Susan Clara (Dillow) West was born on March 11, 1866 in Madison County, OH, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Houser) Dillow. Her husband was considered a "pioneer resident" of Weldon, Illinois, as was she.
As a girl, sometime prior to 1881, Susan and her parents and siblings migrated westward to Central Illinois. They settled in the town of Weldon near Clinton, DeWitt County.
On Oct. 28, 1885, when Susan was age 19, she married 25-year-old David Monroe West (1860-1938). The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace John J. McGraw in Clinton. The marriage certificate, still on file today at the DeWitt County Courthouse, shows that Susan mistakenly listed her mother's maiden name as "Houten."
At the time of their marriage, David was a farmer, residing in Harp Township, DeWitt County. He had been born in Hilliard, Franklin County, OH, the son of Alpheus (or "Alpina") and Elizabeth (Young) West.
The Wests moved to Gibson City, Ford County, IL (circa 1891) and thence to Solomon, near Weldon, Nixon Township, DeWitt County, where they were farmers for many years. They had six children -- Anna Bell Ayers, Grace Viola Ayers, Ethel Emma Green Crum, Ira Alfred West, Harry Elmer West and Walter Elwood West.
Susan was a member of the Weldon Methodist Church and the Weldon Rebekah Lodge. When the federal censuses of 1900, 1910 and 1920 were taken, David was listed as working as a farmer. By 1930, he was employed as a house plasterer.
David's health began to decline in the late 1930s, and he had a stroke in late April 1938. After just one day of suffering, he died at home at age 77. After funeral services at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Weldon, he was laid to rest in the Weldon (Nixon Township) Cemetery. Pallbearers were Elray Ayers, Wilbur Ayers, Don West, Robert West, Raymond West and Wendell Ayers. At the time of his passing, he and Susan had 26 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
In 1937, Susan's brother in law, William A. West, married her widowed sister Sylvia (Dillow) Delamere.
Susan outlived her first husband by two decades.
She died at the age of 92 in John Warner Hospital in 1958. She was laid to rest beside her husband. By that time, her progeny had swelled to 26 grandchildren, 71 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren.
~ Daughter Grace Viola (West) Ayers ~
Daughter Grace Viola West (1886-1964) was born in 1886.
She wedded Arthur Ayers ( ? - ? ) and made their home in Sycamore, DeKalb County, IL.
Their twin sons, Richard and Robert Ayers, died in infancy in 1926, and are buried in Weldon.
Grace passed away at the age of 78 on Dec. 22, 1964. Nothing further about them is known.
~ Son Ira Alfred West ~
Son Ira Alfred West (1888-1983) was born in 1888.
He married Lula M. Pearl ( ? - ? ) on the Fourth of July in 1910.
Ira was a farmer and lived in Bloomington and Clinton, IL.
He died at the age of 95 on Dec. 6, 1983.
~ Daughter Anna Belle (West) Ayers ~
Daughter Anna Bell West (1891-1972) was born in 1891.
She was united in holy wedlock with Willis Ayers (1888-1949), the son of Seymour and Johanna (Twist) Ayers, and a native of Weldon. The wedding took place on Dec. 16, 1908.
They were farmers who resided in Weldon in the 1940s, making their home on South Isabelle Street. Willis was a member of the Weldon Masonic lodge.
He died at the age of 61 on Jan. 24, 1949, after an illness of three years' duration.
Anna outlived him by 23 years, resided in Maroa, and passed away at age 81 on May 25, 1972. They rest for eternity in Nixon Township Cemetery, as do many of their offspring.
Their 11 children were Bonnie Gawthorpe of Leroy, IL; Dorothy Armstrong of Peoria, IL; Mrs. Pipher of Linwood, CA; Norma Lemmell of Kenney, IL; Marjorie Ayers of Welcon; Wilbur Ayers of Iola, WI; Wendell Ayers of Stanton, NE; Walter K. Ayers (1922-1963) of Decatur, IL; Donald Ayers of Clinton; Dean "Poppie" Ayers (1933-1987) of Weldon; and Wiley Phillip Ayers Sr. (1935-2002) of Weldon.
~ Daughter Ethel Emma (West) Green Crum ~
Daughter Ethel Emma West (1893-1948) was born in 1893.
Her first husband was William Green ( ? - ? ). Their nuptials were held on April 30, 1914.
Later, she wed Ray Crum ( ? - ? ).
She died on Nov. 1, 1948, at the age of 55.
~ Son Harry Elmer West ~
Son Harry Elmer West (1896-1968) was born in 1896.
He married Opal Hand ? - ? ) on Sept. 18, 1918.
They lived in Bloomington, IL in 1938.
Harry passed away at the age of 71 on Jan. 19, 1968.
~ Son Walter Elwood West ~
Son Walter Elwood West (1903-1964) was born in 1903.
He worked as a farm laborer in early adulthood. He first lived in Weldon and later resided in Tulsa, OK circa 1958. During World War II, he served as a private first class in the Army.
He married Hester Mire ("Meyer"?) on May 2, 1925.
Walter passed away on May 23, 1964, at the age of 61, and is buried at Nixon Township Cemetery.
Copyright © 2000-2001, 2007, 2019 Mark A. Miner