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The Ringgold Record, 1893



B. F. DAY.jpg Civil War Flags.jpg

Our usually quiet little city was greatly shocked last Sabbath morning with the sad intelligence that Mr. Benj. F[ranklin] DAY one of our prominent business men, a highly respected citizen and old settler of this county had died suddenly the evening before from a stroke of paralysis. He had returned to the store for the evening having eaten his supper and being apparently in the best of health for a man of his age. It was while waiting on a customer, Mr. David BEARD, that he was noticed to start suddenly, fall back against the shelves and then forward on the counter. There were present in the store at the time, Mr. Geo. RIGGS, partner of Mr. DAY and Mr. SPURRIER traveling salesman for Jno. Blaul & Sons. The last act performed by Mr. DAY previous to the stroke, as shown by the books was an entry therein.

The gentlemen present quickly assisted Mr. DAY to a seat then one went immediately for medical help while the others administered what restoratives were at hand. He appeared to be able to hear and understand all that was said and attempted to say "I can't speak" but otherwise he showed no other consciousness. He appeared to be extraordinarly lively and talkative up to the time the stroke came. Dr. BEMENT was the first to respond and he administered a restorative which had very little effect. A shutter was procured and he was taken to his home in north Mt. Ayr. Dr. HORNE and other medical assistance was summoned and all that the science and skill of medicine could do was done, but he never rallied from the shock and passed over the river out into the unknown future at about 11 o'clock [March 25, 1893], it being some three hours after he was stricken.

All death is sudden even when we are watching beside the bed of loved ones with no hope, and just waiting till the spark of life has gone out, but the death of Mr. DAY comes with more than ordinary suddenness and the admonition "be ye also read" (sic) has double significance.

The remains were taken in charge by Funeral Director F. M. WILKERSON who showed his excellent adaptability to the work all through the time from the death until the clods rattled upon the casket and the new made mound denoted another sleeper awaiting the judgment morn.

His brethren of the mystic tie Mt. Ayr Lodge, No. 169 I. O. O. F. assisted by Ringgold Lodge of Benton, members of Redding Lodge, and other visiting Odd Fellows, and members of Ellis C. MILLER Post No. 96 G.A.R. attended the remains from the home to the church, thence to the south [Rose Hill] cemetery [Mount Ayr] where they performed the last sad acts of love to the one whom they had so intimately known and loved in life. As they gazed for the last time on his well remembered face at the church and cast the sprig of evergreen upon the casket in token of keeping his virtues ever fresh in memory while the frailties were covered neath the clods that rested upon the coffin there were many tear dimmed eyes among their number.

Rev. C. L. NYE in some well timed and appropriate remarks from Isaiah 17:14 sought to impress upon the large congregation of friends and neighbors who were present the thought: "Prepare to meet thy God". Also that life is short, death sure and the open grave before each one (of) us, how far distant or near we know not. At the conclusion of the services at the church all were permitted to take a last look and then the line of march was taken to the South cemetery, where according to the ritualistic service of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows the mortal remains of their loved brother were laid away in the tomb, "earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes," there to await the glad resurrection morn. Rev. NYE pronounced the benediction, thanked the friends and neighbors in behalf of the family and relatives for their attendance and help, the grave was filled up, and Benjamin F. DAY was left alone to his dreamless sleep.

The following facts have been learned regarding Mr. Day's life. He was born in Ross county, Ohio, July 1, 1831 [the son of Hedgeman Triplett & Martha (CLINE) DAY, moved to Ringgold county in 1855, thus being one of the oldest settlers of the county. He was married the first time to Miss Margaret WILLIAMSON who died [at age 40] Feb. 5th 1870 [Ringgold County, Iowa]. On December 13, 1870 he was married to Miss Mary A. BEAR who survives him. No children came to bless this second marriage, but three children one boy and two girls came to gladden his home by his first wife. The daughters are living now to mourn his loss but the son, John was killed some two years ago near Wirt, in this county. Mr. DAY was elected Recorder of this county in 1874 and served one term of two years, 1875-'76; but the office work proved too confining and he refused to be a candidate for re-election. For many years he was a member of the Baptist church but lately an attendant of the M. E. church of which his wife is a member.

Mr. DAY enlisted in the 29th Iowa Infantry in 1862 and served with honor to the end of the war. About a year and a half ago he engaged in the grocery business in Mt. Ayr under the firm name of Fuller Bros. and Day. There were several changes in the firm, it being Day & Riggs at the time of his death. A committee from his home Lodge of which he was the treasurer, were appointed on resolutions, which will be published next week. Mt. Ayr and Ringgold county have lost a good citizen and the family a loving husband yet we bow in submission to the Divine will and say "so be it." May he rest in peace and his works do follow him.

  Martha DAY.jpg NOTE: Benjamin Franklin DAY was a schoolteacher and came to Iowa. He married 1st on March 6, 1855, Muscatine County, Iowa to Martha E. WILLIAMSON, pictured at right. Martha was born in circa 1830 in Ohio. Benjamin and Martha were the parents of three children:

Martha J. (DAY) BAXTER, born March 18, 1856, Ringgold County, Iowa; died 1928, Colville, Stevens County, WA; married Henry Charles BAXTER (1857-1909) November 28, 1876, Muscatine County, Iowa.

John H. DAY, born circa 1859, Iowa; died at age 42 circa 1891, Ringgold County, Iowa

Margaret "Emma" DAY, born June 13, 1861, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa; died in 1918, Colville, Stevens County, WA; married October 1881 to Abraham Lincoln BAXTER (1861-1939)

After serving during the Civil War, Benjamin returned to Mount Ayr, working as a grocer and serving several years as Mount Ayr's city clerk. He was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa

Mary (CHANCE) BEAR DAY, Benjamin's second wife, was born April 6, 1839, and died July 18, 1898 at age 59. She was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr., Ringgold County, Iowa. Benjamin F. DAY's biographical sketch is included in the Ringgold County biographical sketches.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

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