Herald of Truth - Volume XV, Number 7 - July 1878, pages 124, 125 and 126
LATSHAW.-IN MEMORIAM. In North Coventry, Chester county, Pa., May 16, 1878, Susan Latshaw, widow of John Latshaw, Sr., peacefully died at the advanced age of 91 years, and 27 days.
She was born and spent her entire life in this county. She was the mother of eight children, two sons and six daughters, seven of whom are still living, and the grand-mother of thirty-three grandchildren, of who twenty six still survive, and of twenty-two great-grand-children. Though not a strong woman at any time, she yet had but little sickness through her long life, until this last lingering illness of many weeks. But she has not in these years been a stranger to great trials and cares, but on the other had, her gently spirit was very many times sorely tried. Great afflictions came upon her in the succession of deaths in her family, first of the beloved husband, and then of daughter and several grand-children. But she passed through them all with the same spirit of patience, ever seeming to be sustained by a higher and more beautiful trust than is ordinarily witnessed in the Christian. Two years ago she began to yield gradually to the infirmities of age. Up to that time she was quite active and enjoyed life to a very great extent for one of her age.
But as her sight and hearing both began to fail, she had to give up the most precious employment of her time, namely, the daily reading of her Bible, and felt the deprivation most keenly; yet, while she could knit and pass away most of her time thus, she kept up cheerfully, repeating the blessed texts of Scriptures which had so often comforted her, and singing the hymns of praise which she had ever cherished with great sacredness. But when she could no longer thus employ her hands, and she ceased to distinguish the countenances of her family and friends, and with great difficulty heard the ordinary tone of conversation, her affections were gradually detached from earthly things, and daily more firmly "set upon things above and divine." During her last illness she suffered extremely, and yet so patiently under God's hand that we could daily see how this unseen power was mysteriously moulding and completing her life to enter the better world. "Patience had her perfect work." Every virtue was shining more and more in the furnace of affliction. She came to talk to her family and familiar friends of nothing more freely than of her death.
We said to her, "I suppose you feel that you are near the end of your long journey, grand-mother?" "Yes, I wish the Lord would come and take me," but added that she was willing to wait, if it were the Lord' will. On remarking that she had tried the Savior for very many years and always found him faithful, she said, "O yes, indeed." And you have had very many trials. "Yes, all have their trials." We shall all feel very lonely and sorry and never forget you, but always love to think of you. "But I hope we shall meet again."
Her lips often moved as if attempting utterance, as they did on the morning of her death, and being asked by her daughter whether she wished anything, replied as she frequently had before, "No, I was only talking with the Lord." Truly in all her life, as well as her last days, "her conversation was in heaven." Thus closed the long existence upon the earth of one who was lovely and beautiful alike in life and in death. She did not die; she simply fell asleep in Jesus! Her end was full of peace, and without a struggle she gently closed her eyes as if in slumber, resting on the arm of the Beloved, breathed her life out sweetly there-The Ray.
WITMER.-THE FIRST DEATH OF THE HOUSEHOLD. Written on the death of Esther Witmer, who died Jan. 10th, 1834, aged 19 years, 10 months and 20 days.
Oh! many a mournful year hath flown,
Since first amid our family band
Death came and stole our lovliest one,
And bore her to the spirit land
Yet shrined with many a sweet, sad thought,
That loved one's mem'ry lingers still;
For oh! she left a void that nought
But mournful thoughts could fill.
Years have passed by, I said, and yet,
It only seems the other day;
Since round her dying bed we met
With breaking hearts to weep and pray;
Her gentle soul, we strove to think
Would linger yet 'mid earthly flowers;
Even when 'twas trembling at the brink
Of the better world than ours.
Yes, there e'en when all hope had flown,
We wept away each lingering hour,
Until the shades of Death came down
And closed at length the closing flower;
And yet it seemed like sin to grieve
For one so patient and resigned,
For, if she mourned 'twas but to leave
Such breaking hearts behind.
