don't think of any news to write. we are trying to live so as to ready to go when called which will be soon at the longest
much love to all of you,
Grandma's first home in Morris, Illinois where she was born Jan. 6, 1881. Her father, Judge Russell Wing, always had animals for Stella, Fred, Bert and Bess. - Barbara La Favre
Russell and Amelia's home - 1925 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Illinois (back yard). Left to right: Gene and Bess Willard, Amelia, Bert, neighbor, judge Russell Wing and Judge McCallum (another neighbor and fellow who commented on how Stella and Clarence's wedding was so swell). - Barbara La Favre
Russell and Amelia's home - 1925 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Illinois. They were only a half a block from Northwestern University. Grandma's father and brothers all graduated from Northwestern Law School. Clarence graduated from Northwestern University. - Barbara La Favre
Russell and Amelia's home (house in center of photo - address 1011 Forest Ave.) in Wilmette, Illinois. Charles and Stella's house is next door (left side of photo - address 1007 Forest Ave.) Data from U.S. Census in 1910 place the Russell Merritt Wing family in Evanston. In addition, that census does not list any family at 1011 Forest Ave. My mother's notes state that Russell and family bought the house next to Stella and Clarence so he could be close to his daughter. But Stella and Clarence moved to Hartford, Michigan shortly after 1910. Perhaps Russell and family moved back to Evanston just before the 1910 Census. But news articles state that Russell's home at the time of his death was in Wilmette. So then they would have to have moved back to Wilmette a second time. Further investigation is needed to solve this puzzle. - Jeffrey La Favre
DATA FROM U.S. CENSUS
June 27, 1860 - Big Grove, Kendall County, Illinois
Russell Wing - 46 years old - farmer - born in New York
June 4, 1880 - Morris, Grundy County, Illinois
Residing on Liberty Street
Russell M. Wing - 28 years old - lawyer - born in IL - father
born in NY - mother born in RI
June 9, 1900 - Evanston, Cook County, Illinois
Residing at 1925 Sherman Ave.
Russell M. Wing - born June 1850 - 49 years old - married
24 years - lawyer - born in IL - parents born in NY
April 15, 1910 - Evanston, Cook County, Illinois
Residing at 1925 Sherman Ave.
Russell M. Wing - head - 60 years old - married 35 years
- lawyer - born in IL - parents born in NY
January 13 & 14, 1920 - Hartford, Van Buren County, Michigan
Residing at 36 W. South St.
Amelia D. Wing - head - 70 years old - widow - born in NY
- parents born in NY
An examination of the data above reveals some inconsistencies, particularly for the state of birth of parents. Also, some of the ages of individuals appear to be in error (for example Russell and Amelia are 49 in 1900 but 60 and 61 in 1910 - the 1910 ages don't match the birth dates given in the 1900 census).
last page update April 5, 2009