The Sidney Argus - Herald
Sidney, Fremont County
December 15, 1927
"CIVIL WAR VETERAN AT REST"
Old Soldier Succumbs After Only One Week's Illness".-- Again the reaper has visited one of our pioneer homes and sounded "taps" for George Riley Thatcher, who was taken suddenly ill December 3 and lingered until Saturday morning, December 10. All that medical aid and loving hands could do was done, but to no avail, for it seems that he had lived more than his allotted time, being born in Clinton county, Ohio, February 7, 1843, and called from his earthly career at the age of 84 years 10 months and 3 days.
He was next to the youngest of eight chidlren of Albert and Parasatus Thatcher and is the last of the family to go. When 18 years of age he volunteered for three months' service in the great civil war from the state of Ohio. After serving that period of enlistment he came to Iowa, where he volunteered again in the Seventh Iowa Cavalry and served until the war's close.
After his final and honorable discharge he returned to Ohio and then moved to Abingdon, Illinois, with his parents where in 1868, on May 14, he was married to Martha Stephens. To this union five children were born, Mrs. Jennie Howard and Myrtle at home; Elmer and Charlie on farms near here, and Willie, who died in infancy. The devoted wife and mother with these four children survive their great loss.
At the age of 17 years he realized the need of his Maker in his life so accepted and was baptized into the Christian church in Ohio. He helped to build the old country church northwest of Sidney, known to older citizens as Salem.
In 1880, he with his family moved to Shenandoah where they lived for about three yers and them moved to their farm, four miles northwest of Sidney which was their home for nineteen years. For the last twenty years they have lived in Sidney, where their home has been open to strangers and friends alike. Always a cordial welcome was extended and willing hands stretched forth to help those who were in the valley of despair or to share with their joys. "Grandpa," as he was known to many, was energetic, loving, kind, honest to the last scruple. These attributes, together with a disposition toward generosity that knew no bounds, made deep and lasting friendships which will endure beyond the tomb.
Funeral services were conducted Monday afternoon by Rev . Coleson of Council Bluffs, former pastor of the local Christian church. Members of the Legion post escorted the body to its last resting place in Sidney cemetery and a firing squad fired a farewell shot in honor of one who had known the horrors of war, as well as the joys of peace, long before these stalwart youths had seen the light of day.
Source: Transcribed by Walter Farwell.