ELIJAH T. READ GRAVESTONE PHOTO
Oswego Independent, Feb. 25, 1916, Pg. 1
Died: Feb. 20, 1916
PIONEER CITIZEN AND
BUSINESS MAN PAS-
SED AWAY AT HIS HOME HERE
MORNING AFTER BRIEF
HAD LIVED HERE SINCE 1868
Was Prominently Identified
With Growth of Town
Enjoyed a Wide Acquaintance
and Counted Them All His
The flag at half mast in the court house yard Tuesday, told, not only of the
passing of another of the brave defenders of the Union during the Civil war, but
it told also of the departure from this life of one of the best citizens that
Oswego, or any other city, ever claimed. It’s folds hanging limp, half
way up the pole, pronounced the benediction upon the earthly existence of E. T.
Read, whose death occurred at his home here at 10:15 o’clock Sunday morning,
The announcement that death had
claimed him was a distinct shock to the entire town. Friends hurrying to
their various places of worship, heard the words as it passed from lip to lip,
and genuine sadness settled over the town that the deceased had know and loved
for almost half a century.
He was seized with an attack of
la-grippe a few weeks ago, but had recovered sufficiently to be up town, and was
generally supposed to recover nicely. Just a few days before his death,
was on the streets and assured his friends that he was gaining strength and
hoped to be able to go fishing in a few days. Friday and Saturday he was
not so well, and Sunday morning after he had eaten breakfast, was taken with a
violent spell of coughing, during which a blood vessel was ruptured near the
heart, and he expired almost immediately.
Funeral services were held from
the family home, Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock in charge of C. R. Mathis,
pastor of the Baptist church, and interment was in Oswego cemetery. The
funeral was largely attended and the flowers were banked in profusion in the
death chamber bore mute attestation of the esteem with which he was held.
Elijah T. Read was born Dec. 24,
1841, at Vernon, Indiana. Was converted in early life and united with the
Baptist church, continuing always an active and influential member. In
August 1861, he enlisted in Co. H, 26th Ind. Vol. Inft. serving
with credit until the end of the war,
during which time he attained the rank of lieutenant. At Vernon on May 31,
1864, he was united in marriage to Sarah V. Vawter. For four years they
lived in Vernon, where he engaged in the hardware business. In 1868 they
emigrated to Oswego, coming by boat to Kansas City, and overland from there,
being a pioneer here in the truest sense. He embarked in the hardware
business here, continuing uninterruptedly until a few years ago, he retired in
order to better care for Mrs. Read, who had become an invalid. His
business here prospered but in all the years he had never sued a debtor and
never lost a friend, although he is said to have had thousands of dollars worth
of outlawed bills by reason of his generous trait of character. He was a
charter member of the First Baptist church and threw the first shovel of dirt
for the new building at the consecration of the grounds. At his death he
was a deacon and trustee.
To Mr. and Mrs. Read were born
four children: Bert Read of Bartlesville, Mrs. Virginia Reamer of Kansas
City. Mrs. Read proceeded him to the grave last June.
He was a member of the A. O. U. W.
and M. W. A. Fraternities, in which he carried insurance to the amount of
$4,000. The pall bearers were old friends and business associates, and
were J. W. Marley, Scott Taylor, Judge Thompson, F. A. White, R. A. Hill and A.
Kaho. It was heard over and over again, that he died without an enemy on
earth, and many of those who had known him best and longest stated that they had
never heard a soul speak aught against him, and that they had never known him to
speak ill of another. Ordinarily this might be taken to mean that he was
not a man of force, but he was; but his life was so clean and his regard for the
opinions of others so broad, that differing viewpoints never engendered
friendships. N. H. Burt, President of the Great Western Stove Co., in a
letter of condolence to the family, stated that he first met Mr. Read in 1869,
sold him the first bill of goods he ever sold as a then traveling salesman.
That the high regard he formed of him then, was only augmented by all their
subsequent years of business dealings, and this is typical of the expression
from all of his business associates. Those present from out of town at the
funeral were Mrs. Roscoe Reamer, Kansas City; Mrs. Mabel Roberts, formerly Mrs.
Smith Read, Mrs. Lena Stotts, of Columbus, who was a life long—friend, and who
was present at the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Read; and James Dunlap of Carlyle,
Kas. One sorrowing friend was Uncle Joe Nelson, of this city, now 90 years
of age. Mr. Read was a former pupil of his and they had known each other
and been good friends for 65 years. Another Comrade who has associated
with him for almost a half hundred years and whose heart is bowed with grief,
has submitted these lines indicative of his feelings.
“Now you are gone, half of the charm
Into a past I never can forget;
“The Gleam’ is wearisome to seek
There is no Voice to comfort me,
Though you have strayed afar I have you
Bound with a tie no earthly space
You are my captive, biding here at will,
Deep in my heart, forever, and