submitted by: Julia Johnson -

[Amanda Barnes Robbins]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday June 14, 1951    [p. 1]
Obituary --- Mrs. Amanda Robbins

Amanda Aretta Barnes, daughter of Isam and Deborah Lindamood Barnes, was born near Homestead in Iowa County, Jan. 31, 1864, and died at her home in Bedford, May 29, at the age of 87 years, three months, 28 days.

At the age of 16, she came with her mother and brother to Taylor County and located on a farm two miles west of Sharpsburg.

She was married to Elmer L. [eroy] Robbins, Dec. 24, 1881.  To them four children were born: Mrs. Bertha Young, Clara Robbins, Floyd Robbins, of Bedford, and Florence, who died at the age of six years.

She was the last survivor of her immediate family.  Three sisters, Mrs. Mary Humphrey, Mrs. Sarah Benjamin, Mrs. Rachel Greeley, and one brother, John Barnes, preceded her in death.  Mr. Robbins died Jan. 19, 1933.

Mrs. Robbins was a member of the Bedford Methodist Church.

[James Perry Opdylke]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    June 14, 1951    [p. 1]
J. P. Opdylke
Dies in Billings
Billings, Okla.----J. [ames] P. [erry] Opdylke of Billings, Okla., died at his home May 27, following a 10-day illness.  He was 93 years old.

Mr. Opdylke was honored by The Times-Press during National Newspaper Week last October, as the subscriber of longest standing.  He had taken The Times-Presscontinuously for 69 years.

He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. James McCluskey [Jennie] of the home.  Funeral services and burial were in Billings.

[Carrie Stewart Weir]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday   March 8, 1956    [p. 1]
Mrs. Clarence Weir
Died At Cedar Falls
Mrs. Clarence Weir, a former resident of the Bedford community, died at Cedar Fall, Iowa, Friday, March 2.  The body was brought to Bedford and funeral services held at the Baptist church Monday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Mr. Johnson of the Cedar Falls Baptist church, assisted by Rev. Fred H. Cowles.  Burial in Fairview Cemetery.

Carrie Leota Stewart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John [William] Stewart [Elvira Larison], was born July 15, 1891, at Bedford, Iowa, and died at the age of 64 years, seven months, 17 days.

She was married to Clarence M. Weir April 7, 1912, at Forest Grove church, Bedford.

She was a very active member of the First Baptist church of Cedar Falls, serving as leader of World Wide Guild, organizing and acting as director of the Baptist Student Center Iowa State Teachers College students, having meetings in her own home until a Center was purchased by the Iowa Baptist State Convention.

She was also active in the Women's Missionary Society, being a member of the Dorcas Circle of that organization.

Surviving are her husband, Clarence M. Weir of Cedar Falls; son Oren J. Weir of Hoyt Lakes, Minn.; a sister, Mrs. Arthur Runft [Georgia] of Cedar Falls; a niece, Mrs. Richard Lattin and nephew, Arthur Runft, Jr., Cedar Falls.  She was preceded in death by a sister, Mrs. Della Walker, and by her parents.

[Mary Alice Aiton Hall]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    March 8, 1956    [p. 1]
Last Rites Sunday For Mrs. Kirk Hall

Funeral services were held at 3:00 o'clock Sunday afternoon for Mrs. Kirk Hall at the Wetmore Funeral Home, with her pastor, Rev. Clement Loehr in charge.   Interment was in Bedford cemetery.

On February 15, "Aunt Mary" was taken to the Armstrong Rest Home, where here niece, Mrs. Thelma Meikle, could have direct care and supervision of her.  Here she died Friday evening, March 2 at 5:40 o’clock.

Mary Alice Aiton Hall was born in Rio, Wisconsin on June 30, 1867 to William and Catherine Hook Aiton.  When she was two years old, the Aiton family moved to Scots' Ridge, west of Bedford.  Here she grew to womanhood, one of six daughters and two sons, born to the William Aitons.  The home, the school, the church were formative elements in her life.  For many years, she was organist in the Morning Star Presbyterian Church, where her father was an elder, and where the entire family attended.

On February 18, 1903, Mary Aiton was united in marriage with Kirk Hall, son of Judge Hall, who served many years as judge in Taylor County.  For several years, Kirk and Mary lived on the Aiton farm, after the Aitons moved to Bedford.  Later they, too, moved to Bedford and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church here.  Mr. Hall died December 30, 1949.  Now only a brother, James Aiton, remains of the entire Aiton family, aside from the younger generation of nephews and nieces, of whom "Aunt Mary", as she was familiarly called by many besides her own, was very fond, and they of her.

Mrs. Hall was active in her church up until two months ago, about Christmas time, when failing health compelled her to remain at home, although she kept in touch with her friends by phone up to within three weeks of her death.

