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James E. Bromwell


Posted By: CJeanealogy (email)
Date: 12/4/2017 at 20:23:08

The Marion Sentinel Thursday May 10, 1900
The Late J.E. Bromwell, Sr.
The funeral of the late James E. Bromwell, Sr., was held from the Methodist Episcopal church at 2:30 o'clock Saturday afternoon and was attended by a large concourse of sympathizing friends. The services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. W.F. Pitner. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Crippen, from the text found in I Thessalonians, 4:13: "But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."
A quartet composed of Mrs. F.H. Hilliard, Mrs. J.W. Bowman, Messrs. J.M. Tallman and E.J. Esgate sang "There is a Gate That Stands Ajar," "There is Rest for the Weary," and "Give Me the Wings of Faith to Rise." Miss Edith Bailey presided at the organ. The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful. The pall bearers were Messrs. J.M. Courtney, E.A. Vaughn, Garry Treat, Alexander Paul, D. Sargeant and Clark Brown. The following obituary was read by Rev. Pitner:
James E. Bromwell was born in Talbot county, Maryland, April 30, 1818, and died at his home in Marion, May 3, 1900, being 82 years old.
His father, by chance hearing Freeborn Garrison, was led to accept the faith and espouse the cause of the early Methodists and his home became a preaching place on the "Eastern Shore" circuit where every service was a revival service and where Bishops Scott and Emery and Higgins--the eloquent John Henry, Geo. Cookman and other, later noted in Methodism were preachers, and having impoverished his estate by freeing his slaves--for conscience sake--when together with the homestead he had inherited, his sons upon arriving at manhood were compelled to seek their fortunes west and these sons, six in number, of which James E. was the last surviving, all lived and died stalwart men of God.
James E. Bromwell served five years' apprenticeship as cabinet maker and at the age of twenty came west, stopping at Quincy, Ill., one year and in the fall of 1839 came to Linn county, where he lived until his death.
He helped lay out the present city of Marion, made the first coffin for the first interment in its cemetery, helped build its first residence and store building and procured the second marriage license issued in the county for his union with Catherine Gray, August 26, 1841, who died February 12, 1855, leaving four children, viz: Wm. H., now living in Millford, Neb.; Mrs. Carrie Kepler, now in Dorchester, Neb.; Leonidus H. now in Omaha, Neb., and Thomas G. now in Cedar Rapids. Oct 10, 1856, he was married to Mary E. Bunnel, who survives him and by whom he had two children, James E. and Mrs. Addie Shumack both of Marion. In 1841, he entered the tract of land one and one-half miles east of Marion upon which he resided until 1883, when he moved to Marion where he has since lived, spending his last days in peaceful retirement and the enjoyment of the service of the church in which he lived and labored for sixty-nine years and for more than forty years as class leader. He united with the Methodist church when a boy of thirteen years and remained a faithful member to the time of his death. He was consecrated in life and means to the church of his choice and no sacrifice was ever too great for him to make for its advancement and the upbuilding of the cause of Christ. He was the last surviving member of the first Methodist class of eight organized in Marion in 1840, consisting of O.S. Hall and wife, John Clark and wife, Wm. and Thomas Downing, John and James E. Bromwell.
During his last sickness the faces and music of angels would come to him in his dreams. One morning he said: "Last night I heard in mighty volume just as a thousand voices sang it at the national camp meeting 'That gate was left ajar for me,'" and again "Last night the sitting room," (which opened into his bed chamber,) "was full of men and the most beautiful angel (doubtless his mother whom he had been so homesick to see for over sixty years) came and stood just over the foot of my bed." And again he said: "Last night I met Oliver Cone, (whom he had loved and been loved by with most tender affection) and we clasped hands and talked just as we always had."
Often in the evenings the family would sing the hymns he loved so well, among which are those used by the choir today, and as far as he was able his voice would join in at times and when the family would go to his bed to bid him good night he would say: "I am so happy that I hardly know whether I am in the body or not." Although a Christian all the time and everywhere, his loving, tender, Christlike nature seemed most to unfold itself in his home where he was always its idol. His family almost worshipped[sic] him, for he was to them always the incarnation of all that was good and pure and lovable.
He was a father in the church, to everybody and everywhere. He was a comforter to the discouraged and unfortunate, an inspiration to the church, its ministry and the community, an optimist of the most pronounced character, a man of sterling worth, generous disposition, noble purpose, unswerving loyalty, a true Christian and his long pathway of life has been radiant with the sunshine of kind words and good deeds.
Numbers 23:10--Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like His.


Linn Obituaries maintained by Cindy Booth Maher.
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