Family Stories

Philip West Family – Richland County Illinois

My last post was an introduction to Philip West and Mary Alice Slazor of Richland County, Illinois.  If you remember I won an auction for their large, oval portraits.  Today we will learn more about this family through other sources I’ve found.

From the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Detail Report at the Illinois State Archives, we find that Philip was a private in Company B, 98th Illinois United States Infantry.  His description was a 20-year-old, 5’ 5” man, living in Lawrence County, Illinois – [not Richland County!] – with sandy hair and blue eyes, dark complexion.  He was single, a farmer and was born in Richland County.  He joined the service August 13, 1862, in Richland County, for a period of three years.  He musted in September 3, 1862 at Camp Centralia, Illinois.  His regiment was assigned to the Army of the Ohio from September to November 1862, and Army of the Cumberland from November 1862 to November 1864.  He was discharged February 15, 1863, for disability.  He received a pension for his service, and after his death in 1907, his second wife, Lydia Nast Cazel West, received his pension until her death in 1928. 

I could not find other information about what Philip’s disability was, but in reading more about the 98th Regiment I found that they marched to Louisville, Kentucky, September 8, 1862, and thereafter to various areas within that state.  They marched to Bledsoe Creek December 14, 1862, and fought against General John Hunt Morgan December 22, 1862, to January 2, 1863.  It is very possible it was during this time Philip West was injured.

Philip was sent home to Illinois.  In 1867 he married Alice and they began their family.  I could not find a copy of the marriage of Philip and Alice, but did find one for her parents – Zachariah Slazor and Sarah Ann Adams – December 29, 1842, married in Guernsey County, Ohio.

Thomas W. Peacock – Dear Sir

This is to certify that I joined together in marriage December 29, 1842, Zachariah C. Slazor and Sarah Anne Adams of this county.  J. Baird, Minister of the Gospel, M.E.C.

As mentioned in the previous blog, Zachariah died in 1867.  Sarah Phillips Slazor lived next to her daughter and son-in-law through the next 20 years, census records showing this fact.

The West Olney Advocate was a newspaper for the small town of Olney, Illinois, from 1884 to 1960.  As with most smalltown newspapers, it is filled with interesting tidbits about the local population, and the Philip West family is included.

In the December 10th, 1897, edition, it mentions James Haskell spent Thursday at Philip West’s hunting.  And the Christmas Eve edition says Philip West entertained several of his neighbors on Tuesday. 

And in 1902 we have a wedding – that of Philip and Alice’s daughter, Ida, to William Cazel.

West Cazel Olney Advocate, Richland County, Illinois

Friday, January 31, 1902


The marriage of Mr. William Cazel and Miss Ida West occurred at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Philip West near Higgin’s Switch.  It was a quiet affair, only the immediate relatives to the number of thirty being present.  As Miss Emma Schafier played the wedding march, Rev. J. Littell led the way to the parlor where he tied the knot in the most approved style in front of a beautiful decoration of draperies and under a large horseshoe of white and smilax, after which congratulations were offered, and the minister led the way to the dining room where an elegant repast was waiting them.  The minister seated each guest in proper place, standing at the head of the table and offered prayer, after which each one partook of the delicacies to their utmost capacities.  The bride was attired in a lovely suit of light blue trimmed in white applique and silk, the bridegroom wearing a suit of black.  All remained till a late hour and wishing Mr. and Mrs. Cazel a long and happy life.  Mrs. Cazel gave an elegant dinner next day.

After such a happy occasion, we have a sorrowful one to note.  Mary Alice Slazor West died May 24, 1903.  Did she live to see a grandchild?

West Olney Advocate, Richland County, Illinois

Friday, May 29, 1903

Death of Mrs. West

Mrs. Philip West, living west of the city, died Sunday morning after a long illness of cancer of the stomach.  Funeral services were held Monday afternoon and the remains laid to rest in the Shiloh Cemetery.

And after a year of mourning, we have another wedding.  Philip married Lydia Nast Cazel, a widow who was also the mother of the William Cazel that married Ida West.  The two must have known each other for quite a while. 

West Olney Advocate, Richland County, Illinois

Friday, September 9, 1904

Philip West and Mrs. Lydia Cazel were united in marriage Thursday afternoon of last week at the home of P. Heltman, in West Main Street, Rev. J. W. Cummins officiating.  The wedding was a quiet affair, only a few near relatives being present.

Have you ever heard of a chowder and basket dinner?  I hadn’t until I read this notice in the local newspaper!

West Olney Advocate, Richland County, Illinois

Friday, August 31, 1906

Chowder and Basket Dinner

A chowder and basket dinner will be held in the Philip West grove, five miles west of Olney and one-half mile north of Higgins Switch on Wednesday, September 5.  Everybody cordially invited.  Bring your baskets well filled and bowls and spoons.  Chowder will be furnished on the grounds.  Speaking and amusements.  Come and enjoy yourself.

Charles West., Pres.  C. D. Watkins, Sec’y.

Philip kept in touch with his military friends – not too hard as they probably lived in the same county, or at least close by.

West Olney Advocate, Richland County, Illinois

Friday, September 7, 1906

Reunion of Co. B.

The seventeenth annual reunion of Co. B, 9th Ill. Inft., was held at the city park last Saturday.  There were present Comrades T. J. Brown, Eli Baldwin, William Berry, H. R. Bullard, James Campbell, Chris Leither, John Newsum, A. B. Morehead, J. E. Smith, R. P. Ruark, A. B. Snively, Philip West and David Wheeler.

Officers were elected as follows:  President, William Berry; Vice-President, T. J. Brown; secretary and treasurer, A. B. Snively.

Philip West dies at the age of 65.

West Olney Times, Richland County, Illinois

Thursday, October 31, 1907

Drops Dead

Philip West, a well-known retired farmer, dropped dead Monday evening at his residence on North Silver Street.  Mr. West had been in poor health for many years, and while his death was sudden it was not unexpected.  He was born in Noble township April 23, 1842.  In August 1862, he enlisted in Company B, of 98th Illinois Infantry, and was discharged for disability in January 1863.  In December 1867 he married Miss Alice Slazor, who died a few years ago, and he afterwards married Mrs. Lydia Cazel, who survives him.  He leaves two sons, Charles and Lewis, and three daughters.  Mr. West was a man of sterling qualities and held in high esteem among his fellow men.

One more obituary – Ida Mae West Cazel lived an additional 51 years after the death of her father.  She and husband William must have had a very happy life together.  Her obituary from The Chicago Tribune, February 18, 1958, is as follows: ‘Ida Mae Cazel, 526 Brainerd Avenue, Libertyville, beloved wife of the late William David Cazel; dear mother of Austin B., Robert E., William P. and Helen McLaughlin; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; fond sister of Laura Bowlby and Lottie Lucas.  Resting at funeral home, 825 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, where services will be held, Tuesday, 2 p.m.  Interment North Northfield.  Windsor.’

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