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Nichols, James 1824 – 1896


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 6/20/2016 at 16:13:29

Iowa Plain Dealer March 3, 1896, FP C4

James Nichols, of Albion township, died Monday morning at 5 o'clock of heart disease. The funeral will be held at the family residence at 10 o'clock a. m., Wednesday. The burial will be in the New Oregon cemetery. Mr. Nichols was one of the pioneers of the county and universally esteemed. Obituary next issue.

Iowa Plain Dealer March 13, 1896, LP C4


James Nichols, of Albion township, passed away at 5 o’clock Monday morning, March 2, 1896, in his seventy-second year, after eight days of illness from heart failure.

Humanity is indeed a vast procession from whose ranks, as they pass, individuals are continually dropping by the way while the great mass moved onward, ever onward. But, oh, how lonely seems the way as our dearest friends fall by our side and we must go on, even though it be for a little way without their companionship! Such is the experience of the writer as well as of a large circle of relatives and friends in the departure from this busy, throbbing life, of our personal friend, James Nichols. We cannot say of him in the language of French skepticism, “He is no more,” for, although gone, he still lives, not only in the affections of these who learned to love him, but beyond the vail that hides from our mortal eyes the glories of immortality he waits for our coming and will greet us again in his own personality to share with him the blessing of an existence unalloyed by the sorrows of earth.

Mr. Nichols was born Sept. 10 1824, at Londonderry, New Hampshire, during Monroe’s administration, He was converted to the faith of the gospel of Christ and joined the M. E. church in his early youth, and continued a consistent member of that church to the time of his departure to the church triumphant. Through all the hardships of pioneer life, intensified by repeated domestic afflictions, as well as in his later years he has bourn a quiet, trustiful{sic} testimony to the saving and sustaining power of Christ.

He obtained a good education in the schools of his native state, and followed teaching there for a time, afterwards engaging in mercantile business in Boston. In the early 50’s he came west to Indiana and resumed teaching. Following the tide of emigration he came to Illinois where he continued teaching, and finally engaged in farming.

From Oregon, Ill., he came to Howard county with an ox team, arriving May 29, 1856, and prempted{?} the land which has ever since been his home farm in Albion township.

Having made the best preparation then practicable for a home he returned in the fall of the same year and in October was married to Mrs. Julia Mason of Oregon, Ill., who came with him to Iowa, bringing her little son by her former marriage with her. The son, Steven G. Mason, now of Oregon, Ill., is a prominent educator, having served two terms as Supt. of Schools of Ogle Co., Ill., and in other educational work, and now engaged in editorial work, is a man highly respected for his ability and character.

The winter of ’56-7 Mr. Nichols taught the school in the Phillips settlement in west Albion. There were but two schools then in the township. Two years of busy, rugged pioneer life passed when the “dark shadow” fell upon the home. The wife fell a victim of consumption, leaving husband and son to mourn for her loving presence which could never come to them again in this life.

On May 14, 1860, Mr. Nichols married Miss Maria M. Carpenter, of New Oregon, Howard county, and the home fire was once more lighted. To them were born a daughter, Hattie, who died at three years of age, and a son, James H., who now resides near Bonair. When James was eleven days old his mother died, Oct. 11, 1864, and the home was again left desolate. The mother was laid to rest in the New Oregon cemetery. Kind friends ministered as best they could to the motherless children and the twice stricken husband.

June 16, 1867, Mr. Nichols was married to Miss Martha Jane Carpenter, of New Oregon, who now survives him and mourns his loss. To them were born two sons, Jerome C. and Erwin H., who reside at the old homestead.

That he was a kind and affectionate husband and father is the testimony of all who knew him during the forty years of his residence in Howard Co. Coming to the county when there was little here but the undeveloped resources of the soil, he has taken a deep interest in everything pertaining to the development and the prosperity of the country. During these forty years he has lived and labored, not only for his own, but for the general good and the public welfare of county, state and nation. A man of good judgment, clear perception and a kind heart. He was a useful citizen, a safe adviser, and a true friend.

In all his relations in life he was the same reliable, faithful man, whom his children and all who knew him best love and respect, and will ever revere and emulate.

His life has extended through the period of the most wonderful development of the most wonderful nation of all time and he has contributed his share towards that development. Succeeding generations should not forget the pioneers whose very lives are woven into and have become a part of our higher civilization and have made the improved conditions which are now our rich heritage.

In his last sickness he did not suffer severe pain, but sank gradually towards the brink of the dark river. About half an hour before the light of life went out, he, realizing that the end was near, shook hands with his wife and each of his children and friends at his bedside and bade them all good bye, expressing a hope that he should soon be in Heaven. He spoke with an audible voice and seemed quite strong and fully conscious and then sank quietly into a peaceful sleep,

“Like one who wraps the drapery of
his couch about him
And lies down to pleasant dreams.”

The funeral was conducted by Rev Mr. Williams of the Ridgeway and Ashley churches, at the family residence, on Wednesday, March 4th, and the remains laid to rest in the family lot in the New Oregon cemetery.

Mrs. Nichols is in very feeble health and was prostrated by the sorrow of her great bereavement, and could not leave the house to go with the other mourners to the place of burial. She and the children and other relatives have the sincere sympathy of the entire community.


Howard Obituaries maintained by Bill Waters.
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