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Obituaries and Death Notices

The Cairo City Times,

The Cairo Weekly Delta

Cairo Weekly Times and Delta


3 Jan 1855-19 Dec 1855


Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois

Transcribed by Darrel Dexter

The Cairo City Times


Wednesday, 3 Jan 1855:

Died on Jan. 2d, 1855, Henry Garner of Ballard Co., Ky., aged about 60 years.  His disease was pneumonia.  He was a good citizen and a true friend.  In common with many others, we grieve at his loss.


Wednesday, 17 Jan 1855:

The funeral of Henry Garner, deceased, will be preached by the Rev. H. H. Richardson at the residence of the deceased in Ballard County next Sabbath.  An attendance of the Masonic fraternity, of which he was an exemplary member, and his friends generally are requested to attend.


A man by the name of Richard Lemon died on the wharf boat Kendall yesterday.  He came up from Memphis on board the Hungarian Monday night having been discharged from the Memphis Hospital.  He represented himself as being from Brantford, Canada West.  Nothing of value was found within his carpet sack or pockets.  There was 70 cents and a certificate from the Surgeon of the Memphis Charity Hospital, to the effect that he had been under his charge and was a deserving object of charity, were about his person.  He was decently interred.


Wednesday, 31 Jan 1855:

Last Friday, Lewis, an old Negro who has lived in Cairo for many years, entered a well he was digging on the Mississippi levee and was struck with the clamps.  He died the same day.


Wednesday, 21 Feb 1855:

A man by the name of Robert Woods, deck passenger on board the steamer Ohio Bell, who formerly lived at or near Evansville, died at this place last Friday night.  He had been suffering with chills and fever and had neglected the proper remedies.


Wednesday, 28 Feb 1855:

Mr. S. Ivers, a quiet and worthy citizen of Cairo, died at The Hotel on Friday last.  His disease was pneumonia.  His remains were taken to Cape Girardeau, the residence of his family, for interment.  Mr. Ivers was a worthy mechanic, an accomplished gentleman and his death is much regretted by a large circle of friends here.  We had a very high regard for him and could do nothing less than pay this tribute to a good man gone.  (His marker in Lourimore Cemetery in Cape Girardeau, Mo., reads, Sacred to the Memory of Samuel Ivers born in New York City, Dec. 25, 1826, died in Cairo Feb. 22, 1855.)


Wednesday, 7 Mar 1855:

Died in Jonesboro, Ill., on the 15th of Feb. 1855, Mrs. Barbara Smith, aged about 65 years.  Death has knocked at the door of a happy home and still insatiate and remorseless has robbed it of its principal inmate.  We perform a mournful duty in paying the last feeble tribute to the memory of the venerable lady who has gone to “the home from whence no traveler returns.”  We had the honor to be intimately acquainted with her for nearly 30 years and can bear testimony to her many virtues, her undistractive charity, her watchfulness in the sick room, and her devotion to her family.  We were often and in a very tender and peculiar manner indebted to her kindness, reaching back to our earliest infancy and occurring all along the journey of life.  We sympathize with the sad circle of her relatives who mourn over her departure and especially her noble and worthy son who has been deprived of the wise counsel, the sincere friendship and disinterested devotion of a mother.  He was worthy of such a mother and she of such a son.  She died in the triumph of the Christian faith and we trust is now enjoying the glorious fruition of her hopes, above.  (Her marker in Jonesboro Cemetery reads, Mrs. Barbara Smith Died 15 Feb 1855, Aged 62 Years.)


Wednesday, 18 Apr 1855:

Mr. (W.A.) Hacker was called to Jonesboro on Tuesday morning by the sudden news of the death of his sister at that place.  Any defects in this paper must be excused by his absence.  We know that his readers will sympathize with him in this great bereavement.


Wednesday, 25 Apr 1855:

Died at his residence in Kentucky on the 18th inst., John Stone, in the 60th year of his age.  Mr. Stone was one of the first settlers of that portion of Kentucky where he resided and was highly respected by all who knew him.  Requiescat in pace.


