Death of Joseph Atwood

Joseph Atwood was born in Grafton Co., New Hampshire, Sept. 1, 1803 and died at noon, Jan. 5, 1885, having attained the age of 81 years, 4 months, and 5 days. At the age of 13, he, with his father's family moved to Canada, where he remained until 1853 when with his family settled in this community where for nearly 32 years he has been well known by this entire community. At about the age of 26 he was converted and united with the Free Will Baptist Church and ten years later he changed his membership to the M. E. Church and remained for forty-five years with that organization, a consistent and devoted Christian, thus making a total of 55 years in Christ's service. In early manhood he was united in marriage with Mary Smith, who 18 years later died in the Christian faith. In 1844 he was united to his aged companion who now survives him and who is lonely and desolate by her imparable (sic) loss. He has one brother and one sister who though aged and infirm have visited him frequently during his late illness and who by their presence and words and deeds of affection have greatly comforted him in his last days. His family consisted of 14 children, 4 of whom have preceded him to the better land. He has now 10 children living, 43 grand-children. He has also 50 great-grand children and one of the 5th generation making a total of 104 living descendants. He was asked the state of his mind--"strong on the rock, Christ Jesus, I trust I shall soon be at home. My mind is now centered on one thing. The grave is no terror to me. I think I have a home in heaven waiting for me. I have many dear friends, but I read of one who is my brother." He then spoke of his brother, Patton Atwood, who was then visiting him, how pleasantly they always lived; of their friendship. He then quoted his favorite scripture, 2 Cor., 5-1, "For we know that" & c. He said that is the best knowledge. I always said I did not fear death, that the Lord would give dying grace when we needed it, if we lived right. As the end drew near and although his physical suffering was at times almost unbearable, his faith never wavered, but he died peacefully and triumphantly.
The funeral services were held at his residence January 7th at 10 o'clock a large number of people were present. Three appropriate hymns were sung by a choir from Stillman Valley. Rev. A. E. Arnold read the scriptures and led in prayer. Rev. J. Hartman preached taking for his text 2 Cor. 5:1v.. The remains were laid away in the Stillman Valley Cemetery.

Byron Express, January 9, 1885, p. 1

Contributed by Bob Hutchins

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