Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, March 2, l922
The Rev. FREELAND EDWARDS died at his home in Osceola, Thursday, February l6th, at the age of 86 years. Rev. EDWARDS, one of the best known men throughout southern Iowa, was for sixty years an ordained Minister in the Baptist Church and the years of his life were given to its work.
He counted every one who knew him as his friend, and therefore his friends are numbered by hundreds. He has served in the ministry in many towns of this part of the state, among them, Leon, Centerville, Camden, Russell, Grand River, Murray and Osceola and the news of his passing brought sorrow into each one of these communities.
His death came quickly and quietly. For several months past he had been confined to his home a great deal of the time, and his passing was not unexpected by the members of his family.
FREELAND EDWARDS was born in Hancock County, Tennessee, Sept. lst, l836, and died at his home in Osceola, Iowa, Feb. l6th, l922.
MR. EDWARDS came to Iowa in l850, spending the winter in Davis County. From there he moved to Decatur County in August, l85l. He was baptized into the fellowship of the Vernal Baptist Church by Rev. I.M. Seay, Feb. l4th, l859. On Nov. 2lst, l86l, he was united in marriage to MARY M. SMITH and to this union were born five children, three sons and two daughters. Of these, LAURA died in infancy and JUDSON in middle life.
MR. EDWARDS was ordained into the ministry of the Baptist Church in March, l862. He served the church in the active work in the following places: Camden for two years; Grand River for three years; Centerville, for seven years, building both a church and parsonage while there. In Oct., l880, he came to Leon in Decatur County, where he was a Pastor for eight years. Then in the fall of l889, he came to live in Osceola and served the church in Murray for three years, and the church in Osceola for two years. He also supplied the church at Russell, Goshen and at May, and was Missionary for the Murray Association for one year. After this he was placed on the superanuated list. So, he served the church actively about fifty-six years and lacked less than a month of being an ordained Minister in the Baptist Church for sixty years.
For the last few years, his health has gradually failed, until finally he departed this life, leaving a splendid record, and the example of a beautiful Christian life.
He leaves to mourn their loss, his faithful wife, his two sons, CHARLES and FRANK, merchants in our city; his daughter, NELLIE HOLLENBECK, the wife of one of our city doctors, one brother, ANDREW JACKSON EDWARDS of Van Wert; one sister, MRS. JANE RAMSEY of Van Wert, as also eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Rev. EDWARDS has lived many years in our city and is held in highest esteem by all who have known him.
As there was no church of his denomination here of late years, brother EDWARDS has fellowshipped with our Presbyterian Church, attending all of its services as far as he was able, and so long as he could do so. Our church has greatly appreciated his presence and gracious helpfulness. He took great interest in the Sunday School, and in his faithfulness was loved by all.
A good man has lived a long life of service and good influence and has gone home to his reward as promised by his Savior and ours.
The funeral service was held in the Presbyterian Church, Saturday, conducted by the Pastor, Rev. W.H.W. Webster, assisted by Rev. J.F. McKay, Pastor of the M.E. Church and Rev. W.A. Ross, Pastor of the Church of Christ. Borne by the loving hands of relatives, he was laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery. The church and community extends sympathy to the bereaved ones.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
June 22, 2002
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