Herald of Truth Obituaries - September, 1873

Herald of Truth - Volume X, Number 9 - September 1873 - Pages 158-159


Died in Page co., Iowa, March 25th, Bro. JACOB HORNING, aged, 52 years, 1 month, and 9 days. He was born in Germany and brought to Penna. in his 8th year. From there he came to Ohio and was married to Sister Anna Good, where he resided until 9 years ago, when with his family he removed to Iowa. After four weeks of extreme suffering he bade farewell to the trials and labors of earth, and has gone, as we trust, to share in the bliss of God's children.
Friends and Brethren, If you'll listen
Unto me, I'll try to tell,
Of the death of Brother Horning,
Whom for years we've known so well.

As a husband true and faithful,
As a father kind and dear;
And a brother much beloved,
We had learned to know him here.

Whilst within our hearts we cherished,
Each a special love for him,
With bright prospects for the future,
We as friends did him esteem.

God his message sent to call him,
From his labors here below;
As we trust to those fair mansions,
Where the weary pilgrims go.

Just before his dying moment,
He did call around his bed,
Twelve in all - his wife and children,
And to them once more he said,

"Oh, dear wife, and you my children,
Each unto my heart most dear,
I must now depart and leave you
Never more to meet you here.

I shall go to live with Jesus,
In those mansions bright and fair;
And if you are good and faithful,
You again shall meet me there.

Be good children to your mother -
Yes, be good unto all men;
Keep away from all bad places,
Then you can see me again."

Children, heed those admonitions,
Keep them ever in your mind;
As a father's dying counsel,
Which for you he leaves behind.

He, though dead, to you yet speaketh,
His last words do not forget;
By his words and good example,
Your dear father speaketh yet.

Sister, as a lonely widow,
Do not weep nor be dismayed;
Do not grieve nor be disheartened,
Let your trust in God be stayed.

God, who gave has also taken,
Bless his name: Be of good cheer;
If you put your trust in Jesus,
You shall have no cause to fear.

