Lonely Trip with Dead

Columbus Hilliard Brings Remains of Wife from the Everglade Mission

After a weary journey of 80 miles, over rough roads and taken at a snail's pace because of the precious burden they were bearing, Columbus Hilliard and his young daughter, Minnie, arrived yesterday from the Glades Cross Mission, bearing with them the body of the wife and mother, Mrs. Mary Poole Hilliard, who passed away at the mission early Monday morning. Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon from the home of a daughter, Mrs. Frank Brown, who lives on the Immokalee road, east of the city,and burial was in Fort Myers Cemetery.

Conditions truly pioneer surrounded the passing of Mrs. Hilliard. As Mr. Hilliard is teamster for Dr. W.J. Godden who is in charge of the Indian mission, the family has lived there for some time. Mrs. Hilliard arose shortly after five o'clock Monday morning and began to prepare breakfast. A few minutes later she was fatally stricken with heart failure and passed away almost instantly. As the mission borders the Everglades the services of neither a physician nor undertaker were available, so Mr. Hilliard hitched his ox team to a covered wagon, and tenderly placing the body of Mrs. Hilliard in the back, he and his little daughter mounted the front seat and set out on their long and sad journey to Fort Myers. They traveled all day Monday, part of Monday night and well into Tuesday morning, for they had to go at a pace that was slow even for an ox team in order to keep from disturbing the white covered form that lay so quietly behind them. They camped by the wayside for a few hours Monday night, and Mr. Hilliard kept lonely watch while his little daughter slept under the Florida stars by his side. Throughout the long and trying time the little girl bore up bravely, and the trip was made without incident.

Mrs. Hilliard was about 50 years old. She was a sister of Eli and David Poole of Fort Myers, and besides her husband and daughter Minnie, she leaves two other daughters, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Joseph Sellers.

Researched by Mary E. Hanson 1914, courtesy of Carl Poole