1907 Gospel Witness Obituaries

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Week 1: - Volume 3, Number 14 - July 3, 1907, page 223, 224

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PETERSON - Benjamin Francis, only son of Theodore and Maud Peterson, was born June 2, 1906; died June 15, 1907, near Norfolk, Va., aged one year and fourteen days. Budded on earth; is blooming in heaven.

CLOUSER - Bro. George Clouser died at the home of his daughter in DuBois, Pa., May 31, of old age, together with dropsy of the heart; aged 81y. 4m. 15d. He was buried at Rockton, June 3. Funeral services were held at the Mennonite Church by E. J. Blough. May the Lord help us to be faithful while we live so that we may meet with those who have died, "happy in the Lord."

SHANK - Samuel Shank died at the home of his brother, William, near Markham, Ont., on June 1, 1907. Deceased was received into the Mennonite Church some years ago but for the last few years has not been as active as formerly. A few weeks before his death he expressed a desire to take his place as before and he longed for the communion.
Burial on the 3, at the Wideman Church. Funeral was conducted by L. J. Burkholder. Text, II Cor. 5:1.

GERBER - Mary (Swartz) Gerber, wife of Bro. Ben A. Gerber, was born in Wayne Co., 0., June 13, 1856; died in Harper Co., Kansas, June 15, 1907; aged 5ly. 2d. She was converted at the age of 17 and united with the Swiss Mennonite Church. Since she resided in Kansas she was a consistent member of the Mennonite Church in Harper Co.
Funeral on the 17, at the Pleasant Valley Church, conducted by T. M. Erb and B. L. Horst. Text, Isa. 35:10.

HOOVER - Elisabeth (Reesor) Hoover died of the infirmities of old age at the home of her son, Pre. Samuel R. Hoover, near Markham, Ont., on June 17, 1907, at the ripe age of 91 y. 2 m. 8 d.
Deceased gave her heart to God and united with the church in her girlhood. She continued faithful till death, which covered a period of about 75 years. She was united in marriage with Bro. John S. Hoover, with whom she lived for 46 years, when they were parted by death. To this happy union were born 14 children, 53 grandchildren and 82 great-grandchildren. Funeral was conducted at the Wideman Church on the 19, by L. J. Burkholder and Christian Gehman. The text used was II Cor. 5:7,8 and was selected by Sister Hoover a few years before her death.

LANDIS - Near Mechanicsburg, Upper Leacock Twp., Lancaster Co., on June 12, of hemorrhage of the bowels, Bro. Reuben Landis died suddenly; aged 60y. 8m. 11d. He was in falling health for about five months, but retired on Sunday evening as usual. About midnight he became worse and expired the nex
t morning.
The deceased was a son of Christian R. and Hettie S. Landis. The following brothers and sisters survive: Adam L. of East Lampeter, Milton L. of Upper Leacock, and Lydia A., wife of Solomon Herr of Upper Leacock, with whom he had his home. Bro. Landis was a member of the Mennonite Church. He was buried at Stumptown Mennonite Church, June 20, where a large concourse of relatives assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to the departed brother and to show their sympathy to the bereaved ones.
Funeral services were conducted by Noah Landis at the house and Isaac Eby at the church. Peace to his ashes.

FINK - Malinda Lamb Fink, wife of Bro. Michael Fink, departed this life June 17, 1907, at the age of 33y. 6m. 18d. She together with her husband united with the Mennonite Church Apr. 22, 1906, and were identified with the congregation at White Hall in the Hopkin's Gap community, Rockingham Co., Va.
A three weeks old infant preceded her to the grave, and after many weeks of suffering she herself followed the little one. The occasion of her sickness and death has been the means for softening the hearts and awakening the sympathy of many people in the community in which she lived. Funeral services for both mother and child were held at White Hall on the 18, by L. J. Heatwole.

