Back when they knew how to write an obituary

A cousin’s obituary from the June 29, 1886 Kokomo (Indiana) Gazette:whblog

Daniel Harris was born at Hagerstown, Wayne county, Ind., July 21, 1831, where he grew to manhood, and died of dropsy, in Kokomo, June 24, 1886, aged fifty-five years. At the age of nineteen he was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Galoway; six children blessed their union, four of whom are still living, two sons and two daughters; two sons preceeded their father to the tomb in early childhood. Soon after they were married Mr. Harris moved from Hagerstown to Noblesville, where he resided until 1853, when he removed to this city where he has lived ever since. Mr. Harris opened the first drug store ever established in Kokomo thirty years ago in a small frame building where Harbster & Cole’s store now stands.  He was one of Howard county’s most highly respected pioneers. His life has been identified with the history of Kokomo from the time it was a cluster of log cabins in a howling wilderness until the present time. He watched its steady growth until it has developed into a city teeming with industry. Always quiet and unassuming he was loved and honored by all who knew him. At the breaking out of the rebellion he obeyed his country’s call and enlisted in Company D, 89th Indiana Regiment, and went through the storm of shot and shell until the white wings of peace were spread over the country. The writer remembers only a few months ago during a cold stormy day, of going on the sad mission of collecting notes for the obituary of Mrs. Orsemus Richmond, who was Mr. Harris’s only sister, meeting him at the gate; while giving the notes and history of the family, with his great heart filled with sorrow he burst into tears, stating that the greatest sorrow of his life had cast its pall of gloom athwart his horizon and that he was now the only one left in the family. As we walked down the street he little dreamed of being called so soon to follow and participate in a reuniting of kindred ties on the golden shores of a blest immortality, and as little did the writer dream that so soon it would be his sad duty to chronicle the sad parting of a devoted father and loving husband and the breaking of the tendrels of affection that for years have woven their silver cords around the hearts of those who compose this now broken family circle. In times like these science and philosophy fail to sooth the aching heart, and words fail to assuage the grief that comes to the soul. But so far as words of cheer and the consolation of friendship can go the bereft family have the hearty sympathy of all in this the saddest hour of their lives. The funeral services were conducted at the Christian church on Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock by Rev. McCune. The interment took place in Crown Point cemetery, conducted by the I.O.O.F. and G.A.R. Post, of which orders he was an honored member.

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One Response to Back when they knew how to write an obituary

  1. Vickie O says:

    Wow, that almost brought tears to my eyes…and I (obviously) never knew the man.

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