James Smith Cornell, Pioneer
Published in the Kendall County Record, September 18, 1895
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
James Smith Cornell died at his home in Yorkville, of paralysis, September 11, 1895, at the advanced age of 87 years and 5 days.
Deceased was born in Queens County, New York, September 6, 1808. He resided there and in New York City until the spring of 1835, when he came to Illinois with Ruleif Duryea. In partnership with him, he built and opened the first store in Yorkville. The store was near where the courthouse now stands. There was but one house in the place at that time.
James S. Cornell was the second sheriff of Kendall County. He served in that capacity for six years.
September 13, 1838, he was united in marriage to Marion P. Howe. At that time they moved to the farm between Yorkville and Plano, were he resided most of his life. (The Cornell farm was located mainly in section 19, Bristol Township. It was located on the north side of present day Illinois State Route 34.) Twelve children were born to this worthy couple. Nine of whom, with their mother survive him, viz: Andrew J. Cornell of Joliet; Milton E., and Charles R. of Yorkville; Rollin T. of Fox Township; Neil of Plano; Willis J. of Dakota; Mrs. William A. Puterbaugh (Mary Duryea Cornell), Mrs. George Hay VanEmon (Stella B. Cornell) and Miss Eva A. Cornell of Yorkville.
The funeral service was at the house at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Owing to sickness in the family of Rev. Wilbur Fisk, REV. N. M. Stokes of Chicago, who was a much beloved pastor of the Yorkville Methodist Church a few years ago, conducted the service. The male quartet sang the hymns. The pallbearers were five of the sons of deceased and a son-in-law, William A. Puterbaugh. The sixth son, Rollin Cornell, was away in a southern state.
With James S. Cornell goes one of the landmarks of Kendall County. He had a large acquaintance with the older people along the Fox River, and was a much-respected man. During his long life he had been an active man, only succumbing to the insidious advance of old age the last six months. It will seem strange not to see him again on our streets as he was social in his manner and loved to recount incidents of the early years.