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The Western Star, 25 June 1915.

JOHN W. YORK

The news of the death of John W. York, which occurred at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 1915, at his home 11 miles east of this city, brought to the entire community the most profound sense of sorrow, for he was widely known and esteemed almost as a personal friend by every one. As the wires carried the message, "Uncle John York is dead," there came instinctively into each heart the feeling of a loss of one of the best of neighbors and a citizen loyal and true to every standard of right living. It was quite generally known that Mr. York was in poor health, but few were aware of the seriousness of this condition. He was in town less than 2 weeks before his death and was apparently feeling some better. Soon afterwards, however, he became worse. It was then evident that his condition was extremely critical. He became unconscious about 24 hours before the end came and passed away as in a peaceful sleep. While he was yet conscious and realizing that he had not long to live, he called the members of his family about him and in words of the most fatherly tenderness and love counseled and prayed with them. It was a beautiful and touching "goodbye."

Mr. York's sickness began nearly a year ago and was due to a complication of physical infirmities. He was up and about much of the time, however. He remained patient, uncomplaining and hopeful to the end. His example of unselfish, quiet and noble living and his confident and peaceful approach to the hour of death will ever be an inspiring memory.

The funeral services were held at the home at 10 a.m. on Saturday and were conducted by Rev. J. Bert Smith, pastor of the Wilmore Baptist church. The sermon was appropriate in the thoughts presented and impressive in its delivery. Rev. Smith spoke from the text, "How are the mighty fallen." Rev. E. A. Powell and Rev. A. Burrill, both special friends of the deceased, assisted in the services. The former read the first psalm and offered prayer; the latter read 11 Samuel, 1:19-27. The Coldwater M.E. Male Quartet sang beautifully some of Mr. York's favorite hymns. The attendance was quite large, probably 400 people coming from all over the eastern half of the county, besides several families from outside of the county. About 50 automobiles and a number of carriages formed the procession from the home to the Coldwater cemetery where the body was laid to rest. Floral tributes and many other evidences of esteem and of kindly regard for the deceased were generously bestowed. The pall-bearers were: Three of his nearest neighbors - W. J. Pepperd, J. M. McCay and G. J. Isenbart; also three of his Baptist brethren in Wilmore - W.J. Ray, W. H. Long and G. J. Herndon, all of whom were near and trusted friends.

Deceased was born near Burnettesville, White-co, Ind., on October 30, 1849. His age, therefore, at the time of death was 65 years, 7 months and 17 days. On October 6, 1874, in Burnette's Creek, Ind., he was united in marriage with Miss Melvina Figg, who, through the succeeding years of adversity and of prosperity, was his faithful companion and helpmate. The family (husband, wife and 2 children) moved from Indiana to Kansas in the year 1879 and settled on a claim not far from Anthony in Harper-co. There they lived until 1893, when they moved to Comanche-co., settling on the farm which continued to be their home. Mr. York gave his attention chiefly to farming, and by industry and frugality he succeeded to a marked degree. He had acquired quite extensive land interests in this county and in Clark-co., and was counted among our well-to-do citizens.

Few men can claim with equally good reasons as did John W. York the universal esteem of their entire acquaintanceship. He was kind to all, generous and considerate, always cheerful and hopeful, even in the hour of adversity, patient, industrious, frugal, and, above all, he was of that upright and honorable type of men whose word is as good as their bond. During his 22 years residence in Comanche-co., there was never, as far as we know, in the mind of any one a question as to his honesty of purpose and uprightness of character. In the most complete sense, he was a good husband, father, neighbor, citizen. His place in the home and in the community was one of real affection, honor and perfect trust with those who knew him best. For practically all of his life Mr. York had been a member of the Baptist church, and consistently and faithfully did his life work, honor the Christian profession he made when but a child. For the event of death he had not the slightest fear; rather he expressed a resignation to the Divine Will which revealed the christian's hope and christian's faith.

Mr. York is survived by his wife, 5 sons and 4 daughters. The sons are: Frank York, who lives near Sitka, Clark-co., and Alvah, Harry, Lawrence and Truman, who are still at the family home, 11 miles east of this city. The daughters are: Mrs. Lillie Baker of Siloam Springs, Ark., and Misses Maude, Daisy and Stella, who are still at home. All were present at the time death occurred. W. L. York, a brother of the deceased, and whose home is in Monroe-co., Ind., was present at the funeral, having arrived here at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Two other surviving brothers-James and Henry York, live in White-co., Ind. Earl Martin of this city is a nephew. A cousin, Ira Tam, lives in Kiowa-co.

Very fittingly did the words of the poet Foss, quoted at the funeral, apply to the deceased: "Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man."


Family marker for the John & Melvina York Family,

Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
Family marker for the John & Melvina York Family
Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.


Gravestone for John W. York,

Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
Gravestone for John W. York
Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.


Gravestone for Melvina York,

Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
Gravestone for Melvina York
Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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