Spanish-American War/Conflict

Co. L, 50th Iowa

Brick, Louis 1878-1898

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LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
September 8, 1898

Obsequies of Louis Brick Attended by Great Crowds
Upwards of Three Thousand People Attend the Funeral Services Over the Dead
Body of the First LeMars Soldier to Offer Up His Life on the Altar of

The funeral of Louis Brick which took place on Monday afternoon was attended
by hundreds of people who wished to show their sympathy to the relatives of
the dead boy and to honor the memory of the soldier who had laid down his
young life for patriotism. The funeral cortege began to assemble on Main
street in front of the G. A. R. hall long before the appointed hour of two
o’clock and for blocks the streets were lined with people and the streets
crowded with vehicles of all descriptions. Punctually at two o’clock the
procession began to from under the direction of the Marshal, I. T. Martin,
and started south on Main street, the LeMars band at the head following the
clergy of the city, the city officials, Mower Post G. A. R. Then came the
hearse with the six pall bearers marching along side, the friends of his
youth and old playmates, Louis Gilbert, Ralph Pope, Ben Clagg, Jake Koenig,
George Wilcox and Harry Draper. The militia boys, to the number of twenty,
under command of O. L. Loudenslager, came next in uniform and with muskets
on shoulders acting as escort. They were followed by the relatives of the
deceased and then came the soldier boys who are at home on sick leave.
About two hundred carriages then fell in line and hundreds on foot joined
the procession which slowly wended its way to the court house grove where
the services were held. All the stores were closed during the funeral and
the flags on the public buildings floated at half mast.

On the greensward under the arching trees, through which glimpses of blue
expanse could be discerned, and glints of golden sunshine dated their gleams
athwart, the mass of people joined together to revere the memory of the
dead. A platform had been erected for the speakers and clergymen and
seating accommodations arranged for several hundred people. The grove was
strung with banners of red, white and blue and the national flag towered in
its glory at the back of the platform which was beautifully decorated with
banners, flags and flowers. The coffin draped with the national flag and
heaped high with floral emblems was placed in front.

The scene was an impressive one which appealed to the heart of every one
present and its impress will leave a mark which time will fail to eradicate.
The vast concourse of people gathered together on a pleasant summer
afternoon from the bareheaded veteran of that other war which saved the
Union, the busy business man, the young men and women down to the tiny boys
and girls all seemed imbued with the same feeling of patriotism and
impressed with the fitness of honoring the remains of the first victim to be
taken from our city through his desire to serve his country.

Hon. I. S. Struble opened the proceedings by stating that the people were
gathered together as was fitting to do honor to one who had laid down his
life for his country. A quartet, composed of C. D. Wernli, Geo. Wernli, Con
Haas and O. H. Hinds, sang a beautiful anthem, “Consolation,” which was
followed by a reading of the scriptures by Rev. Braithwaite, who read from
the gospel according to St. John, the beautiful chapter beginning, “Let not
your heart be troubled.” This was followed by a prayer offered by Rev. R.
Bagnell who made a powerful invocation. The quartet then sang another
beautiful anthem, “Brave Heart Sleep On.”

Rev. W. J. Johnson then made an address. The speaker was visibly effected
and began to speak with difficulty suppressing his emotion. His address was
a masterpiece which could not fail to sink deep into the hearts of listeners
and breathe words of consolation to the bereaved. He struck the keynote of
the occasion when he said that words were inadequate to express sentiments
on such occasions and that Louis Brick’s epitaph could be summed up in seven
words, “He gave his life for his country” and what greater epitaph could any
man desire. He said patriotism was the one word in the English language
which had a soul; that after the love of God and love of home, then came the
love of country and he eulogized the youth of all time and lands, showing
that just such boys as Louis, worthily stepped in and filled the shoes of
veterans who had already done their devoir. The speaker said that Louis had
just as surely and bravely laid down his life as though he had fallen in the
blood-thrilling charge at San Juan and laid stress on the fact that the
hospital wards of the nation’s soldiers contain deeds of martyrs and heroic
suffering which will resound through the ages and never be dimmed by