Elkhart, Ind. Daniel Brenneman


Sketch of the Life of Bro. Nicholas Johnson

NICHOLAS JOHNSON, died at the residence of his son, Joseph B. Johnson, in Nicholson township, Fayette county, Pa., on the 5th of April, 1873, after an illness of several weeks, in the 86th year of his age.
Among the many distinguished persons, whose recent deaths have demanded public notice, none perhaps will be more missed and lamented within the sphere of his labors and acquaintanceship than the venerable subject of this Memoir. His advanced age, his christian virtues and his remarkable affability gained for him at once the love, and commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him.
He was peculiarly identified with the community in which he lived; he had grown up in that community to manhood, and there he had lived, and in a measure worn out a long and useful life. For nearly seventy years, in the various relations of life, he had occupied the same place as a residence or home. In 1804, when he was seventeen years of age, his parents emigrated from Rockingham county, Virginia, to Fayette county, Pa., where shortly after their arrival, they purchased the tract of land on which they lived many years, and which, by an arrangement in the family, came into the posession of their son, Nicholas.
Here he resided until his family grew up, married and settled around in the neighborhood, when being admonished by advancing years, he made arrangements by which his son, Joseph B. Johnson became the owner of the greater portion of the old homestead of his father. Here it was that the venerable and beloved father calmly breathed his last, and here in the family burying-ground his mortal remains reposed in the slumbers of the grave.
At an early period when his parents came to this section of the country, emigration was attended with much greater difficulties and hardships than since the introduction of steamboats and railroads. Then the old fashioned tented wagon, the pack-horse and the pack-saddle, were the only means of travel and transportation for the few necessaries of life which the emigrant carried with him to his new home. At that time none of the present facilities of emigration were enjoyed. The old BraddockRoad across the Alleghany Mountains, was then the only route for the emigrant to this section of the country; and over this rough and tortuous road, winding its way among the hills and rocks of the mountains, this family met and encountered the hardships and privations of emigration, in the hope of bettering their condition in a new home, on the west side of the Alleghanies. The want of a due respect for labor at that time in eastern Va., owing to the existence of the institution of human slavery there, induced and influenced many who had to depend upon their own labor for a living to leave that state, and seek a home, in states where the blighting effects of that institution were not known. Under these circumstances, our late bishop, in his boy-hood, commenced life.
From early parental instruction, and the examplary life of both his parents, who lived to a great age, he became impressed while young, with the importance of religion, and of yielding obedience to its demands. Acting under these convictions, he united himself, with the Mennonite Church; while yet a young man, and during the whole of his long and eventful life, he was faithful and remarkably punctual in the discharge of his christian duties. A remark that he made to his son, Joseph, on the first Sabbath, of his last sickness, shows with what wonderful punctuality he had attended, in the public worship of God, through the whole course of his long life. He remarked on that occasion, "that, that was the first Sabbath, when there was meeting in the neighborhood or church, when he was about home, on which he had failed to attend the public worship of God for sixty years." This also shows, with what remarkable health he was blessed throughout the whole course of his life. The last public occasion at which he was present, was the funeral of his son-in-law, Solomon Honsaker of the Masontown Mennonite Church. In a word of exortation, at that time he said to the concourse of people that he felt a presentiment of that being the last time that he would ever enjoy a public opportunity of calling on them to seek the Lord, or of pointing them to the Lamb of God. This proved to be prophetic; for, in the course of a few days the slight indisposition under which he was laboring at that time, developed a formidable derangement of the stomach which baffled medical skill, and prostrated him in a way, that considering his great age, almost precluded any reasonable hope of his recovery from the commencement of the attack. His patience, and christian fortitude in his final sickness, evinced his faith in the religion that he had professed through life; and his implicit confidence in the promises of God. He frequently assured his friends and brethren during his illness that he enjoyed the comforts of God's grace and Spirit; and that he was fully resigned to the will of his heavenly father in his affliction; believing from the first, that it would finally end in the struggle with his last enemy, death. Of him it may be said with peculiar emphasis, that he died in the triumph of faith; and that his life was a commentary on the Scriptures of divine truth, which he so highly appreciated, and labored so long an faithfully to inculcate upon his fellow-men.
Possessing a vigorous constitution, and uninterrupted health, for a period of fully three score years, he was enabled to stand at his post, in all the various relations that he sustained to the church through life: First as member, next as deacon, then as a preacher, and finally as a bishop. In all these positions he was faithful in the discharge of whatever obligation they respectively imposed upon him. His affable disposition and social habits endeared him to a large circle of friends and relatives; he seemed to be connected by a kind of social affinity with every situation of life, from youth to old age. He spent much of his time for several years previous to his death, in visiting among his children, relatives and friends, and was always greeted with a cordial welcome upon his arrival; and invited upon his departure, with a warm solicitation, "to come again." At a late period of life he frequently made long journeys, in attending the Conferences of the church, and other large meetings. The last journey of any considerable distance, that he made, was to a Conference in Elkhart county, Ind., in October 1872, in the 85th year of his age. This was a journey of nearly five hundred miles, and was accomplished by him without the usual fatigue consequent on advanced age. Upon his return to his home and friends, in his usual good health and spirit, he manifested no indications of weariness from the travel.
For many years, the church in this vicinity, amongst his family and relatives, was mainly supported and upheld by his labors. The first house for public worship, that was build by the church, was erected upon his land. Here, in this church, in the year 1842 he took an active and leading part among the members of the church, in organizing and conducting a Sabbath School. This, it is believed, was the first SABBATH SCHOOL established in the Mennonite Church within the United States.
He was about forty years of age when he was promoted from deacon to preacher, and notwithstanding the great drain upon the membership of the church by emigration to the west, and elsewhere, he lived to see the church grow from a few scattered members, whoc worshiped, principally, for many years, in a small school-house, to a church of near one hundred members, with a large, commodious, and substantial brick-house recently erected at a more central location. The numerous accessions to the church within the last year or two, seemed to be the crowning joy of his life. But he had already long passed his three score years and ten, and was awaiting the call of his Master. Death to him had lost its sting and its terrors. Through its dark valley and shadows, he felt that he would be supported by the rod and staff of Israel's Shepherd, and should fear no evil. What a blessed end! How blest are the dear who die in the Lord! He selected as a text for a funeral sermon, at his burial, Luke 23:28. "But Jesus turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." From the text Elder Joseph I. Cover of the Brethren Church, preached the funeral discourse to a large concourse of people, at the house of Joseph B. Johnson.


