HEFFELFINGER, Jack 1843-1934
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/8/2016 at 16:31:18
Jack Heffelfinger Answers Last Summons Tuesday
Died Suddenly While Seated In His Chair; Next To Last Of Grundy Old Soldiers To Go
Jack Heffelfinger answered the final summons at his home in Grundy Center at 7:15 Tuesday evening. He was seated in his chair and had just taken off his sweater preparatory to retiring for the night when he suddenly quit breathing and was gone. His daughter, Mrs. A. G. Briggs, was with him. For a number of days he had minor stomach trouble which neither he nor those about him regarded seriously. He was 91 years old on April 17th.
Three years ago he fell from store steps to the sidewalk and sustained injuries that confined him to his home. Since that time he was not able to get about town alone though he was in good health continually and had been able to spend the summer months in his cottage at Lake Okoboji. His mind remained clear to the end and he enjoyed the daily visits of his friends at his home and recalled with them incidents of early Grundy county history.
Lived in County 66 Years
Mr. Heffelfinger came to Grundy county with other members of his family 66 years ago. He was the son of Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Heffelfinger. He was born in Chester county, Pa. At the age of 18 he moved with his parents and the remainder of the family to Carroll county, Ill.
Enlisted in Union Army in '64
In 1864 he enlisted from Carroll county, Ill., in the union army. He joined the company of which his father was captain and was made a sergeant. He received his honorable discharge in October, 1865, and returned to his home.
After coming to this county, the Heffelfinger family moved to a farm three miles northwest of Grundy Center where the Morris Merritt family now live. Members of the family at the time were his father and mother, his brothers, Dr. Ed Heffelfinger, who practiced medicine in Grundy Center many years, Will and Harry. He had one sister, Mrs. Clara Moffett of Oakland, Calif. The sister and one brother, Harry, are all that now remain of this family of Grundy pioneers.
Lived in Town More Than 60 Years
Mr. Heffelfinger was married to Miss Sarah Vasey about 60 years ago and they began housekeeping in Grundy Center. Mrs. Heffelfinger was killed by a train as she was crossing a railroad track at Afton, Iowa, 31 years ago. They had but one child, Mrs. A. G. Briggs, who was a daily companion for her father.
After moving to town Mr. Heffelfinger engaged in the insurance business and devoted much of his active life to this work.
Was Active in Politics
While Mr. Heffelfinger was probably more closely associated with the politics of the county than any other man, he never became a candidate for an elective office. He helped many others into office and helped to keep them there, but he never asked the support of the voters in his own behalf. He was a good judge of men and during his long contact with county politics he probably picked more winners than any other man of his time.
Served in State House During 20 Legislative Sessions
In 1888 Mr. Heffelfinger was appointed deputy state treasurer at Des Moines. After retirement from this place he served as doorkeeper and sergeant-at-arms in the state house and senate during 20 legislative sessions. For more than thirty years he was the best known figure about the state house. In his long contact with the high and the low in state politics, he probably knew more about the running of the political machine at Des Moines than any other man there.
Was Loyal to His Community And to His Friends
More people knew Jack Heffelfinger by his first than by his last name. To everyone who knew him he was "Jack." During his active lifetime there were few people in the county who didn't know Jack Heffelfinger. He got acquainted easily. He was a good mixer. He made friends as he went and he held them. It was his loyalty to his friends and to his community that remain as his most outstanding memorial.
Was Charter Member of Local G.A.R. Post
Jack Heffelfinger was a charter member of the Grundy Post of the G.A.R. He helped to organize it, he helped it to attain its peak membership, and he remained to see all of them excepting one answer the last call. He was a member of the Masonic lodge in Grundy Center, a Knight Templar, and was a charter member of the Odd Fellows lodge in his home town.
Funeral Services Friday
Funeral services will be at the home Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock. They will be conducted by Rev. A. G. Annette, pastor of the Baptist church. Burial will be by the side of the wife in the Grundy Center cemetery.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 14 June 1934, pg 1, 12
Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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