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Worick Family Reunion
back in the day matt figi

We heard about some family reunions in the column printed on November 7. When I came across a series of articles about a Worick family having a reunion in 1912, it caught my attention because of the number of details that were printed in the paper. The first article appeared on Tuesday, July 1 and stated that Jerry Worick of Portland, Oregon and J. F. Worick of Candler, Florida had arrived here the previous evening to make an extended visit to their sister, Mrs. John Beach, who they had not seen for many years. The article also stated that a cousin from Salem, Oregon, S. R. Worick, had also been visiting at the Beach home for some time. A number of relatives were to gather on Friday “for an old-fashioned visit and a fine dinner” to be served by Mrs. Beach at her home. 

Others who were to attend the long-anticipated event, which was also the 66th birthday anniversary of Mrs. Beach, were Mrs. M. J. Sanderson of Sioux City, Iowa, W. W. Worick of Benton Harbor, Michigan, George Worick of Rock Grove, Illinois, Israel Frey and family of Juda, and Mrs. A. L. Rosa of Freeport. Friday’s paper stated that 15 members of the family had been present, including cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Worick who made the trip from Oklahoma City especially for the reunion.

That article also stated that J. F. was a proprietor of a large fruit farm and had not been to Monroe for 19 years. Jerry had not been back home for 11 years and their cousin, S. R., was making his first visit in 22 years. Those three men had been members of the First Wisconsin battery, having taken part in many of the battles of the Civil War. “Though advanced in years, all are in splendid physical condition and they expect to spend a most pleasant time during their several weeks’ visit here. It was also planned that they visit old friends at Orangeville, Winslow and Warren, the latter being their home at one time.”

Mrs. L. L. Ross returned to Freeport the following morning, accompanied by her brother, Earl Worick, and family. Their uncle, S. R. Worick, also went with them. Both of the men had planned to spend an extended visit before leaving for their respective homes. W. W. Worick left for Michigan on Monday morning.

Two articles about the family appeared on Thursday, August 1. Mrs. Beach and her brothers, Jerry and J. R., were attending the annual harvester picnic at the Staver Church in Clarno township that day. Their sister, Mrs. Sanderson, left in the morning for a short stay before returning to her Iowa home.

It was reported three weeks later that Mrs. Beach and Jerry were spending several days in Freeport and Oakdale, Illinois. Jerry also attended the Stephenson County Old Settlers’ picnic in Cedarville the following week. He planned to leave for Los Angeles on the evening of Thursday the 22nd with another visit planned on the route home.

worick family reunion
Headline from the July 19, 1912 edition of the Monroe Evening Times.

J. F. left for his home in Florida on Tuesday morning, September 3, after having spent seven weeks visiting the area. Family historians for this family might find a few leads to other relatives through these clippings.

I found these snippets interesting because their travels were so well documented. They probably did most of the longer trips by train unlike today where we just get in the car and go. It would have taken much more planning to make sure they caught the train in both directions. Notice that we were never told what Mrs. Beach’s first name was in any of these clippings. For those us who lived through the fifties, we were used to the married women not having first names. As I did more research I discovered that John Beach was still living and married at this time, but never mentioned in any of the clippings.

From her obituary, I found out that Mrs. Beach was born Margaret Worick on July 19, 1846 in Clinton County, Pennsylvania and came with her parents to a farm six miles west of Orangeville in 1852. At the age of 17, she married Franklin Sanders who passed away in 1884. She remained a widow for 20 years before marrying Mr. Beach in 1904, which is when she moved to Monroe. 

It is unknown when the family moved across the stateline, but the Worick parents, John and Elizabeth, ages 60 and 62, are listed in the 1870 census in Clarno township. John’s occupation was listed as a farmer and he had $800 of personal property. Their son, J. F., his wife, Abigail, and their daughter lived nearby. His occupation was listed as a clergyman and he owned $1,200 of real estate and had $600 in personal property. Another Worick family, Reuben, his wife, and seven children also lived close to the others. He was also born in Pennsylvania like all of the other adults, so may be a relative even though he wasn’t mentioned in the reunion article.

The 1873 plat book shows that J. Worick owned 70 acres in Clarno Township on the north side of what is now County Highway P between County Highway HK and Honey Creek Road. It was the only farm located on the north side of County P in that stretch. The farm was located just east of what is now known is Staver St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. Margaret and her first husband, Franklin Sanders, her brother, John Franklin and his wife, Abigail, and their parents, John and Elizabeth, and are all buried in the church cemetery.

Before I started researching my own family, I didn’t know that people traveled so much in those days. It is easy to see that members of this family relocated many times in their lives, but remained in touch with their roots. Maybe things aren’t as different now as we sometimes think.

— Matt Figi is a Monroe resident and a local historian. His column will appear periodically on Saturdays in the Times. He can be reached at or at 608-325-6503.