Died at Saratoga on the 15th inst. of pneumonia, Miss Minerva S. Hacker, aged 22 years.  She was the youngest daughter of Col. J. S. Hacker surveyor of this port and sister of the senior editor of this paper.  Thus passed away from earth a woman who never had an impure thought, whose whole life was spent in gentle sympathies for the distressed and charities for all.  Time has power to soften and assuage the poignancy of grief, but the devoted sister, the dutiful child, the disinterested friend, the ripe scholar and Christian can never be restored.  We beg to express in the name of her bereaved relatives, their thanks for the kind sympathies and aid of neighbors and friends upon the sad occasion of her funeral.  (Her marker in Jonesboro Cemetery reads, Manurvia S. Hacker, born 27 Feb 1832, died 17 Apr 1855.)


Wednesday, 16 May 1855:

Died suddenly last Saturday night, Joseph K. Firman, late of Philadelphia, aged 21.  The deceased was a young man, much esteemed and had lived here but a short time.  His remains were interred Sunday afternoon.  The funeral sermon was prepared by the Rev. Mr. Griswold of the Episcopal Church.


Wednesday, 27 Jun 1855:

Sampson Keith, a prominent citizen of Union County, recently died with what was supposed to be cholera.  He had been in St. Louis and returned home afflicted with the premonitory symptoms of the disease, and thinking them not at all alarming, neglected to call in a physician until it was too far advanced.  We have an evidence in this example of the danger of procrastination where this or any other epidemic disease is prevailing.  By timely attention to the premonitory warnings, Judge Keith might have been spared to his family, the society and to the community whom he had served in several responsible capacities.


We understand that Mr. Joseph Boswell of Union County committed suicide by hanging on Friday last.  He was found suspended by the neck having used a pair of bridle reins for the purpose.  We have heard no reason assigned for the rash act, but suppose that it arose from a temporary aberration of the mind, as he has been more or less affected with insanity at intervals during a few years past.  (Joseph Boswell died 22 Jun 1855, according to his probate file in Union County.)


Wednesday, 8 Aug 1855:

We learn from a reliable source that on Monday, July 23rd, a fight came off in the Mississippi Bottoms between a man and woman which resulted in the death of the woman on the Wednesday following.  So far as we have been able to learn, the circumstances are about these:

            It seems a Mrs. Collier went to the well of one Mr. Honberger for the purpose of getting water.  Mr. Honberger, ordered her out of his enclosure.  She obtained the water and went away and procured another bucket and armed herself with a knife, then went for more water.  While in the act of drawing it from the well, Honberger approached her for the purpose of forcibly ejecting her from his enclosure, when she drew the knife from her bosom and inflicted seven severe wounds, which will probably prove fatal; he then wrested the knife from her and inflicted the fatal blow which terminated in her death on Wednesday.  We will not comment upon this horrible tragedy.  Suffice it to say, it is brutal in the extreme and that we hope we may never be called on to record its like again (Jonesboro Gazette).   (Page 11 of the 1855 state census of Union County lists George A. Hornberger on line 7 and Fanny Collier on line 16.  The wounds may not have been fatal, as George A. Hornberger married on 26 May 1859, in Union County, Mrs. Anna L. Gordon.)


Wednesday, 29 Aug 1855:

A son of Mr. Sheldon Young of Jackson’s Grove, eight miles south of Elgin, aged about 4 years old, came to a singular death on Friday of last week.  He was trying to open a barn door and for that purpose had placed a chair near the wall, in order to enable him to reach the fastenings, when the chair slipped out from under him, and his head being caught between two boards of siding, in which position he was found a few minutes afterwards, lifeless.


Wednesday, 4 Sep 1855:

A bloody and fatal affray lately occurred near Hickman, Ky., between Thomas McGrew and Pleasant Norman and his two sons.  McGrew had used his whip upon one of the Normans and these afterwards met him on the road.  After some altercation, the old man presented a pistol when Mr. McGrew shot him dead with his gun.  The two sons then beat McGrew till he was left for dead, but he recovered.


