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LISTER, James Sr. 1814-1898

LISTER, EAKIN

Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/24/2019 at 18:37:07

Gone To His Reward

After a short but very painful illness of four days duration Mr. James Lister, Sr., of Felix township, died Friday morning, Feb. 25, at 3 o'clock, aged 83 years, 2 months and 26 days.

His health had been gradually failing for the past four months, but he was able to keep up and around the house until Sunday evening, Feb. 20, when he was taken suddenly with an attack of splenic fever. He was not considered dangerously ill by those in attendance, but he seemed to realize that it was his last sickness and that he would not long survive. Dr. Sayre, the family physician, was called Monday morning. The doctor seemed hopeful that he would rally again. His system responded readily to the physician's treatment and by Tuesday afternoon he was apparently very much better and to several of the neighbors who called to see him, he conversed freely and in a happy mood. There was every indication of a speedy recovery. This hope however was soon dispelled for the children who watched with him were soon conscious that he was growing worse. At five o'clock Wednesday morning he suffered a stroke of paralysis affecting the left side. From that time until the end came the doctor was present, with the exception of a few hours, doing all that medical skill could do to alleviate his suffering which was intense. His oldest son, G. W. Lister of Sibley, Ia., was telegraphed for and reached his bedside about twenty-four hours before he passed away. He retained his mental faculties and was conscious almost to the very last and recognized and was able to converse with the family and friends until about six hours before the end came.

There are five children who mourn the irreparable loss of a kind, loving and ever solicitous father. His daughters, Mrs. M. J. Valentine and Mrs. M. A. Clarke, also his sons, John and James A., reside in Felix township while his oldest son, George W., is an attorney at Sibley, Iowa. For the past six years the deceased made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Maggie Clarke, on the old homestead.

The funeral services were held at the home of the deceased and were conducted by the Rev. Edward Lee, pastor of the Felix Center M.E. church, assisted by Rev. A. Crossan of Eldora, who was one of father Lister's closest and warmest friends and although past ninety-one years of age, he was able to assist in conducting the last sad rites of his departed friend. Father Crossan's words so fitly spoken were full of cheer, hope, inspiration and comfort to the family and friends. In early life the deceased formed habits of thrift and industry. He was a man of strong character, self-reliance and indomitable energy. Starting in life unaided he was quick to make use of every opportunity to better his condition. In the early years of the settlement of Iowa he had strong faith in the development of the state and of the security of investments in the fertile soil. Starting in 1868 with 240 acres he added steadily to his holdings until he had purchased 1360 acres and was for many years the largest land owner in Felix township. The funeral was very largely attended by friends and neighbors. Among those present from abroad were Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lupton of Toledo, Ia., and D. M. McCormick of Clemons, Ia. Rev. Lee read the following sketch of the life of the deceased after which the remains were tenderly conveyed to the Vinton cemetery, his sons George, John, James and his son-in-law, A. J. Valentine, Henry Clarke and Wm. Clarke acting as pallbearers.

Sketch
James Lister was born in the county of Fife, Scotland, November 29, 1814, and died February 25, 1898, in the 84th year of his age.

In early life he was employed as a miner in different parts of his native country and in 1842 he emigrated to America and settled at Galena, Ill. Father Lister often referred to his tempestuous voyage across the Atlantic requiring eight weeks time, in strong contrast with the safe and swift passage of the modern ocean steamer often requiring less than six days. In 1842 Galena was the commercial center of the lead region and for some years he was engaged in the leading industry of that locality--mining for lead ore. In 1847 he was united in marriage with Mary Eakin and the next year they settled on a farm near Hanover, Ill., where their five children were born and where the family resided until 1870. In 1868 he was attracted by the cheap and fertile lands of Grundy county and made his first purchase in that year and in the spring of 1870 he removed to the farm on which has been his home for nearly twenty-eight years and from which his remains were carried to the grave. Mary, his wife died Oct. 26, 1884, but the five children all survive and were with him in his last sickness and at his death.

Father Lister was the second child in a family of thirteen and at the age of nine years was taken from school to aid his father in the work of a coal mine. Denied the advantages of an early education, later reading, study and reflection largely made up for the lack of school days and few men with his advantages were better informed. He had an excellent memory and a sound judgment. He was a faithful husband, a kind parent, a good neighbor and never forgot a favor or a friend. He had the industry and thrift characteristic of the Scottish race and left a handsome competence to his heirs. A native of a foreign land he became a true American and to the last retrained the keenest interest in all that concerns our common country.

Father Lister was a consistent member of the United Presbyterian church from the date of its organization and while sturdily adhering to the faith of his fathers he obtruded his religious convictions on no one and all christian ministers found a warm welcome in his home. For some months he had felt that the end was fast approaching and often referred to the matter and spoke of it as a welcome release from the ills that flesh is heir to, the burdens of advancing years. Father Lister may not have been perfect, but "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure" ever found in him a loyal friend, a valiant defender.

"His work well done
His race well run
At last comes rest."

--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 March 1898, pg 5


 

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