July 14th, in Jewell co., Kansas, of Inflammation, Sister LOUISA, wife of Levi JONES, aged 26 years, one month, and 12 days. She leaves a husband and 4 children to mourn their loss; she was sick but six days. Funeral sermon by John Snyder from 1 Peter 1:24, 25.

July 13th, in Westmoreland co., Pa., Bro. DANIEL FRETZ, aged 80 years, 8 months, and 12 days. He was sick but three days. Sermon in English by _____ Shearer, in German by Jonas Blaugh.

July _____, in Bucks co., Pa., MARY ANN, daughter of John M., and Elisabeth SWARTLEY, aged 18 years, 6 months, and 6 days. Services by S. Leatherman, and J. M. Holdeman.

July _____, LEIDY K. son of Rudolph MOYER, aged 11 months, and 23 days. Sermon by J. M. Haldeman and Isaac Richert.

July 17th, in Stephenson co., Ill., of the infirmities of age Sister HANNAH SHELLENBERGER, aged 73 years, 5 months, and 17 days. She was confined to bed but four days. She leaves an aged husband, and 8 children to mourn their loss. On the funeral occasion appropriate remarks were made by Conrad Meyer, and Mathias Eby.

July 22nd, in Holmes co., Ohio, Sister SUSANNA, wife of Pre. Henry KILMER, aged 48 years, 9 months, and 16 days. Jacob Smith, and Henry Walter, of Columbiana county, endeavored to comfort the mourners, on the funeral occasion, from Rev. 14:13.

Jan. 10th, in Ashland co., Ohio, Bro. JACOB SMITH, aged 74 years, and 4 days. Funeral services in English by W. Schwick, from Amos 4:last clause of the 12th verse.

July 3rd, in Cumberland co., Pa., after an illness of over a year, Sister MATTIE, wife of Henry COCKLEY, aged 44 years. This is the third funeral in the family within six months, two children having preceded her, aged 3 and 6 years.

Aug. 9th, in Cumberland co., Pa., JACOB STRICKLER, aged 71 years, 1 month, and 16 days. Services by Geo. Rupp in German, and S. Zimmerman, in English from Heb. 11:26.

July 13th, in Noble county, Ind., a daughter of Jacob and Lydia MILLER, aged 1 year, 10 months, and 11 days. Services in German by Isaac Schmucker, and in English by Jacob Berkey from Psalm 16:5, 6.

July 15th, in Juniata county, Pa., of Typhoid fever, MATILDA SNYDER, aged 16 years, 1 month, and 2 days. She leaves many friends to mourn her early departure. Appropriate remarks were made by Pre. Cobenhaver, and Wm. Graybill.

July 19th, in Juniata county, Pa., of Cancer, Sister CATHARINE GEHMAN, aged 72 years, 1 month, and 27 days. She leaves a husband and 5 children to mourn their loss. Sister Gehman suffered a great deal, yet she bore it with christian fortitude. Funeral sermon, in German by Thomas Graybill and Samuel Winey, in English by Wm. Graybill.

July 22nd, at the residence of his uncle in Washington county, Iowa, of Cholera Infantum, ALVIN B., son of Michael and Sarah BUCHWALTER, aged 3 months, and 5 days.

July 25th, in Howard county, Ind., CATHARINE, daughter of Jacob and Catharine GROFF, aged 14 years, 10 months, and 29 days. Services by Daniel C. Miller.

August 1st, in Lagrange county, Ind., EMELINE, daughter of Lewis and Sarah HENSLER, aged 16 years, 9 months, and 29 days. Sermon by D. C. Miller.

July 25th, in Branch county, Mich. of Consumption, EVA S., daughter of Henry and Louisa TAYLOR, aged 19 years, and 25 days. Funeral services by John Krupp, and D. Brenneman, from Jn. 11:28, 29; Ps. 62, 7. Near her last she said, "All is well."
Rest thee now with thy dear Savior,
In his love securely dwell;
We rejoice that in departing,
Thou hast told us "all is well."

July 28th, in Ohio, JACOB SMELTZER, aged 27 years, 1 month, and 16 days. Sermon by John Hartman, in German, from 2 Tim. 1:12, and _____ Steiner in English, from Micha 2:10.

