The Larrick Family
The story of Bloomington is often told through the lives of the famous and wealthy families that lived here from the very beginning of the city’s origins. In 1899 a map was drawn from memory by three men, to represent the town of Bloomington as it existed in 1838. One name on that map that has never been recognized by the biographers of Bloomington was LARRICK. But Mr. Fell, who drew the map remembered the chair maker and furniture dealer, Asaph Larrick and included his name on the 1838 map.
Asaph Larrick came from Virginia and was the son of George Larrick and Rebecca Brinker, born in 1804. He must have come here sometime before his thirty fourth year and established himself in business at East and Grove in the young city. When the map was drawn, two story buildings were drawn larger that one story buildings, so we know that he had a two story building. Later records indicate that this was his home, or that he built a home at that location at some time. Asaph married quite late in life to Maria Augustus, who gave him one son who died in infancy and two daughters, Mary and Anna. They also had an adopted daughter, Alice Stone. Asaph was a furniture dealer, chair maker and painter. In the 1850 census, he reported having real estate valued at $3,500 and personal property valued at $500. Ten years later, his widow reported in that census that she had real estate valued at $20,000 and personal property valued at $10,000. Despite her wealth, Maria Larrick owned a millinery shop with two lady clerks who assisted clientele. Maria died in 1891, leaving one married daughter in Washington State, her adopted daughter in Ohio and Mary in Bloomington. A fine monument stands in Evergreen Cemetery to commemorate Asaph, Maria and their infant son.
Asaph had a brother, George Brinker Larrick, who settled for a time in Missouri and much later came to Bloomington and worked as a clock maker and repairer. They also had a sister, Ceatta, who lived with Asaph in 1850. George had a large family which included two daughters who lived in Bloomington and one son who lived in Bloomington, among others.
Louisa Larrick was born in 1853 in Macon County Missouri. In 1870 the census indicates that Louise was a domestic servant in Bloomington Township at the Dowthet farm.The first record of Louisa in the newspapers is of her work as a schoolteacher at Funk’s Grove in 1875. Louisa’s position at the school was suspended because (she was told) of an epidemic at the school. However, Miss Larrick discovered that another teacher had been hired and school was continuing without her. The board alleged that she had been unable to control the school and that they let her go for this reason. Louisa sued the school board and proved in court that the board had in fact undermined her authority and encouraged the children to misbehave. In 1877 she was teaching at Gibson, and in 1880 Louisa was teaching at Pontiac. In 1883 Louisa moved to Emporia, Kansas to teach there. In 1884 Martha Larrick Keiser, her sister, was called to Emporia. While in Emporia Louisa ended her life by taking morphine. She left a letter, explaining that she had always had a greater desire for death than for life and that no one was to blame for her distress (her contract to teach had not been renewed). She had saved a large sum of money during her life and left it for the care of her father. She asked that her father not be told of the cause of her death and left very specific instructions as to her final wishes.
Martha Larrick was born in 1858 in Macon County, Missouri. In 1881 our first notice of Martha is that she is marrying Benjamin Keiser, a mechanical expert with the Keiser Van Leer Company. In 1883 she had a son, Clifford and in 1888, another son, Robert. Martha died suddenly in October of 1889 of consumption, leaving her husband with two small son. Her son Robert Larrick Keiser went on to be the US Consul in Sao Paolo Brazil and then in the Azores.
Jacob Brinker Larrick was born in 1854 in Macon County, Missouri. He went to the 4th Ward school in Bloomington for his education and then to the Illinois College in Jacksonville. From this information in his obituary, we know that several of the Larrick children must have attended school in Bloomington, including his brother Benjamin Franklin Larrick, who went on to be a physician in Washington DC and was just one year younger than Jacob.
Jacob farmed near Heyworth, Saybrook and Leroy before moving to Bloomington in 1903 to enter the grocery business. He and his family lived at 306 S State Street, next door to their grocery at 304. That grocery was run by Jacob and Giles for twenty years. Jacob and his wife, Lydia, had three children: Ceatta, Caroline and Giles.
Ceatta Larrick was born in 1889 in McLean County. She attended ISNU and graduated with a four year teaching degree in 1910. She taught school in McLean County and then in Lake Bluff. In 1922 she left Illinois for Washington State and taught there at teaching university in Seattle. Six years later, she married William Theg and had one daughter in Washington State, Anne.
Caroline Larrick was born in 1892 in McLean County. She also attended ISNU and was a teacher at the Illinois Soldiers Orphans Home. In 1922 Caroline left Illinois for Globe, Arizona. She taught in the school there until she married Alfred Wilkins in 1930. She and Alfred had two sons in Arizona, John and Robert.
Giles Larrick was born in McLean County in 1885. He alone stayed in Bloomington, living first at the family home on State Street and then on Leland Street. He ran the grocery store and then became a travelling salesman for the local woolen mills. He married Frances Reed and had four daughters: Lydia Jane (Heintzman), Mary Elizabeth (Lawbaugh), Eleanor (Hempstead) and Rachel (Dyer). Giles died in 1950 of heat exhaustion.