Dr. E. M. Garfield died at his home in this city at 8:30
o’clock last evening after a brief illness, of pneumonia, aged 79 years.
But few men in La Salle are better known to the people of the surrounding country than Dr. Garfield. It’s such a few days since he was moving among us in his usual good health, manifesting the same great interest in public affairs that has always characterized him, that it is hardly possible to realize the sad and painful fact that he has departed for “that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.”
Dr. Garfield was a native of Massachusetts; if our memory is correct, he was born in the town of Barre, near Worchester, about the centre of the state. When he first came West he sojourned for some time in Ohio; was in Cincinnati off and on for a while and taught school in that state.
He came to Illinois in the early ‘40’s. At the time of the Mormon war, he was staying at Nauvoo and was well-acquainted with the “Prophet” Joseph Smith and his brother; Brigham Young and the rest of the prominent leaders and had many a cenfab with them in regard to their peculiar religion; and it may be inferred that the Doctor lost no opportunity to express to them his independent ideas in reference to their beastly doctrine. Subsequently Dr. Garfield lived for some time in Abington, this state. He came to La Salle about 1848, and has resided here since, with the exception of two or three years in Chicago, in the early ‘70’s. He has been engaged in various enterprises, mostly in the mercantile and manufacturing line, practicing his profession but for a short time when he first came here, and not at all of late years, except in his own family. He taught school in the old Powell school house on Fifth street, about 1855, and was the first teacher here under the law establishing free schools.
Dr. Garfield was a man of more than ordinary intelligence. He was a great reader and student of history, and few could cope with him in the discussion of the great questions that have agitated the minds of men during his day. He was independent in all that the word implies, in politics and religion; was honest in his convictions and open and bold in the expression of them. He was benevolent and charitable to the extent of his means, and no human being ever appealed to him in vain, for assistance if it was in his power to give aid. He was strictly temperate in all things; philanthropic and a lover of his fellow men; his conduct was squared by the golden rule, and his earnest effort was to do right. In his death the city of La Salle has lost a good citizen – a good man has fallen.
Dr. Garfield leaves a wife, and a daughter and son – Miss Angie and Frederick Garfield. He had two married daughter, Mrs. Samuel Kessler and Mrs. McElhenie, who died some years ago, leaving large families of children, most of whom have made their home since with their grandfather.
The funeral will be held from the residence at 2:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, to Oakwood Cemetery.
Contributor's Note: This obituary was sent without listing the date and name of the newspaper. He was born March 1, 1818 and died February 2, 1897.
Contributed 19 Apr 2018 by Mary Saggio [email protected]