HEATWOLE - On Sunday near noon, June 16, 1907, at the home of his daughter, Margaret Ford, at Clover Hill, Rocking-ham Co., Va., the spirit consciousness of John D. Heatwole passed from earth into the unseen world. His occupation from early manhood having been that of a potter, he hal(sic) long been well and widely known as "Potter John." The cause of death was cancer of the stomach, from which he lingered four or five months. He was born August 18, 1826, and consequently at the time of his death had reached the ripe age of 80y. 9m. 28d. It was on the 28, day of March 1852, that he and his wife, whose name was Coffman, were received into fellowship with the Mennonite Church by baptism at the place now known as the Bank M. H. This date is significant because on the same day and at the same place there were also eighteen or twenty other persons received-most of whom were young married couples like themselves.
The meeting house at this place had been built but a few years before, and it was from this ingathering of young people that the prosperity of the congregation dates its beginning.
Bro. Heatwole's name has figured prominently in the history of the Mennonites in Virginia, he being one of the number whose faith as to the nonresistant principle was the most sorely tested and tried during the period of the Civil War. The account appearing in the Virginia department of "Hartzler & Kauffman's" History of the Mennonites with reference to the brother who spent many weary months in a lonely cabin in the mountains as a fugitive from military service, and he who was the first to make the nonresistant faith from military service in the part of West Virginia where active mission work is now being carried on, was Bro. John D. Heatwole, the subject of this sketch. It is noted as being a peculiar coincidence that death came at the hour when the congregation with which he was so long associated, were assembled in worship.
He is survived by three sons and four daughters, his wife having preceded him in death about 15 years.
Funeral on the afternoon of the 17, at the Bank M. H, the service being conducted by J. S. Martin and G. D. Heatdole(sic?).

Week 2: - Volume 3, Number 15 - July 10, 1907, page 239, 240

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YODER - Harry Jonathan, son of John and Fanny Yoder, was born July 9, 1906, and died June 21, 1907; aged 11 m. 12d. Funeral services conducted at the Shore M. H. Lagrange Co., Ind., on June 23, by Yost C. Miller and S. E. Weaver, from Matt. 19:14.

WISE - Hannah C. Humbert was born May 11, 1834, in Franklin Co., Pa., died June 27, 1907; aged 73 y. 1 m. 16 d. She was married to Amos C. McCulloh, who died Dec. 26, 1876. To this union were born eleven children, of which nine survive. In the year 1884 she came to Illinois. She was again married to Sam Wise in 1887, who died Dec. 15, 1905. Funeral services were held June 30, at the Mennonite Church, Morrison, Ill., where quite a number of people had come together. Services were conducted by Jno. Zook and Jno. Nice. Text, John 19:27 and Mark 14:8.
She was a consistent member of the Mennonite Church. We have no reason to mourn as those who have no hope.

BECHTEL-Sarah (Miller), widow of the late Joseph Bechtel of Waterloo Co., Ont., was born Nov. 28, 1828; died June 22, 1907; aged 78y. 6m. 24d.
Bro. and Sister Bechtel were married April 18, 1842. To this union were born six sons and six daughters. Two sons preceded her to the spirit world as also her husband about eleven years ago, thus leaving ten children t
o mourn the loss of a loving and affectionate mother. She bore her affliction patiently, having suffered from dropsy a number of years.
Funeral on June 25, 1907, when her remains were quietly laid away in the cemetery adjoining the Wanner Church. Services at the house by A. B. Snyder and at the church by J. S. Woolner in English and M. C. Bowman in German.

GEHMAN - Lavina H. Good was born April 30, 1854, and was married to David S. Gehman on March 8, 1877. To this union were born eleven children. One son and one daughter preceded her to the spirit world. Husband, four sons and five daughters survive. She died near Pennsburg, Pa., June 16, 1907, of apoplexy; aged 53 y. 1 m. 16 d. Funeral services were held on June 22, conducted by Noah Mack. The remains were taken to the Hereford Mennonite meeting house at Bally where another service was held by Andrew Mack and Jacob Hunsberger. Interment in the graveyard adjoining. Rest in peace.

SEITZ - Sister Mary Seitz, widow of the late Jno. Seitz, died June 3, 1907, at her home in Rohrerstown, Pa. She was a sufferer from heart trouble for some months, and was in the 85th year of her age. She was a daughter of the late Abram Mellinger, and was born in Manor township near Mountville; but since her marriage she lived in the vicinity of Rohrerstown. She was a member of the Old Mennonite Church at Rohrerstown for about 50 years where her seat at church services was seldom vacant, so long as her health permitted her to be there. She is survived by one daughter, Annie Musser, wife of Martin Musser of Rohrerstown, one brother, Daniel Mellinger of Winchester, Va., and three sisters. Services were held at her late home at 9 o'clock on Friday morning by Elias Hershey, of the Reformed Mennonite denomination, and at the Mennonite Church at Rohrerstown, by Abram Herr, D. N. Lehman and A. D. Wenger. Interment in the Mennonite cemetery. Peace to her ashes, and may her virtues be long remembered.

