submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007


The Old Settlers of Muscatine county met this morning, Oct. 25, 1876, at the Mayor’s office.

The President being absent, J. J. Hoopes was chosed chairman, and stated that WILLIAM LEFFINGWELL, one of the oldest of our members, had left us.

Messrs. Block, Cloud and Richman spoke very warmly and eloquently of the high esteem we all in this community held the deceased.

D. C. Richman, D. C. Cloud and H. W. Moore were made a committee on resolutions, to report to-morrow morning at 9 o’clock.

Resolved, That the Old Settlers in a body join the procession at the funeral of deceased. ---P. JACKSON, Secretary.

In Memory of Wm. Leffingwell.

The committee appointed to present some expression of the sentiments of the Old Settlers Association of Muscatine county, Iowa, on the occasion of the death of William Leffingwell, would respectfully report that, in the death of our brother we realize the loss of a valuable citizen, a faithful public servant and a noble christian man, endeared to the community by a long and useful life, and while we appreciate the loss of such an one to his wife and family, to his friends, to the church with which he was connected, to his “brethren of the mystic tie,” and to the community in which he had so long lived, yet we cannot but reflect that he died in a good old age, full of days; that his life was rounded out to well nigh four score years; that his warfare was accomplished and that the time of his departure was at hand. We also remember that the record of his riper years is written in the history of our city and county, and that the evidence of his pure life is treasured up in the hearts and affections of all who knew him. Long may his memory be green among us, and while we say farewell at his open grave. we trust that we shall greet him on the other shore, where there shall be no more death, and where sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The committee recommend that this report be published in the city papers, and that a written copy thereof be presented to the family of our departed brother by the hands of the Secretary.

Muscatine, Iowa, Oct. 26, 1876.


Funeral of William Leffingwell.

The funeral of William Leffingwell draped our whole city in mourning. There were not the outward demonstrations; our bleiness streets were not hung in black. Muscatine has not learned the custom of shrouding its stores and shops with mourning emblems. But as the pageant of yesterday passed, the business of the city ceased. Every store was closed. The banks dropped their heavy curtains. Trade and speculation were silent as the long and solemn procession made its silent march through the heart of the city.

The funeral of ex-Mayor Leffingwell took place under the auspices of the Grand Commandery of the State of Iowa, and the DeMolay Commandery of Muscatine. This distinguished Order escorted the remains from the residence to Trinity church, where Rev. A. C. Stillson, of Ottumwa, (Grand Prelate of the Order,) conducted the Episcopal services and rites for the dead.

The Solemn services of the church having finished, Hon. Theodore S. Parvin, acting Grand Commander of his order, proceeded to deliver a funeral oration upon the life and virtues of deceased. The Grand Commander spoke with deep feeling and eloquent eulogy. The speaker and deceased had been intimate friends for thirty-seven years in the pioneer history of the State. In conclusion, acting for the Grand Commander of his order, he read the following special order:

    Grand Commandery of the State of Iowa.



    To the Officers and Members of the Grand and Subordinate Commanderies of the State of Iowa:
    SIR KNIGHTS:--It becomes my sad duty to announce to you that our venerable and beloved Past Grand Commander, SIR WILLIAM LEFFINGWELL, is no more! He died at his residence in Muscatine, yesterday evening, at the four of 8:40 o’clock P. M., aged seventy-seven years, nine months and nineteen days.

    His calm and peaceful death was a fitting end to a beautiful and consistent Christian life. No man ever more perfectly exhibited the character of the Christian pentleman, the true Knight without fear and without reproach. “By the purity of his character, as well as by the transparent truthfulness of his nature, he has always reflected honor on our society, and by his life has compelled the respect of those ever ready to judge us harshly, and to darken the character of our institution.”

    SIR KNIGHT LEFFINGWELL was born in Norwich, Conn., on the 4th day of January, A. D. 1799, became a resident of Iowa, July 4th, 1839, and a mason, Sept 11, 1848. On the 11th day of January, A. D. 1855, he received the accolade of the Templar, and by no one has he been surpassed in the zeal, energy and faithfulness with which he has labored in every department of masonry. As Master and Secretary of Iowa Lodge—as High Priest of Washington Chapter—as Puissant Master of Webb Council—as Commander or Preiate for more than twenty-one years of DeMolay Commandery—as Grand High Priest—as Most Puissant Grand Master—as Grand Commander, and as a Chief of Scottish Masonry, he has truly been, “In labors abundant,” in energy, unflagging, in intelligent zeal, unsurpassed. As a citizen, none has been more highly respected or esteemed. He has filled various places of trust, with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens.

    Truly “a prince and a great man hath fallen this day in Israel;” but he has “come to his grave in full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season,” and his silent lips preach eloquently to us whom he has left behind, to take up the work which his dying hands have dropped, calling upon so follow his example of pure and holy living, trusting always in the atonement of our ascended Saviour.

    His funeral will take place on Thursday next the 26th inst,, at one o’clock, with Templar services, under the direction of the officers of the Grand Commandery.

    As a token of respect for his memory, and of sympathy with his aged widow and sorrowing relatives and friends, it is ordered that this Order be read at the head of the lines in each Commandery, and that the banners of our order be draped in mourning for the space of sixty days; and also that all members of the Grand and subordinate bodies wear the usual badge of mourning during the saixe period.

    Grand Commander,

    Grand Recorder.

The reading of the Order concluding the remains were borne to the hearse and the procession formed:

First in the march were our four ex-Mayors, Meason, Stein, Musser and Molis Ex-Mayor Funck and Mayor Ament were prominent in the Masonic column.

After the ex-Mayors were the Old Settlers and following two hundred and fifty members of the craft, of which deceased was a loved and distinguished member.

The grand escort of the funeral car came next in the procession, headed by W. S. Robertson, Grand Captain General of the DeMolay Commandery, followed by numerous Knights of the Order, among whom were seen Knights from Burlington, Davenport, Lettsville, Wilton and neighboring places. O. P. Waters, of Burlington, as Grand Generalissimo; D. D. Shelley, of Davenport, as Grand Treasurer; and Theodore Schrimir of Mt. Pleasant as Grand Sentinel, were conspicuous in the procession.

The splendid uniforms, martial bearing, and the elegange and esprit of the corps, attracted the admiration of the crowded street.

Then followed the retinue of Master Masons, numbering two hundred and fifty, in their white aprons and the ensignia of their degree, and behind them the long row of carriages.

The city looked in sorrow and sadness upon the passing pageant. It bore onward to the grave the remains of one who had been loved ….Il.

At the grave the last fraternal rites were given and expressed, and the chapter is ended—William Leffingwell is with us no more.

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