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Friday, May 14, 2021

Kate's Brief History


From the 1874 DuPage Atlas – W.H. Wright

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W.H. Wright’s farm looks tidy and prosperous, but who exactly was W.H. Wright? 

Naperville’s history features a number of Wrights. One of the most community-minded was James Gregson Wright. James was born in England, emigrated to New York, and by 1843, he had settled in DuPage County where land was reasonably easy to obtain. He farmed for a number of years, and then became a banker, launching Producers’ Bank in 1857, partnering with George Martin II, the Scot who built the mansion at Naper Settlement. 


Continuing to be involved with Naperville, James was appointed postmaster and served six terms in the Illinois General Assembly. He was also the first owner of the farm that is now the Meson Sabika restaurant, but this engraving is not of that farm and James is obviously not W. H. Wright. 

James married Almira Van Osdel, whose father was a noted architect, and they had seven children, one of whom was named William. William also lived a life of public service, but dedicated himself specifically to the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), an organization for veterans of the Civil War. The G.A.R. was actually founded in Illinois and grew to be a national organization. 

Captain William had served as an officer in the 156th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and it apparently had a deep impact on him. Building on his local involvement, William was eventually elected the 66th Commander-in-Chief of the national organization. He served from 1932 until 1933 when he died in Pittsburgh at the age of 88 years old while attending a G.A.R. encampment. 


From the 1874 DuPage Atlas – Frederick Long

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At sixteen years old, Fred Long emigrated from Stuttgart, Germany in 1853 and was living in Naperville by 1856. There is no record of his parents living or being buried in Naperville, so it’s possible he was alone. Fred worked as a cabinetmaker in town and he prospered, opening his own shop as early as 1861.  

Also in 1861, he married Amelia Beidelman, the oldest of ten children born to William and Eliza Beidelman who arrived in Naperville around 1847. Of course, the Civil War was just starting during this time and Fred was drafted in 1863, serving in the 49th Infantry, and was mustered out as a sergeant. 


Fred and Amelia’s only child, Charles, was born in 1868 and the family enjoyed being active members of the town. Naperville’s fledgling fire department started in the 1870s and Fred became a volunteer of Rescue Hook and Ladder Company in 1875. 


The illustration from the 1874 Atlas shows the F. Long storefront with an addition to the side. The Sanborn Map from 1886 describes this addition as a “dwelling,” so it seems the Longs may have lived next to their shop. 


During those days, woodworkers made coffins as well as furniture, as described in his advertisement. Fred also served as an undertaker and attended mortuary school in the 1880s to expand his business even further.


From the 1874 DuPage Atlas – Milton Ellsworth

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Naperville has named a street, a school, and several other locations “Ellsworth” in honor of two men who were influential in town. Father Lewis Ellsworth brought his family to Naperville in 1837 when son Milton was just eight years old. At first, Lewis opened a general store with Milton assisting, but they were also establishing a fruit tree nursery on land east of town that was the site of a fort built during the Blackhawk War, about where the North Central College athletic fields are now.

The nursery was very successful and both Lewis and Milton gave back to the town in a number of ways. Lewis was one of the founding members of the Masonic community and both he and his son served as Masters of Euclid Lodge. Lewis was also a DuPage County school commissioner as well as one of early Naperville’s village presidents.

After years of partnering with his father in the nursery, Milton also became involved in local government, serving five terms as DuPage County Clerk and working for the Internal Revenue Service. In this later part of his life, Milton moved to Wheaton which had become the county seat after the infamous records raid in 1867. 

Milton was married a Miss Jane Barber and they had three children, one who died in infancy and twins Lewis and Carrie. Carrie never married and worked for her father in the County Clerk’s office. Her brother Lewis, like his father and grandfather, also became a County Clerk.  

Milton’s brother, also named Lewis, was into government work as well. He moved out to Denver, Colorado, was elected to the Senate there, and was influential in a number of legislative issues for the fledgling state. Apparently public office was an Ellsworth family trait. 

Milton died in 1896 at age 67 of cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder. He is buried in the Naperville Cemetery, along with father Lewis and even the Colorado brother Lewis, near the family obelisk.  


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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold


Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.


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