Monday, 25 Jan 1904
Pioneer Citizen, F. B. Simpson, Dead:Succumbs after illness with Heart Disease and Funeral Held on Wednesday is Largely Attended.One of Early Settlers.
Was Village's First President, Active in Politics and Prominent Mason.
Surrounded by the members of his family, Franklin B. Simpson, after an illness of four weeks, passed away peacefully Monday (Note: 25 Jan 1904) morning at 3:15 o'clock at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. J. E. Walton on North Main street.The snapping of the silver cord which was strained with fearful frequency during the last days of his life was not unexpected.Heart disease brought the end, which came after a period in which he was oblivious to his surrounds, except for moments.
During the early sufferings from his affliction he spoke with the comfort and peace of one with assurances of an after joy and expressed himself as prepared and ready to go.
A pioneer resident of Medora, Mr. Simpson was one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens in the village which his early life had served to promote and his mature years to sustain.He enjoyed an extensive acquaintance, ever making and holding warm friendships withthose with whom he came in contact.His generosity was notable.His uprightness in every walk of life was the constant expression of a heart that bore no man malice, nor sought to supplant laudable ambitions.
He was during the middle years of his life active in politics, an ardent supporter of Democratic principles.Mr. Simpson served as the first President of Medora, the incorporation of which as a village was largely due to his efforts.He held the offices of County Coroner, School Director, at various times a member of the village board and under President Cleveland's first term was chosen Postmaster of Medora.He was also the first Postmaster here, when the settlement was known as Rhoads' Point, a mere trading point, rough and undeveloped.
Mr .Simpson was born in Flint Hill, Va., on January 5, 1827, and was at the time of this death 77 years and 20 days of age.In 1836, when he was a boy of nine years, he moved with his parents to Macoupin county, the family settling on a farm at Rhoads' Point, now Medora.At the age of 20 years he was married to Miss Marietta Parker, the daughter of two early residents.The companion of these many years, together with a family of eight grown children, survive him.
After many years of active farm life, Mr. and Mrs. Simpson four years ago moved from the Simpson homestead in the northern suburbs and established their home with their daughter, Mrs. J, E Walton, in Medora.The occasions of their wedding anniversaries have for several years been celebrated in pleasant manners.Owning to illness, however, no celebration of the event was possible this year, which marked the 57th anniversary of their married life, one of constant happiness.
The children left to mourn with the widow are Mrs. Andrew Stead, Mrs. William J. Bell, Mrs. John Robings, Mrs. J. E. Walton, Miss Julia Simpson and Mrs S. F. Simpson, all of Medora, Messrs. Elmer and Edward Simpson of Carrollton, all of who were constant attendants at the sick bed of their father during his last illness.He leaves, besides, a large number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The grandchildren are Mrs. W. A. Day, Colorado Springs, Col.; Mrs, C. H. Day, Medora; Mrs. W. A. Close, Carrollton, Ill.; Mrs. F. E. Whitfield, Rob Roy Robings, Reba G. Simpson, Rubie F. Robings, Franklin E. Walton, Medora; Lynne P. Simpson, Levis Leroy Simpson, Neil A. Simpson, Sidney E. Simpson, Leita M. Simpson, Mary E. Simpson, Carrollton.The great grandchildren are Andrew Day, Nellie Day, Francis R. Whitfield, Medora; Kenney L. Close, Carrollton.
Prominent as Mason
Mr. Simpson enjoyed among other distinctions that of being the oldest member of Fidelity Lodge, No. 152, A. F. & A. M. Raised to the degree of Master Mason on March 28, 1855, he had since been prominently associated with the order, at all times closely observing its tenets.After 21 years he was elected a life member of the order.
The obsequies were held Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from Mt. Pleasant Baptist church, the cortege being escorted to the church by the members of the lodge and visiting brethren, marshalled by Hon. A. H. Bell of Carlinville, R. W. Junior Grand Warden of the state.Impressive services over the remains of the departed pioneer were conducted by Rev. T. N. Marsh of Upper Alton, assisted by Rev. Henry Dixon of Rockbridge, Rev. William M. Rhoads of Upper Alton and Rev. Stephen Rhoads of Medora.
Funeral Largely Attended.
A congregation that completely filled the church auditorium was present.A special choir composed of Mrs. Catherine Stone, Miss Effie Hunter, Messrs. E. B. Simmons, A. L. Eastham and Wiley Johnson sanh "My Heavenly Home" and "Home to Rest," favorite hymes of the deceased.
Eloquent tributes to the memory of the deceased were spoken feelingly by Rev. Mr. Marsh and Rev. Mr. William Rhoads, former associates of him who had always proven himself one of the most noble and upright of men.Many beautiful floral pieces attested the love and respect in which he was held by relatives and friends.Among them wes an exquisite bouquet of Easter Lilies, sent by Mr. Henry Wood, president of the Union Dairy company, and a beautiful design from the Masonic lodge, besides a handsome floral offering from his grand children.
At the close of the church services proper the beautiful Masonic ceremony was carried out by Worshipful Master C. C. Carson.The interment followed at the Medora cemetery.
The pallbearers were Messrs. William Chism, C. W. Tietsort, D. Q. Trotter, John Charney, C. H. Adams, and T. A. Loomis.
Among those from a distance who were in attendance at the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Simpson, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Simpson, and Mr. and Mrs. Washington Close of Carrollton, D. Q. Trotter, of Jerseyville, Edward North of Whitehall, Mrs. William Johns, and daughter Lucile, of Jerseyville, A. H. Bell of Carlinville, G. B. Loper of Chesterfield, Hardin Cain, William Forwood and James Reno of Piasa, Thomas Savadge and son of Kemper, D. W. Simpson of Dow.