After an illness extending through several years, Walter H. Meers died at 5:25 p.m., on last Friday, March 4, 1921, at his home in the southeastern part of this city. His death was not unexpected, as his condition for several days had been critical. Six years or more ago he suffered a partial stroke of paralysis, and from that time on he was confined to his home much of the time. About six weeks ago his condition became worse, the complete loss of his sight being added to his other bodily afflictions. On Friday a week before his death the paralysis reached his tongue and throat, and from that time on he remained practically all of his time under the influence of opiates and in an unconscious condition. To him death came as a welcomed deliverer from the suffering which has extended through so many months. Throughout his sickness he bore his suffering with patience although body and mind severely taxed, and under the long continued strain finally gave way. All that medical skill could do proved unavailing in prolonging his life.
Funeral services conducted from the Methodist Episcopal church in this city at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Rev. J. B. Handy of this city being in charge. He was assisted during the services by Rev. J. T. Wheeler of the Christian church, who read the scripture lesson. The sermon by Rev. Handy was appropriate, practical and helpful. He used as a text, Psalms 90:12, "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." He spoke of the certainty of death, the brevity of our earthly life and the goodness and mercies of God, exhorting all to improve every opportunity for christian service and to seek those things which make for our highest and best interests here and in eternity. The Methodist choir, under the direction of Geo. S. Silsby, sang appropriate selections. Mrs. C. Hunn sang a solo and Mrs. Dorothy Thompson and Mrs. Martha Zerby rendered a duet. The attendance at the funeral was quite large. Six of the old-timers and acquaintances of Mr. Meers for many years -- W. H. Kimple, W. C. Duncan, Peter Schneider, D. T. McIntire, Jacob Kehl and P. A. Johnston--acted as pall bearers. The casket was almost covered with floral offerings. Interment was in the Coldwater cemetery.
Walter Harris Meers was born in Devonshire, England, on November 1, 1850. His age therefore, at the time of his death was 70 years, 4 months and 3 days. When he was but three years of age he came with his parents to Canada, landing in Quebec. It was in London, Can., that Walter grew to young manhood, giving his attention at the age of 16 to blacksmithing, a trade which he followed more than 45 years. From Canada Mr. Meers moved to Michigan, where he lived a few years. From there he came west in the spring of 1885, settling in Coldwater, continuing his work here as a blacksmith. His shop, now owned and occupied by C. Hunn, was the scene of many years of faithful application to his work. Early and late he toiled, and his work was always of high standard of excellence and his business dealings were honorable and upright in every detail, hence he stood high-in the esteem of a large circle of acquaintances, extending to all parts of the county. There were not many of the old-timers who did not at some time, patronize Walter Meers for work in the blacksmithing line. He served the city for a term ot two as mayor, also as a member of the city council. He always took an active part in politics and in the lodge work. For many years he had been a member of both the Woodmen and the Odd Fellows lodges.
In the passing away of Walter Meers the county loses another pioneer settler and one of its best-known citizens. He saw the town and county grow almost from the start, and he had a prominent part in helping to make that growth effective and permanent. He spent many years in honest toll and left his imprint on the life and growth of the whole community.
On July 15, 1886, in the city Mr. Meers was united in marriage with Mary J. Farrell, who, together with three sons and one daughter, survives him. The sons are George Frank Meers, now of Neosho, Mo., and Walter Harris Meers jr. and William McKinley Meers of this city. The daughter is Mrs. Oscar Smith of this city. One child died in infancy. Geo. Meers of this city is a brother of the deceased. Deceased is also survived by one sister, Mrs. Martha Scott, of Caro, Mich. His parents died in Canada many years ago.
A Terrible Tornado! Visits Coldwater on Tuesday Night, Leaving Death, Destruction and Desolation in its Path.
The Western Star, May 12, 1899.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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