Obituary of WILLIAM LEISER, 1842 - 1936
SURNAMES: BEAMAN, DOWNIE, GALL, LEISER, LEWIS, PAGE, STALTER
William Leiser, son of John and Kathryn Leiser, was born in Joliet, Will County, Illinois on December 7, 1842 and departed this life at 10:20 p.m. on October 20, 1936, at his home west of Saybrook, McLean County, Illinois following a brief critical illness, having lived 93 years, 10 months, and 18 days.
When a boy, his education was limited. In later years, he longed for the knowledge of book learning which he was prevented from getting as a youth. However, he achieved this knowledge by his own personal experience, and so step by step, he gained what his heart so eagerly desired.
He came to McLean County, Illinois in 1861, settling in the vicinity of Stanford. A very strong, rugged man, he worked as a farm laborer for two years. On April 19, 1865, he left with an expedition of men driving a freight caravan of 7 wagons pulled by 39 mules and 2 horses from Bloomington, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah, a very difficult 71-day journey across the mountains and wild prairie of the American Southwest in those days before transcontinental railroads. He remained in the southwest and lived in Nevada for five years, spending two and one-half years working in the silver mining district. In 1871, Mr. Leiser returned to Illinois, residing in eastern McLean County until his passing.
On March 3, 1874, he was united in marriage to Barbara Stalter, a former resident of Danvers, McLean County. To this union were born two daughters, Anna E., now wife of Mr. Corla (“Corley”) Hillary Lewis of Saybrook, Illinois, and Emma Barbara Leiser Downie, now wife of Mr. Everal Sumner Downie of Mount Ayr, Iowa. Barbara Stalter Leiser preceded her husband in death on November 15, 1908.
When a young man, William Leiser became a Christian and united with the Mennonite Church in which he remained a faithful member to the end. He was a regular attendant of the Saybrook United Brethren Church as long as his health permitted.
He leaves to mourn his loss one brother, Henry Leiser of Joliet, Illinois, and two sisters, Mrs. Louisa Gall and Mrs. Elizabeth Page of Rock Island, Illinois. Another sister, Mary, preceded him in death of August 15, 1936. Also surviving are his two daughters, Anna and Emma; four grandchildren, Dr. Gerald Leiser Downie, medical missionary in Yen Ping, China; Mrs. Aileene Downie Beaman of Mount Ayr, Iowa; Dale Downie of Waterloo, Iowa; and Bernadine Barbara Downie, a school teacher at Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii; and three great-grandchildren, Emma Jean Downie and Myra Mae Downie, daughters of Dr. & Mrs. Gerald L. Downie, and Jacqueline Beaman, daughter of Mrs. & Mrs. Floyd Irwin (“Brady”) Beaman of Mount Ayr, Iowa, along with a host of many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held October 23, 1936 at the United Brethren Church in Saybrook, Illinois conducted by the Rev. George Gundy of Meadows, Illinois, assisted by the Rev. Oral Landis. “Under His Wing,” “The Lord is My Shepherd,” and “There Be No Tears in Paradise” were sung by the Harper sisters, accompanied on the pipe organ by Mrs. Perry Smith. Six selected nephews of the deceased acted as pallbearers.
The funeral was largely attended by a host of relatives and friends.
The body was laid to rest in the Leiser lot in Greenwood Cemetery, Saybrook, Illinois.
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