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Elizabeth (Wright) Eyestone 1874-1907


Posted By: Volunteer - Karen DaPra
Date: 10/11/2002 at 16:54:18


Mrs. James Bruce Eyestone

"Elizabeth Wright Eyestone is dead." So passed the word quickly from lip to lip and from house to house on last Wednesday evening, March 27th. Across the ocean the sad message had sped, then on from New York over the telegraph wires, bringing to her friends as by a lightning stroke the agony of a great blow. Many hearts feel the vacancy that is left by the passing of this pure, beautiful, holy life.

Elizabeth Wright, youngest daughter of Christoper [sic] and Martha Wright, was born near Keosauqua, Iowa, April 25, 1874. From Foochow, China, her spirit took its flight to her eternal home. So short a span of life, not yet thirty-three, yet how much she had accomplished! Hearing the call of the Master she gave Him her heart and joined the Methodist church at Center Chapel under the pastorate of Rev. W. N. Potter, in the eleventh year of her age. The passion for service which distinguished her mature years began to develop early, and as a worker in the Epworth League, or Sabbath school teacher, she found delight. She graduated from the Keosauqua high school in the class of 1893 and took up the work of a teacher. Her influence over the young was remarkable. Such a life cannot die! The power of her consecrated personality has stamped itself upon hundreds of other lives and can never be effaced. With a desire to become a more efficient christian worker, Miss Wright resigned her position in the Birmingham schools in 1900, and entered the Chicago Training School for Home and Foreign Missions. So well equiped was she by previous study and a bright intellect that she completed the two years' course in one year, and was ordained a deaconess by Bisphop [sic] McDowell in 1901. The faculty of the training school recognized her ability by offering her a position as a teacher. This she accepted, and after another year in Chicago was transferred to the New York Deaconess Training School where she taught two years. During her first year in Chicago much pressure was brought to bear upon her by Dr. Homer C. Stuntz and others to persuade her to take up missionary work in the Philippines, but she felt hardly well enough equipped, and the need at home was urgent. Miss Wright was unusually gifted as a public speaker, having a fine command of words and a clear and forceful utterance. Her vacations were spent in addressing audiences in the interest of the Deaconess movement.

On August 25, 1904, Elizabeth Wright was married to Rev. James Bruce Eyestone of the Iowa Conference. They went at once to Boston where Mr. Eyestone was completing a course in the Boston Theological School. They spent a happy and busy year here, and being of one mind concerning the meaning of the Great Commission to them, they offered themselves to the Mission Board. They were appointed to Foochow, China, to teach in the Anglo-Chinese College. They sailed Sept. 27, 1905, from San Francisco, and had been there [missing a portion here] --ter.

Always busy as though she knew her life would be short she yet found time to send messages, gifts, and tender remembrances to the many who claimed her as friend. Thoughtfulness of others was one of her characteristic qualities, and many a person in Van Buren county treasures a little poem or a tender message from her pen. How the cheerful letters from far away China will be missed in her own home!

Besides the husband in his lonely home across the sea, Mrs. Eyestone leaves her father and mother; an aged grandmother, Mrs. Hearne; a brother, John Wright; and three sisters, Alice, Mary and Anna, the latter being Mrs. Wycoff of New Jersey. Their sorrow is no hopeless sorrow, for to them at this Easter time comes in beauty the glad message, "I am the Resurrection and the Life."

"There is no death! the choicest gifts
That Heaven has kindly lent to earth
Are ever first to seek again
The country of their birth.

She is not dead! She has but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.

She had but dropped her robe of clay
To put her shining raiment on,
She has not wandered far away,
She is not 'lost,' or 'gone.'"

(Photocopy of this obit is located on page 110 of Obit Book A found in the Van Buren County, IA Genealogical Society's collection at the Keosauqua Public Library in Sept 2000. Name of newspaper and date of obit not given.)

I am NOT related and am posting this obit for those who may find this person in their family history.

[Original Post 28 Sep 2000]


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