The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 17, 2013

Minister found joy in simple things

I was reminded of a story passed down by the Rev. Wesley Blackwell when the church I attend was short a musician a few weeks ago.

Rev. Blackwell faced a similar situation on a long ago Sunday morning, and it appeared the collection plate would have to be passed with no musical accompaniment. But he was rescued by a member of the congregation who assured him her young daughter knew the offertory music, and would certainly be willing to play it.

The little girl was less than willing, but reluctantly took a seat at the piano at the front of the church. When the ushers passed the collection plate she began to play, and treated the worshippers to a rousing rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Rev. Blackwell’s son, Joe, did not recall his father mentioning how the United Brethren congregation reacted to the music, but noted his father enjoyed the incident. The reverend had a good sense of humor and enjoyed telling of humorous events that occurred during his lifetime in the ministry.

He was born in 1879, when ministers were still following the circuit on horseback in Illinois. During his half century behind the pulpit, he moved to a number of different locations, including Casey, White Heath and Yale, Ill. But he spent nearly half of his career in Vermilion County, living in Oakwood.

He was an avid hunter and was a crack shot with a rifle. When I was a boy, he would come to the farm and demonstrate his skill with my short barreled 22 caliber rifle. He could hit a tin can thrown into the air nearly every time. Joe recalled his father didn’t hunt for sport, but to put meat on the table.

Rev. Blackwell and his wife, Sally, had nine children. Joe recalled the large family necessitated his father supplementing his income from preaching by working at different jobs, including carpentry work. A diarist who attended the Lake Shore Church on the Old State Road in Vermilion County recorded Rev. Blackwell assisted in roofing the little church while preaching there, and did not charge for his labor. This evidently impressed the diarist, because it was the only mention of the church in several years of observations.

Text Only
Local News
  • Three face robbery charges DANVILLE — Three men were booked without bond Tuesday in connection with the robbery of a downtown jewelry store.Donovan Wheeler, 29, of the 300 block of Bradley Lane; John Billips Jr., 23, of the 200 block of East Roselawn Avenue; and Jabari O’Conno

    July 31, 2014

  • Georgetown Fair ready for annual run DANVILLE — One of the big fair attractions of the summer kicks off this weekend in Vermilion County.The annual Georgetown Fair begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 9.Don Hackler is president of the Georgetown Fair Board. Both he and the group of 24

    July 31, 2014

  • NWS-CN 7-31 VA employee photo Jaycees select VA employee for award DANVILLE — Bryan Stewart, coordinator of the Veterans Transportation Program for the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System, was selected as one of the Outstanding Young People of 2014 by the Junior Chamber International Senate with the Jaycees.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Tuesday, 11:23-11:32 a.m. — A medical call in the 200 block of West Voorhees Street.Tuesday, 1:30-1:45 p.m. — A natural gas leak at 107 S. Jefferson St.Tuesday, 1:41-1:59 p.m. — An accident on Interstate

    July 31, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleMonday:Theft in the 100 block of North Logan Avenue.Tuesday:A man and woman arrested for domestic battery at Fairchild and Moore streets.Retail theft at Meijer, 3649 N. Vermilion St.Wednesday:A man arreste

    July 31, 2014

  • Group to help Mission

    July 30, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 30, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Monday, 11-11:04 a.m. — An unintentional alarm activation at 1714 E. Fairchild St.Monday, 1:01-1:10 p.m. — A medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Monday, 3:59-4:16 p.m. — A carbon monoxide i

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA offers new college, career program DANVILLE — The Danville Family YMCA plans to launch a new college and career readiness program during the 2014-2015 school year called YMCA Achievers. YMCA Achievers is a college and career readiness program offered at more than 1,400 YMCAs across th

    July 30, 2014

  • DATS begins East Main discussion DANVILLE — The Danville Area Transportation Study, along with the city and The Lakota Group, invite the public to join them in a new way to help imagine the future of Danville’s East Main Street Corridor. An online virtual public engagement forum has

    July 30, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Must Read