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Blanchard, Oscar B. 1823-1895


Posted By: Bart Hamlett (email)
Date: 3/17/2016 at 20:26:52

The subject of this sketch was born April 16, 1823 in Centerville, Allegany County, N.Y., and finished his life May 11th 1895, at his residence in Edgewood, Iowa, being at the time of his death seventy two years and twenty five days old.
His father, Lewis Blanchard, was a native of Vermont, settling in 1814 or 1815 upon the farm where the subject of our sketch was born. His mother, Deborah (Wheeler ) Blanchard was a native of Connecticut, and the lineage of descent showed her ancestors to have been passengers upon the historic Mayflower.
His parents were bith consistent and faithful members of the Presbyterian church. Oscar remained upon his fathers farm until his majority, helping clear land and engaging in other farm work during the summer, and attending school during the winter months.
In early years he developed a love of music which followed him through his life. He played several instruments very skillfully, had an exceptionally correct ear, and in earlier life was a band leader of much notoriety.
After reaching manhood he spent a year or two at Warren, Penn., driving stage. Returning to his old home he worked for his father one or two years, and then embarked for the western wilds of Wisconsin.
He lived for several years at Oak Grove in that state, engaging in teaming from that place to Milwaukee, a distance of sixty-two miles. His business consisted in carrying produce of all description, and in moving emigrants to their new homes in different parts of the country, an occupation at that time quote remunerative.
On the 21st of March 1863, he was married to Miss Mary Stoll, of Beaver Dam, Wis., and until his removal to Iowa, that city became his home.
In the year 1871 he visited his brother, Dr. L. Blanchard, who was living near the village of Yankee Settlement, Iowa. At this time the railroad was just being built through this section, and his keen insight into affairs, told him that this was destined to be an important business center. Returning two years later, in company with his brother he purchased a tract of land, and platted what was then the village of Edgewood, subsequently the name was adopted by the railroad company, the post office department, and the later additions to the town. A general merchandise business, with a drug department was established under the firm name of O.B. & L. Blanchard, in which he continued for about seven years.
In 1885 he received the appointment of post master, holding the same during the subsequent four years. Retiring from the government employ, he became President of the Bank of Edgewood, a position he held until his death.
For a number of years he had been troubled with a bronchleal affection, but which was not considered alarming. The last day of his life, he was at the bank during business hours, apparently as well as usual.
Returning home the hours before retiring were spent in cheerful conversation. Shortly after lying down, he experienced a choking sensation, which he attributed to his old malady. His wife arose to administer the usual remedies, but without the usual success. His last words were, " I am different than I ever was before. " The faithful wife seeing his danger of falling upon the floor, supported him to a reclining position upon the bed, when without a struggle the spirit took its flight to the "Great Unknown."
The deceased has been so long identified with the business interests of the town, in th progress of which he manifested such a deep interest, that he will be greatly missed in financial as well as social circles.
Honorable and upright in all his dealings, he was nevertheless, careful and conservative, and by prudent business methods accumulated a handsome property.
During his life, he held many offices of public trust and honor, conferred upon him by his fellow citizens, in all of which he proved himself capable.
He leaves three children, all of whom are well known and highly respected in the community. Clara is the wife of Charles Hesner, a prosperous farmer residing near town; Lewis B. has been associated with his father in the bank as cashier and general manager; and Charles B. is a student of the Northwestern College of Pharmacy at Chicago, from whence he was summoned by telegram, to a place beside the silent form of his father.
To these children and the bereaved wife, who is highly esteemed by all with whom she is acquainted, the entire community extend sincere sympathy.
Not only is the house darkened, but there is not a citizen of the town, who will not miss the familiar form and pleasant greetings of the departed. Mr. Blanchard was a member of the Masonic fraternity.
The funeral services were conducted at the family residence, by Rev. J.W. Elser. A large concourse gathered to attest their regard for the one thus suddenly called from their midst, and to silently followed his remains to their resting place in the Edgewood Cemetery.
R.J. Bixby
( as printed in the Elkader Register May 24, 1895 )


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