Obituaries of the children of William James & Ruth Parker Fraser: David Fraser; and of William James & Mary Thayer Blanchard Fraser: Clementine Fraser Rusk, Laura Fraser Ristine, and George Lyons Fraser.
Metamora Herald, Metamora, IL
Jan 1890: Mr. Fraser is quite sick with something like lung fever.
7 Feb 1890: Washburn News (p8 c3-4): Miss Ella Frasier is some better but yet unable to resume her duties at school. Miss R. Krater of Low Point was a guest of Miss Josie Fraser last Saturday. Quite a number from neighboring towns attended the funeral of David Frasier.
The funeral of David Frasier occurred at the Baptist Church last Tuesday at 11 o’clock. Rev. Cornelison of Washington [Isaac A. Cornelison, Presbyterian] taking charge of the services assisted by Rev. Ryan of the M. E. Church, Rev. Humphrey of the Christian Church, and Rev. Martin of Cazenovia. Mr. Frasier passed from this life at 10 o’clock last Saturday evening. He was widely known for his generous work as a devoted Christian and a temperance worker. While he will be missed by his home circle, the citizens have lost a beloved brother and the churches have lost a devoted worker for the right. He has gone leaving behind him footprints that will show forever.
[In 1872, D. V. Fraser was corresponding secretary of American Bible Society in his area.]
The Brimfield News, Brimfield, IL. March 15, 1894. P. 8, C. 2
Clementine Fraser was born April 9, 1865, near Brimfield, Ill. in the house where she lived through childhood, womanhood and motherhood. There was the place of her childish joys and sorrows; There was where her young womanhood drew pictures of the future; There was where those vows were taken that for life bound her to the husband of her choice, with a deep unswerving love. There in the same room where those vows were taken, she heard the voice of the only One who had a stronger claim than those of earth and her soul returned to God who gave it. But best of all, ‘twas there she received in early youth and on through life the admonitions and counsels of godly parents, that led her in youth’s purity to bend the knee to Christ and rely on him as her Savior and Friend. Her parents were members of the Presbyterian church, and she thus received the teaching in her youth that children are also “heirs of the promise” and at 13 years of age she publicly identified herself as a communicant of that church. Eight years ago she entered into a more satisfying work of grace and shortly afterward transferred her membership to the M. E. church. She was a faithful attendant upon the means of grace until the increasing cares of home-life prevented her. For two years she made sweet melody at the church organ while her brothers and sisters in the Lord sang the hymns of Zion.
On the 21st day of November, 1889, she was united in marriage to John W. Rusk; for a life that to the sorrowing and stricken husband seems all too short. Three bright boys have blessed this union and are now motherless. Her last illness was only of 9 days duration; the end coming at 15 minutes of 10 o’clock on Thursday evening, March 8th 1894. Her sufferings throughout her illness were severe.
Twice during her illness she wanted her husband to read the 14th chap. of St John’s Gospel. It was her favorite portion of the Word. She said once, “that when she got well, she was going to memorize that chapter.” Her regrets were that she had not studied the Bible and attended the means of grace more than she had. Yet notwithstanding her devoted and almost blameless life, she said to her mother on last Sabbath; “Mother, if I had died before last night, I would have been lost, but now it is all right.” During the days succeeding the Evil One seemed determined to take advantage of her weakness and as she expressed it, “The imps had me,” but God was true to his promises and brought her through the conflict victorious, triumphant and trustful. She died in peace and was conscious almost to the last, with the exception of short intervals. But if Sister Rusk felt herself lacking in the supreme hour, what need have we for self examination, “For if the righteous shall scarcely be saved; where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” “And if judgment first begin at the house of God, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of Christ?” “Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.” Her memory as the fragrance of a sweet incense remains with her loved ones and friends. May it be added strength to the ties that draw us all heavenward. May we all share the conscientiousness of our sister and fearing self and counting ourselves as unprofitable servants, be made to rely solely upon him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The funeral services were held at the M. E. church at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10, 1894, Rev. C. L. Davenport, the pastor of the deceased, officiating. A large concourse of people gathered at the church and followed the remains to their final resting place in the cemetery west of town.
Card of Thanks.
We desire to extend our heartfelt thanks to kind friends and neighbors for their generous assistance and sympathy during the late deep affliction and time of sorrow. Their many kindly acts will not be forgotten. The Family.
Mr. Geo. Fraser [her brother], of Tarkio, Mo., Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Ristine [her sister Laura & her husband], of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pacey [her aunt, her mother’s sister Clarissa] of LaHarpe, Mrs. Carson [her aunt Rebecca, her mother’s half-sister] and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Carson [her cousin, son of her aunt Rebecca], of Peoria, and Miss Birdie Marshall, of Farmington were in attendance at the funeral services of the late Mrs. John Rusk, last Saturday.
The Brimfield Gazette, Brimfield, IL. Vol 3, No. 45, Wed. September 4, 1878:
James Fraser goes to Lenox, Iowa, next week where he will settle down on his farm. The Gazette will be a constant visitor to James in his new home and we hope he will soon have an assistant to help read it.
The Brimfield News, Nov. 28, 1929, p. 5 c. 3
Mrs. E. R. Ristine
The sad news of the death of Mrs. Laura Ristine, wife of Prof. E. R. Ristine of Mt. Vermon, Iowa, was received by relatives here Monday. Mrs. Ristine passed away Monday morning.
Mrs. Ristine was born and reared in Brimfield, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Fraser, the family home stead being now owned and occupied by Frank Claypool. Her mother was a sister of Mrs. Clara Pacey. She was a woman of beautiful character and many accomplishments and for years both she and her husband E. R. Ristine were beloved members of the faculty of Cornell College at Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Besides her bereaved companion, she leaves one brother, George Frazier, of Mt. Vernon. The funeral service was held yesterday afternoon at two o’clock at Mt. Vernon.