She died! yet death could scarcely chill,
Her smiling beauties, though she lay
With cold, extended limbs, and still
Her face looked fairer than the day;
Those eyes, once elegant with bliss,
Now closed as soft as closing flowers-
Oh! few could bear a sight like this,
But such a sight like this was ours.
How slowly wore that long, long day,
Like spirits in some haunted place;
We'd sit and sigh-then steal away
To look once more on that pale face;
We could not think her soul had passed
The awful bounds of mortal strife,
That that warm heart was cold at last
That loved us more than life.
And when the funeral-rite was said,
They bore her from our happy home,
And left her with the silent dead
A pale-faced tenant of the tomb.
We reared no marble* midst the flowers,
Above her grave--to mark the spot;
Yet many a heart, as fond as ours
Still holds her unforgot.
Months passed, yet still our sorrow gushed;
The free glad laugh no more was heard;
And many a little voice was hushed,
That used to warble like a bird.
And though at times we strove to smile
Serenely for each other's sake,
And wept in secret all the while
As if our hearts would break.
Yet why should death be linked with fear,
A single breath-a low drawn sigh
Can break the ties that bind us here,
And waft the spirit to the sky.
Such was her end-a calm release-
No clinging to this mortal clod;
She closed her eyes and stood in peace
Before a smiling God.
Suspension Bridge. ----- E. Witmer.
*Since, a tombstone has been erected.
JOHN F. FUNK,
Dear friend: I will write a few lines to you, and send you the death notice of my husband, WILLIAM OVERHOLT. He died of consumption the 21st of May and his age was 29 years, 2 months and 1 day.
Last Spring when we visited you, and all the friends there in Indiana, we had no thoughts that in one short year we would have to part; but so it is. Death does not spare the young any more than the aged. Yet it seems very hard to lay a loved one in the grave. I watched over him with hope and fear alternately, from the very commencement of his disease. Sometimes he would appear to be improving, but it was not permanent, he was steadily drifting nearer to the final end. But we hope that he has gone to that better land where sickness and sorrow are known no more. That was his earnest desire, and I think he left evidence enough that we are justified in believing that he is there now. He felt deeply concerned for his salvation in the beginning of his sickness, and the comforts of religion were his support during his sufferings. He was baptized a few weeks before he died, by Bish. J. P. Speicher of Bowne. Our home seems sad and desolate since he is gone, but he said to me once "I only go before and you will follow after," and so it will be. At the most it will not be long until we all pass away. The last night he lived he suffered extremely. He was conscious until perhaps half an hour before he died, or he may have been conscious then, but he did not speak any more, nor seem to notice us, but during the night he spoke a good deal, he said several times "Jesus, Jesus, come take me home," and once "This world is not my home." Once when I was weeping by his side he said, "Weep not for me," "Come to Jesus," and a great many times he would ask the Lord to be with him to the end, and I believe it was the Lord that was with him and enabled him to bear his sufferings so patiently and feel so resigned to leave all things here below.
"Yet again we hope to meet thee,
When the day of life is fled;
And in heaven with joy to greet thee,
Where no farewell tear is shed."
CHRISTOPHEL.-May 20th, and June 10th, in Elkhart Co., Ind., of scarlet fever, JOHN, son, and EMMA, daughter of Daniel and Anna CHRISTOPHEL, aged 3 years and 8 days, and 1 year, 10 months and 24 days.
Ye mourning saints whose streaming tears,
Flow o'er your children dead,
Say not in transport of despair
That all your hopes are fled.
While cleaving to that darling dust
In fond distress you lie;
Rise and with joy and reverence view
A heavenly parent nigh.
Though your young branches torn away,
Like withered trunks ye stand;
With fairer verdure shall ye bloom
Touched by th' Almighty hand.
