Obituary of John Laird of Lanark, IL - Son of Joseph C. Laird
Lanark Gazetteer, week of January 24th 1892.
Mr. John Laird, a pioneer of Carroll County succumbs to the grip.
The grip has added another victim to its already long list in the person of Mr.
John Laird the aged father of the publisher of this paper, who passed peacefully
away after a week's illness, on Thursday morning, January 21, 1892 at the age of
74 years, 7 months, and 21 days.
John Laird was born June 8, 1817, and was a native of Clark county Ohio. He was
the seventh of eight children born to Joseph and Ellen Laird, who were born in
Scotland and settled in this country (United States) shortly before the birth of
the subject of this sketch.
It was in 1838* that the pioneer Scotch family continued their westward journey
settling in Freedom township, Carroll county. Here they suffered all the
privations that fell to the lot of the early settler. Galena and Chicago were
almost their only markets for years. Here Mr. Laird (John) helped to transform
the wild prairie into productive farms. In 1842 he was married to Miss Elizabeth
B. Beatty, who survived only six years. He continued to reside in Freedom
township and in 1849 was again married, this time to Miss Christina Eshelman,
who survives him. Mr. Laird was the father of eight children, four of whom,
William R., Mary E., Sarah A., and Abram, have preceded their father to that
other shore. Of the others, John E., Amelia and Joseph reside at home and James
M. is married and lives at Superior, Nebraska.
Though Mr. Laird was little known in public affairs, his integrity, honor and
industry made for him an enviable reputation among his neighbors among whom he
numbered many friends. He was a good financier and by industry and frugality
amassed a competency with which to keep him and his good wife in their declining
years. Although he was not a member of any religious organization until three
years ago when he joined the Brethren church it would be difficult to say when
he became a Christian as his whole life seemed to be ordered according to the
Golden Rule. Though he took no active interest in politics he was a patriotic
citizen and fulfilled his duty to the government by voting for what he believed
to be her best interests. He was Republican in his principles and voted for
William Henry Harrison in 1840 and Benjamin Harrison in 1888.
In 1874 Mr. Laird retired from active work on the farm and moved to Lanark to
enjoy the fruits of his early labors in peace and quietness. Here he led an
uneventful but happy life. Eight years ago he became afflicted with what his
physicians called rheumatism of the nerves and paralysis. At first only his
right hand and arm were effected. In the course of years the disease spread to
all parts of his system making him almost helpless. However he retained his
mental vigor until the last few days of his fatal illness when at times his mind
wandered. His appetite, too, was usually good and notwithstanding his almost
helpless condition, but for an attack of the grip he might have enjoyed a much
longer lease of life.
During all those years of helplessness and suffering the deceased displayed rare
patience and sweetness of temper and his wise counsel and genial presence will
be sadly missed in the bereaved household. Seldom indeed does a father keep his
children about him for so long a time as the deceased has kept some of his
children. During all their life they were never separated more than a month at a
time and these separations were of infrequent occurrence. Thus there was a bond
grew up between them which was something more than the simple relationship of
parent and child. And now that he has gone to his eternal rest a great prop has
been removed and the loss is twofold, that of a comrade and friend and a parent.
The funeral which was held Saturday, January 23rd at the family residence was
conducted by Rev. David Rowland; assisted by Rev. Frank H. Gardner. A large
number of the old friends and neighbors followed the mortal remains to their
last resting place in Lanark's beautiful cemetery.
*Note: All other sources say 1837.