Brimfield News, Dec. 5, 1929, p. 8, c. 3 (the phrasing suggests this was originally published in Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
Mrs. E. R. Ristine
Laura Frances Fraser was born on the parental farm just adjacent to the town of Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois, on February 3, 1860. She was the third of six children, all of whom have preceded her to the spirit world except the brother next younger, George L. Fraser, resident in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Her father, the Rev. Dr. William J. Fraser, was both a practicing physician and a Presbyterian clergyman. He was noted for his intellectual powers and strong personality, and commanded a wide influence both in his local community, and throughout the states of Illinois and Iowa, where he served his church in planting many of the early mission stations of those pioneer days.
Her mother, Mary Thane Fraser, was well known to many of the older people of our community, under the name acquired by her later marriage, Mrs. Mary Brooks, as a woman of most saintly character, as she spent the later years of her life here in the Ristine home.
Mrs. Ristine united with the Presbyterian Church of her home town, Brimfield, Illinois, in her early youth, enjoying its fellowship and active in its service until, on coming to Mount Vernon, this allegiance was transferred to our local Methodist Episcopal Church. Through her musical training and ability, especially in the possession of a strong and sweet soprano voice, she was always, until overtaken by recent infirmities, most acceptably serving her church in the ministry of song. She took charge of the choir of her home church at the age of thirteen.
Her education, following the elementary school period was secured in Monmouth College, Illinois, and the technical training in the commercial subjects she afterwards taught, at the Quincy, Illinois, Business College. On coming to Mount Vernon, she continued her studies in music, graduating in voice from our Cornell Conservatory of Music in 1895.
Mr. and Mrs. Ristine were married at Brimfield, Illinois, on August 25, 1881, and together through the next ten years served in the communities of Magnolia and Varna, Illinois, Glenwood, Minnesota, and Quincy, Illinois. They came to Mt. Vernon in the summer of 1891. Mr. Ristine as head of the Commercial School of the College, Mrs. Ristine as a teacher of stenography and typing in that department, and as a secretary in the president’s office. She continued her teaching until 1917, and her service in the college office until the late fall of 1923, when premonitory symptoms of illness made necessary her early retirement. In all this period of thirty two years, involving responsibilities of great moment, confidential relations often the most delicate, and painstaking accuracy in details, Mrs. Ristine fulfilled these duties in a unique and even wonderful way.
Throughout her long residence in Mt. Vernon, Mrs. Ristine had rendered most valuable service to the church and the community, perhaps most noticeably in song, singing for many years in the church choir, participating for seventeen consecutive years in the presentation of the Oratorio of the Messiah. For a good portion of this time she was also a devoted and most efficient teacher in the Sunday School and was active and interested in all phases of the work of the church, especially in the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society. The beneficent influence of her home was shared magnanimously with local friends, and extended also to many generations of college students, both during the time of her connection with the institution and into the very recent past.
Her other interests embraced membership in the Ingleside Club, the order of the Easter Star, and the Ladies of the G.A.R. She passed away in Saint Luke’s Methodist Hospital, at Cedar Rapids, Monday morning, November 25, 1929, in the seventieth year of her age.
Brimfield News, Brimfield, IL Dec 26, 1921, p. 1
Word reaches here of the death of George Fraser of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, a nephew of Mrs. Clara Pacey. Mr. Fraser had been ill for a long time past. He was the only surviving brother of the late Mrs. Laura Ristine and his death takes the last member of this family, who were former residents of Brimfield. His death came 24 days following the passing of his sister, Mrs. Ristine.
Brimfield News, Brimfield, IL Vol. 46 No 28 Thurs Jan 2, 1930 p. 1 c.3
George Lyons Fraser was born near Brimfield, Ill. Aug 20, 1861 and passed away at his home in Mt. Vernon, Dec 19, 1929.
He was the fourth of six children of Wm and Mary Thane Fraser. His father was twice married, George being the last survivor of thirteen children.
He was married to Jennie Harper in Marshalltown, Feb. 7, 1882. To this union were born four children, Mrs. Anna Whannel, who died Dec 31, 1912, Mrs. Irene Parks of Chillicothe, Mo., William Edward who died July 31, 1911, and James Harper, infant, who died Oct 6, 1900. Besides the widow, there remains to mourn his loss, Mrs. Irene Parks of Chillicothe, Mo. and the following grandchildren: Ralph Whannel, Catherine, James and Margaret Parks.
His father died when George was fourteen years of age, leaving him to care for and support his mother and younger sister. He managed the farm and taught school until he was twenty years of age.
After his marriage, he moved to a farm near Marshalltown, Ia, residing there eleven years; moving to Tarkio, Mo, for better school advantages for his children. Here he engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, later the mercantile business.
Ill health forced him to retire from active life and in June 1919, he chose Mt. Vernon as his home, where he spent the remainder of his life.
He joined the Presbyterian Church at Brimfield, Ill., when a boy and continued a faithful and earnest worker for his master. He served as SS Supt in Marshalltown and was Sec of the Linn Co SS Assoc. after moving to Mt Vernon. He was ordained as Ruling Elder in the New Providence Presbyterian Church near Chula, Mo. and has acted in the same capacity in the in the Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon.
One of his greatest pleasures was working with young people, having been a SS teacher most of his life. He was the leader of the Teachers Training Class in Mt. Vernon which he conducted for six years. Through his influence many of the members of the class became interested in Christian Work and the spark which he kindled into a flame is doing its work for God in many places.