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Oscar A. Mead 1847-1914


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 11/7/2010 at 17:40:33

Passed to His Reward
“Pony” Mead Dies At Sanitarium In Catonsville, Md.
Brought Here for Burial
Laid to Rest in Beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery by the Side of His Wife

O. A. Mead, better known to the majority of Estherville people as “Pony” Mead, died at a private sanitarium in Catonsville, Md., Tuesday, March 31st, after an illness extending over several months. About a year ago Mr. Mead went to Salisbury, Md., to visit hi son, M. O. Mead, thinking that a change of climatic condition would prove beneficial to his declining health, but the ravages of time had taken hold of the frame that enclosed this noble spirit and nature was insistent in its demands.

O. A. Mead was a native of New York state, having been born at Clarence, in 1846. When a very young man the Western fever burned fiercely in his veins and the lure of the prairie and mountain slope proved so strong that the early sixties found him running a stage and pony express across the trackless wastes of land lying in the remote regions of Iowa, and on into Denver. Mr. Mead had, during the heyday of his pony express, many passengers of national repute. Horace Greeley, Mark Twain and other men of prominence in the world’s affairs were his patrons in those balmy days, and Mr. Mead never grew tired of delineating upon the characteristics of his famous charges. Later on deceased located at McGregor, Iowa, and for several years continued the stage line between that place and Osage. In 1891 he located in Estherville, where he has since resided. He was identified with several business connections, but in the early days of his residence here conducted the old Burlington Hotel. About eight years ago his wife passed into the Great Beyond, and was buried in Oak Hill cemetery.

Deceased leaves to mourn his demise a son, M. O. Mead, of Salisbury, Md., and a daughter, Mrs. C. A. Nancolas, of Omaha, Neb. The remains were brought to this city, arriving here Saturday morning, and funeral services were conducted at the grave in Oak Hill cemetery, under auspices of the local Elk Lodge, of which he was a member. Rev. Hock, of the Episcopal church, assisted in the ritualistic ceremony.

The passing away of “Pony” Mead takes from the ranks of the pioneers of this country one of the strongest characters. He was a man of marked personality, and made friends readily and retained them ever afterward. Had he ever completed a book of reminiscences on the early days of the great Midwest from out of the storehouse of his personal experiences what excellent reading could we of the present generation have enjoyed. His acquaintance among men of high standing in the councils of the nation was very extensive, and it will be with genuine regret that they learn that this noble old type of manhood which is so rapidly becoming extinct has passed into his reward.

To the sorrowing children of the deceased the Democrat wishes to join a host of friends in extending sincere sympathy and condolence. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, April 8, 1914)

“Pony” Mead Dies in Baltimore
Is Brought to Estherville for Burial By the Side of His Wife in Oak Hill Cemetery
Conspicuous Figure in Iowa
Proprietor of Old Burlington Hotel in Early Days in Estherville. Later Conducted European Hotel

On the 31st of March Oscar A. Mead passed away in a sanitarium in a Baltimore, Maryland, suburban town, aged 67 years, 2 months and 27 days. The body was brought to Estherville for burial in Oak Hill cemetery Saturday morning, April 4th. The Elks, of which organization deceased was a highly respected member, had charge of the burial services.

“Pony” Mead, a name by which he was known all over Iowa, was a conspicuous character in many ways. He gained the name of “Pony” from the fact that he rode the “pony express” in an early day out of Denver to the west and gained an enviable reputation for his bravery and geniality.

He was born in Clarence, Erie county, New York, January 4, 1847, and a few years later came west and settled at Osage, Iowa. This was about fifty years ago. For a number of years afterward he carried the mail and drove stage between McGregor and Osage, at the time when there were no railroads in that section. He went west during the war and continued in the stage business in Colorado and Nebraska and later drove the pony express. At the close of war he returned to Iowa and located at Nashua.

In 1891 he came to Estherville and bought the Burlington hotel, when he had personal charge of for several years and made the hotel a very popular place. He later sold the property and went to Texas with several carloads of horses. He was badly injured in a railroad wreck and returned to Estherville and took over the management of the European hotel, owned at that time by his son-in-law, C. A. Nancolas.

During this time he was elected member of the city council, which office he held for two terms. Seven years ago he went to North Carolina. Last August he was stricken with paralysis and was taken to his son’s home near Baltimore.

He was a great lover of horses and dogs. Was a frequent attendant at horse races and had the reputation of being one of the best “starters” at races in Iowa.

He was a big hearted, jovial man and his presence was felt wherever he chose to be. In lodge circles he was an Elk and a Knight of Pythias and a very active member in both organizations.

He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. C. A. Nancolas of Omaha, and his son, M. O. Mead of Baltimore. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, April 8, 1914)

M. O. Mead, who came here with the remains of his father, O. A. Mead, for burial is now located at Salisbury, Maryland, engaged in the hotel business. He is said to be doing well. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, April 8, 1914)

Mrs. C. A. Nancolas of Omaha, and Mert Mead of Schuyler, Maryland, were here to attend the burial exercises of their father. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, April 8, 1914)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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