HENRY C. LOOMIS GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The Winfield Tribune, Oct. 20, 1905
Died: Oct. 14, 1905
Department Commander of G.
A. R. Passes Away
Col. Henry C. Loomis died at St. Mary’s hospital last Saturday afternoon at two o’clock. The news of his death, though not unexpected, cast a pall of gloom over the city and was received with universal sorrow.
Some weeks ago Colonel Loomis sustained a slight injury in his foot and as a result a peculiar gangrenous condition set in. His physicians, realizing the dangerous indications, besought the colonel to have his foot amputated but he hesitated and the poison penetrated his entire system. Last week he consented to the operation and it was performed, the patient rallying nicely from it and for the time giving promise of improvement. But the gain was only temporary and the relapse came Friday, the patient slowly sinking until the end came Saturday.
There was no more widely or popularly known man in the state than Colonel Loomis. In Winfield he was known and respected as the father of the city, and in her his interest centered as about an only child. He was one of the founders of the townsite in 1871, and for nearly thirty-six years he has been first and foremost in every enterprise that would build up and improve the city. Lodge and club life was his great hobby and he is nationally known in G. A. R. and Masonic circles.
Henry C. Loomis was the son of Bliss and Betsy Loomis of the town of Otto, in Cataragus county, New York, where he was born in a log house on March 16th 1834. His grand-father was an officer in the revolutionary war, and from him he inherited a love for the military life. While still a boy he became a member of a local military company and had served in it seven years when the war broke out. The company, as a whole, went into the sixty-forth New York infantry and with him as first lieutenant. He commanded the company at the battle of Fair Oaks, and while leading a charge against the confederates he was shot twice, once through the leg and once through the arm. That was the same time the place where Gen. O. O. Howard lost his arm.
Colonel Loomis, while at home recuperating after the sickness consequent of his wounds assisted in organizing the 154th New York infantry and became lieutenant colonel of it. He served gallantry through the remainder of the war, a fact which has been recognized by different Grand Army organizations, while serving as local post commander for some years, and as department commander of the state in 1903.
Colonel Loomis came to the valley of the Walnut in 1868 as a bridge builder. He saw the future of the country and in 1869 squatted on a piece of Osage land and held it until the government came in possession of it. More than 100 acres of original quarter-section is now included in the townsite of Winfield. He helped organize the county and was the first county clerk. He was an active, progressive and public-spirited citizen, and besides president of the Chautauqua assembly that has made Winfield famous, he served two terms as mayor, beginning in 1896.
Colonel Loomis was made a Master Mason in 1862 and remained a consistent member for forty-three years, during which time he advanced to the thirty-third or highest degree. He was the first Worshipful Master of Winfield Lodge. His honors did not cease there, for he has served as high priest of the Winfield chapter of Royal Arch Masons, eminent commander of the Knights Templars; worthy patron of Queen City chapter. Order of the Eastern Star; a Royal and Select Master Star; a Royal and Select Master in the Wichita Consistory; Inspector General of the Jurisdiction; Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Commandary of Kansas; Grand Master Mason of the Blue Lodge Masons for Kansas, and honorary members of life of Isis Temple, A. A. O. M. M. S. In 1890 he became a member of the Scottish Rite bodies in this city, and he has been a consistant attendant at their meeting ever since
He was given a Scottish Rite funeral at the opera house Tuesday night at midnight. To these services only Masons and their families, G. A. R. and their families, and Red Men and their families were admitted.
The body layd in state Wednesday morning and at two o’clock Wednesday afternoon the public services were held. The Masons, G. A. R.’s, Knight Templar and escorts had charge of the services and the funeral oration was delivered by Rev. T. W. Jeffries, of Carthage, Missouri. The Wichita Consistory attended in a body and prominent Masonic and Grand Army friends from all over the state were present. Interment was made in Union cemetery.
Colonel Loomis’ wealth is estimated at between $12,000.00 and $15,000.00. Ed F. Nelson was appointed executor of the estate. Three thousand dollars of this has been reserved for a monument for himself; $500.00 executor’s fees; $300.00 to the O. E. A.’s, and the remainder given to J. H. McCall, of Wichita, and to J. C. Coulter, of the Western Veteran. The two last named were dear friends of Col. Loomis and helped him in his campaign for G. A R. post commander. His valuable watch, the one which he always carried him, he has left to Captain Charle Van Way. Many Masinic emblems, with papers and other material is to be given to private persons here in the city.