William Erskine Stevenson

Parkersburg Daily State Journal
November 30, 1883

"He is Dead"

Yes, he is dead. Our friend, your friend, is dead. He died in the meridian of life, in full possession of his mental faculties, with every seeming promise of years of yet greater usefulness before him. His State could not yet afford to spare him, and in his death his county and city have lost their most valued citizen. His family and nearer friends have sustained a loss that is irreparable. To- day our tears are flowing in common with theirs and our sorrow is deep and poignant.

Governor Stevenson was no ordinary man. He was a man among men. His nature was of that broad, philanthropic, catholic kind which took in all humanity and made him countless friends. His abilities were of the very highest order and added to a keen intellect was a high sense of right and justice that was absolutely above all meanness or littleness.

His life was a success. The world is better for his having lived in it. He filled many places of trust and honor and none but that acquired new lustre from his service. He was honored by his fellow men and in turn he honored them. He was true, he was just, he was sincere, he was the soul of honor.

Why should he have been taken and others left? Why should he have suffered for weeks and months untold anguish of body? Why should his life have been cut off in the very zenith of his powers? These are questions we cannot solve, but like him we should bow with submission to the Divine will. He was not afraid to die. His house was in order and he has gone to his Heavenly reward.

We who are left can ponder over his life. Was it as Legislator, Senator or Governor? Was is as the humble carpenter, the young statesman, the successful editor or the practical farmer? Was it as the friend of public schools, the Sabbath School teacher, or the champion of moral reforms? Was it as any one or was it rather not in all of these that he excelled as the tried, true and efficient man? The world will miss him, and his friends and family will mourn for him. But we are all better for his having lived and in his death, so readily faced and joyously conquered, we have a hope for Eternity that carries joy to our sorrow.

Yes, we shall miss him; and who will take his place?

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