VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Staff Writer
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The great grandson of a Rural Township landowner holds the deed to Centennial farmland.
Larry and Sharon Eversole own the 67 acre Centennial Farm in eastern Rural Township near 1100E and north of 1850N. They live about a mile east of the land.
Andrew J. Foltz bought 27 1/2 acres of land in Rural Township from George B. Hill for $5,000 in 1893. He later bought another 40 acres, bringing the total to 67 acres.
Andrew and his wife Emily had six children - Laura (spelled Lare in Andrew’s will), Effie, Nerva, William, Albert and Andrew C.
Laura married Gilbert Pierce and had two children Lawrence Ross and Laura Mae (spelled Lare May in the official abstract paperwork). But Laura died of scarlet fever within days of giving birth to Laura Mae.
“Gilbert had a difficult time handling a baby after Laura died,” said Sharon Eversole. “He sent Laura Mae to live with (her grandparents) Andrew and Emily. Gilbert Pierce later married his late wife’s sister Effie. They did not have any surviving children.”
Upon his death in 1923, Andrew passed the land to his daughter Effie and gave the rest of his property and possessions to his other children. He also directed the land be given to his grandchildren Silva Edna Beal, Lawrence Ross Pierce and Laura Mae Pierce following Effie’s death.
“A.J. (Foltz) was worth about $60,000 in 1923,” noted Sharon Eversole. “He left his wife Emily $600 a year for the rest of her life and the rest was divided up among their children.”
Effie began giving the land to the grandchildren as she became older.
In 1935 Ross Pierce and his wife Gussie turned his share of the land over to his sister Laura Mae, who had married Harold Eversole.
In 1959, Effie Pierce also gave her share to Laura Mae and Sylvia Edna Behl. Effie died in 1966.
Harold Eversole and his son Larry farmed the land left to Laura Mae. Laura Mae died in 1974 and the land was left in Harold’s name
“He bought 40 acres from one of aunt Effie’s brothers,” added Dwayne Eversole, Larry’s brother. This brought the land to 107 acres in Harold’s name. The land was passed down to Harold’s children after his death in 2000 and Larry bought the land from his siblings.
Larry and Dwayne both said they remember the centennial land had a home, barn and chicken coop and how Aunt Effie would tend to the chickens while their Grandpa Pierce would tend his garden.
“Grandpa Pierce had a big garden he took care of. I rememer he grew a lot of watermelon,” Larry said.
The land was also part pasture land for the beef cattle. That land was later farmed.
The buildings were all torn down by 1960.
Today Larry’s son-in-law Jeff Sloan farms the Centennial land.