HERSHEY - Sister Anna Hershey, widow of the late Bro. Samuel M. Hershey, died at Hanover, Pa., June 15, 1907; aged 77y. 5m. 14d.
She is survived by five sons and four daughters, all of whom have turned to live for the Lord.
Sister Hershey had been an invalid for six years and seven months, but was afflicted for the last fifty years. She has set forth for us an example, teaching us that though we are afflicted we should never murmur and always be willing to submit to the commands of the Lord. During all these years of her affliction she was never heard to murmur or complain about her condition. Funeral services were held June 18, by J. C. Miller and Daniel Stump. Text, Job 14:14,15. Interment was made at the Bair Church, on the York Road about two and a half miles from Hanover.

YODER - Cornelius D. Yoder was born in Somerset Co., Pa., May 21, 1841; died June 21, 1907, not far from his place of birth; aged 66y. 1m.
About a month before his death he left for a trip to the east to visit friends and relatives once more on this side of eternity for which the Lord granted him time. He had about finished visiting in Somerset Co., and was staying over night at the home of an uncle, Benedict Yoder, when the next morning shortly after rising he died very suddenly of apoplexy. He was a faithful member of the A. M. Church. One bright cheering face will be seen no more. He will be greatly missed in the home and the community. His residence at the time of his death was in Iowa Co., Iowa. He was married to Barbara Hostetler who passed to eternity about nine years ago. To them were born five children, four of whom survive, together with eighteen grandchildren and many other relatives.
His remains were brought to Wellman, Iowa, June 24, the funeral being held the next day at the Upper Deer Creek Church by Wm. K. Miller and G. A. Yoder. Text, Hebrews 4:9: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." He was laid to rest in the cemetery near by.


Week 3: - Volume 3, Number 16 - July 17, 1907, page 256

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ANDREAS - Mary H. Rutt was born in Lancaster Co., Pa., June 24, 1851; died July 5, 1907. At the age of 18 she, with her parents, came west, and located near Sterling, Ill., where she spent the remainder of her life. On Oct. 28, 1869, she was married to Mart
in Andreas. To this union were born 2 sons and 8 daughters, all of whom survive her. For many years she was a faithful member of the Science Ridge Mennonite Church. She was loved by all who knew her because of her devoted Christian life.
Funeral services were held on July 7, conducted by A. C. Good. A large concourse of people gathered to pay the last tribute of respect to one whom they so dearly loved.

STOUFFER - Noah Stouffer, of North Lima, Ohio, died July 3, 1907, after three days sickness of stoppage of the bowels. He, like many others, put off the all-important part of life, the salvation of the soul, until the last hour. Through the mercy of God he was permitted, one hour before he died, to be baptized by Pre. Allen Rickert. He was conscious untilthe last. He leaves a sorrowing wife, two children, mother, two brothers, five sisters, seventeen nephews and one niece. He was born Oct. 19, 1877. Aged 29y. 8m. 15d.
Buried July 6, at the North Lima burying ground, where the house was filled with people who had come to pay the last tribute of respect. Services were conducted by Allen Rickert, assisted by E. M. Detweiler. Text, Gen. 2:7.

