Estelle Baker Webb
by Cordah B. Hogan

From: Goshen Trail's
October 1968
Printed by permission.
Photo slow to load.

Music is the speech of Angels.

     Mrs. Estelle Baker Webb was born in Golconda, Ill. in 1871 and passed away in 1951 in Boston, Mass. in the home of her son, John Robert Webb and wife Jean.  John Robert is an acoustical engineer.

     Mrs. Webb came to McLeansboro to teach vocal and instrumental music about the year 1902, after having studied with Dr. E. H. Scott, president of Western Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  Among her first pupils were Mrs. Mary Ellen McCoy, Mrs. Margaret McElvain and Mrs. Mattie Hyatt Foote.  It would be impossible to mention all of her pupils, for they numbered into the hundreds.

     She organized and instructed numerous choruses and also directed an orchestra (See photo).  Her influence in cultural circles of McLeansboro and surrounding areas cannot be measured.  One of Hamilton County's outstanding events was "Mrs. Webb's annual recital," which was held in the Old Opera House on the North side of the square, on Lot 21 of the Original town of McLeansboro.

     She truly lived by the following precepts, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on thee things."  Another saying she cherished was "Music is the speech of Angels."

Mrs. Webb's Orchestra

Standing left to right: Wylie Ledbetter, Ruth Daily, Ruth Kelly, Walter Elliott, 
Ralph Woodruff, Mary Clark, Cordah Hogan, Mrs. Estelle Webb, H. L. Uhe
Front Row let to right: Winfield Anderson, Gene Sneed, Joe Adams, Dwain Proctor, 
and Leighton Sharp    

     Mrs. Webb had a lovely personality and a cheerful smile that made the day happier for all whom she met or ones who were discouraged.  She had a studio and home that had a warmth that made those who entered feel instantly at ease.

     She was never too busy to help others and adjusted her busy schedule to do a kind deed for someone in need.  She arranged the music and played for many funerals, weddings and other Church functions.

     Estelle Baker was married to Judge Isaac H. Webb in 1904, a prominent Hamilton County Attorney who lived on a farm three miles East of McLeansboro and was the son of one of our pioneer families.  He graduated in Law in 1882 from the University of Michigan in Ann Harbor.

     A niche in the McLeansboro Library is dedicated to Mrs. Webb and we are indebted to many for mementos toward this memorial and would appreciate other articles that might be given for this memorial.

Copyright 1999.  All rights Reserved

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