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DURBIN, Joshua (1838-1901)


Posted By: Kathy Weaver (email)
Date: 7/12/2017 at 12:50:15

Malvern Leader
Thursday, 25 April 1901

Dies Suddenly Near His Home South of Emerson, Thursday Afternoon April 18th.

It was with great sorrow and genuine regret that our east side friends, and in fact people from all over the county, learned of the unexpected demise of the subject of this sketch. It came as a great shock too, for Mr. Durbin appeared more than usually well to all that had seen him recently.

It seems that he had driven into town that afternoon to look after general business matters and was apparently in very good health. In fact he expressed himself to two or three different persons, with whom he talked, to the effect that he hadn’t felt so well for some time. On the way home he met several persons to whom he seemed cheerful and well. John Lang met him about a mile from home and they passed the usual pleasantries as they drove by. Just a few minutes later, and within half a mile of home he was discovered cold and lifeless in the top of his overturned buggy.

Death was undoubtedly instantaneous, resulting from heart failure, and as he fell he must have pulled the horses sharply to the left up-setting the buggy. Two horses were turned in toward the fence and were discovered in a short time by Ronnie McKown and Frank Moessner.

For many years Mr. Durbin had been subject to occasional dizzy and fainting spells, the result of a sunstroke received in the army, and of late years was troubled with heart affectation which his physicians had told him was serious and it was unquestionably the result of these that caused his unexpected death. Death came at once, he in all probability never speaking after the attack, and of course was painless and easy.

It was a terrible shock to the family whom he had left a few short hours before saying “I will be home early” and yet the grief of the shock should be tempered by the thought that he passed to his reward with little or no suffering in the transition.

While we grieve at our loss
Being blind in our sorrow;
We should think of his gain
And the meeting tomorrow.

Joshua Durbin was born in Knox county, Ohio, near Fredrickstown, March 23, 1838 and died April 18, 1901. Here he grew to manhood and received his education. He was married to Louisa Babbs Nov. 24, 1859. To this union were born five children; Frank was drowned Aug. 13, 1876. Mr. and Mrs. Durbin were converted and united with the Berlin M.E. church just a little while preceding their marriage and were conscientious christians throughout their lives.

Mr. Durbin enlisted in Co. H. of the 142nd Ohio, and served faithfully in the civil war. It was here, while serving his country, that he received a sunstroke, the effects which followed him all through life and ultimately caused his death. Truly he gave the best of his life for his country.

He removed to Johnson county, Iowa, in 1865, and came to Mills county in 1871 purchasing and locating on the farm where he ever since has made his home. The following year he met with a great loss in the death of his beloved wife, Sept. 26, 1872.

He was married to Mrs. Almira Dunn Sept. 24, 1874. To this union were born three children: Fred, Florence and Cora, all of whom are living and with the sorrowing mother and three older children survive and mourn the loss of a kind indulgent father, a loving husband and a wise judicious counselor. While they have lost his guiding hand and his loving thoughtful care and his voice is stilled to them forever in the world, yet, they will ever have with them the example of his life urging them to noble aspirations and pure upright lives.

With his many friends Mr. Durbin was hospitable and generous, ever glad to welcome them into his home and none enjoyed a social visit better than he. With his neighbors he was accommodating, generous and helpful and many will remember instances of his aid and kindly advice. To the church of his choice he was a strength and help, giving freely of his time and money. Asbury church is a monument to his care and cheerful giving for he not only gave largely of his time and means to build and support it but he was always a member of the board of trustees. On account of his ailment he attended church but little the latter few years of his life but he was a large reader of the bible in his home and lived a christian life.

Mr. Durbin purchased 160 acres of the land on which he now resided when he first came west and which was all that he possessed at that time. He leaves an estate valued in land and numbers at $150,000, all of which he acquired by thrift and square dealing with his fellow man.

He was a man with a wonderful confidence in his fellow mortals. He leased a great part of his land, and yet never required a written contract of any one. He took the word of his tenants for what they would do and was seldom disappointed in them. He was generous to his tenants too, and in the hard times, the dry season, a few years ago he refunded the rent to many of them. His motto was “Live and let live.” He was generous with his means - every ready to help the unfortunate or to forward any project for general benefit.

He was essentially a home man and liked best to be there surrounded by his family and friends. Anything that would contribute to their comfort or welfare he cheerfully furnished and there are no pleasanter, more comfortable country homes than that of the Durbin;s, and none more hospitable.

The funeral occurred at Asbury church Sunday, April 21, at 10 o’clock a.m. and was conducted by Rev. L.B. Wickersham of Indianola who, began his ministry at that little church, and for whom Mr. Durbin had always entertained the highest regards. After brief services at the home the remains were taken to the church where they lay in state from 9 until 10 o’clock and hundreds of his old friends came to pay their respects and to take a last look at all that was mortal of him they had loved and respected.

By a strange coincidence the funeral of Mrs. Frank Shaw whose obituary occurs in another place, was held at the same time and place conducted by Rev. R.E. Shaw of Glenwood, a former pastor at Asbury. A quartet from Emerson Messrs. J.R. Jones and W. W. DeHart and Mrs. Jones and Miss Edith Evans sang; and beautiful wreaths, bouquets and floral emblems shed a sweet fragrance around the beloved dead.

They were laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Malvern and were accompanied thither by hundreds of sorrowing friends.

- -
Civil War Veteran


Mills Obituaries maintained by Karyn Techau.
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