Mount Morris Index, Mount Morris, IL

July 13, 1911 p. 1




Graduate of Rock River Seminary and Northwestern University - An Extensive Reader

On Wednesday morning, July 5th, at 9 o'clock occurred the death of Mrs. Margaret Newcomer, after a protracted illness of slowly gathering intensity of about six years. For a long time it was known that her condition was such as not to promise recovery, but the end came with such suddenness and without premonitory symptoms that her many friends and acquaintances were shocked by the news. The funeral services were held at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Rice, at half past two o'clock on Friday afternoon. The Rev. Hinds, her pastor, and Rev. J. H. More, a life long family friend, officiated in a manner most befitting the occasion. Interment toko place in Oakwood Cemetery upon the lot where lie buried her father and mother, Thomas S. Hitt and Emily John Hitt; John Hitt, a brother who died only two months ago; and Robert R. Hitt.

Margaret Hitt Newcomer was born December 21, 1844, on the Hitt farm, adjoining the village of Mount Morris. She grew to womanhood at her rural home and attended the Rock River Seminary where her early education was acquired. Later, she attended Northwestern University at Evanston, where she perfected the groundwork for her after life of unfailing literary interest. In 1870 she married and for one and one half years made her home near Maryville, Missouri.

She was the mother of four children, as follows: Emily, now Mrs. Joseph Rice of Mount Morris; Morris H. now living at Cody, Wyoming; Thomas E., and official of the Ft. Dearborn Bank of Chicago; and Robert H. a resident of California. Morris and Robert were unable to be present at the funeral services, although the latter can find much consolation in the fact that the last six weeks of his mother's life he spent with her and ministered constantly and faithfully to her wants.

Mrs. Newcomer spent most of her time in and around Mount Morris. Prior to her illness she had spent about two years in Cody, Wyoming, with her son Morris, where she made a home for him and incidentally tasted the pioneer experiences that we in Illinois know very little about. At the age of twelve, under the ministry of Rev. John H. Vincent -- now Bishop Vincent -- she became a member of the M. E. Church and has ever remained an interested and loyal communicant of the same. Having been reared in a home where there was much studious environment, she early acquired a taste for and an abiding interest in good literature. Her range of reading was very extensive, bringing in its train wide information, scholarly grasp of matter and discriminating judgment about literary style and expression. To draw freely from the intellectual gold mine of the ages is one of the greatest things we can attain unto -- a possession of the utmost value. This possession was Mrs. Newcomer's. Her life was no flowery bed of ease, but was full of many and varied responsibilities that develop character. The real heroes and heroines in this world are those who go quietly on from day to day, discharging its exacting duties and bearing its heavy burdens, without murmuring and without spectacular display. Such a one was Mrs. Newcomer. Her own comfort and ease were matters of the most trivial importance in her estimation when anything yet remained to be done to advance the welfare of anyone in any way dependent upon her. The life is indeed a story of Christian sacrifice. It is a pleasant thought to recall and to now know that those for whom she labored and sacrificed understand it full well and will remember and cherish it to the end. This consciousness was to her, abundant reward and was like unto a certificate for labor well done. To those who knew Mrs. Newcomer and the circumstances of her extended illness there will long remain the memory of her magnificent courage - yes, heroism - that never faltered. The writer speaks from personal knowledge when he declares that in all that long, harrowing period of pain and weakness, never as much as a murmur of complaint escaped her lips. The book of martyrs will not reveal an instance of more perfect Christian resignation to the decree of fate than hers.

Contributed by Peg Allen Arnold

Return to Ogle Co. Genealogy Site