MOMENTS IN TIME: Old 1885 Obituary Found in Ledger in 1969

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 11/27/1969.

Another Old Clipping Relates County History

Can you imagine transporting the dead body of a man from Grantsville to Glenville in the canoe?

How times have changed since 1885 was brought to light in discovery of clippings in an old ledger belonging to the late John M. Hamilton of Grantsville.  Last week the Chronicle reprinted the obituary of Michael Stump, founder of the Stump family in this area, who died in 1883.  Also preserved in this same ledger was the account of the death and burial of one William L. Stevenson who practiced law in Grantsville, who died in 1885.  His obituary, evidently in the Glenville paper, The Crescent, was saved by Mr. Hamilton, and since it's an interesting part of the history of Calhoun county we are publishing it here.  The book was loaned to The Chronicle by Victor Hamilton.

Death of Col. William L. Stevenson
(Published in 1885)

News reached us Friday last of the death of Col. William L. Stevenson, of Grantsville, which sad event occurred Thursday night, at 11:30 o'clock.

As is well-known by many of our readers Col. Stevenson, has for a number of years, been severely afflicted with asthma, and on former occasions his life has been despaired of when he was ceased with a violent attack of the disease.  The sudden and severe attacks have had much to do with reducing his physical condition and to generally debilitate his system.  The disease finally mastered its victim.

The subject of this memorial was born in Spotsylvania county, Va. in September, 1822, and was consequently over 63 years of age.  He came to this county, in the year 1851 or 1852 and began the practice of law.  In 1854 he was married to Elizabeth H. Sleeth, sister of Mrs. W. H. Snyder.  Two children bless this union, one, a daughter, his dead; the other, a son is left, with the widow to mourn their loss.

For a number of years Col. Stevenson was a successful practitioner in the courts of this and other counties, and at the time of the formation of Calhoun county, or shortly thereafter, he moved to Grantsville and there began the practice of law.  At one time during his practice in that county he attended to the business of Prosecuting Attorney of the county.  The same he performed in a highly creditable manner.  In the practice of law he was more successful and always commanded the deepest respect and fraternal feelings of the court and bar.  In a criminal case he was a host within himself, and had the power of winning the sympathy of a jury towards his client.

His remains were conveyed to Glenville in a canoe, manned by Messrs. Stallman, Dulin, Johnson, and Campbell.  Messrs. Will Stevenson, John M. Hamilton and Ed Martin came overland, reaching here shortly after dinner, Saturday.  The boat arrived about six o'clock, the remains conveyed to the parlor of the Ruddell House, and during the evening were viewed by a number of our citizens.  The features were natural and lifelike, more like one asleep rather than prepared for the tomb.  The funeral took place Sunday morning at 10:30, the remains being followed to their last resting place, beside the daughter in the graveyard at this place, by a large concourse of our citizens and many persons from the surrounding country.