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Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
March 6, 1902


A Sad Accident Causes the Death of One of Our Prominent Citizens.

The accidental death of the late Joshua CARMEAN occurred at his home in the north part of this city, on last Thursday evening, at about 5 o'clock and was so sudden and unexpected as to shock not only his relatives but his many friends and acquaintances in Leon and surrounding country. A number of our citizens had seen and conversed with Mr. CARMEAN only a short time before his death. He was then in his usual health and with a fair promise of many more years of life. And yet in a few brief minutes, almost like a flash of lightning, he was stricken down, and surrounded by his devoted wife and loving children, passed away to meet and act with us here no more forever.

In contemplating the suddenness of his death, we are reminded of the scriptural injunction "man cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not."

The CARMEAN residence is on the corner of Main and First Streets in the north part of town [Leon] and about 4 o'clock Mr. CARMEAN went to the barn to do some chores. Shortly afterwards, Mrs. CARMEAN heard him call and she ran to the hay stack where she found him lying on his face with the hay ladder over him and a hay knife sticking through the thigh of his left leg. The knife blade had entered the thigh in front two inches below the hip joint and emerged behind about four inches above the knee joint, completely severing the femoral artery. He asked Mrs. CARMEAN to remove the ladder and also the hay knife from his thigh which she did. While he lay rapidly bleeding to death and gasping for breath, Mr. VANNOSTRAND, C. E. GABLE, Uriah ACTON and others arrived, attracted by Mrs. CARMEAN's cries. Sam and Gorge CARMEAN came and assisted in removing their father to the house. Drs. LAYTON and BOWMAN and shortly afterwards, Dr. BROWN, arrived but the unfortunate man was beyond the reach of medical assistance. He was dead within half an hour after the accident occurred.

No one witnessed the accident and it is only a matter of conjecture as to how it occurred. It is possible that while Mr. CARMEAN was on the sixteen foot ladder cutting hay, he dropped the knife as the ladder slipped and fell; that in some way in falling he was impaled on the blade of the hay knife. About ten years ago while Mr. CARMEAN was farming five miles south of Pleasanton, he was thrown from a mower and sustained severe injuries about his head and shoulders. He has had dizzy and fainting spells occasionally ever since this accident. About three years ago late one evening, in the north part of town, he was seized with a fainting spell and fell from the horse he was riding and was found unconscious in the street. He was unable to leave his room for several weeks.

Among the relatives from abroad who attended the funeral, Sunday, were:

Rev. Jasper TENNANT, of Cambria and G. A. TENNANT, of Delphos, brothers of Mrs. CARMEAN; Elwin GLEASON, of Mount Ayr, a brother-in-law; Mrs. Susan McCLEARY, of Diagonal, a sister; and SamuelL H. CARMEAN, of Lawrence, Kansas. A younger brother, Pearson CARMEAN, of Paoli, Kansas, was unable to be present.


Civil War Flags.jpg Joshua CARMEAN was born in Ross County, Ohio, March 23, 1836, and died at his residence in this city, February 27, 1902, aged 65 years, 11 months and 4 days. With his parents, Mr. and Mrs. FOSTER CARMEAN, he came to Des Moines County, Iowa, in l843, where he lived and grew up to manhood. He was married to Miss Elizabeth TENNANT, May 30, 1861. Four children were born to them, Florence Emma, who died in her seventeenth year, Samuel, George and Mrs. Ella BOWSHER, who reside in our midst.

In early life Mr. CARMEAN united with the Methodist Church, but afterwards joined the Presbyterian Church of which he was a member for forty years. He, with his wife, united with the Presbyterian Church of this city by letter, March 10, 1877. During these subsequent years he has been one of its most active and efficient members, having been for a long time a member of its board of trustees. With leisure and a more than ordinary willingness to serve, he was represented in nearly all of the chief activities of the church. Few, if any, of its members would be more greatly missed.

When the civil war broke out Mr. CARMEAN enlisted in Co. K, l4th Iowa Infantry, where he spent nearly two years in the service of his country. He came with his family to Leon in the fall of 1875, where he since made his home. For a number of years he was an active member of the G.A.R. and the I.O.O.F., both of which orders were represented and took part in the funeral services. Those services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. W. H. ILSLEY, at the family home on Sunday, March 2nd, at 2 o'clock p.m. He spoke from the text "I have cut off, like a weaver, my life." Isaiah 38:12. In his remarks he dwelt upon the suddenness of the departure of our friend, not unlike the cutting of the weaver's thread when his work was done. He paid tribute to the character of excellent worth, and in (can't read)consolation derived from the knowledge of thorough preparation for the change.

A large company accompanied the family to the cemetery where the burial service was conducted by the I.O.O.F. Comrades of the G.A.R. acted as pall bearers and escorted the remains to the last resting place.

Thank God for Grace.
Ye who weep only; if, as some have done,
Ye grope, tear-blinded, in a desert place
And touch but tombs.--look up! Those tears will run
Soon in long rivers down the lifted face,
And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.

  Transciption by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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