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Frank Carpenter, 1870-1926


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 7/2/2009 at 08:47:53


Frank Carpenter, for forty-two years a resident of Emmet county and prominent in fraternal and political affairs in Iowa for a long period, passed away at the Gibbs Sanitarium in Chicago, Saturday evening after an illness of four months. The news of his death came as a great shock to his many friends and business associates here who were given every reason to believe that he was gradually regaining his former health. Four months ago Mr. Carpenter suffered a severe mental strain and was taken to the state hospital at Iowa City. Physicians there gave him little encouragement and he was removed to a private sanitarium at Kenilworth, Ill. Later he was taken to the Gibbs Sanitarium in Chicago. Everything possible was done for his recovery and he seemed well on the road to regaining his former health when pneumonia developed and complications set in which resulted in his death.

Word of his serious turn reached Estherville about 3:00 o'clock Saturday afternoon and relatives immediately made preparations to go there. They left on the evening train but before they had gone very far, received word that their loved one had passed away. Throughout his long suffering Mr. Carpenter bore his trial with patience and a consideration for those who ministered to his needs which will never be forgotten by them and which reveals the true character of the man as seldom glimpsed in his active life through the cloak of a rather abrupt manner.

Frank Carpenter was born in Webster City, Iowa, November 5, 1870, and passed away in Chicago, Ill., November 6, 1926, aged fifty-six years and one day. When a lad of fourteen he moved with his parents to Emmet county in the spring of 1884. 1892 the family moved to Estherville where they built the Carpenter home on north Sixth street. When yet a young man he showed an inclination toward the printer's trade and at the age of fifteen began his apprenticeship in the Democrat office, while Peter Johnston was the owner. Thirty-six years ago he purchased the Democrat office and it has been in his possession ever since. He was known throughout the state of Iowa as a leader in journalistic lines and his opinion was considered authoritative on all questions regarding the press and newspaper work.

Mr. Carpenter was a staunch Democrat and upheld the policies and doctrines of his party throughout his entire life.

In 1913, under the Wilson administration, he was appointed postmaster at the Estherville postoffice. The duties of this office he executed so faithfully and in such an excellent manner that he was reappointed in1917 to serve another four years. At the completion of this term in 1921 he again took charge of the work at the Democrat and continued there until his recent illness which necessitated his being taken away from this city. Friends and business associates have universally expressed their sorrow throughout his sufferings these past few months and his death has caused a pall over the entire community.

Perhaps there was no person better nor more favorably known throughout Emmet county than Frank Carpenter. Forty-two years of continual residence here has given him friends all over the county. The nature of his business daily brought him into contact with a great many people and after knowing him, he was always counted as a friend. In his passing Estherville loses one loses one of its most distinguished citizens and the people a staunch, unwavering friend. He was a man whom it was a pleasure to go to for counsel because of his sound judgment and unflinching integrity. He was fearless in the denunciation of the wrongs that inflect our body politic but gentle in his individual rebuke. He was a friend to all, old or young, rich or poor. His greatest delight was in helping others less fortunate than himself and he has played an important part in shaping the character of a great many of Estherville’s youth. He was a pleasant man to work for and was honest in all his business dealings, never trying to get the upper hand of anyone nor ever trying to cheat other persons out of what rightfully belonged to them. Mr. Carpenter stood back of every move that he thought was for the betterment of his town and community, with a loyalty and support that could be counted upon to the very end. Although his manner at times was abrupt and his ways difficult to understand they were to be overlooked when one considers the long weary hours he has toiled to make his work a success. Working hard from early in the morning until late at night his body soon became so weakened and exhausted that it was impossible for to continue the fight for his health. Encouraging reports were sent here from the sanitarium and his friends were given every reason to believe that he would return to this city by Christmas time. Higher powers willed otherwise however, and he was called from his sufferings here to a happier and more blessed place.

The body arrived in Estherville Monday morning where it was met by a group of Elks from the local lodge, of which deceased was a loyal member ever since it originated in this city. The remains were then escorted to the Allen Funeral home where it lies in state until this (Wednesday) afternoon at 2:00 o'clock when the services will be held. Rev. P. A. Davies of the Presbyterian church will officiate and the Elks will have charge of the ceremony at the Oak Hill cemetery. The pall bearers are L. M. Christensen, N. J, Lee, John Hansen, G. R. Connelly, Alex Johnston and George Nichols.

Mr. Carpenter is survived by one sister, Mrs. H. O. Sillge, of this city, two brothers, Chas. F., of this city and W. C. Carpenter, of Cedar Rapids,a niece, Miss Nadine Carpenter, a nephew, Wilson Carpenter, also of Cedar Rapids.

Words would fall to convey to the sorrowing relatives the sympathy of the community in their hours of grief. Working only for the good of his community and never nursing a grudge against any particular person or firm, Mr. Carpenter found a way into the hearts of all, whom he came in contact with. His work on this earth is finished and he has passed on to a new place, of which we know nothing but one which gives promise of greater peace and blessing.

It is hard as one views the remains of this departed friend and workman, to realize that he has passed forever from this world of sorrow and grief. The lips that were always ready to speak some good word about everyone, though now forever closed, seem about to open to disclose some message to his loved ones as they reverently gaze upon his face. His eyes are closed in peaceful slumber and an air of peace and contentment seems to hover about his being. He will soon be carried away to the great unknown but his spirit still lingers and the memory of his friendship will continue through countless ages.

Source: Estherville Democrat, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; November 10, 1926.


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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