The above dates mark the time limits of a life the study of which at once becomes interesting and instructive, and about which a volumne could be written - a life filled with a brightness, sincerity of purpose and a strict devotion to home and to country.
A few minutes after 9 o'clock on last Sunday morning, after an illness which had kept him confined to his room for six weeks or more, Capt. B. M. Veatch, of this city, quietly passed away. Up to the first of last December his health had been comparatively good for a person of his age. Sickness contracted during the war, however, but a trace in his system from which he never fully recovered. For several weeks prior to the time of his death his vitality was very low, and death came apparently without pain. The vital organs of the body gradually succumbed to the weakness which ripe old age brings, and the end came peacefully and quietly. The announcement of his death was not unexpected by the community, yet it came with a peculiar saddness to all, for almost every person in the county knew Capt. Veatch and honored and respected him. The funeral services were held at the Veatch residence at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and were conducted by Rev. W. L. Roberts, of the Presbyterian church, and Rev. C. M. Gray, of the M. E. church. The Masonic lodge of this city had charge of the burial services, the deceased having been an honorable member of that order for 50 years.
A large number of the citizens of the town and surrounding country turned out to do honor at the obsequies of their deceased neighbor and fellow citizen. Burial took place in the Coldwater cemetery.
Basil M. Veatch was a son of Nathan and Elizabeth (Evans) Veatch, of Harrison co., Indiana, and was born in that county on April 12, 1823. His father was a native of Tennessee and was a brave soldier of the war of 1812. His grandfather, also named Nathan Veatch, of Welsh descent, and reared in Maryland, was a soldier for the colonies in the Revolutionary war. Capt, B. M. Veatch was a brave soldier for the Union during the Civil war from 1861 to 1865. "Thus, in three great wars of the country, " says a biographer of the Veatch family, "grandfather, father and son have been engaged under the same flag in behalf of their country."
Capt. Veatch's mother was originally from Kentucky and was of German descent. There were nine children in the family, of whom Basil M. (the Captain) was the third. In 1830 the family moved from Indiana to Fulton co., Illinois, and it was there that the children grew to manhood and received their education. In 1844 Captain Veatch, then 21 years of age, located in Vermont, Illinois, where he engaged in the furniture business and carried on a cabinet maker's shop. Continuing this until 1855 he then went to the town of Tennessee, McDonough co., Illinois, where he followed merchandising and the grain business until the outbreak of the war. When Fort Sumpter was fired upon he dropped his business regardless of pecuniary interests and immediately enlisted for the defense of the Union. He raised a company of volunteers - Company C. - and joined the 59th regiment of Illinois volunteers. His company took a conspicuous and honorable part in the battles of Corinth, Iuka, Stone River, Perryville and a number of minor engagements. In June 1863 Capt. Veatch's health became so impaired that he was compelled to resign. But recovering again, he at once enlisted another company, which became Company C., of the 137th Illinois volunteer infantry. He commanded this company until October 1864. Later he joined the "100 Day Men" and was mustered out of the service at Springfield, Illinois, in 1865.
Capt. Veatch's war record was one of which any soldier should be proud. He was brave, almost to the point of daring, and at all times he commanded the highest respect of his superior officers. He was often commended for brave and meritorious conduct in time of battle, one of the highly prized papers which the Captain always kept being a commendatory letter from President Lincoln. And thorough all the 35 years since the war Capt. Veatch never faltered in his loyalty to the flag and his devotion to all that it represents.
He was an honored member of Scott Post, G. A. R., of this city, and for the past ten years had been the commander and practically the main-stay of the Post. He took great pride in the work of the Grand Army and was never as happy as when mingling with the "Boys in blue." During the last talk the writer had with him, about ten days before his death, Capt. Veatch related a number of his army experiences and with a vividness of memory which was remarkable.
Immediately after the close of the war Capt. Veatch settled in Keytesville, Charlton co., Missouri. He served as deputy sheriff of that county for two years and was afterwards appointed deputy U. S. Marshall. From 1872 to 1884 he was a postal clerk on the North Missouri railway, between Kansas City and St. Louis. He came to Comanche co. in 1885, settling at Evansville, in the southeastern part of the county. A few years later he moved to Coldwater and had ever since made this his home, devoting his time to the real estate, loan and insurance business.
Capt. Veatch was married on October 20, 1844, to Miss Cynthia Gassaway. She died in 1857, leaving three children - Charles, Addie and Emma. The latter became Mrs. J. P. Jones. She died several years ago. On March 10, 1860, the captain was again married, this time to Mrs. Esther Kinney, who died 7 or 8 years ago. To them two children - Fred and Kate (now Mrs. Victor Humphreys) were born. Charles is now a resident of Kansas City, Fred lives at Moscow, Idaho, and Mrs. Humphreys' home is at Trinidad, Colorado. Miss Addie will continue to reside in Coldwater and will occupy the home where, for several years, she had administered so lovingly and so patiently to the comforts and happiness of her father.
In his private life Capt. Veatch was an exemplary citizen, a kind and obliging neighbor and faithful to every trust committed to him. He was a friend and promoter of every worthy enterprise and was especially popular with the teachers in whom he showed much interest. His accustomed visits to the county Normal and his friendly counsel will be greatly missed by them. He had accumulated a fine library and had always been a careful student of history. He was a man whose influence was felt - always for the good - in the community in which he lived, and for that reason he will be missed not only in Coldwater but throughout the entire county. It is the universal expression of the people of Comanche co. that in the death of Captain Veatch we all lose a personal friend, and the county and state an honorable and useful citizen.
To the sorrowing relatives the heart-felt sympathy of many friends goes out in this the hour of their bereavement.
Grand Army of the Republic Open letter from Capt. B.M. Veatch of the Scott Post, Coldwater, Kansas, dated May 8, 1894.
Adela "Annie" Veatch, daughter of Capt. B.M. Veatch.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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