Elijah T. Read
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Co. H, 26th IND. Infantry
Oswego Independent, Feb. 25, 1916, Pg. 1
Died: Feb. 20, 1916
E. T. READ IS DEAD
PIONEER CITIZEN AND BUSINESS MAN PAS-
SED AWAY AT HIS HOME HERE SUNDAY
MORNING AFTER BRIEF ILLNESS.
HAD LIVED HERE SINCE 1868
Was Prominently Identified With Growth of Town
and County. Enjoyed a Wide Acquaintance
and Counted Them All His Friends.
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, February 20th.
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 ,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 has flown
Into a past I never can forget;
“The Gleam’ is wearisome to seek alone.
There is no Voice to comfort me, and yet,
Though you have strayed afar I have you still,
Bound with a tie no earthly space can sever;
You are my captive, biding here at will,
Deep in my heart, forever, and forever!”
William Cutler wrote the following information:
E. T. READ, hardware merchant, was born at Vernon, Jennings Co., Ind., December 24, 1841. He enlisted in August, 1861, in Comapny H, Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry; served two years and one month, and was in all the engagements of his command during that period. He enlisted as a private, but for about a year prior to leaving the army he was Second Lieutenant. He was discharged on account of disability caused by sickness. Returned to Indiana and remained until he came to Oswego, in the fall of 1868. He has served as a member of the Board of Education, and is now serving a second term as Alderman of the Second Ward. He is a member of the Baptist Church. He was married at Vernon, Ind., May 30, 1864, to Sarah Vawter, a native of that place. They have four children – Virginia, born at Vernon, Ind.; Smith Howard, born at Oswego, Kan,; Daisie Belle, born at Oswego, Kan,; and Bert, born at Oswego, Kan. Mr. Read has been engaged in the hardware business since 1864. His brothers, Merritt and John S. Read, were associated with him here for several years, the widow and children of John S. being now interested in the business. When Read Bros, began business here, they had a small frame building 22×40 feet. The present store is brick, 24×100 feet, two stories, with a brick warehouse 24×28 feet, one story.