Wednesday, 12 Sep 1855:

Died at the Taylor House on Sunday, Oliver Sheldon, Esq., lately of New Orleans.  He leaves a wife and family of Hartford, Conn.


Wednesday, 7 Nov 1855:

Died on Wednesday, 31st October, after a protracted illness, Samuel Spence Sr., formerly of New York City, but for the last 17 years a resident of Pulaski County, in the 68th year of his age.  He died as he lived, a firm believer in the final happiness of the whole human family.  (See the Fall 1977 issue of The Saga of Southern Illinois for the Journal of William Jasper Spence, son of Samuel and Deborah See also the Fall 1977 issue of The Saga of Southern Illinois for the Journal of William Jasper Spence, son of Samuel and Deborah Stymest Spence.)


Wednesday, 14 Nov 1855:

Died at her residence in Massac County, Ill., on the morning of the 21st ult. Mrs. Elizabeth, consort of J. S. Copeland, aged 37 years, 4 months and 5 days.  The solemn event of death, the common destroyer of all, is a circumstance that bids us weep and mourn with those that mourn and more especially for the loss of one who was so purely and habitually benign and who shed unmingled sunshine all around.  In the relations of wife, mother and friend, she was affectionate, kind and amiable.  But the pang of bereavement is mitigated by a knowledge of the fact that our loss is her gain.  She was a member of the M.E. Church for the last 17 years.  Although she suffered long, she never complained at the dispensation of God.  She maintained her intellect to the last and it is a source of lasting consolation to him who is so keenly sensitive to this sad bereavement, that she manifested so much evidence of Christian triumph.  She often said to her husband, “Oh, do not weep for me when I am dead.  Oh, do not grieve, all is well with me.”  She then repeated:  “Oh, when shall I see Jesus and reign with him above, and drink the flowing fountains of his everlasting love.”

            A few evenings before her death, she called her youngest child, a son of 3 years old, and had him lifted on the bed by her husband, and took him in her arms and broke forth in these words:  “Joshua, mother has to die and leave you; be a good child; hug mother and kiss me.”  She then dedicated him to the Lord and had him taken from her arms. 

            On taking her elder brother by the hand, she said, “Farewell, tell Catharine and the children farewell for me.”

            She then requested her friends not to weep for her; she would soon be happy.  At 3 o’clock a.m. she sunk quietly down to rest and the soul took its flight to the pure realms of celestial peace.  Such an instance of calm resignation is rarely witnessed.


Wednesday, 21 Nov 1855:

W. M. Eubanks, clerk of the circuit court of Williamson County, died at Marion on the 10th, aged 34 years.  Mr. Eubanks was one of the best citizens of Southern Illinois.  He served with distinction in the Mexican War and afterwards was elected to the offices of county judge and circuit clerk.


The Cairo Weekly Delta


Wednesday, 11 Jul 1855:

Died at Louisville, Ky., on the 30th ultimo, Mrs. Lucinda Lightcap, wife of Dr. John Lightcap of this city.  In company with a party of ladies and gentlemen, she was enjoying the pleasure of an evening ride when her horse taking fright ran off with her into the woods and dashing her against a tree, inflicted such injuries as caused her death in a few hours.  The late Mrs. Lightcap left four children to lament her untimely fate.


Wednesday, 18 Jul 1855:

Died on the 17th inst. Adam Wolfe, a German.  The deceased was stabbed last summer by a man named Hobbs and had been from that time till his death in a state of partial paralysis.


Wednesday, 25 Jul 1855:

Died in this city on the morning of the 22nd, Jacob Krebs, of Louisville, Ky.  The deceased had only arrived on the previous evening from New Orleans and was in the last stage of ship fever.


Wednesday, 1 Aug 1855:

Died on Thursday morning 26th ult., the infant daughter of Maurice and Mary Broderick.


Died on Wednesday the 25th ult., the infant son of Thomas and Ellen Ash.


Died at the residence of James L. Hickman, Esq., in Todd Co., Ky., Mr. Charles F. Coppage late of Louisville, Ky., in the 29th year of his age.


