Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa Thursday, April 28, l904
WILSON I. GARDNER, one of Decatur County's pioneer citizens, who saw this country converted from a wild land of prairies and forests to one of orchards, farms and beautiful homes, passed away suddenly and quietly at his home in Decatur City, Iowa, on Monday, April l8, l904, after a very short illness of pneumonia.
He was born in Stark County, Ohio, May l2, l832 and came to Iowa with his parents in l853.The family resided in Clayton County, Iowa, one year, removing to Decatur County in l854.Of the five brothers in this family, he, JOHN W. and WILLIAM A., who both survive him and are respected citizens of Leon, have resided in Decatur County ever since their arrival in l854; WASHINGTON B. died in this county in l900; BENJAMIN F. died in Colorado last January.His two sisters, MATILDA C. PORTER, of Los Angeles, Cal. and CHRISTINA A. PORTER, of Garfield, Oregon, both survive him.
He was married to CATHARINE WIGHTWINE in l854, to which union four children were born, FRANK M. GARDNER, MRS. LUBERTA SHELTON and MRS. JENNIE KALKOFEN, of Decatur City, and MRS. ALLIE TULLIS, of Leon.Besides his wife, brothers, sisters and children he leaves seven grandchildren and a large number of other relatives and friends to mourn his death.
He was a charter member of the Christian Church of Leon, organized in l854 and, although not an active member continually, lived an honest, upright and exemplary Christian life to the end.He is remembered as a kind and sympathetic father and husband, as one who concealed his own trials and troubles, but always ready and tender in helping others, cautious in speaking evil of his fellow man but always ready to find some good in everyone.In his death his family lose a protecting husband and father, the community a citizen of high moral principles and ideals.
Interment was in the Decatur City Cemetery, Tuesday, April 19, the funeral services being conducted by Elder Ross, of Seymour, assisted by Rev. Heckathorn, of the M.E. Church.The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful.