LYMAN U. HUMPHREY GRAVESTONE PHOTO
Sep 14, 1915
HONORED HIS MEMORY
Last Rites for Gov. Humphrey Largely Attended
MANY PAY TRIBUTE
Rev. Appleby Delivered the Funeral Address- Floral Offerings Very Profuse
The funeral of ex-Governor Lyman U. Humphrey was held from the family residence at 10:30 o'clock this morning and was largely attended by the old friends and residents. Only a portion of those present could obtain admission to the spacious rooms. The casket was placed in the living room in front of vast banks of flowers. It was wrapped in an American flag and covered with beautiful lilies. The floral offerings were the most beautiful and elegant ever seen in the city. In the room containing the casket they appeared in artistic symbols and emblems and great clusters and extended out onto the porch in their profusion. It was beautiful and appropriate and testified to the affection felt for one of the city's and state's most distinguished citizens.
The following Knights Templar acted as pallbearers: Dale Hiebrank, Hoyt Cates, Ernest Sewell, T. B. Henry, T. E. Wagstaff, J. M. Jacoby.
The members of McPherson post, G. A. R., attended the services in a body and were invited into the house.
The court house, city hall and the banks of the city were closed this morning out of respect to the memory of the deceased.
The funeral services were very impressive in their simplicity and dignity. Mrs. Frank Stoops sang with deep feeling - "I Shall See Him Face to Face," Rev. Appleby of the First Congregational church paid a fine tribute to the life and services of the deceased. Mr. Appleby stood in the reception hall when delivering his address so that he could be heard by both those in the house and those standing on the lawn. He said:
Independence today mourns the loss of her most distinguished citizen. There is no need that on this occasion I should give his biography. It is already written for the generations to come in the history of the state that honored him, and that he, in turn, so highly honored. Would I pronounce a eulogy, it is already written in your hearts.
Some one has said reputation is fleeting, honor is temporary, fame is a burden, only character endures. It is therefore fitting that we should pause at the end of a career that has been so honored and consider for a brief time some of the elements of character that made Governor Humphrey one of the great men of the state. He was born in that portion of Ohio known as the Western Reserve, a region that for decades has furnished much of the leadership of the nation. His ancestral lines ran back to Puritan New England, and his boyhood being spent in a pioneer state , he imbibed patriotism with his mother's milk, and he breathed freedom with the air of his native hills. When the great crisis of our country's history came and the drum beat of the nation was heard in 1861, he joined the mighty army that to the rhythm of marching feet were singing: "We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong."
He entered the army a boy of 17. When he was mustered out in the summer of 65, not yet 21 years of age, he was in command of a company. The same force of character that made him a soldier brave and true when he fought at Shiloh and Corinth, and Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge and a score of other battles as he followed Sherman when he went marching down from Atlanta to the sea abided with him in civil life. It was inevitable that the boy who attained an officer's commission in the army should receive recognition as a man of leadership in the years that followed.
For a few years after the Civil war Governor Humphrey lived in Shelby county, Missouri, where he in turn was teacher, editor, and lawyer. He came to Independence in 1871. He was not yet 27 years old, and Independence was only a crude pioneer town. In the forty-four years that have passed no man has made a more varied contribution of his talent and strength to the making of his adopted city. Together with Charles and Thomas Yoe and certain Missouri friends he established the South Kansas Tribune, which abides to this day as one of the strong influential journals of the state. Governor Humphrey was editor and W. T. Yoe was business manager. In 1872, after having been connected with the paper for a little over a year he left the editorial tripod and engaged in the practice of law. A dozen years later in connection with George T Geuernsey and others he engaged in the banking business and was the first president of the Commercial National bank, serving in that company for six years.
The same interest in public affairs that made him a soldier in the sixties led him into political life in the seventies and later. He was a member of the legislature serving both in the lower house and in the senate later becoming lieutenant governor. In 1888 he received the highest honor in the gift of the state, being elected governor by the largest plurality ever given to a candidate for a state office. Two years later the people testified to their approval of his administration by electing him for a second term. On his retirement from office he reentered business life and through the years has been honored by the community as its first citizen.