KING - Lydia Maude King, only daughter of David M. and Jemima King was born in McArthur Twp., Logan Co., Ohio, Dec. 2, 1883; died at the home of her parents in Liberty Twp., Logan Co., Ohio, June 29, 1907; aged 23y. 6m. 27d.
At the age of sixteen she realized her lost condition and accepted Christ as her personal Savior and became a member of the Amish Mennonite Church
. The hand of affliction was soon laid upon her and she never regained her former health. She led an earnest Christian life, though much of the time unable to attend the house of worship. Sometime before her death she requested to be anointed which was done on June 1, 1907 by D. J. Johns and David Plank and from that time on she was fully persuaded that God would restore her to health, if it was His will, and if not, He would still order and direct her life to His glory. She bore the most intense suffering with great Christian fortitude and was an inspiration to all whose privilege it was to minister to her during her sikness(sic). She often spoke of the joys of Christian service and longed for the time to come to depart this life and be at rest.
She leaves, father, mother, one brother and a wide circle of friends and acquaintances to mourn the loss of a faithful, loving daughter and affectionate sister. She will be sadly missed in the home where she took such a great interest, but we feel our loss is her eternal gain. She has finished her earthly career of suffering and is now at rest. God grant that we may be prepared to meet her.
Funeral services were held Monday, July 1, at South Union Church, conducted by C. K. Yoder in German and Abednego Miller in English from II Cor. 5:1. Interment in the Alexander Cemetery on the DeGraff road. A Brother.

STEMEN - Catharine Stemen departed this life on the evening of July 4, 1907; aged 69y. 8m. 1d.
She was born in Franklin Co. Pa., November 3, 1837, and came to Ohio with her parents, Abraham and Catharine Lehman over 65 years ago. They located on the old homestead now owned by the heirs of Abr. S. Lehman near Canal Winchester. She was married to Benoni Stemen (the now bereaved husband) on June 10, 1856, this holy bond continuing for over 51 years. The following year after her marriage she, with her husband, united with the Mennonite Church and continued a faithful member up to her death, always exhibiting in her life the true characteristics of piety, giving an example to all around of her faith in the Redeemer of the world. She was kind and considerate and tender in the management of the affairs of her home and in the discharge of her natural duties, tenderly devoted to her children ready to make any sacrifice for their comfort and happiness, but always inculcating, both by precept and example the principles of Christianity. She was a faithful wife, a kind mother, and a good neighbor, ever ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Her long life in this community is an open book to all who knew her family and the church of her choice. She is survived by her husband, four sons, George, Martin. Andrew and Benoni, all living near the old home, and three daughters, Leah, in Van Wert Co., 0., Rachel, living near the family home, and Catharine, in Allen Co., 0., fifteen grand children, seven brothers and sisters, with a very large number of relatives and friends who mourn her death, but not as those who have no hope. Many of her relatives have passed on before, among them four brothers, one sister and two of her grandchildren.
Funeral services were held July 7. at Pickerington Mennonite Church, near the home, by John Blosser. Text, Rev. 11:12.
The church house could not contain all the relatives and friends that were present to pay the last tribute of respect to the departed sister.

Week 4: - Volume 3, Number 17 - July 24, 1907, page 272

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SCHMITT - Delton, second son of Moses and Leah Schmitt died near Carstairs, Alberta, May 29; aged 5 m. 14 d. Little Delton had the whooping cough and convulsions, death relieving him after a week of suffering. In this time he had 62 attacks of convulsions. Funeral, Friday afternoon, May 81, at the West Zion Church. Services by Pre. Israel R. Shantz. Text, Mark 10:14: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God."

BRENNEMAN - Mary, wife of Samuel J. Brenneman, maiden name Otto, died at her home near Bittinger, Md., July 10, 1907, at the age of 66y. 10m. 19d. Funeral was held in the Bittinger Ev. Lutheran house, July 12, Interment in adjacent cemetery. Preaching in English from the text, "He giveth his beloved sleep," by J. B. Shoup, and in German from the text, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city," by J. B. Miller.
Deceased was a member of the Amish Mennonite church.

Week 5: - Volume 3, Number 18 - July 31, 1907, page 287

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MILLER - Aaron Miller of Emma, Lagrange Co., Ind., died of cancer on July 15, 1907; aged 76y. 5m. He was the father of 14 children, all of which are living except the youngest. All but three of the children living were present at the funeral. Services were conducted at the Emma church by Jonathan J. Troyer in German from the text, John 5:24, 25, and Y. C. Miller in English. Text, John 7:9, 19. He is survived by a sorrowing companion, 13 children and many relatives and friends.