Wednesday, 22 Aug 1855:

Died in Thebes, Alexander Co., Ills., Aug. 16th, 1855, Julia, infant daughter of Mr. H. and Eliza Ann Trent.


Wednesday, 5 Sep 1855:

Died suddenly of cholera at the Wilson House in this city (Smithland, Ky.) on Sunday evening last, James L. Blount, Esq., of Georgia.  The deceased had resided either at Savannah or Atlanta.  Has a wife and child at St. Louis and was from Illinois to this place on his way to Savannah.  His age is unknown, but supposed to be about 40.  The St. Louis, Louisville and Georgia papers will please copy.  Jno. M. Johnson, physician.


Wednesday, 12 Sep 1855:

Died on the 8th inst., Ada, infant daughter of Mr. I. L. & Mrs. M. E. Harrell of this place, aged about 16 months.


Died on the 9th inst., at the Taylor House in this city of yellow fever, Mr. O. Sheldon of Hartford, Conn.  The deceased was landed here on Friday, we believe from the Republic, in the last stage of the fever, which he contracted at New Orleans.


A. F. Lea was killed here yesterday by an individual called Spriggins.  Although the murdered individual had jumped on Spriggins and hit him in several places, still the injuries were so slight a character and the difference in size between the parties so great that we think Spriggins was not warranted in his act.  We are told that the deceased is not the only one of his family, which is a large one, who has met with the same fate.  It seems that they jump on people without the slightest provocation.


Wednesday, 19 Sep 1855:

Died near Centralia on the 15th inst., Mr. J. D. Harmon, formerly of New York.  The deceased had been for some time a resident of Cairo and was much respected by all who knew him.  He was an upright and worthy mechanic.


Wednesday, 26 Sep 1855:

Died on Monday the 24th inst., the infant daughter of Mr. Schmidtsorf.


Died on Monday the 24th inst., from effects of a fall, John Ogilvie, aged 6 years.


Wednesday, 10 Oct 1855:

Died on the 7th inst., the infant daughter of William Burke.


Wednesday, 17 Oct 1855:

We understand that Spriggins, who was tried and acquitted for killing A. F. Lea, is now under bail for a breach of peace in an affray with A. B. Ug in which the latter was seriously, if not fatally, wounded.


Wednesday, 31 Oct 1855:

Died on the 12th of October at Illinois Central Coal Mines, Perry Co., Ill., after two days illness, Mr. John Stevenson, a native of Nova Scotia, aged 23 years and 4 months.


Died on the 28th inst., Timothy White.


Died in Smithland, Ky., on Sunday night, the 21st inst., Charles, infant son of J. V. and Eliza Throop, aged 2 years.


 Cairo Weekly Times and Delta


Wednesday, 19 Dec 1855:

An affray occurred in Cairo last Thursday between two men named Henry Watson and James Keene, both citizens of Kentucky, which will probably result in death of the latter.  The circumstances as near as we could gather them are as follows:  The two men were in the store of Messrs. Reed and Cunningham Watson has the reputation of being a hog thief and spoke of having a large lot of pork to sell, whereupon Keene jocularly remarked, “You ought to have plenty.  You bought a claim for $15 and killed over 6,000 pounds of pork and then sold the claim for $25.”  Watson called him a d---d liar.  Keene made at him, but the parties were separated.  Watson followed Keene off and overtaking him Keene requested him to make an apology for giving him the lie, which he refused to do.  Keene gave him a slight push with his hand or elbow, whereupon Watson instantly drew a long knife and plunged it into him.  It entered in front just below the ribs and came out at the back.  He then ran to the river, jumped into his skiff, crossed over to Kentucky, got on his horse and made his escape.  He will probably be taken and brought to this side.  Keene is not expected to recover.

            P.S.  Since the above was put in type, we learn that Keene is out of danger, no vital part having been touched by the knife and that he will soon recover.  Nothing yet has been heard of Watson.  It is supposed that he has secreted himself in the swamps on the other side of the river.

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