After an illness extending through several years, Mrs. S. S. Smith died at her home in this city at 10 o'clock a.m. on last Saturday, April 30, 1921. For several weeks her condition had been critical, and it seemed that only by a very slender thread was held during all that time to earthly things. Her long suffering had greatly weakened her - so much so that, many months ago, she became as helpless as a child. When the end came she dropped into a peaceful sleep and quietly passed away.
The funeral services were conducted from the Methodist Episcopal church at 3 o'clock p.m. on Monday, and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. W. M. Austin. His sermon brought to all present much of help and comfort. He spoke from the text, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me," John 14:1. Rev. J. B. Handy assisted in the services reading the obituary and paying a beautiful tribute to the deceased. The high esteem in which Mrs. Smith was held was attested by the large number of people present at the funeral services and by many expressions of genuine sorrow from those who knew her. Interment was in the Coldwater cemetery. A choir of selected voices sang appropriate songs.
Matilda Lucile Bower was born near Hayesville, Ohio, on March 20, 1842. Her age, therefore, at the time of her death was 79 years, 1 month and 10 days. On September 13, 1865, in Hayesville, Ohio, she was united in marriage with Stephen S. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved from Ohio to Illinois, where they lived for 11 years. From there they moved to Carthage, Mo., where they lived for a while. Later they lived in Cowley-co., Kansas, for a year or two, coming from there on to Comanche-co. in the year 1885 and settling in Valley-tp. in the southwestern part of the county. There they continued to live for over 20 years, after which Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved to a farm near Hooker, Okla. There on February 28, 1913, Mr. Smith died, and not long afterwards Mrs. Smith returned to this county and for some time made her home with her son, Frank. A few years ago Mrs. Smith and her daughters, Miss Hester and Miss Ethel, located in this city, and here they continued to live.
In the passing away of Mrs. Smith Comanche-co. loses another pioneer settler and worthy citizen. She was one of the best of neighbors, and in her home she gave unceasingly and with loving devotion and careful training to her children. She well knew the meaning of sacrifice, but most cheerfully did she devote her life to loving service for those about her. In her quiet, thoughtful way she went about doing good, apparently with no thought of the reward. Her genuine christian character shone out in many ways, influencing all with whom she came in contact. In her childhood, Mrs. Smith united with the Presbyterian church, but later in life she joined the Methodist Episcopal church. Throughout all of her long life, and especially during the long period of her suffering, she exemplified the patience, the cheer, and hope of the real Christian, and as she neared the end of her life her faith in the religion she had long professed grew even stronger. She died the triumphant death of one whose hope and faith is built on the Rock of Ages. Mrs. Smith was an active worker in all departments of church work up to the time when her health began to fall. She always found much joy and comfort in attending the services of the church, and never lost interest in her Bible. She found in the Holy Scriptures the means of spiritual growth for which her soul had always longed.
Mrs. Smith was the mother of nine children, one of whom - Minnie Smith died in Colorado about seven years ago. The surviving children are: Misses Hester and Ethel of this city; Frank, whose home is eight miles north of Coldwater; Mrs. Geo. Fisher, whose home is northeast of town in Kiowa-co.; Miss Mamie Smith of Denver, Colo.; Wilber L. Smith of Sawpit, Colo.; Mrs. O. H. Sampson of Phoenix, Ariz., and Mrs. O. H. Imes of Leonard, Colo. Fourteen grandchildren and one great grandchild also survive.
Pioneer Death List, The Western Star, May 6, 1921.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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