ROSAMAN.-May 9th, in Somerset Co., Pa., of consumption, Sister RACHEL ROSAMAN, aged 49 years, 11 months and 5 days. On the 11th her remains were placed in the family grave-yard beside her husband who went before her a short time. Funeral services by Jonas Blough.
LAPP.-May 28th, in Page Co., Iowa, of spasms, LAURA, daughter of David and Hannah LAPP, aged 4 years, 3 months and 24 days. Buried on the 29th at the neighboring grave-yard. A funeral discourse was delivered by John S. Good, from Luke 18:15-17.
Parents dear, weep not for me,
Naught but pain had I to see;
Now I'm gone to rest above,
Where all is joy, and peace, and love.
BAECHLER.-May 7th, in Livingston Co., Ill., Bro. JOSEPH BAECHLER, aged 67 years, and 8 months. Buried the 9th in the presence of many relatives and friends, at which time J. P. Smith and Jacob Naffziger spake words of comfort to the living, from 1 Cor. 15. He was a faithful brother of the Amish church, and he leaves a widow and 4 children to mourn their loss.
JONES.-Fell asleep in Jesus, Wednesday morning, June 5th, in Keokuk Co., Iowa, of diphtheria and fever, from which he suffered two weeks, WILLIE H., son of Eli and Mary S. JONES, aged five months. It seemed hard to part with dear Willie, but God called his own. We can have happy thought that our child has gone to rest in the beautiful mansions above.
Baby dear, we hope to meet thee,
When the day of life is fled;
Then in heaven we hope to greet thee,
Where no farewell tear is shed.
KREHBIEL.-April 14th, in Clarence Center, Erie Co., New York, widow of Frederic KREHBIEL, dec'd, aged 64 years, 6 months and 8 days. Funeral services by Peter Rhodes, H. P. Hunt and A. K. Honsberger.
KILMER.-May 20th, in Wakarusa, Elkhart Co., Ind., infant son of George and Mary KILMER. Buried at Shaum's the 21st. Remarks by J. M. Culbertson.
HORST.-June 1st, in Lancaster Co., Pa., of dropsy, Sister NANCY HORST, aged 27 years, 5 months and 24 days. She was loved by all who knew her.
I shine in the light of God,
His likeness stamps my brow,
Through the valley of death my feet have trod,
And I reign in glory now.
SAUDER.-June 11th, in Lancaster Co., Pa., Bro. JOHN SAUDER, aged 44 years, 11 months and 12 days. He was a member of the Mennonite church, and was ailing a long time, and often expressed a desire to go home.
BLOSSER.-June 11th, in Branch Co., Mich., ELIZABETH BLOSSER, widow of the late Nicholas Blosser, aged 67 years and 25 days. She leaves six children. Her husband died 11 years ago. She united with the Brethren church about 45 years ago, and was a consistent member of the same to the time of her death. Funeral services by David Truby and J. F. Funk, from Rev. 14:13.
HERTZLER.-June 11th, at Mattawan, Mifflin Co., Pa., suddenly of heart disease, HENRY HERTZLER, aged 71 years, 5 months and one day. He leaves a widow and one grand-child to mourn their loss. He was highly esteemed, and his sudden and unexpected death cast a gloom over the entire community in which he resided. He was a consistent member of the Dunkard church.
HUBER.-June 2nd, in Bridgeport, Waterloo Co., Ont., of paralysis, Bro. ELIAS HUBER, aged 68 years and 3 months.
SNYDER.-June 7th, in Waterloo Co., Ont., of heart disease, of half hour's suffering, Sister VERONICA, wife of Isaac SNYDER, aged 35 years and 14 days.
CRESSMAN.-June 15th, in Waterloo Co., Ont., of apoplexy, Sister Veronica CRESSMAN, wife of Daniel CRESSMAN, aged 56 years, 8 months and 22 days. She sat on a chair with her son on her lap giving him instructions at the time.
Transcribed by: Nancy Regan, Washington