BEHMER - Henry Behmer died at his home in Canton, Ohio, July 19, 1907; aged 36y. 3m. 14d.
He frequently attended services at the Mennonite Mission, but was not ready to surrender to the Lord until one week before his death, when he, in a penitential way accepted Christ and was baptized, from which time he expressed peace with God. About two hours before his death he spoke of his Savior's being near and precious to him. He leaves a wife and two daughters who will miss him very much. Funeral on Sunday afternoon at the Mennonite Church conducted by I. J. Buchwalter and E. M. Detweiler. Text, I Sam. 20:18.

ZEISET - Sister Barbara Zeiset, widow of Abraham Zeiset of Lancaster, Pa., was relieved of her sufferings by death July 16, 1907, at the age of 81 years. The sister had been confined to her chair for about three and one half years, not being able to lie down. She was afflicted with dropsy. In one of her last days she remarked, "It is my lot to drink the bitter cup of suffering to the last drop." It certainly was true in her case, yet it was done without murmuring. She had neither brothers nor sisters living any more.
The funeral took place Thursday afternoon, July 18, 1907. Services at the house by Bro. E. M. Shellenberger and at the Lancaster Church by Bro. Abram Herr and Bro. John L. Landis. Interment was made at Mellingers. Peace to her ashes.

DOLLIN - Carrie, infant daughter of John and _______ Dollin of Wellman, Iowa, passed quietly away July 3, 1907; aged 6m. 13d. She was sick with tuberculosis of the brain for about two weeks, It seemed that all medical aid and loving hands could do was of no avail. God thought it best to call her home where there is no pain or woe.
Funeral services were held at West Union, July 5, conducted by D. D. Kaufman and JJ. K. Yoder. Text, Luke 18:16 17. The remains were laid to rest in the Yoder cemetery. Let us all live such lives that we may meet those gone before. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away.

How happy is this little one,
Which Jesus Christ has blest;
Come, let us praise Him with our songs,
For taking her to rest.

SCHLABAUGH - John Schlabaugh departed this life on July 7, 1907; aged 46y. 6m. 2d.
He was a faithful member of the Amish Mennonite church a brother of noble character, kind-hearted and willing to lend a helping hand. He will be greatly missed in the home, church and Sunday school. He gave us many good thoughts in Sunday school, which will be a great help to us if we wish to follow them. He left every evidence that it was well with his soul. We greatly miss him everywhere, but hope and trust our loss is his eternal gain.
He had been afflicted for some time with liver trouble but was able again to attend church services and Sunday School, as he said he would rather suffer a little than stay away from the house of God. He gave his family good advice before leaving them. He leaves a wife, six sons and three daughters and many relatives and friends to mourn his departure.
Funeral was held Tuesday, July 9, at the Lower Deer Creek Church, where a large concourse of friends gathered to pay their last tribute of respect.
Funeral services were conducted by Peter P. Swartzendruber and J. F. Swartzendruber in German and Gideon Yoder in English. May God comfort the bereaved ones that they may say, What God does is well done.

METZLER.-On July 12, 1907, near Kinzer, Lancaster Co., Pa., of paralysis. Abram Metzler, Sr., died, aged 85y. 3m. 18d. Bro. Metzler leaves a sorrowing companion and the following children: Christian, on the home farm; Annie, wife of Pre. Saml. Hess of Shiremanstown, Pa., Susan, wife of Jacob S. Rohrer of near Lancaster City and Bish. Abram Metzler of Blair Co., Pa. Henry and Isaac preceded their father to the spirit world some years ago. Also 36 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren are left to mourn his departure. Bro. Metzler was a strong supporter and defender of the Mennonite Church for many years. He was much interested in Christian work and an active member until he was stricken down about four weeks before his death. He had the satisfaction to see all his own children and the greater part of his grandchildren connect themselves with the church that he so dearly loved. He was one of the first Sunday school workers in this locality and was a S. S. scholar at the time of his death. Bro. Metzler had no fear of death, but had a bright hope for the future world. He will be missed in the home and in the church but we trust that our loss is his eternal gain. Funeral on the 15, with services at the house by John B. Senger and at Hershey's church by Am
os H. Hoover and Isaac Eby. Text, Heb. 13:12-15.
L. H.

Transcribed by Ron Garber, Kansas
Copyright 1999 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected portions of these images to tell their family stories. May not be mass-produced in any form for commercial purposes.