July 29th, in Wayne county, Ohio of Typhus fever, SAMUEL HUNSPERGER, aged 71 years, 5 months, and 28 days. Funeral discourse by Henry Beery and Geo. Brenneman. Bro. Hunsperger lived without making any profession until he was laid upon his death-bed. About two weeks previous to his death he became alarmed about his dangerous condition, when he manifested a desire to be united with the children of God, and he sealed his faith by receiving baptism. We hope he did what he could in his last days. O, how dangerous it is to defer making peace with God in time of youth and health.

August 6th, in Ashland county, Ohio, of Consumption, SAMUEL BALLY, aged 37 years, 3 months, and 29 days. Funeral sermon by N. Louis in English, from Numbers 23:10, and by J. Hartman in German, from Josh. 27:2.

August 9th, near Sterling, Whiteside county Ill., of Typhoid fever, CAROLINE, daughter of Jacob and Magdalena KEHR, formerly of Ind., aged 16 years, 2 months, and 18 days. She was buried at the old Mennonite Meeting-house on the 11th, followed by a large concourse of mourning friends and relatives. Funeral discourse in German by Henry Nice, from Isa. 38:last clause of 1st verse, and Joseph Moyer in English, from 1 Pet 1:24, 25.

August 13th, in Cass county, Mo., EMMA R. daughter of David and Mary HARTZLER, aged 4 months, and 24 days. Services by J. C. Kenagy.

July 21st, near Dale Enterprize, Rockingham county, Va., of internal Rupture, REUBEN SWOPE. After suffering extremely for a week, he calmnly fell asleep in death, in the hope of a blessed immortality. Just previous to his death, Bish. S. Coffman asked him about his future prospect, to which he replied, that he felt satisfied, and was as well prepared then he thought as he would be at any subsequent time. Quite a marked change had been made in his life for some years before his death. He had been a member of the Mennonite Church about twenty years. He is now in the hands of a just God, but we can say of a truth, that we have a bright hope of his going to rest. May we all be able to meet him in heaven.

August 1st, in New Britain, Bucks county, Pa., GEORGE BARNDT, at the advanced age of 87 years, and 2 days. Services by _____ Yerick, and J. M. Haldeman.

August 17th 1873, in Elkhart co., Ind., of Gravel, which caused him great suffering, ISAAC RODEGAP, aged 72 years, 7 months and 16 days. He was born on the last day of the year 1800. He was sick only about five days, and during that time by the grace of God, he was led to feel the need of a Savior. He saw his lost condition and began to pray with all earnestness for the consolation of redeeming grace, also asking his neighbors to pray for him, and that a minister should be sent for. When the writer reached his bed-side and inquired what he desired, he expressed the wish to be baptized and received into the church. He came to this country at an early day, some 28 years ago, and regretted exceedingly that he had lived here so many years without making a profession of faith. He expressed his willingness to give all for Jesus, and put his whole trust and confidence in him alone for salvation. His funeral was attended by a large number of friends, relatives, and neighbors who deeply deplore their loss, for he was a man beloved and respected, a kind husband, father and neighbor; charitable, generous, and cheerful. He is missed, greatly missed by all, but especially by the deeply afflicted wife and children, but we trust that their loss is his eternal gain. Funeral discourses were delivered by F. Funk and D. Brenneman, from 1 Cor. 15:54, 55, and we trust that he was indeed able to feel that "death is swallowed up in victory," and say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory."

August 3rd, in Hatfield, Montgomery county, Pa., SAMUEL ROSENBERGER, aged about 76 years. Funeral Sermon by Abel Horning, John Allebach, and J. M. Haldeman.

April 12th, in Hickory county, Mo., of Lung fever, CATHARINE, wife of Bishop Charles KOONTZ, aged 33 years, 9 months, and 24 days. Funeral services by Jacob Yoder, and John Klopfenstein.

July 9th, in Center county, Pa., of Dropsy and Heart disease, SARAH JANE, daughter of Henry N., and Magdalena HOLTER, aged 13 years, 6 months, and 26 days. Buried on the 10th, in Schenk's burying-ground. Sermon by Avery Long, in English, and by Frederic Pletcher, in German, from Col. 3:3, 4.

[Ps. 62, 7, Micha 2:10 and calmnly transcribed as written.]

Transcribed by Ruth Schrock, Indiana

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