submitted by Neal Carter, November 28, 2007

Another Muscatine Pioneer Passes Away


The Story of Irish Energy and Learning – A Long Life Ended – His Genial Character –
Funeral on Next Friday Afternoon

Nov. 1899 (hand written)

Samuel Sinnett, an old settler of Muscatine county, lies dead in his late home to-day. The final summons came at 2:30 this morning. This is the third old settler removed by death within two weeks and each of them a well-known character and citizen -- W. S. Richie, J. P. Walton and S. Sinnett. Two months ago to a day, the deceased gathered with a number of old friends, all over eighty years of age, at the Island home of W. H. Hoopes, at a dinner given in honor of the host’s father. He acted as historian of the party, but little thought he then, that he would be the first of that company to go to the great beyond, toward which they all knew their feet were fast treading, and another would act as his historian.

His Last Illness

Mr. Sinnett had been ailing for the past five or six weeks, though confined to his room only a portion of that time. The doctor defines the disease which was the immediate cause of his demise as arteriosclerosis and debility. His condition did not become alarming until a day or two ago, when anxious ones at his bedside realized that the end was fast approaching. He lingered on, holding most tenaciously to life until an early hour this morning, when, with loving ones tenderly watching and in full possession of his every mental faculty, the light went out which had burned so brightly for more than 82 years.

Samuel Sinnett was born in the city of Dublin, Ireland, on the 17th of March, 1817, and is the second son of John T. Sinnett and Mary Susan, nee Abbott. His father was for many years a silk manufacturer in the Irish capital and was descended from an old Huguenot family, driven from the neighborhood of Lyons, France on the revocation of the celebrated edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1865. The Sinnetts carried their industry with them to Dublin, where for several generations they were among the most prosperous and useful citizens of that metropolis.

Mr. Sinnett received a first-class English and classical education in the city of his nativity – one of the most renowned seats of learning in Europe. He left Ireland in 1835, in the 18th year of his age, in company with his only brother, John T. Sinnett, an artist, late of Middletown, N. Y.

On arriving in the United States he settled down as a pioneer farmer in Park county, Ind., where he remained some five years, and in 1840 removed to Muscatine county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm near this city, on which he has since resided. He has been twice married. In September, 1840, to Miss Susan L. Higley, of New York. She died on the 14th July, 1844, leaving one child, the present Mrs. Mary S. Donaldson, of Webster City, Iowa. On the 31st of October, 1847, he married Miss Sarah A. Knox, who preceded him in death, Nov. 13, 1897.

The children living are: Mrs. Mary S. Donaldson, of Webster City, Iowa; Jennie S., of this city; Mrs. Georgia A. George, of Chicago; Isabella, Samuel T., and Charles E., of Muscatine. Two other children had been born to him, Wm. A., who died in infancy, and the late Dr. Harry Sinnett, of New York city, who died in March 1894, whose wife, Mrs. Janie H. Sinnett, now lives in Louisville, Ky. He also left six grandchildren, Oscar and Sadie Donaldson, of Webster City, Iowa; Francis and Helen, children of Chas. E. Sinnett, and Eleanor and John Harris, children of Dr. Harry Sinnett.

In his earlier life he was a member of the Episcopal church, but later in life united with the Presbyterian church of this city, of which he had been a regular attendant for many years.

Funeral of Samuel Sinnett
November 11, 1899

The funeral of Samuel Sinnett was held from the home this afternoon at two o’clock, and was attended by a large number of sorrowing friends. The service was conducted by Rev. J. N. Elliott, of the Presbyterian church, assisted by Rev. Mr. Thomas, of the Episcopal church. The remains were laid to rest in the city cemetery. The pall-bearers were J. B. Hunt, J. Linn Hoopes, C. W. Bridgman, M. L. Mikesell, Wm. Kincaid and John Wilson.

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