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Warner, Esther (Carter) Griswold 1820-1901


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 4/14/2018 at 23:59:17

A Notable Woman
- reprinted from the Nebraska State Journal

Notice has already been made of the death and burial of Mrs. Esther Warner of Roca. It seems fitting, however that something more be said of the life and influence of one who has been widely recognized as among the most notable of the pioneer women of Nebraska.

Mrs. Esther Warner, whose maiden name was Miss Esther L. Carter, was born June 16, 1820, in Talmage, O. She was married at the age of eighteen to William Griswold, who died four years later.

In 1844 Mrs. Griswold married Amos Warner, M.D. and a few years later they changed their residence to Elkader, Ia., at which place they lived until Dr. Warner's death in 1861.

Mrs. Warner was the mother of nine children, of whom two died in infancy and three in early childhood. Her oldest daughter, Estella Griswold, who later became Mrs. S.B. Galey of Lincoln, died in 1873. It will be two years next January since her youngest child, Dr. A.G. Warner closed his brief, but active career; so that but two of her family survive her. Mr. Haskell Warner and Dr. Emma W. Demaree, both of whom reside near Roca.

In 1863, in company with relatives, she made a trip overland to south-eastern Nebraska, where some of the family had already located. This trip was made chiefly for the benefit of her son Amos, who was a delicate child of one and one-half years. While on this trip, she took a homestead, and the next year, brought her family from Iowa.

One can scarcely appreciate what an undertaking this trip was for this courageous mother. There were no railroads, not only the family but the household goods had to be transported in wagons. The city of Lincoln was undreamed of. The nearest market was Nebraska City, fifty-five miles distant. A house must be built and the prairie sod must be broken in readiness for cultivation the following year. Now began to come into prominence the latent forces of her strong character. All the hardships of any pioneer life were present and a few peculiar to Nebraska. To quote from a paper written by Mrs. Warner on "Women as Farmers," and read before the council of women in Washington, D.C., in 1888:

"Some of the experiences of farming for over twenty years, its failures and successes, might be of interest but time forbids, suffice it to say we succeeded in raising as many chickens to the acre as our neighbors. When the drouth killed our trees we planted more; grasshoppers came and we were short on pickles, but we never sent east for help and we didn't eat grasshoppers either.

"The experiment in farming still goes on; there is a firm consisting of mother and son; the junior member acts as executive, but the senior is not a silent partner."

Hurried and pressed as she often was by the stress and strain of work both inside of the house and out, for at times it was impossible to procure help, she yet found time for the cultivation of both minds and hearts of her children. Among their cherished memories are the Sunday afternoons when she read aloud from the Book of books. while on the table of her sitting room were found "The New York Tribune," "The New York Independent," "The Atlantic Monthly," "The Youth's Companion," and "Our Young Folks," and for one while, all of the Harper's publications.

Perhaps her own explanation of this gives the key note of her intellectual life. "It is expensive, but I cannot help it. We have to know something of what goes on in the world about us."

But the horizon of Mrs. Warner's vision and activities were not bounded by the needs of her own home and family. She was a member of the school board of her district for years. She was interested in the temperance cause and in Sunday school work.

One of the interests that lay very near her heart was that of woman's suffrage. She was vice president of her judicial district, and in the campaign of 1882 she spoke at many places.

She looked upon education as a priceless heritage. She borrowed money at 12 per cent interest to send her children east to school. When remonstrated with by her brother, who was her business adviser she said, "Since I brought my children west away from these better advantages I must arrange that they shall have them at any cost."

The most casual acquaintance recognized in Mrs. Warner a superior woman; her friends know her to be a very "tower of strength." She was both progressive and aggressive. Nothing daunted by difficulties, her resourceful and active mind always found a way 'over or around.' Hardship and sorrow, she was acquainted with; but they left no bitter, morbid trace in her happy cheerful life.

With a firm faith in God and His abiding love, she did with the utmost diligence and faithfulness all that was hers to do. She was truth itself - her "word was a good as her bond." She was always ready to assist the needy, or to administer to the sick.

In these closing years of her life, her mind has been as active as in younger years. She has followed her children in their business and professional lives with keenest interest, at the same time keeping herself in touch with all events of world-wide interest.

She was revered and loved by her neighbors and friends.

"No life cam be pure in its purpose and strong in its strife,
And all life not be purer and stronger thereby."

And so her memory will always be an inspiration. Hers was a well ordered life, and in harmony with her life was her death. With almost prophetic foresight, she had in her normal, cheerful way arranged for her departure as if but for a little longer voyage than she had before taken. The loving ministry of her children was received with equal love and with kindliest appreciation; but there was no regret that the measure of her life was spent.

It seemed most fitting when on Wednesday morning, October 16, the Heavenly Father called her hence that it should be at sunrise -

"There is no death; what seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but the suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death."

~The Clayton County Register, Thursday evening, November 7, 1901

Note: Dr. Amos Warner is buried in the East Side cemetery, Elkader. Esther is buried in the Roca Cemetery, Lancaster co., Nebraska, with their son Amos G. who was born just 2 months after his father's death. Also buried with them is Cora Warner, who I believe is Amos' wife. The dates on her gravestone are 06/16/1820-10/16/1901.


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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