Last year "Aunt Mary" gave a lovely, sealskin bound Pulpit Bible to her church, a memorial to her parents and her husband, which her pastor used at her memorial service, and which regularly rests upon the Church Lectern.

[Benjamin Christopher Fent]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    March 8, 1956   [p. 1]
Ben Fent
Rites Held Wednesday, Feb. 20
Ben Fent, a long-time resident of the Blockton community, died at his home February 26, after an illness of several months.

Funeral services were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home in Bedford, Wednesday afternoon, March 7, conducted by Rev. Fred H. Cowles.  Burial [was] in Fairview cemetery.  The Masonic burial service was given at the funeral.

Benjamin Christopher Fent, son of William and Hattie Fent was born at Hope, Missouri, March 19, 1904 and died at the age of 62 years, 11 months, 21 days.

He came to Taylor County when a young man, and was married to Miss Edith E. Straight on August 4, 1917.  To them one daughter was born.

He is survived by his wife, Edith; the daughter, Mrs. Jean Houchbaum and her husband of Arlington, Virginia; two brothers, John Fent and Lewis Fent of Chamois, Mo.

Mr. Fent had resided in Taylor County since his marriage, spending the past 18 years on his farm near Blockton.  He was a member of Bethany Masonic Lodge, No. 320, was a past Master of the Lodge, and a member of Molla Shrine Temple at St. Joseph.

[Ora J. Hays]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    July 4, 1957    [p. 1]
Ora J. Hays
Dies At Athelstan
Ora J. Hayes, son of Andrew J. and Isabelle F. [Kauble] Hayes, was born in Taylor County, Iowa, Sept. 21, 1889 and died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Grace Balch at Athelstan, June 25, 1957, at the age of 67 years, nine months, four days.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Clyde C. Hays, and one sister, Mrs. Ethyl Markee.

Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Maggie E. Blake of San Jose, Calif.; and Mrs. Grace Balch of Athelstan; one brother, J. [oseph] A. Hays of Athelstan.

Funeral services were held at Community church in Athelstan, Thursday, June 27, conducted by Rev. Ward Campbell of Mount Ayr.  Burial [was] in Athelstan cemetery.

[Hays, Ora Jacob]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday     July 4, 1957    p. 7


Ora Hayes Dies

Ora [Jacob] Hayes [Hays], 67, died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Grace Balch, Tuesday morning after a long illness.

Those from a distance attending funeral services for Ora Hayes [Hays] Thursday were Mr. and Mrs. John Balch of Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Booher, Von Gene of Sidney; Mr. and Mrs. Earl Blake of St. Joseph, Mo.


[Ella Cunning McKinley Mouser]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    July 4 1957    [p. 1]
Dies in California
Mrs. Ella Frances Mouser, 87, of El Cajon, California, a former resident of Bedford, died Thursday, June 27.  Funeral services were held there on June 29 and the body was brought to Bedford for interment.  Graveside services were held at four o'clock Tuesday afternoon in Fairview cemetery, conducted by Rev. Anthony Blankers.

Mrs. Mouser will be remembered here as Mrs. George S. McKinley and before her marriage as Ella Frances Cunning.  She moved west from Bedford many years ago.  Mr. McKinley died in 1920.  Her second husband also preceded her in death.

She is survived by two sons, Ralph E. McKinley and Harry T. McKinley, both of San Diego, California.  Also by one sister, Mrs. Grace Harris of San Diego; one brother, William Cunning, of Clearfield; and by 13 grandchildren.

Her son Ralph accompanied the body here.


[Florence Simpson Thompson]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    June 20, 1957    p. 1
Mrs. Clark Thompson
Dies In Kansas
Mrs. Clark E. Thompson of Baxter Springs, Kansas, the former Miss Florence Simpson of Bedford, died Thursday, June 13 at Baxter Memorial Hospital.

Funeral services were held Saturday morning at Baxter Springs and the body was brought to Bedford, where graveside services were held Sunday afternoon at Graceland Cemetery.

Born February 5, 1888, at Bedford, she had lived in Baxter Springs 30 years.

Surviving are her husband, Clark E. [dwin] Thompson of Baxter Springs; two daughters, Mrs. Pauline Kennedy of Victoria, Texas, and Mrs. Richard Sperberg of Malvern, Ark.; one son, Eugene Thompson of Fort Eustis, Va.; three sisters, Mrs. Irene Webster of Fort Worth, Tex., Miss Ethel Simpson of Marshalltown, Iowa, Mrs. Helen Schiveley of Berkeley, Calif., and three grandchildren.

[Willis Carl Ernest]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    July 23, 1955    [p. 1]
W. C. Ernest Died At Rochester
W. C. Ernest, farmer living in the East Mission community, died at St. Mary's hospital in Rochester, Minn., Sunday.  He was taken by plane to the Mayo clinic on Wednesday and the body was returned by plane after his death on Sunday.

