Webster County



Home Research Photographs Search Links Whats New IAGenWeb
Special Projects
Contact Us

Elmer Peter Gochee

A Tribute and a Memory

Written by Dr E.D. Russell

The pioneers that blazed the trail sixty-five years ago along the Lizard out there in Clare are gone and now their sons are being borne to the little city of the dead where moulder their honored dust. No boast of heraldry, no pomp of power was theirs: they were just the plain children of the rustic hamlet and and the inevitable hour that only leads to the grave id their doom just as 'tis of the mighty and the great. And impartial death snatches them before the shadows of life lengthen to the west and sometimes when the sun of life only passes manhood morn and often before the noontide hour. The universal sympathy every one up there in Johnson township felt at the passing of Elmer is the loss to that family of little tots left that will never remember the father's familiar face.

He was one of the most industrious of Webster county farmers and straightforward as he was honest. He was of the most loyal and faithful parishioners of St. Matthew's parish. He came from a historic old Gallic race that like so many of the old time French migrated to Canada where they settled near the historic plains of Abraham near Quebec and of course these old Frenchmen years ago were as Catholic as St.Peter. In time they migrated to the states and Elmer was born at LeRoy,Ill., on August 27, 1886.

When fourteen months old the family consisting of father, mother, four boys and three girls moved to Iowa and settled on a farm in the open prairie of Jackson township and near which in after years sprang up the towns of Clare and Barnum. They lived there for twenty years. The father, Louis Gochee, died in 1890. In 1902 the mother moved to a farm near Moorland where she married Mr. Leohr, who died in 1913. Elmer received a good education. His excellent mother was his first teacher as they all had to be in those pioneer days. Then the historic old school house out there that is still a land mark on the Preston hill was built and Elmer was one of the first pupils. As the family accumulated a little he was sent to school in Fort Dodge and then to the newly erected school in Moorland.

On November 23, 1909, he was married to Myrtle M. Heun and to that happy union seven children were born, six of whom are now living. They are Marie, Ethel, Carl, Edmund, Mervin and Mary Lucille. Cletus died three years ago last January. A faithful and loving wife, true as steel is left to keep his memory green. If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the affairs of this life here below as they do as sure as you and I live, let us pray that the kindly spirit of this honest Clare farmer will look down with tenderness from his home in bliss, on those innocent little tots left behind and ever guard, we know not how, their tiny feet that they ever walk aright on the straight paths of decency and virtue. Eternal rest to his dear soul.

Unfortunately my Great Grandfather died on June 23, 1931. I, nor my mother, ever got to meet him. I have heard many praises sung of this man who died to soon.

His mothers name is not mentioned in the memorial. Her maiden name was Eliza Ann Morgan.

Kandus Barland

Copyright © 1996 - Webster County IAGenWeb and contributors!      
IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer