Friday, July 3, 2009


Thursday brought the discovery of sad stories about my great grandfather Nehemiah Nickerson and his father David Nickerson, my great, great grandfather. Several years ago someone had emailed me part of an article about Nehemiah after his death where it stated that the “untimely deaths of father and son are strangely similar. Today I found out the details…
David Nickerson died on February 10, 1892. He was assisting his son to put into a wagon a quantity of goods for Jefferson’s store, the goods having been left by the freight train. As he was attempting to put a part of the load into the wagon, he slipped and fell across the tracks in front of a fast moving passenger train. He was unable to rise and he was crushed by the train. The article had some of the following to say about him:
“Mr. Nickerson was one of Marshall county’s oldest citizens…a man well known in the vicinity and respected by all who knew him.”
“He was 78 years old and often boasted that he had never, even for one day, been ill.”
“He had by his uprightness and Christian charity won the love and respect of a host of people.”

Nehemiah Nickerson died on Oct 26, 1913. The headlines of the combination obituary/article read:
Nehemiah Nickerson, an old Civil War veteran and one of the oldest citizens of Ohio county, was found dead in his room at the Kraft Brothers Hotel. Death was due to asphyxiation caused by gas escaping from a valve. It seems that Mr. Nickerson had in some way or other extinguished the light but had not turned off the gas, which continued to enter the room until a sufficient amount had entered to cause his death.
The old gentleman who had faced the battles of the Civil War for four years of supreme trial had answered the last call and had gone to join the bivouac of the dead around the everlasting campfire.
A man who knew Nehemiah said the following when asked by a reporter, “I have known him for the past 40 years and during that time I have known him to be always a straightforward, reliable and responsible man…Now that he is gone this country has lost a citizen who will be greatly missed and one who will not be duplicated for some time.”
(The article goes on to say) – Few men have enjoyed the friendship of a greater man in the confines of Ohio County, and few men leave behind them as many sincere friends at their death as did Nehemiah Nickerson.
Two sides of a family with two very different types of characters. Interesting to say the least.

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