FRANCIS, WILLIAMS, REYNOLDS, SMITH, COPLEY, BROWNELL, BROWN
Posted By: IAGenWeb Volunteer
Date: 11/13/2013 at 21:24:35
DIED FRANCIS. In Spirit Lake, April 9th, John Francis, aged eighty-four years.
One by one the rugged characters of 1800, who sparsely populated the immediate vicinity of the lakes, are summoned to their reward, a reward embracing eternal happiness, measured by acts and deeds done in the flesh. Who so fully has earned the everlasting blessings of a well spent life as the brave men who crossed the trackless prairies in the early days and made possible the marvelous development of northwestern Iowa? Dangers and privations were encountered in those days which made brave hearts quake, but the situation was met with a determined purpose and unfaltering hand by the little band of settlers, of whom John Francis was an honored and most helpful member.
The writer has known the deceased for nearly forty years in days of prosperity and adversity. If in all those years he ever committed a malicious act or betrayed a friend it is not known to this community. Comparatively poor in purse in later years, he was rich in sunny disposition and the love and devotion of a family to whom he has always been a source of marked help and comfort. Following a slight paralytic stroke some six years since he has been feeble, but able to be about much of the time and enjoy life, afflictions of the flesh never marring his jovial disposition. Tuesday evening between five and six o’clock the second stroke came and at 1:30 a.m. the gentle spirit took flight.
John Francis was born at Utica, New York, May 20th, 1835. He was the son of John and Helen (Williams) Francis, natives of Wales. His father died when he was six months old and his mother soon went to England and remained there fourteen years. They returned to Oneida county, New York, and residing there and in Canada about ten years. A home was then established in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, where he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza A. Reynolds, the surviving widow, January 15th, 1835 [?]. Oshkosh was the family home until 1840, when the journey overland was made to the east shore of East Okoboji lake, where a camp was pitched on what has since been known as the Francis homestead, and which still remains in the family. Mr. Francis enlisted in the civil war in 1861 and served his country three years, receiving an honorable discharge. In 1864 he was elected sheriff of Dickinson county, serving one term and refusing to permit his name to be again used in that connection.
Deceased was the father of twelve children, five of whom survive him: T. J., Bart L., and Leslie E. Francis, and Mrs. Joseph A. Smith and Mrs. Anna Copley, all of this place. Mrs. E. L. Brownell preceded him to the other shore one year ago yesterday. Johnny, who went west thirty years and has never been heard from is presumed to be dead. Five died at an early age.
Services were conducted at the house of L.E. Francis by Rev. E. Winslow Brown at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, and were attended by the members of Winget Post in a body, of which deceased was a member. The post joined in the services at the cemetery.
Source unknown, year of death unknown
Dickinson Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
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