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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Indiana: Putnam County

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Death of Thomas Squires Hancock ~ born Putnam County, Indiana
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield - Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: November 10, 2004 at 21:34:34
  of 574

The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa
Thursday, November 15, 1906

THOMAS HANCOCK, one of the pioneer residents of Wayne County, died at his
home at Bethlehem, last Friday night, after an illness of a few weeks'
duration. He and the mother of G.J. and H.W. Gittinger, of this city, were
cousins, and out of a large relationship which settled in this part of Iowa
in an early day, he was the last survivor here, all others having passed on
to the great beyond or moved away.

MR. HANCOCK was a veteran of the Mexican War and came to Iowa directly at
the close of that conflict laying his land warrant in Union Township, Wayne
County, and held title to that land until the day of his death. He was a
nephew of the late X.E. West, (or of Mrs. X.E. West) and came from Putnam
County, Indiana, to Iowa with the West emigration, which must have been not
later than 1848. MR. HANCOCK was well known in Wayne and Lucas Counties and
was one of those original characters who impress themselves indelibly on the
minds of people and by his long life of integrity and just dealing with his
fellow men, had friends by the multitude.

At the time of his death, he was not far from 85 years of age and leaves an
aged wife and several surviving children, T.J. HANCOCK, southwest from
Russell, being the oldest of the family. With the passing away of "Cousin
Tom" the writer cannot refrain from dwelling on the pathetic thought that
originally, in Lucas and Wayne Counties, his kinsmen were numbered by the
scores, but there are today but three or four families whose common blood
course through living veins. The funeral was held at Bethlehem, Sunday at
11:00 o'clock, a.m.


Rev. M.S. Clark furnishes the following obituary:

THOMAS SQUIRES HANCOCK was born in Putnam County, Ind., May 18, 1824, and
died Nov. 9, 1906, aged 82 years, 5 months and 21 days. His father and
mother were natives of Tennessee, the father beng a son of WILLIAM HANCOCK,
a cousin of JOHN HANCOCK who signed the Declaration of Independence. Father
HANCOCK was the youngest of 5 children; he grew to manhood on the farm in
Putnam County, Ind., and on the 20th day of June, 1846, enlisted in Company
A, lst Ind. Infantry and spent the most of his service on the Rio Grande
River during the Mexican War, serving his country as a private soldier to
the close of the war.

He came to Wright Township, Wayne County, Iowa, on horse back in 1849 and
entered land. After returning to Indiana and in 1851 he drove to his new
home, making the entire trip with an ox team. He began improving his new
home living alone 18 months, and on Feb. 8, 1853, he was united in marriage
to MISS NANCY STARR, of Putnam County, Ind. To this union six children were
born, T.J., EMILY E. GEORGE, and NANCY J. DAVIS who survive and were present
to pay their last tribute to his memory. HANNAH E. THACHER, WILLIAM H. and
JOHN, preceded the father to the spirit world.

In his younger manhood he united with the Missionary Baptist Church of
Bethlehem, and was a faithful advocate of the cause of Christ all through
life. He was ordained a deacon on the 22nd day of May, 1870. His
ordination sermon was preached by Rev. Ira Blakeley. Father HANCOCK has
been a faithful and warm supporter of the Baptist Church in all its
engagements, both spiritual and financial, and had a warm feeling for all
Christian believers. Four years ago he left the farm and moved in Bethlehem
near the church, where he could spend his last days and be of more use to
others in advancing the Kingdom of Christ. Surely it can be said of him:
He died at his post, and has fought a good fight; he died in the triumphs of
a living faith, with good will towards men." While his life has been o'er
shadowed with bright sunbeams mingled with dark clouds of sorrow, yet it has
been of such a stalwart principle for the betterment of our country and the
uplifting of mankind that it is worthy of our greatest admiration. Language
fails us when we begin to tell of his deeds of charity shown to the widows
and orphans during the civil war, and to those in circumstances of distress
later on.

Many words can be spoken of him when memory is called back to the wood
choppings, corn huskings and public sales he has cried and donated all the
fees for his service to those in need; and took great chances in loaning
money to assist those in need. Well can it be said that a good man has gone
to his reward. He leaves a companion who has been a helpmeet to him,
through the 53 years of married life, 3 children, 23 living grandchildren,
11 great grandchildren and one, David Masson, who, Father HANCOCK gave a
home during his early life and who was left without father or mother,
besides scores of friends to mourn their loss, believing that after a long
and well spent life in the service of Christ that what they recognize as
their loss is his eternal gain.

His last exclamation was that his work was done, his steps were numbered;
his race was run, and resented any action of fighting against the Master's
will. Well might we say in the language of the Psalmist: "Blessed in the
sight of the Lord is the death of His saints," and like Paul "There
remaineth a crown of righteousness for him." After brief services at the
home, the funeral was conducted from the Bethlehem Baptist Church by Rev. M.
S. Clark, of Chariton, assisted by Rev. Webber, of the M.E. Church. The
funeral text, being II Corinthians 13:11. "Finally brethren farewell; be
perfect; be of good comfort; be of one mind; live in peace and the God of
love and peace shall be with you." The tribute drawn in this sketch was
very befitting to the life of the deceased. The floral tribute rendered by
the little girls, who always assisted the deceased on decoration day, was
very impressive. After the view of the remains, the D.A.R.s led the large
procession of sympathizing friends to his last resting place in the York
Cemetery, where interment was made. The sorrowing friends have the sympathy
of the community.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
November 10, 2004

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