October 28, 2020
Dear Village Resident,
Please join the Village in giving a hearty "Thank You!" to some special volunteers. Landon Simecek, with BSA Troop 340 and an RBCHS student, coordinated an effort to seek volunteers from Troop 340 and the RBCHS National Honor Society to finish two "Welcome to Spring Grove" signs by building boulder walls and filling them with dirt for plantings. Mike Levernier of Levernier Enterprises, an excavation company in Spring Grove, generously donated loads of black dirt for the project. The following youth volunteers participated, assisted by several adult members of the community: BSA Troop 340 members Ian Campbell, Ethan Hartnett, James Neumann, Jake Nielsen, Jack Schaffer, Aaron Schwager, Landon Simecek, Colton Vanderstappen and Jake Young; RBCHS National Honor Society members Ben Campbell*, Maxwell Folbrick, James Layer*, Garasin Haley, Matthew Stark*, and Zoe Hannemann. (*denotes NHS member that is also a member of BSA Troop 340.) Landon Simecek and Garasin Haley planted shrubs and flowers at each of their respective signs. We hope you will agree that it is volunteers like these that make our community a great place to live! The signs turned out great!
Garasin Haley & the completed sign on Rt. 173
Landon Simecek & the completed sign on Rt. 12
The File of Life
The File (or Vial) of Life helps emergency personnel get the necessary medical history they need when a patient can't supply it. You fill out your name, emergency contact, medical history and medication. This information is helpful for treatment before reaching the hospital. The Spring Grove Fire Protection District has two options available (one to be posted on your home fridge and one to be stored inside your glove compartment). Please visit the station at 8214 Richardson Road to obtain your free File of Life.
Tire Recycling Event
The McHenry County Department of Health is sponsoring a no-charge tire recycling event for pre-registered McHenry County residents on Saturday, November 7, from 9 a.m. - noon at the McHenry County Division of Transportation, located at 16111 Nelson Road in Woodstock. View details here.
Trick or Treating
Trick or Treating will be held this Saturday, October 31, with recommended hours from 3 - 7:00 p.m. Those going door-to-door should wear face coverings at all times (over the age of 2). If you want to participate in trick-or-treating, please turn on your porch or outdoor lights. Those who are not interested, please keep outdoor lights off. Read more about precautions that should be taken this year.
Photo of the Week
Sassafras trees had many medicinal uses throughout the ages as well as being the main ingredient in traditional root beer. They also have brilliant fall color, like these in the backyard of Mark Galla in the Oak Valley Estates neighborhood. If you have a photo of Spring Grove you would like to share, email it here.
Halloween Drive Sober Campaign
The Spring Grove Police Department is stepping up impaired driving enforcement for Halloween. Motorists are reminded of the importance of planning for a sober ride home and keeping watch for little goblins walking along the road after dark. Read some simple tips to help keep everyone safe this Halloween.
Voting Information

Do you live in Burton Township? Your polling place has changed for election day on November 3 from the Spring Grove Fire House to the Spring Grove Elementary School. Note: The school is NOT an early voting location.

Still need to register to vote? The registration deadline has ended but you can register and vote at the office of McHenry County Clerk in the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock.

Are you doing mail-in voting? Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 or put in a ballot drop box. A ballot drop box will be available at the McHenry Township building at 3703 N. Richmond Road in Johnsburg during early voting hours.

Want to vote on Election Day? Vote in person on November 3 at your polling place. Where is my Polling Place & Sample Ballot.

COVID-19 Update
Face Mask 2
Yesterday it was reported Region 9 (Lake and McHenry counties) passed the 8% average test positivity rate threshold. If this positivity rate remains at or above 8% for three consecutive days, enhanced mitigations will be imposed on the region starting later this week.

“We are seeing cases among residents aged 45-79 increasing at a faster rate than other groups,” said Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson. “As families and friends begin to plan holiday get-togethers, we need to remain vigilant and continue to wear a mask and limit our close contact with anyone who lives outside our home, even if that individual is a relative.”

So, please, keep practicing the 3 Ws: Watch your distance, wear a mask properly (covering your mouth AND nose) and wash your hands frequently.

A map and information of the status of every Illinois county can be found on the IDPH website here. View a map of the United States and other countries to view potential risks associated with traveling. Areas with increased risk of COVID-19 are based on case rates.

If you have health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 800-889-3931 or email questions here.
Blast from the Past - A Haunting Tale
In 1854 Harvey Wilson wrote in his diary that there was something unusual about the deaths of David Clinton and Lucinda Adelaide Horton. Lucinda Adelaide died October 20, 1854 at age 7 and her brother died three days later on October 23, at age 11. Both were quickly disinterred from their grave on English Prairie land and re-examined after it had come to light that they may not have died of natural causes.

A county coroner's inquest was held on October 30, 1854. David Horton, their grandfather, was first to be interviewed. He said in 1850, his son, William, tried to sever his marriage from Caroline, the mother of the children, but died suddenly a month after trying to deliver the court papers to her. He had alleged she was having an adulterous affair with their neighbor, Townsend Carpenter, with whom she was living at the time. The papers were never delivered and William's personal property and 383 acres of land were left mostly to the children.

Caroline than married the English Prairie schoolteacher, A.J. Dunning, with whom she had another child and was living with at the time of the children's death. David Horton had seen his grandchildren shortly before they died and said they appeared "sprightly, lively and well".

Neighbor Mrs. Kinsley testified she went to visit after she heard of Lucinda's death and "the boy was vomiting and his fingers were cramped and cold". He had red cheeks, bloodshot eyes and his skin was black around his eyes. Mrs. Carpenter also visited and said Caroline told her she heard someone walking in the house in the middle of the night hours before Lucinda's death. She also testified that Mr. Dunning was "given to intemperance and had an angry disposition."

Another neighbor said Dunning told him about the man in their house who was by the girl, and who jumped out a window and ran away when seen. This neighbor had previously gone to Kenosha with Dunning, who went into the apothecary shop, saying he needed some sleeping aids, but it later turned out he bought rat poison. The doctor testified at first he thought the children had cholera, but there was no fever. Later he suspected poison - alcohol and opium or arsenic.

After more testimony, the inquest jury's verdict was "death by poisonous drugs given by A.J. Dunning." He was arrested, but later released due to "lack of sufficient evidence."

By June of 1855, Caroline filed for, and was granted, a divorce from Dunning, claiming "extreme cruelty and drunkenness". In 1858 she married Joseph Emmus. with whom she had four children - two boys and two girls.

In 1860, Townsend Carpenter and Darius Kinsley donated land for the English Prairie Cemetery. Townsend's own toddler son, Henry, was already buried there, along with the Horton children, whose headstone can still be read.

The 1880 census showed Joseph Emmus living in Leadville, Colorado with only his two sons. The rest of Caroline's story is lost to history. Harvey Wilson's diary lives on in the McHenry County Historical Society.
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