Hon. I. J. McDuffie followed with an address and dwelt on the dead boy’s
life and told what a good and sterling lad he was and how he used to meet
him on his way to and from school on his way to his office, and how the boy
was imbued with the high sense of patriotism which made him feel it his duty
to go to war, to leave a good home, a good position which he had obtained by
virtue of his natural ability and good education. The speaker dwelt on the
fact that it was proper and mete that all his fellow citizens should
assemble to do honor and that every man’s heart would be enlarged and
himself made better by so doing. The entire assemblage then sang the hymn,
“Jesus Lover of My Soul.” Rev. A. Z. Macgogney gave the next address in
which he said that America was not only grateful to her heroes, her
Washingtons, her Grants and other great generals, but that America was also
grateful to the privates and raised monuments to the unknown dead whose
deeds are recorded in the book of life, and also to this youth who in
answering his country’s call has sacrificed his hopes, aspiration and laid
his life on the altar of patriotism. The services at the court house ended
by the singing of the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” and the procession
reformed and marched to the cemetery. The last resting place of the young
soldier was one vast mass of flowers, a magnificent creation of floral
skill, being a flag made with the national colors at the side of the grave
and endless tributes of flowers where heaped around.

On the march to the grave yard, the band played, “Fallen Heroes” and “Flee
As A Bird” and the long parade of mourners winding up the hill from the city
as far as the eye could reach, presented a most impressive and effecting

The services at the grave were conducted by Prof. Shoup, Commander, and
Chaplain Alline, of the G. A. R. post and the benediction pronounced by Rev.
A. C. Wilson. The militia men fired three volleys of musketry over the grave
of their whilom comrade and the sound of tapes from the bugle told of
another duty done, another crown of victory won by a gallant soldier, with
his winding sheet the flag he loved and defended, gone to his reward.

The floral emblems were magnificent and beautiful. Among them was a laurel
wreath, tribute to the victor, presented by the mayor and city council, a
beautiful wreath presented by his fellow members of the Young Men’s
Christian Union, a cascade bouquet from his fellow graduates of the Class of
’97, a star from the order of the Eastern Star, of which his parents are
members. A crescent presented by his schoolmates and friends, a cross from
Mr. and Mrs. Jenner, a wreath from Judge Gaynor and family, and a wreath
from Jay Greer and Fay Boyle, besides numberless bouquets from other
friends, which were placed at the house, the court house grove and at the
grave, by loving hands. The medical society and many other friends were
unable to procure floral tributes.

December 14, 1878—September 1, 1898, are the dates which mark Louis Brick’s
sojourn on this earth. Less than twenty years, but these years though few
were well spent and Louis made the best of his opportunities. He was born at
Parkersburg, Iowa, on December 14, 1878, and came with his parents to LeMars
in 1880. His mother died shortly after this and in 1883 Louis went to
Burlington and made his home with his grandparents until 1890, when he
returned to LeMars, which has since been his home.

He attended school and graduated in the Class of ’97 and after that worked
at the profession of stenographer for the Plymouth Roller Mill company and
for the firm of Sammis & Scott, where he also read law. He was a youth of
studious and quiet nature and possessed a great forcefulness of character
for one so young. He was a member of the Y. M. C. U. and a good Christian
boy, who lived a clean and righteous life. He enlisted at Iowa City on June
21, in the 50th Iowa and went into camp near Jacksonville. In August he was
taken sick and sent to the hospital on the 12th and died on September 1, of
virulent typhoid fever. His epitaph, “He gave his life for his country” is

The Remains of the Late Louis Brick Arrive in LeMars and are Met by a Large
Cortege of People.

The remains of Louis Brick arrived in LeMars Monday morning on the 6:15
train. Dr. and Mrs. Brick accompanied by Ben Clagg doming in charge of

A large number of people were at the depot despite the early hour to await
the arrival of the body of the young soldier. The boys who were formerly
militiamen, when LeMars boasted a military company, assembled together and
under command of O. L. Loudenslager were drawn up in line at the depot. The
committees appointed by the City Council and the G. A. R. Mower Post were
also there to meet the incoming train and a great number of old soldiers
were also present and a great number of private citizens. The coffin
containing the body was placed in the hearse and those meeting the train
formed in solemn procession and marched to the G. A. R. hall where the
coffin was placed under the flag for which he laid down his young life.
Many friends took a last look at the face of him who but a few short weeks
ago left them in greatest health and highest spirits, but now sadly changed
and looking haggard and thin by the ravages of disease.

The funeral takes place this afternoon, the services being held at the court
house grove.