submitted by Neal Carter, October 13, 2007


BILKEY Friday, March 3, 1893, at his home, No. 319 Sycamore street, of a complication of diseases, JOSEPH BILKEY, aged 65 years, 5 months and 16 days.

The news of the death of this old and highly respected citizen of Muscatine, while not unexpected, was received with deep regret by his many friends. The deceased had been in poor health for several years and had failed rapidly the past year. He had a severe attack this winter, but recovered sufficiently to be at his place of business, much to the gratification of all who knew him. About a week ago he suffered a serious relapse and steadily grew weaker, passing away at 5:45 p. m. Friday. The direct cause of his death was apoplexy, aggravated by a complication of diseases.

Joseph Bilkey was born in Hungary, Austria, September 17, 1827, where he grew to manhood. He emigrated to America in 1851, and settled in Newark, N. J., where he lived for four years and learned the trade of harness making. He was united in marriage with Miss Joanna Weber, February 20, 1855, in Newark. The same year they came to Muscatine and have since resided here. The deceased worked at his trade until President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers to preserve the Union, when with other brave men he enlisted in Company A, First Iowa Infantry, serving four months.

Returning to Muscatine, after serving out the time for which he had enlisted, Mr. Bilkey engaged in the harness and saddlery business in 1862, and with the exception of a year and a half he had been continuously at that business. In all these years he has been highly esteemed for his integrity and upright dealings by all who came in contact with him. He was always interested in the welfare and advancement of the city, though quiet and unassuming in manner. His home life was perfect. The life of an affectionate husband and father and kind neighbor is ended in his death. The deceased was a valued member of Shelby Norman Post, G. A. R., of Eagle Lodge No. 10, A. O. U. W., and for thirty years he had been an interested member of the Congregational church.

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bilkey, of whom two, Joseph and Sarah E., survive to comfort their widowed mother. The family have the deep sympathy of many friends in their great loss.

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