The sudden demise of Mr. John Wells was sad and a gloom was cast over the community by it but Sat. morning we had another sad death in town.
Mr. Francis S. Wood, one of the old citizens of La Grande, highly esteemed by all honest, and a valuable man for our town, was stricken down by death ‘ere he had attained his three score and ten years. Mr. Wood had been sick only a few days and the news of his death was a sad surprise.
He was a native of Ohio, having been born in that state on the 19th day of Oct. 1828. On the 20th day of May, 1850, he was married to Miss Rebecca A. Shigley in the state of Iowa, with whom he lived until his death. He crossed the plains with his family in 1854 and stopped in California until 1858, when he came to Oregon and settle at Dallas, in Polk county.
In March, 1885, he came to La Grande and has resided here since, following his trade-blacksmithing. He leaves to mourn his decease the wife and companion of his life, a son, Rev. J.H. Wood, pastor of the M.E. Church at this place, and a daughter, Mrs. H.E. Updyke, of Island City.
It is strikingly singular that both Mr. Wells and Mr. Wood should have come to Oregon in the same year, 1858; that both should be natives of the same state; that the death of each other have occurred so nearly at the same time; that each should in later years have become somewhat careless as to preparation for death, that each should have been thoroughly and soundly re-converted at about the same time last spring; that each should have again joined the M.E. church on probation on the same evening; that each was to have been received into full fellowship in the church on the day that they were laid to rest, that the funeral of each should have occurred at the same time and place and that the aged and bereaved wife of each should be sick almost unto death, so as to have been unable to attend the funeral.
But those families are not alone in their grief. Both Mr. Wells and Mr. Wood were of ripe years. The frosts of many summers had tinged their heads with silver gray. Their mortal frames were wearied and worn. They knew they were rapidly nearing the terminus of life’s journey. They knew they would soon be at the banks of the river of death and must cross its surging billows. We expect death to come thus to the aged but when it visits the young, the fair, the lovely and lovable, taking them just as they are budding into manhood and womanhood, the sting of sorrow is greater.
The rest of the article talks about the death of Mrs. Katie Estella McCrary.
Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday
November 22, 1888