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KERR, John 1860-1895


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/20/2011 at 21:56:37

J. E. Kerr Passes Away in the Early Morning of His Manhood

John Estabrook, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kerr, was born near Edwardsville, Ill., Nov. 18, 1860, and died in Grundy Center, Iowa, May 22, 1895.

In 1870 the family moved to Grundy county, Iowa, and it was here that "Brooks," as he was familiarly known, spent the twenty-six short years of his life surrounded by loving friends and pleasant companion, and sheltered in a home of purity and refinement. Together with his brothers and sisters he attended the public school of Grundy Center, and later was a student of Coe College at Cedar Rapids and he also studied in Cornell College at Mr. Vernon, Iowa. As a schoolmate in his boyhood days he was well liked and in manhood's years the same boys and girls with whom he associated in early life were his truest and most devoted friends. His fidelity to his own friends and prompt defense of them at all times and under all circumstances was one of his chief characteristics, and while others might waver in their opinions and weaken in their decisions, all knew where to find Brooks on any subject after he had once expressed himself. While firm in his opinions of right and wrong, he was kindhearted and generous to a fault and had charity to forgive and make friends with an enemy and defend their good deeds against their faults. He was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church and a faithful Christian Endeavorer. He was a good singer and cheerfully assisted in the musical part of the duties of that congregation, and upon any public occasion when requested. He will be sadly missed by the church and Endeavor society, and they are reconciled only in the hope that their loss is his gain and that he has been ushered into a myriad of choristers where he may join in the glad hosannas that swell the everlasting song to the Lamb that was slain.

Brooks learned the printer's trade in the Argus office which was owned by his father. For a time he was associated with his brother George in the publication of the Saturday Press at Marshalltown, and at different times worked on the Republican under the present management. As a compositor he had few equals and had he chosen the art preservative for a life calling would undoubtedly have been a leader among newspaper men.

Brooks was ill only about ten days and his sudden taking off was a severe shock to his family and the community at large. He had been attending school at the State University in Iowa City, studying law, and because of illness came home. The physicians pronounced his trouble typhoid malaria. From the beginning he was unconscious and remained in that state almost constantly till death claimed him Wednesday morning and relieved him of his sufferings. His devoted father and mother were constantly at his bedside and all that kind hands and medical skill could do to revive him was ably applied but he seemed beyond all earthly power for restoration and the sorrowing family and friends were compelled to submit and say "Thy will be done." His older brother, George, and his sister, Mrs. May Shuler, both of Beatrice, Neb., arrived a few hours before his death but he did not regain consciousness and died without recognizing any of the family. His oldest sister, Mrs. Gretta Rogers, who lives in California, was not able to be present and his youngest sister, Lillian, who is at Oberlin College, could not get here. His youngest brothers, Will and Ed, were present. Deceased leaves to mourn his death a devoted father and mother, three brothers and three sisters, and his is the first death to break the circle of a happy and affectionate family. We commend them to the loving care of Him who can heal the broken heart and pour the precious oil of consolation on all earthly wounds.

The funeral was conducted at the family residence Friday afternoon, and his pastor, Rev. Wm. Palm, spoke words of comfort and hope to the bereaved and sorrowing family. The Presbyterian choir sang the songs best loved by Brooks when alive. "Some Golden Day," and "Wandering Down," were his favorite pieces and it was most fitting that they should be the songs sung above his casket as he lay in his last sleep in the large bay window of his parent's home, amid a profusion of flowers that attested to the love and esteem in which he was held by his friends in this community. Mr. D. C. Shuler sent a beautiful cross of roses from Beatrice, Neb., and numerous floral gifts were presented from friends, among which was an offering from the Christian Endeavor society, one from the King's Daughters, a cross from the W. R. C., a pillow from the Republican office, and a star from the P. E. O. sisterhood, of which his sister Lillian is a member. The remains were conveyed to Fairview cemetery by a large concourse of friends and were laid to rest to await the coming of the resurrection morn.

The family deeply appreciate the kindness of neighbors and friends who aided them to smooth the dying pillow of their beloved son and brother, and who have extended to them so many precious tokens of sympathy and sorrow.

--The Grundy County Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 30 May 1895


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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