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Eleanor (Wilson) Ruth (1917)


Posted By: Pat Hochstetler
Date: 2/13/2006 at 21:15:09

Winterset Madisonian - March 1917

Nearly a Century Old Grandma Ruth, Almost a Centenarian, Dies After Living here 50 years.

Mrs. Eleanor Wilson-Ruth died at the home of her son, John Ruth, in Douglas township, on March 22d, after living nearly a century, nearly half of that time being spent in Madison county.

Mrs. Ruth was born June 10, 1817 in West Virginia, living there until her marriage to James Ruth in 1836, when they located in Pennsylvania, living there six years. Again they moved, this time back to her native state, then coming westward to Ohio in 1859. The final move was made when the family located in Madison county, Iowa, which has since been her home.

For 35 years she lived in her own home on West Jefferson street, taking care of her own house and living an independent life until she was 93 years old. Of her 80 years of church membership, almost 50 years were spent in earnest and loyal service as a member of the Presbyterian church here. Of the church and its work, she was ever mindful. Quaint and original in speech and mind, "Grandma" Ruth, as everyone called her greatly interested those who knew her, for out of the storehouse of her mind, she drew many bits of history and reminiscence of days long gone.

Her living descendants number 128: 7 daughters and sons, 39 grand children, 65 great grand children and 17 great great grand children. This is a record rarely found, of so large a family all offering great devotion to an aged ancestress.

Mrs. Ruth's funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church Sunday afternoon, conducted by Dr. J. S. Corkey.

The Winterset News
Winterset, Iowa
Wednesday, March 28, 1917
Page 1, Column 5


Many Winterset and Madison Citizens Get Last Call


Something of the Life History of Those Who Have Answered Call of Great Harvester.

Mrs. Eleanor Ruth

Eleanor Wilson, daughter of Henry and Nellie Wilson, was born June 10, 1817, at Magraw’s Run, Ohio county, West Virginia, and died at the home of her son in Madison county, Iowa, Thursday, March 22, aged 99 years, 9 months and 12 days. If she had lived until the tenth June she would have rounded out the century.

She was born just after the close of Madison’s administration. There had been three presidents before her, Washington, Adams and Jefferson, so her early life goes back to the beginning of this republic.

She grew up in West Virginia. When nineteen years of age she was married to James Ruth and they settled in Pennsylvania in 1836. Six years later they moved back to West Virginia to Marcel County where they spent seventeen years from 1842 until 1859.

At this time they moved to Ohio where they lived in Guernsey county for nine years until 1868 when they came to Madison County, Iowa, and here for the past half-century Mrs. Ruth has made her home.

Thirty-five years of that time she lived in her own house in the city Winterset and did her homework until she was 93 years of age.

Her husband died 44 years ago on June 8, 1873 and was buried on her 56th birthday. Since then she has been a widow and has had the affectionate care of all her children. She has been bedfast for five years most of the time at the home of her son, John Ruth, where she passed away.

She was always cheerful bright and happy and had great delight in visiting with her friends up to the very last.

The children are Wilson of Waterloo, Iowa, Annie, of Rice county, Kansas; Solomon who died in Pennsylvania, aged 9 months, James Henry, who died recently in California; Leah, John, George and Joseph of Madison county, and William Alexander, of North Dakota.

She has 118 living descendants, 7 children, 39 grandchildren; 65 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Ruth was always a very religious woman. In 1835 when she was 18 years of age she united with the Presbyterian church and for 80 years she has been a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1868 she came to Madison County. She brought her church letter with her and 50 years she has been a member of this church, doing faithful service as long as she was able to attend an interested in the welfare of the church to the very last.

She was a great student of the Bible and had read it all through and when her eyes became dim towards the last she was always anxious to have someone read and pray with her.

Sixteen years ago, with her own hand, she wrote the facts about her life for her obituary and she has been waiting the Lord’s time ever since. She was ready to go for ready to stay and often said “When the Lord comes He will find me here”.

She was a remarkable woman, strong physically, mentally and spiritually. Her mind was clear to the very last. She could talk about things that happened at the beginning of last year or the beginning of last century.

She had a faith in God that was never shaken. She lived a true Christian life of unselfishness. She lived for her children. Her last was for them. Her last words were “Are all the children here”? And then she crossed over to the country where families never break up.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Presbyterian Church.


Madison Obituaries maintained by Linda Griffith Smith.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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