Mount Morris Index, Mount Morris, IL

October 11, 1928 p. 1


Ogle's Oldest Resident Succumbs to Pneumonia in 100th Year Here Friday

Came to Illinois in 1844 at Age 15 -- Lived in this Vicinity During 75 Years of His Life

It becomes our sad duty this week to chronicle the death of the oldest resident of Ogle County and in all probability the most beloved person in Mount Morris, Emanuel Newcomer, who died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Martha Miller, on East Main Street Friday morning following an illness of only a few days' duration with bronchial pneumonia.

Had he lived until March 11, he would have attained the remarkable age of 100 years and thousands of friends throughout all of northern Illinois were eagerly waiting for this event, that he might be accorded a celebration which in all likelihood none of those reading will experience.

A beautiful life was his, one that all might well copy. A firm believer in those principles which made America what it is today, he strictly followed the rigid rules of simple and clean living and to that may be attributed his approach to five score years.

Another touch of sadness is added to this eulogy when we consider that one of his fondest desires was to vote for the Republican nominee for President, he having voted for every candidate of that party for President since Lincoln. Although this may be incidental, it nevertheless shows that a keen mind functioned in the feeble body.

On Sunday "Uncle" Manuel, as he was known to almost everyone, attended services at the Church of the Brethren and he was a familiar sight along the business section of Wesley Avenue on fine days, eager to converse with anyone on general topics of the day.

What a privilege was his to live through a period which has no equal in the history of civilization and how he must have reveled in the store of knowledge which was gradually attained during those years. A life like this cannot but be envied.

Funeral services were conducted at the Church of the Brethren Sunday afternoon at two o'clock by Rev. G. L. Wine, assisted by Rev. E. P. Trostle and Rev. E. A. Bolinger, the latter of the Christian Church, and the building was filled with friends paying their last respects to this remarkable man.

Emanuel Newcomer was born March 11, 1829, near Hagerstown, Md., and died October 5, 1928, at his home in Mount Morris, Ill., aged 99 yrs., 6 mos., and 24 days.

March 10, 1853, in Mount Morris, he was married to Isabel Knock, in the home still standing just one block from where he passed away. To this union were born 10 children, two of whom survive him: Mrs. Martha Miller, who cared for him much the past years and at whose home he died, and Parnell Newcomer, of Battle Creek, Mich.

At the age of 15 Mr. Newcomer drove, with others, by wagon from Maryland to Mount Morris in 42 days, reaching Mount Morris just 84 years ago last Monday. Throughout these years he lived in and about Mount Morris with the exception of four years in Missouri and five years in Tennessee, from 1883 to 1892.

In his young manhood he became a member of the Methodist Church. In 1864 he united with the Church of the Brethren at Pine Creek and was elected to the ministry in 1869 and was ordained to the eldership about 1888.

He leaves to mourn his departure his two children, six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, besides a number of distant relatives and many friends.

Contributed by Peg Allen Arnold

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