Funeral services were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home Tuesday afternoon, July 26, conducted by Rev. Fred H. Cowles of the Baptist church.  Burial [was] in Fairview cemetery.

Willis Carl Ernest was born at Bedford, Taylor County, Iowa, on Feb. 22, 1883, and died at the age of 72 years, five months, two days.  He was a son of August and Hannah [Ditch] Ernest and lived his entire life in Taylor County.

On December 15, 1912, he was married to Georgia Dean Slauson and to them one son was born.

He is survived by his wife Georgia; the son, Willis Dean; his daughter-in-law, Darline [Opal Hughes]; one granddaughter, Joyce Ann.

Also by four brothers, Frank Ernest of Denver, Colo., Fred Ernest of Conway, Glen Ernest of Bedford, Herman Ernest of Clarinda; four sisters, Mrs. Rose Larison, Mrs. Allie Brown, Mrs. Roy Spurgeon of Bedford, Mrs. Loula Reece of Denver, Colo.

[Frederick Ezra Ernest]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    April 11, 1957    [p. 1]
Fred Ernest Died Here Sunday
Fred Ernest, a long-time resident of Bedford and Taylor County, died Sunday, April 7, after having been in failing health for several years.

Last rites were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Howard DeVore, pastor of the Conway Methodist church.  Burial [was] in Fairview Cemetery.

Frederick Ezra Ernest, son of August and Hannah [Ditch] Ernest, was born in Taylor County, March 1, 1881, and passed away at the age of 76 years, one month, seven days.

On January 14, 1903, he was married to Miss Edith Slauson, who survives him.

With the exception of 11 years, he spent his entire life in Taylor County.  Fred was one of nine children, seven of whom survive him.  They are Mrs. Rose Larison, Mrs. Allie Brown, Mrs. Maude Spurgeon, Mrs. Loula Reece, Glen Ernest of Bedford; Herman Ernest, Clarinda; Frank Ernest, Denver, Colorado.

A brother, Will [is] Ernest, passed away in July 1955.

[Lori Dawn Colyn]
Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    February 14, 1957    p. 5

Colyn Infant Dies At McPherson, Kans.
Lori Dawn Colyn, stillborn daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Colyn [Alice Weir] of McPherson, Kans., was born Feb. 7, 1957.  Survivors include the parents and three sisters, Cathy, Kay Ann and Leslie, all of the home.

A committal service was held Feb. 8 at 1 o'clock with Rev. Harry K. Zeller of the Church of the Brethren officiating.  Interment [was] in McPherson cemetery.

[Mary Jane John Keith]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    November 28, 1957    [p. 1]
Mrs. Mary Jane Keith
Rites Here Monday
Mrs. Mary Jane Keith, a native daughter of Taylor County, died Saturday, November 23, after having been in failing health for several years.  She had been bedfast the past three years.

Funeral services were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home Monday afternoon, Rev. Lowell Hall of the Blockton Christian Church officiating.  Burial [was] in Fairview Cemetery.

Mary Jane John, daughter of Christopher C. and Nancy [Ensminger] John, was born Jan. 23, 1870, in Ross Township, Bedford, and died at the age of 87 years, 10 months.

On Jan. 6, 1889, she was united in marriage to Silas U. [sher] Keith.  To them eight children were born, two died in infancy, also two daughters preceded her in death, Mrs. Florence Snyder in 1950 and Mrs. Ruth Cheshire in 1955.  Mr. Keith passed away on August 29, 1919.

Four children survive, Glade Keith, Mrs. Minnie Jared and Mrs. Clark Spencer [Mildred Amanda] of Bedford, Theron Keith of Cherokee, Iowa.  There are also grandchildren and great grandchildren; one brother, Walter V. John of Bedford.

At an early age she united with the Berea church, later transferring her membership to the Bedford Christian Church.

[Eugene Paul Simpson]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday    September 2, 1954    [p. 1]
Graveside Services For Paul Simpson

Graveside services for [Eugene] Paul Simpson, following cremation, were held at Graceland Cemetery at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 1.  Rev. Fred H. Cowles officiated.

Mr. Simpson died at Veterans Hospital in Omaha on August 14 and funeral services were held the following Monday at the Wetmore Funeral Home.  Both Masonic and military services were given at the funeral home.

[Eugene Paul Simpson]
Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    August 19, 1954    [p. 1
Paul Simpson Rites Monday
Paul Simpson of Bedford, auditor in the Iowa State Public Tax division, died at Veterans Hospital, Omaha, August 14, having been in failing health for several months.

Funeral services were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home, Monday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Fred H. Cowles.  Masonic and military services were given at the funeral home.  Interment was in Graceland cemetery following cremation.

