What is Frederick?

For those of you that have lived in Frederick or are currently living in the community, how would you describe or define Frederick, Illinois? How would you describe the people? Ages? Families? Interests? Occupations?

What makes it a great place to live? Why have you made Frederick “home”?

What makes Frederick, well Frederick?

You may be wondering why I ask these questions well, let me fill you in. Currently Christy and I are working on a major grant application that is asking us to define the community in which the grant funds will be used. Of course, Frederick is that community. Since we don’t currently live in Frederick or have deeply established roots within the community we are in need of input from folks that do. Are you one of those folks? Do you know someone that is? If so, please consider leaving us a comment with your thoughts at the bottom of this post. We certainly value your input and are thankful for it.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Jason and ChristyIMG_6937


14 thoughts on “What is Frederick?

  1. Hi Jason and Christy — I grew up in Frederick when it was still a town with its own post office (62639) and our address was a Rural Route. I remember calling in an order to a catalogue and the service representative told me she’d never heard of a Rural Route before, didn’t even know how to put it in the delivery system. Now the neighborhood mail comes through Rushville and only recently have the addresses turned from Rural Routes to “Street Numbers”.

    There seems to be a need for balance when allowing a country space to also be a community space. I’d be happy to lend my thoughts to your grant application if you’d like to include what it was like to grow up in Frederick. Feel free to let me know what I can do to help. Though I don’t live there now, I’d love to go back and feel it again…and as they say “I won’t take nothin’ but the memories.” Good luck to you!

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  2. Hi Jason and Christy! I was blessed enough to grow up in Frederick. We lived smack dab in the middle of the big hill. Mom and dad still live there. I remember sledding on Rebmans hill, and the one by our house that lands right in front of the new Christian church.

    I loved being FINALLY old enough to go down that big hill on my bike(burning up my brakes quite quickly) just to hang out with the “neighbor” kids.

    I knew everyone in that town and I was NEVER bored. We explored the creek, river, the old grain thing at the river (that was a BIG no no but we did anyway. The woods behind mom and dad’s were my playground and I remember a few slumber parties when we tried to sneak up to the “haunted mansion ” without getting caught by Eddie.

    That Mansion always held so much mystery for me, I remember daydreaming about it, then having night mare’s because of the stories.

    Thank you for asking for stories (memories) that was fun going back to my adventures as a kid.

    Tonia (Waters) Clark

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  3. I echo Jill and would add that Frederick to me meant streams, 100 paces to my best friend’s house, wonderful majestic runs along crooked creek. Memories there are bittersweet but I don’t know a finer place to grow an appreciation for nature, God and life’s supernatural possibilities. Good luck. Your family is on a deserved journey that will give you delicious surprises.


  4. Hi. My name is Mary Jane (Hood) Davis. My Dad, Dave Hood Sr. grew up a couple of miles from Frederick. He and my mother raised my sister, brother and I in the house on the corner, across from the grocery store. Summer was the best. We were outside all day until dark. Parents did not worry about their kids. We played in each other’s yards; sand piles, tree climbing, making forts, playing ball, roaming the woods and yes, visiting the Mansion on the hill. Time passed, I grew up, married and guess where Jon and I raised our daughters Janey and Julie. Across the street from where I grew up, in Frederick. Small town life was good to us. Friends and neighbors made it special. Jon and I had to leave ten years ago for a job opportunity. Today our old home in Frederick is full to the brim. Our daughter Julie is raising her family there. Four generations…


  5. I lived on the big house on the hill with 2 driveways, maybe today could be called a circular drive. Our address was Star Route. My Dad helped, at least once, in the wintertime getting the semis that were stuck on the hill pulled out. Lovely ingrain wooden floors in that house. Feel so sad that it is falling apart. Wished someone would give it some TLC. The teacher Miss Moyer that I had in the upper grades in Frederick, was also my Mom’s teacher.

