William Knodell, son of Lewis & Martha Copeland Knodell, was born 4 Fed 1838 in Edwards Co IL. He served in the Civil War in the 3rd Kansas Battery from Oct 1861 to 19 Jan 1865. He was married 10 May 1869 to Christina Melrose.


Christina was born 12 Oct 1842 in eastern Leech Township, Wayne Co IL, the daughter of Leander and Rebecca Batson Melrose.


The children of William & Christina Knodell were Vivian, Leander Victor, Felicia, Lewis Gibson, William Melrose, Roscoe and John Dietrich Knodell.


While a resident of Leech Township, William was repeatedly elected Justice of the Peace, serving fourteen years. He served two terms as supervisor of Leech Township. Then in 1890 he was elected Judge of Wayne County, the first resident of Leech Township elected to a county office.


On 31 December 1890 the family moved to Fairfield where Judge Knodell resumed his office. The house they moved into at 111 West Douglas Street is still owned by Grace Knodell, widow of William Melrose Knodell.


Judge Knodell was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the IOOF. He served in the capacity of Judge for only about fifteen months before his untimely death on Sunday 3 April 1892. His death was preceded by a brief illness of pneumonia. He was buried in the Bethel Cemetery, Wayne County, Illinois.


Christina Melrose Knodell survived her husband by almost forty years, nearly attaining the age of ninety years. On 14 March 1932 she fell at her home and broke her hip. She was seriously ill for about two weeks, and then on 27 March she died at her home. She was buried in the Bethel Cemetery beside her husband.


Vivian Knodell, daughter of William and Christina, was born 30 October 1871 at Lamar, Jasper County, Missouri. When she was less than a year old, she moved with her parents back to Wayne County, Illinois. She graduated from high school in the spring of 1892 and began teaching second grade in the fall of 1893. She taught for a few years until failing health prevented it. She was assistant County Treasurer of Wayne County under O.W. Talbert. She was very active in the Methodist Church in Fairfield, Illinois.


Leander Victor Knodell, son of William and Christina, was born 21 September 1873 at Ellery, Illinois. He married Lucinda Elizabeth Wyman, daughter of Henry Clay and Sarah Catherine (Funk) Wyman. Vic and Elizabeth had no children. They spent fifty years on a ranch in South Dakota. About 1955 they returned to Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois and lived on the Will Knodell farm southeast of Fairfield. Elizabeth was born 7 October 1872 and died 8 August 1963. Vic Knodell died 3 January 1968. They are both buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery. Fairfield. Illinois.


Felicia 'Lisha' Knodell, daughter of William and Christina, was born 13 September 1875 at Ellery, Illinois. She married Daniel Patrick Bowden of Spring Valley, Minnesota. They had one daughter, Dorothy (24 April 1904), who married W. Mercer Alexander.

Felicia died 11 August 1956 at Racine, Wisconsin.


Lewis Gibson Knodell, son of William and Christina. Was born 7 November 1877 southwest of Ellery, Illinois. He married Alveretta 'Etta' Shaeffer, daughter of James B. and Mary Jane (Johnson) Shaeffer. They had three children. Their first child was Mary Christina: the second died in infancy; and the third was Elizabeth.

About 1914 he and his family moved from Fairfield, Illinois to Winner, Tripp County, South Dakota, where his brother Roscoe Knodell had moved in 1907. In Winner he engaged in the lumber business and later in the general merchandise business. He died 14 October 1922 at St. Charles, South Dakota. 'Etta' Knodell died 21 August 1953. They are both buried in Maple Hill Cemetery, Fairfield, Illinois.


William Melrose Knodell, son of William and Christina, was born 9 November 1879 at Golden Gate, Wayne County, Illinois. In October 1909 he and E.H. Childress purchased the Wayne County Press in Fairfield, Illinois from W.M. Goudy. On one of his visits to South Dakota to visit his brothers, Will stopped in Coin, Iowa to visit the Howard family who had moved there. On one particular visit, he met Grace Lavely who would become his wife. Grace was born 5 October 1889 at Coin, Page County, Iowa, daughter of Isaiah S. and Mary C. (Drace) Lavely. She graduated from William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa and taught high school until she married on 1 August 1928 at Crookston, Minnesota. They settled in Fairfield where Will continued as co-publisher of the Wayne County Press. In 1937 he and Grace bought an insurance agency, which they operated for twenty years. Will Knodell died 10 March 1967 in Fairfield, Illinois. Grace Knodell still resides in Fairfield.


Roscoe Knodell, son of William and Christina, was born 13 September 1882 at Ellery, Illinois. He graduated from Northwestern University's School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. In 1907 he left Wayne County and moved to South Dakota. He practiced law in Gregory and Tripp Counties. He was married 10 December 1914 to Clara Brown, daughter of Orlando Seymour and Viola Jane (Johnson) Brown. Their children are Dorothy Helen, Margaret June, William, Robert and Alice Ruth. In Tripp County, Roscoe served as State's Attorney and Judge. He died 2 June 1969 at Winner, South Dakota.


John Dietrich Knodell, son of William and Christina. Was born 10 November 1885 in Ellery, Illinois. As a young man, he met and later married a girl from Franklin, Maury County, Tennessee who moved to Fairfield, Illinois to teach Latin in the high school, Eula Holt. They were married 13 July 1916.

Eula was the daughter of James M. and Florence (Murphy) Holt. The children of 'Diet' and Lula Knodell are: Florence Melrose Knodell, Ellen. John Dietrich. Jr.; William Laird; and Sara 'Sally' Laird. Diet worked for several years at the Sexton Manufacturing Company in Fairfield. He died 11 February 1974 in Fairfield and is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.





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