South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, July 20, 1892:
Suddenly Called Home
Since our last issue the TRIBUNE family has been sorely stricken, and suffered a bereavement which can only come by the suffering of the tenderest ties which have been growing daily more intimate for more than twenty-one years.
Walker Mustain, aged 59 years and 9 days, the Christian gentleman, the patriotic solder, the faithful friend and brother, whose intimate companionship and counsel the TRIBUNE family have enjoyed for so many years, was on Friday night, suddenly called from labor to reward. The overwhelming shock came unexpectedly and without warning, but with him it was “It is well with my soul.” Twenty-two years age in Ohio, he had united with the church, and when he came to our city he identified himself with Christian people, and officially as steward, trustee and collector in the M. E. society, he served very many years. He was a social Christian gentleman who daily lived without ostentation the gospel fo Jesus which he professed, and by kindness, charity and a faithful life, preached the reality of Christianity. Often when busy at the printer’s case following “copy” to the letter, he would be whistling the tunes of Zion. He greatly enjoyed the preaching service, and if we mistake not, has never missed but one Thanksgiving day sermon since he came to the state. He was a great reader, had a wonderful memory, and was one of the best informed man on current topics we ever met, and one of the most companionable gentlemen.
Early in 1861, when the country needed men to face death to preserve its life, Walker Mustain answered, “Here am I,” and for three long years, except when sick or lying wounded, as a member of Co. A, 30th Ohio volunteers, he followed the flag. In camp, through the swamps, on the march into the very battle with death, not one time but many times. When his three years enlistment had expired, the country still needed defenders, and Walker Mustain re-enlisted in Co. B, 9th regiment of Gen. Hancock’s corps of U. S. Veteran Volunteers. When peace had settled over the land, after four years had been passed at the front, he returned to Ohio, and on July 10th, 1865, was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Marsh, his devoted but now greatly bereaved wife. In the early part of 1871, Mr. Mustain took the “Kansas fever,” and seeing the first copy of the South Kansas Tribune, it confirmed the case and on Sunday, March 26th, he arrived in our city, and his intimate acquaintance with the Tribune family dates from that time. Very soon after Mrs. Mustain came to join her husband, and purchasing a settler’s right to a claim on a quarter section southwest of our city, they moved out and began to pioneer. The isolation, the trials, the claim contests and the vexations were more than they desired, and they soon traded for town property and returned to our city which has since been their home.
In boyhood days he had learned the art preservative, but for more than 20 years he had not set a type. He called often at the Tribune office and soon found himself at the case trying to see if he could recall his former knowledge of the business which he soon recovered and from April of “71 to the day of his decease he was in the Tribune employ, ever helpful, ever mindful, and always giving its interest and prosperity, his first thought. As a citizen he has always been true, and has served as Councilman and on various committees, and contributed liberally of time and money to almost every church and charitable cause.
For several years he had suffered with a throat difficulty, and although he had taken skillful treatment for it without permanent benefit, and fully realized its probable fatal results, he rarely spoke of it, nor did it destroy his happy disposition. During the past few weeks he has had considerable irritation and accumulation in the throat, and a few spells of prostration. However, it did not alarm him, and he kept constantly at work, but avoided unusual exertions.
Mr. Mustain on Friday evening closed his labors in our office as usual and went home. After supper with his wife and Mrs. Charles Yoe, (Mr. Yoe who had made his home with Mr. Mustain for twenty-one years, being then on the train returning from Topeka, was notified by telegraph while on the train), he sat on the porch and enjoyed the cool of the evening, and was as cheerful as usual. After 9 o’clock he went up the stairs, laid down on a pallet near a window for a few moments, and then retired. Very soon after, as his wife was about to retire, he said he though he had taken a cold, and Mrs. Mustain provided the usual remedy for the irritation, but he could not swallow, and soon began to gasp for breath. Mrs. Yoe ran for help, a physician was called, and neighbors ran to his relief. He had risen from the bed and gone to a window where his wife was fanning him, and he was afterward seated in a large chair and fanned, but the grim messenger had called, and in less that twenty minutes from the time he first complained he had gone to enjoy that rest which remains for the faithful. How sad the loss and how great the grief, only those can tell who have passed through such an affliction.
The funeral was held at the M. E. church Sunday morning, and was attended by the Master Masons, the Eastern Star, the Grand Army, the Relief Corps, the Sons of Veterans, and a very large audience of sorrowing friends who had grown to love him and to admire his character. The funeral sermon was preached by his pastor, Rev. S. S. Martin from Micah 2:10, “For this is not your rest,” who was assisted in the service by Rev. Mr. Cooke, pastor of the Baptist church; who had adjourned his service out of respect to the deceased. The floral offerings and emblems of the G. A. R., the Masonic pieces, with bouquets, pillows, baskets etc., were numerous and very fine. At the cemetery the Master Masons rendered their beautiful burial service in a very impressive manner, and consigned one of their most faithful representatives to that rest, which awaits the redeemed at the resurrection.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.