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  6. I had the good fortune of growing up in Frederick, not too far from the road that leads to the mansion. We lived just up the hill from great friends, Jon and Mary Jane Davis. Frederick holds lots of meaning and great memories for me. There has been at least one member of my family living there since 1943. My parents still live there. I hate to sound like a repeat of the others, but it was such a fun place to live when we were kids. Riding your bike to the other end of town in the summer when the pork rind trailer was down on the corner, sledding on Rebmans hill, spending hours on end in the woods with out a worry at all. It was where Dad started my brother and I hunting and fishing and taught us more about it than I can remember now. I remember when I was about 10 years old, quite a few of us got to go into the mansion and look around. It still had all of the antiques displayed, the big table in the dining room, all of the Tiffany lamps. And Janey and Julie Davis, my brother Scott and I all going up on the roof and looking out over the entire bottom. It’s an amazing view for sure!

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  7. Since I posted last night, I’ve been thinking more about your question, “What makes Frederick “Frederick”?
    I needed to add a little more.
    For me, I think it’s always been the people that’s “made Frederick”. Small town people who for the most part, care for one another…
    Growing up in Frederick and also raising our children there and owning and operating a beauty shop; it was all about the people.
    As a child, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School meant a lot to this young river rat, as we who grew up along the river were called.
    Teachers; Miss Moyer and Mrs Drawve, in our two room school house, both were so wonderful.
    Some of the most important friendships of my life began at that school. Lui, Susie, Brenda, Gary (Doc), Norma; to name a few.
    Jon and I have been gone from Frederick ten years, but when we are back to our daughter’s home there, we still feel like we are home in a way. I write letters to old friends, call, email, Facebook; keeping in touch because of the tie that binds in a small Illinois River town.

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  8. My parents, two sisters, and I moved to Frederick in 1960 to the house at the top of Frederick Hill. There were more homes and families than there are now. Frederick then had a store, post office, school, and a coal dock at the river. It took my family some time to get used to the noise as the trucks came over the hill hauling coal to the river from the mine near Pleasant View. Besides shopping, the store was a place for neighbors to visit. The school had two excellent and strict teachers in Mrs. Mildred Drawve who taught grades 1-3 and Miss Una Moyer who taught grades 4-6. Mrs. Olive Strong cooked us delicious home cooked meals in the school’s kitchen. During Christmas we students performed in an operetta under the direction of Miss Esther Knowles, the music teacher who travelled from school to school. One year as she arrived for the operetta, she fell on the ice. She insisted on staying and playing for us with a broken hip. At Halloween there were costume contests, parties and cake walks. I believe most of the town attended all of these school events. It was a way of coming together with friends, neighbors and family. Everyone knew everyone. We kids were always outside. If we were sledding on Rebman’ s in the pasture, we could go to anyone’s home to warm up because we were welcome…that’s just how it was. On Friday night’s, several of us went roller skating in Rushville. Our mothers took turns taking us. As we got older, parents would take turns taking us to the movie theater or basketball games. The mansion on the hill coming into town always held so much interest for us kids. It is one of my first memories moving to Frederick seeing it standing proudly through the trees. They weren’t so tall 50+ years ago. We walked up there or rode our horses up there to get a peak. Now, the store, post office, coal mine are all gone. The school stands but the roof is badly in need of repair. The creek we played in at recess is still there with all of its memories. I can still see the teacher holding her hand out of the window ringing the hand bell for us to come in. Most of the people I grew up with are gone including my mom. My dad moved in 2002. History states that Frederick was a wealthy community in its day thanks to the Farwell family. Their mansion is a reminder of this. I’d like to see Frederick as somewhere people drive to not through. I’m proud it’s my hometown.

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  9. You ask “What defines Frederick?” But I look at it as what Frederick defines,,It’s small town America to a T…I grew up there and my Parents are still there,going on 39 years..I can remember getting off the bus in Kindergarten at the neighbors to stay till my parents got off work,,No daycare needed..Going to swim parties and Haircuts at MaryJanes..It wasn’t a town it was a big family,Where everyone was there to help eachother out…If you ran out of something some one would give it to you,,No running to the store needed….Frederick is/was what America needs more of,people looking out for one another,helping eachother whenever the need arises..I grew up with my bestfriends there,had more Grandmas and Grandpas then I could want there,,Oh and the summers growing up in the woods,will be somethin I will always remember.

