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Palmer S. Converse 1836-1909


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 2/18/2011 at 23:29:42

P. S. Converse Dead
Passed Away Tuesday Afternoon, July 6th, at 4:25
President Savings Bank
One of the Wealthiest and Prominent Men of the Town – Funeral Friday Afternoon
By the death of P. S. Converse on Tuesday afternoon, July 6th, Estherville loses a highly respected and loyal citizen. He died after an illness of many weeks of cancer of the stomach, following his beloved wife who passed away just two weeks prior to his death, June 23rd. He was sick at the time of his wife’s death and prayed that he might die with her and asked the attending physician not to give him any more medicine that would keep him alive, he was ready to die. He had lived a noble life, an honest and honorable one. He was a man of excellent habits, of the moral character and sturdy constitution and continued to be active in his accustomed pursuits until long past the age at which men ordinarily drop out of the ranks of the workers. To this end there is no doubt that his sunshiny disposition largely contributed. He met most of the conditions and situations of life with a smile. He was a practical, matter-of-fact man, but had his own peculiar way of extracting merriment from life as it went along and he was not disposed to worry about matters that could be bettered in other ways. This cheerful spirit remained with him to the last and he retained his clearness of intellect up to his closing days. He was invariably a good neighbor, and there was no happier family circle in the land than his. There was a daily beauty about his life which won every heart. In temperament he was mild, conciliatory and candid; and yet remarkable for an uncompromising firmness. He gained confidence when he seemed least to seek it.

P. S. Converse was born in Westford, Connecticut, February 8th, 1836. His boyhood days were spent in and near the place of his birth. He was married October 9th, 1859, to Martha Maria Watkins. Eleven children were born to this union, all of whom are now living except one daughter, Edith Jones], who died in July 1903. The children now living are: Mrs. M. S. Crittenden, South Haven, Kansas; E. D. Converse, Estherville; Mrs. D. W. Bagley, Brook Park, Minn.; M. S. Converse, Peabody, Kansas; L. B. Converse, Windom, Minnesota; Mr. C. F. Gauge, Hudson, Iowa; Mrs. W. A. Monroe, Clarion, Iowa; Miss Clarissa Converse, Estherville, Iowa; F. W. Converse, Estherville, Iowa; and F. K. Converse, Lanesboro, Iowa.

In 1867 the family came to Iowa and located in Tama county, near Dysart. They lived there for thirty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Converse disposed of their property at and near Dysart and came to Estherville in 1903. Deceased was one of the wealthiest citizens of the town. He was president of the Iowa Savings Bank and his estate, it is estimated, will figure close to $150,000.00.

Funeral services were conducted at the home Friday afternoon by Rev. W. C. Wasser and Rev. Edward Campbell and the remains interred in Oak Hill cemetery. Five sons and one son-in-law, at his request, acted as pall bearers at the funeral. May he rest in peace.

Mrs. W. A. Monroe, daughter of the deceased, has written the following obituary for her paper, the Clarion Clipper:

“Once more we are called upon to mourn the death of a loved one. Once more the hand of death, cold, cruel and remorseless, has snatched from us one whom we loved dearly. Once more an unwelcome message has been flashed to us over the wires and we are paralyzed with the thought that our parents are both gone. Gone to sleep, to rest, free from pain and suffering, their missions on earth fulfilled.

“P. S. Converse died at 4:40 Tuesday afternoon, July 6th, at his home in Estherville, at the age of seventy-three years. Death was due to cancer, which slowly sapped away the life of this dear, good man. Since the death of our mother, but two weeks ago, father had no desire to live. He prayed fervently that he might die and be buried with her. During their long illness their tender solicitude each for the other was pathetic in the extreme. The two weeks that he survived mother were days of torture to our father. Racked on his bed of pain, scarcely able to move, the poor man mourned the death of his wife.

“He was surrounded by his ten children nearly all through his serious illness. They lavished on him every care and attention. At times he gathered us all about his bed and talked long, earnestly and tenderly. He gave us much advise for the future. He begged us to be good men and women. He preached to us such summons as we have never heard before. He was a Christian man. He was a good man viewed from any standpoint, considered in any relation. His home life was ideal, his business life above reproach. Few men have such sweetness of charity in their natures, or so little of the coarse or vindictive. There was so much for him to do, and so many friends and loved ones about him that life was of course precious, but he needed no preparation for death. He had lived his life well. He was ready to go.

“Frankness was his nature. He was as open as a book. He did not seek to conceal his opinions of either approval or disapproval. He set his mark high. He followed always the one idea, but it was as wide as the world, as high as space. It was the only kind of an idea that would serve, the only kind that had to him a value worth of his thought. He was in all things independent and admired independence in others. He believed in man’s responsibility to himself, to his kind and to his creator. When convinced that he was right he was unmoved by criticism or praise. He did not swerve or falter in his work.

“On Friday afternoon we will lay him tenderly away beside his beloved wife, our mother. May the sod rest lightly over his gentle heart. We feel sure his face will be acceptable to the sight of God.

“Our home is gone, home where father and mother always stood eager to greet us on our visits and parted reluctantly with us when we left. That home whose hospitality knew no bounds is now desolate and a dreadful stillness fills the air. We must abide by the inevitable. There is no alternative. God’s will be done.” (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, July 14, 1909)

(Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, July 14, 1909)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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