OBITUARY - Rev. WILLIAM MONROE CALFEE
Rev. William Monroe CALFEE was born in Franklin County, Indiana, April 16, 1825. His parents were Baptists, and they gave
him religious training according to their faith; but in his seventeenth year he broke loose from parental restraints and
left his father's house, and went out into the world a lone boy. Through wicked influences he soon learned to swear
profanely and play cards, but the Spirit of God never left him. When in his eighteenth year he was powerfully convinced
of sin, and deeply penitent, he returned home, and soon after united with the Methodist Episcopal Church under the
ministry of Rev. George HAVENS. But before his probation expired he was caught up into the whirl of political excitement,
and carried away from the Church into sin. This was in 1844. In June of the following year be again joined the Church as a
probationer, and in the fall of the same year he was baptized and received into full connection by C. W. MORROW. In 1848
he moved to Marion County, Indiana. He was licensed to exhort the same year at a quarterly meeting held at Eagleville,
Rev. William H. GOODE presiding. He was married to Miss Mary H. STRONG, of Marion County, Indiana, October 18, 1851. In
June, 1852, he was licensed to preach.
Brother CALFEE came to Iowa in the fall of 1859, stopping at first in Jefferson County. He was admitted on trial.
He followed the traveling connection by the Western Iowa (now the Des Moines) Conference at its session in Council Bluffs, September,
1861, and returned to Ottawa Circuit, having traveled the same the year before under R. S. ROBISON, Presiding
Elder. The following two years he traveled the Adel Circuit. From Adel he was sent to Riring Sun, from Rising Sun to
Magnolia, and from Magnolia to Mount Olive. In each of the last three named appointments he remained but one year. His
last appointment was Mount Ayr. Here he fell when he had but fairly entered upon his labors for the year, January 7, 1868,
full of hope, and greatly beloved by all his people.
During his second year at Ottawa Brother CALFEE was elected to represent Clark County in the House of Representatives.
This was in 1861. While in the Legislature he proved himself to be a staunch friend of liberty. He was a ready debater,
remarkable for his wit and scathing sarcasm. As a temperance ecturer he excelled. As a preacher he was not refined; sometimes he
was coarse. He was not brilliant, but forcible. He was a kind father, an affectionate husband, an ardent friend, and a
Brother Calfee left the wife of his youth and seven children to mourn his loss.
Thus lived and died s remarkable man. He is now at rest, and his works do follow him.
SOURCE: Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcoal Church
p. 283. Methodist Episcopal Church. New York. 1868.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2010
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