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  10. Left my reply on another page but it seems to have vanished so thought I’d try again. I’ve lived in Frederick most of my life…moved here in 1954 when I was 7 years old, when my grandpa Ralston (aka grandpa gramp as our kids called him) bought the grocery store/gas station on the corner. I have many fond memories of childhood there. The schoolhouse had two big rooms with 3 classes each, and we tried to be as good as we could because Miss Moyer was quite adept with a butter paddle. grin… School lunches were the best!! No one even considered bringing their lunch in those days!! Music class with Esther Knowles…never realized how much I appreciated her until years later. We had many fun ballgames, etc. in the school yard and singing together under the big tree, but when Miss Moyer rang the bell…well, you’d better be heading to class. The Baptist church from Beardstown brought Bible School to the school yard as well and passed many of the summer hours with great fun and learning. We knew everyone in town back then, and everyone knew us. I worked in grandpa’s store and pumped gas from day 1. Mary Jane (Hood) Davis liked to come over and help me do inventory at the store when it was time. She loved it….me, not so much….though it seems like a great memory now. I liked the snow much better back then, and remember sliding down the hills with Ronnie and Gary Utter, Dennis and Linda Scott, Mary Jane, the Stambaugh kids and many others. Grew up here in town and married the neighbor boy, Tony Wessel. We lived in Beardstown for a short time when we married, but couldn’t seem to stay away from Frederick. Ended up raising our kids here in the house where the Scott family had lived. It was great fun living there. We had horses and the boys showed nationally. Jon and Mary Jane Davis lived at the bottom of the hill and our kids never knew which of the houses were theirs as we were all so close. Things are much different now. Grandpa’s store closed. The corner where it sat looks completely different now. I hear names of folks that live here that I don’t recognize, but we still love it here. As a matter of fact, we have moved to the house where Tony grew up. We’ve lived here for almost 16 years and will probably be here much longer….God willing. When the leaves are off the trees, we can look out our windows and see the mansion on the hill. It’s always been a great attraction for our town….much curiosity from all. Years ago we were able to tour the house when our kids were home and all the rooms were still done totally in period furniture and fixtures. That was a fun day. We appreciate the work that’s being done to restore the mansion and bring life back into it. There is always much more to say about our Frederick, but it seems I’ve already been quite wordy. Blessings on the Ross and Ackman families as work continues!

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  11. Although we don’t live in Frederick proper and are associated by rural route and box number, I loved going to the post office to pick up our mail and chat with the local post mistress, beginning with Rena Park (with no indoor plumbing back in the day!). Having a local post office and school defines a community and when one or both are gone, there is a real void. Back in the ’80s the powers that be decided that the Frederick post office would be closed down. The community would have none of it and organized a rally to keep it open. It was a glorious day! People brought lawn chairs and women sat shelling peas, doing needlework, and generally making merry and we enjoyed a resounding victory! Sadly, the Frederick post office was not deemed sustainable even though it was only open a few hours each day and was closed a few years ago. I miss the convenience and camaraderie I had come to enjoy, not to mention getting the Rushville Times on Wednesday instead of on Thursday!

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  12. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to leave this comment. Today is the first time I’ve seen this.
    Frederick is home. My family moved here when I was 3 and still live in the same place, right below the mansion. Ironically I bought the house next door to them a few years back.
    The hillside that separates our homes from the mansion have always been a fun place for me and my children. Growing up we hunted for mushrooms in those woods. We’d spend hours upon hours just hiking through them in the summer also.
    Frederick is a safe place. As a child I was able to roam free. My mother and the neighbors would simply yell our names when it was time to come home. The entire town was like one huge family. It still is to some.
    My children are notorious for showing up at Julie Ward’s (Mary Jane Davis’s daughter) house without asking and spending the rest of the day there. Her kids do the same at my house. They’ve grown up together and share the same small town bond that I shared with my neighbors growing up. It’s a bond that cannot be found in bigger cities.
    Frederick is best described as a spot on the highway when strangers visit. Outsiders often ask why I came back because they don’t understand it. To me Frederick is home. I knew when I began my family I wanted to raise my children where I grew up. I want them to know that even in the craziness of the world, there is still a safe place that can return to.

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