From: "Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert" <>

To: <>


Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 8:31 PM

Decatur County Journal

February l0, l898

MARTHA E. ELLIS was born in Mercer County, Mo., on the l4th day of

February, l842. She was the second daughter of JUDGE and MRS. W.W.

ELLIS, who were pioneers of Decatur County. She came to Leon with her

parents in l853, and made her home here until her death, with the

exception of a short residence in Mt. Ayr and Des Moines. She was

married to P.O. JAMES in l859, JUDGE W.F. KELLEY performing the

ceremony. She was the mother of four children, three of whom are now

living. She had been in delicate health for several years, and a severe

cold taken a few weeks ago, resulted in pneumonia, which caused her


MRS. JAMES was, in many respects, a woman of more than ordinary ability

and character. She has led an active and prominent life in our midst

for thirty years, and has always taken an intelligent interest in public

affairs, and in all that tended to the welfare of the community. Left

as the head of her family, under the most trying circumstances, she kept

her home and family intact and developed marked talent as a publisher

and business woman.

She was a mother in care and love to many motherless ones. She was the

trusted confidante of many--old and young. Always ready with sympathy

and aid, her hand was ever open to soothe distress, to aid the feeble,

and to answer every call of friendship. Whoever appealed to her in vain

for relief, for sympathy or for comfort? The mere name or the very

semblance of affliction touched her as deeply as actual suffering. She

possessed a rare Christian character, one whose charity was large, and

who, as much as anyone we ever knew, "thought no evil". If she had any

weakness it was on the side of frail humanity.

For a long time before her death, she must have known its silent but

sure approach. This, however, detracted nothing from her wonted

cheerfulness, and those who knew her best scarcely discovered her

failing health, certainly not her dangerous condition. Her kind

treatment of all, and her cheerful disposition continued the same up to

a few days before her death.

There is a fragrance--a perfume, that lingers about the name of the

good, that lasts beyond their lives. The truths they teach by their

precepts and illustrate by their example, are not for a day or a year,

but for all time. We bless them because the influence of their lives

gives us confidence in the present and fills us with hope for the


The virtues of this departed one need no attestation from anyone. They

are known where she was known. They cannot be disguised or hidden from

sight. If we should praise or eulogize her, we could do no better than

recount her daily walk.

The deceased was, from her youth, an earnest member of the Leon

Christian Church. Her funeral was held on Thursday forenoon, from her

home, ELDER STEVENS, her Pastor, delivering a short but touching and

appropriate discourse. Her friends, while mourning her death, cherish a

grateful remembrance of her many noble traits, her genial disposition,

the lovable qualities of head and heart, and the many domestic virtues

which rendered her so peculiarly dear to them all.


Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert