Obituary of Caroline Matilda Seaman, Ogle County [IL] Press, Sat., Dec 7, 1878:
Caroline Matilda Seaman was born at Ithaca, NY Aug 3, 1818; died on Sunday, Nov. 24th, 1878, aged 60 years, 3 months and 21 days. In early life she was united in marriage to Joseph Manning, with whom she lived most happily to the time of her death, a period of forty-four years. She was the mother of a family of nine children, two of whom have preceded her to the other side. The others, grown to manhood and womanhood, remain to mourn her loss. At the tender age of fifteen she was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she ever remained a consistent and devoted member. About fifteen years ago Mrs. Manning and family came west to Ogle County, since which time the family have lived near where their residence now is. Mrs. Manning at once identified herself with the church of her choice, and has ever been held in universal esteem as a very excellent woman and a true Christian. Last fall she went back to her childhood's home, where the most of her life had been spent, and passed some weeks very pleasantly, renewing old and tender associations and friendships, and returned again in health to the place dearer to her than any other on earth--the home--to receive the warm greeting of those who knew how better than any others, to appreciate her worth. A few short months spent in domestic peace and tranquility passed all too quickly away, and now, once more she has gone, not to the home of her childhood, but to that other home, that "building of God," that "house not made with hands, Eternal in the Heavens." There have been greetings yonder, but they are such as mortals here may never know. On Wednesday, the 20th of November, Mrs. Manning was taken suddenly and alarmingly ill. Her symptoms grew rapidly worse. The skill of the physicians seemed to make little or no impression. The disease pursued its remorseless course through extreme suffering to the end. So sudden was the attack and so extreme the pain, that Mrs. Manning from the first seemed to feel that she should not recover. Yet she was willing to use any means to dethrone the power that had entrenched itself in the very citadel of life. She was not taken by surprise. For forty-five years she had been preparing for this event. The Master's summons found her ready and willing to depart and be with Christ. On Sabbath morning, the day on which she died, the Bible was brought at her request and a passage read to her, after which she lead the family to a very touching and beautiful prayer, committing herself and family and all their interests into the hands of a faithful Creator. She spoke to or about all her children, two of whom were in the East, and did not forget the grandchildren, desiring very much to see them all once more. May the words of parting which she would have spoken to them, present, be transformed to words of greeting as she shall see them on the other shore!
Of sister Manning as a wife and mother and Christian, I need not speak at length to a people by whom she has been known so long and so well. Should I attempt to express in words what the tender affection of these friends would prompt them to say, it would seem like extravagant praise. It is proper and right that I should say a few things. Mrs. Manning was a woman of great force and energy of character, and took a deep interest in everything that was good. She was greatly attached to the cause of Christ and his church. As often as she could be she was present at public worship on the Sabbath, and did not forget the class-meeting. She had a clear Christian experience, and knew, as she had been often heard to testify, that she had passed from death unto life. Religion was with her an every day matter, a concern of primary importance, and by its principles and precepts her life was controlled. And not only in her own life was the power of her religion felt, but she sought as far as possible to bring her family under its restraining influence. They had the utmost confidence in her piety and unite their testimony as to her even and straight-forward Christian life. Sister Manning's death is a loss to the church. We can ill afford to lose such as she, but our loss is her everlasting gain. She has passed from the church militant to the church triumphant, which is "without fault before the throne." She will be missed as a neighbor; you may still be welcomed within those hospitable doors, but her presence and her familiar voice will not be there to bid you enter. Most of all will she be missed in the home circle;--by her devoted husband, with whom she has walked side by side for four and forty years; by her children, to whom she was strongly attached, and who seem to have entertained a very deep and tender love for her. There is no human love like a mother's, no loss so great as hers, no place too sacred to deposit her remains, no requiem soft enough and tender enough to chant over her grave. It is hard to utter the final farewell, and yet it must be said. We say it here today in hope. Jesus has said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Her faith robbed death of its sting--the grave of its victory. Rejoicingly has her redeemed spirit gone home. In view of her good life and her triumphant death, we may say with great assurance, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." /s/ O. F. M. Obituary
Contributed by John Manning Stewart
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