The pioneers that blazed the trail sixty-five years ago along the Lizard out there
in Clare are gone and now their sons are being borne to the little city of the dead
where moulder their honored dust. No boast of heraldry, no pomp of power was theirs:
they were just the plain children of the rustic hamlet and and the inevitable hour
that only leads to the grave id their doom just as 'tis of the mighty and the great.
And impartial death snatches them before the shadows of life lengthen to the west
and sometimes when the sun of life only passes manhood morn and often before the
noontide hour. The universal sympathy every one up there in Johnson township felt
at the passing of Elmer is the loss to that family of little tots left that will
never remember the father's familiar face.
He was one of the most industrious of Webster county farmers and straightforward
as he was honest. He was of the most loyal and faithful parishioners of St. Matthew's
parish. He came from a historic old Gallic race that like so many of the old time
French migrated to Canada where they settled near the historic plains of Abraham
near Quebec and of course these old Frenchmen years ago were as Catholic as St.Peter.
In time they migrated to the states and Elmer was born at LeRoy,Ill., on August
When fourteen months old the family consisting of father, mother, four boys and
three girls moved to Iowa and settled on a farm in the open prairie of Jackson township
and near which in after years sprang up the towns of Clare and Barnum. They lived
there for twenty years. The father, Louis Gochee, died in 1890. In 1902 the mother
moved to a farm near Moorland where she married Mr. Leohr, who died in 1913. Elmer
received a good education. His excellent mother was his first teacher as they all
had to be in those pioneer days. Then the historic old school house out there that
is still a land mark on the Preston hill was built and Elmer was one of the first
pupils. As the family accumulated a little he was sent to school in Fort Dodge and
then to the newly erected school in Moorland.
On November 23, 1909, he was married to Myrtle M. Heun and to that happy union seven
children were born, six of whom are now living. They are Marie, Ethel, Carl, Edmund,
Mervin and Mary Lucille. Cletus died three years ago last January. A faithful and
loving wife, true as steel is left to keep his memory green. If the spirits of the
illustrious dead participate in the affairs of this life here below as they do as
sure as you and I live, let us pray that the kindly spirit of this honest Clare
farmer will look down with tenderness from his home in bliss, on those innocent
little tots left behind and ever guard, we know not how, their tiny feet that they
ever walk aright on the straight paths of decency and virtue. Eternal rest to his
Unfortunately my Great Grandfather died on June 23, 1931. I, nor my mother, ever
got to meet him. I have heard many praises sung of this man who died to soon.
His mothers name is not mentioned in the memorial. Her maiden name was Eliza Ann