Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obituaries: Alfred Brunson KEPHART

Obituary. Alfred Brunson KEPHART. Image courtesy of Verla Williams.


Again it is our sad duty to chronicle the death of one of the best friends and neighbors that it has ever been our privilege to know and to enjoy. This time it is the passing of a grand and good old man, Mr. Alfred B. Kephart who passed away at his home in Lakefield, just at midnight on December 20th, 1921, at the ripe old age of seventy-nine years, four months and twenty-five days.

Mr. Kephart served his country faithfully for over three years in the Civil war. He enlisted as a volunteer in 1862 and nobly did his part until close of the war in 1865 when he received an honorable discharge. He took an active part in scores of battles, one of which was the memorable battle of Vicksburg.

On December 26th, 1867, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Meyers of Penn Oak, Iowa.

This happy union was blessed with five daughters and seven sons. One daughter and three sons preceded him in passing to the Great Beyond.

He is survived by a devoted wife, four sons and four daughters, namely: Mrs. Bertha Palmer of Glenburn, N. D.; Mrs. Lottie Blakey and Mrs. Ella Pearson of Jackson; Levi Kephart of Revere, Minn.; Mrs. May Rost, William, Roscoe and Earl Kephart of Lakefield.

He also leaves to mourn his demise one aged brother, Milton Kephart of Lakefield, and two sisters, Mrs. William Meyers of Manchester, Iowa, and Mrs. Marion Allen of Farley, Iowa, and nineteen grandchildren.

Mr. Kephart with his family moved to Jackson county in the fall of 1883 and have lived in the county continuously ever since.

They resided at Loon lake for nearly twenty years. In 1905 they moved to a farm near Lakefield which they occupied for a couple of years. Then they retired from the farm and purchased a cozy home in Lakefield, where the family still resides.

Mr. Kephart had been a great sufferer but bore his sufferings with great fortitude. On May 31, he suffered a stroke of paralysis which rendered him entirely helpless and totally deprived him of the power of speech. He retained his mental faculties to the last and was conscious of all that was done for his comfort and was so mutely grateful that it was pitiful. His fortitude and courage was wonderful to witness. He was a good soldier to the last and died bravely.

The funeral services were held in Lakefield on F'riday and burial was made in Riverside cemetery in Jackson. Rev. Harvey of the M. E. church of Lakefield officiated.

Mr. Henry Beck of Jackson spoke a few words giving a beautiful tribute to the deceased. The floral offerings were many and beautiful and bore silent testimony of the love and esteem of his hosts of friends.

The American Legion had charge of services at the grave.-Contributed.

Obituary. Alfred Brunson KEPHART. Image courtesy of Verla Williams.

Resident of Jackson County 37 Years, Of Lakefield 14 Years

Alferd B. Kephart, son of Naugel and Susan Kephart, was born at Penn Oak, Dubuque county, Iowa, July 26, 1842, and died at his home in Lakefield December 20, 1921, aged 79 years, four months and 25 days.

Mr. Kephart spent his boyhood days on the homestead farm in Dubuque county. He responded to the first call for volunteers and enlisted September 22, 1862. He served with loyal devotion with Co. H, Twenty-first Infantry Reg. of Iowa. Some of the battles in which he took part were Beaver Creek, Champion Hills and Siege of Vicksburg.

He was mustered out on July 15, 1865, and returned to his home in Dubuque county, Iowa. He was married to Mary B. Meyers December 26, 1867, and they began housekeeping on the old home farm in Dubuque county.

They moved to Jackson county in the spring of 1884 and made a home in Middletown township, in the Loon Lake neighborhood, where they resided 23 years and gained the good will, respect and love of their neighbors. The family moved to Lakefield in December, 1907, and this city has since been honored by their residence in it.

Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Kephart, four of whom preceded the father to the land of rest, namely: Leroy, George, Alfred and Mrs. Della Brown. Surviving him are the deeply, bereaved, widow, four daughters and four sons, namely: Mrs. Bertha Palmer, Glenburn, N. D., Lottie Blakey and Mrs. Ella Pearson, Jackson; Levi, of Revere, Minn.; William, Roscoe, Earl and Mrs. May Rost of this city. He is also survived by his brother Milton of this city, and two sisters, Mrs. Sarah Allen, Farley, Iowa, and Mrs. Fanny Meyers, Manchester, Iowa; also several grandchildren and other relatives.

Mr. Kephart never suffered any serious illness until he was stricken with paralysis May 31, 1921. His was a life of quiet rectitude. All his days of toil were so mixed with the joy of living and the happiness of communion with his family and friends that it was a pleasure to meet and talk with him. The sad part of his last illness was that he was denied the pleasure of speaking to his loved ones and the friends who called on him. But through this last fatal illness he was a patient sufferer and seemed to greatly appreciate every act of kindness and flowers which were often sent him. He had the constant loving care of his devoted wife and children.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. F. H. Harvey of the Methodist church, who spoke comforting words from the text: II Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.” It was a fitting text for the Civil War veteran, neighbor and friend, whose body was in the casket, but whose spirit had departed to its eternal abiding place. Rev. Harvey was assisted by Mr. Henry Beck of Jackson, a former neighbor of the family, who spoke of the high esteem in which the family were held in their old home and that the departure of the loved father brought heaven a little nearer to them.

Six members of the local American Legion post were pall bearers and accompanied the body to Jackson where burial was made in the family plot. A score or more of relatives braved the bitter cold to accompany the body to its final resting place.

The passing of Mr. Kephart marks the passing of another soldier from the already thin ranks of our rapidly disappearing Civil War veterans.


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