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Eleanor (Bell) Shaw, 1820-1906


Posted By: Constance Diamond, IAGenWeb Volunteer (email)
Date: 8/28/2017 at 21:11:08

The Argo
West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa
Page 2 column two
21 February 1906


It is not given to many to reach the age four score years and six. The remarkable life of Mrs. Nathan Shaw, who recently passed into the other world at this great age, demands more than a transient notice.

Eleanor Bell first saw the light in Hartford county, Maryland, at the head of Chesapeake Bay, February 10, 1820. The happy childhood was soon interrupted and at the early age of six she learned the meaning of sorrow in the death of her father, John Bell. The mother was left with a large family to care for, three sons and six daughters, and in 183S they moved to Carroll Co., Ohio. These were still pioneer days and in that twenty-eight years of residence she saw great changes in tbe country. It was here that she met Nathan Shaw, and the acquaintance ripened into affection, and they were married on February 17, 1842.

For fifty-three years these two walked together in happy married life, until March 27, l895 when God took the loving husband into the better land, and she was left behind to continue the journey alone for eleven more years. Those two faithful souls are now rejoicing together before the throne of God. It was a beautiful Christian home that was found in Ohio and transplanted into Iowa in April, 1866. Eight children grew up in this consecrated home, four sons and four daughters, who breathing in the atmosphere of faith and love, could not but devote themselves to Christ and his kingdom.

The best tribute which can be paid to the father and the mother are those noble and useful lives which by the blessing of God are the result of christian nurture. The promise of God stands sure, who has covenanted to bless the children. The prayer of the Psalmist was realized, to-wit: "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace." It was a very severe blow to the mother's heart, when on September 19, 1901, the youngest of the family, Mrs. A.J. Mettlin, of Oelwein, was suddenly stricken with death, and only her faith in God sustained her in this sorrow. The recent death of a grandson in Idaho brought her down into the death valley which she was so soon herself to cross.

Her life in our community has been beautiful to behold. At first on the farm four miles northwest of the city and later in the city she made the home sweet and beautiful, and was the center of a large circle of relatives and friends. Her heart was never too full to take in one more to love and help. With motherly instinct she drew to herself those whom she felt needed her counsel and her love.

Many will rise up to call her blessed. Her strong faith sustained her in every trial and gave strength and equipoise to her character. Her life was a witness to the things not seen, which she had realized by faith But love was quite as notable a quantity in her character, indeed her faith worked by love, according to the apostolic injunction.

She was ever kindly in thought, in word and in deed. Who ever heard an unkind word from her? She always had a charitable explanation for every act where others might condemn. Her life is a splendid example of christian grace and courtesy. And now she has gone from us to heaven, and we sorrow because we shall see her face no more upon earth, but we rejoice t h a t she has gained her crown a n d is with the glorified loved ones who have gone before.

For some time as age increased it has been seen that infirmities also grew. Her devoted daughter ministered in loving care and watched over the mother with in creasing fidelity. Up to the last her faculties were clear and bright and death came with unexpectedness.

For a few days she had been ailing but even on the day of her death she arose in the morning as usual and only was persuaded to return to bed a few hours before her spirit took its flight. This was on February 1, that remarkable month in which she had been born and married. Her death was peaceful and beautiful. She fell asleep, and was not, for God took her.

Her tabernacle of clay has been tenderly laid away in the "sleeping place" as the word cemetery literally means, but the spirit has returned to God who gave it.


Fayette Obituaries maintained by Constance Diamond.
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