Eugene Paul Simpson, son of E. [ugene] H. [arlan] and Alice [Salen] Simpson, was born in Taylor County, Iowa, Sept. 14, 1892, and died at the age of 61 years, 11 months.

On Dec. 25, 1919, he was married to Hilda Dowlin of Bedford, Iowa.  To them, two children were born.

He is survived by his wife; one daughter, Mrs. Patricia Holland and four grandchildren, Kathryn, Michael, Robert Eugene and Paul Tarrence Holland of Charleston, S. C.; four sisters, Miss Ethel Simpson of Marshalltown, Iowa, Mrs. Clark Thompson [Florence] of Baxter Springs, Kansas, Mrs. Roy Webster [Alpha Irene] of Fort Worth, Texas, Mrs. Robert Schiveley [Helen Leone] of Berkeley, California.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by one son, Eugene Allen, who died in infancy.

When a young man he joined the Gilead Methodist Church.

Mr. Simpson was a Past Master of Taylor Lodge, No. 156, A. F. & A. M., and a Past Patron of Bedford chapter, No. 228, Order of the Eastern Star, of Bedford.  He was also a member of Triangle chapter, No. 68, Royal Arch Masons; of the Scottish Rite Bodies, Des Moines Consistory; of Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Temple in Des Moines, and of Bedford Post, American Legion.

He had been in the employ of the State of Iowa since 1948.

[Ruth Standley Keith Cheshire]
Bedford Times-Press
Thursday   May 10, 1956    p. 4

Obituary ---- Mrs. J. B. Cheshire
Ruth Stanley [Standley] Cheshire, daughter of Silas and Mary Jane [John] Keith, was born July 25, 1913, and died at her home in Maryville April 25 at the age of 42 years and nine months.

On June 21, 1939, she was married to Dr. John B. Cheshire of Maryville.

She leaves to mourn her passing, her husband, her mother, two sisters and two brothers, Mrs. Clark Spencer [Mildred Amanda], Mrs. Minnie Jared, Glade Keith of Bedford and Theron Keith of Cherokee, Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her father on August 29, 1919 and by one sister, Mrs. Florence Snyder on April 2, 1950.

She was a member of the Methodist church and a Past Matron of Rosanna Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, at Maryville.

[Guy Thompson]
Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    June 14, 1956    [p. 1]
Held Last Rites For Guy Thompson Sun.
Last rites were held for Guy Thompson, 84, at the Presbyterian Church here Sunday afternoon, June 10, at 3 p.m. with Rev. Clement Loehr, pastor, in charge.  Interment was in the Bedford cemetery.

Guy Thompson, son of James Monroe and Martha Hedrick Thompson, born in Bedford, April 19, 1872, died near his daughter Helen, Mrs. B.[en] H. Jostes, in a Chicago hospital June 5, 1956, after several months illness.  Except for a few short ventures out of the city, Guy spent his entire life in Bedford.  Reared of Presbyterian parents, on February 19, 1886, when less than 14 years of age, he united with the Presbyterian Church and remained a member more than seventy years.  Here he served as an elder, financial secretary of the church for many years, a long-time member of the choir and for some years director of the choir.  Possessed with a good voice and friendly disposition, he was called upon many, many times to sing at funerals and other special occasions.

Guy graduated from the Bedford High School with the class of 1889.  After this he spent a short time in business with his brother-in-law, James H. Dickey at Storm Lake.  In 1898 he returned to Bedford and started working for the Thompson Mercantile Co.

In September 1901, he married Myrtle Ann Parker, and the young couple went to Oklahoma and set up business at Geary with another brother-in-law, Harry Guthrie.  In 1902, daughter Helen, now Mrs. Dr. B. [en] H. Jostes, was born.  Soon Guy moved to St. Joseph, Mo., where he entered business again.  But [in] 1908 he moved to Bedford and again joined the Thompson Mercantile Co., where he remained until his retirement in 1953.

Guy is further placed in the city as the brother of Ralph Thompson and Mrs. Mary Richardson, who survive.  Dr. and Mrs. Jostes have three children, Mrs. W. [illiam] L. Chadima [Judy] of Cedar Rapids, Thomas William and Jean Ann Jostes.  Mrs. Chadima has three small children: Christine, Barbara and William.

Mrs. Guy Thompson died April 23, 1954.

"Dependable service for 87 years", means Thompsons.  The present owners have a great heritage, which they know and appreciate.  They do not cater to flash sensations or trick advertising, but depend upon that for which Thompsons have always been noted----dependable merchandise, fairly priced, honest and courteous treatment.

As was written 30 years ago of James Monroe Thompson, Guy's father, "His has been a life, the usefulness of which ends not with earth.  Its influence will be felt long after his body has turned back to earth." ---so can it be said of Guy.  He too ran a good race, fought a good fight, finished the course, kept the faith.