This is not the time or place to make extended remarks concerning Governor Humphrey's political career; but it is certainly entirely in keeping with the proprieties to say that he gave the state a clean administration, free from scandal, and that, in the face of threats against his political life, he stood steadfastly for prohibition as the established attitude of the state toward the liquor traffic; and for this alone he should be held in in grateful and everlasting remembrance by every loyal son of Kansas.
A cultured gentleman, a successful businessman, an honored public official blessed with many warm and enduring friendships, he failed to find in all these things that which satisfied his soul's highest longings. His attitude toward happiness was that of President Garfield as revealed in this story.
On election night, in November, 1880, there was gathered in General Garfield's political headquarters a group of personal friends who were anxiously awaiting the election returns. The reports, fragmentary at first, soon began to point to the election of General Garfield. Finally there was no doubt about it. The waiting friends began to tender congratulations. Other congratulations began to come in over the wires from friends throughout the nation. Suddenly the pastor of the triumphant candidate said: "General Garfield I want to preach next Sunday morning from a text suggested by the president elect. Give me a text." Then this man, who had won honors in the scholastic world and on the field of battle and in the halls of congress he who had found the tow path a highway leading to the door of the White House- he, with the highest honor in the gift of the nation his turned and instantly replied:
"Take this: from the last verse of the seventeenth Psalm: "I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."
Even though a man attain to the highest earthly honor, nothing short of likeness to a Son of God will satisfy him. That same heart craving for more than this earth can give even to the highly successful found expression in the life of Governor Humphrey in his membership in the Congregational church and the confession of faith that it implied. For some years he was chairman of our board of trusties and he had a keen appreciation of the work of the church and all it stood for.
Today his memory is honored by city and state, a multitude of friends find inspiration in his career; his home darkened by death is brightened by flowers from many sources; but that which brings the most solid and enduring comfort to the bereaved hearts of his dear ones is the message of the church that he loved and served the words of the Lord, Jesus Christ, his Master, who said: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall live; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die."
The sufferings of Governor Humphrey extended through many months and there is suggested the problem of the meaning of pain. The best brief answer I have found in the words of another:
The cry of man's anguish went up to God:
"Lord take away pain--
The shadow that darkens the world thou hast made,
The close coiling chain
That strangles the heart, the burden that weighs
On wings that would soar
Lord, take away pain from the world thou hast made,
That it love Thee the more."
Then answered the Lord to the cry and His word:
"Shall I take away pain,
And with it the power of the soul to endure,
Made strong by the strain?
Shall I take away pity, that knits heart to heart,
And sacrifice high?
Will you lose all your heroes that lift from the fire
White brows to the sky?
Shall I take away love, that redeems with a price
And smiles at its loss?
Can ye spare from your lives, that would climb into mine--
The Christ on his cross?"
Pain, suffering, sorrow and bereavement are common to all. We can not escape them. Our only hope is to find comfort when they do come. This comfort will be just in proportion to our faith in Jesus Christ. If in our hearts we believe in Him, we will reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed.
Amanda Lowman Bartholomew, one our own Kansas writers has beautifully expressed this faith in these words which I close:
The river's not wide,
And the other side
Seems nearer than ever before;
The waves once so dark,
Recede from the bark
As I list for the dip of the oar.
I shudder no more,
For the splash of the oar
Falls in rythmical cadence so sweet,
It seems but a part
Of the peace of my heart,
As the waters flow nearer my feet.
Now yet do I shrink,
Though close to the brink
The breath of the river grows chill,
For through the deep roll
His voice in my soul
Bids the waves and all my fears be still.
In the fast ebbing sand
Uplifted I stand
By a hand pierced for me long ago,
My sins all confessed,
On his bosom I rest,
He will bear me safe over I know.