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KNAPP, Laura 1839-1899


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/24/2019 at 18:37:11

Mrs. Laura A. Knapp

The sudden death of Mrs. Laura A. Knapp occurred at her home last Sunday morning, January 22, 1899, at twenty-eight minutes past eight o'clock. She had, since Thursday of last week, been confined to her bed, but her friends had no thought of any serious consequence until within a few hours previous to her demise. In October, in company with her husband, she attended the Peace Jubilee at Chicago, and from there they went to Pennsylvania, their old home, and visited there till recently with friends and relatives. While in Scranton, that state, she had a siege of diphtheria, and being quite fleshy it left her throat in a bad condition, though she recovered sufficiently to complete her visit with friends in the east and make a short stay on her return home with friends in Chicago. It was her last trip away from her own home, and how consoling it will be to her friends and loved ones so far away when they learn that she is no more to know that in her last days they had her with them for a brief visit where they could recall old scenes and past pleasures and live over again "The Days of Auld Lang Syne." She was destined to leave her home no more after returning to it, and her low remaining days were spent with the death angel hovering very near, though she had hopes of recovering from her illness until a few days before her death. She was a patient sufferer and resigned to her fate when all that medical skill and loving friends could do had been exhausted in her behalf.

On January 21 she suffered a paralytic stroke of throat and bowels from which she had not the physical endurance to recover. Dr. Wick, of Cedar Falls, was summoned in consultation with Dr. McAlvin, and her relatives were told that they would soon lose her. She made every possible arrangement for her obsequies and requested that her Eastern Star sisters use the funeral rites of their order when she should be laid to rest. Her brother, Mr. C. M. Sprague, and husband, S. H. Knapp, sat by her side and received her last instructions, which she gave as calmly as though she were preparing for a journey from which she expected to return.

She fell asleep surrounded with loving friends and relatives who will miss her and grieve her departure; and to her devoted husband and companion in life the separation will fall more heavily than any calamity through which he has ever had to pass. Nothing but the sustaining hand of the mighty comforter in times of trial and distress will be able to uphold him and give him a hope for a happy reunion in the blessed beyond, where death is no more and partings are unknown. To the Lord who giveth and the Lord who taketh away he may go for solace in time of need and the darkest hours may be brightened by communion with the healer of all earthly wounds.

As a church worker Mrs. Knapp was an efficient and faithful worker, and when advised to give up some of her responsibilities and not overtax herself her reply invariably was, "I want to do what little good I can." She was one of three who thought the building of the new Presbyterian church a possibility when the matter was first proposed and she showed great interest in its erection, though it was not her privilege to be present at the dedication or to see it after it was completed.

The funeral services were conducted from the Presbyterian church Tuesday afternoon at two o'clock, Rev. W. H. Jordan, her pastor, officiating. The societies to which she belonged were represented in body, and the Eastern Star assisted in the services. They were the Eastern Stars, the King's Daughters, the W.R.C., the Presbyterian Ladies' Aid Society and the W.C.T.U., all deploring the loss of a faithful sister and a diligent worker in the death of the deceased. The church was filled with sympathizing friends, and the remains were laid to rest in Rose Hill cemetery to await the final summons of the judgment when the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Laura A. Sprague was born February 22, 1839, in Randolph, Vermont. She was the eldest child of Egerton and Philena Sprague. She began teaching school at the age of fifteen and met with marked success in her chosen profession. She moved to Baileyville, Ill., in 1865, and taught for a number of years in the graded schools of that town. Her career as a school teacher covered 47 terms. She was united in marriage to S. H. Knapp, at Baileyville, Illinois, April 1, 1867, and resided there until they removed to Grundy Center with her husband, and had since made this place her home. Her father died while on a visit to Mr. Knapp's home at Baileyville, July 5, '75. Her mother died at the home of a son, C. M. Sprague, near Grundy Center, July 22, 1887. Her sister, Mrs. Fletcher Weston, died in Vermont, Dec. 13, 1882.

She united with the Presbyterian church in this city, September 1st, 1893. She leaves to mourn her death her husband, S. H. Knapp, Clarence M. Sprague, her brother and the only surviving member of the family, the aged father of her husband, and many other relatives and friends.

Her life was one of activity and charity and the noble heritage she leaves to her loved ones is an example of Christian fidelity that neither time nor eternity can tarnish, and the beautiful hope she expressed for a brighter home beyond, will console and comfort when the sympathies of humanity are passed away and forgotten.

After the sermon by Rev. W. H. Jordan, the O.E.S., of which the deceased was a member, took charge, and before the beautiful ritualistic service was had, Mr. Snavely, a member of the order, paid the following tribute to the memory of the deceased:
"When in March, 1894, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Chapter of Iowa, O.E.S., to institute a subordinate chapter in this place, Sister Laura A. Knapp was one of the number who was made acquainted with the beauties and mysteries of the order. And as in all societies it was necessary to have officers to regulate its deliberations, our sister was exalted to the highest office within the gift of a subordinate chapter, it being that of Worthy Matron. Modestly and well did she fill that office, so that after a probation lasting until October 3d, 1894, the Grand Chapter, in its wisdom, deemed us entitled to a charter, or warrant, giving us all the privileges and powers of a subordinate chapter; it then became necessary to elect officers for what is now known as Ruth Chapter No. 155, O.E.S., she was again re-elected to that high and important office. For a third time was she called upon to preside as the Worthy Matron and when, after serving us so faithfully she, laid down her jewel and gavel of power and authority, another mantle, which she has borne ever since, and of whose pure teachings she has ever been a true and worthy exponent, was placed upon her, it being that of Chaplain. Well may we call her mother of our Chapter, for has she has nursed this child from its earliest infancy until it has grown to a lusty and sturdy youth of nearly five years? Her loss we now mourn; her spirit has gone to Him who gave it, yet her gentle influences remain with us.

Sisters and brothers, let us imitate our sister in her virtuous conduct, her unfeigned piety to her God, and her inflexible fidelity to her trust, that, like her, we may welcome the grim tyrant of death, and receive him as a kind messenger sent by our Supreme Grand Master to translate us from this imperfect to that all perfect, glorious and Celestial lodge above where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides"

We shall meet but we shall miss her,
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress it
As we breath our evening prayer.

--The Grundy Center Herald (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 January 1899, pg 4


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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