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James, George and Edward Sterritt, Livingston and Grundy County

The Sterritt brothers, Edward (1880 - 1973), George (1876 - 1948), and James (1874 - 1950) were the sons of George and Margaret/Mary Connelly. George came from Ireland and Margaret/Mary was born in New York according to the census reports made by their sons. One year they were reported to be from Scotland, but they were more consistently identified as being Irish and American. It seems that the brothers were sent to Livingston and Grundy County, for that is where they made their homes for the remainder of their lives.

James Richard Sterritt was 23 when he first appeared in the census in 1900, the year of his marriage to Sarah J. Perry. Sarah was an English immigrant, who came at the age of 5 with her parents and they settled in Grundy County. They lived on farms near Wauponsee, Grundy Co. most of their married life and had four children: George, William, James and Cora. Between 1931 and 1943, however, they managed the Grundy County Rest Home. In the census however, their place of work and residence was officially the County Poor Farm, where James was noted to be a farmer. County Poor Farms were often supported to a very large extent by the farm that provided income as well as food for the inmates. Managing the farm was an important responsibility and trust. Because the Poor Farms were occupied by the elderly and mentally impaired, in some counties they were converted to "Rest Homes." James died August 15, 1950 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Morris.

George Benjamin Sterritt first appeared in the census as a "servant" in the home of Oscar and Alice Mulford in Round Grove, Livingston Co. He may or may not have lived with them for several years. He was 23 years old and worked there as a farmer. In 1910 he was living in Dwight, where he worked in a factory as a blacksmith. He lived as a boarder with Anna Rowland and her two daughters. In 1912, he married Ella Rowland, one of the daughters. After marrying, they lived in both Livingston and Grundy County, working as farmers. George and Anna never had any children. George died June 15, 1948 and was buried in the Oak Lawn Cemetery in Dwight.

William Edward Sterritt first appears as the foster son of Everett and Clara Kirkendall near Dwight, Illinois when he was still under indenture papers. He married in 1902 -- to Cora Kirkendall, who was the daughter of Edward Kirkendall, possibly a relative of Everett Kirkendall. No death record could be found for Cora, but in 1910 Edward married again, to Mary Eleanor Wright. With Mary he had two children: Ellsworth and Clara. Perhaps Edward had fond memories of his foster mother and wanted to honor her by naming his daughter after her. William worked all his life as a farmer on rented farms and died in May of 1973, the last of the brothers to pass. He was buried in Oak Lawn Cemetery in Dwight, the same as his brother.

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