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The Ringgold Record, 1891


Rev. James WISHARD was born in West Virginia, 15 miles from Wheeling, November 20, 1800. Emigrated with his father in 1801, to Clermont county, Ohio, and from thence to Highland county, same state.

In 1805 shortly before his death, his father said to him: "My son, I am going to die, and I do not know what will become of you, you have such a rugged temper; I will turn you over to the Lord."

He united with the church in 1825, and, it appears, was converted a short time afterward in a camp-meeting. While seeking pardon and peace, he seemed to hear a voice, saying, "Jesus hung three hours on the cross! What for? For me-to redeem sinners." At this he accepted, by faith redemption through the blood of Jesus.

Years afterward, while at the sacramental board, receiving the Lord's Supper with the words: The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, may it preserve thee, soul and body, unto everlasting life," he entered the experience of perfect love or entire sanctification. This was about the year 1855, and he has been a flaming evangel of this higher experience of a holy life.

About 1830 he moved to southewast Indiana, and his papers indicate that he afterward lived in Illinois. In 1853 he was near Liberty, Van Buren county, Iowa, and he has lived also in Jefferson and Union counties before coming to Ringgold county, which was probably in the year 1866.

Father WISHARD had been married three times; the first being it seems, shortly after he was of age. There was one child by this marriage, a daughter, whose whereabouts, if living, are unknown. This was his only child. His last wife was Mrs. Sarah POWELL, to whom he was married in 1866, and who died a number of years ago. His life in this county, need be but briefly mentioned. Losing property and strength finally, he was in our county home for the poor, the same stalwart, sturdy Christian, happy on his way.

Given a home in Mt. Ayr by his brethren in the church about three years ago, he greatly appreciated not only this, but the marked solicitude of the family with which he has resided. He was a prince and a mighty man in Israel. Many were saved under his ministry, and the Methodist Episcopal church, which was his home, years ago ordained him a deacon.

The Sunday evening before his death he said: "I have nothing to take back of what I have said concerning the blessed keeping power of my God."

Again, "My account is settled with God. I have already attended to that."

A few hours before his death he sent a message to the church in about these words, "I am out on the border land and may have to die; - But it has no sting" With many other words he comforted the hearts of his friends during his last illness.

While loving his own church dearly, he loved all in every church who loved our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

He died in great peace at the home of Mr. I. C. TUTTLE, in Mt. Ayr, Thursday, about 10:30 p.m., March 26, 1891. The funeral services were held at the M. E. church, Sunday morning, March 29, the sermon being preached by Rev. S. SAMSON, of Van Wert, Iowa, Revs. MARK, RIGGS, and THOMPSON participating in the service. [Interment at Rose Hill Cemetery.]


The death of Rev. James WISHARD, March 26, 1891, aged 90 years, 4 months and 6 days, presents to us a long stretch of time. He began life with the century, Nov. 20, 1800, near Wheeling, Virginia.

He spent his youth near New Richmond, Ohio, and just a little ways from Point Pleasant, the old home of Gen. U. S. GRANT. He remembered well many of the scenes and incidents of the war of 1812 and could tell them with great vividness and fullness. He recalled the crying of the wives and children as the husbands and fathers left for the front, and all the sad times of the war. He could tell, out of his own experience, all about the so called "era of good feeling," or the MONROE administration, and the bitter contest over the admission of Missouri, and the supposed finality compromise of 1820. In 1828 he voted for JACKSON, but opposed him for a second term because he would not aid in releasing the imprisoned missionaries in Georgia. He looked upon JACKSON's administration as something calamitous to the country and the era of force; LINCOLN's that of principle. He had the hard times of 1828 to 1836 "pat" as A,B,C. Wheat went down from $1.00 to 30 cents, and good horses from $150 to $40; cows to $6 and $8; dressed beef to 2 cents, and pork to 1 1/2 cents. He said that free trade swept over the country like a cyclone, producing desolation. The protective tariff of John Q. ADAMS was repealed and we became the servants of English capitalists. It was like the old Stamp Act days. Cotton goods, now 5 to 7 cents per yard, were 50 to 60 cents. Hearty young men roamed the country in homespun with patched knees, hunting for work and could not find it. The protective policy of ADAMS and CLAY would have avoided all this trouble, in his judgment. He declared that those who used the free trade gun got hold of the wrong end and shot themselves. It always made the balance of trade in favor of England, while protection turned it the other way. He had a supreme contempt for the democratic administrations of TYLER, POLK, PIERCE, BUCHANAN, CLEVELAND, and regarded them as but part and parcel of Satan's kingdom. He despised the Mexican war, engaged in at the nod of the slave oligarchy, and to extend her territory. As to the finances, he knew all about the "Owl Creek," "Red Dog," and "Wild Cat" money. A cart load of it was not work a dollar, and beautifully represented democratic finances, as compared with the grand system of today. During the late war he was of course an intense Union man and helped the families of soldiers who were at the front. He spans four score years and ten. He was ever saying, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace," and the promise was realized.

NOTE: Rev. WISHARD was instrumental in the establishment of Wishard Chapel. He was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

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