Tama County Iowa Obituaries

William Wade

The Toledo Chronicle
June, 1916

County Pioneer Claimed, Friday


Was Past 86 Years Old and Had Been Resident of County Since 1860--Funeral Held Sunday Afternoon

A venerable and highly respected citizen, a devoted father, and an esteemed neighbor and friend has been called away in the death of Father William Wade. He was of English-German ancestry, and was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, May 21st, 1830, and at the time of his departure, June 23, 1916, was aged 86 years, 1 month and 2 days. He had four brothers and five sisters all of whom preceded him in death.

Mr. Wade grew to manhood on his father's farm, where he acquired not only the habits of industry which were so characteristic of him, but his marked love for agricultural pursuits as well. At the age of 28, in 1858 he was united in marriage with Miss Susan A. Johnston, whose death occurred thirteen years ago last March. To this union there were born ten children, three of whom died in infancy, and one, Mrs. Mary Wade Magee, passed away recently after a long illness, at her home in Wheatland, Wyoming. The other children all survive, Lindley Wade, residing at Menominee, Michigan, Harry, Anna, and Arthur of Toledo, Iowa, Mrs. Maria Jackson, Wheatland, Wyoming, and Winfield, of Montour.

In the autumn of 1860 Mr. and Mrs. Wade, with true pioneer spirit, and with the vigor and hope of young life, came to Iowa, locating in the southeastern part of Tama County on a farm. After five years in the West, with the experiences of struggle and privation incident to a new country, yielding to the solicitations of their friends, they decided to return to their former Pennsylvania home. But after a residence there of only three years, in 1868, they again set their faces westward coming to this community, which, for nearly a half century has been the family home. Here they lived, reared a family of worthy sons and daughters, filled a useful place in the community life, and always enjoying the respect and esteem of their fellow citizens.

In 1867 Mr. Wade identified himself with the United Brethren church in Mt. Pleasant, Pa., this being the church with which his wife had been connected with from her girlhood. When the United Brethren church was organized in Toledo, in 1872, Mr. and Mrs. Wade were among the thirteen charter members. In this relation, through all the years of their active life, their loyalty and devotion to the church of their early choice never slackened, nor was their love for its worship and fellowship ever questioned. This is a record both notable and worthy. All honor to the consistent sincerety and faithfulness of such was in all relations!

Mr. Wade was himself a very modest man. His retiring disposition was characteristic. In the church as well as in business life and in the social circle his integrity and worth were expressed in deeds rather than in words. He led an even, consistent life, practicing the principles of honesty and brotherhood in his dealings with men, and at the same time always acknowledge his allegiance to his divine Master Jesus Christ.

This is a short story of the life of a humble man whose daily conduct in this community has been an open book for fifty years. He has been conspicuous only in the simple life he has lived, in the industry he has shown, the economy he has practiced, and the good he has done in his lowly sphere. The memory of such a life is a lasting benediction and a priceless legacy to the community in which his influence has so long been a substantial asset.

The funeral was held from the United Brethren church last Sunday afternoon[June 25th, 1916], being largely attended by relatives and old time friends of the deceased. The funeral services were conducted by Dr. M. R. Drury, a former pastor, assisted by Dean H. W. Ward. In his tribute to the life and character of Mr. Wade, Dr. Drury said in part:

Some of you who have only known the deceased during his later years, the years of his decrepitude, with failing faculties, can hardly appreciate what he had been in his home and the community prior to the coming of these physical infirmities. When I came to Toledo, forty-one years ago, a young minister, just out of school, the Wade family lived on a farm two miles east of town. Being their pastor I soon came to know them well. Mr. Wade was then only in middle life and with his faithful wife and children about him he had a happy and beautiful home. Those were the days when farmers generally came to town to church in lumber wagon, parents and children, all attending Sunday and school and all remaining for the public worship. What sweet and hallowed memories gather about those days, and how blessed their benediction still!

When a man dies who has led a good and successful life people at once begin to look for the secret springs of such a life. Sometimes they find it, sometimes they do not. The best legacy which one leaves to the world when he departs is the influence for good he has had on his fellow men. What is the secret of such an influence? It is not his money, his position or learning, but his character. That is what gave to the humble life of William Wade its charm and hold on his neighbors and friends. He was an honest man. God-fearing man. There is nothing better in this world than to be a man of this exalted type. It is of such a man that God declares in the words of the psalmist,

With long life will I satisfy him, And show him my salvation."

Submitted by: Gary Wade (GaryWOTR@aol.com)

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