March 15, 1888
The death of General D. H. STROTHER occurred, from pneumonia, at this place, on Thursday last, the 8th instant. Although the leading facts of his life are set forth in the announcement of his death by the Baltimore Sun, which we have copied, we are unwilling, as we knew him so well, to pass by this sad event without some special mention.
A part of his life, and that which is best known, was devoted to literature, through which by pen and pencil, he presented some charming pictures of the natural beauties of his native State and, with great fidelity to truth, made known, to a wide circle of delighted readers, the happy, hospitable social customs and habits of thought of her noble people. Originally contributed serially to Harper's Magazine, under the name of "Virginia Illustrated," these efforts gave great popularity to that publication; and such was the demand for them that they were subsequently collected in book form which passed through several edition.
We are quite sure that a feeling of sorrow will be experienced by many a household in which more than one generation have enjoyed the pleasure which this genial production, the offspring of a man of genius, never failed to afford.
Gen. Strother was born in Martinsburg, September 16, 1816, being a son of Colonel John Strother, who was for many years proprietor of the Berkeley Springs Hotel. He entered Washington College, at Cannonsburg, Pa., where he graduated with distinction. Shortly afterward he went to Europe and spent two years in Rome as an art student. Returning to the United States he continued the study of drawing and painting in New York in 1845-49, and in 1853 began to contribute to Harper's Magazine, under the signature of "Porte Crayon," a series of illustrated papers, mostly on the South, the drawings being on wood by himself, which have been continued at intervals to the present time. Some of these papers were collected into a volume, 'Virginia Illustrated.' He was also a painter of some reputation. During the civil war he entered the national service as Captain and Assistant Adjutant General, and served on the Staffs of Major-General David Hunter and Major-General N. P. Banks. He afterwards became Colonel of the Third West Virginia Cavalry, and resigned September, 1864[.] In 1865 he was breveted Brig. Gen. for meritorious services. Early in the Hayes administration Gen. Strother was appointed United States Consul at the City of Mexico, where he remained until some months after President Cleveland was inaugurated. General Strother was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Wolfe, of Martinsburg, and his second wife was Miss Mary E. Hunter, of Charlestown, a sister of the wife of Hon. W. H. Travers, and a niece of the Hon. Andrew Hunter. He leaves by the former marriage a daughter, now Mrs. J. Brisben Walker, of Denver, Colorado, and by the last a son, who is yet under age, and is living in Chicago. Col. Jas. L. Randolph, chief engineer of the B. & O. Railroad, married a sister of Gen. Strother. While in Mexico Gen. Strother gathered the material for an essay on the "Life and Customs of the Mexicans," to appear in Harper's, and was engaged in its completion at the time of his death.
The funeral took place at Martinsburg Saturday last. His remains were interred in Green Hill Cemetery. The funeral was one of the largest ever witnessed in Martinsburg. Among those in attendance were United States Senator Faulkner, Hon. E. Boyd Faulkner, Hon. Wm. H. Travers, Col. Jas. L. Randolph, Maj. R. W. Hunter, Col. G. A. Porterfield and Rev. Dr. A. C. Hopkins.