22 March 2013

Obituary--Silas A. Harris

This obituary is another of our area Civil War veterans.  It is another of those who just amaze me by how much they traveled in this era in the last half of the 19th century.  This particular obituary is a bit hard to decipher in places, but still is a great example of the mobility of America in the late Victorian age. 
From the 28 July 1938 Fremont Times Indicator:

Silas A. Harris, 92, Is Taken By Death
Civil War Veteran Stricken By Heart Ailment At Grandson's Home Saturday.
Silas A. Harris, 92-year-old veteran of the civil War and one of the oldest residents of Fremont, died Saturday at the home of Ernest Dewey, his grandson, with whom he had been living for about sixteen months.  Death was the result of a heart attack. Funeral services were held from the Crandall & Ensing Funeral Home Tueaday afternoon and were conducted by Rev. Clyde E. Pickett, pastor of the Church of Christ.  burial was made at Maple Grove cemetery
Mr. Harris was born in Iroquois county, Illinois, September 15, 1845 and spent his boyhood at that place.  When he was 17 he was accepted for military service with the Third Iowa Cavalry, Company K, in the Civil War.  He saw about 22 1/2 years service.  At the close of the war he returned to Illinois to a farm but later moved to a homestead in Oregon where he lived until about 10 years ago.  He was chaplain of the Rawlin Post, G.A. R. of Heppner, Ore. until it was disbanded.  Mr. harris was the last survivor of his company in the war.  He is survived by ten children, Mrs. Carrie Phillips of Denver, Col.; Mrs. Nora Dewey, Fremont; Mrs. Lula Phillips, Bradegate, Ia.; Mrs. Irene Martin, Minneapolis, Minn.; Earl Harris, Arizona; Harvey Harris, Chicago; Harley Harris, Danville, Ill; Mrs. Hattie Redman, Benton Harbor; Mrs. Edna Newnes, Pontiac; Mrs. Gladys Hendricks, Sioux City Ia.  He also leaves 50 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.  His wife died 18 years ago.

I was rather surprised to find that this obituary received a prominent place on the front page of the paper.  I mean he couldn't have lived in the town more than 10 years, as that is how long ago he left Oregon.  The other thing I got a bit of a chuckle of was how his family was scattered all across the country. 

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